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Bayon

The temple of Bayon is at the centre of Angkor Thom, built in the 12th-13th centuries by Jayavarman VII and finished by Jayavarman VIII, is a large State Temple defined by the many large stone faces carved into its towers. There are 37 towers currently standing at Bayon, most but not all have four large faces carved on the north, south, east & west, some towers have three, or two faces.

After its building, the Bayon temple was added to by successive kings, its layout is unique among the temples with its ascending towers of faces and a round central tower over 40 metres tall. There are two enclosures surrounding the central mountain of towers and the entrance on the east has a large terrace walkway guarded by guardian lions.

The subject of the Bayon face carvings is a matter of some debate, the current speculation is between Loksava the Bodhisattva or a combination of Jayavarman VII and Buddha. Bayon also features many metres of bas-reliefs, which depict Khmer history and the life of the people of the time.

The style of Bayon can be seen in other temples in the area, particularly Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei, Srah Srang and Preah Khan.

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Bayon Temple, Krong Siem Reap, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

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