Indochina, south south, is located in the middle of the tropical forests of Kampuçya, one of the biggest wonders of Asia. This is the old, ruined city of Angkor (kak. Kampuçya), once the capital of the great Khmer Empire. The 1st Yaçovarman, who founded Angkor in the 9th century AD, is Tonle Sap Lake. The development of this statue, which symbolizes the development of Khmer emperors, has evolved.
All wooden palaces and houses in Angkor, which used to be a magnificent view, were either decayed or feeded to white ants because they were abandoned in the 15th century. Many of the religious structures made of sandstone and hard red rock remained intact; However, some temples were damaged much by the trees of the forest, whose roots spread to the roofs of the buildings.
Angkor Vat Temple
Made in honor of God Vishnu, Angkor Vat is very well preserved. The reason for this is that this temple still has a place of pilgrimage for the descendants of the former Khmers. This temple contains an area of 200 hectares called Angkor Vat, which means “city temple”. It has a tower and is rectangular; It has galleries, roads, terraces and towers in the shape of a pine cone. The walls of the temple, which is surrounded by a 200 meter wide moat, adorned with real size animal, plant and elegant girl carvings, seems to be covered with an illustrated fabric.
Angkor Wat is a temple with interesting mysteries. There is a lot of unknowns about this temple, located in Siem Reap, in the northwestern part of Cambodia. For example; Despite the fact that all temples in the east of Cambodia are facing east, Angkor Wat’s looking west, not knowing who the depictions of Surat belong to, not knowing the goddesses in the reliefs, the presence of statues belonging to different religions, the appearance of Buddha statue unknown to whom in the temple are some of these mysteries.
The Angkor Wat region, which stretches for nearly 400 km, is a place that hosts the most important archaeological structures of Southeast Asia. The Khmer Empire’s presence in the region between the 9th and 15th centuries made Angkor rich in archaeological remains. Because the empire’s emphasis on architecture played a major role in the political and cultural development of these lands, which occupied almost a large part of Southeast Asia.
In addition, the presence of the Angkor Wat temple, whose construction dates back to the 12th century and is considered the 8th wonder of the world, also made the artistic structure of the region containing high architecture important.
The name Angkor Wat means “City temple”. Between 1113-1150 Khmer II. Although it was built by King Suryavarman as a Hindu temple, it was later used as a Buddhist temple. Angkor Wat, which has the artistic features of Khmer architecture, has two small and one large domes on its exterior. These domes were built to symbolize Mount Meru, which is considered to be the gods. The temple covers an area of about 1000 square meters and is surrounded by walls of 3.6 meters in length.
This artistic and culturally valuable temple consists of arches, towers reminiscent of a lotus flower, semi-mezzanine floors built to support the passageways, connected protrusions, cross-shaped terraces and deep ditches that protect against damage from the forest near the temple.
Also, it is not to be observed that the decorative ornaments and figurines made for decorative purposes are a great design work.
Although this artistic and cultural value temple was neglected by the fall of the empire, it was never allowed to be left to its full fate because of its values reflecting Hindus. However, even this importance could not protect the structure from trees and weeds.
This temple, which is not known much in the west, has regained its value in the following years by being included in the travel notes of a French traveler, Henri Mouhot. It was decided to take part in restoration works in the 19th century. The temple was cleansed from soil piles and weeds and was protected as a World heritage in 1992. However, most of the figurines that succumbed to time and weather conditions were fragmented and could not be renewed despite the restoration. The remaining pieces (wall sculptures) were included in the German Apsara Protection project.
The spiritual value of Angkor Wat temple is very high for Cambodia, which gives importance to Hindu religion. They proved this by symbolizing the temple’s picture on their flags. It is a great misfortune to come to Cambodia without seeing Angkor Wat, one of the biggest and most mysterious buildings in the world.