總瀏覽量

2013年4月7日 星期日

Khmer (高棉) or Cambodia (柬埔寨)-3


Day 3  Stop 1 Ta Phrom Temple (塔普倫廟)

Cambodia was surprisingly hot. Temperatures during the day could easily rise to 40 degrees Celsius. Though protected by a cap and armed with a towel-type handkerchief and two bottles of distilled water, I nearly had a stroke. A quarter of an hour under the merciless sun and I would look like someone who had just come out from a shower with his shirt and trousers on. But the ruins at Ta Phrom and Angkor Wat were breathtakingly beautiful. There I saw an unending tug of war between the forces of human civilization and the forces of Nature. Both are equally formidable.





Entering Ta Phrom Temple



The entrance to another enclosure



A close up of one of the 4 faces

The entrance to the inner enclosure of the ancient temple. This temple was originally a Buddhist temple but many of its original sculptures had been removed by the Hindus after the death of King Jayavarman VII, leaving only very few bas-relief of Buddhist mythologies. There are three inner enclosures but many parts have collapsed and the greater part of the temple's 650,000 sq.metre grounds have been colonized by giant trees mainly the "strangler fig" or gold apple and silk-cotton or thitpok trees.. Part of the ruins were used in the film Indiana Jones. There are entrance gopuras (entrance pavillions) at each of its cardinal points but nowadays because of the condition of the buildings, access is restricted to just the east and west entrances. Its construction started in 1186 AD but there were some additions in the 13th century. Originally known as Rajavihara (Monastery of the King), Ta Prohm was a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of King Jayavarman VII. According to an inscription there, some 80,000 workers were involved in its construction, including some 2,700 officials. There are 5 rectangular enclosures and 3 of its inner enclosures have galleries. At one time, it had a library and there were satellite temples on the north and south sides of the 3rd enclosure. At its eastern side, there was once a Hall of Dancers between the 3rd and 4th entrances and also a House of Fire.



The entrance to the inner enclosure



Tree growing through the rubble



many of the structures have tumbled down



A giant tree growing in one of the enclosures



Tall trees everywhere at the temple



Another giant tree growing right in the middle of the enclosure



Another tree has taken over part of the walls



This tree has taken over another part of the temple



One of the central buildings in there



One of the entrances to the building with sculptures depicting various mythical tales.



Many of the bas reliefs have been eroded and other parts of the temple have fallen down



Some of the figures decorating the temple wall



The lower portion of the figure has fallen down



Ruins everywhere



A view of one of the towers from one of the corridors



A corner of one of the structures



Another corridor



The roof of the corridor are heavily eroded



Another part of the collapsed building



To prevent further collapse, some of the buildings have to be supported by wooden girders and beams



Some of the collapsed stone decorations from the top of the structures have fallen into the spaces between the different rooms or halls




We have to walk through the rubble in the courtyard



The temple walls are decorated with carvings and figurines.



Some are on the top of the columns



Some lower down



Many have been destroyed or damaged either by war or by natural erosion



But some are relatively intact



Here are two which have been better preserved



Some appear to have been done in sections and then later reassembled



Each statue has a slightly different facial expression and posture



Some of the galleries



More of the galleries. They look massive



The entrance is guarded by the face of the King facing each of the four directions of the Khmer kingdom




He is supported at the base by various gods. The king fancied himself the representative of the Buddha on earth

Day 3 stop 2 Temple for Pre Rup (變身塔)

It's the state temple of Khmer king Rajendravarman and dedicated in 961 or early 962. It is a temple mountain of combined brick, laterite and sandstone construction.It's where the dead bodies are turned whilst being cremated as the funeral service went on. Pre Rup's extensive laterite and brick give it a pleasing reddish tone that is heightened by early morning and late afternoon sunlight. The temple has a square lay-out and two perimeter walls. The outer enclosure is a platform bounded by a laterite wall, 117 meters N-S by 127 meters E-W. A laterite causeway gives entry from the east. The four gopuras are cross-shaped, having a central brick section (consisting of three rooms flanked by two independent passageways) and a sandstone vestibule on both sides. To either side inside the eastern gate is a group of three towers aligned north to south. One of the towers appears to have never been built or to have been dismantled later, however they are later additions, probably by Jayavarman V. Further ahead, through another gate, libraries lie to either side of the walkway on the second platform. Just before the entrance there is a stone "cistern", but scholars believe it was a basement for a Nandi bronze statue rather than being used for cremation . There is a stone cistern at the base of the three-tiered pyramid, measuring 50 m at its base, rises in three steep tiers a dozen metres in height to a 35 m square platform at the summit. The lowest tier is symmetrically surrounded by 12 small shrines. At the top, five towers are arranged in a quincunx, one at each corner of the square and one in the center. Deities carved as bas-reliefs stand guard at either side of the central tower’s eastern door; its other doors are false doors. The southwest tower once contained a statue of Lakshmi, the northwest tower a statue of Uma, the southeast tower a statue of Vishnu and the northeast tower a statue of Shiva. The last one has an inscription on door jambs that dates from Jayavarman VI and is the only proof of his reign at Angkor. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, and it is probably located on a former shivaite ashram, built by Yasovarman I in the previous century.



An overall view of the temple from one of its sides where we entered



The temple was built in three tiers each higher than the other



The steps are guarded by lion gods.



A view of its various structures


As in the other temples, many of its walls and structures have collapsed.



The three middle towers




A view of the entrance from the middle tier



A lion guarding the step


A veiw of the left hand side of temple from the third tier



One of the rebuilt doors



its highest tower



The towers have all got openings for sunlight



This is the "cistern" which some believe was used for cremation where the corpse of the dead was "turned" during the Buddhist ceremonies or sending the dead on their way to whatever place it was destined to go depending on whether the deceased had accumulated sufficient good "karma". 


Day 3 Stop 3 Banteay Srei (女皇廟)

We next visited another small temple called Banteay Srei, which has low walls surrounding peaked structures of deep red
sandstone. Banteay Srei  is so called ("Citadel of Women,") because the reliefs on
this temple are so delicate that they could only have been carved by the
hand of a woman. The well-preserved relief carvings on the central
buildings depict scenes from ancient Hindu tales.Completed in 967,
Banteay Srei was the only major temple at Angkor not built for the king;
instead it was constructed by one of king Rajendravarman's counsellors,
Yajnyavahara. The temple was primarily dedicated to Shiva (the southern
buildings and the central tower were devoted to him, but the northern
ones to Vishnu). it was further rebuilt and expanded in the 11th century
and came under the control of the king and was rededicated to Shiva and
has remained in use at least until the 14th century.Originally called
Tribhuvanamahesvara — "great lord of the threefold world" — named as
usual after the central image (in this case a Shaivite linga). The town
of Isvarapura was centred on the temple.



The entrance to the temple


The same entrance from the opposite direction




We've got to walk through a central path which passes through various enclosures


Another entrance to a further enclosure



There is a small pond to one side of the temple



My first glimpse of the inner sanctuary to the temple




This is the heart of the temple




A structure to one side of the temple



Another view of the same structure



Two of the statues guarding the steps up the temple



The intricate carvings on the façade



One of the carvings



Another finely carved relief



The women look voluptuous



Another relief showing a many fanged lion



Some of the buildings are overgrown by weeds



The top of one of the entrances being carefully reconstructed from fragments close to the entrance


Another view of the same

Day 3 Stop 4  Angkor Wat (小吳哥窟)

 Angkor Wat is the largest Hindu temple complex in the world, built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yasodharapura (present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaivism tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu, then Buddhist. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors. Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early Dravidian Architecture, with key features such as the Jagati. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs, and for the numerous devatas adorning its walls.Its modern name, Angkor Wat, means "Temple City" or "City of Temples" in Khmer; Angkor, meaning "city" or "capital city", is a vernacular form of the word nokor which comes from the Sanskrit word nagara. Wat is the Khmer word for "temple grounds", derived from the Pali word "vatta" . Prior to this time the temple was known as Preah Pisnulok (Vara Vishnuloka in Sanskrit), after the posthumous title of its founder.  As neither the foundation stela nor any contemporary inscriptions referring to the temple have been found, its original name is unknown, but it may have been known as "Varah Vishnu-lok" ( literally "Holy Vishnu Location", Old Khmer Cl. Sanskrit") after the presiding deity. Work seems to have ended shortly after the king's death, leaving some of the bas-relief decoration unfinished. In 1177, approximately 27 years after the death of Suryavarman II, Angkor was sacked by the Chams, the traditional enemies of the Khmer. Thereafter the empire was restored by a new king, Jayavarman VII, who established a new capital and state temple (Angkor Thom and the Bayon respectively) a few KMs to the north.In the late 13th century, Angkor Wat gradually moved from Hindu to Theravada Buddhist use, which continues to the present day. Angkor Wat is unusual among the Angkor temples in that although it was somewhat neglected after the 16th century it was never completely abandoned, its preservation being due in part to the fact that its moat also provided some protection from encroachment by the jungle. It was first mentioned by a Portuguese monk called António da Madalena,who visited it in1586, saying that it "is of such extraordinary construction that it is not possible to describe it with a pen, particularly since it is like no other building in the world. It has towers and decoration and all the refinements which the human genius can conceive of." In the mid-19th century the temple was visited by the French naturalist and explorer, Henri Mouhot, who popularised the site in the West through the publication of travel notes, in which he wrote: "One of these temples—a rival to that of Solomon, and erected by some ancient Michelangelo—might take an honorable place beside our most beautiful buildings. It is grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome, and presents a sad contrast to the state of barbarism in which the nation is now plunged."



This is where we got off our tourist coach



My first view of Angkor Wat from a distance



A closer view



Another view of the huge moat



Entering the monument



A long gallery



Another part of the temple



The entrance from the West




The entrance is guarded by the naga  (the sacred serpent)



The entrance to the main structure



The path leading to the main temple one side of the temple park



In the middle of some of the corridors we would sometimes find statues of Buddha



This is another of such Buddhas



Some of the figures of beautiful dancers on the  mural



Another one of the dancers



And another one. The Khmer appear to like curved lines



The figures at the side of one of the doors to the long corridor of the gallery. At least one of their arms would be curved.



The women all have ample rounded figures.



This figure adorns one of the outer walls, curiously turned half white half black by dirt.



Figures on the outer wall depicting war. How ferocious they look



The body posture are forceful yet graceful. 



A long corridor with mural about various battles



Another corridor full of carved murals



Ancient chariots. The horse does look a little like Han horses but more sturdy



Another chariot in the midst of chaos of battling soldiers.




The pillars in one of the corridors



Two of the lion gods



The front of the lower one is already broken



The temple grounds



In front of a temple are various columns waiting to be restored, replaced or rebuilt



Another view of the same temple



One of the sides of the main temple. Some restoration work is in progress



Some of the heads of statues awaiting restoration



One of the corridors looking out on to other temple structures



By the time we finished the tour, it was already near sunset



The tourists were making their way back where they came



One of the corridors at right angles to the main entrance



Sun set at the West entrance



Another view of the sunset



Sunset over the moat



Angkor Wat sunset taken from our coach window