IN MEMORY OF MY MOTHER - Nâng Thet Borey 1931-2008




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   Humanity: "I must govern the clock, not be governed by it." -Golda Meir


Angkor era

Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom The giant faces carved on the Bayon temple at the Angkor Thom complex in northwestern Cambodia represent both the Buddha and King Jayavarman VII (ruled about 1130-1219). Although a Buddhist temple, Angkor Thom was modeled after the great Hindu temple complex of Angkor Wat.

In the early 9th century a Khmer (ethnic Cambodian) prince returned to Cambodia from abroad. He probably arrived from nearby Java or Sumatra, where he may have been held hostage by island kings who had asserted control over portions of the Southeast Asian mainland. In a series of ceremonies at different sites, the prince declared himself ruler of a new independent kingdom, which unified several local principalities.

His kingdom eventually came to be centered near present-day Siem Reap in northwestern Cambodia. The prince, known to his successors as Jayavarman II, inaugurated a cult honoring the Hindu god Shiva as a devaraja (Sanskrit term meaning "god-king"). The cult, which legitimized the king's rule by linking him with Shiva, persisted at the Cambodian court for more than two hundred years.

Between the early 9th century and the early 15th century, 26 monarchs ruled successively over the Khmer Kingdom (known as Angkor, the modern name for its capital city). The successors of Jayavarman II built the great temples for which Angkor is famous. Historians have dated more than a thousand temple sites and over a thousand stone inscriptions (most of them on temple walls) to this era.


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Angkor Wat: Built in early 12th century by Suryavarman II - Capital of Khmer Empire from 9th-15th century - Largest religious monument. World Heritage Site 2002


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