Outer Bass Reliefs in Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, Cambodia. 6

For a lot of tourists, a visit to Cambodia begins and ends with Angkor Wat. But barely a few kilometres from it is the 12th century capital town of the Khmers guarded by tall towers with massive faces. And Bayon temple, built around the 13th century by King Jayavarman V11 lies at the centre of the town .


Bayon face towers, Bayon Angkor Thom Cambodia, Bayon temple

Faces of Bayon

A plethora of towers, almost 40 of them with carved faces gape at you as I realize that they are arranged in a staggering manner to form a stone mountain with smaller peaks.  But while the faces dominate the temple design, it is the outer bass reliefs on the walls of Bayon temple that catches my attention.

Bayon bass relief, war between Khmers and Chams, Bayon Angkor Thom Cambodia , Bayon temple

The war between Khmers and Chams

The outer bass reliefs in Bayon temple depict several themes – but one of them is recurring – the battles between Khmers and their traditional enemies the Chams.

Bass relief carvings Bayon Angkor Thom, battle between Khmers and Chams, Angkor Thom, Cambodia

Khmers defeating the Chams

Bass relief Bayon Angor Thom, battle between Khmers and Chams, Ton le Sap, Cambodia

War ships on the Ton le Sap

You can see these battles fought on land as well as water ,especially the war ships are seen on the Ton Le Sap lake.

Battle between Khmers and Chams, Bass relief Bayon sculpture, Angkor Thom Cambodia

War ships on the Ton le Sap


Bass relief Bayon Angkor Thom Cambodia, battle between Khmers and Chams

A boat or a warship on the Ton le sap

Another recurring theme in these outer bass reliefs in Bayon Temple is the social life of the Khmers – from market scenes to cooking, to women playing with children, one can see vignettes carved on these walls.

Bass reliefs Bayon Angkor thom

Woman playing with children

Bass reliefs Bayon Angkor Thom, Khmer social life

Vignettes of Khmer lifestyle


Khmer social life, Bass relief bayon angkor thom cambodia

A cockfight and a market scene

Bass relief carvings in Bayon, Cambodia

Bass relief sculptures in Bayon

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