ANGKOR WAT-THE 7TH WONDER OF THE WORLD.
Angkor Wat, in its beauty and state of preservation, is unrivaled. Its mightiness and magnificence bespeak a pomp and a luxury surpassing that of a Pharaoh or a Shah Jahan, an impressiveness greater than that of the Pyramids, an artistic distinctiveness as fine as that of the Taj Mahal. Angkor Wat is located about six kilometers (four miles) north of Siem Reap, south of Angkor Thom. Entry and exit to Angkor Wat can only be access from its west gate.
Angkor Wat was built in the first half of the 12th century (113-5BC). Estimated construction time of the temple is 30 years by King Suryavarman II, dedicated to Vishnu (Hindu), replica of Angkor Thom style of art.
Angkor Wat, the largest monument of the Angkor group and the best preserved, is an architectural masterpiece. Its perfection in composition, balance, proportions, relief’s and sculpture make it one of the finest monuments in the world.
Wat is the Khmer name for temple (the French spelling is “vat “), which was probably added to “Angkor “when it became a Theravada Buddhist monument, most likely in the sixteenth century. After 1432 when the capital moved to Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat was cared for by Buddhist monks.
It is generally accepted that Angkor Wat was a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II and oriented to the west to conform to the symbolism between the setting sun and death. The bas-reliefs, designed for viewing from left to right in the order of Hindu funereal ritual, support this function.
Angkor Wat is a miniature replica of the universe in stone and represents an earthly model of the cosmic world. The central tower rises from the center of the monument symbolizing the mythical mountain, Meru, situated at the center of the universe. Its five towers correspond to the peaks of Meru. The outer wall corresponds to the mountains at the edge of the world, and the surrounding moat the oceans beyond.
The Angkor Wat Temples are so amazing I can honestly say words cannot describe this experience, however If you can’t visit Angkor Wat there is a plethora of excellent research from scientists, paleontologists, geographers, photographers, scholars and historical architects.
Even though Angkor Wat is the most photographed Khmer monument, nothing approaches the actual experience of seeing this temple. Frank Vincent grasped this sensation over 100 years ago.
The general appearance of the wonder of the temple is beautiful and romantic as well as impressive and grand it must be seen to be understood and appreciated. One can never look upon the ensemble of the vat without a thrill, a pause, a feeling of being caught up onto the heavens. Perhaps it is the most impressive sight in the world of edifices.
Angkor Wat occupies a rectangular area of about 208 hectares (500 acres) defined by a laetrile wall. The first evidence of the site is a moat with a long sandstone causeway (length 250 meters, 820 feet; width 12 meters, 39 feet) crossing it and serving as the main access to the monument. The moat is 200 meters (656 feel) wide with a perimeter of 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles).
There are several options available for viewing Angkor Wat which include a tuc-tuc pickup at your hotel who will take you to the ticket office to purchase your ticket. They will photograph you and will be embedded on your ticket useful for various checkoff points amongst the many temples. Your tuc tuc driver even though quite knowledgeable about the temples is not a licensed guide. He will stay with you all day and drop you off at various temple sites and pick you up later as you walk through the historical temples.
This was the choice I used, however his signage or communication says Tuc Tuc tour Angkor Wat approximately $10.00 us dollars, which does not include your entrance ticket another $10.00. Make sure you have loose cotton clothing, extra bottles of water, and comfortable walking shoes…as you will be doing some serious trekking on a one day outing. They have local eateries for snacks, water and going to the toilet. Did I mention maybe a good idea to take your camera or cameras and take digital pictures till the cows come home. Also don’t forget to give your tuc tuc driver some bottled water and a tip…they provide an excellent service.
Other options include a guide which would be very informative, a three day pass which is still not enough time to photograph, and grasp the grandeur and enormity of these temples. Second day you could bicycle out… have lunch and just kick back while taking in the sites.
So there you have it! If you want to experience one of the greatest world heritage sites in the world…jump on an airplane, bus in from Thailand, take a river cruise or arrive on a water buffalo and just like that you are now a part of the wonder itself. Tip: Seeing Angkor Wat at sunrise should be on anyone’s must-see list. You won’t be the only one there, however. Expect a lot of tourists! It’s still best to go at sunrise, as more tourists arrive later in the day, and the heat becomes stifling anyway.
QUOTE: God is in the details. If our people can build Angkor Wat they can do anything.
THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW: The sun rising behind the five signature lotus-like towers, combined with the artificial pools situated in front of the temple, creates a perfect mirror perspective that enhances this heavenly and colorful natural display. It’s a beautiful sunrise and a magnificent sandstone temple worth seeing twice, at the same time.
THINGS YOU MAY WANT TO SAVE: Old Temples and such they are a goldmine if preserved.
ZENTRAVELER SAYS: Add Angkor Wat to your travel and bucket list and enjoy one of the seven wonders of the world.
From here to Infinity is a relatively short ride! The next leg takes eons and eons as you fly through the Barycentric Dynamical Time Zone! …and on and on and on. Follow the Zentraveler Blog often for Travel, Health and Zen-like stories and such. Where else can you get a three in one blog for the price of free?