Our world is a place of beauty and mystery. It is impossible to cover all the places in one lifetime. Alas! We are given this one chance and we have to utilise it well. Keeping this thought in mind, let us try to explore as many places as we can and gather maximum experiences in this lifetime. We cannot start our journey for the future if we are unaware of the past, hence we should keep our past in the mind and follow the lead for the future. Talking about past and regality, the first name that comes to mind is Cambodia and Cambodia means Angkor Wat. Team Planet Social will take you on a journey where you soak yourself in the royal history of Angkor Wat.
Angkor Wat or the Capital Temple is in Cambodia and it is the largest religious monument in the world measuring 162.6 hectares. It was built by Khmer Empire for god Vishnu but gradually it transformed into Buddhist temple towards the end of 12th century.
Now we directly come to its magnificent architecture. It is the best-preserved temple at the site and the only to have significant religious centre since its foundation. The temple is built in a classical style of Khmer architecture. This has also become a symbol of Cambodia appearing on its national flag.
Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture that is the temple mountain and the galleried temple. It is designed to represent the mythological Mount Meru within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres long and three rectangular galleries each raised above the next.
The centre of the temple has a quincunx of towers, unlike other temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony with its extensive bas-reliefs and sculpture of numerous devatas adorning the walls. The architecture is splendid indeed!
Angkor Wat is in the north of the modern town of Siem Reap. It is in an area where an important group of ancient structures are present. As the legend says the construction of the temple was ordered by Indra to act as a place for his son. It was believed that this temple was built overnight by a divine architect.
The initial design and construction of the temple happened in the first half of the 12th century, dedicated to Vishnu. The untimely death of the king the work stopped and Angkor was sacked by the Chams the enemies of Khmer. With new king and kingdom, the temple gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple, which continues still today.
After the 16th century, the temple was neglected and it was slowly turning into ruins and it was not until mid 19th century that the temple site was popularised by a French explorer. By the 20th century, it grabbed everyone’s attention and thus became a tourist spot ad also an important archaeological site. In 2015 more things were found about Angkor Wat. Houses, roads, ponds and much more have been found, researchers are still working.
Contributed by Somdatta Sarkar