Siem Reap - Temples of Angkor

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Angkor Wat circa 1113 - 1150

The largest religious complex in the world was dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu by King Suryavarman ll.   It's five towers are said to represent the five peaks of Mount Meru, the home of the gods and center of the Hindu world.  Because of it's orientation it is thought to be a funerary monument
First glimpse of the iconic view of Angkor Wat, not the dazzling sunrise I had hoped for, even with a little boost from Photo Shop
 Vishnu, known locally as Ta Reach, the granter of wishes. Villagers come to the North Gallery annually to pay homage to this most powerful Neak Ta.  In 2003 he was reunited with his head which had been in the National Museum in Phnom Penh
Vishnu

C limbing to the upper levels was a challenge, descending even more so

 

 

Apsara or Devatas ? Dancer or Guardian Angel ?

I can't make out the difference.  Apsara are described as heavenly dancers who were born of the sea of churning milk and dance on lotus flowers. Devatas are feminine goddesses protectors of the palace of Indra on Mount Meru.  In Angkor there are about 1790 bas reliefs of Apsara and Devatas
Ta Keo

Built on a hill the temple mountain is dedicated to Shiva predating Angkor Wat it is one of the tallest monuments in Angkor

It was never finished and is without decorative carvings beyond the base

 The stairs are unusual in that they are a single flight and a constant width.   I had been up and down them several times escorting elderly Cambodian women who had managed the ascent but could not face the decent.  I see someone is sitting at the top waiting for me
Center Tower Shrine,  a  place of worship over nine centuries

MORE PHOTOS OF SIEM REAP 2007

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