Motifs: Angkor

Visitors can see these unique motifs in the Angkor architecture and art. Understanding of these components will fulfil a pleasure to visit. And not only that, but some motifs are also shown in neighbouring countries in form of each traditional culture in the region as well.

UNESCO: Face Towers, Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom
Face Towers: 
The most unique mysterious sculpture of Angkor. 
We can see them on top of Gopuras (Entrance Gate) and on top of temple towers.

 

Baray: 
Large reservoirs with advanced irrigation systems which were the foundation of political, economic and agricultural prosperity of the Ancient Angkor Kingdom.


Stepped Pyramid Temple / Mountain-Temple: 
Architectural model according to Hindu cosmology, such as Phnom Bakheng, Bapuon, Pre Rup, East Mebon, Ta Keo, Piman Akas, BaksriChamkrong etc.





Linga & Yoni: 
The symbol of Shiva and his consort, Uma.







Supreme Gods: Top three deities in Hinduism.
Brahma, the creator who rides mythical swan
Vishnu, the protector who rides Garuda
Shiva, the destroyer who rides Nondi bull


Apsara: 
A group of female servants who serve devas in heaven. They are one of myriad phenomenons originated from the churning of the Sea (ocean) of milk.






Devas and Asuras:
Angels and demons are often seen from The Churning of the Sea of Milk works such as bas relief walls and bridges leading to the temples.

We can identify them from hair dressing. Angels get nice hair style and Asuras' are always mess. Moreover, Angels have good looking faces but Asuras are ugly.

Mythical animals commonly seen in Angkor works: elephant, lion, naga, garuda and bull.


 Naga:
Often seen in form of 5-headed or 7-headed serpent.

From the picture: Visnhu lying on the 7-headed Ananta-sesha Naga throne.





Well-Known nagas
Vasuki: 
King of naga who use his body as churning string helps devas create Amrita (the Elixir of Immortality) from the Sea of Milk.
Mucalinda: 
He protects the Buddha after enlightenment.
As seen from the Meditating Buddha sheltered by Naga image.
Ananta-sesha:  
His body is the throne of reclining Vishnu.
Sometimes he is shown as a thousand-headed serpent.


Kala: 
Monster's face without lower jaw guarding holy place. Kala often has been decorated above the entrance.





Makara: 
Reptile specie has a body like snake and legs like crocodile. 

Makara always have been built as bridge or stair railing in form of disgorging naga. It may be unnoticed from the block of naga heads.




Retangular dome: 
Ancient Angkor unique architecture that is deployed in elegance buildings today.





Banteay Srie Temple: Showing pediment, tympanum, door and window colonnettes
Cruciform:  
Cross-shaped floor plan in chamber or space of temple with or without extension.

Dominant elements:  
Architectural elements with engraved patterns and epic bas-reliefs.

Wall
Lintel, pediment, tympanum
Door colonnette and window colonnette (small or thin column)
Blind door and blind window

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