Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia, built in the early 12th century as the state temple of the Khmer Empire by Suryavarman II in Yaśodharapura. It is the largest religious monument in the world, on a site measuring 162.6 hectares (402 acres); later, it was converted into a Buddhist temple. The temple is at the top of a hill, in the area of ancient Yasodharapura, the capital of the Khmer Empire, and is surrounded by a moat. Built by thousands of workers over a period of 30 years, Angkor Wat was originally dedicated to Vishnu as the king’s personal god. Evidence of later Hindu and Theravada Buddhist use of the temple has also been found. There have been major restoration efforts at Angkor Wat since the 19th century. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cambodia, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Angkor Wat is a masterpiece of Khmer architecture. It is built in the classic Khmer style, with a central sanctuary surrounded by concentric galleries. The temple is made of sandstone and laterite, and is decorated with intricate carvings and sculptures. The most famous carving at Angkor Wat is the bas-relief depicting the Churning of the Ocean of Milk, which tells the story of how the gods and demons created the universe.
Angkor Wat is also a major archaeological site. It has been excavated by archaeologists since the 19th century, and many important artifacts have been found there. These artifacts include sculptures, pottery, and jewelry. They provide a valuable glimpse into the culture and history of the Khmer Empire.
Angkor Wat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This means that it is recognized as a place of outstanding cultural or natural importance. Angkor Wat is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cambodia, and it is a must-see for anyone interested in Southeast Asian history and culture.
Here are some additional facts about Angkor Wat:
- The temple is dedicated to Vishnu, the Hindu god of preservation.
- It is the largest religious monument in the world, covering an area of 162.6 hectares (402 acres).
- It took over 30 years to build, and it is estimated that over 100,000 workers were involved in its construction.
- The temple is decorated with intricate carvings and sculptures, many of which depict scenes from Hindu mythology.
- Angkor Wat was once the capital of the Khmer Empire, and it was a major center of religious and political power.
- The temple was abandoned in the 15th century, but it was rediscovered by European explorers in the 19th century.
- Angkor Wat has been the subject of extensive restoration efforts since the 19th century.
- Today, Angkor Wat is a popular tourist destination, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Angkor Wat is a truly remarkable monument, and it is a testament to the skill and artistry of the Khmer people. It is a must-see for anyone interested in Southeast Asian history and culture.