Wednesday, January 28, 2009
South Gate of Angkor Thom with yet more pictures of this impressive gateway into the palace of the gods. I know everyone who has been to Angkor will include photos of the South Gate in their collection and I admit to taking photos there on all of my numerous visits over the years. I can't stop myself. But of course, it's easy to miss the detail when you are blinded by the sheer scale of the whole. And there's enough detail on the gates themselves as well as the causeway lined with gods and demons to keep you occupied for hours. As for who is represented in the faces you see, looking out and surveying the scene from all angles, I tell myself it's the king of kings himself, Jayavarman VII. Today most Cambodians have a picture of the king on the wall of their home and in his day, during the 12th century, this was just another version of the same, images of the king on the wall of his home, reminding his subjects who was in charge and to whom they owed their allegiance.
The gate is crowned by a triple tower with four giant faces looking out at the four cardinal points; north, south, east and west
The detail of gods and worshipping figures are lost to most eyes who concentrate on the giant faces and the elephant trunks