|Celestial temples of the Khmer
Between the 9th and 13th centuries, the Khmer kings built a succession of spectacular temples at
Angkor. The most magnificent, Angkor Wat, was built in the early 12th century by Saryavarman
II. This was the classical age of the Khmer civilization when temples were devoted to Hindu
deities. Later, there were more triumphs of Khmer architecture when Jayavarman VII built the
atmospheric Buddhist temples of Ta Phrom and Bayon.
|Giant faces of the Bayon
The Bayon is one of the strangest temples at
Angkor. The towers of this Buddhist sanctuary are studded with numerous smiling and
enigmatic faces, each around 2 meters high. They represent the bodhisattva Lokeshvara
but carry the features of the temple's apparently egotistic builder, Jayavarman VII.