Magnificent Angkor Wat – Cambodia

Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia, Cambodia is a country in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula.  It is a country with a Buddhist faith. Though small in size the country is known for world’s biggest religious monument known as Angkor Wat and other related places and monuments.Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is a declared UNESCO World Heritage site because of its excellent architecture.   This is huge temple complex built more than 900 years ago. This temple was dedicated to Hindu deity Lord Vishnu. Hence it was built as a Hindu Temple but in the current day it is a Buddhist Temple.  There was a series of temples but in the present day only one such temple is remaining. It was built by Khmer King Suryavarman 2 and the temple is symbolized on the Cambodian National Flag. Tough the temple was built as a Hindu Temple in 12th century but in the late 13th century it moved to be Buddhist. Famous traveler Henri Mouhot from West described Angkor Wat as impossible to describe with pen and said that it was tough to believe that Khmers built such a great monument that it gave complex to even the best Roman architecture. The architecture is completely of Khmer style and is built with sandstone blocks.  During the 20th century there was a civil war in Cambodia and many of the statues were stolen or destroyed. Western scholars and architects conclude that the temple was built to be served as Funerary temple rather than a normal temple.

The temple is beautifully decorated and the outer walls of the temple are decorated with bas- relief paintings from the epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. The western gallery depicts war of Lanka in which demon King Ravana was defeated and the battle of Kurukshetra which was fought between Kauravas and Pandavas. On the southern gallery, 32 hell and 37 heavens of Hindu Mythology is shown. On the eastern gallery of the temple, churning of the sea of milk is depicted. In this way all the major acts in Hindu Mythology are being presented with the help of paintings.

The temple was constructed with millions of tons of sandstone which used to be transported from 40 Km. Away from the location and the total mass and weight of the temple is far much than the Pyramid of Giza. Since 1982 -1990, much of the renovation work has been done in this ancient temple and UNESCO has been doing enough efforts to protect the monument and is still promoting it as a cultural site of great importance.  So if we you are planning to visit to some heritage place out of India, then visit Angkor Wat as this place is a living legend and is low on budget too.

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