Angkor Wat (Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត) is the largest Hindu temple complex in the world, situated at Angkor, Cambodia, built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.
Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early South Indian Hindu architecture, with key features such as the Jagati. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs, and for the numerous devatas adorning its walls.
The modern name, Angkor Wat, means “City Temple”; Angkor is a vernacular form of the word nokor (នគរ), which comes from the Sanskrit word nagar (नगर). Wat is the Khmer form of the Pali word “vatthu”, meaning “temple grounds”. Prior to this time the temple was known as Preah Pisnulok (Vara Vishnuloka in Sanskrit), after the posthumous title of its founder. (Courtesy of Wikipedia).
John and I dedicated our 3rd day in Siem Reap to visiting Angkor Wat, the main attraction of the Angkor Archaelogical Park.
Let me walk you through the temples of Angkor …
I was so amazed with the intricate carvings on the wall. Imagine, how many people worked on this. And how long they did this… And for these carvings to stand the test of time. Amazing right?
We look so small compared to the huge temple. 🙂
After a tiring walk… 🙂
It was cloudy , wet due to the rain and humid when we were there. But I didn’t mind it all because the place looks so magnificent. I felt like I was transported to the past. More than that, I was so happy that I was given the chance to enjoy this historic place in my lifetime…