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Angkor wat, The most well-know temple in Cambodia

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Angkor Wat is located about 7 kilometers north of Siem Reap provincial town along Komai or Charles De Gaul Road. The temple was built in the early 12th century during the reign of King Suryavarman II2 (AD 1113-1150) is unrivaled in its beauty and state of preservation. It is an expression of Khmer art at its highest point of development.Some believed Angkor Wat was designed by Divakaraandita, the chief adviser and minister of the king, dedicating to Vishnu Brahmanism. The Khmers attribute the building of Angkor Wat to the divine architect Visvakarman. There has been considerable debate amongst scholars as to whether Angkor Wat was built as a temple or a tomb. Angkor Wat, according to Cœdés, is a replica of the universe in stone and represents an earthly model of the monument symbolizing the mythical Mount Meru, situated at the peaks of Meru, the outer wall to the mountains at the edge of the world, and the surrounding moat in the oceans beyond.

Originally, the temple was called Prasat Paramavishnuloka. However, the evolution of the name Angkor Wat can be drawn by history. The first proof existed in the 16th century, when the temple become a well-known Buddhist place. According to a 16th century inscription, its name was Preah Mohanokor Indrabrat Preah Visnuloka. In a 17th inscription , it was called Indrabratnokor Sreisodhara Vishnuloka3. Angkor Wat was a simple name to refer to this holy place. Khmer people, especially those living in and around Siem Reap, often refer to Angkor Toch. However, European authors decided on a common name, Angkor Wat. Nevertheless, its original name has not been forgotten and is known by many people.
Angkor Wat covers a rectangular area of about 200 hectares defined by a laterite rampart which is surrounded by a moat that is 200 meters wide. The perimeter of the rampart measures 5,5 kilometers. The moat is crossed by a huge causeway built of sandstone blocks 250 meters high. With its massive built by the gods rather than by man. The temple begins with a sandstone terrace in the shape of a across. Giant stone lions on each side of the terrace guard the monument. End of the causeways at the gopura4 with trees towers of varying heights, of which much of the upper sections have collapsed. A long, covered gallery with square columns and a vaulted roof extends along the moat to the left and right of the gopura.
The causeway leads to the cruciform gopura or entry towers. The gateways at ground level in each end of the gallery probably served as passages for elephants, horses, and carts, whereas the other entrances are accessed by step and lead onto the central promenade. From the entrance turn right and walk along the columned gallery to the end, where the quality of the carving and intricacy of decoration on the false door is of exceptional beauty.

To see more detail go to visit : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ankor_Wat

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