As a rule, the name of Angkor Wat is applied to the entire huge complex of about 200 square kilometers consisting of hundreds of large and small temples, but there is the Angkor Wat Temple properly, which is near the Angkor Thom. The Angkor Wat is the world`s largest temple, and its lotus-shaped towers became a symbol of Cambodia.
The Angkor Wat Temple is the world`s largest religious construction. Its regular square has the area of 2 km2. It is surrounded by the strip of jungles, which are in turn encircled by a square moat of 190 meters wide.
The entrance of the Angkor Wat Temple is on the western bank of the moat filled with water. A stone-paved road of over a kilometers leads from the moat to the temple itself. On both sides of the road you can see the figures of lions and mythical animals.
Having passed the external wall of the Angkor Wat you will proceed on its territory where you can see small one-floor buildings and small water pools. Having approached the temple itself, you will be amazed by its dimensions
In the center of the temple you can see the lotus-shaped towers. From a distance it seems that there are three lotuses, but in reality they are five. One of the towers, the tallest one, is in the centre and 4 others on its sides.
The Angkor Wat Temple was erected in the time of the king Suryavarman II (1112-1152), so it is the earliest surviving temple of the Angkor Wat temple complex. The temple is devoted to the deity Vishnu, that is, it is not a Buddhist but a Hindu temple, however, you can see there a great number of pilgrims in orange clothes coming from the Buddhist temples from all over the world.
Architecturally, the Angkor Wat was erected as a mountain temple to symbolize the mythical Mount Mera, which, according to the Hindu tradition, was believed to be the dwelling of gods with the paradise of the deity Indra at its top. The height of the tallest central lotus-shaped tower is 65 m. You can ascend on the upper terrace of the temple. Unlike the Bayon Temple, you can see no heads there but can the lotuses in detail.
On the outward walls of the gallery of the first tier of the Angkor Wat Temple you can see the bas-reliefs representing the epic panels of two meter high. They take the area of 1.2 thousand square meters, and tell about the divine path of Suryavarman II (those who had the Angkor Wat built), who had to assume the appearance of Vishnu after his death.
Angkor Wat is the main but not the single temple of the Angkor Wat temple complex. After it you should visit the Bayon Temple and the Elephant Terrace located in the center of Angkor Thom, а as well as the temples Ta Phrom, Ta Kheo and Phre Khan located east of the large square of the Angkor Thom.