Bayon Temple, Siem-Reap

Quick Facts:

With the special location in the heart of the old capital Angkor Thom, Bayon is one of the temples beside Angkor Wat that you should not miss because of its beauty and historical value. It was built in the 12th century under King Jayavaraman VII. After the death of King Jayavarama, it is modified and restored based on the architectural style of the separate religion of next kings.

Bayon Temple is considered the symbolic connection between heaven and earth in the Angkor complex. This is the most impressive temples of mountain temple architecture in Cambodia by the monumentalism in terms of scale as well as the emotions that it brings to viewers. The Bayon structure consists of three tiers that all of them are dilapidated with sprawling rubble everywhere. Two downstairs were arranged in square, adorned with bas-reliefs on the wall depicting historical events and scenes from daily life of the Khmer under the Angkor Empire. Third floor was designed in circle with many towers. The temple consists of 54 both large and small towers, on each tower was sculpted the face of god Lokesvara, also known as Avalokitesvara, symbolizing the observation of spirit towards 4 directions of Cambodia. This is also the most prominent feature of Bayon temple. Many historians hypothesize that 216 giant faces on the towers represent Jayavarman VII himself because of their similarity.  Their varied nuances of facial expressions shows that the peak of Khmer architecture and art at that time. Among hundreds of temples in the Angkor complex, Bayon makes archaeologists wonder most. Bayon currently hides many mysteries that the answers are still controversial: What is the mean of symbols? Who does it worship? That is also why most of tourists visit Bayon Temple more than other temples in Angkor complex. It really brings a feeling of mystery and regret about a glorious reign in the past.

Because Bayon Temple was forgotten in many years, now the management agencies and many organizations are trying restored beauty of the temple as it was. Its beauty and historical value are undeniable. Along with other relics of the Angkor complex, Bayon is treasure of Cambodia as well as the world.

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