Angkor Wat - Top Choice Hindu Temple
If I must give a reason for the travel to Cambodia, the first one I think of is certainly Angkor Wat and its mesmerizing temples. It’s world-renowned for its unique architecture and ancient Khmer culture, transforming Cambodia from an isolated country into one of the top and most visited destinations in all of Asia.
Why to visit Angkor Wat ?
Accessed from the town of Siem Reap, the temples of the Angkorian period are so ambitious in scale and in the majesty of their construction, that Angkor Wat is rated as one of the world's must-see ancient sites. Built between AD 802 and 1432, this was the largest city in the world during the medieval age and the vast powerhouse of the Khmer kings who endeavored to outbid their predecessors in the beauty of their construction. As the city's wooden dwellings were encroached and then decayed by the surrounding jungle, what remains today, are just those mighty temples.
The temple of Angkor Wat itself, the world's largest religious building, is only one sliver of the site in total, and the sprawling circuit of temples deserves some days to explore if you want to understand the scope of the Angkorian period's architectural achievements. Angkor Wat is the heart and soul of Cambodia: it is the national symbol, the epicentre of Khmer civilisation and a source of fierce national pride. It was never abandoned to the elements and has been in virtually continuous use since it was built. Simply unique, it is a stunning blend of spirituality and symmetry, an enduring example of humanity’s devotion to its gods.
For those short on time though, the main highlights after Angkor Wat are the tree-root clasped temple of Ta Prohm (which first found international fame as a location used in the movie Tomb Raider), the Bayon Temple for its 216 stone-carved faces, Angkor Thom, and Preah Khan. And don’t miss enjoying sunset glow from Angkor Wat if having a chance to here.
The temples of Angkor are a source of inspiration and national pride to all Khmers as they struggle to rebuild their lives after the years of terror and trauma. Today, the temples are a point of pilgrimage for all Cambodians, and no traveller to the region will want to miss their extravagant beauty.