Angkor Wat, the Largest Religious Monument in the World

Angkor WatConsidered as one of the most famous tourist attractions of Cambodia, the Angkor Wat Temple is absolutely breathtaking and full of glory. People from far and wide travel to Cambodia to visit the temple.  The temple has a lot of historical importance, as well. ‘Angkor Wat’ literally means ‘city temple’. The word ‘Angkor’ is a vernacular form of the word ‘nokor’ which has been derived from the word’ nagara’. Nagara means capital and is a word from the Sanskrit language. Whereas, ‘Wat’ is a Khmer word which means ‘temple’. Previously, the temple was called Preah Pisnulok, which was the title of the founder of the Angkor Temple, King Suryavarman II.

The Angkor Wat Temple was built for one legendary king, King Suryavarman II, somewhere in the 12th century. Most temples, which were built around this time, could not stand the test of time and now are no less than just ruins. This fact makes the Angkor Wat stand out even more, as it is one of the few temples which has been perfectly preserved, till this day. The religious importance of this temple is that it not only represents just a single religion, but also it embodies the universal benefits of almost all the religions that are out there in the world. The Angkor Wat is no less than a nation symbol, which makes its appearance even on the nation’s flag!

The origin of the Angkor Wat temple was to honor Vishu. Initially, when it was built, it was considered a symbolic representation of  the ‘centre of the universe’. Truth of the matter is though the temple is majestic, but it is not the centre of the entire universe. However, it can be said with confidence that this temple is very definitely the centre of Cambodia, which attracts tourists from all over the world. Not only does the temple serve as a major tourist attraction, it is also an excellent example of art and architecture. Those who see the Angkor Temple for the first time say that the brilliance and the magnificence of the temple are awe-inspiring.

Speaking of its architecture, Angkor Wat Temple is surrounded by walls, which is again surrounded by a moat. This may seem as if Angkor Wat Temple appear like a castle straight from the medieval era, but it is not the case. Inside the temple, you are greeted by galleries and ponds. Even chapels! It is said that these Chapels were built to pay homage to Vishu. These galleries, chapels and ponds still look as beautiful and stunning as they did when they were built. Obviously, this means that a lot of hard work must go into keeping the Temple look as beautiful and polished as possible.

One of the major things that you come across in the Angkor Wat Temple is the throne of the King. As mentioned earlier, that the entire temple was built for King Suryavarman II, and it is because of him that the temple exists. Throughout the temple, you are likely to find various objects and items that were built to honor the king, but the most impressive out of all these things is the King’s Throne. Just the throne alone gives you a glimpse of how glorious the king himself be!

The temple is also said to be a symbolic representation of ‘Mount Meru’, which holds an extremely important and sacred place in the Hindu faith. The temple has many carvings too, which are said to be depicting the scene from the great Mahabharata. Mahabharata is an impressive Hindy story of epic Khmer battles. These carvings can be seen properly during day time that is why most tourists visit the Angkor Wat temple in the morning. Not only this, but the morning sun highlights many delicate features of the temple, like the Asparas, which are carved into the temple’s pillars and walls. Tourists also like to visit the Temple, a little later in the evening, when the sun is about to set. The rising sun and the setting sun, both make the Temple look even more glorious.

The Angkor Wat Temple can be easily placed with other remarkable places like The Taj Mahal, The Great Wall of China …etc. Those who visit the Temple believe that no documentaries or pictures can ever do justice to the grandeur of the Temple which is experienced when you actually visit the Angkor Wat Temple for real. The Angkor Wat Temple has so many things to offer that it is not possible to go through all of them in just one single visit. People, who like travelling, should definitely mark Angkor Wat as their next travel destination and experience the Temple’s splendor, first hand.

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