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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Interesting Facts about Angkor Wat – Mystical Relic
Joanna James Joanna James
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Interesting Facts about Angkor Wat – Mystical Relic

Cambodia's Angkor Wat is the world's largest religious monument. It's a thrilling UNESCO World Heritage Site that is more than amazing to explore. Here are some facts you may not know about the place.


Angkor Wat – What the Name Denotes

The name Angkor Wat translates to 'city of temples' and also 'temple city'. A name that well justifies the place, for even now, new shrines and temples are being discovered.


The Wat is Featured in the National Flag

Angkor Wat is established as the main lure that draws 50% of the country's tourists. Hence, it is no wonder that Cambodians highly regard their ancient wonder. More so, that Angkor Wat was featured as part of the National Flag in 1850. This is the only national flag, apart for Afghanistan, that features a national monument. In addition to starring in the national flag, images of Angkor Wat appear in some of the local currency; the riel, to be precise.


The Size of the Temple is Stupendous

Guests at Anantara Angkor Resort will find the temple is within easy reach. You may want to pay more than one visit to the place in order to cover the entire precinct. The ruins stretch for a distance of 400 sq.kms, but most visitors seem to miscalculate the entire girth of the place and end up visiting just a few of the temples there. Staying at luxury hotels, Siem Reap has to offer will be ideal for exploring the temple over a course of a day or two.


Angkor Wat Faces the West

Facing the west denotes death, according to Hindu beliefs; hence all buildings, religious and otherwise were built to face the east, symbolising the rising sun and prosperity. Angkor Wat however is built to face the west; scholars are still puzzled about this characteristic.


More Proof the Temple is Associated with Funeral Rituals

Apart for facing the west, a direction that denotes death, the temples Bas-reliefs read counter-clockwise. This is another symbol that associates the shrine with death and funeral rituals.


The Wat was Not Dedicated to the King

Built during the Khmer Dynasty, Angkor Wat was dedicated to the Hindu deity Vishnu; this was at a time when shrines were dedicated to the ruling monarch. And another fact that seems to add more mystery to the site, while baffling researchers.


The Now Perished City Wall Enclosed the Entire Section

The original wall that skirted the temple was said to have enclosed within its folds, the royal palace, the city and the entire temple. It occupied an area of 820,000sq metres. Today, nothing remains of this gigantic wall.


The Bricks Were Bonded with Vegetable Glue

That's right, the Khmer bricks that were used to construct this monolithic structure were held together by a compound made from vegetables and not mortar.


The Temple was Once Painted

Angkor Wat appears to all as an antique relic, made up of age-blackened walls. Many visitors exploring the site believe the walls to be made of stone and in their original form. There is proof though, to show that the temple was once painted, although only a few patches remain to this day.