Angkor Wat (Angkor Wat)
History of Angkor Wat, General information
Angkor Wat (Angkor Wat) translated from Khmer means "city temple." This is the most popular and well-known facility in the entire Angkor.
Angkor Wat is a part of the temple complex of Angkor in the Hindu style, which was the ancient capital of Cambodia until the XV century today it is the best preserved of the other temples located on the territory of the city of Angkor. The temple of Angkor Wat is even depicted on the national flag of Cambodia.
The temple built between 1113 1150 years during the reign of king Suryavarman II (posthumous name Parambikkulam) and, according to one version, was built as a tomb for him.
In 1351 and 1431, the Siamese troops captured the city of Angkor. During the last invasion the city was looted and fell into disrepair. It was abandoned, leaving only the monks.
Phenomenon in the world culture of Angkor Wat began in early 1861, when French traveler Anri Muo as part of the research expedition found the complex in Angkor. However, information about Angkor existed before, but for one reason or another, did not become well known. So, 1850, the city of Angkor described in his observations, visited here, a French priest Charles Emil Buyeo. There is evidence that even before there was the Portuguese.
The civil war waged by the Khmer Rouge in the 70-ies of XX century, the buildings of the temple suffered at the hands of vandals.
Since 1992, the Angkor Wat temple in the complex of Angkor, declared a world cultural heritage and taken under UNESCO protection. The specialists of this organization ensure the security of the complex, its restoration and preservation, so today you can see this creation of the Khmer architects. Angkor Wat is one of the main attractions of Cambodia.
In order to protect the monument, to the top tier of Angkor Wat in 2010, a special access mode. Now there can be no more than 100 people. The new rules prohibit the rise to the top children, the elderly and those with limited opportunities that previously were not controlled. Strict requirements to clothes: shoulders and knees are always covered. During Buddhist holidays, the upper gallery is now closed to the public.
Orientation in the temple, tips for inspection
Angkor Wat should visit is mandatory. For his leisurely inspection it is better to allocate 4 hours or more. Also a popular event is the sunrise and sunset together, so many trails begin or end at Angkor Wat. There is always a lot of tourists, and it is almost impossible to take photos in the frame is not got at least a couple of tourists.
The complex has a length from West to East for 1.5 km and from North to South, 1.3 km from the perimeter of the temple grounds surrounded by a moat with a width of 190 m, as if forming a square island shape. The main entrance to the island is on the Western side, and is on the stone bridge over the moat. This whole area will have to be explored on foot, as no transport and even bicycles through the main entrance do not miss. There are, however, able to come over to the island on the East side and drive up almost next to the main temple, but this is as lucky, and the way to find easy (though local know and can arrange).
The main structure of the temple has a much more modest size than the whole island, only 200 by 200 meters, and is located in the center of the island. There is concentrated the most interesting, and where tourists spend most of their time. The temple is a pyramid consisting of three levels, oriented entrance and face West. West side (front) made the very same photos of the temple, which are usually portrayed in books (see points for photographing on the map).
To the temple from the main entrance is a wide road of stone slabs that starts and ends with a few cross, surrounded by Naga (mythical snakelike creatures). Courts have three levels, on the top - mounted the throne of the king. On both sides of the road are buildings of libraries having four inputs each.
In addition to the ancient temple on the island there is a place that is rarely visited by tourists, but can also be quite interesting. It is a functioning temple complex located on the South side of the main temple.
The construction of the temple architecture
The temple is a pyramid consisting of three levels, oriented to the West. Despite the rather complicated structure, its construction was carried out from the centre to the periphery. What side not to look at it – you always see only three towers of the five that is a marvel of architectural art to the present time.
Three levels of the temple, according to the beliefs of the Khmers represent the three elements: air, earth and water. The center of the temple is the main tower, located on the third level and rising 65 meters from ground. It represents the mythical mount Meru, home of the Supreme gods. The temple was built, primarily, for worship of the Hindu God Vishnu and became the embodiment of the superiority and greatness of the reigning king. Hence the entrance of Central tower, the common people were forbidden, only the king and monks could visit this sacred place.
A Central tower on the perimeter is surrounded by four other towers, the tops of which resemble the shape of a Lotus Bud. Tower each of the three tiers are connected by covered corridors, which are located in the gallery. From the galleries of the first tier is accessed via a fairly steep stairs to the galleries of the second, and from there, in the gallery of the third level.
In the galleries are many bas-reliefs and images that show the major events in the life of the ancient inhabitants, and scenes from the Hindu epics. The ceiling is decorated with Lotus pattern. In some places traces of painting. On the second floor walls are carved with sculptured window, carved pillars, resembling balusters.
Angkor Wat was built of Sandstone, without the addition of cement, and wood. Therefore, the preservation of this monument remains problematic. Sandstone is gradually destroyed under the influence of time and the jungle in times of war, the Church was vandalized; hardwood floors almost did not survive. The jungle at the time repeatedly consumed the Church, sprouting roots through the walls.
In front of the entrance to the first level having a size of 215 to 187 m., with three towers. This level is very informative, because there are a lot of images and murals of various Hindu subjects. In total in the gallery of the first level surrounded by eight giant panels with a height of 2 meters and a length of about 1000 m. the image on the data panel", quote," major episodes of the popular and to this day the ancient Indian epics "Ramayana" and "Mahabharata".
On the inner side of the gallery is a blank wall where, in fact, presents the bas-reliefs on the external side of the gallery has a double row of columns, forming a narrow passage for inspection of the bas-reliefs. The ceilings are decorated with carvings resembling a Lotus flower.
Each main gallery ends with corner pavilions, two of the four inputs of which are connected directly to the main galleries, and the other two end in small recesses in the wall (niches, a tympanum). In these niches, too, had been bas-reliefs and murals, but unfortunately, today it is hardly possible to distinguish something.
Inspection of the bas-reliefs it is proposed to start with a West gallery in the southern part (battle of Kurukshetra) in the course of movement in a counterclockwise direction, but it's all the same to you.
- The North wing of the West gallery
Here are scenes from the Ramayana epic, namely the battle for O. Lanka. We see Rama (the sun God) standing on the shoulders of Hanuman (monkey God), along with brother Lakshman, the younger brother of Ravana – Vibhishana and the army of monkeys fighting with the O. Lord of Lanka, Ravana (king of demons), who rides in a chariot drawn by lions, and in each arm (total 20) holding a weapon.
- The South wing of the West gallery
This mural depicts the scene of a fierce battle of Kurukshetra from the epic Mahabharata, between two clans, the Kauravas (left) and the Pandavas (pictured right), which lasted 18 days. On the bottom row is visible, the line of soldiers-infantry armed with spears and shields. On the second and third row – warlords and commanders on elephants or chariots.
Here you also see the dead commander, the warrior on the elephant, wounded commander. Some parts of the bas-relief so polished by millions of hands, so like black marble.
- The North wing of the West gallery
- The West wing of the South gallery
Gallery presents murals depicting some aspects of the reign of king Suryavarman II (Parambikolam).
On one of the reliefs (Western part) the king is depicted sitting on a throne surrounded by servants and subjects, holding a weapon that resembles an axe. A mural is a symbol of his greatness and power.
On another bas-relief (Eastern part) of the king surrounded by an army. Walking, riding on elephants, generals and commanders are in the fight of your warriors. Further to the West of the lobby is visible Thai mercenary army, which at that time was an ally of the Khmer Rouge in their war with Tamami (Chama). To distinguish the Khmers can square breastplates and spears; Thais on hats, skirts and tridents. Part of this panel was damaged by artillery in 1971
- The East wing of the South gallery
This half of the gallery dedicated to scenes of heaven and hell. The ceiling of the gallery was restored in the 1930-ies. It depicts 32 levels of hell and the 37 levels of heaven, according to the beliefs of the Khmer.
At the level of the upper and middle rows are scenes in which the God Yama (king of demons), surrounded by servants, people go to accomplish eternal judgment. God Yama is sitting on top of the black bull, each 18 hands holding the rod. Just below the Pit are his assistants, who report the sins and merits brought to the court, and the Pit, after hearing the report, decides another fate.
The bottom row depicts the road to hell, which the sinners dragged by demons.
To the right of the Pit is the scene is divided horizontally by a line of Garuda (the bird of the God Vishnu, the Naga fighter) on heaven and hell. In Paradise the righteous enjoy surrounded by apsaras (celestial nymphs). Below, the sinners are subjected to various hellish torture and misery.
- The West wing of the South gallery
- The southern wing of the Eastern gallery
This bas-relief depicts a scene from the Khmer legend of pahtani (sportivnie) of the Ocean of milk, which tells the story of the creation of the world. Panels are recognized as the most outstanding in the temple complex and, undoubtedly, deserves special attention.
Here, the gaze presents a plot where 88 Asura (demons) on the left and 92 Deva (gods) with comb helmet right, holding serpent, using it as a rope and mount Mandara as the axis that wraps around this "rope". The Asuras held the snake behind the head and the Devas – tail. Pulling the end of the "rope" on each of the groups leads to rotation of the mountain that churns the ocean to obtain so necessary for each group, the elixir of immortality. Vishnu, performed in the form of a huge turtle uses its shell as a prop and the pivot of the mountain Mandara. The result of sbaltimore emerge from the water 14 treasure: Brahma, Shiva, Hanuman (the monkey God) and Lakshmi (goddess of beauty), etc. In the upper part of the mural over the heads singing and dancing the apsarās (celestial nymphs). In the lower part of the mural in the chaos of rushing around the underwater inhabitants of the ocean.
- The North wing of East gallery
This part of the gallery depicts the victory of Lord Vishnu over the Asuras (demons). Vishnu seated on Garuda (the bird mount of Vishnu), and from all sides to move it troops of demons.
Scientists suggest that this gallery was built in a later period, probably in XV or XVI centuries.
- The southern wing of the Eastern gallery
- The Eastern wing of the North gallery
Here are a few scenes of the victory of Lord Krishna over king of demons, Bana.
One of them Krishna sitting on Garuda (the bird mount of Vishnu), and before him the city where he lives Ban. Garuda is spewing fire and the Ban seems.
In another episode, Krishna saves the city of Dvaraka (the capital of the tribe to which Krishna belongs) from the fire, sent the son of the king of Kashi.
On the other mural depicts the battle of Krishna with Bana, who rushes at him in a chariot drawn by lions.
In the final scene Krishna, bowed his knees before God Shiva, asks him to spare the ban.
- West wing, North gallery
This part shows the battle 21 God of the Pantheon of Brahma by the demons.
The gods are depicted according to their attributes: Vishnu (the Supreme God) has 4 hands and sits on the Garuda, Shiva (the Supreme God) is sitting in the Lotus position, on a forehead the third eye; Kubera (God of wealth) – with three legs and one eye; Hanuman (God of monkey) with a monkey face; Lakshmi (goddess of beauty) sitting on a Lotus in each hand holds a Lotus; Murugan (God of war) with six heads and twelve arms and legs, sitting on a peacock and the other.
- The Eastern wing of the North gallery
The second level of the temple has the dimensions of 100 by 115 meters. It can be reached by following the covered corridors from the first level through the main entrance (West to East). Three gate tower the main entrance connected to the three towers of the second tier kind of corridors. The resulting space divided into four rectangular courtyard, which during the rainy season turned into artificial pools.
Rising to the second floor, right and left are buildings of the library, with four entrances and a Central staircase leading to the third level of the temple.
It has ten inputs, each of which is decorated with a makeshift roof. Best roof preserved on the Eastern entrance of the North gallery and the main entrance of the South gallery.
Gallery of the second tier is represented by the corridors. One part of the wall (outer side) is deaf, the other (inner side) with Windows, grids are small figured columns. In the internal part of the yard, the corridors open a double row of columns, forming a covered gallery with a width of about 3 m. the bas-Reliefs of the galleries show images of nearly two thousands of apsaras, all of which is not like the other.
At the intersection with gallery (North to South) there are eight corner columns connected by a diagonal bridges with unknown inscriptions.
In the South gallery along the blank wall is full of statues.
The third level has the dimensions of 75 by 75 m and is situated at altitude 25 m from the ground. All in all, the height of the Central tower of 65 m from the earth's surface.
Space of this layer divided into four quadrants, representing the courtyards, which can be reached both to angular and to the main towers. The towers are 12 stairs with very steep steps. However, only one of the stairs leading to the Central tower designed for tourists, and is located at South tower. The towers are connected by large corridors.
From the Central tower depart four galleries open on both sides 15 m in length each. On the one hand (inside) is a double row of columns, on the other (outside) Windows, with a grid of curved bars. Here the bas-reliefs carved with images of demigods (Devatas).
The Central tower looks particularly Regal, if you look at it either early in the morning from the foot of the northeast tower, or at sunset from the foot of the Northwest tower.
From the height of the third tier offers superb views of the surrounding countryside.