Learn MORE About the Temple of Angkor Wat
What really gives Cambodia its identity better than the ? There is no religious monument that makes Cambodians prouder than this incredible temple. Did you know that the Temple of Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the whole world? The temple is dedicated to the Hindu God, Vishnu, known as the ‘protector,’ though it was later converted to a Buddhist monastery.
Fun Facts about the Temple of Angkor Wat
The Angkor Wat temple was built between the year 1112 and 1152 by King Suryavarman II. It was initially a temple for worship before it was transformed into a Buddhist temple. The temple is located 3.4 miles from the Cambodian town of Siem Reap. The term Angkor Wat means “temple city” and it covers an area of about 500 acres. All of the pyramids in Giza, including the Sphinx could fit inside Angor Wat’s compound and still have a lot of room left over! The central tower, which is also the tallest at the Angkor Wat temple, stands at 65 meters tall. It is surrounded by other small towers and enclosure walls.
The Celestial Beings at Angkor Wat
Within the temple’s main area, there are more than 3000 carvings of heavenly beings. They are curved on the walls of the temples and none of them looks like the other. Thirty-seven of these carvings have different hairstyles from one another. The temple, itself, was carefully designed to be in harmony with the universe, so there are areas of the temple that are aligned with the sun, and some with the moon. When viewed from above, the entire temple area looks like a giant Mandala. A Mandala is a work of art that represents the universe. So, quite literally, Angor Wat represents the universe on Earth.
Elephants in the Temple
It took about 6000 elephants to build the Angkor Wat Temple. What exactly did the elephants do? The sandstone blocks that were used to build the temple were dug up 50 kilometers away from the construction site. Even though they were floated on rafts and transported through the Siem Reap River, elephants were also used to transport the stones from the river to the site. There were more than 300,000 people who were involved in the construction of the Angkor Wat Temple. Despite all of this work, the temple is not considered completed!
Visiting Angor Wat
The Khmer people of Cambodia respect the Temple of Angkor so much because it is very spiritual ground. Anyone who wants to go to the highest level of the temple must dress in a respectful manner. If you are wearing a pair of shorts, they must reach your knees. Any shirt you wear must cover your upper arms too. This is not a place for beachwear. There are even more conditions that you have to adhere to while at the temple. For example, you are not allowed to sit or touch any of the ancient structures. There are Buddhist monks who use the temple for worship, and so you have to be on your best behavior at all times.
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