Angkor Wat Cambodia iconic ancient temple landmark Angkor Wat Cambodia iconic ancient temple landmark

Angkor Wat Temple Complex: Story of an Ancient Marvel

I always had a strong connection with temples. I don’t know why; but yes, I feel immense peace and serenity whenever I visit any temple. In fact, I regularly pay a visit to one near my home. My fascination with these temples has taken me to almost all the popular Hindu temples all around.

As you know, temples are known for their magnificent architecture and enchanting beauty. One of them is the Angkor Wat temple complex at Angkor, close to Siemreab, Cambodia. It was built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II (ruled 1113–c. 1150). The immense religious complex of Angkor Wat involves more than 1,000 structures, and it is one of the extraordinary social miracles of the world.

Angkor Wat Temple Complex
– Source: Pixabay

It is dedicated to the divine gods Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu. The five focal pinnacles of Angkor Wat represent the pinnacles of Mount Meru, which, as indicated by Hindu folklore, is the residence of the divine gods. The mountain is supposed to be encircled by a sea and a bridge allows access to the site.

The nearby town of Siemreab can be reached using good streets from Phnom Penh, and transport and cabs make the excursion routine. If you like to go by boat, you can likewise make the outing from Phnom Penh in nearly five or six hours—about a similar travel time as by street. The air terminal in Siemreab has administration to Phnom Penh and ordinary flights abroad to Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, and Laos.

I am telling you this because the quickly developing town of Siemreab is the doorway to Angkor. It is loaded up with housing, eating, and visit bundle choices for all financial plans and tendencies. Visit transports are accessible for those whose agendas match what’s on offer—regular visits to Angkor’s significant locales.

If you are keen on investigating more remote and off-in-unexpected direction designs might employ vehicles or motorbikes with drivers, or potential directs who are likewise ready to propose schedules. Expanded rides offer a special elevated point of view if you want to see the fabulous plan of the Angkor complex.

The Temple Has a Strong History

Angkor Wat (Full Episode) | Access 360 World Heritage

Angkor Wat has a rich culture and history that is worth knowing. It is a design magnum opus and the biggest strict landmark on the planet. It covers a region multiple times the size of Vatican City. It was worked on by the Khmer Lord Suryavarman II in the main portion of the twelfth century, around the years 1110–1150, making Angkor Wat very nearly 900 years old.

The perplexing sanctuary, which worked in the capital of the Khmer Domain, required around 30 years to assemble. It was initially committed to the Hindu god Vishnu before turning into a Buddhist sanctuary in the 14th century.

The French, who managed Cambodia for a large part of the twentieth century, reestablished the site in the early 1900s for travel industry purposes. In any case, this work was then disturbed by the Cambodian nation-wide conflict and the Khmer Rouge.

Cambodia acquired freedom from France in 1953 and has controlled Angkor Wat from that point onward. In 1992, the sanctuary complex was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is currently a profoundly famous vacation spot in Cambodia, inviting 2 million guests consistently. The most well-known opportunity to visit Angkor Wat is in the early hours of the morning to observe a wonderful dawn over the mysterious sanctuary. It is advised not to miss this golden opportunity knocking on your doors!

Its Design Is Extremely Magnificent

Angkor Wat Temple Complex
– Source: Pixabay

If you don’t know this, Angkor Wat, the essence of Cambodia, means “City Temple” in the Khmer language. It is safeguarded by a high wall and wide channel and covers an area of about 500 acres. During its level of prevalence, Angkor Wat incorporated a city, a sanctuary, and the ruler’s royal residence.

Nonetheless, it was just the sanctuary and walls that were worked out of sandstone, not wood; in this manner, the main designs are still in use today.

Important Deities of the Angkor Wat Temple Complex

If you are interested in Hinduism, this temple has much to offer for you. Brahma, one of the significant divine forces of Hinduism from around 500 BCE to 500 CE, was later dominated by Vishnu, Shiva, and the incomparable Goddess (in her various forms). Brahma is related to the Vedic god Prajapati, whose character he expected.

  • Brahma, the creator of all life. He represents Earth.
  • Vishnu, the sustainer of life. He represents water.
  • Shiva: The destructive power of the Trimurti. He represents fire.
Angkor Wat Temple Complex
– Source: Pixabay

Brahma was brought into the world from a brilliant egg and made the earth and everything on it. Later fantasies portray him as having been approached by a lotus that arises from Vishnu’s navel.

  • Brahma has four faces and is seated on a lotus with the Vedas and a rosary in his hands. His vehicle is the Swan.
  • The most popular Brahma temple is located in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India.
Angkor Wat Temple Complex
– Source: Pixabay

Vishnu is one of the famous Hindu gods. Vishnu consolidates numerous lesser heavenly figures and nearby legends, predominantly through his symbols, especially Rama and Krishna. The ten essential symbols of Vishnu are known as the Dashavatara.

His appearances are countless; he is frequently said to have 10 symbols, but they are not similar all of the time. Among the 1,000 names of Vishnu (rehashed as a demonstration of dedication by his admirers) are Vasudeva, Narayana, Madhava, Hrishikesha, and so on.

  • Whenever the world is threatened with evil, chaos, and destructive forces, Lord Vishnu descends in the form of an avatar to restore the cosmic order and protect dharma.

Shiva has numerous perspectives, being kindhearted as well as fearsome. In big-hearted viewpoints, he is portrayed as an all-knowing Yogi who carries on with a plain life on Mount Kailash as well as a householder with his better half, Parvati, and his two youngsters, Ganesha and Kartikeya.

In his savage viewpoints, he is, in many cases, portrayed as killing devils.

  • Master Shiva is frequently addressed with a snake named Vasuki curled around his neck. The snake addresses the way that he controls death and fear.
  • A sickle moon enhances his hair as the Blessed Stream Ganga streams as far away as his head.

During an interview with the Icy Whiz team, Michael Sawyer, Operations Director at Ultimate Kilimanjaro, shared his views about this historical landmark. Here is what he had to say:

Michael Sawyer
Michael Sawyer

“Angkor Wat is nothing short of breathtaking, with its captivating blend of cultural significance, history, and artistry.

What truly captures my mind is its historical presence, first built as a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu the preserver and protector, then later transitioned to a Buddhist monument. It is rich in history a true marvel to behold and a testament to an era that’s long forgotten.

Historically speaking Angkor Wat showcases the immense power of the Khmer Empire, the temple stands as a testament to their deep religious beliefs during that era. Over time they transitioned into Buddhism incorporating Buddhist elements but keeping its original design.

In the present day, the temple is still considered the cornerstone of the Cambodian people, even featured on their national flag.

Tourism is a great source of income for Cambodia, and Angkor Wat is possibly the biggest draw. This is where preservation comes in the number of visitors to the religious site leads to wear and tear on the structure and the surrounding areas.

Taking care of such an enormous site requires shared responsibility between the Cambodian government, international organizations, and tourists. 

Sustainability practices should top priority along with education on historical significance. With a combined effort, Angkor Wat could continue to inspire the generations of the future.”

You Must Know About Some of Its Interesting Facts

Angkor Wat Temple Complex
– Source: Pixabay

The first fact about the temple is integrity. The Angkor complex includes all major design structures and hydrological design frameworks from the Khmer time frame, and the greater part of these “barays” channels exist today.

Every one of the singular viewpoints outlines the soundness of the site, mirroring the quality of the urban communities that used to be. The site’s uprightness, nonetheless, is put under double tension.

  1. Endogenous: applied between 750,000 and one million people.
  2. Exogenous: connected with the nearness of the modern-day town of  Siem Reap, the seat of the territory and a travel industry centre.
Angkor Wat Temple Complex
– Source: Pixabay

You can’t stop thinking about the feeling of realness it gives. Past preservation and reclamation work at Angkor somewhere in the range of 1907 and 1992, particularly by the École Française d’Extrême-Situate (EFEO), the Archeological Review of India.

The World Landmarks Asset essentially affects the general validity of the landmarks that make up the Angkor complex and doesn’t obtrude upon the general impression acquired from individual landmarks.

Angkor Wat Temple Complex
– Source: Pixabay

Let me give one more name to the temple, which is heavenly fairies. Angkor Wat is renowned for having more than 3000 flabbergasting apsaras (heavenly nymphs)cut into its walls and there are 37 unique hairdos for sprouting beauticians to look at.

A significant number of these lovely apsaras were harmed during endeavors to clean the sanctuaries with synthetics during the 1980s; however, they are being reestablished by the groups with the German Apsara Protection Venture.

Angkor Wat Temple Complex
– Source: Pixabay

The temple is also known for its bas-relief work. Guests to Angkor Wat are struck by its monumental glory and, close to other people, its intriguing and beautiful twists. Extending beyond the focal sanctuary complex are 1,200 square meters of bas-reliefs—carving scenes from Hindu mythology.

Billy Litmer, Founder of Honest Eco Tours, talked to the Icy Whiz team on this. Here is what he said:

Billy Litmer - Featured
Billy Litmer

“Angkor Wat is a breathtaking architectural marvel. It is a dream destination for many, and exploring this incredible UNESCO World Heritage site can be the adventure of a lifetime.

One of the most enchanting aspects of Angkor Wat is the ancient statues that oversee the site, each narrating a distinct story about the beliefs, artistry, and civilization that once flourished here.

The temple complex was constructed in the capital of the Khmer Empire, and its construction spanned about 30 years. It is believed that Angkor Wat was originally built as a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu before it transitioned to a Buddhist temple by the late 12th century.

Angkor Wat is more than just a temple; it stands as a testament to the splendor of the Khmer Empire.

Constructed in the early 12th century under the reign of King Suryavarman II, it was first a monument to the Hindu god Vishnu, and then it became a Buddhist temple. This change mirrors the shifting religious dynamics within the Khmer civilization.

Over the years, it has come to symbolize Cambodia’s cultural heritage and has become a pivotal part of the nation’s identity.”

I’ll Give You Some Details on Planning of Trip

Angkor Wat Temple Complex
– Source: Pixabay

It is feasible to visit Angkor Wat at any time of the year; however, I recommend you go there from November to February. As that time the weather conditions are dry and cooler, even though it’s still sweltering by and large.

The best time of day is dawn when it’s cooler, however, or noon when the majority of the visitors are visiting the area. It is likewise famous at nightfall when the sanctuary can foster a delicate gleam in the warm light of the late sun.

Angkor Wat Temple Complex
– Source: Pixabay

Before visiting the temple, you must know the opening timings. Angkor Wat opens at 5 a.m. for guests who need to see the dawn from this notable spot. The upper level (Bakan Safe Haven) is open from 7.30 a.m. Angkor Wat shuts down at 5:30 p.m. and isn’t currently open around evening time.

Angkor Wat Temple Complex
– Source: Pixabay

A section pass to the sanctuaries of Angkor costs US$37 for one day, US$62 for three days (which can be utilized over a time of 10 days), and US$72 for a seven-day pass (which can be utilized north of one month).

A one-day pass i s legitimate for two days, a three-day pass was substantial for five days, and a seven-day pass was significant for 10 days. 

Angkor Wat Temple Complex
– Source: Pixabay

I can tell you many convenient transportation options available for the visitors. Browse motos (motorbike taxis) for one individual, rework motos (tuk-tuks) for two, and confidential vehicles or minivans for families or little gatherings. Ecofriendly choices incorporate off-road bicycles or electric bikes.

Directed visits can likewise be organized at Siem Harvest. Eco-friendly choices incorporate trail-blazing bicycles or electric bikes, and there is another cycling method that is associated with the town of Siem Reap and the numerous sanctuaries of Angkor.

The Icy Whiz team interviewed Dhriti Chatterjee, Travel Advisor at Lowest Flight Fares, and asked her about the historical, cultural, and religious significance of the future preservation of this sacred place. Here is what she said:

Dhriti Chatterjee
Dhriti Chatterjee

“Undoubtedly, the growing popularity of underrated destinations that offer holistic cultural and natural experiences has grown tenfold since the sudden boom of social media.

However, the same popularity has led to some negative impacts on cultural heritage, for example, Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat is known as the largest religious structure in the world in terms of spirituality and culture. The temple of Angkor Wat is influenced by an amalgamation of both Hindu and Buddhist beliefs.

The entire premise of the temple is spread across a wide area and thus its name symbolizes “the Capital of the Temple” or “The city of the temple”.

As amazing as the temple of Angkor Wat may but it is quite overrun by tourists. The number of tourists has increased multiple folds from 2000 to 2016 which has led to the deterioration of the original Khmer stonework of the temple.

Lack of proper visitor management and an unchecked number of visitors has ultimately led to overpopulation.

Being an avid traveler, when I visited Angkor last year, I noticed the gigantic number of foreign businesses, primarily Chinese businesses that offer tours and guides.

This is a clear representation of a leak in the local economy. Cambodia being a low-economy country depends heavily on tourism; however, foreign established tourism businesses generate profit.

One of the subtle sustainable practices that can help restore Angkor Wat’s true essence is acknowledging the cultural and economic importance of the place. It is an essential temple and must be treated as a sacred one.

Tourists can also promote authentic local businesses that will not only help the country’s economy but it’s also more affordable. Invest in reusable bottles and cutleries. Metal straws, and sustainable travel gear that does not generate unnecessary waste.

Lastly, tourists should engage in community engagement to spread and promote sustainable tourism that results in long-term change and climate change improvement.”

Angkor Wat Temple Complex
– Source: Pixabay

If you are planning to visit Cambodia, Angkor Wat Temple Complex will be the best pick for your trip. It continues to assume a significant role in the country, even though the majority of the populace is presently Buddhist. Today, the Cambodian banner has the outline of Angkor Wat.

At the wonderful sanctuary of Angkor Wat Temple Complex, the World Landmarks Asset is reestablishing the Agitating of the Ocean of Milk Display. Water and destructive salts have spilled through the top of the exhibition, which frames the south 50% of Angkor Wat’s conspicuous east façade, harming the delicate surface of the frieze.

Without treatment, the disintegration will increase at a disturbing rate, taking a chance with the possible loss of what most students of history see as the most aggressive and finely delivered stone figures in Khmer craftsmanship.

I strongly recommend you watch this video below to gain better insights

Angkor Wat (Full Episode) | Access 360 World Heritage

Guest Author: Saket Kumar

Last Updated on May 16, 2024 by Pragya


  1. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the Angkor Wat Temple Complex, covering its history, architecture, important deities, and practical information for planning a trip. It’s a valuable resource for anyone interested in exploring this remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cambodia. The detailed facts about the temple’s design, the significance of its deities, and the tips for visiting are particularly helpful for potential travelers. Kudos to the writer!!

  2. I love old architects and Temples are like the favorite part of them. Thank you for this amazing Article about this surreal architect. Will try to visit here soon.

  3. Architecture and history never fails to amaze me.
    and article captured and displayed the beauty in the outmost perfection!!

  4. The chronological journey through its construction and historical context provided a comprehensive understanding, making it accessible even for those less familiar with Cambodian history. The vibrant imagery and concise yet informative style make this article a delightful read.

  5. Each paragraph contains a valuable information about the temple. Each and every thing is defined in a simple manner.

  6. This article felt like a journey to the heart of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. i’m Learning about the history, architecture, and religious significance was captivating. The blend of travel tips with cultural insights was perfect for someone like me who’s planning a visit and loves history.
    i would be happy to explore angkor wat

  7. I found this article on the Angkor Wat temple complex truly captivating. Exploring its rich history and architectural significance, the details about its dedication to Hindu gods, the representation of Mount Meru, and the 617-foot bridge providing access added a new layer of appreciation for this cultural marvel. As someone with limited knowledge on this topic, the article’s clarity made it easy to grasp the intricate aspects of Angkor Wat’s profound heritage.

  8. I really liked the article about Angkor Wat! It told me cool facts I didn’t know. The temple is super interesting, and the author explained its amazing architecture and why it’s important. Now, I want to learn even more about Angkor Wat. Great job to the writer for making it so interesting.

  9. A vivid narrative on Angkor Wat Temple. It really plays the role of a travel guide and Anudeep tempts the reader to visit the place through his compelling narrative. very useful piece of information.

  10. This article on the Angkor Wat Temple Complex is a captivating journey through the history, architecture, and cultural significance of this ancient marvel. The detailed information about its construction by King Suryavarman II, the intertwining of Hinduism and Buddhism in its religious significance, and the breathtaking design elements like the five central peaks representing Mount Meru, all contribute to a rich narrative.

  11. Embark on a historical journey with anudeep08’s exploration of the Angkor Wat Temple Complex. The 12th-century marvel, built by King Suryavarman II, unfolds its grandeur through more than 1,000 structures steeped in Hinduism.

    The article navigates the complex’s rich history, from its origin dedicated to Hindu gods to its transformation into a Buddhist temple. A touchpoint with colonial rediscovery by Henri Mouhot adds a layer of intrigue.

    Beyond history, anudeep08 provides practical insights, from accessing Siemreab to the architectural wonder’s UNESCO recognition. An ode to Cambodia’s essence, Angkor Wat’s significance is beautifully encapsulated as the “City of Sanctuaries.”

    A captivating read for history enthusiasts and those dreaming of dawn at Angkor Wat, this piece seamlessly blends facts and fascination.

  12. “Thank you for this comprehensive guide on the Angkor Wat Temple Complex. The detailed history, architectural insights, and information about the important deities provided a fascinating read. I recently visited Angkor Wat, and your article served as an excellent resource for planning my trip. The tips on the best time to visit, opening times, costs, and getting around were particularly helpful. Witnessing the sunrise at Angkor Wat was a truly magical experience, and I owe much of the smooth planning to the valuable information shared here. Keep up the great work in providing such insightful articles!”

  13. Really reading this article make me feel as if I was in the angkor wat temple in Cambodia . Very recently this heritage center emerged as the 8th wonder of the world and makes it place in that table the architecture in this hole temple is astounding I feel the architect who architected this temple was an aur .

  14. “This article felt like a journey to the heart of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. Learning about its history, architecture, and religious significance was captivating. The blend of travel tips with cultural insights was perfect for someone like me who’s planning a visit and loves history.”

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