Angkor Wat is the primary reason most people visit Cambodia. It sees over 2 million people per year and was even named *THE* best attraction on Earth by Lonely Planet a few years ago. Here are a few things you might like to know.
It’s the world’s largest religious monument.
Built 900 years ago, the outer walls of Angkor Wat span 1.5 km (0.93 mi) east to west and 1.3 km (0.81 mi) north to south.
It converted to Buddhism.
Angkor Wat’s main temple was originally built for the Hindu god Vishnu but became Buddhist in the late 13th century. The change was understated, with Hindu imagery remaining intact.
It’s more than a temple.
While the temple of Angkor Wat is a feature attraction, it’s just part of Angkor Archaeological Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins cover 400 square km (248 square miles) and include an array of temples.
It’s the national symbol.
From the flag to its currency – Angkor Wat is Cambodia’s ultimate icon.
Something bigger is coming.
Virat Ramayan Mandir will soon rise in India, eclipsing the size of Angkor Wat. It’ll be spread over 200 acres and double the height of Angkor Wat, with seating for 20,000. To the chagrin of many Cambodians, the original design was too ‘inspired’ by its predecessor and would even be called Virat Angkor Wat Ram Mandir, but modifications and a name change were made.
We return to Angkor Wat this November on our Buddhist Sites & City Nights tour through Laos and Cambodia. Join us!