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Angkor Wat Temple: A Brief History

Wed, Mar 24, 2010

Cambodia




Angkor Wat Temple, one of the most tourist attractions in Cambodia is actually the ancient city of Angkor. This historic site lies at a distance of 200 miles towards the northwest of the present capital city of Phnom Penh. It is bounded by the jungle that increases the charm of Angkor Wat. As Angkor has been a major tourist destination, the nearby town of Siem Riep is also today became a major draw. The city remains dotted with over a thousand temples and other architectural structures, but still the greatest sight that will impress you entirely is the temple of Angkor Wat.

After reaching to this area, you will get many Buddhist temples, but Angkor Wat is a Hindu temple that is dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu. The temple is bounded by a moat and encircles 1,500 metres of area by 1,300 metres. You will get plenty of smaller buildings that make up Angkor Wat compound. You will also get complicated sculpture and carving work on all of the surfaces. The best examples to see this carvings are the bas-relief carvings that show scenes from mythology, ancient battles, and various other aspects of Khmer life.

The history of Angkor Wat starts with the Funan civilization that entered in the first century AD. The period of Angkor Began during 802 AD after the entrance of King Jayavarman II back from exile in Java to get back his throne. He later established his capital and named it as the City of Angkor. The city was flourished and developed, but the Angkor Wat Temple remained without building further for another 200 years. It was Jayavarman VII who continued constructing at Angkor and made many monuments, shrines, and temples within the city.

History of Angkor Wat

So after many years of construction a huge complex of sandstone buildings were created. They were often compared to the enormous construction projects that found in the ancient Egypt. In the mid of 1400s, Angkor was deserted when the Thai armies attacked. Today, there are no hard-core facts about the historical events held, but few of the records are still surviving of those period. The ruins of this place were rediscovered in the year 1860 by a French botanist named Henri Mouhot. He was exploring the Cambodian jungles. Today, the Angkor Wat Temple is considered as the largest religious structure in the entire world.

This lost civilization has become a great interest to the western archaeologists and historians who rush to the site of Angkor just to learn more about the Khmer. It is today a world heritage site. So whenever you visit this site try to grab the history of Angkor Wat before visiting. This will help you a lot to know more. Once you see the city, you will say that the gods themselves would have made it.

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