Cambodia is globally renowned for the KHMER EMPIRE. The Empire ruled over most of Southeast Asia. The KHMER rulers built temples all over its empire, of which Cambodia houses the “CAPITAL TEMPLE”, the temple of Angkor Wat. This an amazing experience to visit the Cambodians temples as they‘ve built with the best designing and strength.
ANGKOR WAT – Temples of Cambodia
The primary attraction for foreign visitors, the temple was Built by the Khmer king Suryavarman2. It is known as the largest religious monument of Cambodia. Angkor Wat sits in a humongous area of 402 acres of land. It was completed during the reign of king Jayavarman VII.
The temple is a representation of MountMeru, the home of theGods.
Since the 12th century, it has been a Buddhist temple, although it was originally built as a Hindu temple with Lord Vishnu being the primary deity of the temple. It was built to be used as the King’s state Temple. After 27 years from the death of the king Suryavarman2, ANGKOR was sacked by the CHAMS, the traditional enemies of the Khmer. Later the empire was reclaimed by King Jayavarman7.
It was nominated as a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE in 1992. Such is its importance that, it is displayed on the national flag of Cambodia.
IT is an ancient Hindu temple built on the top of a 1722 ft. cliff in the Dangrek Mountains, in the preahvihear province of Cambodia dedicated to the Hindu Lord Shiva. It was modified and transformed by many successive kings of the Khmer empire and therefore has many architectural styles accompanying it .
It is built on top of the mountain ranges which acts a natural border for Cambodia and Thailand and has been a topic of political unrest between the two countries for years.
It was the French who raised their voice against the illegal takeover of the temple which belonged to Cambodia. In 1954, French troops were withdrawn from Cambodia, after which the THAI forces again occupied the temple to regain their claim.
Due to the decline of Hinduism in the region, this temple was also converted to use by the Buddhist.
This temple has also been enlisted in UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE sites on July 8, 2008.
The Bakong temple is truly special as the Khmer empire constructed this temple as their one of the first temple. It served as the state temple in the final decades of the 9th century for king Indravarman I in the ancient city of Hariharalaya (state capital/centre in that era) which in the present era is known as Roluos.
The king dedicated this temple to the Hindu Lord Shiva in 881 A.D.
The structure is more of a temple mountain. It has an eye striking resemblance with the Borobudur temple in Java, many also predicting that the Borobudur temple served a purpose of a prototype for the Bakong temple.
It is a temple mountain built by Rajendravarman, located in Angkor just south of the East Baray. It is made up with the help of laterite, brick and sandstone giving it the pleasing and lush reddish tone. This Hindu temple also served as the state temple of Khmer kings.
The name of the temple means – TURN THE BODY, which in relation with the Hindu mythology is the spread the ashes of the body after cremation.
Considered by many as a place of pilgrimage on weekends and festivals, Khmers used to be the most sacred mountain in Cambodia. It was here in 802 A.D. that the king Jayavarman II announced himself as a GOD KING.
The place consists of many LINGAS carved on the riverbed, a giant statue of reclining Buddha and an impressive waterfall.
The place charges an entry fee of 20$. While on the roadway to the giant reclining Buddha, some spectacular jungle scenery can be witnessed. At the end, the road splits: the left one takes you to the remains of the temples of the 9th century. The right one takes you over a bridge beneath which you can witness strange riverbed carvings. the bridge leads us to the to the base of Wat PreahAng Thom , which sits at the summit of the mountainand houses the large reclining Buddha carved into a sandstone.
It is a place of pilgrimage for the Khmer people, which lead to stairs to a 487m high peak.
It has 20 minor temples among which PRASAT RONG CHEN, which is the first temple mountain to be constructed. There are many giant stone animals made, whom they consider as the guardian of the temples.
HONOURABLE MENTIONS –LOLEI
It was built by the king Yasovarman I and dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva and also to hisancestors.
Many explorers and scholars believe that to place the temple between water bodies was to give it a resemblance to the Mount Meru, home of the gods, in reference to the Hindu mythology, is a place which would be surrounded by waters. This shows how the king wanted the place to be helped by holy powers and act as a holy shrine.
It consists of four brick towers. The king built it for his ancestors and Lord Shiva. Each of the four towers was built for his grandfather, father, grandmother, mother respectively.
The taller towers are for his grandparents, while the shorter one was for his parents.