Gateways to Angkor Thom
Angkor Thom literally means the ‘big city’ or the ‘great capital’. There were more than 1 million residence living within the enclosure of 8m high and 3km long laterite city wall. We were interest to visit the 4+1 gates in and out Angkor Thom. 4 gates were directly located at the East, West, North and South direction. The additional gate was the Victory Gate on the east wall.
Each gate has a tall tower with 4 facets. The large face on each side could be Buddha or the King (based on different literature). I would think the face belong to the King who was overlooking his kingdom at all direction.
We climbed up to 8m tall city wall and got close to the tower.
The light condition was not ideal. It was dim, so I played with different filter and post process to have fun with the pictures.
The most impressive gate was the South gate, with 54 deities (devas 天神) on the left, and 54 demons (asuras 阿修罗) on the right. The river bank on the South Gate was also a good spot for sunset view.
Each of the tower is 23m or 75 feet tall. See how tiny the monk in term of size as compared to the gigantic gate.
There were 3 elephants on each corner, also act as a ingenious stabilizer for the gate.
We stopped over at each gate (except the West Gate) briefly for quick snapshots.