Bayon: Not Just a Pretty Face

A little while ago I had written about the most prominent feature of Bayon Temple near Siem Reap in Cambodia- the intriguing faces carved on every side of the temple towers. 

However this is hardly the only interesting feature about the temple. I was also quite fascinated by the large panels of bas-relief carvings on the outer walls of the temple.

Bas-Relief Carvings at Bayon

These carvings give us a glimpse into the war that Jayavarman VII fought against the Chams who had for a brief period of time got control over the region.  The Chams are identifiable by their inverted lotus hats. The Chams had used the river to launch a boat attach and boats also featured in Jayavarman’s battle and hence the details in the large panels.

Cham Boats- Warriors Killed and Fishes in the River
Cham Boats- Warriors Killed and Fishes in the River

But the panels, done in three tiers also show us brief glimpses into the ordinary lives of soldiers, camp followers and regular people.

Midwife assisting woman giving birth- lower panel
Midwife assisting woman giving birth- lower panel
Men prepping boars for a boar fight
Men prepping boars for a boar fight

Soldiers Passing Around Refreshments

Soldiers Passing Around Refreshments

You have just got to love the realistic details!

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Nirmala says:

    Amazing details!

  2. Lav says:

    Ordinary moments captured for eternity!!! Very nice!

  3. Little Miss Sunshine says:

    So pretty 🙂 Reminds me of the reliefs I saw in Chichen-Itza with similar stories. So grateful we have these relics still….

    1. Sukanya Ramanujan says:

      I agree- this is something we have to preserve for ever!

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