Unreal places around the world: Mysterious Angkor Wat located at 13°24′45″N 103°52′0″E

Ta Prohm temple, CambodiaPhoto by Alessandro Vannucci 

Angkor Wat (Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត) was first a Hindu, then subsequently, a Buddhist temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world.

Angkor Wat, located at 13°24′45″N 103°52′0″E, is a unique combination of the temple mountain, the standard design for the empire’s state temples and the later plan of concentric galleries. The temple is a representation of Mount Meru, the home of the gods: the centralquincunx of towers symbolises the five peaks of the mountain, and the walls and moat the surrounding mountain ranges and ocean.

Access to the upper areas of the temple was progressively more exclusive, with the laity being admitted only to the lowest level.

Unlike most Khmer temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west rather than the east.

Ta Prohm (a.k.a- Rajavihara)  is a temple at the ancient city of Angkor located in nowadays Cambodia,Ta Prohm temple was built in the Bayon style close to the end of the 12th century. Ta Prohm temple is different from the majority of Angkorian temples since it was not changed or renovated since it was found.

Ta Prohm temple, Cambodia Photo by Anthony Rae (visit Website)

The temple was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yasodharapura (Khmer: យសោធរបុរៈ, present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum.

Breaking from the Shaivism tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu.

As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation.

The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.

Ta Prohm temple, CambodiaPhoto by Udit Bhatia (flickr)

Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early Dravidian Architecture, with key features such as the Jagati.

It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next.

At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs, and for the numerous devatas adorning its walls.

The modern name, Angkor Wat, means “Temple City” or “City of Temples” in KhmerAngkor, meaning “city” or “capital city”, is a vernacular form of the wordnokor which comes from the Sanskrit word nagara (नगर). Wat is the Khmer word for “temple grounds”, derived from the Pali word “vatta” (वत्त). Prior to this time the temple was known as Preah Pisnulok (Vara Vishnuloka in Sanskrit), after the posthumous title of its founder.

Source: Wiki; Amazingplacesonearth; 

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