Towers with Smiling Faces
The image shows towers carved with smiling faces situated on the upper-level of Bayon, a mysterious Buddhist temple located at the exact center of Angkor Thom. Commissioned by King Jayavarman VII, Bayon was built as his state temple in the late 12th century inside the capital city of Angkor Thom, which he founded.
The upper terrace of Bayon has several towers carved with the giant smiling faces similar to the ones shown in the image. Some of the towers have four faces, each in a cardinal direction.
The purpose of these towers is still a big mystery. There are many theories floating around to explain as to why they were constructed and whom they represent. According to one theory, the faces represent Avalokitesvara, a Bodhisattva who embodies the values of Buddha. Another theory suggests the faces represent King Jayavarman VII himself who attained the title of Avalokitesvara.
Copyright © 2018 – 2019 by Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.