The Angkor temple complex in Cambodia
It is considered that Siem reap in Cambodia to visit solely for the sake of Angkor Wat. So, in General, is, but with one amendment: in fact, Angkor Wat is not the right designation of the archaeological Park. Angkor Wat (Angkor Wat) is just the most famous and one of the most impressive temples from the wide variety in the temple complex "Angkor Archaeological Park". We are, for convenience, we will call all the archaeological Park of Angkor.
Angkor is not independent of a resort destination, and there are no hotels. This attraction and the hotels and other tourist infrastructure are in Siem reap. But despite this, we decided to create for a review of Angkor separate subsection due to the large amount of information that will be useful and interesting when you visit this historic place.
The size of the entire temple complex is 400 square kilometers and is the largest religious building in the world and one of the most important historical monuments. This is the only facility in Cambodia, taken under UNESCO protection.
Of course, "Angkor Archaeological Park" is the most popular and one of the most mysterious attractions not only in Cambodia, but in Southeast Asia generally. And just as certainly, that the majority of tourists visiting Cambodia, rush to the temples of Angkor. Given the magnitude of this attraction, to see her without preparation or without the help of guides is very difficult, and most likely much time will be wasted, and a lot of interesting things will be unnoticed. We prepared his version of a guide to the temples of Angkor and is highly recommended before you travel carefully to see it, and maybe even print out the information and have it with you.
But first, some history:
The history of the temples of Angkor
Angkor translated from Khmer means "capital". This is a unique largest temple complex in the world, which has no analogues.
The temples of Angkor were built between IX and XIV century BC. e. there are about 100 temples which form the center of the ancient Khmer civilization, stretching earlier in the territory of the modern States of Vietnam, China and from Vietnam West to the Bay of Bengal.
The construction of Angkor took tremendous effort of the Khmer people, and all because of one single goal – to create a heavenly Paradise on earth.
The beginning of Angarskoi civilization takes the count from the reign of Jayavarman II (reigned 802-850.). They were installed on mount kulen (now this place is a Park "Phnom kulen"), the first phallic symbol of the God lingam. The lingams were considered sacred symbols of Lord Shiva. Then he began to built a "temple-mountain". Thus, the first temple of Phnom kulen. The temple was a copy of the five-domed stepped mount Meru, which is located in the center of the world, and on top of it are the most important Hindu gods. At the intersection of the diagonals of the capitals were erected the main "temple-mountain" with a lingam in the middle, which celebrated the axis of the universe.
From the tenth century previously isolated Prasat (a temple tower) began to surround the long, narrow buildings, forming rectangles around them. Later, these buildings took the form of a closed rectangular galleries. They corners towers. T. O. was formed the temple complex, which was closed concentric walls with majestic gates.
The creation of the first pool (barai) belongs to the ruler indravarman I (877-886 rules/889.), the area of baraya was 650 hectares and it was located in Roluos. In addition to irrigation of lands around Angkor, barai and had religious significance, as mount Meru, according to legend, surrounded by the edges of the lakes. Indravarman I built the temple of Preah Ko.
Yasovarman I (reigned 889-900/915.) the son of indravarman I, built the temple of Lolei in the pool created by the father, and erected it on an artificial island. The temples of Phnom Bakheng, Phnom Krom and Phnom Bok also belong to his reign. Yasovarman I joined G. Bakheng with Roluos embankment road and created a large pool (barai) - Eastern baray.
In the reign of Radzhendravarman (944-68.) was built East Mebon and Pre RUP. His son Jayavarman V (968-1000 rules/1001.) built the temples TA Keo and Banteay SREI.
The next historical period was marked by wars and conquests. And, as a result, many temples were destroyed and in their place built others. So today the Angkor complex is preserved in the form in which it was "updated" in this period.
Buddha statues began to appear during the reign of Suryavarman I (ruled 1002-1049.), who adhered to Buddhism and contributed to its spread in Cambodia. As a result of their military campaigns under the control of the city of Angkor was ceded most of the territory of Thailand and South Laos. His son Udayadityavarman II (reigned 1050 – 1066.) expanded the Khmer Empire even more. In his reign was built the Baphuon and the Western Mebon.
One of the highest achievements of the Khmer civilization was the construction of the Angkor Wat temple during the reign of Suryavarman II (reigned 1113 – 1150).. Suryavarman II joined Cambodia and began military actions against Vietnam, extended its influence in Malaya (Malaysia), Myanmar (Burma) and Thailand. Was a follower of Hinduism, and that was embodied in the creation of Angkor Wat.
Ruled by the Khmer Empire Cham (Chama) from South Vietnam in 1177 rose up and sacked Angkor. They burned the wooden city and took its wealth.
Four years later Jayavarman VII (ruled 1181 – 1220) defeated the Cham, pushed them out of Cambodia and returned to Angkor. Thanks to the king, a new religion - Mahayana Buddhism, as a symbol of worship became Avalokiteshvara – Buddha of Compassion. During the reign of Jayavarman VII was marked by the rapid construction of temples, roads, bridges, schools, hospitals. They built the city of Angkor Thom, the center of which was the Bayon temple-mountain, carved stone faces. Were built the temples of TA Prohm, Banteay, Kdei and Preah Kan. In addition, the rebuilt great temple complexes such as Banteay of CMAR and Preah Kan.
After the death of Jayavaraman VII, the Empire went into decline. The state religion reverted to Hinduism, and Buddha statues that adorn Hindu temples, were subjected to acts of vandalism. In 1351 and 1431, the Siamese troops captured Angkor. During the last "RAID" the city was looted and fell into disrepair. The local population, leaving it, as it is almost forgotten. After that, the capital of the Khmer Empire settled in Phnom Penh.
Up until 1850, the city, the temple remained hidden from the eyes of European explorers in the veil of impenetrable jungle, while the French missionary Charles-Emile Buyeo hit its ruins, which served as the "first" opening of the city of Angkor. However, the report Buyeo was completely ignored.
Again, the Angkor complex was "discovered" in 1861 the French traveler Anri Muo, who in his report wrote about the hundreds of wats (temples). From that moment, Angkor became known throughout European civilization, and reached here, the French research expedition.
According to the results of the first expedition, led by Ernest Dudar de Largo, was described by the archaeological finds of Angkor.
The next expedition led by Louis Delaporte brought with him sketches and plans of the temples, as well as dozens of archaeological samples.
In 1901 the French school of the Far East began the study of Angkor, sending another expedition to the Bayon.
6 years later (1907) Angkor was returned to Cambodia under Thai control. Work began on the restoration of Angkor. In the same year arrived the first tourists.
During the civil war (1975-1979), the Khmer Rouge troops under the leadership of Pol Pot destroyed part of the temple complex; prolonged unrest led to the suspension of restoration work. The temples were under threat of looting. The jungle began to swallow the city.
In 1992 Angkor was taken under the auspices of UNESCO. Today the complex is the main tourist attraction of Cambodia.