“Dad, this week’s photo challenge is about Face. Do you have any idea about what I should write?”
“Hmm… How about Bayon?”, My dad replied spontaneously.
Ahaa… Bayon is our favorite temple in Angkor Archaeological Site. We have fallen in love to it from the very first sight.
Over 200 large enigmatic faces carved on the 54 towers, give this temple its majestic character. The faces with slightly smiling lips reflect the famous smile of Angkor, and also the smile of Khmer people.
But whose face carved on this temple? Some scholars said they represent Bodhisatvva Avalokitesvara. Some researchers believed that the face towers represent Brahma. But now it is generally accepted that the faces are images of King Jayavarman VII.
The fact of the matter probably will be never known. But the enigmatic faces of Bayon will keep on smiling, knowing that the question of its identity will forever remain a mistery.
Petrotchenko, Michel. Focusing On The Angkor Temples : The Guidebook. Amarin Printing and Publishing, 2014.
Rooney, Dawn. Angkor : Cambodia’s Wo ndrous Khmer Temple. Odyssey, 2011.