Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Preah Khan Siem Reap Reviews
The cosmopolitan city of the 12th century Mar 17, 2013
It was a dry afternoon and I still had many places to visit. I got into the Tuk Tuk which I had hired for a day and rode along the dusty roads of Siem Reap heading north of Angkor Thom to visit a temple complex which was said to be the Cosmopolitan city of the Khmer kings in the 12th century.It is known as the Temple of the holy sword and was said to have been built by the king in honour of his father who blessed and guided him in a major war in which the Chamms a neighbouring waring clan were thoroughly defeated to be chased out and scattered from out of the Kingdom.
Once again using the 60 Usd weekly pass I entered the temple and site which had a huge moat surrounding it and a long corridor leading to its main entrance.It had long corridors connecting one tower to another and had a deity in each of them.The Central tower was where the Sword of the King was blessed and sanctified.The complex had bas reliefs of flying men and standing women, Kings and consorts, Apsaras and sages, animals and birds as also sculptures and panels of various designs.
This complex was unique because it had huge statues bigger than the once I witnessed in the other sites and they looked more Egyptian.It also had a huge structure of two floors standing on huge round columns more in Egyptian or Greek Roman style.I was told that the Romans and Egyptians who traded in India were carrying on their trading here too and even lived with the people.
Another unique feature in this complex was the fact that Vishnu or Brahma, Siva and Buddha were all accepted and worshipped together rather than one over the other which spelt that the people who where living here were more secular unlike those who lived in the past era under the Khmer king.
Having been told of the cosmopolitan nature of this complex and having seen for myself the architectural mix of various cultures I found reason to believe that this place was indeed
a cosmopolitan centre which proclaimed a diverse cultural blend of the different people from different civilisations until they soon were overrun by the Chamms once again in later years.
Routed,pillaged, burnt, destroyed and ravaged by the later wars this site had been abandoned and the Forest took over the ruins to reign over them hence forth.The trees of the forest intertwined over the majestic buildings of old even today and though renovation, restoration and repair are being done they are still left to rule over this place as an attraction and charm.
This site along with the neighbouring site of Ta Prhom the major city are conserved by the UNESCO with the help of the Archaeological survey department of India in tie up with that of Cambodia.
This site is a must see site in everyone's diary during their visit here.Don't forget the 60 dollar weekly pass for it gives you more than what you pay for as entrance charges for the various attractions.Make sure to have your camera well charged and have sufficient space for your photographs for there may be many angles which might be a photographers delight.I tell you this because I was not careful with my camera which ran out of charge and batteries half way through..:) :) :).
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