Not only is the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat the largest religious monument in the world, also being the biggest Hindu temple, but what is most surprising to many is that it is not located in India, but in Cambodia!
Being one of the most significant & beautiful temple complexes in the world, Angkor Wat was built for the great King Suryavarman as a Vishnu temple, in the 12th century. With the passage of time and the movement of rulers into the Khmer empire, it slowly turned into a Buddhist structure as well. It is an important part of the heritage of the country, with its appearance in the national flag.
The name itself means ‘temple city’, with its structure spreading across more than 500 acres. It is recognised as a world UNESCO site with its mesmerising build and culturally rich origins.
As go many myths, one of the popular myths claims that the young king Suryavarman for whom the temple was built, killed his uncle while riding his elephant, to gain the throne. This attack is compared to the great winged bird Garuda killing serpents. The king was a strong devotee of Lord Vishnu and structures in the temple show this relationship, naming him ‘Paramavishnuloka’ which means ‘a supreme devotee of Lord Vishnu’!
Would you believe that so many Hindus from Cambodia come to attend Kumbh Mela held in India every year?
Isn’t that awesome?