Cambodia Holidays - Angkor Wat 1

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Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Cambodia Holidays - Angkor Wat in the late afternoon light

The majestic Angkor Wat is the largest religious building in the world, with a volume of stone equalling that of the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt.  Its distinctive symmetrical towers are featured on the modern Cambodian flag and it is without doubt the greatest tourist magnet in the country.  Unlike all the other Khmer temples, it faces west.  Conceived in the 12th century by Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat took an estimated 30 years to build, and is generally believed to have been the king's funeral temple.  Originally Hindu in concept, it has been occupied continuously for centuries by Buddhist monks and is one of the best preserved of the ancient architectural wonders.  Intricate bas-reliefs surround Angkor Wat on four sides.  Each tells a story but the most celebrated of these is the 'Churning of the Ocean of Milk' (below right), located in the east gallery, a creation myth from the Hindu epic the Bhagavata-Purana