Angkor Thom: The Bayon (Bayon)
General information, history
Bayon (Bayon) is one of the amazing temples located on the territory of Angkor Thom and was its religious center. "Highlight" of the Bayon are the towers with many faces carved out of stone, silently looking down upon the vast territory of Angkor Thom, and in the heyday of the state – and the entire Khmer Empire. Originally there were 54 towers, symbolizing the 54 provinces under the authority of the king. Unfortunately, today preserved in the order of 37 towers. Each tower has four faces looking in all directions, and facial expressions on each side are different. All towers were covered with gold. Besides the faces, of particular interest are the bas-reliefs, located in the galleries of the first and second tiers, lesnina and more than 1,000 images of apsaras (celestial dancers).
The temple was built in the spirit of Buddhism, however, there are elements of Hinduism.
Bayonne was and still is the Central temple of Angkor Thom. With him is directly related to the legend of Pahtani of the ocean of milk, the Bayon stands as the basis of serving as a tool to whip the Ocean of milk to obtain the elixir of immortality.
The temple built during the reign of Jayavarman VII (Jayavarman VII, 1181-1220. rules) and repeatedly completed and reconstructed by subsequent rulers. Reconstruction of the temple began in 20-ies of XX century.
The many carved faces is the face of bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the deity of compassion, a type of the appearance of which was Jayavarman VII himself.
Orientation in the temple, tips for inspection
Time for inspection of the temple should allocate about 2 hours.
The Bayon is located in the centre of the Angkor Thom temple complex of Angkor, at the intersection of four roads leading to Angkor Thom, which lead directly to the temple. Directly to the Bayonne can be reached by motorbike or Bicycle, to walk quite far from the gate to the temple is a decent distance – 1.5 km and from the centre of Siem reap - 10 km (see Bayon of Angkor on the map). Quite often, the Bayon get through the South gate of Angkor Wat. Another worth mentioning about the so-called "elephant trail", which is organized for elephant rides through the Eastern gate to the Bayon and around it.
Especially good photo work in the early morning when the sun rises, gradually illuminating the Royal faces of the Bayon, or at sunset. At this time, on top of the temple is going to a huge number of people. As the Bayon temple is known, there is always a lot of people, because to photograph is sometimes very difficult.
The Bayon is a stone cross area, consisting of two tiers and framed here and there by statues of lions and Nagas on both sides of which had previously been small bodies of water. The entrance to the Bayon four (main) and another two on each side (extra), main entrance is on the East side.
Near Bayonne (North-West side) is a small open porch with a statue of a seated Buddha, called Preah Ngoc or Preah Ngok. Historical interest it represents. This Shrine is valid would happen. It is also worth to mention another little-known "monument" is a tombstone erected in the honor of one of the first French explorers Jean Commaille (Jean Commaille) involved in the restoration of Angkor, who was killed by robbers in 1916 and is buried near Bayonne, in the South-West.
The construction of the temple architecture
The temple has the shape of a three-tiered pyramid, the first two tiers are square in shape, the third – round. The temple is built of stone blocks, some of its parts – wood, in General, has been well preserved.
Bayonne majestic from the outside, and at the same time chaotic in architecture, perhaps due to periodic extentions and alterations of certain parts.
The first tier of the structure has dimensions of approximately 160 by 140 m, the height of the walls is 4.5 m. along the edges there are four corner towers, center, with each of the parties – gopura (gateway tower), and two additional towers entrance. In the courtyard on its Eastern side two buildings libraries.
This interesting tier spaced around the perimeter of the galleries with carved bas-reliefs. The bas-reliefs are on a blank wall and have a height of 3.5 m, the other side has a double row of columns. Previously between the wall and the columns had wooden floors, but they have not survived.
Examine the bas-reliefs are recommended from the East entrance right-to-left, in accordance with the ritual pradakshina (ritual circumambulation of the Shrine). If you do not have enough time to inspect all reliefs, then take a look at the bas-reliefs depicted on the southern and Eastern wall is the best preserved of all and give a General idea about the rest of the bas-reliefs and techniques of their execution. The feature of the images is to divide the image horizontally into several separate scenes. Some scenes were only intended pattern, but not completed.
Galleries of the first tier represent the military and daily life of the king and his subjects, sometimes with historical accuracy, for example: returning from the battle, Khmer soldiers, led by Jayavarman VII; armed soldiers with carts, wagons and elephants; the everyday life of ordinary people, their houses, on the roofs which sit birds, scenes of Commerce; naval battles of the Khmer and the Cham to Tonle SAP O.; king gives orders; scenes catch fish; the Princess surrounded by servants; the victory of the Khmers over tamami; scene of the civil war; circus; scene dedicated to the city of Angkor (the defeat of the Khmer Rouge in the war of 1171, the looting of the city of Angkor, the victory of the Khmer Rouge in 1181). There are bas-reliefs with mythological images of apsaras, lingams, gods and saints, but they are very few.
In the yard at the North-Western side are the mountains of stones, which has so far not set in place.
On the second floor you have to climb higher. He formed the first type, only the size is smaller, approximately 80 to 70 m. There are a few additional galleries that intersect at a right angle, and not always linked by transitions. On this floor there are four small courtyard in the corners. The layer consists of an inner gallery reliefs are not in the tier of the gallery, and in some areas, forming an additional gallery. The subjects of the bas-reliefs devoted to religious scenes. The safety of some of the images leaves much to be desired.
In the galleries are Buddha statues and lingams, such as in the South-Eastern corner tower is well preserved Buddha statue framed by the many-headed Naga (snake).
There are also scenes of Palace life and military campaigns, but most of all - pictures of Buddhist and Hindu orientation: revered saints and gods, mythological characters (the apsaras), scenes from the Indian epics "Ramayana" and "Mahabharata".
On the third tier are quite steep stairs. Here is the upper terrace, with very narrow aisles there are three small libraries (West, North, East) and towers of Prasat.
In the middle of the terrace is the huge Central tower with a diameter at the base approximately 25 meters, uplifting 43 m from the ground. The Central tower has eight towers, the main tower is in a dilapidated condition. The inside of the tower divided by the axial lines into several separate rooms-sanctuaries, where the statues of Buddhist and Hindu deities. In the center of the main tower (East entrance), is the most sacred place, it has a round shape with a diameter of 5 m and three outputs with very narrow corridors. In this room was originally a statue of Buddha with a height of 3.6 m, found in the foundations during the excavation of the Bayon, it was subsequently removed, restored and placed behind the towers of Prasat Suor Prat are located closer to the South of the road leading from the Gate of Victory (Victory Gate), behind the pool is a large terrace Vihear Prampil Loveng
Today this place is also a statue of a Buddha and spreads the aroma of incense. Anyone can "talk to the Buddha" for a small donation, instead of having the rope on the wrist and one to three sticks of incense that you need to put it in a pot of sand.
From the South and East sides in the niches above the entrance is the best preserved bas-reliefs and figures of apsaras in patterns of flowers, images of birds and gods.