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Interpretive Paper on the Bayon Temple - Essay Example

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Archaeology: Interpretive Paper on the Bayon Temple of Angkor Thom in Cambodia Name of the of the School/ Institution Interpretive Paper on the Bayon Temple of Angkor Thom in Cambodia The Bayon Temple of Angkor Thom in Cambodia dates back to the second half of the 12th century AD…
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Download file to see previous pages At the centre of the walled city is the Bayon Temple, representing the intersection of heaven and earth. The Bayon Temple is renowned for its immense stone faces of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara also known as Lokesvara; every stone face looks outwards and keeps watch over each cardinal direction. The calmly smiling image is believed to represent King Jayavarman himself (DumarCay et al, 2001) . Additionally, there are fifty-one smaller towers surrounding Bayon, each with four faces of its own. The long walls surrounding the Bayon Temple bear a unique collection of bas-relief scenes of legendary and historical events (DumarCay et al, 2001). Over 11,000 carved figures are wrought on the 1.2 km of wall, their paint now faded The Bayon Temple consisted of three plans, for the three levels of the monument. The fourth state of construction pertained to the building of passages linking the galleries at the first and second levels (DumarCay et al, 2001). The purpose of this paper is to interpret the architecture of the Bayon Temple of Angkor Thom in Cambodia. The relationship of its elements, shape, and design to the temple’s socio-cultural context will be examined. ...
The central ‘mountain’ was a Buddhist sanctuary containing a large image of the Buddha Amitabha, while the four faces of Bodhisatva Lokesvara, ‘the Lord of the World’ embellished its numerous towers (Figs. 2 and 3) (Eisenstadt, 1971). There is a gate in the middle of each of the four sides marking the limits of the city, and a fifth gate on the East leads to the entrance of the royal palace. Similar to the central Bayon Temple, and the other towers within the walled city of Angkor, the towers above the gates are also crowned with the four-fold faces of Lokesvara. Thus, the smaller world of the city, and that of the whole Khmer empire were put under the protection of the ‘Lord of the Universe’ (Eisenstadt, 1971). The cosmic meaning of the city was further accentuated by the balustrades of the causeways leading over the moat to the city gates. They were made up of rows of giant stone figures representing gods and demons, holding a massive seven-headed serpent (Figs.4, 5, and 6) (Eisenstadt, 1971). By these structural components and adornments, the entire city represented the “churning of the primeval milk ocean by gods and demons, when they used the serpent king as a rope and Mount Meru as churning stick” (Eisenstadt, 1971, p.171). Thus, the moat around the walled city of Angkor Thom symbolized the ocean, while the Bayon Temple at the centre of the city which formed the converging point for all the lines of churning gods and demons, represented Mount Meru itself. This is portrayed in Figs. 4, 5 and 6. According to DumarCay et al (2001), in the architectural history of ancient Cambodia, the Bapuon was the last temple mountain constructed in compliance with the cult of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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