Mekong Delta Travel in Vietnam 2024
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Around Angkor thom (Part I)



The  eventual Indiana Jones fantasy, Ta Prohm is cloaked  in  dappled gloominess, its  decomposing  towers and walls locked in the unhurried, well-built embrace of  enormous  main  systems. If Angkor Wat, the Bayon and other temples are  proof to the genius of the ancient Khmers, Ta Prohm reminds  us equally of the very good prolificacy  and  power of the wilderness. We have a poetic cycle to this august, with humanity  foremost discovering Mother Nature to speedily create, and  nature once again conquering humanity to unhurriedly ruin.

Constructed  from 1186 and firstly  known as Rajavihara (Monastery of the King), Ta Prohm was a Buddhist temple  dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII. Ta Prohm is a temple of towers, close courtyards and narrow corridors. Very old  trees tower overhead, their leaves filtering the  sunlight and casting a  greenish pall over the whole view . It is the nearest  most of us  will get to feeling the mystery  of the  explorers of old.


Phnom Bakheng HINDU TEMPLE

 Nearly  400m south of Angkor Thom, that  hill’s primary  draw is the sunset view of Angkor Wat,  even though  this has turned into something of a show, with hundreds of travellers jockeying for space. The temple, built by Yasovarman I (r 889–910), has five tiers with seven levels.



(Sacred Sword) The temple of Preah Khan (Sacred Sword) is one of the  greatest  complexes at Angkor, a maze of vaulted corridors, fine carvings and lichen-clad stonework. Built  by Jayavarman VII, it  covers a very large area, but the temple itself is within a rectangular wall of  around 700m by 800m. Preah Khan is a genuine  fusion temple, the eastern entrance devoted  to Mahayana Buddhism, with equal-sized doors, and the other cardinal directions devoted  to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, with successively smaller doors, emphasising the unequal nature of Hinduism.



Another late-12th-century work of – no surprises here – Jayavarman VII, this  small  temple just east of Preah Khan has a big  square pool surrounded by four smaller square pools, with a circular ‘island’ in the middle. Water once flowed from the central pond into the four peripheral pools via four ornamental spouts, in the  form of an elephant’s head, a horse’s head, a lion’s head and a human head.



The monuments of Roluos, which served as the capital for Indravarman I (r 877–89), are among the earliest big permanent  temples constructed  by the Khmers and mark the dawn of Khmer classical art. Preah Ko, dedicated to Shiva, has elaborate inscriptions in Sanskrit on the doorposts of each tower and some of the best surviving examples of Angkorian plasterwork. The city’s central temple, Bakong, with its five-tier central pyramid of sandstone, is a representation of Mt Meru. Roluos is 13km southeast of Siem Reap along NH6.




Mekong Delta Travel 1, 2 and 3 Days – Mekong River Vietnam