Angkor Wat Cambodia - touring, sightseeing guide and pictures.
A little bit of information about Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia.
Angkor Wat is located around 6kms from Siem Reap in Cambodia. Angkor Wat Temple is unusual in that it is orientated to the West - facing west towards the setting sun was a symbol of death. From a sightseeing point of view, although many tour groups arrive in the morning to visit in fact the best time -
certainly from a "taking Photos" point of view - is to visit Angkor Wat during mid to late afternoon because of the position of the Sun. The parking area outside of the temple complex is quite
substantial and there are many stalls where you can buy all sorts of drinks and some food (do haggle your price). Nearly always a very busy place so do remember where you left or arranged to find your transport..
Angkor Wat is the single largest religious monument in the world - the name perhaps says it all as it means "The City which is a Temple". Angkor Wat was constructed in the 12th century by Suryavarman
II and originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu - the Protector of Creation. However the four entrances to the central sanctuary have images of Buddha -
which shows the change from Hinduism to Buddhism. The layout is of a five towered temple which is shaped like a lotus bud and represents Mount Meru - the mythical
abode of the gods and centre of the Universe. The temple's outer walls represent the edge of the world and the moat represents the cosmic ocean.
Angkor Wat is surrounded by a huge moat and is entered by a causeway which leads to the temple's thick outside walls. Once through the main entrance you then get the full
view of Angkor Wats massive towers. There are five towers on three levels - on the top level sits the grand central shrine. Before reaching the entrance to the main temple
complex another raised causeway is crossed - this has balustrades which are carved with nagas (serpents) which guard each side. Set in large open grounds
there are two library buildings one on each side and just in front of the temple complex there are large (but at the time of our visit dry) lakes. The huge
complex is surrounded with galleries which contain very good Bas reliefs showing the King and his warriors - also the temple contains over 2000 carvings of
apsaros (dancing girls). The central sanctuary is reached by very steep steps but it's worth the climb as there are quite a few carvings to look at.
The following are our topics about looking round the Temples and Ruins at Angkor Park:
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