Bayon Temple In Siem Reap

Bayon Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Marvel at the majestic sight of the ancient Bayon Temple and feel at peace
Tourism in Siem Reap

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Best time to visit
Nov - Apr
Ideal Duration
5-6 Days
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About 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 all around Bayon Temple Cambodia.

Bayon Temple Siem Reap is one of the earliest demonstrations of full-fledged Mahayana Buddhism faith in the Khmer empire of Angkor. Before it’s patron, King Jayavarman VII, all the Khmer rulers were quintessentially Hindu, devoted towards gods of Hinduism like Shiva and Vishnu. Jayavarman VII constructed Bayon Temple to be a Buddhist temple after his reclamation of the Khmer empire from the Chams. Bayon Temple history takes us back to a time period which is still shrouded in so much anonymity and mystery.

Faces of  Bayon Temple

Bayon Temple in Siem Reap is most popular for its large number of serene faces sculpted on its towers. Earlier, there were 49 towers, sculpted with large carved faces facing towards the four cardinal directions respectively. There were almost 200 faces, the largest ones being almost 2½ meters in height. Most towers have four faces, a few other have only three, and one tower with just a single face.

These faces were originally believed to represent Lord Brahma, the Hindu God with four heads. As it was later found out that the Bayon was not a Hindu temple but a Buddhist one, archaeologists adhered the sculpted faces to that of Lokeshvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion. Some theories also state that it is the King Jayavarman VII himself whose face is depicted on the towers.

History of  Bayon Temple

Bayon Temple Siem Reap is one of the earliest demonstrations of full-fledged Mahayana Buddhism faith in the Khmer empire of Angkor. Before it’s patron, King Jayavarman VII, all the Khmer rulers were quintessentially Hindu, devoted towards gods of Hinduism like Shiva and Vishnu. Jayavarman VII constructed Bayon Temple to be a Buddhist temple after his reclamation of the Khmer empire from the Chams. Bayon Temple history takes us back to a time period which is still shrouded in so much anonymity and mystery.

Although the temple has more than 10,000 figures on its all three tiers on all four sides, it is the multitude of serene faces that catches everyone’s attention the most. Crafted in authentic Buddhist style, the Bayon Temple architecture rises above the wilderness around like a proud flag of victory. In fact, the original name of Bayon was Jayagiri which means ‘mount of victory.’ It is because of the temple’s connection to Buddhism that it got the name Bayon, mispronounced from Banyan, which was the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment.

Highlights of Bayon Temple

The temple is constructed in the shape of a square. 

The main sculpture is present right at the middle of the square.

The stone faces of the temple are that of Bodhisattva and Avalokiteshvara. 

The Bayon Temple has been rebuilt several times over a period of others by various kings who ruled over the kingdom. 

Architecture of  Bayon Temple

There used to be around 50 towers with three or four faces on them, making their number close to 200 or more. Many theories believe that in Khmer culture, the rulers considered themselves to be one with the Almighty, whether their faith is Hinduism or Buddhist. So the Bayon Temple faces could be a representation of Lokesvara as well as Jayavarman himself, watching over the capital from its heart on all sides.

The middle tier is dominated by carvings of scenes from Hindu mythology like the Churning of the Sea Milk, and there are prominent characters like the universal trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, celestial dancers called Apsaras and sages, Ravana with ten heads, Garuda – the demi-god with an eagle-face and wings with human body. The lower tier is mostly a series of bas-reliefs depicting the everyday life of Angkor back in the day – warfare, domestic scenes, trading, sports and so on.

Significance of  Bayon Temple  

Bayon Temple holds a major significance because of the mystical, serene faces sculpted on its towers. Several historians have presented a few hypotheses regarding similar-looking stone faces in Bayon. One of the highly accepted theories is that the stone face was carved to resemble King Jayavarman VII as per his orders. While another theory states that the faces represent the Buddhist bodhisattva of compassion called Avalokitesvara or Lokesvara.

Facts of Bayon Temple  

Bayon Temple falls in the categories of temple ruins and World Heritage Sites

The guiding faith of Bayon Temple is Buddhism. 

The construction of the temple dates back to 1190. 

Temple is open for visits during dawn and dusk. 

What To Wear 

Women must cover their shoulders and knees before entering the Bayon Temple. You can either wear a loose t-shirt along with capri pants or regular trousers. Men can wear t-shirts which are not sleeveless along with pants or trousers.

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    Read on to find out why our customers love us!

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    Prerna Christina Gurkin

    Kolkata

    Prerna's 8 days trip to Siem Reap

    Thank you Bamboo Hat Tours. My friend and I went to Cambodia and Vietnam. Just returned on the 12th. Sophie was really hands on. She coordinated everything perfectly and was just a call away. The hotels were very comfortable and the guides (The only guide with the red hat in Cambodia, Thom [May have got the name incorrect but she is 24 with a kid and fiercely independent for someone from her clan] in Sapa Valley and Tom at Halong Bay) were extremely efficient, helpful, and they put things across to us in simple, understandable english, which is a feat as english isn't their mother tongue and as guides who barely make 250 dollars a month during peak season, we were apperciative of the effort that they put in. I had read a lot on Angkor Wat, Sapa Valley and Halong Bay but what these guides told us was nothing short of a treasure trove of knowledge- straight from the horses' mouths, in this case, native Cambodians and Vietnamese. The staff at the hotels ((Mekong Angkor Palace, Diamond Legend Hotel, Apricot Cruise and Beautiful Sapa Hotel) were so so helpful as well. Everyone, including the lovely Pho lady and family beside Diamong Legend Hotel, was kind and uber hospitable. We are now planning a trip with Bamboo Hat for next April (Loas and Myanmar)...so will be contacting Sophie again. Why? Cause she and everyone associated with Bamboo Hat are damn good..thats why. :)

    JN

    Jharna Narwani

    Mumbai

    Jharna's 7 days trip to Siem Reap

    It was a very well planned trip which covered all that we wanted ... my agent Shubham and Vicky (in Vietnam) were super promt and extremely efficient with everything .. overall we had an amazing time with no false promises or additional costs... only the 31st cruise party was disappointing and not as expected... also in Bana hills it was raining heavily (which we were not informed about) and so we couldn't do anything much and the day was almost wasted... MUA CAVES Exploring Hanoi Night market and DaNang adventure park was a lot of fun

    SV

    Sumedha Varshney

    New delhi

    Sumedha's 10 days trip to Siem Reap

    The trip was great . Travel agents Ms. Julia & Ms. Jenny from LVP were extremely helpful. I thank them for their support. The guides & vehicles provided were also very good. Thanks for making our trip memorable.

    MS

    Manjeet Singh Bhandari

    Delhi

    Manjeet's 10 days trip to Siem Reap

    But of problem faced with communicating with the hotel reception in general due to language issues, Nicely laid down International buffet breakfasts in all prpoperties and kudos to the attitude and humble attitude across stall in all hotels

    DG

    Dhanraj Gilra

    Jaipur

    Dhanraj's 8 days trip to Siem Reap

    My 4 the trip with travel traingle..i believe only this aap because this app never break ur lovely dreams... everything is clear from there itenery which u buy from this app team...my trip planer is Mr Mukal...his work is good..he tell me sviet company and Hunah mam about there work is very good...i really appreciate Hunah mam work for my memorable trip.....i suggest to all visitors choose to only sviet company trip planer every time they respond to u....and better work for u..... thanks to Hunah My ring celebrate function on the halong bay cruise....i never mis this moment... Hunah mam work very weldone... time management is very good....

    NK

    Nitesh Kumar

    Delhi

    Nitesh's 6 days trip to Siem Reap

    It was a memorable trip for both of us as a newly wed couple. Platform Traveltriangle is 100% trustworthy and recommendable . The whole tour was entertaining from the beginning and yes tiring too. Tour guides were fantastic !! Always punctual, polite. Best hospitality and incredible experience. Recommendation: 1. Cruise can be entertaining with some activities overboard apart from cooking class. May be some kind of game or karaokes

    GS

    Goutham Sivanithi

    Vietnam

    Goutham's 6 days trip to Siem Reap

    Tour arranged through Vietland was as committed and service/ response was great with both traveltriangle and agency. Halong bay cruise in Vietnam and Great Ankor wat was magnificent..

    VA

    Venkataramanan Anantha Krishnan

    Chennai

    Venkataramanan's 11 days trip to Siem Reap

    It was a nice trip. The agent Ms. Jenee was very co operative and helped us at the required level . She was in touch to guide us correctly and in advance. Rate them as very good All placed covered were very good. The angkor wat, 1000 lingas, cu chi tunnels, war memorial musuem, all were good

    T

    Tvinaykumar

    Mumbai

    Tvinaykumar's 6 days trip to Siem Reap

    The hotels Skyloft & Comfort Bungalow at Kandy & Nuwara Eliya respectively were just budget hotels & not 3 star. The Mandara resort at Mirissa was very good & we strongly recommend this hotel for its location. The hotel at Bentota was changed at last minute from Earl's reef to Waskaduwa. We were provided a Suite room but there were cockroaches & lizards. Looks like the room was kept closed for many days. Veg food was a big problem in this Bentota hotel. The Madu river boat ride is waste of time & money. Dont recommend such worthless locations. The Whale watching at Mirissa was awesome. We saw 3 big Whales & 1 baby Whale. The Elephant orphanage was worth visiting. The Paramotoring (water sport) was a good experience & worth trying. It's like flying in the open.

    VK

    Vaishakh Keshava

    Bengaluru

    Vaishakh's 4 days trip to Siem Reap

    We had an amazing vacation in Cambodia and grateful to SOKHORTEY Travel & Tours for the same. Their responsiveness to queries was very prompt. Right from the time of arrival to departure the experience was amazing. Our guide Mr. Ra was very friendly and knowledgeable. He ensured we get the best experience. Accommodation and travel were also great. We had a 4-day itinerary and it was good enough to explore major attractions in Siem Reap. Cambodia is definitely a great destination and looking forward to future trips.

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    FAQ's of Siem Reap

    Read on to find out why our customers love us!

    There are at least 200 faces on the uppermost tier of Bayon temple. They resemble the face of Lokesvara Buddha, but many believe the faces represent Buddha and King Jayavarman VII together.

    The bas-reliefs and the green moss-covered ambiance are the main attractions of Bayon temple.

    The Bayon temple is right in the middle of Angkor Thom. The giant faces on the structure will help identify it. Otherwise, any guide can help you out in spotting it.

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