According to a stone inscription, Bayon Temple was originally known as “Chey Kiri” (Triumphant Mountain). It represents a grand symbol in the entire Angkor City, projecting an image of Mount Mandara in the middle of the Ocean of Milk. In the scene, angels and demons compete in churning the ocean of milk to extract the immortal water. They struck an agreement under which the water will to become the sole possession whichever party that is able to generate it first. Both sides used the lengthy body of the naga king named Pisokei to tie around a mountain and with it they began stirring the body of the ocean. Visitors can fine this scene carved on the walls at all five entrances into Angkor Thom. In the context of this legend, Bayon, which is located in the middle of Angkor Thom, represents a new city immortal and unshakable after having occupied by the Cham army for four years (1177 – 1181).
Bayon temple is also the sanctuary of Jayabuddhamahanat characterized by the statue of the Naga- roofed Buddha in the middle of the temple. The statue is now being kept at the seven pavilion monastery on the way to Victory Gate of Angkor city. Each guard tower of Bayon Temple features statues of angels and mystical animals that protected the Khmer Empire. Similar sculptures can also be found at Wat Phou, Preah Vihear, and Phnom Chiso. In this context, Bayon Temple represents itself as a divine congregation hall called the “Judgment of the Gods”. One of the main characteristics of this temple is the stone carvings vividly describing the historical events and daily life of the common people during that period.