Posts tagged ‘cambodia’

January 26, 2013

Garuda and Naga

at the stupa near the entrance of the Killing Fields

at the stupa near the entrance of the Killing Fields

 

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for legends and mythology.  On my recent trip to Cambodia, I was especially taken by the Garuda and Naga motif that is visible in much of the country’s architecture.  The two creatures have their roots in Hindu mythology.  The Garuda (Sanskrit for “eagle”) is a bird that was the mount of the god Vishnu, while the Naga is a 7-headed hooded serpent (like a cobra) that is thought to be the father of the Khmer people.  The Naga and Garuda are natural enemies.  When they are represented together (often upholding the Buddha), it is a symbol of peace.

The Garuda-Naga motif is often seen on buildings in Cambodia, much like the two images here.  In both instances, the Garuda is supporting the Naga, whose head is spread out in a protective embrace over all that pass beneath it.

in the complex of the Silver Pagoda, next to the grounds of the Royal Palace

in the complex of the Silver Pagoda, next to the grounds of the Royal Palace

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January 20, 2013

The Killing Fields, Cambodia

the stupa built to house the remains of the dead

the stupa built to house the remains of the dead

spirit house, a tradition which predates both Hinduism and Buddhism in Cambodia — meant to provide shelter for spirits who have no place to rest

spirit house, a tradition which predates both Hinduism and Buddhism in Cambodia — meant to provide shelter for spirits who have no place to rest

the Killing Tree - where children were brutally killed

the Killing Tree – where children were brutally killed

skulls in the stupa

skulls in the stupa

the stupa - note the Garuda and the Naga motif

the stupa – note the Garuda and the Naga motif

January 14, 2013

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

IMG_3999 IMG_4011 IMG_4018 IMG_4027 IMG_4032 IMG_4042 IMG_4048 IMG_4049 IMG_4069 IMG_4070

It was a good day.