Saturday, 23 March 2013

Angkor Temples in Photographs

Photographic experiment of the superb stone structures of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

2 Photos in Multiple Exposure: 
Entering the Temple World

Manually stitched photos taken in Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm. Initially known as Rajavihara which means royal monastery is also called Old Brahma. A typical flat Khmer Temple, it has five rectangular enclosing walls surrounding a central sanctuary. Founded as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university, Ta Prohm has been left in much the same condition as it was found, one which had best merged with the jungle but not yet to a point of becoming part of it. The site is currently under conservation and restoration since 2003 in partnership with Archaeological Survey of India and APSARA. One of the most visited complexes in Cambodia's Angkor region, it was listed as UNESCO's World Heritage site in 1992. 

Overlapped Photos of Neon and Inverted Color: 
one of the location shoots of the Hollywood film, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Bantay Kdei. A Buddhist temple also called Citadel of Chambers has structures same that of Ta Prohm though smaller and simpler, has two successive enclosure walls and two concentric galleries from which towers emerge preceded to the east by a cloister. Just like Ta Prohm, the monastic temple has been undergoing renovation due to faulty construction and poor quality of materials used. 

Photo in B&W focus:
ropes to the rescue to secure the collapsing tower of Banteay Kdei

Inverted Colors Photo: 
Devatas. One type of Bas-reliefs.  Stone artworks on the walls of the temples. Other stone sculptures mostly are depiction of scenes of Buddhist mythology like ascetics or meditating monks, dvarapalas or temple guardians and Apsara dancers. 

Photo in Graduated Tint: 
Ta Keo up front
Ta Keo. A sandstone mountain-temple built by the Khmers, the first using such materials. About 50 meters high, it has five sanctuary towers arranged in a quincunx, built on the uppermost level of five-tiered pyramid consisting of overlapping terraces (a step pyramid), surrounded by moat, as a symbolic depiction of Mount Meru. The temple served a a cult center until the 13th century and was never finished due to a lightning strike symbolizing disagreement with the construction and a more rational reason behind - the death of Jayavarman V which, the state temple was for.

Black & White Focus Photos: 
View from the top of Ta Keo. 
The staircases are steep and narrow. A real 'knee-wobbler'.

Saturated Photo: 
Pre Rup. View from the terminal pyramid

Pre Rup. Also means 'turn the body', is another temple mountain, was built for Khmer king Rajendravarman and built with combined brick, laterite and sandstone. It has a square lay-out, two perimeter walls and five towers in the central terrace standing in quincunx 15 meters high each. At the lower tier are 12 brick towers at 6 meters high. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva. Believed that funerals were held in the temple, with the ashes of the body being ritually rotated in different directions as the service progressed. Nowadays, it is one of the famous sunset viewing sites.

Holga Photo: 
Devas. Located at the south gate of Angkor Thom complex. On the other side of the pathway are called  the Asuras. Both are holding a Naga (serpent) on a tug-of-war or an Angkor myth known as Churning of the Sea of Milk. Naga is a representation of the transition of the world men to the world of gods.

Photo in Boost: 
A 23m high face towers of the king at the city gate of Angkor Thom guarding over his Great City
Angkor Thom. Was the last and the most enduringcapital city of the Khmer empire. Literally means Great City. It's a 9 square-km complex composing several temples and bas-reliefs - Baphuon, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Elephants, South/North Kleang, Terrace of the Leeper King, Preah Palilay, Tep Pranam, Mangalartha and on the center Prasat Bayon. Tourists usually enter through the south gate heading towards the Victory gate.

Inverted Color Photo & HDR: 
What To Do in Baphuon - Temple running or Climbing up the top tiers
Baphuon, A three-tiered temple mountain dedicated to Hindu god Shiva but later on converted into a Buddhist temple. It is roughly 50 meters high up to its towers.

Faded Neon Photo:
Multiple towers of faces of Bayon
Prasat Bayon. The last state temple built at Angkor, and the only Angkorian state temple built primarily as a Mahayana Buddhist shrine dedicated to the Buddha, though a great number of minor and local deities were also encompassed as representatives of the various districts and cities of the realms. The site has undergone modern restoration since 20th century by the French government and afterwards (1995) with the Japanese.

Graduated Tint in Boost Photo:
Four of the 216 gigantic faces of the temple towers of Bayon being concluded as that of king Jayavarman VII though others claimed it as Bodhisattva of compassion called Lokesvara.

Saturated Photo: pathway towards the entry of the Angkor Wat complex
Sepia Photo:
approaching the entrance of the complex
Cool Hued Heat Map Photo:
After the entrance gate towards the Angkor Wat itself

Angkor Wat. The largest Hindu temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world. It was built by king Suryavarman II but eventually dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple, it is the only one to have remained as a significant religious center - first Hindu afterwards Buddhist. It has become the symbol of Cambodia as shown in the nation's flag, and the country's prime attraction for visitors.

Drop Shadow Photo:
Angkor Wat's reflection in a nearby pond at the complex

Infrared/Inverted Color Photo:
Prasat Angkor Wat or Temple City, is admired for the grandeur and harmony of its architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs and for the numerous devatas adorning its walls.

Temples information courtesy of Wikipedia.

  • In order to get to the Angkor Archaeological Park (your tuktuk will bring you there), you need to buy an admission pass starting at USD20 for a day entry. If staying longer in Siem Reap, buying a 3-day pass would save you USD20 or a one-week pass for only USD60. Temples can be covered within 3 full days even for snail-movers.
  • A lot of accommodation available. We stayed at Hotel 1961 (USD35/room/night good for 3pax with free breakfast) - a Filipino-owned art hotel. The owner was also the one who helped us arrange for our Tuktuk for the Angkor tour  (USD15 inc tips) and transport to Poipet border - car for USD30/car.
  • There are variety of restaurants around - local Khmer food which tasted very good, Piizza, Pasta, American (KFC), etc. Price range USD4-10.
  • Wide array of souvenir items. Bargain price at night markets. Shirts should be as low as USD2.
  • Small bills (USD) are encouraged. No need to convert to local currency.
  • There's a USD15 airport tax one needs to pay.
  • During temple tours, bring lots of hydrates, sun protection/shield and lots of sunblock. Comfy shoes/slippers and light clothing are suggested.

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About Dee

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I was born and raised attune with nature, grew up from the countryside and a strong believer in endless possibilities. I am drawn to adrenaline rush and was never a girly kind but I dig chick flix and plays some music. I started this site during a 6-month distressing/long sojourning away from the corporate world. I gathered all the travels I went and translated them into words. I am not fond of sharing details of my trip and thought looking at the photos I've effort-fully taken was enough. Yet to my amazement reading through it flashes back more wonderful memories like a gush of throwback Thursdays. This is also a good venue to practice writing and to connect. So, thank you for stumbling upon my corner. Sorry I can't update regularly but I hope you'd visit again as my journey continues, find some useful information here and most of all be inspired to go on adventures your own. See you on the road!