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Angkor Wat Temple

The Angkor Wat temples complex in Cambodia is the largest Hindu and Buddhist temple monument in the world. This site is about 162.6 hectares and It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple for Lord Vishnu by the Khmer Empire. By the end of the 12th century, it was converted to a Buddhist temple. 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 at the highest class of the classical architectural style of the Khmer and it is now a symbol of Cambodia appearing on its national flag. It's the country's main tourist destination and millions of tourists visit it every year. Angkor Wat is the combination of two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture that is 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 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. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs, and for the numerous devatas adorning its walls.

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