Lying at the heart of Angkor Thom is the forever-smiling faces of Buddha massive stone statues of Bayon. With its mesmerizing beauties and grandeur, Bayon was the pride of King Jayavarman VII. There are 54 towers decorated with 216 gargantuan smiling faces of Avalokiteshvara. Bayon is a great place to visit in both sunrise and sunset.
History and Legends
Though Bayon is such a large and grand construction yet there are still many secrets related to its exact symbolism and function. It took quite a time for researchers to figure out that Bayon stands right at the very center of Angkor Thom city. Bayon's structure is consisted of 3 levels corresponding to the three phases of building, with the smiling faces on the highest level. This is due to the fact that Jayavarman VII started building Bayon at later years of his life, not confident if he would ever complete it.
As you walk around, a dozen or more of the heads are visible at any one time, full face or in profile, sometimes level with your eyes, sometimes staring down from on high.
The first level with a 1.2km long bas-relief adorned with more than 11,000 figures is surely a majestic work of art besides the smiling faces.