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Angkor: Gems in the Jungle
Khmer temples The jungle covered them for centuries. Spectacular in their isolation, the Khmer temples are spread around the plains around Angkor. Pyramidal or circular, Hindu or Buddhist, some built in pools of water symbolizing Mount Meru, the temples are a testimony of a glorious time of a now faded empire. With its remarkable detailed lintels, Banteay Srey is considered the most beautiful temple in Angkor. The temple was built toward the end of the first millennium, commissioned by King Jayavarman V’ s tutor and is the only temple that was not commissioned by a king, but by a Brahmin. The temple is named “the citadel of women” and it is assumed that only the gentle hands of women could decorate its detailed lintels. Bang Melia is probably one of the mysterious Khmer temples. Located about 60 km from Siem Rep was built before Angkor Wat but more of less having the same pattern without being multilayered. The temple was completely engulfed by jungle was never any kind of renovations on site. Boulders from its construction are piled up inside it and along its corridors making the access very difficult. But this makes the temple special. You have to navigate its cluttered corridor, climbing on boulders, ascend its walls to enter courtyards, balance on lianas, hang on trees in order to be able to access its hidden courtyards. A sort of Indiana Jones exploration.
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