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Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is a temple built by King Suryawarman II (Khmer Empire) in the 12th century in the city of Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, as the site of Vishnu Hinduism before finally transforming gradually into Theravada Buddhism. The Angkor plains are full of beautiful temples, but Angkor Wat is the most famous temple in the area.

The complex has an area of 162.6 hectares (1,626,000 square meters or 402 hectares). The construction of Angkor Wat took 30 years when King Suryawarman II ordered the establishment of the temple based on Hindu beliefs that placed the mythology of Mount Meru as the center of the world and the place of the Hindu deities.

Xvlor Angkor Wat built by King Suryawarman II as the most Khmer Empire work Angkor Wat built by King Suryawarman II as the most Khmer Empire work

The highest main tower in the center of the complex to symbolize Mount Meru, while the fence and artificial lake named Baray to symbolize the oceans and land. The main entrance is 500 meters long decorated with railings, the gate to represent the rainbow bridge that connects the natural world with the realms of the gods.

Angkor Wat is more manicured than any other Hinduism temple on the plains of Angkor in the 13th century where it has been converted into a Buddhist temple, nurtured and used continuously. The Angkor region was once colonized by Siam Empire in 1431. Angkor Wat is listed on UNESCO World Heritage Site In 1992.

Angkor Wat is a prime example of the classical style of Khmer architecture in the 12th century to use sandstone (not brick or laterite) as the main material. The architecture has ogival elements, bumpy towers like lotus buds, expanded gallery alleys, a fence axial gallery and a cross-shaped terrace.

Decorative designs are the gods, basic reliefs, flower pedals and narrative features. The statues at Angkor Wat are considered conservative, more static and less elegant than the previous Khemer. Other elements have been destroyed by looting and weathering, including gold-plated stucos on the tower, gilding on some of the figures in basic reliefs, roof panels and wooden doors.

The outer wall 1024 x 802 meters and height of 4.5 meters is surrounded by 30 meter long open courtyard and 190 meter wide moat. Below the south tower has Vishnu statue known as Ta Reach. The galleries have square pillar on the outside and enclosed wall on inside. The ceiling is between the lotus-lined pillars, the figure of dancers and animals.

The stones are polished as smooth as marble and placed without mortar adhesive very tightly and neatly, making it difficult to find the connection. The blocks are united simultaneously by the purus joints and holes, while others employ locking techniques and gravity pressures.

Almost all of its surface, columns, lintels and roofs are carved. Some reliefs depict scenes from Indian literature including unicorns, griffins, winged dragons, warriors, elephant riding warriors and dancing girls in the sky who have intricate hairstyles. The walls may be bronzed and are the main target of looters.

Angkor Wat and other Khmer monuments in the Angkor region have prompted France to enter Cambodia as a French protectorate on August 11, 1863 and attack the Siamese kingdom to seize control over the ruins of this temple. Cambodia gained independence on 9 November 1953 and has since taken over the temple of Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat underwent restoration in the 20th century, including clearing the bondage of plants and piles of soil that covered the building. The restoration project was cut off by the civil war and control of the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s and 1980s, but the damage was relatively minimal in the period.

The Indian Archaeological Survey Agency restored from 1986 to 1992. Further conservation and massive improvements have taken place since the 1990s as an Angkor World Heritage Site that has provided some funds and encouraged the Cambodian government to protect the site. Angkor Wat built by King Suryawarman II as the most Khmer Empire work

Xvlor Angkor Wat built by King Suryawarman II as the most Khmer Empire work

The German Apsara Conservation Project (GACP) undertook the repair of the collapsed part of the structure and the prevention of further collapse. The western section upstairs has been propped up by a buffer since 2002, while the Japanese team completed the restoration of the northern library in 2005.

The World Monument Foundation undertook conservation at the Milk Stirring Gallery in 2008, including the restoration of the traditional Khmer building system and the removal of stones from cement blocks by previous refurbishment projects. The use of cement has resulted in salt entering the structure and damaging the color of the sculptural surface.

Location: Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia.

Routes and public transport: All flights to Siem Reap International Airport.

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