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Entries in sculpture (1)

Sunday
Feb072010

Angkor Draft

Greetings,

If I begin this dance by calling it Angkor Draft you may surmise it is about a local beer. It's not. While the beer is very popular with tourists and locals, the latter consuming huge quantities to cement construction deals, it's actually a urine based liquid reference favored by extremely thirsty red dust covered humans unloading huge packs with a weary sigh of relief. They've traveled far and wide to reach this epic point in their short sweet life. The average tourist will spend 3.5 days here and consume 9.6 large bottles of Angkor Draft.

As I wrote, in early January, I bought a 7-day pass for the Angkor Wat complex. This allowed for seven relaxed visits over a month's space-time. This was necessary due to the intensity of the experience. In advance I visited the Angkor National Museum to learn about the Khmer culture and Angkor. These entries are in the January Blog Archives. 

The Angkor image galleries are in a folder with a descending order of discovery. I began far away; specifically at Banteay Srei (9th C.) and The Roluos Group (8th C.) My last two visits included the main Angkor temple and the Bayon. I also revisited Preah Khan, Ta Som, Ta Prohm and Banteay Kdei. 

Angkor Wat was built in 1113. It is the largest religious monument in the world. It took over 30 years to complete and is dedicated to Vishnu. It is a symbol of the divine; Mount Meru in the center, surrounded by smaller peaks, courtyards (continents) and a huge moat (oceans).

After the 13th century it was a place of Buddhist worship. Extensive graphic wall galleries and carvings depict battles, regal processions, heaven and hell, and the Hindu creation epic "Churning The Sea of Milk," where gods and demons cooperate to create the elixir of immortality. Galleries also include battles between Devas and Asuras, and the Battle of Lanka.

Angkor reinforces the reality of small humans. How did I feel here? Serene. Impermanent, calm and centered. 

 

The Bayon is a three-tiered pyramid temple with 49 towers. Archeologists theorize the multitude of faces symbolize the god-king looking over the entire country. There are fine bas reliefs. My feeling was the immensity of energies and perspective. I avoided crowds and found solace and serenity in secluded places. The image below is an example. Not a single traveller exploring Western walls, courtyards or just sitting.

"You cannot photograph space," said a girl sitting in the shade.

 

All the temples offered deep surrounding forests, labyrinths, mazes, delightful discoveries and magical light-shadow play. Feel free to wander around at your leisure. Double-click on images to see larger visions. 

Angkor, Bayon and beyond...

Metta.