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Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. It was built during the 12th Century and originally dedicated to the god Vishnu.

The five towered temple was designed to represent Mount Meru, the mythical home of the gods. It is thought that the temple represented the centre of the universe, the outer walls the edge of the world and the moat a cosmic sea.

There are over 2000 engravings of apsaras or celestial dancing angels in relief on the walls.

Unlike the other temples Angkor Wat faces west towards the setting sun

To appreciate Angkor and the other temples it is best to allow a few days for your visit. Many tourist visit the temples at sunrise and sunset which has the added advantage of avoiding the mid day heat which can be intense.

The temples are surrounded by jungle which must be controlled to prevent it over growing and collapsing the walls of the temples.

The temples survived the wars relatively in tack and some fine reconstruction work funded by the international community has taken place since.

Angkor was rediscovered by the French in 1860's though of course something of this magnitude couldn't be easily lost.

Much of the treasure, statues and items of perceived commercial value have been lost over time. Some artefacts are residing in international museums, some in private collections. .

Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom is the largest of the temple sites and is really a fortified city, covering nearly 10 sq km. The city is surrounded by a moat, which still has a water supply. There are five bridges and gateways crossing the moat to the city. Bayon is the city's most impressive temple, shaped like a pyramid. The most note able features are the smiling faces that adorn the towers.

Much of the treasure, statues and items of perceived commercial value have been lost over time. Some artefacts are residing in international museums, some in private collections. Within the Angkor complex there are over 30 temples, the most significant have been mentioned. Many are still in excellent condition and worth a visit.

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Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei

The temple is built of pink sandstone and retains its fine colours. Unlike the other temples, Banteay Srei is not a royal temple but was founded by Hindu Priests in the 10th century This temple is 30 km from Siem Reap and can take about an hour and a half to travel by tuk tuk.

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Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm

The jungle is allowed to continue its encroachment of the temple Ta Prohm. The huge strangling fig trees soar high above the temple as their roots literally strangle the temple. The temple has been the setting for many movies. .

Sugar Palm

Sugar Palm

Along the roads side on the way to the temples and jungles watch out for stalls selling local produce such as palm sugar and cane sugar.

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Copyright Moving Postcards Aug 22 2016

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