South Gate, Angkor Thom. 2/11/2007
Angkor Thom or "Great City", measuring about 900 hectares, is said to be one of the largest cities in its heyday (from the 12th to the 17th century). It was built by Jayavarman VII, the most prolific Khmer god-king known for building some of the most magnificent temples in all of Angkor. One reaches the South gate through a causeway flanked by 54 gods on the left, and 54 asuras (demons) on the right, each row tugging on an end of a great naga (a multi-headed snake), depicting a scene from the great Hindu creation myth of the Churning of the Sea of Milk. On top of the 75-foot gate is a tower with four faces representing each of the cardinal directions.