We did the twenty-six kilometre Grand Circuit on our second day into the ancient Khmer temples.
The main lesson from the visit was that although Hindu and Buddhist beliefs lived in harmony, particularly under Jayavarman VII, the reality is that subsequent Kings had differing views and many religious artefacts were destroyed.
The Tuk-tuk drove from our hotel in the centre of town to the Angkor Complex for a day of touring.
The temple was built on the site of Jayavarman VII’s victory over the invading Chams in 1191. The Chams are the people of present day northern Vietnam.
Built at the end of the twelfth century during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. According to the World Monuments Fund “the temple was likely dedicated to Jayavarman VII’s father, although some have speculated that it may have been dedicated to one of his teachers.”
The World Monuments Fund was the main partner with the Cambodian government to rebuild Ta Som between 1998 and 2012. They estimate that the temple was purposefully destroyed during the fifteenth century and lay in ruin for several hundred years.
According to Art and Archeology website, this large (126m x 121m) temple complex was built by Rajendravarman (944-968) on an island in the middle of the East Baray. Yasovarman I (899-915) built the island and the bray. A Baray is a water reservoir. This particular one was 7.5 by 1.8 kilometers and holding over 50 million cubic meters of water according to wikipedia. It is now dry.
This temple lies due south of East Mebon by 800m and about 500m from the edge of the East Baray. It is believed to have been built as the state temple of King Rajendravarman,and dedicated in 961.
meaning “A Citadel of Chambers”, also known as “Citadel of Monks’ cells”,is a Buddhist temple in Angkor, Cambodia. It is outheast of Ta Prohm and east of Angkor Thom. Built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries AD during the reign of Jayavarman VII
Due East of Banteay Kdei is the Sras Srang which is a small Baray (750m by 300m) dug in the mid-10th century, by the initiative ofKavindrarimathana, Buddhist minister ofRajendravarman II.It was later modified around the year 1200 byJayavarman VII,who also added thelateritelanding-stage at its western side (which we stood on)
End of the Day
Starting at 08:30 in the morning we ended at 14:30 with a Tuk-tuk ride to the market for lunch and a well deserved beer. In 40 degree weather tramping around temples can become a little tiring even for the most hardy of historians. Our last post on the Angkor Complex will include the temple of Banteay Srey and the Cambodian Landmine Museum.