Photo – Angkor Wat Temple of the Angkor Empire (King Jayavarman II)
King Jayavarman II (790 – 835) :
According to historical evidence from inscriptions, the Angkor Empire originated with an 8th-century king named King Jayavarman II (790 — 835), who ruled his own kingdom in the territory around present-day Siem Reap. Following a unique and elaborate ceremony upon the Kulen plateau in 802, he was installed as the ruler of a uniﬁed new empire. He was declared as the universal ruler of Kambuja and now had control over a territory formerly ruled by multiple divided and fractious warlords.
During this ceremony, new fundamental features of the new empire known as the cult of the Deva Raja (‘God-King’ or ‘king of the gods’) was introduced, through which power was invested in the king. The precise status bestowed upon the King under this new role in relation to the Hindu Gods, in particular, Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu, is still not known, but it is now thought unlikely that the king himself was considered equal to the Hindu Gods.
King Jayavarman II sets the foundation of the Angkor period in Cambodian history, beginning with the gradise consecration ritual conducted by King Jayavarman II (reign 790-835) in 802 on sacred Mount Mahendraparvata (today known as Phnom Kulen), to celebrate the independence of Kambuja from Javanese dominion (presumably the “neighbouring Chams”, or Chvea). At that ceremony, Prince Jayavarman II is proclaimed as a universal monarch (Kamraten Jagad Ta Raja in Cambodian) or God King (Deva Raja in Sanskrit). According to some sources, King Jayavarman II had resided for some time in Java during the reign of Sailendras, or “The Lords of Mountains”, hence the concept of Devaraja or God-King was ostensibly imported from Java. At that time the Sailendras kingdom is thought to rule Java, Sumatra, Malay Peninsula, and parts of Cambodia. There’s an inscription originating from the Sdok Kak Thom temple that recounts a ceremony at Mahendraparvata where Jayavarman II took part in a ritual by the Brahman Hiranyadama, and his chief priest Lord Sivakaivalya, known as Deva Raja which placed him as a chakravartin, Lord of the Universe.
Angkor Wat Temple (Angkor Empire – King Jayavarman II) :
Angkor Wat is the largest temple complex in the world, located in Cambodia it measures around 162.6 hectares. It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu for the Khmer Empire, gradually it was transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century. Angkor Wat was built by the King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura, the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. The previous Khmer kings followed the Shaiva tradition and many Shiva temples were built but this temple was dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Angkor Wat is the best-preserved temple at the site and it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since it was built.
Angkor Wat is the country’s main tourist destination and millions of tourists visit it every year. It’s the combination of two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture that is the temple-mountain and the later galleried temple. Its design represents Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall, 3.6 kilometres long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. A quincunx of towers forms the centre of the temple and unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west. Scholars are divided on why the Khmer adapted this design and for what purpose.
Legend says that the construction of Angkor Wat was ordered by Indra to serve as a palace for his son Precha Ket Mealea. According to the 13th-century Chinese traveller Zhou Daguan, some believed that the temple was constructed in a single night by a divine architect.
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