Angkor Wat Temples

By: Kristin H

Who?

The Angkor Wat Temples were made by King Suryavarman II in the early twelfth century. He ruled the Khmer Empire and according to historians, King Suryavarman II is ranked at one of the top kings of ancient history. The king worshiped the God Vishnu. Vishnu represented the preserver and protector of all creations and he has made 10 reincarnations. According to Christine Gruenwald and Peter Marchand, Vishnu has made these ten reincarnations to help creations. In some it described that he had killed the kings and in others, it was said that he came to help the people on earth.

In his first incarnation, Vishnu saved Saint Vaivaswata. In the second incarnation Vishnu used his back as a pivot to be used to churn by gods and demons. In Vishnu's third incarnation, He killed the demon, Hiranyaksha. In the fourth carnation he, killed the demon, Hiranyashasipu, in the form of 50% lion and 50% man. In Vishnu's fifth incarnation. he killed the demon Bali.

In his sixth incarnation, Vishnu ended the life of King Kartavirya for stealing sacred cow which was very important in the Hindu religion.

In his seventh incarnation, he killed demon King Ravana who had stolen Vita.

According to history in Vishnu's eighth incarnation he, killed Kansa who was the son of a demon. In the last two incarnations, nine and ten, Vishnu brought peace to the world and made and appearance as a human to show earth's creations.

The temples face west, and historians have concluded that this might have something to do with the worshiping of Vishnu. Down below you can look at images of what the king, and Vishnu looked like to the ancient world.

^Images of Who Looked Like What^

What?

The Angkor Wat Temples are known as the largest Hindu temples in the world! As you read in the article above they were built in the early 12th century and astonishingly, still stand pretty tall and strong. The Capitol of it is known as, Khmer Empire. The common name these temples are known as is obviously, Angkor Wat Temples, but really the proper name is Prasat Angkor Wat. Often in the names they leave out Temple. Along with the who, The Angkor Wat Temples, worship the Hindu god, Vishnu. In the article above I explained all about the reincarnations. The temples are made of stone. The temple lies just 3.4 miles north from the town on Siem Reap. Around the Temple is a large moat which forces people to travel across by boat or an awful swim! The door is a wooden drawn bridge that will open on approach if you can go in. The Temple has a center structure made of stone and intricate details and decorations. A lot of the decorations are images of faces and people. It has grown so old that there is many flora in the area. It has a small look of decay in the interior and exterior with large cracks that aren't so complimenting. The temples today are trying to be restored a little in a small effort. It is predicted that without the help the temples will continue to decay before one day crumpling to bits and pieces. But in fact right now, some say it is so wondrous that they call it one of the seven wonders of the world, even know that is not exactly true. Overall, this is a monumental and beautiful religious place in Cambodia where it is absolutely a MUST see site.

^^^Angkor Wat Temple Today ^^^

When?

By reading the previous articles, you now know that the temples were built in the 12th century. Since then they have made efforts to restore the beauty of the temples, which included mostly of ridding the interior of vegetation. Over times, trees, vines, and weeds had sprouted through the nasty cracks that did not flatter the establishment. However, when they began to remove these flaws of the old temple in the 20th century, they were stopped dead in their tracks when war and terror broke out through the Khmer Empire. The Cambodians were involved in a war with the French. In all fairness the Cambodians had won and claimed parts of land. However after all if well they have not continued to restore the beauty of the Angkor Wat. Now, it has been showing no sign of toppling, but in the future if they do not make good attempts, it will be flustered with vegetation and cracks.

Where?

Angkor Wat Temple is located in Southeast Asia, in the country of Cambodia. You can find it 3.4 miles north of the town known as Siem Reap. It's capital is known as Khmer Empire, because of King Suryavarman II. He was known as one of the greatest kings as I mentioned in my first article. According to Wikipedia the exact coordinates for this location is: 13 degrees, 24' 45' North 103 degrees 52'0 East. It's directional facing is West. It has since receded in to the Jungle.

In Cambodia, it is a Buddhist worshiping place. Many come around to visit it seeing as it is very important to the culture of there. It is conveniently located for the many meetings of Buddhists and monks.

Why?

The Angkor Wat Temple was made because King Suryavarman II wanted a sacred place for his religious beliefs in Vishnu. Together, Buddhists/Hindus were able to speak of their religious beliefs. Being raised in a Catholic home I know how strongly the feeling is to believe in a god. For me I attend a church rather than a temple. I have learned a lot about this religion in this project and I know understand the passion and descendant of this, and I can now respect a new religion. No, I have not changed my religious beliefs but I am intrigued by the diversity of each and everyone's belief. I hope after someone has read this about a different religion they will be able to change their thoughts about it if they are bad!