Thursday, May 03, 2007

Charmed by Angkor

This is definitely not a place to hurry along, snap a few photographs and whizz through the ruins in the comfort of an air-conditioned van.

It is difficult to describe the spiritual charm that pervades the atmosphere within the immense Angkor Archaeological Park. Given the opportunity, this is one place I can return to, again and again.


The area of present-day Cambodia was already inhabited in the 3rd millennium B.C., but it was not documented historically until the beginning of the Christian era, when there rose up along the Gulf of Siam a kingdom that the Chinese chronicles describe as Funan, from the Khmer word bnam, or "mountain".

The 9th century witnessed the rise of Angkor art, that is, the art produced almost entirely in the vast zone of Angkor, the only exception being Koh Ker, a locality 53 miles (85 km) away.

The history of the "capital" - nagara in Sanskrit, from which the Khmer word angkor derived - began wih the grandiose consecration ritual of Jayavarman II (790-850) in 802 on Mt. Kulen to celebrate the independence of Kambuja from Javanese dominion.

That year marked the inauguration of the cult of Devaraja, the "God King" who was the celestial counterpart of the terrestrial ruler with universal power, and the name of Phnom Kulen style (802-875) derived from that of the mountain.

The Angkor Archaeological Park was founded in 1925. Angkor was made part of the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992.

At present many restoration works are being carried out with the aid of foreign countries and under the control of the Cambodian government body Autorite pour la protectione du Site et l'Amenagement de la Region d'Angkor, generally referred to as APSARA.

(Source: Cultural Travel Guides, The Treasures of Angkor, Marilia Albanese, 2006, White Star Publishers.)

(Photo credits: Blogger's own ^-^)



Blogger zewt said...

was there 2 years ago... it's an absolute beauty of ancient wonders...

3/5/07 17:57  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Totally agree with you, Zewt! :-)

3/5/07 22:18  
Blogger Twisted Heels said...

Lovely pictures. It seems everyone make full use of the two public holidays back home :)

5/5/07 01:51  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Thanks Jane! Actually, my trip to Angkor was some months back. ;-)

5/5/07 11:02  
Blogger Kenny Ng said...

Looks nice and interesting! Will visit there when got time n money.

6/5/07 23:17  
Blogger Anak Merdeka said...

Hello Kenny! Try to visit Angkor in the later part of the year - not so blazing HOT! :-)

7/5/07 13:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it's fascinating. Sorry, my imagination runs wild. Will Putrajaya looks like that in the year 5000?

8/5/07 11:43  

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