When it comes to listing the architectural wonders of the world, most people will agree that Angkor Wat deserves a top spot in the list. Every year, millions of tourists from all over the world visit this historic temple and praise its marvelous sculptures. If you are planning a Vietnam Cambodia tour in the coming months, then Angkor Wat should be in your “must see” list.
Angkor Wat is a temple which is located in the city of Angkor. Angkor was the capital city of King Suryavarman II who had built it in the 12th century as the state temple to honor the Hindu deities. The central temple complex is approximately 800 meters long and is decorated with marvelous bas relief. The relief gives you a glimpse of the rich Hindu culture and transports you to a time when Gods and Demons ruled the earth.
The impeccably detailed bass relief depicts Krishna and the Demon king, army of Suryavarman II, battle of Kurukshetra, heaven and hell, elephant gate, churning of the ocean of milk, Vishnu defeating the demons, the battle of Lanka and many more. The temple was built following the Khmer architectural style. However, sadly, the temple was never completed as Suryavarman II died before the work ended. The incomplete decorations prove this fact.
Although it is unfinished, the architecture still earns the respect of millions. Besides the architecture, Angkor Wat is very popular for religious reasons as well, because it is the largest Hindu temple in the world. If this is your first Vietnam Cambodia holiday, then here are some important things you must know about Angkor Wat to fully appreciate its marvel.
• The temple is manifested on the national flag of Cambodia.
• Angkor Wat is a perfect representation of the mythical Mount Meru, the domicile of Lord Brahma and other Devtas.
• While most temples face east, Angkor Wat faces the west.
• The actual name of the temple was Pisnulok. It was named after King Suryavarman II’s title. However, in the 16th century, the name was changed and now, we all know it as Angkor Wat.
• At the center of the temple, you will see a quincunx of towers, representing the 5 peaks of Mount Meru.
• We now know it as a Theravada Buddhist temple but initially it was dedicated to Lord Vishnu.
• One of the very first western visitors of Angkor Wat was Antonio da Magdalena. He was a Portuguese monk and visited the temple in 1586.
• The monument stands on a terrace that has been raised higher than the city.
• It was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO exactly 11 years ago.
• It is the biggest pyramid in entire Asia.
• The temple is 65 meter tall.
• You may find this fact surprising but King Suryavarman II’s ancestors were devotees of Lord Shiva. However, he broke the century-old spiritual tradition and dedicated the temple to Lord Vishnu.
• Every year, more than 2 million people visit this eighth wonder of the world.
Hope these remarkable facts will make your Vietnam Cambodia tour even more interesting. So, what are you waiting for? Start browsing the net for the best tour deals and embark on a journey that you will remember forever.