Encased within the forests of Cambodia are the awe-inspiring spires of a majestic stone city. Once the capital of the mighty Khmer Empire, the Angkor Archaeological Park now stands as a remnant of a bygone age. Amidst the array of stone buildings found in the park, one stands out – the towering temple of Angkor Wat.
What is it?
The Angkor Wat was built to be the physical representation of Mt. Meru – the sacred abode of the Hindu gods. Initially, the temple wasn’t nearly as massive as it is now, however, as new kings ascended to the throne they strove to improve upon the structure. As such, over the decades it kept growing in size until it became the towering edifice it is today – the world’s largest religious building.
What’s Special About it?
The Angkor Wat served a dual purpose as both a temple and a mausoleum as it’s believed to be the tomb of the God-King Suryavarman II. The temple is also famous for its elaborate artwork, most notably the numerous carvings of angelic nymphs that adorn its walls. Carvings that regale various historic moments and conflicts adorn the outside of the central complex, endowing the Angkor Wat with a sense of grandiose splendour.
How to Visit
The growing town of Siem Reap serves as the gateway to the Angkor Park and has a great choice of accommodation and amenities for visitors. You can even find a luxury hotel in Siem Reap to ensure that your stay is a comfortable one. The Anantara Angkor Resort, for instance, is only 15 minutes away from the Angkor Wat.
When to Visit
Cambodia experiences its monsoon season during May or June and the weather remains rainy till around October. Travel can be difficult during this time and its recommended to visit the Angkor Wat during the early spring months of December and January.