“”Passing, we ascend a platform…and enter the temple itself through a columned portico, the facade of which is beautifully carved in basso-relievo with ancient mythological subjects. From this doorway, on either side, runs a corridor with a double row of columns, cut – base and capital – from single blocks, with a double, oval-shaped roof, covered with carving and consecutive sculptures upon the outer wall.
This gallery of sculptures, which forms the exterior of the temple, consists of over half a mile of continuous pictures, cut in basso-relievo upon sandstone slabs six feet in width, and represents subjects taken from Hindu mythology, from the Ramayana – the Sanscrit epic poem of India, with its 25,000 verses describing the exploits of the god Rama, and the son of the King of Oudh. The contests of the King of Ceylon, and Hanouma, the monkey-god, are graphically represented.
There is no keystone used in the arch of this corridor. On the walls are sculptured the immense number of 100,000 separate figures. One picture from the Ramayana…occupies 240 feet of the wall. In the Nagkon-Wat as many as 1,532 solid columns have been counted, and among the entire ruins of Angkor…the immense number of 6,000, almost all of them hewn from single blocks and artistically carved.”
But who built Nagkon-Wat? And when was it built? Learned men have attempted to form opinions from studies of its construction, and especially ornamentation”, and have failed. “Native Cambodian historians”, adds Vincent, “reckon 2,400 from the building of the temple. I asked one of them how long Nagkon-Wat had been built. ‘None can tell when. I do not know; it must have either spring up from the ground or been built by giants, or perhaps by the angels’…was the answer.””
H. P. Blavatsky