|Area||40 miles approx|
|Nearest International Airport||Phnom Penh Pochentong International Airport & Siem Reap Airport|
|Distance from theAirport||144.7 miles (from Phnom Penh), 3.1 miles (from Siem Reap)|
|Best time to visit||November to February|
Angkor Wat in Cambodia is the world's largest complex of Hindu temple. Built in the 12th century, this temple is epitome of Khmer architecture. Dedicated to lord Vishnu, this temple created by King Suryavarman II, has a design derived from the Chola architecture of Tamil Nadu in India. The exteriors of the temple have a intricate relief design and the interior walls have detailed carving of Apsaras, male demi-gods, and scenes and narratives from Hindu mythology. Angkor Wat is one of the most visited tourist destinations of Cambodia and the entire complex is listed in the UNESCO's world heritage site list.
Cambodia's most visited site, Angkor Wat is located in the Siem Reap province in the northern part of the country. To the south of Angkor lies a big lake called Tonle Sap. The temple of Angkor Wat is located in the southernmost part of the Angkor complex. About 3.5 miles from the modern town of Siem Reap the Angkor complex can be easily reached by bus, private cars or taxis and even motorbikes, which are often arranged by the guesthouses or hotels in the town. Siem Reap has a small airport, which is connected with many South East Asian cities. Another major airport is in the capital city of Phnom Penh; this international airport in the city also receives many international flights on regular basis. To move around the complex cars, motorbikes, tuk tuk service, bicycles are available. Guided tours are also available, which are inexpensive and a good option to learn about the history of Angkor in details. For international tourists passes are required to enter Angkor, which are available for sale at the entrance gate.
Landscape & Architecture
The Angkor complex is spread over a total area of about 155 sq miles including the forested area and the archeological park encompassing many temples, communication routes, villages, and hydraulic basin structures. The outstanding temple of Angkor Wat is part of this major complex. Angkor Wat is surrounded by a moat and its entrance is through a sandstone causeway to the west. The exterior walls and pillars of the temple have detailed and fascinating carvings of bas relief - narratives from Hindu mythology and scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The interior has figures of different deities engraved on the walls. Many inscriptions on the walls are in Sanskrit. This structure is a magnificent example of Khmer architecture with its temple mountain style; it also appears on the national flag of Cambodia. The temple made up of smooth sandstone, giving it the rich look similar to marble. There are five towers in the temple complex and the temple is oriented to the west. The temple built on a raised terrace has three galleries rising to the central tower. Each of the towers, galleries, walls, and even the roofs of the temple have carvings. Originally, the shrine had only the statue of Lord Vishnu, but eventually with the onset of Buddhism, new walls of the temple were engraved with statues of Buddha. The overall structure of the temple resembles a lotus bud - a flower deemed sacred both in Hinduism and in Buddhism.
The magnificent Khmer architecture of Angkor Wat has been a major attraction for its tourist. This site grants visitors a profound insight into the history of Khmer Empire; the images of therulers of Khmer and scenes from their life, the battles they fought, all are engraved on the walls of the temple. The magnificence and beauty of the temple speaks volumes about the luxury and splendor of the Khmer Empire. Beside the Angora Wat, there are other important temples like Angkor Thom, which are also visited by tourists. In addition to the temple, many tourists visit Angkor to enjoy the serenity of nature in the forested area.
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, Angkor Wat is symbolic of architectural brilliance. It is a perfect blend of relief, sculpture, and proportion, making it one of the finest temple structures of the world. Its temple's mountain design is a replica of the temples in South India. The overall structure looks like a lotus bud. This unique structure and the entire complex of Angkor are listed in the UNESCO's World Heritage Site list, making it the most visited tourist destination of Cambodia.
Last Updated On : September 08, 2012