Phnom Bakeng (Mountain)
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Phnom Bakheng (Khmer: áž”áŸ’ážšáž¶ážŸáž¶áž‘áž—áŸ’áž“áŸ†áž”áž¶ážáŸ‚áž„)at Angkor,Cambodia,is a Hindu temple in the form of a temple mountain.Dedicate to Shiva,it was built at the end of the 9th century,during the reign of King Yasovarman (889-9110).Locate a top a hill,it is nowdays a popular tourist spot for sunset views of the much bigger temple Angkor Wat,which lies amid the jungle about 1.5km to the southeast.The large number of visitors makes Phnom Bakheng one of the most threatened monuments of Angkor.
Consructed more than two centuries before Angkor Wat, Phnom Bakheng in its day the principle temple of the Angkor region,historians believe.It was the architectural centerpiece of a new capital,Yasodharapura,that Yasovarman built when he moved the court from the capital Hariharalaya in the Rolous area located to the southeast.
An inscription dated 1052AD.And found at the Sdok Kak Thom temple in present-day Thailand states in Sanskrit:'when Sri Yasoverdhana became King under the name of Yasovarman,the ableVamasiva contued as his guru,By the King's order,he set up a linga o Sri Yasodharagiri,a mountain equal in beauty to the King of mountain.Scholars believe that this passage refers to the consecration of the Phnom Bakheng temple approximately a century and a half earlier.
Surounding the moun and temple,labor teams built an outer moat. Avenues radiate out in the four cardinal directions from the mout A causeway ran in a northwest-southeast orientation from the old capital area to the east sention of the new capital's outer moat and then turning toand east-west orientation conneted directly to the east entrance of the temple. Phnom Bakheng is a symbolic reprenstation of Mount Meru,home of the Hindu gods,a status emphasized by the temple's locateion atop a steep hill.The temple faces east,measures 76 meters square at its base and is built in a pyramid form of sixtiers.At the top level,five sandstone santuaries,in various states of repair,stand in a quincunx pattern-one in the center and one at each corner of the level'ssquar.Originally,108 small towers were arrayed around the temple at round level and on verious of its tiers,most of them have collapsed.
Jean Filliozt of the Ecole Franaise, a leading authority on India cosmology and astronmy,interpreted the symbolism of the temple.The temple sites on a rectangular base and rises in five levels and is crownedby five main towers.One hundred four smaller towers are distributed over the lower four levels.placed so symmetrically that only 33 can be seen from the center of any side.Thirthy-three is the number of gods who dwelt on Mount Meru.Phnom Bakheng's total number of towers is also significant.The center one represents the axis of the world and the 108 smaller ones represent the four lunar phases,each with 27 days.The seven levels of the monument represent the seven heavens and each terrace contains 12 towers which reprsent the 12-year cycle of Jupiter.Acording to Univerity of Chicago scholar Paul wheatley,it is an astronomical calendar in stone.Phnom Bakheng is one of three hilltop temples in the Angkor region that are attributed to Yasovarman's reign.The other two are Phnom Krom to the south near the Tonle Sap Lake,and Phnom Bok, northeast of the East Baray reservoir.Following Angkor'sredicovery by the outside world in the mid-19th cintury,dedicate passed before archeologists grasped Phnnom Bakheng's historical significance.For many years,scholars'consesus view was that the Bayon,the temple located at the center of Angkor Thom city,was the edifice to which the Sdok Kak Thom inscription refered.Later work identified the Bayon as a Buddhist site,built almost three centuries later than originally theought,in the late 12th century,and Phnom Bakheng as King Yasovarman's state temple.