Covering an area of 500 acres … 65 m high peak … Temple complex with more peaks around … Wonderful sculpture … Green art, water cascading … All these are the specialties of Angkor Wat, the largest temple in the world. Hundreds of years ago, this amazing temple was located not in India but in Cambodia. Angkor Wat temple is called as home to many wonders.
Kingdom of Kamboja
Angkor Wat temple is located in Cambodia. The name of the capital city of that empire was Angkor. Initially this empire was ruled by others … Later it came under the rule of Hindu kings. It was referred to as the Kamboja Kingdom. Became Cambodia after European immigration. Suryavarman-2 is the name of the king who built the Angkor Wat temple. He is a worshiper of Vishnu.
The largest city in the world
Historians estimate that up to one million people lived here in Angkor at that time. According to that calculation, Angkor was the largest city in the world by the time of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. In particular, it was found that 5 lakh people lived in the main area of the city alone. Remains of another large city known as the ‘Mahendra Mountain’ have also been discovered about 40 km from Angkor Wat. The Angkor Wat area is currently a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
City of temples
Angkor Wat is not just a temple. Here, there are a few hundred temples in the surrounding areas. The original Angkor Wat means the city of temples. Historians confirm that it was built between 1113 AD and 1150 AD. With its spread over about 500 acres, Angkor Wat is called as the largest temple of all religions in the world.
The resemblance of Mount Meru
Angkor Wat Temple was built to resemble Mount Meru mentioned in Hindu mythology. Legend has it that Mount Meru, beyond the Himalayas, was the abode of the gods. The Angkor Wat main temple has a huge dome 213 feet (65 m) high in the center and four smaller towers on four sides. There are several small temples around the main temple.
Vishnumurti Temple, which has been converted into a Buddhist temple
Yes, it is the Vishnumurthi temple in Angkor Wat later converted into Buddhist Temple. There is a huge idol of Lord Vishnu in the room under the huge Raja gopuram of the main temple. However, Buddhism spread to Cambodia after the fall of the Khmer Empire. At the same time, an attempt was made to convert the Angkor Wat temple into a Buddhist temple around the 14th century. In Angkor Wat, only the statues and Buddha statues of the time were added to the existing sculptures and temples. So that the appearance of the Angkor Wat temple is not damaged
Some Highlights of Temple:
- One of the highlights of the temple is the presence of a large moat around the temple. The moat around the temple is 650 feet (200 meters) wide and 13 feet (four meters) deep and is always filled with water. Its total circumference is more than five kilometres.
- The temple has entrances on the west and east sides. Raja gopurams were set up at the entrance. The west gate is considered to be the main entrance.
- There are majestic lion sculptures on either side of this gate. The path from the gate to the main temple was paved with stone.
- There are several pools of water inside the retaining wall of the temple. – The main dome has magnificent paintings in the following rooms. They depict scenes from the conditions of the Khmer Empire as well as the stories of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
- Researchers have uncovered the largest sandstone structure dating back to the 12th century next to the Angkor Wat Temple. It is still unclear what that structure with circular shapes is.
The Talent of Engineers
The Khmer Empire used excellent technology to store water. The water here flows from the depression to the heights. The same technology was used in the Angkor Wat temple. The fact that it was possible at the time makes everyone wonder. The construction of large reservoirs (called ‘barrels’ there) five miles long and one and a half miles wide is a testament to the talent of the engineers of the day. These reservoirs are also used for agricultural purposes. The French archaeologist Philippe Glossier researched the reservoirs and confirmed this. Research by Sydney University archaeologists based on satellite imagery by NASA also supports Phillips’ view. Man-made water tanks, canals and dams were clearly visible in the satellite images.
Wonderful structure Angkor Thom
Angkor Thom is another wonderful place located at a distance of about 2 km from the Angkor Wat Temple. There is historical evidence that Jayavarman VI, one of the last emperors of the Khmer Empire, made Angkor Thom his capital and assumed the throne. It is also known as the ‘metropolis’. The temple is spread over an area of nine square kilometres. Here, too, we see many epic artefacts. Buddhist culture is predominant here. Many structures like elephant skulls, leopard king statues, bean and buffoon are specialized here. The Gordon Tower (Bean), built with tiny miniatures in the centre of Angkor Thom, is very attractive. Built with 54 floors, the Beyonc (Buddha) Temple is an attractive attraction of Angkor Thom.