Situated within the region of Angkor in Cambodia, Angkor Wat is a mesmerizing temple complex with numerous interesting designs and details. The Khmer style of architecture is very much evident in this structure. Today, it is used as a symbol within the national flag of the country. For those who wish to find out the reason behind the construction of Angkor Wat, let’s take a good look at the colorful history of the country.
The Reason for Building the Angkor Wat
Why was Angkor Wat built? The primary reason for building this structure was to make it a state temple for King Suryavarman II. During the early parts of the 12th century, the leaders of the country were trying to transform the area of Angkor into a capital city. Its construction helped a lot in establishing the area as the seat of the government. It was a temple devoted to the Hindu god Vishnu.
Some individuals and groups believe that one of the primary reasons for building this structure was to function as the funerary temple of Suryavarman II. They are saying this because the structure is geared towards the west. Furthermore, there are also historical records saying that this temple was designed to represent Mount Meru, which the people in the country believed as the home of the gods.
Just by looking at the design of this structure, people can easily notice numerous elements of Khmer architecture. These include half-galleries, re-dented towers as well as the ogival. The structure also has other beautiful and interesting details like cruciform terraces and axial galleries. When combined together, all these simple details and special elements create a very beautiful temple.
In addition to the basic details of Angkor Wat, it is also possesses decorative elements. Some of the notable decorations available inside include extensive garlands, bas-reliefs and devatas. It also has a central structure surrounded by an outer enclosure.
Additional Information and Other Interesting Details
This beautiful temple was restored somewhere around 1986 until 1992. In 1992, it was established as a World Heritage Site. The Cambodian government was granted with financial support to help maintain and conserve this beautiful architecture. In order to repair damages to bas-reliefs as well as the devatas, the German Apsara Conservation Project was initiated.
Thanks to these wonderful efforts, Angkor Wat has transformed into one of the most interesting tourists destinations in the world today. Because of these major developments, this temple has contributed a lot in terms of tourism in the country. The province of Siem Reap for instance, drew around 561,000 visitors from various parts of the world in 2004. In 2005, the numbers increased to a whopping 677,000 foreign tourists.