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The Citadel Of Art

There are no massive city gates to welcome you here, or stone covered causeways over gigantic moats to traverse. But what Banteay Srei – Khmer for Citadel of the Women* – lacks in monumental scale and significance, it makes up for with its exquisite sculptural adornment. Each intricate, carved inch of its centuries old, pink sandstone…

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Golden Hour At Pre Rup

Bakheng is the most popular spot for sunset viewing in Angkor. And natuarally the most crowded. So we chose Pre Rup instead. The relatively quieter state temple of the 9th century Khmer king Rajendravarman II. There couldn’t have been a more fitting finale to our four day visit than to watch the sun slip quietly behind the…

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Beng Mealea – Breathtaking Desolation!

Stepping on the ancient, lichen covered stones of Beng Mealea, in the deep, dark shadows of late afternoon, is almost meditative. No armies of tourists to vie with for the best camera angles here. Just us and a couple of nimble footed little descendants of the Khmer. Beng Mealea – meaning ‘Lotus Pond’ – situated 45 km East of…

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The Frozen Smile Of The Bayon

Imagine for a moment, that you are an early French explorer, stumbling upon these crumbling ruins in the shadowy half light of dense tropical jungle. And making the startling discovery that those tree covered towers are in fact eerie, mysterious faces! Hundreds of them! With hooded staring eyes and implacable smiles! In the vast silence of…

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The Captivating Children Of Cambodia

We found the children of Cambodia even more enchanting than the temples of their ancestors that we had come to see. They are pesky, persistent and beautiful. And most, exceptionally bright! Like the little girl in the purple blouse, who rattled off numbers from 1 – 10 in Hindi, before I had time to react to her question about…

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Ta Phrom – A Pas de Deux!

When Meenakshi of Laughing Penguins kindly agreed – thank you Meenakshi! – to pair her verses with my images of the iconic ‘Lara Croft’ temple of Ta Phrom, I knew she would bring more to this post than just her evocative words. Here is her homage to the desolate grandeur of the tree strangled monument.…

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A Walk Through A Khmer Psah

Psah means market in Khmer. Located roughly mid way between Angkor and the remote jungle temple of Beng Mealea, and far from the tourist heart of Siem Reap, is one of the largest Psah’s in the area, where villagers from surrounding hamlets buy and sell produce. No sign of tourist tat here, no souvenir T shirts…

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The Temple Mountain Of Angkor Wat

Once upon a time, an Indian prince named Khambu set sail Eastward to become the object of affection of a Naga princess, Mera. They married, and from their union was born the Khmer (Khambu + Mera) and the kingdom of Kampuchea (Khambujas = sons of Khambu). This legend of creation is flawed however, since the history of the…

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One Of Many Unforgettable Travel Moments

My Angkor posts are long overdue. While I struggle to finish my draft between house guests and trips to Bangalore, here is a scene that was the realisation of a longstanding dream. As breathtaking and unforgettable as we had imagined, despite the partly cloudy sky and the scaffolding in the center. Until next time…..happy travels, no matter…

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