Have you heard of religions sharing shrines? Well, it happened once in Cambodia. Angkor Wat was first a Hindu religion temple and then later was turned into a Buddhist temple.
Angkor Wat is a sight to behold, merely admiring Angkor Wat for its beauty is not enough. Angkor Wat is the largest and most magnificent of the one hundred temples that survive from the ancient city of Angkor, Cambodia. It was constructed at the peak of Khmer power to glorify both King Suryavarman II and Vishnu, the Hindu god with whom he was identified. Angkor wat is regarded as the pinnacle of Khmer architecture. Angkor Wat was built using five million tons of sandstone and is guarded by lion statues. It features the Churning of the Ocean of Milk. It features bas-reliefs that proceed in counterclockwise order
It is located in the southeast corner of Angkor and occupies nearly 494 acres. A huge rectangular reservoir surrounds the temple, which rises up through a series of three rectangular terraces to the central shrine and tower. Angkor Wat was built to be a replica of the universe but done in stone. It also represents an earthly model of the cosmic world. It is built within what was once the largest city in the world. The Angkor wat temple complex has five towers that symbolize the peaks of a mountain. Unlike other temples in the region that are aligned facing to the east, this temple was aligned to the west. It faces sunset and the evening sun adds to its beauty in the evening.
It shows symmetry and repetition, which were very important to Khmer design. The same shapes and patterns appear over and over and took more than 35 years to build. It is a wonderful example of the Temple Mountain design. Angkor wat is a monumental dream in stone, it was declared as UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 1992 and is breathtaking to explore. The decorations on the walls of the temple have a uniquely Hindu story telling characteristics. They have fables and myths pictures that tell of the temple’s origin in Hindu religion.
Today, Angkor is the symbol of the Khmers cultural heritage. It is given considerable importance not only culturally but also from a national perspective. Internationally the archaeological site is a standard reference for its country.