Travels in the central parts of Indo-China Vol.2 by Mouhot Henri and Mouhot Charles

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Extract:
“Within the enclosure of Ongcor Thôm, and two miles from the west gate, are to be seen through the trees the tops of the high towers of a building called by the Cambodians “Prea sat Ling poun,” that is to say, “The Pagoda where they play hide and seek.” It is a collection of 37 towers of unequal size, connected by galleries which cross each other perpetually, and form a labyrinth through which it is not easy to find one’s way. A long shallow ditch, crossed by four roads leading to the principal entrances, surrounds it on all sides. Beyond the ditch rises the wall of a gallery, of which the exterior colonnades and the roof are only a mass of ruins, over which you must climb to reach the interior. This wall is still[3] intact: it is about 120 metres long, and forms a square round the pagoda. About 1 metre from the ground are visible, in places where the blocks fallen from the roof have not hidden everything, various bas-reliefs carved in the thickness of the wall: they are not surmounted by cornices as at Ongcor-Wat, by which it would seem as if they had never been finished. Besides the four principal entrances there were other doors at unequal distances in this gallery, but singularly enough many of them have been walled up. The gallery was connected with the main body of the building by four smaller ones opposite each of the great doors, and forming a covered way to the interior; but all these galleries are destroyed. The second enclosure is 65 metres square, and each front is composed of five towers, connected by galleries. The central and corner towers are the largest: they are about 13 metres high. High galleries connect the centre tower with the intermediate ones, which again are connected with those at the corners by galleries of a less elevation. On each side are seven staircases, of six steps each, and leading either to towers or galleries: these galleries are covered by a triple roof: a central one 7 metres high, resting on an outer wall, and on columns 2 metres in height; an exterior roof on a double row of columns; and a third resting on a very low wall, pierced with numerous large windows looking on to a narrow interior court.
On the exterior of the wall, which on one side sustains[4] the high roof, are a series of bas-reliefs, surrounding the whole gallery. They are sculptured in the thickness of the wall, and are curious from the scenes and costumes they represent. These scenes are drawn more from the sacred books of the people than from their history; for men with ten heads and twenty arms, fantastic animals, griffins and dragons, are favourite subjects. The men all wear the langouti, and often nothing beside, and have the ears pierced and hanging on their shoulders: many have long beards.
In the vestibules of the towers, and in the high galleries near them, are kings and queens seated on a rich dais, with a numerous court, and surrounded by persons carrying parasols, fans, standards, and caskets: there are likewise many musicians with drums, flutes, and harps.
In the galleries are represented several boats’ crews fighting; while underneath are fishes disputing for the bodies of the slain. There are also in the same galleries persons in attitudes of adoration, with clasped hands, before a figure of Samonakodom. In another part is a long procession: the king is in a large open carriage, divided into three compartments, he being in the centre one, and his wives in the two others. This carriage has six wheels and two shafts, which rest on the shoulders of eight men. The chiefs are mounted on elephants or horses, or seated in carriages drawn by four led horses, and by their side march a numerous company bearing standards, parasols, and caskets.” ”

 

Book Details
Title: Travels in the central parts of Indo-China (Siam), Cambodia, and Laos during the years 1858, 1859, and 1860 Volume v.2
Author: Mouhot Henri 1826-1861 and Mouhot Charles
ISBN-10: 1297534360 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 1172084904 Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1297534362 Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1172084906 Paperback
Publisher: Andesite Press
Length: 338 pages
Language: English
Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.2 x 0.80 inches - Hardcover
Weight: 1.4 pounds -Hardcover
Dimensions: 7.4 x 9.7 x 0.70 inches Paperback
Weight: 1.3 pounds - Paperback

 

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