Angkor Wat- the Crowning Glory of Cambodia:
Part II: continued from Part I:
On the first level, it was mind boggling to see, the entire length of 1200 sq meters of majestic colonnaded galleries, etched with scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, in bas relief (pics 3 &4). Figures of Gods, Goddesses, Apsaras and mythological stories abound and adorn every inch of the walls of this huge temple (pics 5&6). Thin steep steps lead to the second and third levels (pic 7). With time, their edges have corroded making the climb dangerous so the govt has constructed wooden steps which we used.
Few of us climbed to the top level, much above the tops of the huge trees around, where I and my friend were rewarded with the darshan of Lord Buddha in a resting position (pic 8). Absolute peace and calm prevail at this level despite the presence of several visitors. Most of them miss the turn into a gallery which leads to Lord Buddha’s chamber. If any of you visits the Angkor Wat, remember to look for Buddha on the top floor.
While the temple was dedicated to Lord Vishnu, gradually, Hinduism got mired in rituals. Priests became the intermediaries to God prescribing costly pujas, hence the poor got disillusioned and Hinduism started being viewed as a religion for the rich. When Buddhism reached Cambodia from India, the general public found an instant connect. In the later centuries, kings too adopted Buddhism and made it a State religion. This is when the main Vishnu idol perhaps got replaced with that of Buddha.
On the way out, at level one, we were fortunate that a beautiful prayer ceremony was in progress (pic 9) and we could witness it.
Today, Communist Cambodia follows its local version of Buddhism. No wonder then, that by and large, people of Cambodia are calm and peaceful and an example to the world full of strife. Concluded. #cambodia #angkorwat #angkorwattemple #angkorwatcambodia #statues #buddhastatue #buddhas
#vishnu #basrelief #colonnade #staircases #buddhism #hinduism_ #travelphotography #travelblogger #travelstories #wander #photographylife #traveller #sightseeings #ancient