"Angkor Wat" Angkor Wat Tip by Blatherwick
Angkor Wat, Angkor Wat: 233 reviews and 471 photos
Nothing really prepares you for the site that meets you as you come out of the jungle and see Angkor Wat. Even the pictures don't really do it justice. It is the largest religious monument in the world. Sunrise is simply amazing as the sun rises from directly behind the temple.
Angkor Wat is the work of Suryavarman II (1113-1150 AD). It is the best preserved example of Khmer architecture, lying less than a mile to the south of the Angkor Thom. The word Angkor is a vernacular form of the word nokor which comes from the Sanskrit word nagara. Wat is the Khmer word for temple. The words Angkor and Wat together mean City Temple.
The temple was originally devoted to the worship of Brahma, but afterwards to that of Buddha. Sandstone of various colours was the chief material employed by the Khmers; limonite was also used. The stone was cut into huge blocks which are fitted together with great accuracy without the use of cement. Simply amazing.
A moat and three galleries encircle the five central shrines. On the west side of the park a paved causeway, leading over the moat and under a magnificent portico, extends for a distance of a quarter of a mile to the chief entrance of the main building.
The first gallery has square pillars on the outer side and a closed wall on the inner side. Apsaras are found on the walls of all galleries. From the first gallery a long avenue leads to the second gallery. This is reached via a raised platform with lions on both sides of a staircase. The inner walls of the second gallery contain continuous narrative relief. The third gallery encloses the five shrines which are built on a raised terrace and are interconnected by galleries. The roofings of the galleries are decorated with the motif of the body of a snake ending in the heads of lions or garudas. Sculptured lintels and frontons decorate the entrances to the galleries and the entrances to the shrines.
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