In this post I’ll describe some Khmer architectural elements with accompanying photos of mostly Angkor Wat. By no means is this an exhaustive list of the complex, religio-structural elements of Angkorian design. These are just some aspects that I found especially compelling.
The Temple Mountain
The most common type of Angkorian temple is the temple mountain. Angkor Wat is the archetype of this style. The basic form of the whole complex is designed to represent Mt. Meru, the mythical mountain where the Hindu gods reside. It’s like the Greek Mt. Olympus, except no one really knows if a Mt. Meru really exists. The temples are usually oriented to the east, and are stunning at daybreak. Each temple has three layers of enclosures, with the inner one the tallest, jutting dramatically upwards.