Thursday, November 29, 2012

2012, Day 333 - Light at the end

Tonight I share an image from our tomb raiding at Beng Mealea.  At seventy seven kilometers from Siem Reap it may be one of the temples furthest from the heart of the Angkor complex but it is now well visited.  It is only second in size to Angkor Wat and combines Hindu and Buddhist iconography in the carvings.  The construction of this temple is a bit different from many of the others, the overbuilding that was so common is lacking here as was observed by Araceli, an engineer and one of my traveling companions.  The result is that the jungle's attack of this structure has been more devastating than at the other jungle temples.

Below you can see one of the few intact hallways.  We had to slither down through rubble and squeeze past an obstructed but intact doorway to get to this section.  A tree's roots have broken through at the corner of the hall but it hasn't yet demolished the structure.  In time it would no doubt reduce this area to match the rest of the grounds but with careful tending it will be allowed to thrive in harmony with what is left of the temple.

If you were able to look through the window on the left you would find a small courtyard.  Inside there are a couple of trees and surrounding those trees are large sandstone blocks that have been ripped from adjacent rooms and hallways.  A thin carpet of lush green moss covers the stones and small flowering plants have taken root in the meager accumulated soil.

Canon 1D X, Canon 16-35/f2.8L Mark II
16mm, f5.6, HDR layers of 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, and 4 sec @ 400 ISO

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