Angkorthe city in the heart of the jungle

25 Jul

heart of the jungleFirst Europeans managed to find it back in 1601 Spanish missionary Marcelo Ribandeyro. However, while finding no one interested. Secondarily it opened in the middle of the XIX century French naturalist and explorer Henri Mouhot.

Traveling to remote areas of Cambodia, Myo had heard the legend of the lost city, in which he lives only a handful of monks. These stories are quite typical for the eastern countries, initially did not attract his attention. But sometimes hunters, fishermen and farmers from the villages on the banks of the Tonle SapLake, said that they had seen this mysterious city, and even called him the exact location. When the traveler told about it and a ghost in the fate of these lands missionary, then Myo wanted to see the legendary lost city with my own eyes.

Together they set out on a boat, and then walked a long way on foot through the rain forest along a narrow path, and one day in January 1860 Frenchman parted the bushes, stunned surprise. Appeared before him the city which we now know as Angkor. Gigantic temples rose above the highest trees, and even vines entwine them could not hide the majestic towers of nobility. Extensive terraces were covered with wonderful bas-reliefs and statues of dancing women peeping foliage and litter-filled niches.

After spending three weeks at Angkor, Henri Mouhot not seen even a tenth part of the city, because the way along the overgrown streets and squares was not impossible. But what he saw was enough to shake the imagination of the traveler. Before leaving, he kept inquiring at the nearest village residents who knew about the city in the jungle:

A year later, during his fourth expedition in neighboring Laos, a traveler contracted malaria and died.

But he managed to write a book in which he spoke of the lost city.

In addition to speculation about the origins of peasant Angkor, there is another romantic legend. In ancient times was the king of Cambodia son named Preah Ket Mealea. The fame of his mind and the beauty gone beyond the state and once reached the ears of thunder god Indra. Intrigued, God decided to get acquainted with the prince and invited him to her house.

Indra’s palace so like the young man that he decided to stay there forever.

But the dancer sweetens Thunderer eyes, suddenly smitten with love for Sihanoukville. Upon reflection, Indra, to restore order in the heavens, the Prince sent back to earth.

However, for the time spent in Sihanoukville that heavenly palace, God had become attached to him, and to soften the bitterness of parting, Indra built a palace on the ground – an exact copy of his. So there was Angkor Wat.

But this is only a legend. In reality, due to the emergence of the Angkor period of the reign of King Jayavarman II (802-850-d or 770-835 years). Founder of the Khmer Empire, otherwise – Kambudzhadeshi once occupied the territory of modern Cambodia,Laos,Thailand and Viet Nam, started out as a minor ruler of the principality.

Capturing land one of the neighbors, Jayavar man II founded a new capital near the spot where later was built Angkor. This area has attracted the prince his favorable strategic position. For several years he started out his military campaigns, but then disappointed in the selected location for the capital. He moved a few kilometers away, but this place did not have to Jayavar man II to taste. Total Jayavarman II built for his four state capitals: Indrapuru, Hariharalayyu, Amarendrapuru and Mahendrapuru.

One of his successors – during the reign: 889-910 or 889-917 years – paid much attention to the deification of the royal power.

This can be done only by enlisting the absolute support of the priests. To do this, the king founded dozens of monasteries, built churches of different religions, and finally began building a new capital, which would have been worthy of a living god. Capital given the name Yashodharapura.

It is now known by the name of Angkor, which translated from Khmer means city of Yasoda,St.(main) city.

Rouge dug many channels dug large reservoir, the city paved wide paved driveway. On all sides it was surrounded by the shaft and occupied an area of 16 square kilometers. In the city center, where all roads converge, the temple was built Phnom Bakheng. Nobles tried to keep up with the Kings, and a few decades all the hills around the city were crowned temples belonging to the nobility. Construction continued even during the civil strife that followed the death Yasovarman I. It was at this time built a small, but is considered a masterpiece of architecture Shiva temple of Banteay Sri. But the grandest temples of Angkor were built a hundred years later, during the heyday of the empire.

In 1113 came to the throne still young, but already worn a thirst royal grandeur Suryavarman II. Winning the feud other pretenders to the throne, he gave great gifts to the church, then gathered an army and went to conquer neighboring countries.

But they were not willing to obey. Army directed in northern Vietnam, suffered a severe defeat. A fleet of seven hundred ships sent there a year later, was also forced to return empty-handed. Then the king made an alliance with the state Tyampa located in the territory of central and southern Vietnam. However, in a decisive battle with the northerners tyamy defected to the enemy and Suryavarman II was forced to flee. Punitive expedition against traitor’s tyamov too, proved unsuccessful. And then the king Kambudzhadeshi switched to the internal affairs of the empire.

Strengthening the cult of the god-king, he ordered the construction of Angkor Wat – the largest religious building in the world. Do not be surprised, Angkor Wat is larger than any European cathedral, a Muslim mosque or Buddhist datsan. Its area is 200 hectares and the height of the central sanctuary – 65 meters. Towers temples were once covered with gold, and on the perimeter he still surrounded by a moat 190 meters wide.

Suryavarman II’s successors continued the tradition of building the giant structures. As a result, villages depopulated: who went into the army, who worked on the construction. Began a series of peasant revolts. And in these conditions Tyampa went to war against the Empire, which collapsed under the blows of the South Vietnamese.

For a while she regained its former power Jayavarman VII. In 1178 he defeated the army tyamov. In 1181 Jayavarman VII was crowned, becoming the first Buddhist on the throne.

The cult of Shiva in the country was changed to the cult of the Buddha. Jayavarman VII digging new channels built roads and strengthened border. Inscriptions say that he built 100 hospitals. When it was restored and surrounded by a mighty wall of destroyed enemies Angkor. Today, this part of the city known as the Angkor Thom. Its wall, square in plan, has a length of 30 kilometers with a thickness of eight meters.

Around the wall is a hundred-meter trench width, the water which in earlier times were infested with crocodiles – it was the first series of defense Angkor Thom, which is superior to any area of the city of medieval Europe. And at its center stood the  temple of Bayon, striking in its complexity and bulkiness of gloom.

Jayavar man VII lived a long life and died at the age of 90. He left heirs extensive and powerful empire.

With each successive ruler of the empire dilapidated until XV century did not fall under the blows of the Siamese. Plundered the city gradually depopulated and overgrown with vines and turned into a beautiful legend. But in the late twentieth century temple complex, there are about 200 places of worship were once again back to life. There began extensive restoration work.

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Posted by on July 25, 2014 in civilization


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