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Photographer's Note

I am trying to rediscover my Angkor pictures....

Beautiful pictures of Angkor are a plenty, so are pictures of Buddhist monks in Angkor. These men in saffron has a certain type of magnetic effect on a photographer, perhaps it’s the colour of their robe/dress, often in deeper shades of saffron or even orange....perhaps it is their simple lifestyle and the calmness they personify. Whatever the reason, the camera lens and the photographer’s eye falls in love with these men not only in Angkor but everywhere in SE Asia.

There are so many delightful pictures in this site itself which feature the men in saffron....a few of them have been deeply etched in my memory & I yearned, fascinated as I was, to take photographs like these, before I started for Cambodia. Indeed the monks in their saffron/orange robes offer a touch of colour in the backdrop of the grey stone monument.. As my luck would have it, there were hardly any monks to be sighted in Angkor during that time of the day (when yours truly was there), at least in close proximity. Or is it that I simply do not have the eye to spot them in the ‘correct’ places? Whatever be it, all my hopes of taking ‘pictures of my dreams’ vanished....well almost. I had to satisfy myself with some distant takes…This is one such photograph, my take (albeit a distant one) of the monks; their orange clothes ensure that nobody has to ‘search’ for them in this picture :-)

Resting monks, quenching their thirst, with the three proud ‘disinterested’ stone lions ‘looking the other way’ ;-)

The picture looks almost B&W barring the green of the grass & of course my ‘subjects’.

Angkor Wat has become a major tourist destination: attendance figures for the temple are not published, but in 2004 the country received just over a million international arrivals, of whom, according to the Ministry of Tourism, 57% planned to visit the temple. The influx of tourists has so far caused relatively little damage, other than some graffiti; ropes and wooden steps have been introduced to protect the bas-reliefs and floors, respectively. Tourism has also provided some additional funds for maintenance—approximately 28% of ticket revenues across the whole Angkor site are spent on the temples—although most work is carried out by foreign government-sponsored teams rather than by the Cambodian authorities.

Much of the history of the "Lost city" of Angkor is still a mystery, but Angkor has entered the "Coca Cola" and "Kodak" age, and as Cambodia is becoming more developed, the mystical atmosphere at Angkor will disappear.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7750 W: 324 N: 15590] (54973)
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