A key design aspect of structures in Angkor Wat is symmetry. As you can see in the image, the south gate is symmetrical about the north-south axis. In other words, the west-side structure is the mirror image of the east-side structure and vice versa. On the upper part of this gate, there are four identical towers, each with a statue of the head pointing to a cardinal direction. On either side of the lower part, there is a sculpture of Indra sitting on his vehicle Airavata, a three-headed elephant. Above this sculpture are the weathered and damaged statues the devas (demigods).
The city of Angkor Thom was founded in the late 12th century by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII on the western banks of the Siem Reap River. It has four gates, each built in a cardinal direction. Of all the four gates, the south gate, which the image shows, is relatively intact and is one of the most photographed structures in Siem Reap.
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