Located in the Angkor complex in the province of Siem Reap, 240km from the north of Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat is not yet the largest and the most splendid structure built in the Angkorian empire, but the ancient temple is regarded as a great architectural achievement the ancient Khmer.
Angkor Wat was built in the first half of the 12th century (113-5BC). Estimated construction time of the temple is 30 years by King Suryavarman II, dedicated to Vishnu (Hindu), replica of Angkor Thom style of art.
Wat is the Khmer name for temple which was probably added to "Angkor "when it became a Theravada Buddhist monument, most likely in the sixteenth century. After 1432 when the capital moved to Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat was cared for by Buddhist monks. In addition, Angkor Wat was a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II and oriented to the west to conform to the symbolism between the setting sun and death.
Guardians of Forever, A line of statues guards the entrance to one of the Angor Wat complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Surrounding the temple complex is a 190 meter wide moat. At the Western end is a 12 meter wide bridge, in front of which is a terrace where lions and Naga snakes guard the temple. Crossing the bridge the visitor approaches the impressive Western gate, which was build to resemble the front view of the temple itself. Despite hot weather in Siem Reap, you will feel comfortable, fresh and cool air by the view of trees and lakes here.
From the precinct, you can see a lot of high towers in far distant which are the feature and characteristic of Angkor Wat. With skilful and clever mind, Khmer people arranged and attached various blocks of stone in every size, used beautiful patterns to decorate the tower, altenate with embossments carved god shape.
Tower in Angkor Wat
Hidden paintings have been discovered in the central tower. One chamber in the tower has a scene showing a traditional Khmer ensemble of musical instruments known as the pinpeat, which is made up of different gongs, xylophones, wind instruments and other percussion instruments. In the same chamber, there's also an intricate scene featuring people riding horses between two structures, which might be temples. These two paintings are among 200 that have been discovered in Angkor Wat since 2010.
The central part of Angkor is the shrine with 60m in height which is the highest one of the Angkor complex. To reach this central part, you have to go through a lot of doors, climb all the high perrons, and cross a wide yard. You will be excited on reaching this part. This is a sacred place, so visitors wearing skirts, short clothes are not allowed to enter the temple.
Angkor Wat is the best preserved temple among the Angkor temples known today. It is difficult to imagine how huge blocks of rock have been lifted to the top of the tower, it is more difficult to imagine when no mortar was needed, the supernatural brains of ancient Khmer attached the stones together with solid combination to make a wonder of the world in general and of Cambodia in particular.
Sunrise in Angkor Wat
In 1992, at the 16th session, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) listed Angkor Wat on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Angkor temples, from then, attracts more and more people to visit and explore features and secrets of ancient civilization.
Angkor Wat is one of the most famous ancient architecture in the world, the remains of the ancient Khmer civilization. You will get fantastic experiences and useful knowledge about history, about temples on your trip to Cambodia. Don't forget to capture exciting moments in this country.
Author: Freeland Journey.