Wednesday, January 25, 2006


We began before the dawn of time. Beyond the very edge of the universe itself. In darkness, surrounded by the chattering of demons, we collected our thoughts and set off. Past the lions and snake-like seven headed naga we strode and on to the celestial causeway, barely visible by the light of distant stars.

We maintained our course, straight and true, on this bridge between the darkness beyond the universe and the universe itself. We crossed the oceans of dark, pausing at the very threshold of the world to see the first light lift the sky - allowing us, for the first time, to see our goal: Mount Meru, sacred mountain and home of the gods.

But, standing still at that threshold, the chattering demons once more began to gather and vex our souls. We had to press on. So, once more, we set off, striding in the half light, towards our goal. We neared the earthly continents and found a quiet spot to pause and witness the dawn of man, the sky like cold fire above the gods' abode.

In that early morning light we contemplated the beauty of creation, the continents, the central peaks, the majesty, the beauty and grandeur of it all. It awed us. It filled us. It drove us on. But we stood at the western edge, the side of death, and no way to enter the sphere of man's domain. So we passed to the south, navigating around the world, to enter from the East, the morning sun at our backs. And what greater wonders we beheld close up! How beautiful this creation, every man like a legend carved in stone.

I had lost my companion, but onward tread. Past the realm of man to the very foothills of the Mount. Call it what you will - Mt. Meru, Mt. Olympus, Valhalla, heaven... the names are many but, in physical form the imposing, fractal, splendour is pure joy to behold. Peaks upon peaks, each a smaller represention of the larger whole. Enormous, yet infinitely detailed.

I was now alone, but so close. The foothills were steep, like steps for a giant, but I could make it if I tried. So I shouldered my pack and began the climb - daring to go calling on the home of the gods themselves. As I ascended I dared not look down - from heaven to hell is but one unsure footstep - but up I scaled until...

Such splendour.

Corridors and courtyards, open spaces, the central peak. Everywhere I looked were angels, beautiful smiling angels with slim waists and firm flesh, dancing enticingly around. Such beauty, peace and tranquil, meditative, calm. I am in heaven.


Angkor Wat is no less than a representation of the universe itself. It's outer moat the ocean that surrounds the universe. The outer buildings represent the continents and the inner quincunx of towers is Mount Meru - which can be ascended by clambering up giant sized stairs. I have been to many places in the world, but the temples of Angkor are the most breathtaking I have ever seen.

It is enormous - the largest religious structure in the world. It is intricate - every tower adorned by angels, creatures and flowers, every wall carved in bas-relief. It is colourful - different colours at different times of day, as the sun proceeds across the sky. It is symbolic. It is spiritual - despite the crowds of tourists and lack of connection to the religious (Hindu) influence, the complex retains a sense of tranquility and calm.

And then there are the other temples. The eerie, smiling, faces of Bayon. The overgrown mysteries of Beng Mealea and Ta Promh. The intricate, detailed, beauty of Bantea Serai. All beautiful. All worth visiting. Photos cannot do justice, nor can words. I really am in heaven.


At 5:30 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

the Giant stairs!! I rememebr those! I couldnt get down i was so scared! Anyway, yeah it was Heaven, lookiung through your sitte and pictures (S-21 too) makes me so nostalgic, ive only been back 2 weeks ago but im dying to go back! enjoy it

PS: where do you find the time to write????

At 5:19 PM, Blogger Christian said...

I don't believe in sleeping :)

I tend to write in my journal, then copy it up when I get internet access - doesn't take that long. The photos take ages to upload, though!


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