The ruins of Angkor recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1992, is one of the must-see attractions for anybody visiting Cambodia. It is the world’s largest religious structure, and its incredible preservation makes it a true archaeological treasure.
Its architecture is one of a kind since it is one of the most amazing monuments ever created by the human mind, and it covers 200 square meters, hiding thousands of secrets that will astound you.
So today, we’ll guide you to the 3 main temples you must visit while traveling to Cambodia:
1. Angkor Wat
The greatest embodiment of Khmer ingenuity, Angkor Wat is an awe-inspiring temple that is breathtaking in both its massive grandeur and exquisite detail. Learn a little about the temple’s history, significance, and characteristics, and then start organizing your once-in-a-lifetime visit.
Angkor Wat, built by Suryavarman II, is the earthly image of Mount Meru, the Hindu faith’s Mount Olympus, and the residence of ancient gods. Each generation of Cambodian god-kings strived to improve on their forefathers’ structures in terms of size, scale, and symmetry, culminating in what is thought to be the world’s largest sacred monument.
The temple is Cambodia’s heart and soul, as well as a source of intense national pride. Unlike the other Angkor sites, it has never been abandoned to the elements and has been in use since its construction.
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2. Bayon Temple
Angkor Thom, the ancient fortified royal city, is also part of the Ruins of Angkor and was built by Jayavarman VII, king of the Khmer Empire, in the late 12th century after the conquest of the temple complex and its destruction caused by the Chams. For this reason, this place is very special since it represents the resurgence of this magical enclosure, which was rebuilt in a walled state to avoid another demolition.
This city was built on Hindu belief and its decoration is oriented to venerate the god Vishnu, although this idea was disrupted with the arrival of the Buddhists, and for this reason, in the heart of the city is the temple of Bayon, or of Jayavarman VII. This temple is popular for its 54 towers containing four Buddha faces, one on each side. What makes these faces special is that, in addition to being smiling, they are unique in the world and observe the visitor from all angles. In total, there are more than 200 faces that you cannot miss when traveling to Cambodia.
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3. Ta Prohm temple
The architecture and history of Angkor are so amazing that some film directors have not been able to resist filming scenes from their movies in this astonishing location. Therefore, if you were thinking about what you need to travel to Cambodia, now you know that a camera will be essential to immortalize some of the scenes from your favorite movies.
If you are a fan of the movie Tomb Raider, based on a famous video game series, you will be able to see how the jungle has engulfed the Ta Prohm temple. In the images in this film, gigantic roots hug the buildings like toys, their spectacular tentacles merging with the construction. As a result, it is precisely in this Angkor monument that the entrance doors have become a mandatory photo as a result of their appearance on the big screen.