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Angkor Wat

Temple complex in Cambodia / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Angkor Wat (/ˌæŋkɔːr ˈwɒt/; Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត, "City/Capital of Temples") is a temple complex in Cambodia, located on a site measuring 162.6 hectares (1,626,000 m2; 402 acres). The Guinness World Records considers it as the largest religious structure in the world.[2] Originally constructed as a Hindu temple[1] dedicated to the god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire by King Suryavarman II during the 12th century, it was gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the century; as such, it is also described as a "Hindu-Buddhist" temple.[3][4]

Quick facts: Location, Coordinates, Altitude, History, Bui...
Angkor Wat
Front side of the main complex
Angkor Wat is located in Cambodia
Angkor Wat
Location in Cambodia
LocationSiem Reap, Cambodia
Coordinates13°24′45″N 103°52′0″E
Altitude65 m (213 ft)
BuilderStarted by Suryavarman II Completed by Jayavarman VII
Founded12th century[1]
CulturesKhmer Empire
Architectural stylesKhmer (Angkor Wat style)
Official nameAngkor
Criteriai, ii, iii, iv
Designated1992 (16th session)
Reference no.668
RegionAsia and the Pacific

Angkor Wat was built at the behest of the Khmer King Suryavarman II[5] in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura (Khmer: យសោធរបុរៈ, present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple-mountain and the later galleried temple. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat more than 5 kilometres (3 mi) long[6] and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs, and for the numerous devatas adorning its walls. The modern name Angkor Wat, alternatively Nokor Wat,[7] means "Temple City" or "City of Temples" in Khmer. Angkor (អង្គរ ângkôr), meaning "city" or "capital city", is a vernacular form of the word nokor (នគរ nôkôr), which comes from the Tamil/Sanskrit/Pali word nagaram or nagara (Devanāgarī: नगर).[8] Wat (វត្ត vôtt) is the word for "temple grounds", also derived from Tamil/Sanskrit/Pali vattam or vāṭa (Devanāgarī: वाट), meaning "enclosure or border in Tamil".[9]

The original name of the temple was Vrah Viṣṇuloka or Parama Viṣṇuloka meaning "the sacred dwelling of Vishnu".[10][11]

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