The Bayon Temple is found at the center of the famous Angkor Thom and is one of the most admired sites in the Angkor complex. The temple is best known today for its huge face sculptures that adorn its 34 surviving towers that were originally 54 in number.
Built during the late 12th and early 13th Century by King Jayavarman, the architectural structure of the Bayon exudes grandeur in every aspect. Over 200 huge faces are carved in the 54 towers that give the temple its imposing character. The 54 towers are said to represent the 54 provinces at the time. Some think that the 54 towers symbolize the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in keeping with the Buddhist character of the temple, which means there should be at least four faces on each of the towers. The faces are also said to be images of King Jayavarman VII, signifying his ultimate omnipresence. Truth is, the reason for the considerable number of faces remains a mystery. Some have tried to put some significance into the faces but many parts of the temple that remain in disrepair have made the precise reasons rather difficult to determine. [Read more…]