Millennium Post

History through the lens

The exhibition will include approximately 50 works depicting the architectural marvel of these temples which were inspired by the Chola and Pallava architecture of Southern India from  sixth Century A.D. to fourteenth  Century A.D.

The exhibition will be held at the Visual Art Gallery, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, in the Capital from January 21 to 24.

The exhibition is in line with Look East Policy of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, and aims at improving awareness about our South-Eastern neighbours, thereby building a strong bond with them. 

Located in North-western Cambodia, Angkor, the capital of the ancient Khmer Empire was founded around the ninth Century AD by King Jayavarman II. The city reached its peak of glory in the twelfth century under Kings Suryavarman II and Jayavarman VII.

The compound at Angkor Wat covers an area of 1,500 by 1,300 m and is surrounded by a vast moat 180 m wide. Along the causeway leading to the enormous entrance gate are balustrades shaped as giant serpents, which are believed to represent emblems of cosmic fertility. The temple consists of a towering complex of terraces and small buildings that are arranged in a series of three diminishing stories and surmounted by five towers. These towers are believed to represent the five peaks of Mount Meru, the home of Gods and the center of the Hindu Universe. The roofed and unroofed structures are covered with bands of finely carved stone sculptures.

With the decline of the Khmer Empire, Angkor Wat vegetated for several centuries only to be rediscovered by the French in the latter half of the nineteenth century. In 1992, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee declared the monument, and the whole city of Angkor, a World Heritage Site.

Highlights of ASI’s restoration work at Angkor Vat included the SamudraManthan gallery, entrance porches, libraries and moat embankment and southwest corner pavilion of the third enclosure and chemical treatment. With the successful completion of its assignment by the ASI, history had taken a full circle. What the Indian genius had helped to found over a period of ten centuries from the fourth to the fourteenth in Cambodia, it was able to restore when the structure was about to crumble.

Somesh Goyal is an IPS officer of 1984 batch allocated to Himachal Pradesh. He post graduated in English  Literature from Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak and taught the same at Vaish College, Rohtak before joining the Indian Police Service. He is a trained Commando and has worked with the Black Cats. He has also worked in and trained Special Protection Group responsible for security of Prime Minister of India. He has remained on deputation with Border Security Force and served in Kashmir and West Bengal as DIG and Inspector General. For efficient border management, Goyal was given the Maharana Pratap Best Border Management Trophy in 2007.

Somesh Goyal has pursued photography as a hobby for over three decades. His photo features have been published in all the leading national dailies. His interest was generally confined to nature and landscapes.
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