Study tour of the countries within Southeast
Asia, undertaken by a group from Maharshi Adhyatma
University under the guidance of Sadguru Mrs. Anjali Gadgil
Bapun temple built by King Udayadityavarman II of Yashodharpura in 11th century
The land which was referenced as Kambhoj country in Mahabharat, is todays Cambodia! Hindus resided here till 15th century. It is said that Hindu empire by the name Khmer ruled Cambodia from 802 AD till 1421 AD. In reality, Kambhoj region was Sage Koudinya’s area. Also, Kambhoj region was also a region of Nagas. As per references available, the King of Kambhoj had also participated in the war of Mahabharat. Being a region of Nagas, this is also the region of Deity Shiva and it is said that Shrivishnu’s vehicle Garud resides on the Mahendra mountain. Therefore this is also a region of Shrivishnu. This article details few highlights of the study tour conducted by Sadguru Mrs. Anjali Gadgil and 4 student seekers of Maharshi Adhyatma University, in this Kambhoj country, the region of Harihar.
1. 11th century King Udayadityavarman II of Yashodharpura being
a devotee of Deity Shiva, he constructed Shiva temple named Bapun temple
In a short distance from Bayon temple in Angkor Thom area, we come across a pyramid shaped huge temple in ruined form. This is called as Bapun temple. 11th century King of Yashodharpura, Udayadityavarman II was a devotee of Deity Shiva. That is why he built a Shiva temple. Possibly, in those times, this was the main temple of Yashodharpura (see the picture above).
2. Various events from Mahabharat and
Ramayan engraved on the walls of the temple premises
There are 4 gopurs (Monumental gatehouse tower) in all the four directions of the temple. The walls of the 4 gopurs have various events from Mahabharat and Ramayan being carved on them. The wall of the West side gopur has the scene of Deity Shiva giving Pashupatastra to Arjun carved on it. North side gopur has battle between Shriram and Ravan and monkeys and daemons carved on it. The gopur on the East side has various scenes like Prabhu Shriram returning to Ayodhya post slaying of Ravan, Devi Sita entering fire, battle between Kouravs and Pandavs in Kurukshetra and Bhishma pitamah laying on the bed of arrows during the war of Mahabharat. The wall of the gopur in South side has various Divine plays of Shrikrushna carved on it. It also includes scenes of Shrikrushna’s battle with Kansa and his slaying, and slaying of snake Kalia carved on it.
Outside Bapun temple, the Khmer Kings had constructed a huge structure to house elephants. The walls of this structure too has multiple sculptures carved on it. It includes beautiful sculptures of Naga region and its Deities.
-Mr. Vinayak Shanbag