WPC – Careful with Your Steps

This week’s photo challenge asked us to show about Careful photo, a photo taken with care, a person being careful or a task or detail requiring care. And for that theme, I submit a photo of a part of Angkor Wat.

A closed stairs to Bakan

A closed stairs to Bakan

Angkor Wat, is the most famous temple in the Angkor Archeological Park, the UNESCO World Heritage Site around 7km north of Siem Reap, Cambodia. With 1 km length for the temple wall each side, Angkor Wat becomes the largest religious monument in the world. Originally constructed as a Hindu temple, dedicated to Vishnu, but then gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple around 12th century.

For those who have not been to Angkor Wat, there is a place, as local people said, Bakan. It is the sacred place for Khmer people that is on the top floor of inner gallery in Angkor Wat. This area enshrines hundreds of lifelike portraits of Khmer goddesses, known by the Sanskrit terms as Apsaras or Devata. To reach Bakan, originally the people had to climb a very steep stairs. The extreme stairways as a symbol, representing the difficulty of ascending to the kingdom of gods. The one who can climb it with care will reach the main sanctuary, the most sacred place in the temple, but with only one careless step the angel of death will pick you up.

(But nowadays, to accommodate tourists and to improve easy access to Bakan, there is a normal wooden walkways over the temple’s sandstone with hand railing without burdening the temple structure)


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