History and Architecture of Angkor Wat temple
Angkor Wat, built in the 12th century, is the world’s largest temple. It was built in Cambodia by King Suryavarman II (reign 1113 – 1150 AD) as his state temple, a capital city, and his mausoleum. The temple complex was originally built as a Hindu temple dedicated to God Vishnu, known as the preserver and protector of humans. But by the time construction was finished, it transformed into a Buddhist temple. Angkor Wat categorizes as one of the world’s ancient seven wonders. The name, translated from Khmer, means “Temple City” or “City of Temples”. The temple and its grounds spread over more than 400 acres of land.
Angkor Wat is an example of classic Khmer architecture. It was designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the gods in Hindu Mythology. The five towers represent the five peaks of Mount Meru and the walls and moat surrounding the temple represent the surrounding mountain ranges and the sea. By the time construction was coming to an end, the Khmer had developed their own architectural style. Their style relied on sandstone. That’s why Angkor Wat is built of five to ten million tons of sandstone. Located in the temple’s Southern tower is its main shrine, a grand statue of God Vishnu, which is nearly 70 feet tall. The temple’s walls are covered with some 12,000 or 13,000 square meters of bas-reliefs sculptures. These bas-reliefs represent Hindu devatas, scenes in from the Khmer history, and scenes from the Mahabharata and Ramayana.