Angkor Wat, located at 13°24′45″N 103°52′0″E, is a unique combination of the temple mountain, thestandard design for the empires state temples, the later plan of concentric galleries, and influencesfrom Orissa and the Chola of Tamil Nadu, India. The temple is a representation of Mount Meru, thehome of the gods: the central quincunx of towers symbolises the five peaks of the mountain, and thewalls and moat the surrounding mountain ranges and ocean. Access to the upper areas of thetemple was progressively more exclusive, with the laity being admitted only to the lowest level.
Angkor Wat, or "city temple", lies 6 kilometres fromSiem Reap in Cambodia. It was built by KingSurvayarman II in the late 12th century, at a time whenAngkor reached the peak of its influence and power.Dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, Angkor Wat is theonly temple erected under this monarchs rule andscholars disagree as to whether it was built as his statetemple or his funerary tomb. It has a unique orientation, unlike other AngkorTemples it is west facing instead of east facing-coinciding with the symbolism between the setting sunand death. Works at Angkor Wat seem to have endedsoon after the Kings death.
In the late 13th century King Sindravarman succeeded the throne and changedthe empires religion from Hinduism to Theravada Buddhism. Thanks tocontinuous occupation of the temple, it was preserved in very good conditionand avoided the destruction that other temples suffered after the mysteriousabandonment of Angkor as the empires capital in the 14th century.
While the Europeans were writing at different times about the discovery of the"lost city", Angkor Wat and the other Angkor Temples were already known to theBuddhist monks that cared for them from the 15th to the 19th centuries. It is inpart thanks to them that Angkor Wat remains mostly intact. In the 16th centurya Khmer court returned briefly to Angkor to restore it as a Buddhist shrine. Angkor Wat temple in 1866.
General plan of Angkor Wat with Detailed plan of the central structurecentral structure in the middle
After several invasions from the foreign countries and a weakening of theKhmer empire, the temples of Angkor were run over by the jungle.Sandstone has eroded and the structures have become weak.Bat droppings have also significantly damaged the temples.The Khmer rouge damaged large parts of the temples-decapitating theHindu gods etc. A popular temple that earned its popularity in Angkor Wat History just "recently": Ta Prohm temple is famous for being swallowed by giant trees.
ARCHITECTURE Angkor Wat is the prime example of the classical style of Khmer architecture—the Angkor Wat style—to which it has given its name. By the 12th century Khmerarchitects had become skilled and confident in the use of sandstone (rather than brickor laterite) as the main building material. Most of the visible areas are of sandstoneblocks, while laterite was used for the outer wall and for hidden structural parts. Thebinding agent used to join the blocks is yet to be identified, althoughnatural resins or slaked lime have been suggested.The temple attains a classic perfection by the restrained monumentality of its finelybalanced elements and the precise arrangement of its proportions. It is a work ofpower, unity and style.
Upper gallery at Angkor WatArchitecturally, the elements characteristic of the style include:the ogival, redented towers shaped like lotus buds; half-galleries to broaden passageways; axial galleries connectingenclosures; and the cruciform terraces which appear along themain axis of the temple.
Old trees on the mysterious relic toempyrean.Defender?Or destroyer……
The most noted is Bayon, one of the most famous Angkorian temples, with its216 four-faced Buddha statues. Angkor Wat history was forever changed by thismove, as Hinduism is now but a minority religion in Cambodia.
Tranquil Khmer smile under the afterglow. ——Bayon
Thick lips, Wide noses, and Longears,with such an imposingappearance,they are looking at you,eyes slightly downward.Ubiquitous… ——Angkor Thom
There are series of basso-relievo on the cloister of Angkor Wat.This is the most popular one “Churning of the Ocean of Milk” ——Angkor Wat
In Angkor Wat, Hindu basso-relievo exist everywhere.What we see today has endured years of history. ——Angkor Wat