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Updated by Joanna James on Apr 23, 2021
Headline for Top Mind-Blowing Facts About Angkor Wat - A testament to Cambodia’s culture and heritage!
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Top Mind-Blowing Facts About Angkor Wat - A testament to Cambodia’s culture and heritage!

A visit to Cambodia without visiting the magnificent Angkor Wat will be completely pointless. You have to head over to the Cambodian jungle in order to explore the Lost City of Angkor Wat. This is in fact a religious monument that has been proved to be the world's largest! Apart from that, there are many astonishing facts about Angkor Wat. Here are some:

1

The biggest religious monument in the world!

Did you know that the temple covers an area of 400 acres making it the biggest religious monument in the world today? It was, in fact, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1992. This created a worldwide movement to protect this complex and as a result, tourists today can witness something truly remarkable. People often head to Cambodia just to explore this temple complex! If you would like to stay at a luxury hotel in Siem Reap close to the temple complex, then check out properties like Anantara Angkor Resort.

2

The temple is featured in the national flag

Back in 1850, this temple was featured on the national flag of Cambodia. It was like they wanted to show the world how much they loved and are proud of the heritage of their country! This pride is even more apparent as they put images of the temple on various denominations of the local currency! It is definitely a national treasure!

3

City of Temples

In the Cambodian language, Khmer, Angkor Wat actually means capital or city and Wat literally means temple grounds. Therefore, Angkor Wat means City of Temples or Temple city. The original name of the temple complex used to be Parama Vishnuloka or Vrah Vishnuloka which in Sanskrit means the sacred dwelling of Vishnu.

4

A temple for two religions!

This religious place was established as a Hindu temple at the beginning that was dedicated to Lord Vishnu, which broke the tradition of the previous kings who worshipped Lord Shiva. Gradually, over the years the temple was turned into a Buddhist place of worship. This turn happened at the end of the twelfth century and has continued since.

5

A symbolic representation of Mt Meru

According to Hindu Mythology, Mt Meru is a sacred mountain with five peaks and stands at the centre of this universe. It is believed that the 3 Hindu Chief Gods- Brahma who is the Creator, Lord Vishnu who is the Preserver and Lord Shiva who is the Destroyer- and the demi-gods called Devas reside at the top of Mt Meru.

6

Its orientation towards the west rather than the east

Unlike other Angkorian temples that face east, the Angkor Wat faces the west which is a direction that has been linked to death in the Hindu culture. May scholars and archaeologists have asserted that maybe this temple was intended for funeral purposes. However, this direction where it faces the west, means one can enjoy a glorious sunset view which adds to its magnificence!

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