Angkor Wat
Posted 5 January 2024

(Photos by: MK Blessed Photo & Apsara National Authority)

Angkor Wat: The Majestic Heart of Cambodia's Heritage

Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest religious monument in the world is a symbol of Cambodia's rich cultural and historical heritage. Built-in the early 12th century by King Suryavarman II, this temple complex is an architectural masterpiece and a representation of the zenith of Khmer art and civilization.

Originally constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu, Angkor Wat gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple, mirroring the religious shifts of the region. The temple is renowned for its grandeur and symmetry, with a central tower surrounded by four smaller towers, representing Mount Meru, the home of the gods in Hindu cosmology.

The temple is set within a massive moat and an outer wall, creating a rectangular layout that spans over 200 hectares. The approach to the temple is through a long causeway, leading to a magnificent entrance gate, setting the tone for the awe-inspiring experience.

The walls of Angkor Wat are adorned with exquisite bas-reliefs and carvings, depicting various Hindu epics, including the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, as well as scenes from the king's own life and historical battles. The level of detail and craftsmanship in these carvings is unparalleled, offering a deep insight into the religious and social life of the Khmer Empire.

The central sanctuary, accessed through steep and narrow stairways, symbolizes the challenge of reaching the abode of the gods. The view from the top provides a panoramic vista of the entire complex and the lush Cambodian landscape.

Angkor Wat is not only a significant religious site but also a symbol of national pride for Cambodia. It's featured on the national flag and is a major attraction for tourists from around the world. The temple's blend of spiritual significance, architectural grandeur, and artistic achievement makes it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the wonders of Siem Reap.

Major Sight Spots in Angkor Wat

Central Sanctuary: The symbolic peak of Mount Meru.

Bas-Reliefs and Carvings: Depicting Hindu epics and historical events.

Outer Wall and Moat: Enclosing the temple complex.

West Gate Entrance: The main entry point with a causeway.

Libraries and Pools: Scattered within the temple complex.


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