Decoding Hindu-Buddhist rivalry at Angkor

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25 November 2007 (The Nation) – Anyone who’s visited Angkor will know that the architecture of the famous jungle buildings are remains of ancient Hindu and Buddhist temples. Angkor Wat, for example, was a temple to the god Vishnu, who presides over the sun and the western quadrant of the compass, while the Bayon of Angkor Thom is adorned with the face of Avalokeshwara, the compassionate aspect of Buddha. The latter temple was built by Jayavarman VII, whose reign is considered one of the greatest of Angkor. But was there something more to the transition of the state religion from Hinduism to Buddhism? Angkor scholar Vittorio Roveda thinks so.

Beng Melea, CC photo by Hartford Schmidt
Beng Melea, creative commons photo by Hartford Schmidt.
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