Angkor Thom in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Visit the glorious city of Angkor Thom and have the time of your life
Rated 4.50/5 ( based on 208 reviews )
Best time to visit
Nov - Apr
About Angkor Thom in Siem Reap
Angkor Thom, literally refers to "Great City", is a famous tourist attraction located in present-day Cambodia. Angkor Thom in Siem Reap was established by King Jayavarman in the late twelfth century. The entire place covers an area of 9 square km, and comprises of several monuments built during the early eras as well as those by Jayavarman and his successors.
Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Khmer Empire and presently is a site of historical and cultural importance for the country of Cambodia and the World. The ‘Great City’ was established by King Jayavarman VII and houses a number of great monuments representative of the Khmer empire established by the predecessors, successors and Jayavarman VII himself alike. At the center of the city is the Bayon temple, the state temple of Jayavarman VII much like how the Angkor Wat was the state temple of Suryavarman. The whole city covers an area of 9 square kilometers. The city has a dedicated victory square around which several monuments, sites, and structures are placed.
History Of Angkor Thom
Angkor Thom in Siem Reap was established by King Jayavarman VII who is considered to be one of the most important rulers of the Khmer Empire. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Lord Vishnu. According to a number of scholars, Angkor Wat is believed to be not only a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu but also intended to serve as the king’s mausoleum.
Angkor Thom was the capital of the Khmer Empire until its decline. It was only in the 16th century that the site was completely abandoned. In the present date, Angkor Thom stands as par with other temples built in the World Heritage Site Angkor Park. The royal palace incorporated the previous state temples of Baphuon and Phimeanakas, and the city itself overlapped the old capital of Yasodharapura dating 3 centuries before the Angkor Thom itself. The city was called Yasodharapura until the 16th century, and the same can be found in the scriptures. After the Khmers were defeated by King Borommarachathirat II, the capital of the empire was shifted, and Angkor Thom was abandoned. All the entrances to the city are marked by face towers accompanied by a naga carrying giant figures.
Architecture of Angkor Thom
An 8 m high and a 12 km long wall surrounds the city of Angkor Thom. There are five gates out of which two are present in the eastern wall. At some of the entrances, you will the gates lined with statues of gods, and demons holding nagas. The gates themselves are decorated with the face of Avalokiteshvara. A 100m wide moat also encircles the gate. In the centre, Bayon is situated, Baphuon slightly to the west, and some of the smaller temples towards north. Terrace of Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King are found towards the north of Bayon.
Bayon is the center-piece of Angkor Thom in Siem Reap which looks as spooky as mesmerizing it can be. Once you enter Bayon, you find that it is constructed around 54 towers, with 216 smiling faces of Avalokiteshvara seemingly looking down at you.
Baphuon is located towards the west of Bayon, at a distance of 200 m. It looks like a pyramidal representation of Mount Meru, which at that time was one of the most impressive temples of the Angkor temples.
Terrace of the Elephants
A 350-metre long terrace, Terrace of the Elephants was originally constructed to be used as a platform from which King Jayavarman VII overlooked his victorious army returning here. Sculptures of lions and garudas adorn the stairs to the terrace while life-sized images of elephants and their guardians can be seen on the walls of the terrace.
Terrace of the Leper King
It is a 7-metre high platform which is located towards the north of the Terrace of Elephants. At the top, you will find a nude statue. While some people believe that it stands for one of two possible Angkorian Kings who had leprosy, others believe it represents the God of Death.
It is one of the most lovely temples in the Angkor Thom complex. Preah Palilay is found in the north-west corner of the site. It is a famous spot for photography among tourists.
It is one of the most interesting structures here which was originally used as a house to Royal Palace. Enjoy stellar views of the surrounding area on reaching the top of its pyramidal structure.
Facts About Angkor Thom
Entire area of the site of Angkor Thom is 10 sq km in size.
If you count it, you will find that there are 216 faces on the Bayon temple.
One of the world’s largest jigsaw puzzles is Baphuon temple in Angkor Thom. It earned the accolade when records from the carefully mapped pieces had been taken away during the Khmer Rouge destruction.
Apart from Ta Prohm, the east gate of Angkor Thom can also be seen in Tomb Raider movie.
Originally, wooden gates would have been used as the gates for Angkor Thom.
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Angkor Thom In Siem Reap
Angkor Thom, literally refers to "Great City", is a famous tourist attraction located in present-day Cambodia. Angkor Thom in Siem Reap was established by King Jayavarman in the late twelfth century. The entire place covers an area of 9 square km, and comprises of several monuments built during the early eras as well as tho...
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Bayon Temple In Siem Reap
Bayon Temple, known for its daunting, awe-inspiring series of smiling faces all around its uppermost tier, is the flagship construction of the ancient Khmer capital Angkor Thom. The temple sits right in the middle of the fortified city, though it took years for the historians to discover that fact owing to the dense outgrow...
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FAQ's of Siem Reap
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What was the last temple constructed in Angkor Thom?
The last temple to be constructed in the city was ‘Mangalavartha.’
Angkor Thom is built on the bank of which river?
The city is built on the western bank of the Siem Reap River.
How many people lived in the city of Angkor Thom?
About 150,000 people lived in the city of Angkor Thom.
What do the five towers of Angkor Wat main temple symbolize?
The five stone towers of Angkor Wat represent the five mountain ranges of Mt. Meru, which is the mythical home of the gods, for both Hindus and Buddhists.
Why was Angkor Wat built?
Angkor Wat is believed to be built to represent the king’s devotion to Lord Vishnu of Hindu mythology. It is believed that the temple was built as a palace of Vishnu.
Is there a dress code at Angkor Wat?
It is suggested to wear long pants (covering the knee) and shirts covering the shoulders. Skirts, shorts, tank tops, and other items of revealing clothing not permissible within the temple premise of the temple grounds.
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