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Bayon: A smiling face on the upper level tower


The image shows a smiling face carved on a tower situated on the upper-level of Bayon, a mysterious Buddhist temple constructed at the exact center of Angkor Thom. The temple was commissioned by King Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century to be built as his state temple inside the capital city of Angkor Thom, which he founded.

The upper terrace of Bayon has several towers carved with the giant smiling faces similar to the one shown in the image. The purpose of these towers is still a big mystery. There are many theories floating around to explain as to why they were constructed and whom they represent. According to one theory, the faces represent Avalokitesvara, a Bodhisattva who embodies the values of Buddha. Another theory suggests the faces represent King Jayavarman VII himself who attained the title of Avalokitesvara.

Visit: Bayon, Angkor Wat and Cambodia

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