The Angkor Wat temple was constructed by king Suryavarman II, in the beginning of 12th century in the year of 1113 AD. Suryavarman II was one of the most conquering kings of the Khmer empire, who reigned in 1112-1152. The king could live and see his state temple of Angkor Wat at least 5 years before he died, The Angkor Wat is also considering as one of the largest religious Hindu temples in the world, and considering as the most using stone temple in the world as well. Angkor Wat estimated to use the sandstone and laterite approximately 300,000 millions tones and took to build about 30years.
Angkor Wat was originally served as a Hindu temple, which dedicated to honor of Vishnu (The Protector). It is only temple in the Angkor area, which built facing to the west. Normally, all the religious temples built facing to the east.
The reason that Angkor Wat facing west, because due to this monument constructed to honor of God Vishnu, rather than the reason that this monument served as a funeral temple. However, we can notice that, most of the monumental temples built in stone at the Angkor period that remained today, those always served as funeral temples either facing east or facing west.
For example it served as temple when the king who built still alive, and became ashes tomb when the king died. Thus, the Angkor Wat was a tomb of Suryavarman II to embody with his god Vishnu when he just passed away from earth. This reason, because Vishnu associated to the west side of the universe,
SuryavarmanII took Lord Vishnu as his God, and when he died they cremated his body and then collected some his ashes to keep in a golden urn to burry underneath of a golden Vishnu statue riding on Garuda, that originally installed in a central chamber of the main tower of the Angkor Wat. This concept was the same concept to all the Khmer kings in the Angkor period. Because kings as gods, if he was a god he must has his posthumous name due to the name of god whom he believed, liked Suryavaman II had his posthumous name as Parama Vishnu Loka.
Angkor Wat took time to build approximately between 30 to 35 years, and saying that they used 4000 elephants including people suggested one person each family in around the kingdom, come to carry the sandstone from a quarry of Phnom (mountain ) Kulen which its distend about 60 km to northeast from Angkor.
Angkor Wat means City of Monastery, which came from the Sanskrit word of Nagara. Angkor Wat became as Buddhist temple in 16th to 19th century. When the capital of Angkor abandoned by the royal court after Thais sacked and destroyed.
Angkor Wat temple has a moat, which measured of 1300m by 1500m, and about 5.5 km surrounding its compound. The moat also has 190m cross and has water all year round. As the same as any temple, Angkor Wat has a wall built of literate. This wall is still very good condition and has a measure of 800m by 1000m.
Surrounding the wall of Angkor Wat, there are four entrances, but the three located on the north (Ta Leuk), on the east (Ta Ku) and on the south (Ta Pich) designed smaller and simpler with only one door way. While the western entrance (Ta Reach) built so elaborate with 200m long and designed with five doorways. These five doorways at the main entrance of Angkor Wat, we know that, one is in the middle for the king, royalty and his Brahmins using, while two other were people and king entourages using and the two more entrances located at the end of the gateway structure were used for transportation due to these gates have no stair, and they are just flat.
To cross the moat for going to the main entrance, there is a stone causeway, measured of 250m long. From the east side its causeway just built of dirt and very simple one. The causeway is symbolic of Rainbow Bridge, for making a connection from one world to another. While the moat surrounding the temple is symbolic of the ocean, and enclosing laterite wall is symbolic of mountains range at the edge of the universe, which represented to protect Mt. Meru. It was a mythical mountain to serve as a home for the Hindu Gods, and located in the center of the universe. Thus, Angkor Wat and all the Khmer temples in the Angkor period symbolized of Mt Meru a home for Hindu Gods living.
From that reason, Khmer temple has so fancy decorated detail carving everywhere from the bottom to the top of its structure. Because for the gods, they must live so fancy and sophisticated decoration. Besides, the temples are so beautiful ornamentation, its measurement, its scale and its proportion so on, built in a good harmonious symmetry with connected to sophisticated astrological concept as well.
The reason for this, that is why Angkor Wat constructed so perfect angle of the four directions, which facing in perfect condition to the east, west, north and south. Especially, when the time of equinox sunrise and sunset are perfect in the middle of its door frames and on the top of its towers.
When you visit to the Khmer temples, you may see lion statues at the first sight. According to the Hindu myths, Brahma God of Creator took lion as his palace's doorway guardian. When Khmers build temples, and as their temples were symbolized of Mt Meru, (Home of the Hindu Gods), that is why they put the lion statues for guarding at the front of their temples in order to follow a concept of a lion was guarding to the home of the Gods.
The lion statue of Angkor Wat made with a single piece of sandstone, its tail believed to have as metal material. It had been already destroyed by Siamese in the 14th to 15th century, but took to restore by the French in 1920 to1970.
Behind the lion statues, they put the naga statues to serve as the balustrade always along the causeway on the both sides. The naga is a mythical snake and according to the Hindu myth, the naga was a god of the underworld. A Naga balustrade had been destroyed by the Siamese at the same time as lion statues as well, but has been restored by the French again in 1960. To hold the naga balustrades at the first causeway section, they put 108 magnificent stone round pillars from its foundation of the moat. Those unique stone pillars remained just a few.
We notice that the Naga of Angkor Wat designed liked a fan form and appearing with seven heads. This only head of Naga in the first causeway is still good intact. The seven headed naga is symbolic of the seven days of week, and seven colors of rainbow. By the way, to have number seven is standing on the theory with the odd number, because the odd number is lucky number.
About the causeway pavement, has restored in 1960 at the south side. At that time, French had an idea to restore only one side while they keep another side to the north in its natural fates.
In this section, also we can notice to the three towers of the main entrance structure as well. These three towers originally were not flat condition liked we are seeing, but they were taller and had a conical shape as the same as the main towers with seven tiers. But those towers were destroyed as a part to attempt of reduce the Khmer power by enemy during they occupied Cambodia between 1352 to 1432.
On the walls (niches) of the entry tower decorated with very beautiful motifs. Among of those intricate carving in this section, the Apsaras are the most highlight and interesting motifs, they carved it all over temple complex there are approximately 1800, The artisan carved in to many different designed like headdresses belts and others , By the way, the Apsaras style in Angkor Wat are so easily to tell, since they are slim with sexy big breasts, their diadem with a tall pointed shape towers, some headdresses are intricate civilized design and wearing very thin skirt till we see the shape of their long legs, and an addition their feet putting to the side rather than putting in a natural position.
The causeway is leading to the main temple sanctuary is known as the second causeway for Angkor Wat temple, it is measuring of 350m long from the entrance to the main temple building. The naga balustrades are flanking on the both side are still good condition. That is why we can see them always long. These balustrades had been already knocked over one time when Siamese occupied Angkor in the 14th -15th century, but French in the Angkor Conservation fixed back.
By the way, you can view only three towers appearing from the main temple sanctuary, while they designed in total with five towers. The reason for that, since two more towers are at the back row hidden behind with the two at the front row. The three towers that we are viewing the one in the middle is not appearing in row, it's actually stands at the back further about at least 30m from the two on the side. As you know the Angkor Wat is an architectural masterpiece built so perfect in a good harmonious proportion and balance, that is why it is so gorgeous.
Angkor Wat occupies with 80 hectares land area, which about 250 acre. In 250 acre of the Angkor Wat compound, originally was a beautiful garden; never had any resident for the people liked Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Preah Khan at all.
Two buildings located along the causeway between entrance and main structure, were libraries. It must appear in pair. Because when the people came to worship, they had to pray and learn the theory of the temple before they inter to the shrines. The function of two libraries is one the right for using during the full moon time, while another one on the left for using during the new moon time.
As the same as all Khmer temple-mountain, Angkor Wat temple designed with three levels with its 65m height. The first level of Angkor Wat known as the gallery of teaching or the gallery of the bas-reliefs. This level has its structure measure of 180m by 250m. Also represented to the underworld of the universe. The second level known as the gallery of meditation. In addition, represent to the world. While the third level is represent to paradises and to serve as a place for the king and royalty and high priests came to worship to god Vishnu. Not allow the public came to this level. The public had their own spot for their religious activities at the second level.
About the bas-reliefs in this part of the temple are mostly depictions the Hindu myths. As this section of the Angkor Wat temple served as the gallery of teaching, that is why they carved the story-relief about 2000sqm. This 2000sqm story-relief carved so fine and so complicated one. When temple itself open to the pilgrims for twice a month (based on full moon, and new moon time), the Hindu followers must walk after the Brahmins in order to learn the religious myths at these galleries before they move to the second level for their meditation or for their religious activities. Otherwise, all the doors would close. Originally, in each doorway of the Angkor Wat temple used to have a wooden door to close and open, and used to have wooden ceiling on the roof as well. Some original wooden door beams remained, as a part to prove its wooden doors.
(W-N) its bas-reliefs depicting a popular Hindu myth under the subject of Ramayana. Ramayana was an epic of Hinduism which promoted Rama as its hero, and who was a number seven of Vishnu's incarnation. His role was to preserve the Hindu teachings from the demon king Ravana. Because Ravana was jealous the teachings of Hindu. According to the myth, Ravana a demon king who ruled in Lanka and who wanted to kidnap Sita the Rama's wife. Since negotiation to release Sita from Lanka, Rama sent monkey troops to invade Lanka for liberation his wife, and as a part to remove Ravana from the destruction of Hindu teachings as well.
(W-S) its relief depicting another Hindu epic under the subject of Mahabaratta. Mahabaratta was an old myth, written by Indian Brahmins for about 4000 years before Christ. This mythology is a very long and very complicated one like Ramayana as well. But Mahabaratta took Krisna as a hero of its mythology. According to the myth, Krisna was the eighth Vishnu's reincarnation. He came to the earth at an area located near New Dehli known as Kurushatra for removing the tyrants away from this area. Therefore, the role of Krisna promoted the good virtues and fight against the tyrants, restore the peace and the mercy for the innocence people on earth.
(S-W) gallery of Angkor Wat has its bas-reliefs depicting the real history of king Suryavarman II, his wives, his Brahmins, his astrologists, his courts, his army, his attendants and his concubines so on. The purpose of making these carvings because the king wished to tell people in the next generation to know and to understand how advanced progress of the country at that time and how energy powers of his army under his leadership as the king himself embodying divine powers of the god (Lord Visnu) in his period.
There are group of Brahmins processing along side with the soldiers as well. In the relief, we see a Brahmin's chief who also served as the king's spiritual Guru and the king's astrologer is being carried in a hammock and whom also carrying a holy text book in his hands, while at the front of him there is an another group of Brahmins being carried the Agni's sacred shrine. To have this kind of shrine is for arranging a holy ceremony for making the soldiers got good luck in the battle field, because the sacred flame ritual ceremony were believed as a holy spiritual at that time.
The damage scars on the wall of this panel, happening by the artillery shrapnel fired by Lon Nol soldiers in 1972. There were three artillery shells hit Angkor Wat compound at that time. Because Angkor Wat was taken to control by Viet Kong and Khmer Rouge as their heavens during the war 1970-1975, when Pol Pot struggled to get power from General Lon Nol.
At the front row of the army matching, there is a group of Siamese, the mercenary soldiers. We can tell them by their uniform are much different from the Khmers, an addition their behavior are a little bit disorganized, not as good discipline. While the Khmer soldiers who walking behind the Siamese are so organized and good discipline troops. Siamese was living within the territory of the Khmer Empire.
In the relief of this panel, we see there are excellent carvings of trees at the background as well. Those tree images are so beautiful carved. To have trees in the relief at the background is meaning the soldiers are matching across the jungle to Diet Viet border, which located near Hanoi today.
(S-E) has its relief depicting the life in the 37 heavens and the life of 32 hells. In the reliefs saying that, the life in the heavens are so happy and people who living there were so dedicated of the Dharma. They are living in the floating castles in the sky, their castles also are holding, supporting, and guarding by Garudas and Kalahas (flying lion). They do not worry about suffering and illness at all, because they have received fortunes and merits from their good Dharma of their dedication in their previous life or their incarnations, as they had never been doing any bad Kharma against the religion, or did a crime, or made any violence to anyone. Their life are so gorgeous, even they do not concern how to find foods to fill up their stomachs. When they feel hungry, they just smell a divine flower, and they do know the time to die. Heavens are not liked the Nirvana or Mt. Meru, they are still died, but they know the time to go.
But at the below tiers, the relief are showing us with completely different life. We can see, the men and women are so skinny and suffering. Those people are the prisoners and getting a punish in the hells. That is why the relief depicting so terrific and so scare on us. They are the sinners by doing very bad things in their life when they had born on earth. They were the kind of persons doing a bad Kharma and when they died, Yama God of Judge sent them to the hells, for punishment, for making torture and for treat them badly back due to their sin commitments as they did when they reincarnated in the earth before they came to hells.
The bas-reliefs depicted the 32 different ways of tortures to the sinners in the hells scenes , the demands punish them depending on their sins or their fates from their previous life. Those include people who deal with abortion, commit adultery, commit suicide, cheating money from someone, treating animals badly, abusing parents, insulting monks, priests, nun and elders, the stingy men, the murder, raping woman, temples vandalism, gossiping people and do a toilet to the religious monuments so on.
In the middle of this panel, we can see Yama Lord of Judge riding on Water Buffalo and appearing with 18 arms. In each arm of Lord Yama carrying justice stick. A justice stick is using for an order to his assistants to act a punishment to a new sinner who just had arrived in his palace. That is why at down below of Yama's vehicle water buffalo we see there are many his assistants sitting quietly for waiting the orders from Lord Yama.
If you move further east from Yama, then you will see many prisoners or sinners are being through down to the hells after Yama and his assistants find out their sins and their flaws, after that they get no mercy and terrible tortures by Yama's assistants.
The half of this panel structure to the east had collapsed in 1930. That is the reason to see the relief are not good condition, causing them broken apart and getting the scar of cement binding between the pieces of each stone block. But the French experts and the local workers did an excellent jobs for the restoration works. it completed by the Angkor Conservatory Department in 1940, The reason for causing this structure collapsed because the wall of this panel was leaning not standing up straight.
After the restoration, they decided to build a concrete ceiling on the roof. This ceiling had copied from its original one which made by mahogany woods. To have the concrete ceiling is very good idea, because it helps to reinforce the structure of this gallery stronger, and also to show how its original ceiling liked.
We continue to see the relief at the eastern corner of this panel further on. The relief is showing us to the terrible tortures over the four men, each man is getting nailing all over their bodies, and hanging very heavy weight of pieces of the rock at the legs, these tortures looks so painful, because those men had been cheating money from someone. Next to these men there are group of midwives and pregnant women who deal with the abortion, then the punishment is burning them alive. When we visited these scenes in the hells, sometimes, made some people imagined to the prisons in the Pol Pot regime, especially in Toul Sleng or S-21, that in this prison the Khmer Rouge soldiers did crime violence to the innocent people looked like the relief in the hells scene as well.
( E S ) The gallery bas-relief of Angkor Wat is depicting the very famous Hindu's mythology . This myth is known as of the Churning of the Sea of the Milk. This story is to promote Vishnu's reincarnation "Kurma Turtle". Kurma or Turtle was the second reincarnation of Vishnu ,the gods and demon were joining together for churning the ocean the sea of milk the main purpose to get the elixir of immortality, Devas and Asuras were churning the sea of milk for thousands and thousands years , now both teams were enjoyed to obtain the treasures include precious stones, Apsaras, Aravata the horses with many heads, the sacred elephant and most important treasure of elixir of immortality .
( E-N ) This gallery which depicting the war scene of the Hindu epic. The subject of this story is "The Victory of Vishnu over Demons". In the relief, we can see Lord Vishnu is leading his army from the north to south. While his enemy Demon soldiers are marching south to north. Both teams are confronted to each other in the middle scene of the panel.
We can tell Lord Vishnu who is always riding on the Garuda, and he was so often appearing with four arms, which in each arm holds Conch Shell, Ball, Disc and a Sword or Club or Lotus. In Khmer art, Lord Vishnu mentioned as a young and good-looking man. He was very strong, and he likes to teach his enemy with a bad lesson, but he is so gentle with the innocence people because he promoted the virtue into the universe.
We notice that the relief in this panel is so attractive, not so fine sculptures; because the relief of the E-N gallery was carved in the 16th century by King Ang Chan. King Suryavarman II did not have time to complete the relief in this gallery. The reason for that, it was probably king Suryavarman II himself had died or otherwise his master of architect died.
In this paragraph I am very please to add some history of the king who was completed the E-N gallery, King Ang Chan was considering as great king of Cambodian in the middle era for Cambodia history. He liberated Cambodia from Sdach Kan and found a powerful capital city of Lovek. He made a series war to fight against Siamese, and Laos. The victory over Laos under his reign that is why there are Laotians now living in Cambodia at Monkol Borei.
He saw Angkor Wat temple by an accident when he came to hunt wild elephants for training them into the domestic one. He was a king who so skillful with elephant hunter. Since he saw the temples in Angkor, he decided to stay at Angkor for a while in order to help for restoration the temple structures.
During his stay in Angkor, the king took some restoration works at Angkor Wat temple, he cleared the forest away from the temple structures, he installed many Buddha statues at the ancient Hindu temples, especially he installed hundreds of Buddha statues in Angkor Wat where has known today as "Thousands Buddha Hall". Then King Ang Chan ordered the artisans to carve the story relief in Hindu beliefs for the two galleries in Angkor Wat temple, however king himself was a very Buddhist one.
Ang Chan was a brilliant monarch of the Khmer in the middle era for Cambodian history, after he died his two sons took Cambodian throne, but Cambodia went down into a civil war and getting bad decline.
The gallery of ( N-E ) has its relief which still depicting the Hindu myth. Despite, this relief carved under the reign of King Ang Chan in the 16th century. The relief of this panel is the same style as the relief in the panel of E-N as well. Because done by King Ang Chan while King Suryavarman II did not complete the relief in gallery.
The subject of this myth is "Victory of Lord Vishnu over Demon King Bana". The story starts from the east corner of the panel, where at the beginning (eastern corner side) you see a garuda is putting off the fire, because he had got this order from his boss Lord Vishnu.
Then you see Agni God of Fire riding on a rhino that is manifesting to create fire in order to stop Lord Vishnu and his army from being chased Bana king of demon and his men. Agni was doing this action because Lord Shiva ordered him to do. Since Lord Shiva promised to protect Bana and his men from Lord Vishnu.
Finally, Garuda was able to convince Agni. That is why we see Lord Vishnu riding on Garuda who appearing with many arms in an action of chasing Bana and his men. Lord Vishnu is appearing several times in an action of a ride on the shoulders of Garuda and appearing with many arms as well
At the middle part of the panel, we see Bana king of demon is confronting with Lord Vishnu. Bana who is appearing on a chariot which pulling by tigers and whom is appearing so many arms and facing east. While Lord Vishnu himself is riding on his Garuda and appearing just with four arms and who is facing to the west.
The end (to the west corner ) of the scene, we see Lord Shiva who has a long beard and who is sitting in his palace in Kalasa with his two sons Kanesa and Skanda and also Agni who carrying an axe in his hand. Then you see Bana who has many faces and many arms and who is praying to Shiva and behind Bana is Lord Vishnu and his Garuda also appeared in this scene as well.
Shiva said to Lord Visnu that "Oh! Your Gracious Lord, I am so happy and so encouraged from you that you forgiven to Bana. Now Bana is not our enemy any more, but he is the one of our side and he will retire and will go to meditate in Himalaya to subject himself into a path of a right virtue. We cannot claim his life while someone has been confessed and trying hard to build up himself in a good Dharma to the future."
Vishnu gave wishes to Bana for his life as an ascetic successfully and then he moved away to his realm with his garuda. Then Lord Shiva granted a holy trident to Bana as the gift. At down below of the scene, there are ascetics meditating in caves.
The war end and Lord Vishnu moved to relax "Cosmic Sleep" on a Naga in the ocean of milk with his consort Laksmei doing massage at his legs for him. But the Lord will return for his mission again when the worlds facing a problems from the evil spirits.
The N-W gallery has its relief, which depicted the Hindu mythology as well. This relief is the original relief, which carved in the 12th century since the temple built. As it was the relief carved in the original period that is why we can see its relief are so fine and very completed one.
This relief story has its subject of " The Battle between 21 Gods to Demons". According to the myth, it was almost the time that Lord Brahma the Creator almost woke up from his sleep for about 14 million years of human. Also to make the universe before Lord Shiva destroyed are enjoyed with the good virtues and also to make sure all of the life dedicated to Dharma, in order to allow Lord Brahma created the worlds full of joys to the new creature being who supposed to control their new worlds without evil combination in their fates.
That is why, Mt Meru sent 21 Hindu Gods who we can tell some depending on their animals which they riding on to declare a war against Asuras. Because Asuras were so evil spirits which could be so dangerous to a new creation of Lord Brahma.
Those Gods can tell liked Vishnu on Garuda, Brahma on Sacred goose, Shiva on Bull Nandin, Indra on three headed elephant Aratawata, Surya on a chariot pulling by the horses, Kobura riding on the Ghost, Viruna riding on Naga so on.
The Hindu Gods and their army marching from east to west, and they are wearing a conical shape headdress, while their enemy Asura marching from west to the east and their army wearing a flat shape headdress.
There are colored on the relief of this panel as well. This color was painting mostly by the Buddhist monks who living in Angkor Wat as their monastery. Since the capital city of Angkor abandoned to Phnom Penh after the Thais sacked. We have learned that they painted in golden color or put gold leaves on the most important images, otherwise they just pained with red color. Red color made from the tree bark fixed with the red soil clay so on.
So called "One Thousand Buddha Hall" is a building located between the first level gallery to the second level gallery building. The One Thousand Buddha
Hall is also located in the middle point of whole Angkor Wat compound. Buddha statues are in this hall, had installed in the 15th to the 19th century. Then Angkor Wat became as Buddhist temple from Hindu temple. The reason for that, when the royal court abandoned the Angkor city to some areas near to Phnom Penh today in the 15th century. Then the Buddhist monks came to live in the Angkor Wat until the French suggested them to move in 1910.
An addition, the word "Wat" was coming behind the word "Angkor" since the time that Angkor Wat became the Buddhist temple, because "Wat" is meaning the Buddhist monastery. In Khmer Rouge Regime, about 60% of the Buddha statues had been removed away, and the rest about 40% in 1985 government moved to preserve in the national Museum in Phnom Penh. Otherwise, there were full of five rows of Buddha statues in these halls. That is why the reason people called this place of Angkor Wat as "One Thousand Buddha Hall".
Inscriptions carved on the pillars in these halls, are mentioned about the group of pilgrims brought their statues to install in these halls during the 15th to 19th century only, not come from the 12th century.
In this place, also have four pools. One of these pools located in each side between the cruciform gallery buildings. When you are standing in the middle point of the cruciform galleries, you will be so surprised to see its perfect lines running up to four direction of the temple. In addition, this point considered as the center point of the universe as well. It is good to concentrate in this center point for seconds in order to absorb the energy power, which will come from the four direction of the universe. Sometimes, you can feel the energy power.
Those four pools of One Thousand Buddha Hall had been used for cleansing and for purification with the holy water for the pilgrims before they moved up themselves to meditate at the second level galleries. The pilgrims had to know their element sign first, so that they could use those pools for washing their sin, because in each pool represented to different element, which include the earth, water, air and fire element.
if we keep moving straight , In this section also has an "Echo Chamber". Local people believed that when you go in this chamber and lean your back against the wall, then use your right hand beats to heart for seven times then they believed the "worries or tensions will be gone''.
The third level structure of Angkor Wat was represented of Heavens, and where at that time was served as a place for only king, royalty and high Brahmins use for their ritual ceremony. Not for the common people, common people had their own spot at the second level. The third level structure of Angkor Wat designed with square shape and there are twelve stairways for going to the top.
The twelve stairways at the third level of Angkor Wat are represented the twelve year of the animal zodiac. When the royalty and high Brahmins claimed to the top, they had to know which stairway was good march with their astrology of the animal zodiac. To know which stairway to go up, they had to count from the king animal zodiac year at the central stairway and move to the stairway on their right hand side until the stair which standing for their year was, then they climbed to meet the Gods. You cannot just climb without to follow the rule of the temple or the astrological concept. Otherwise, it would not have any meaning in your life.
To reach up there, you will have the four pools as the same as the Hall of the Thousand Buddha as well. These pools are located surrounding the central tower, and had used as the sane purpose as the pools at the down stair too. At the central tower used to install a golden statue of Vishnu in an action of riding on Garuda's shoulders. But so far this holy statue had stolen for a long time ago. Today, where the golden statue of Vishnu was now has a deep hole about four meters. The hole was digging by French in 1932. To dig the hole in the central tower, because French wanted to research the treasure and wanted to study the temple's foundation as well.
French dug the central tower's foundation for about 25 to 27 mm deep till reaching to the ground level. At ground level French saw two pieces of big sandstone comes in a cross shape. An addition, in the middle of cross shape sandstone, they found an artifact of gold leave. This gold leave has a decoration with eight petals of the lotus flower. French took this artifact to preserve in Paris.
Also at the doors of the central tower had closed by Buddhist monks at between the15th to 16th centuries. Then they engraved Buddha statue on these doors. There as on they closed these doors because at the central most chamber where was the place for golden Vishnu comprising so many bats living and dropping the urine and dang, that causing not good for them to worship. That is why they to close and made Buddha statues so that they just prayed from outside. The third level section of the Angkor Wat is getting damage more than any parts of Angkor Wat. Especially its stones are getting worn away, since in this area used to have millions bats living and their dropping are so bad acidic.
For those who have plenty of time, suggested to come to the third level of Angkor Wat, is a very nice one. To have a sit at a quiet doorway and facing to ever green densely jungle, then imagine to an excellent inspiration of the Khmers who created such a fabulous architecture on earth. In addition, imagine how powerful to the Khmers who could carry stones from dozens kilometers away in order to build such a wonderful temple on planet. One more thing, to make us feel so mysterious and so magic to the Khmer Kings who left for us such a considerable value legacy which now here on earth can compare. Then when the sunset time, this masterpiece building turns to a gold color, then making our heart bloom of proud for being as a Khmer.