Angkor Wat

Posted by IntoCambodia Team on 12 November 2017
In the Angkorean era, the ancient Khmer Kingdom dominated most of present Southeast Asia from 800 to 1430 AD. The Angkor Complex is the soul of Khmer people (approximately 90% of Cambodia Population). Inside the Angkor-complex area consist of 200 monuments, which spread over an area of 400 square kilometers. There are various Khmer temples were built between the 7th and 13th centuries by Khmer kings when the Khmer civilization was at its height of the extraordinary creativity. The Angkor architecture serves as the evidence of the strong Khmer religious beliefs - Hinduism and Buddhism. And, the most popular temples in the Angkor area are Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Baphuon, Phimeanakas, Ta Keo, Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei, Pré Roup, East Mebon, Kravan, Preah Khan, Neak Poan, Banteay Srey, Rolous Group, etc.
Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is a Hindu temple complex built to replicate the heavens on earth, and it literally means "City Temple". It was originally constructed for King Suryavarman II in the early twelfth century. It is the best-preserved temple and is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundations; first Hindu, dedicated to Vishnu, later Buddhist. The temple is the summarize of the high classical style of Khmer Architecture. This magnificent temple integrates two basic plans of Khmer Temple architecture include the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, relied on early South Indian Hindu architecture. Constructed within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometers (2.2 miles) long with three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next, it is designed to symbolize Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology. At the center of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west and this has scholars divided as to its significance. Furthermore, the temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture.

Another Historical event of Angkor Wat, this temple has been listed and declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO on 14th December 1992 as Angkor Wat-Heritage of Humanity and World Wonder. It is the largest religious monument in the world and is also the representation of the country as a whole as it appeared on Cambodia flags. There are a lot of stories narrated on the walls differently, and the whole temple itself surrounds by water. Nowadays, there has been the collapse of bricks of some, some are forbidden to climb to, and some stairs are replaced (put over) wooden stairs to climb to. In 2014, Khmer New Year (Sangkranta) has been largely celebrating in Siem Reap province near the temple and been called Angkor Sangkranta.

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Reference
- Official Tourist Guide (2010), Ministry of Tourism