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kaivalyam @Telugutalli
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flying into Siem Reap was like entering India of the 80s, in some rural hinterland; farms, labour, small town - yet the airport and the city was anything but - very proud of its past and overtly so. naagaas, apsaraas, Rama, Hanuman, Narayana, and Bayon faces everywhere you look
get used to him, he greets you at the airport. while I see some non-local film actor when I land in Hyd!
hotels usually send a free pick up in the form of a tuk-tuk, with whom you can arrange a deal directly for sight seeing. they make a living and are much cheaper than cabs. slower easier happier more sustainable way of travel
aah here too the spirit house, ubiquitous in Thailand, didn't get no clear answer when I enquired about them in Bangkok, some said ancestor worship, some said Brahma
Chinese influence is not far - both ancient and new - the whole country is kind of 'bought over' - tuk-tuk driver's daughter goes for Mandarin classes coz know...
trip was a treat for my amma's 72nd birthday
as soon as we landed we made a beeline to buy tickets at the Angkor Wat park office, which closes at 5.00pm (a bit away from the city), at $65 each, valid for three days, they are expensive but TOTALLY WORTH IT
tickets were bought today so that tomorrow early morning we can view the sun rise over the world's largest Hindu temple. time to hang out and wait, great place for drinks and snacks, owned by a French couple
Cambodia in June is hot, humid and rainy when it feels like it, in short totally unpredictable, AND humid. verrry humid. Humid. but soooo pretty! so much like Assam. reminded me of my childhood in Silchar.
one thing you'll need to do is identify you fav spa coz you'll need to go to it everyday AFTER you have walked walked n walked ruins are aplenty alas, yet such awe inspiring structures which once breathed shruti, they will call you, get a Khmer massage $7-10 dry no oil AMAZING
we lit a candle to celebrate and in anticipation of the morrow
you have to get up reaaaally praatah kaal like before brahma muhurta even so that you race the crowds for that famous sunrise click
so we waited and waited and waited but soorya bhagawaan was feeling a bit bored with all of us and the paparazzi so he hid behind the clouds and shouted 'chuTTi'!
both of us were a wee bit disappointed right now, thinking - is this it? wasn't it supposed to be LARGEST and all, wasn't it a TALL structure....but pictures are always about happy faces
lost count of the simhaas
inside that is housed one of the tallest vishNus I have ever seen 5 metres or more....
basically it is all stone and grass, grey brown and green, a dash of colour when a camera clicks, and a millennia of memories, of vedic chanting and puraaNa recitals
not many admit, know or desire the Hindu past
just like in Dilwara in Mt Abu - where the outside is no indication of what is going to hit you inside (do do do go if you haven't) - here too, after my initial 'is this all', got hit on by some apsaraas...and they kept coming
each apsara is a bit different, the hairdos, the elaborate headgear, the diaphanous clothes, and their mudras
after trying to make gaNesha from clay and not succeeding respect for the sculptors of these apsaraas has grown infinitely!
some restored some not yet, yet they smile, oblivious
post crossing the moat, it is 3 tiered structure with 5 gopurams - each tier higher than the other, the last one really steep...deceptive from outside!
this will give you an idea of distance in terms of walking and tiers ...
massive structures, imagine a priest climbing all this everyday, three times a day!
more apsaraas old and new, real and stone
ASI worked on restoring Angkor Wat, even during Khmer Rouge, the ONLY country to do so in such trying times
restoration in the Angkor Wat complex Siem Reap region can go on forever coz there is SO much to do really, I mean for such a small place there is lifetimes of work ahead...imagine how it must have been in it's heyday!
an inlay apsara, so fine, so minute, how does a chisel do that?
when there is a Maneka there has to be a Vishwamitra must be joking!
no, you climb that, that is the final tier
and thus started our ascent
she made it! last year she climbed Sigiriya....
dress code is mighty strict here (covered shoulders and knees), esp to climb up to the main tier (which houses buddhas now), so after much begging and pleading with security, no avail, borrowed a jacket from a sweet Canadian
all this area was mostly water logged, like a giant earthly ksheera saagara
so well camouflaged, thank god!
everything in Cambodia, especially Siem Reap is called Apsara, any wonder?
the friezes depict everything from samudra manthan to indra to hanuman to...only Angkor Wat temple (one in a complex of temples also called Angkor Wat) took us 6 hours to cover, without stopping too much
unique form of Buddha here, although I am more inclined to think of this depiction as vishNu with sheshasaai
like paint brushes in various sizes chisels too can carve stone in various thickness
we are masters of stone
sometimes too much beauty can be deadly
both my neck and legs were aching at the end of each tour
of course she has to show off her hair
that stem! that flower! that hairdo, that....that...
so how does one conceive something so grand yet so intricate?
while this inner tier was full of apsaraas, the outer tier is half raamaayaNa, half kurukshetra battle
worship goes on despite renovation in most temples / ruins here, people are full of shraddha and don't let any govt body tell them what to do...common to see people bringing flowers, lighting lamps, incense....makes me want to go to Konark and Martand and....
soorya bhagawan nikal aaye
i mean where does one start to plan building this? obviously it is vishwakarma's work!
was told this language is a mix of samskrutam and khmer
stones breathe when they can
when they say massive, they mean it!
amma is a 70s ki housewife so she is like 'we paid $65' let us see everything what is the hurry....hurry? MY LEGS! I am half your age!
imagining dancing here
taking a break from this beauty...will continue tomorrow! thanks for stopping by
seem to have lost pix from the mahabharata ramayaNa from first tier Angkor Wat main temple, so onwards to Bayon! Angkor Wat Complex includes the small and big circuit of temples (all paid for in this $65 for 3 days ticket) and just when I thought nothing can get more beautiful...
Bayon gate (1 of 4) which you see is form of samudra manthan with Vasuki on 4 sides n Angkor Thom complex which includes Bayon and other temples is in the middle of that manthan....the very conception, design, execution et al is mind-boggling! asuras devas on 2 sides of this road
easy to spot who the devaas and who the asuras are...interesting among the devaas there is an those who built this knew their itihaasa and puraaNa well
when you see this in the morning after 6 hrs of Angkor Wat you are awestruck...this whole day not one moment of jadedness, not one, what must be the level of architectural splendour to make us gasp at every step? even in ruination...
buy a ticket for a week suggest humbly you do that, NOTHING can be seen in 3 days, it was a whirlwind, we did stay back extra 2 days for temples in the vicinity but this Angkor Wat Complex of small n big circuit needs at least a week. each face here has a story to share
the 'rope' is thick and round and even with Vasuki's fangs at both ends - mind you all this is stone and the tension of the pull is evident in the posture of the asuraas n devaas, the tug, the pull, the muscle strength all conveyed beautifully IN STONE
the gate itself! can look at it for hours....we were up since 3.30 am yet....we just stood there mesmerized!
you see the faces now? these are the Bayon faces, made to perfection and multiplied manifold at the Bayon temple, they are assembled like a jigsaw puzzle, so precise, so much scientific know how went into creating something so gorgeous
and they were held up by Airavataas on all can see remnants of the trunks...
a better view of the elephants...stomach was filled with butterflies at every of the most wondrous days every spent...each temple got better than the previous...shaking us out of stupor and cynicism of 'sab dekh liya'..'have been there done that'
under the gate itself....everything is so mysterious...why what who...some answers are found in a few books available but most answers should come from us Indians....the ones who went there ...and built all this...
simhaavalokanam, a quick look back from my tuk tuk reveals this!
i am overdoing the gate and the bridge perhaps but with good reason na....anyway modern French writers et al claim this to be long as it is within dharma family am fine for now...we need researchers to study all this from a Hindu viewpoint, from an Indic perspective
so here is the map, we are doing the small circuit today...and are in the Angkor Thom comples, going to Bayon temple
entering the temple, all of them involve steep climbs in 3-5 tiers to reach the main 'garbha gruha' which is mostly empty nowadays except for Banteay Srei which houses a shiva linga...amma in her 70s walked like this for 5 days!
familiar figures when I saw airavataas and simhaas and nandis and vaasukis....I wasn't sure how much Buddhist these places are or perhaps am ignorant of Buddhist lore...since it is shared for most part with probably overlapped without an issue here
entering the Bayon
where should I look? how should i concentrate? what should I pay attention to?
amma facing same issue kahaan jaayein? kahaan se praarambh karein? where to go what to do first!
the famous dancing damsels...ela chekkkaruraa baabu...kaLLu adiroyeTTugaa
there are 216 or so of these smiling Bayon faces with 54 gOpurams or so...soooo it was drizzlilng a bit....Indra blessed us as we made our entry
see how they SMILE IN STONE? see how they are set together chunks of stone as in a JIGSAW so perfectly!
so there are these gOpurams with the mukhaas...and it was eerie too in the rain, with very few people. those eyes looking at us from all sides, smiling...another world n time
imagine standing under it all alone...with no one around ...and the gods rain on you...🙏
aah the piece de resistance in one of the alcoves
we know what was here...if there is a paanapaTTa, there must have been a shiva-linga at one point
more splendour
joy....aananda...that is our true nature
dheem takiTa naadir dheem tana tOm...
amma is not going to leave ANY part of the temple already ready to give up...been 9 hours walking
the wonder in her eyes made this all worth it, wish I can be so innocent and naive and trusting despite life at 70+
leaving the temple now
more later, do look up the temples and research and tell me if you found something interesting to share
many countries participate in restoration, Angkor Wat main temple was exclusive preserve of ASI during Khmer years showed courage all else left, met ex Ambassador Pradeep Kapur ji at #WHC2018 who told me fabulous tales on how they used Russian planes to transport materials to SR!
There were no roads in the 70s to SR, so ASI had to request Russian planes for transporting material, these would be random sorties, our men there worked under very trying conditions, some shot at , some died...after all KR was anti-history et al. But ASI received brickbats ...
there was a canard that ASI used concrete etc in restoration a big no no in international circles so it was blacklisted n shut off esp by French who felt they discovered n 'owned' these parts, ASI had prob done that but also 99% GREAT work, so why was THAT not known? (at Baphuon)
also Cambodia had NO record of ASI's work of all these difficult when Vajpayee ji was a PM n wanted to improve relations with Cambodia n asked for a report from ASI, it was time to make things right, this is when Kapur ji was Ambassador, all these reports are public now
Baphuon is a Shiva temple. modus operandi - long walk to temple, cross a moat, climb steep steps of 3-5 tiers, reach top, no murthy, admire architecture, feel the pain of a civilization in ruins, feel pride at the capacity, leave.
steep climb but again can savour exquisite carvings all around...meanwhile post ASI reports which as per Kapur ji were of much higher standard than they were usually so, the world woke up to India's great daring role in building back Angkor Wat, thus our relations improved
Pradeep ji an IFS officer one of a kind, whose expertise in French also am sure helped ease the bad blood that was between India - France viz Cambodia. also he had searching for one Prof Sahai, as the latter was an expert research scholar on Angkor Wat, pre-internet days people!
so he thanked his stars when his secretary announced that 'a prof Sahai is here to see you Sir' in Phnom Penh, after two years of looking for him why? because he wanted Prof Sahai's expertise in restoring, building, improving relations, writing books from Hindu, Indic perspective… "Sachchidanand Sahai is an Indian epigraphist, writer and the scientific advisor to the Government of Cambodia for restoration of Angkor Wat and the Temple of Preah Vihear, known for his knowledge on Khmer civilization" now. Padma Shri in 2012!
it was serendipitous meeting Pradeep ji n learning all this, had run into his wife, since we shared the same shuttle to the venue of WHC, we got talking, and she saw my t-shirt and said 'we were posted there for 4 years! you must meet my husband he came early' ...
The Bayon of Angkor Thom by Prof Sahai, The Hindu Temples in Southeast Asia by him again, should be good starting points to get our perspectives of history
(Baphuon is full of animal carvings) Pradeep ji and his wife told me about ICCR scholarships that encourage students, researchers, epigraphists, historians, writers to go to SEAsia, esp Cambodia and work in the field but sadly very few takers, no one wants to take the trouble :(
I was devastated to learn that "Prof Sachchidanand Sahai lives in Siem Reap, Cambodia attending to his duties as the scientific advisor to the Government of Cambodia" HOW DID I MISS MEETING HIM ...or knowing of him....which means I need to go back!
Cambodians like Mexicans are so artistic in a very natural way, there is colour and contour in at every turn
(familiar stories dot the walls) meanwhile Pradeep ji himself has written a book… do read, i plan to buy this before i interview him, want to really get to the bottom of all exciting
we are still view from the 2nd tier
vaasuki here is as common as kamal is to us in Bharat
much de-fanged just as the civilization is
interesting set of gOpuras for a shiva temple
at the 3rd tier was very enervating to climb up and then down at every stage at every temple, hard to carry too much water too, so we got thirsty pretty quickly but had to pace ourselves else we would need a restroom is not as easy as it looks in pictures!
up there would have been, should have been a shiva linga
we do three pradakshiNas to pay respects to the subtle forces that are still waiting to be worshipped
simhaavalokanam again - we walked all that and climbed to the top, finally!
amma poor thing lost her phone with all her pix of this trip in a Hyd auto later....but at this point she has no idea that this is all going to waste...
alright! lets get going to the Terraces of the Elephant and Leper King, oh! but we need to get down first!
here we are!
the massive scale of everything is too staggering to comprehend
the Leper King
she did ulTa pradakshiNa, poured water, lit incense and offered flowers
I admired the jasmine strings in their hair, very differently done and made for a hair-bun they fished out an extra one for me...
since Indians in these parts have a reputation like what the Americans do in Europe, it is good practice to bend a bit lower than we usually do, for people-to-people diplomacy
and below the Leper King is a maze of wonders...
like a bhool bhulaiyya but smaller
the corners had vaasukis with 9 heads and the middle had vaasukis with 7 heads or something like that...amma was counting and observing all this...
imagine walking through a very narrow passage between 15 feet walls (? bad at estimations) full of these carvings
so that is the height of the walls, and the passage is like a hidden secret path between two walls
since we had not really eaten much since morning (hotels will give packed breakfasts which is usually a sad sandwich and bottled water) we HAD to have this! (diff from Indian coconuts, much more sweeter n satisfying, kind of similar to the yellow King Coconuts in Sri Lanka)
we pass the Victory Gate to see a few more smaller temples (Thommanon and Chau Say Tevoda) before we go to Ta Phrom
Ta Phrom
yes, in Hindi, coz ASI is in charge of the complete restoration of Ta Phrom, you see Indian flags on the entrance plaque it is very heartening. here was filmed Tomb Raider if that is your thing...and the trees are usually strangler figs that have strangled the temple completely
beat that! and when you see this at dusk....all are filled with awe at the wonder of bhagawaan's immanence in action....these are such powerful tree-spirits, nothing can come in their way...wonder how ancient they are
the trees here are very vibrant shakti shaali organisms
which is inert which is conscious which is the boundary between the two, or is there?
it is like a giant snake crawling all over the temple, crushing the temple in it's clasp
there is moss everywhere and you can't wander about ...mainly becoz restoration work is underway and also because there are HUGE boulders everywhere...there is no path, except for the one made by ASI for tourism
it is actually quite scary
amma and I touched the tree and took it's blessings, obviously this is shakti of a very high order
well of course there were carvings here too but we were just into the trees
and they are still growing...made sure not to stamp on them
what a place! very strong energy here!
veggie Amok, very tasty, except it is a bit Gujarati koncham teepi ekkuva/ meeTha thaa
we were soooooo famished! polished it all off
at the Molop Wat Damanak, great Papaya salad...since we were staying in Wat Damanak this was a block away....we were toooo tired to explore other parts
and then the lights went off! SO 80s India! That ended our Day 2 in Siem Reap.
Residence Wat Damanak a lovely place to stay at Siem Reap, close to good eateries serving veggie food (albeit in mixed places), spas offering Khmer massages n to night markets for a cool shopping experience for souvenirs in evenings. US$ used everywhere, 56 Riels for 1INR
the aesthetics are typical SEAsian, very Sri Lankan too I felt - all wood, green and vibrant flowers
3rd day in Siem Reap and 2nd day of free pass (keep it handy, they ask this at every monument) we started out to do the big circuit, and on the way passed the Terrace of Elephants again...only now saw why it was called so! yesterday had seen only 6 elephant trunks n wondered..
here garuDaas hold the terrace up...note the simhaas on top (to screen right but you can't see is the Terrace of Leper King where I was offered a beautiful string of jasmine for my hair remember?)
we have to cross the North Gate to go beyond the Angkor Thom complex to do the big circuit, review the map, up somewhere in the beginning of this thread. Bayon faces again...which of course for Hindus reminds us of Brahma ji
what would you feel when presented with some thing like this?
the long walk again, to reach the temple precincts, to Preah Khan, which literally means "holy sword, preah is sacred or holy, which is actually derived from 'nagara jayasri' " built by Jayavarman 2 in memory of his father, just as Ta Phrom was in memory of his mother.12th cent
after victory over Chams, Jayavarman 2 built this, main deity Avalokiteshwara in form of king's father also temples dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu etc total 460 deities in small shrines all over...this was a city-palace and university combined 1000s of teachers, 1000s of dancers!
women security quite common, most people are very cheerful, soft and positive...a few do dislike Indians...whatever the reason maybe, if you happen to travel there please be mindful of this and lets do our best to behave in a way that people here start loving Indians again!
aah the moat concept again, the manthan, the devaas, asuraas...recurrent theme in the area.
and the famous garuDa holding up a nagaa and the wall, 52 of these in regular intervals...wish one could see all these temples in the original...what a glorious sight that must have been!
find this constant need to show you close up, mid shot and long shot all the time...just so you get the big picture and also the details
POV from garuDa, the moat has no water currently
we enter into the 12th century
what pleased me most about Cambodians is their shraddha, this is a World Heritage site, guards n securty...none object to people's beliefs n shraddha...especially after the terrible recent past, this is welcoming
lessons learnt. or not.
and then it starts, the detailed friezes, frescoes, panels, whatever they are called in architectural, archaeological terms...
after seeing how people were offering fruits/ flowers/ incense/ candles where n when they could....I decided to do the same next time I saw an untended shivalinga
and there he is...what ignominy!
first removed footwear, did abhisheka with few drops of precious water (no engili not jhooTa) then fished out kumkum n vibhuti from bag (prasaadam from Anaikatti) applied it, bent down, bowed n finally told this tourist, 'no, not what you think, this is symbol of the universe'
the colours and hues transport one to another era instantly
the extent of shiva worship is just mind-boggling....saw numerous shiva lingaas...some missing some broken some ignored
innumerable....lost count of the paanapaTTaas without a linga
don't forget to look up, when things are depressing and you can only go down and under, just look up, and vishNu will cheer you
marvel at the fingers and the heart that poured its all into this
have no idea what i just saw....what are these holes for, what did they hold? statues? ropes? rods? why?
all the dwaarams had exquisite carvings on them...a relief from all the ruins around
how do you restore this? does it make sense for a poor country to pour money into this? no wonder so many countries like Japan, India, France etc are helping in conserving etc but the sheer labour n time involved....!
and then I spot her...the world smiles again
and the world dances again
every lintel has been carved, no lintel left behind!
no wall left behind is like me and paper, i just love to scribble something all the time given a these guys were like 'hey we have a bare wall, and a chisel, chalo! kuch banaate hain!' types
by now you are familiar with this right?
the strangler figs are making their entry here too....if people can't worship let us do it is perhaps what they are thinking
garuDa on the right side (we saw the one on the left while going in)
haha amma is already moving on to the next temple....chalo let me also go and attend a grihapravesh, will be back..
exiting Preah Khan we cross the moat with the manthan by headless warriors
but the sadness of seeing such wanton destruction lead to elation at this sight...walking to Neak Pean
APSARA (Authority for Protection n Management for Angkor Wat temples in Siem Reap) has set up these small huts at the entrance of most temples, where a group of men and women handicapped during war play traditional instruments n sing folk songs to raise funds for mine victims
always a long walk into hidden lands
neak in Khmer is from naaga in samskrutam. and naagaas are keepers of waters, serpents who love in waters..associated especially medicinal waters, springs and such (think Verinag, Anantnag et al), so when it rained again while crossing the 'moat' it was mystical
and to chance upon this was such a lovely surprise, was expecting a temple and we see a temple pond with a temple in the centre, while the skies are blue-grey and it is drizzling softly
the waters here are said to have healing properties like in any naag in bhaarat
tried to do a pradakshiNa but it is closed on one end, so had to return and walk from opposite side
there is something about this place, could'nt get enough of...just like Verinag
in the center is the main deity but the four cardinal directions were represented by the horse, elephant, lion and bull, only the horse is seen now. all through the base of the temple are two naagas...and this artificial lake and temple modeled after a mythical lake in Himalayas
onwards to Ta Som - a combo of Bayon faces and Ta Phom tree rain!
the weather here is the most unpredictable that i've encountered yet
paanapaTTa without shiva linga
what remains entices
and another...
by now we know the drill, so do you!
heritage to die for, to stamp on
East Mebon now, temple from 10th cent, again dedicated to Shiva
this was an exceptional temple, huge elephants and lions grace the 2 tiers and when you reach the main level, the lintels have exquisite carvings of Indra on Airavata etc it was once an island....what a feast for the eyes it must have been from the top and from the front!
the temple is made of sandstone and brick etc
we circumambulated both tiers to reach the top tier and these massive pachyderms occupy the corners and between them guard the lions!
like in Hampi, you can't do or see much without walking 8-9 hours a day - minimum. these are huuuge structures built to impress
not there yet, half way through..
next tier...
the eye for detail on mammoth structures, impressive
there it is!
amma went expecting a shiva linga inside
..but simhaas outside and the jasmine growing abundantly near them makes me think, shakti is still around
driving home the point that this is in stone
inside the main shrine
welcome to Bantaey Srei people! built in 10th cent, in red sandstone, EXQUISITE is not enough to describe the carvings. after massive Mebon this is in miniature, this is primarily dedicated to Shiva as main deity but also houses Vishnu. the name means Citadel of Women/ Beauty.
kept staring - aluptadruk - one who does not bat an eyelid
we all know vaali and sugreevaa's fight...each toraNa, each dvaaram is carved to perfection, and the sandstone colour is a pleasant change from the grey black browns from other temples
stories in stone
poetry in sand (stone)
how do you leave this and go? plus we could not enter the main sanctum, was cordoned off but am told daily prayers happen here for shiva, hope that is so!
Bantaey Srei is covered in the ticket/ pass, so make sure you go, as this is 25 kms away from the main complex to the north
will leave you with for our last leg before calling it a day
at Banteay Srei
Pre Rup was outstanding! Dedicated to Shiva again, it a 10th cent state temple of King Rajendravarman (like East Mebon) made of brick mostly and on a great height, of course!
we did climb it!
amma has held on so far...
relentless pursuit of heights!
with mantraas and music this place would have been magical
in the garbha grha
it is said that funerary rituals were done here...and Pre Rup means 'turning body'
at Banteay Kdei - Citadel of Monks - now, the last lap of today, exhausted but it must be done!
dharma chakra
remember them?
life like figurines dot the ruins
and another...yet they could not stop the stranglehold of time
even in broken stones people see the whole, this is shraddha
this is a huge complex, ashram like space it was close to 5pm and closing...
how many shiva lingaas were here! astounding!
and with that we finally completed our 2nd Day at the Angkor Complex
...and treated ourselves to dosas at Dakshin
didn't know Phnom Kulen included in Pass 1+hrs North of Siem Reap (close to Banteay Srei) by tuk tuk, an Indian tourist (rare species here) told us, so off we went to see the Thousand Shiva Lingas aka Kbal Spean underwater a holy stream up in the hills! Kings were coronated here!
but first since we were passing by the main Angkor Wat temple anyway, went in again for a peak of the grand Vishnu, crossing the moat here on our 4th day in SR and 3rd and last day of our Pass
oM namO naaraayaNaaya!
what glorious days he must have witnessed
faith of the people here is intact for Vishnu, they believe that he is very powerful and blesses them with bounty, but of course!
let us make sure this does not happen in our neighbourhood
Kbal Spean is a 40 min + walk into the jungles and up the hills of Phnom Kulen National Park amma and I ventured in with no guide...were worried after 15 minutes of being all alone in the jungle
the terrain is not easy, we were wearing all the wrong clothes and footwear, we did not want to turn back having come so far or give up just because we were a bit scared...but how to proceed further like this? first of all is this the correct path? no phone signal of course!
so we decided to do the only thing we know to do at such times...pray..and of course bhagawaan sent us this wonderful Vietnamese family to guide and help us throughout our way in and out...they were so loving caring ...we communicated in sign language and a few English words.
he is a photographer, it was her birthday, boy in college doing Bachelors and daughter in school. she kept telling her children to hold amma well and not to leave her alone ...just like you see old Indian women do when they scold their kids 'kya dekh rahe ho sahaayata karo'...🙏
the climb gets steep and terrain rough in parts so advice appropriate gear, also take a guide so you don't miss going to the sleeping buddha, the actual waterfalls and the monastery, upstream shiva lingaas etc we were way is a whole day trip, we did 3 hrs only
on ananta chaturdashi may I present the Kbal Spean padmanaabhaswamy...these waters split into two downstream; Siem Reap & Puok Rivers. the Siem Reap river is considered holy because it is sanctified by the 1000 shiva lingaas and other sacred deities all carved on its river bed
we saw vishnU of course, many many lingaas, shiva parvati, nandi, rama lakshmaNa....all these carved on stones on the stream/ river bed, some visible off-rainy season was just spectacular, especially after the arduous climb/ walk up, imagine kings being coronated here!!
apparently even now waters from this stream used to sanctify the royal chambers during morning pooja, you heard it right, despite the buddhist nature of the kingdom of Cambodia, poojaas are done in vaidika paddhati BEFORE the buddhist monks show up is what I heard from 'sources
in far off hills of Cambodia, brahmaaji sits atop a boulder deep in the forest, waiting to be worshipped
om brahma devaanaam prathamam sambabhuva, vishvasya karta bhuvanasya gopta
when you see an older person, a stranger, this is how you help. may they live long and healthy lives filled with joy and laughter for making our journey so easy and possible 🙏
amma's can do spirit
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1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

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