Angkor Wat 1st enclosure

Angkor Wat 1st enclosure

Angkor Wat 1st enclosure

Angkor Wat (built 1113-1150AD during the reign of Suryavarman II). Originally, a Hindu temple, dedicated to lord Vishnu, facing west, later converted to Buddhism use, occupied 208h or (500acres) and is world largest religious structure.

Taken on: 29th September, 2012. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See Khmer dude បុរស​​​ខែ្ម's page of Flickr

Read more about Angkor

Cambodia's Angkor is, quite simply, one of the most splendid attractions in all of Southeast Asia. Long considered "lost", the ruins of Angkor were never really lost to the Khmers, who have used the monuments as religious sites throughout their history.

The myth of "The Lost Ruins of Angkor" is more suited to an Angelina Jolie film than the history books. The story more or less begins with their being "rediscovered" by Western explorers in the 19th century, beginning with the French botanist Henri Mahout who stumbled across Angkor Wat in 1860. Few remember though that Mahout was led to the site by a Khmer guide and that when he arrived, he found a flourishing Buddhist monastery within the temple grounds.

During the Khmer Rouge period, the ruins were largely left to their own devices.Like most Khmers, even Pol Pot was unable to shake the power of the site, saying in 1977, "If our people can make Angkor, they can make anything."

Never lost, lost then ... Read our complete Angkor travel guide

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