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Bayon

Bayon Temple or temple of thousand faces is a Mahayana Buddhist temple built by King Jayavarman VII at the end of the 12th century as the official temple at Angkor Thom as the capital of Khmer empire in Siem Reap Province, Cambodia. Bayon was changed and enlarged by later Hindu kings and Theravada Buddhists and adjusted their own religious preferences.

Bayon has a distinctive characteristic are many of the features of a calm and smiling face above the many towers that appear from the upper terrace and swarm around the peaks. The temple has two impressive sets of basic reliefs in an unusual combination of mythological and historical scenes.

Xvlor Bayon is Buddhist and Hindu hybrid temple by King Jayavarman

Xvlor.com Bayon is Buddhist and Hindu hybrid temple by King Jayavarman

The temple is referred to as "the most striking expression of baroque style" in Khmer architecture that contrasts with the classical style of Angkor Wat. Bayon is the last state temple built in Angkor and the only Angkorian temple built as a Mahayana Buddhist shrine dedicated to the Buddha, although a large number of small and local gods are also included.

Bayon is a magnificent monumental Jayavarman VII construction and part of Preah Khan, Ta Prohm and Banteay Kdei. The similarity of 216 gigantic faces on the temple tower has led many scientists to the conclusion that these faces are Jayavarman VII's own representation as a Buddhist who identifies himself with the Buddha and bodhisattva.

During the reign of Jayavarman VIII in the mid-13th century, the Khmer empire returned to Hinduism and the temple of the state adjusted. In later centuries, Theravada Buddhism became the dominant religion and caused further change before the temple was finally abandoned.

This temple is located right in the center of Angkor Thom, so it has no walls or moats and is designed as part of an urban design with an area of 9 sq kilometers. All the elements are clustered with little space in between. The outside wall of the outdoor gallery displays a series of basic reliefs depicting the events and daily life of Khmer Angkorian.

The outer gallery has two libraries where it originally contained 16 chapels, but was later evicted by the Hindu Jayavarman VIII restoration. Another addition by Jayavarman VIII is the relief in the inner gallery that is very different from the outside. Some of the figures are Siva, Vishnu, and Brahma, trimurti, Apsaras, Ravana and Garuda.

The scientists concluded the lack of space between the inner galleries and the upper terrace due to the additions after the design changes. Bayon was originally designed as a single-level structure. The tower has been added through construction and lost due to friction. At one time the temple had 49 towers, but now only 37 are left. The number of faces is about 200, but there is no exact count.

The 3.6 meter high Buddha statue in the central tower depicts sitting poses in meditation. In the reign of Jayavarman VIII, the figure was removed and destroyed. After being restored in 1933 from the bottom of the well, reunited, and now exhibited in a small pavilion in Angkor.

www.xvlor.com Bayon is Buddhist and Hindu hybrid temple by King Jayavarman

Xvlor Bayon is Buddhist and Hindu hybrid temple by King Jayavarman

Location: Angkor Thom, Siem Reap Province, Kamboja

Routes and public transport: Flights to Siem Reap International Airport.

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