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The Influence of Hinduism on Cambodian Civil Engineering In Siem Reap and …


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The Influence of Hinduism on Cambodian Civil Engineering In Siem Reap and …

  1. 1. 1CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION1.1. Statement of problem:Even though Hinduism is no longer the state religion in Cambodia nowadays, during thetrip to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh of the country, the manifestation of Hinduism is still veryvaried in these two cities. This manifestation is obvious and practical enough to prove that theimpact of Hinduism still has on Cambodian life nowadays, yet it has been not mentioned muchthroughout the previous articles, most of which were focused on Hindu temples in Angkorcomplex instead.1.2. Statement of purpose:From the problem drawn during the field trip to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in Cambodia,this research is aimed at giving readers a general but clear and systematic view of how Hinduisminfluences Cambodian civil engineering in the two cities.1.3. Significance of study:There has been a great number of Internet articles written about the influence of Hinduismon the great works of architecture in Cambodia such as the temples in Angkor complex.However, there is very little information about how Hinduism influences practically and closelyon Cambodian civil engineering. As a result, the research is made to show in a rather completesystem of how Hinduism has influence on Cambodian civil engineering in Siem Reap andPhnom Penh.
  2. 2. 2CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW2.1. Definition of civil engineering:Generally, civil engineering is the branch of engineering that specializes in the design andconstruction of structures. Specifically, it is the planning and building of things such as roads,bridges, dams, canals and public buildings and is not used for military or religious purposes.Civil engineering takes place on all levels: in the public sector from municipal through tonational governments, and in the private sector from individual homeowners through tointernational companies.2.2. Hinduism in Cambodia:2.2.1. The heart of Hinduism:Hinduism is a collection of religious beliefs that developed slowly over a long period oftime. About 80 percent of Indias population regard themselves as Hindus and 30 million moreHindus live outside of India. There are a total of 900 million Hindus worldwide, makingHinduism the third largest religion (after Christianity and Islam).From time to time, scholars have tried to organize the many popular cults, gods, andtraditions into one grand system of belief. However, Hinduism – unlike religions such asBuddhism, Christianity, or Islam - cannot be traced back to one founder with a single set ofideas. Hinduism is said to have developed based on Brahmin (also called Brahmana), atraditional religion in ancient India for 40,000 years. Hinduism embraces a great diversity ofbeliefs. These Hindu beliefs include: the authority of the Vedas (the oldest Indian sacred texts)and the Brahmans (the priestly class); the existence of an enduring soul that transmigrates fromone body to another at death (reincarnation); and the law of karma (the universal law of causeand effect) that determines one’s destiny both in this life and the next. The Hindu worldview isgrounded in the doctrines of samsara (the cycle of rebirth) and karma, and fundamentally holdsthat ones actions (including ones thoughts) directly determine ones life, both ones current lifeand ones future lives.Like Brahmin, Hinduism divides society into classes include: Brahmins (all priests),Kshatriyas (lords, nobles), Vaisyas (landowners, merchants), and Sùdra (peasants, poor people,slaves). It is believed that a person who is born in which class will be there forever and cannot be
  3. 3. 3changed from this life to the next until he or she reaches the goal of moksha, meaning releasingfrom the cycle of rebirth.Many, but not all, Hindus hold that the cosmos is populated by numerous deities andspiritual beings — gods and goddesses, or devas — who actively influence the world and whointeract with humans. The tradition is typically divided into four major sects: Shaiva (devotees ofthe god Shiva), Vaishnava (devotees of the god Vishnu), Shakta (devotees of the goddess), andSmarta (those who understand the ultimate form of the divine to be abstract and allencompassing, Brahman). Most Hindus worship one or more deities. Hindus have a multitude ofgods and goddesses that symbolize the one abstract Supreme Being or Brahman. The mostfundamental of Hindu deities are the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. But many other godssuch as Ganesha, Krishna, Rama, and goddesses like Lakshmi, Durga, Kali and Saraswati top thepopularity chart with Hindus across the world. Followings are the most important Hindu deitiesand symbols that are worshipped popularly throughout the world.No.Name ofdeity orsymbolDescription Image1 BrahmaAlso called the Creator, Brahmagrew in a lotus out of the navel ofthe sleeping Vishnu. The dailyalternation of light and dark isattributed to the activities ofBrahma.
  4. 4. 42 VishnuThe peace-loving deity of theHindu Trinity, Vishnu is thePreserver or Sustainer of life withhis steadfast principles of order,righteousness and truth.3 ShivaAlso called the Destroyer, Shiva isthe most powerful and fascinatingdeity of Hinduism, who representsdeath and dissolution.4 GaneshaThe son of Shiva and Parvati,Ganesha is depicted having acurved trunk and big ears, and ahuge pot-bellied body of a humanbeing. He is the lord of success anddestroyer of evils and obstacles. Heis worshipped as the god ofknowledge, wisdom, and wealth.
  5. 5. 55 GarudaGaruda is depicted as having thegolden body of a strong man with awhite face, red wings, and aneagle’s beak and with a crown onhis head. This ancient deity is saidto be massive, large enough toblock out the sun.6 RamaRama, the perfect avatar of theSupreme Protector Vishnu, is anall-time favorite among Hindudeities. The most popular symbolof chivalry and virtue, Rama is“the embodiment of truth, ofmorality, the ideal son, the idealhusband, and above all, the idealking." He is widely believed to bean actual historical figure, a "tribalhero of ancient India", whoexploited from the great Hinduepic of Ramayana or The Romanceof Rama.
  6. 6. 67 HanumanHanuman, the mighty ape thataided Lord Rama in his expeditionagainst evil forces, described inRamayana epic, is one of the mostpopular idols in the Hindupantheon. Believed to be an avatarof Lord Shiva, Hanuman isworshipped as a symbol ofphysical strength, perseverance anddevotion. In times of trouble, it is acommon faith among Hindus tochant the name of Hanuman or singhis hymn, "Hanuman Chalisa".8 LakshmiGoddess Lakshmi means "GoodLuck" to Hindus. She is thegoddess of wealth and prosperity,both material and spiritual. She isthe household goddess of mostHindu families, and a favorite ofwomen. Lakshmi is depicted as abeautiful woman of goldencomplexion, with four hands,sitting or standing on a full-bloomed lotus and holding a lotusbud, which stands for beauty,purity and fertility. Sita, a characterappeared in Hindu epic, Ramayana,
  7. 7. 7and a consort of the Hindu GodRama, is an avatar of the goddess,Lakshmi.9 NagaNaga in Hinduism is a serpentking, a mythic multi-headedserpent (five, seven or nine heads),one of the most significantcharacters in Hinduism mythology.Naga is considered nature spirits,protecting bodies of water such asrivers, lakes, seas, springs andwells.10 ApsaraApsara is a beautiful andsupernatural female being, relatedto the Hindu legend as the “elixirof immortality”. She is youthfuland elegant, and superb in the artof dancing.
  8. 8. 811 HayagrivaHayagriva is an avatar of SupremeHindu God Vishnu, who isdepicted having a horse’s head andbody of a human being. He isworshipped as the god ofknowledge and wisdom.12 Mount MeruThe Hindus also use the image ofMount Meru in most of Hindutemples’ design as a ritual way topay their homage to Hindu godsand goddesses. Mount Meru, alsocalled “Sumeru” (excellent Meru),or “Mahameru” (great Meru), is asacred mountain in Hinduism andis considered to be the center of allthe physical, metaphysical andspiritual universes. It is also theabode of Lord Brahma and theDemi-Gods of Hinduism.
  9. 9. 913 ElephantAs a religious symbol, the elephantrepresents royalty, power, wisdom,fertility, longevity and more. Themain use of the elephant in Hinduart is in the representation ofGanesha, the great Hindu god.Therefore, the elephant is highlyfavored in Hinduism. In countriessuch as Laos, Cambodia, andThailand, the elephant is believedto be responsible for watering thefields. Lord Indra, The Rain andStorm God, is sometimes depictedriding on an elephant with alightning bolt on his forehead.In the list above there are gods appearing in ancient Indian epic include Rama, Hanumanand Sita. That is Ramayana. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India, the otherbeing the Mahabharata. Ramayana told the story about Rama, prince of Ayodhya, won the handof the beautiful princess Sita, but was exiled with her and his brother Laksmana for fourteenyears through the plotting of his stepmother. In the forest, Sita was abducted by Ravana, andRama gathered an army of monkeys with the help of the king monkey Hanuman and bear tosearch for her. The allies attacked Lanka, killed Ravana, and rescued Sita. In order to prove herchastity, Sita entered fire, but was vindicated by the gods and restored to her husband. After thecouples triumphant return to Ayodhya, Ramas righteous rule (Ram-raj) inaugurated a goldenage for all mankind.The religious life of many Hindus is focused on devotion to a god or several gods. Thisdevotion usually takes the form of rituals associated with sculptures and images of gods in homeshrines. More philosophically-minded Hindus ignore the gods altogether and seek realization ofthe self through intense meditation. Still others focus primarily on fulfilling the social and moral
  10. 10. 10duties appropriate to their position in life. These various approaches are regarded as equallyvalid, and in fact are formally recognized as three paths (margas) to liberation: bhaktimarga (thepath of devotion), jnanamarga (the path of knowledge or philosophy), and karmamarga (thepath of works and action).Hindu religious practices center on the importance of fulfilling the duties associated bothwith ones social position and ones stage of life. With regard to the latter, traditional Hindus areexpected to pass through four stages (ashramas) over the course of their life: Brahmacharga, which takes place during the school years, is focused on acquiringknowledge and developing character; Grastha, the middle years, is focused on worldly pursuits and pleasures such as marriage,family and career; Vanaprastha, when ones children reach adulthood, is a time of increased focus onspiritual things; and Sanngasu, in the last years of life, one may abandon the world entirely for a life ofcontemplation.All stages of life for the Hindu, however, involve religious rituals and practices. Some ofthe major Hindu practices are Ayurveda (an ancient Hindu system of medicine), Hatha Yoga(practice of meditative movement), Kudalini yoga (a tantric form of yoga), Namaste Greeting(bringing together palms of hands before the heart, and lightly bowing the head), Puja or Pooja (areligious ritual which some Hindus perform every morning after bathing and dressing but prior totaking any food or drink), etc.It has been said that Hindus have a holiday for everyday of the year, but even that may bean understatement. Exactly how many Hindu festivals are celebrated is not known, but onescholar of Hinduism has listed more than a thousand different Hindu festivals. In general, Hindufestivals "are intended to purify, avert malicious influences, renew society, bridge over criticalmoments, and stimulate or resuscitate the vital powers of nature." They include a wide variety ofrituals, including worship, prayer, processions, magical acts, music, dancing, love-making,eating, drinking, and feeding the poor.Major festivals likely to be observed by most Hindus are: Holi: the festival of colors and spring (February-March)
  11. 11. 11 Mahashivaratri (Shiva Ratri): the night sacred to Shiva (February-March) Rama Navami: the birthday of Lord Rama (April) Krishna Jayanti: the birthday of Lord Krishna (July-August) Raksābandhana: the renewing bonds between brothers and sisters (July-August) Kumbh Mela: the pilgrimage every 12 years to four cities in India (July-August; last onein 2003) Ganesha-Chaturthi (Ganesha Utsava): the festival of Ganesh (August-September) Dassera: the victory of Rama over the demon king Ravana (September-October) Navaratri: the festival of Shakti (in Bengal) or Ramas victory over Ravana (South India)(September-October) Diwali: the festival of lights and Laksmi (September-October)2.2.2. The development of Hinduism in Cambodia:Archaeological data has revealed that the area now called, “Cambodia”, was inhabited byhuman beings at least 40,000 years ago. Cities developed along the coast in the centuries beforeand after the birth of Christ. Traders from India, increasingly adventurous as seafarers from the1st century AD, carry Hinduism through south-east Asia. On the mainland (Burma, Cambodiaand the southern part of Vietnam) and in the islands (Sumatra and Java), Hindu kingdoms wereestablished. According to Cambodian history, the first Hindu kingdom was established calledFunan. Funan gained more advantage in development than its neighbor Chenla in the north ofCambodia. However, Funan met a great depression and lost its territory to Chenla in the 6thcentury which marked the initiation of the pre-Angkor period. Isnavarman I, the last king ofChenla, gave order to build many Hindu temples, one of them was Sambo Prei Kuk, nearKampong Thom province nowadays.In 802 AD, the king Jayavarman II initiated the glow of Angkorian monarch, showed hisauthority by taking linga as the royal object of worship, and clearly implied his ideal of universallord. He renamed capital Rolous to Hariharalaya to pay homage to Shiva and Vishnu, two of thethree Trinity Gods of Hinduism.In later centuries impressive Hindu temples are built such as Preah Kor, East Lake Baray,and Phnom Bakheng. After the capital was moved from Rolous to Angkor, the Khmer dynastygot its breakthroughs about territory, politics, and economy. The Khmer royal built many great
  12. 12. 12Hindu temples included Ta Keo, Banteay Srey, Baphuon, and West Lake Baray. The zenith ofHinduism, however, was actually marked by the legendary king Suryavarman II in 12thcentury.He gave order to build the greatest Hindu temple Angkor Wat, and some other temples likeThommanon, Beoung Melea, and Banteay Samre.After the king Tribhuvanadityavarman took the crown, the Khmer dynasty fell into hole ofdepression. In 1177, Tribhuvanadityavarman was killed by the Chenla and the Khmer kingdomwas under the reign of the Chenla for four years until the legendary king Jayavarman VIIdefeated the Chenla in 1181. Nevertheless, it was then putting an end to Hinduism as the kingJayavarman VII took Mahayana Buddhism as state religion. He was known as the king ofbuilding temples. The campaign to build the temples was unprecedented and carried out atbreakneck speed. Hundreds of temples were built in period of nearly forty years included Bayon,Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei, Preah Khan and other great temples. Campaign ofbuilding temples was stopped as the king Jayavarman VII died in 1220.Hinduism had chance to stand in Cambodia during the reign of the king Jayavarman VIII.However, when the king Jayavarman VIII died, Theravada Buddhism was introduced intoCambodia, and has become the state religion of Cambodia until these days.2.2.3. The decussating of Hinduism and Theravada Buddhism in Cambodia:After having the fundamental knowledge about Hinduism in Cambodia, one should noticethat there is some decussating between Hinduism and Theravada Buddhism in the country. Theproblem is whether the deities such as Brahma, Naga, Apsara or Garuda belong to Hinduism orTheravada Buddhism, for the fact that they have appeared in the texts of both religions.In the original Buddhism, Dharma, there is no support for the veneration to gods or deities.Buddha advocates the idea that god or deity cannot help human beings overcome their pains andsufferings. Human beings have to use their own human mind in order to get rid of their problems(Daniels, 2005). However, Theravada Buddhism and the other schools of Buddhism weredeveloped after Buddha had passed away, and were influenced by the cultures and traditions ofthe countries they were through (Rahula, 1996).In Cambodian Theravada Buddhism, there appear some Hindu deities such as Brahma,Naga, Apsara, and Garuda. The reason why for the decussating is that its doctrine is said to betoo strict to practice (Ratanak, 2): Buddhists have to gain the enlightenment by meditation,
  13. 13. 13without any help from god in Christianity, Judaism and Islam or Bodhisattavas1in MahayanaBuddhism (BBC, 2002). As a result, the religion was decided to intermingle with Hinduism tobecome a more syncretic religion in Cambodia (Ratanak, 2).The deities such as Brahma, Naga, Apsara or Garuda can be concluded to be of eitherCambodian Theravada Buddhism or Hinduism for the decussating of the two religions. Thistime, however, the research simply focuses on the origin of the deities – Hinduism, rather thanconsider what and how they appear in Theravada Buddhism texts.1. Bodhisattvas: the ones who appear in Mahayana Buddhism and are said to haveachieved all the doctrine of Buddhism but intentionally not gone for the state of Nibbana2inorder to help many people get rid of sufferings in this world.2. Nibbana: the transcendent and singularly ineffable freedom that stands as the final goalof all the Buddhas teachings2.3. Related articles:The following articles were searched and chosen to read from the Internet with the purposeof seeing how Hinduism still has a certain influence on Cambodian life.In the entry titled, “Culture”, of the blog “Cambodian Association of Ottawa-Valley”, theauthor believes that Cambodian architecture drew inspiration from religion and mythicalcreatures from Hinduism and Buddhism. Temples were built in accordance to the rule of theancient Khmer architecture, dictating that a basic temple layout included a central shrine, acourtyard, an enclosing wall and a moat. Nowadays, the remains of Cambodia architecture underthe Khmer empire from the 9thto the 15thcentury are persevered in many buildings of theAngkor temples. In any study of Angkor architecture, the emphasis is necessarily on religiousarchitecture. The religious architecture of Angkor has characteristic structures, elements, andmotifs which belong to the glorious period of Hinduism.The article, “Cambodia: Religions and Culture”, by Dom Vannak describes that Hindubelief has started to have its influences on Cambodian life since the 1stcentury of Cambodianhistory. Even though it was not the first religion in Cambodia, it has captured the Cambodianminds and made them strongly and faithfully believe in and practice it. One of the reasonexplaining for its strong influences is that Hinduism shares some similarities with the formerreligion in Cambodian history. Because Hinduism has a certain position in Cambodian life, many
  14. 14. 14beautiful and amazing stone temples that were built for worshiping the religion can be easilyfound in Cambodia.In another article of “The Lost Hindu Empire of Cambodia” by Dr. Neria H. Hebbar, it isdescribed that Hindu population of Cambodia is not even measurable. Despite the fact that themajority in Cambodia follows Buddhism, a unique pot-pourri of Buddhism is currently practiced.The Cambodians still pay their obeisance to Hindu gods Vishnu and Shiva as well as worshipBuddha.With the subject, “Architecture”, on the website, “Windows on Asia”, it talks about theCambodian architecture that has evolved from Neolithic and Bronze Age (2300 BCE – 400 CE),Iron Age (150 – 550 CE), Pre-Angkorian Civilization (550 – 880 CE), the civilization of Angkor(800 – 1430 CE), the time under control of Thais (1431 – 1887 CE), the Colonial and Post-Colonial Periods (1887 – present day). The article pays a great attention to Cambodianarchitecture of the past, most of which are Hindu temples, and it also mentions about the Thaiand French influence on Cambodian style of architecture from 1431 until nowadays.Finally, another entry of “Cambodian Best Architecture” by Dom Vannak talks about thebest architecture in Cambodia that have a certain Hindu influence, including the Angkorcomplex, pagodas and stupas, creative Cambodian buildings, and finally Bonteay Srei stonetemple.What can be seen from the articles is that they have been written to recall the remains ofsome big works of Hindu architecture, such as Hindu temples in Angkor complex, which provesthat Hinduism still has a certain influence on Cambodian life. However, these works areconstructed from the past, so it is wondered whether Hindu elements really exists in Cambodiancivil engineering nowadays. Only the entry, “Cambodian Best Architecture”, by Dom Vannakdoes mention about the influence of Hinduism on Cambodian pagodas and stupas of today butdoes not give much detailed information on how the ancient religion has influence on those typesof civil engineering. From this flaw, it leads to a research done on how Hinduism has influenceon Cambodian civil engineering, particularly in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh which the grouphad a chance to travel during the field trip to Cambodia.
  15. 15. 15CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY3.1. Research question:How does Hinduism have influence on Cambodian civil engineering in Siem Reap andPhnom Penh?3.2. Methodology:3.2.1. Observation:Using observation as a method in order to study about the influence of Hinduism on civilengineering in Cambodia is an easiest way to do for this topic.The first type of observation is through the field trip to Cambodia. On the way from MocBai Border Gate to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, the two sides of the National Highway No.6 is agood opportunity to observe the Hindu influence on civil engineering in Cambodia. The researchmainly focuses on two main cities, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. During the days staying andtraveling in the two cities, the group realize that there are various clear influences of Hinduismon civil engineering such as temples, houses, bridges, schools, hotels and so on.3.2.2. Library research:The group collected some books and articles related to the topic which includes “21stcentury Cambodia – View and Vision” by Wim Swann, “Cambodia: Religions and Culture” and“Cambodian Best Architecture” by Dom Vannak, “The Lost Hindu Empire of Cambodia” byDr. Neria H. Hebbar and many other articles on the Internet. Besides, the group also collectedphotographs from the four-day field trip in Cambodia.3.3. Delimitations:First, the time to gather information and to take pictures for the research was limited. Thegroup had only four days in Cambodia, most of which was spent on shuttle bus to travel fromVietnam to Siem Reap, Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, and Phnom Penh back to Vietnam.Second, the sites to visit were in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, not the whole Cambodia.Therefore, the pictures were taken only in these two places. Siem Reap is the tourist city andPhnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia, so these places are supposed to reflect Cambodianculture and traditions. Therefore, in spite of the fact that the research is just done on the twocities, the result of it is rather trustworthy.
  16. 16. 16CHAPTER 4: FINDINGS4.1. SIEM REAP:4.1.1. Angkor Mondial restaurant:Located on Por Kambor Street, corner of Wat Bo Bridge, Siem Reap, Angkor Mondial isknown as a Buffet, Khmer, Asian, Western & International food restaurant. It is a three storeyrestaurant which is very modern in decoration and style, yet remains many traditional valuesrelated to Hinduism through the way it is decorated with deities like Brahma or Apsara.In Angkor Mondial restaurant, the head of Hindu deity, Brahma with four directional facesis found.4.1.2. Hotels:4.1.2.a. Dara Reang Sey hotel:Located on National Road No.6, Phum Chong Caochu, Khum Slor Kram, Siem Reap, DaraReang Sey Hotel is famous for its spacious rooms with wireless Internet, modernaccommodations, an outdoor swimming pool, a therapy center or spa with relaxing treatmentssuch as traditional Khmer body massage, oil massage, or foot massage. Moreover, its location isThe head of Brahma in Angkor Mondial restaurant
  17. 17. 17convenient for accessing to the nearby bus station.In Dara Reang Sey hotel, the images of Shiva, a sacred deity in Hinduism are found onboth sides of the doorway and the images of Naga are found on the roof.4.1.2.b Sofitel hotel:Built at Musée dAngkor, Charles De Gaulle, Siem Reap in 2000, Sofitel Hotel is situatedclose to the magnificent Angkor Wat World Heritage Site and just minutes away from thecharming French Quarter, the banks of Siem Reap River, and the airport. Set in tranquil lushtropical gardens, lakes and pavilions, Sofitel Phokeethra Angkor Hotel Siem Reap can takeThe statues of Shiva on the right and the left of the doorway and Naga onthe roof of Dara Reang Sey hotel
  18. 18. 18advantage of the many hotel faciliies at Sofitel Phokeethra Angkor Hotel which include fivedifferent dining venues, bar, English-style pub, and large free-size swimming pool.In Sofitel hotel, the statue of Brahma with four directional faces and four hands as well asthe statue of Hayagriva, which is Vishnu in the form of a horse, are constructed in the garden ofthe hotel. Moreover, one of the significant scenes in Ramayana epic where Sita was rescued byHanuman is also depicted in the garden of the hotel.The statue of Brahma in Sofitel hotelThe statue of Hayagriva in Sofitel hotel
  19. 19. 194.1.3. Les Artisans D’Angkor workshop:It is located on Thmey Street, Siem Reap. Established in 1998 under the sponsorship ofNational Cambodian Institution, the European Union and the French Foreign Ministry, it isknown as an organization that helps to preserve Khmer Arts and Crafts as well as create jobs formore than 700 people in the rural area.In front of the workshop, there stand two small-sized statues of elephant to welcome all theguests to visit the workshop.One of the scene of Ramanaya epic where Sita was rescued by Hanuman depictedin Sofitel hotel
  20. 20. 204.1.4. Cambodian Cultural village:Cambodian Cultural Village situated in Siem Reap province along the road No.6 distanced3 km from International Siem Reap Airport and 10 Km Angkor Wat temple the world heritagewith 210.000 square meter complexes. The construction of Cambodian Cultural Village startedon the half of 2001 and officially grand open on the 1st January 2004. The following pictures arethe demonstration of Hinduism is still existed in up to date civil engineering.The landscape of Cambodian Cultural village becomes more traditional and holy whendecorated with the statue of Garuda and the statue of Naga.The statues of elephants in the architecture of Les Artisans D’Angkor
  21. 21. 21The statue of Garuda in Cambodian Cultural villageThe statue of Naga in Cambodian Cultural village
  22. 22. 224.2. PHNOM PENH:4.2.1. The National Museum:The National Museum was established in the 1920s and it is Cambodia’s largest museumof cultural history as well as a place that keeps the Arts and Archaeology of the Cambodian.With the collections of sculptural, ceramics, bronzes, and ethnographic objects, it is consideredas one of the world’s largest collections of Khmer Arts.In the National Museum, there are the images of Garuda on the four pillars of the placeworshiping Sdach Yumareach, the Hades king in Cambodia. Besides, the panorama of themuseum is seen with the images of Mount Meru and Naga.Garuda (yellow circled) on the roof of the National Museum
  23. 23. 234.2.2. Buddhist temples:4.2.2.a. Wat Preah Morakat temple:The construction Wat Preah Morakat temple was started in 1892 and finished in 1902.Naga at the entrance of the National MuseumMount Meru in the architecture of the National Museum
  24. 24. 24Later, it was removed and reconstructed in 1962. This architecture is a temple of history andconsidered to be one of the most important temples in Phnom Penh. It is sacred and attracts manypilgrims from all over the country.In Wat Preah Morakat temple, the images of Garuda are constructed on the top of everypillar where it and the roof meet.4.2.2.b. Wat Phnom temple:Wat Phnom is a Buddhist temple located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Built in 1373 (rebuiltin 1434, 1806, 1894 and 1926), and stands 27 meters (88.5 feet) above the ground. It is the tallestreligious structure in the city.Naga, one of the most popular Hindu deities in Cambodia, can be found right away at theboth sides of the stairway leading to Wat Phnom temple.Garuda on the corners of the roof and the pillars of the Wat Preah Moraka temple
  25. 25. 254.2.3. Hotels:4.2.3.a. Nagaworld hotel:Nagaworld is a luxurious 5 star Hotel located in the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.Built in 1995, Nagaworld is a multi storey hotel with eight-storey wing dedicated toentertainment, public gaming halls, gambling machines, karaoke lounges and more than 500deluxe rooms with spa and modern accommodations. Its name was derived from a majesticHindu seven-headed dragon “Naga.”When visiting Nagaworld hotel, one can recognize the statue of the Hindu deity, Brahmawith four faces facing the stage in the hotel. What is more, a picture of the Hindu faires, Apsaraand the bird-man deity, Garuda are also found hung on the wall of the hotel.Naga on the main stairway leading to Wat Phnom temple
  26. 26. 26The head of Brahma in Nagaworld hotel
  27. 27. 274.2.3.b. Asia hotel:It is easy to find the image of Hindu deity – Apsara on the entryway to Asia Hotel locatedin No.170 Monivong, Phsar Thmey, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This is a 3 star hotel with modernaccommodations such as spa, gym, sauna, or swimming practice.In Asia hotel, one statue of Hindu fairies, Apsara is put at the middle of the reception.Apsara and Garuda painted on the wall of Nagaworld hotel
  28. 28. 284.2.4. Memorial stupas:4.2.4.a. Memorial stupa in the killing field, Choeung Ek:Located in the South West of Phnom Penh centre, Choeung Ek is known as one of the siteswhere the Khmer Rouge executed millions of people under Pol Pot regime. This memorial stupacontains more than 5000 human skulls.The images of Garuda are also found right under the roof of the memorial stupa in thekilling field, Choeung Ek.Apsara (red circle) in the reception of Asia hotel
  29. 29. 294.2.4.b. The stupa of Princess Kantha Bopha:The stupa of Princess Kantha Bopha is at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.Kantha Bopha was King Sihanouk’s late daughter and she died from leukemia at the age of fourin 1952.Garuda (red circle) on the roof of the memorial stupa in the killing field, Choeung Ek
  30. 30. 30When visiting Royal Palace, the group had a chance to see the stupa of Princess KanthaBopha that is decorated with many images of Naga on the roof of the structure.Naga on on the roof of the stupa of Princess Kantha Bopha
  31. 31. 31CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONUp until nowadays, Hinduism still has its strong influence on the civil engineering inCambodia. As a matter of fact, during the visit in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh of Cambodia, thedecoration in civil engineering still uses a lot of images of Hindu deities which include Brahma,Naga, Garuda, Vishnu or Apsara. The reason behind this manifestation could be explained by theunique religion in Cambodia. As mentioned before, Cambodia is the country whose state religionis Buddhism, and Theravada Buddhism to be exact. And there is a decussating betweenHinduism and Theravada Buddhism in the country. Therefore, the images of these deities are stillwidely used in Cambodian civil engineering in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.What can be expected in the future is that the influence of Hinduism in every aspect ofCambodian will be never gone. Hinduism would not be forgotten since it is already a part of theCambodian history and it is in every Cambodian’s mind.
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