Photographer's Note

This is another picture taken in Angkor Wat. This woman was standing proud in this gallery... it seems like she were home in this temple... her expression was softely saying "I belong here... this is my home..."

As usual, a bit of history:

Following my previous posting: In the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, a powerful king, Jayavarman VII (r. 1180-1220) rebuilt the walls of Yasopdharapura and placed his temple mountain, the Bayon at the center of the redesigned city. Bas-reliefs on the temple depict battles with the neighboring kingdom of Champa, and vivid scenes of twelfth century Cambodian life. Jayavarman was a pious Buddhist, and larger than life size portrait statues of him have been found at several sites. He was also the last king at Angkor to patronize the construction of stone temples dedicated to the Buddha and to Hindu gods. In the thirteenth century, most Cambodians converted to Theravada Buddhism, the somewhat austere variant followed by the Khmer people today.

Yasodharapura remained a grand and prosperous city for at least two hundred years after Jayavarman’s death. It was partially abandoned in 1431 following an invasion by Thai armies. Soon afterwards, Cambodia’s capital shifted to the south. In the 1500s a Cambodian king visited the old city, restored some temples and probably installed himself in Yasodharapura for a time. Pilgrims often visited Angkor Wat and there was a Buddhist monastery for centuries beside the temple, but Yasodharapura was forgotten by the outside world and the forest slowly reclaimed it.

To be continued...

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Additional Photos by Vincent Tiberghien (tibervince) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 106 W: 16 N: 141] (781)
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