Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s most iconic Temple

Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s most iconic Temple

Angkor Wat is an iconic symbol of the historic Khmer or Angkor Empire and it has survived the test of many centuries. This temple located in modern-day Cambodia has a special place in the Buddhist and Hindu religious traditions. It was first built as a Hindu Temple, as a tribute to the Hindu deity Vishnu by the Khmer King but it was transformed into a Buddhist Temple at the end of the 12th Century. This temple has a special significance for Cambodia and it appears on its national flag. This vast temple of 402 acres is a major tourist attraction and millions of people from all over the world visit this place. Apart from the religious significance of this place, its unique architectural style also mesmerizes the attention of the visitors. It is a classical Khmer style of the building having grandeur and harmony. We were visiting the famous and historical religious
buildings and places all over the world when we decided to visit the Angkor Wat. Cambodia has a rich history with countless places to explore along with the iconic Angkor Wat temple. We came here in the month of September and booked a hotel near the temple. Since we had reached here in the evening, we decided to explore the city before visiting the temple.

Visiting the City of Siem Reap and Exploring its Ancient Architecture

Siem Reap is an iconic city with numerous ancient architectural buildings spread all across. We went out to explore these ancient buildings and take notes of the Khmer architecture. We went to the Bayon Temple, which is another major attraction along with Angkor Wat. Bayon Temple is popular for smiling faces carved here. We also visited the Angkor Thom, which comprises the remains of an ancient city. We also visited Ta Prohm in the city, which now reflects the ruins of an ancient temple built at this place. There are large trees here as well which give a unique look to this place. We spent an hour here before the night start to fell and we had to get back to our hotel and prepare for the next morning visit to Angkor Wat.

Visiting the Angkor Temple and Exploring the Khmer Architecture

The temple is a marvel of construction with its grandeur and magnificence spread over 400 acres. We reached here in the morning and hired the services of a guide in order to learn the details about the history and design of this place. This is a large place and it requires a day to fully explore the ins and outs of the temple. A unique aspect of the temple is that it is oriented towards the west instead of east, which has baffled many architects throughout the course of history. However, it is generally believed that the emperor had built this place as a funerary temple and since the rituals take place in reverse during this period, the direction of the temple is also opposite. This is a sandstone building with numerous indications of the work of skilled labor. There is a middle tower at the temple symbolizing the mount Meru. There are countless such symbols and, which seize the attention of the onlookers. We spent a whole day here and went to our hotel at night. However, we wanted to come back the next day
and explore this place further.