Angkor is located in Northwestern Cambodia, capital of the Ancient Khmer Empire.It lies
about one kilometer
south of the Royal town of Angkor Thom. It was founded by King
Jayavarman around Ninth Century AD.
The Temple of Angkor Wat was dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu by King Suryavarman II, who
reigned between AD 1131 and 1150.
The Temple was constructed over a period of 30 years, and illustrates some of the most
beautiful examples of Khmer and Hindu art. Covering an area of about 81 hectares, the
complex consists of five towers, which are presently shown on the Cambodian national flag.
These towers are believed to represent the five peaks of Mount Meru, the Home of Gods and
Center of the Hindu Universe. Angkor Wat features the longest continuous bas-relief in the
world, which runs along the outer gallery walls, narrating stories from Hindu Mythology.
With the decline of the Ancient Khmer Empire, Angkor Wat was turned into a
Buddhist Temple and was continuously maintained, which helped its preservation. In 1992,
the UNESCO World Heritage Committee declared the monument, and the whole city of Angkor, a
World Heritage Site.