Angkor Wat (Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត) was first a Hindu, then subsequently a Buddhist, temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world.
The temple was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura (Khmer: យសោធរបុរៈ, present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaiva tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu.
As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have
remained a significant religious center since its foundation. The temple
is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture.
It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors.
Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple-mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early Dravidian architecture, with key features such as the Jagati.
It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat
and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular
galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple
stands a quincunx
Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the
west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple
is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its
extensive bas-reliefs, and for the numerous devatas adorning its walls.
Angkor Wat holds the record for the largest Hindu temple complex in the
world, although it's not currently being used as a Hindu temple.
built in early 12th century by Suryavarman II of Khmer
empire. Temple was dedicated by the king to Lord Vishnu.
The temple has
become a symbol of Cambodia, featuring on its national flag and is a
prime tourist attraction.
In the late 13th century, Angkor
Wat moved gradually from being a Hindu temple to a Buddhist temple. It
is a prime example of Khmer architecture with skilled use of sandstone
as the main building material.
The temple has a unique combination of
temple mountain, a standard design of empire's state temples and
concentric galleries resembling temples from Orissa and Cholan temples
of Tamil Nadu.
At the present day, Angkor Wat is primarily a tourist
attraction and there have been major conservation efforts being
undertaken by Cambodian government and other international organizations
to preserve the deteriorating temple.
Do pray your Ishta Devata before pilgrimage to Temple.
Do contact Temple Devasthanam information centre for enquiry, temple information and for Pooja details etc.
Do reserve your travel and accommodation at Temple well in advance.
Do bath and wear clean clothes before you enter the temple.
Do concentrate on God and Goddess inside the temple.
Do maintain silence and recite Om Namahsivaya or your Istamantram to yourself inside the temple.
Do observe ancient custom and traditions while in Temple.
Do respect religious sentiments at Temple.
Do deposit your offerings in the hundi only.
Do not come to Temple for any purpose other than worshipping of God and Goddess.
Do not smoke at Temple.
Do not consume alcoholic drinks at Temple.
Do not eat non-vegetarian food in the Kshetram.
Do not approach mediators for quick Darshanam. It may cause inconvenient to others.
Do not carry any weapon inside the temple.
Do not wear any head guards like helmets, caps, turbans and hats inside the temple premises.
Do not perform Sastanga Pranama inside the Sanctum Sanctorum.
Do not take much time while performing Sparsa Darshanam to God in Garbhagriha.
Do not buy spurious prasadams from street vendors.
Do not encourage beggars at Temple.
Do not spit or create nuisance in the premises of the temple.