Preah Vihear in Cambodia

Constructed : Early 10th century.
Religion : Hindu (god Shiva)
Style : Banteay Srei
King : Suryavarman I & II ★ 1002 -1050 ★
Location : In Svay Chrum Village, Kan Tout Commune, Choam Khsant District of Preah Vihear province of northern Cambodia. The temple is 140 km from Angkor Wat and 320 km from Phnom Penh.
Comment : Construction of the first temple on the site began in the early 9th century; both then and in the following centuries it was dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva in his manifestations as the mountain gods Sikharesvara and Bhadresvara.

Preah Vihear

Preah Vihear

The earliest surviving parts of the temple, however, date from the Koh Ker period in the early 10th century, when the empire’s capital was at the city of that name. Today, elements of the Banteay Srei style of the late 10th century can be seen, but most of the temple was constructed during the reigns of the Khmer kings Suryavarman I (1002 -1050) and Suryavarman II (1113 -1150). An inscription found at the temple provides a detailed account of Suryavarman II studying sacred rituals, celebrating religious festivals and making gifts, including white parasols, golden bowls and elephants, to his spiritual advisor, the aged Brahmin Divakarapandita.

The Brahmin himself took an interest in the temple, according to the inscription, donating to it a golden statue of a dancing Shiva known as “Nataraja”. In the wake of the decline of Hinduism in the region the site was converted to use by Buddhists.

ប្រាសាទអង្គវត្ត

Angkor Wat

Constructed : Early/Mid 12th century, 1113-1150
Religion : Hindu
Style : Angkor Wat
King : Suryavarman II   ★ 1113 – 1150 ★
Location : On the small circuit.
Comment : There are few places anywhere on earth to match the splendor of Angkor Wat that is one of the largest monuments to religion ever built and is truly one the wonders of the world.

Believed to have been constructed as a temple and mausoleum for King Suryavarman II at the peak of the Khmer empire in the first half of the 12th century, Angkor Wat is probably the best-preserved of the Angkorean temples. As with other Angkorean temples and walled cities such as Angkor Thom, the central theme of Khmer architecture revolved around the idea of the temple-mountain. By the time building on Angkor Wat was begun early in the 12th century, this had been elaborated to a central tower surrounded by four smaller towers. The central monument represents the mythical Mount Meru, the holy mountain at the centre of the universe, which was home to the Hindu god Vishnu. The five towers symbolise Mount Meru’s five peaks.

Angkor

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