Angkor – 24th June 1866


When working in the pagoda, I was surprised a few times by one of those heavy downpours which occur daily during the rainy season and which swiftly become a storm. Barely in the shelter of the closest gallery than I hear the wind rushing through the monument with the noise of thunder resounding and all the echoes in this old building, suddenly woken up, rumbling and moaning dully. The flashing lightning illuminates the entire temple with an immense and sinister glimmer and displays its towers still proudly braving the rage of the elements. 

Little by little the wind recedes, the rains continue their slow work of destruction alone and, through the openings of the archways, it falls in streams pressed along the columns of moss. All the noises from outside are absorbed by the immense murmuring which is formed by the waterfalls which from archway to archway, from gallery to gallery, from terrace to terrace, come to fall in torrents in the interior courtyards.

The rain has stopped, the rustling of the water diminishes, becomes silent and dies. By intervals, one hears only the silvery dripping of large drops of water which makes the gallery resound loudly. Some frightened bats bump into each other under the archways. in the end, the silence re-establishes itself completely. The sun reappears, the song of the birds, interrupted for some moments, begins again, the ring doves call each other, cooing from the heights of the towers.

Garnier, Vol. 1: 23

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