Who Built Angkor Wat?

Angkor Wat is a magnificent temple in Cambodia that attracts travelers from all across the globe. Sprawling across an area of 400 acres, the Angkor Wat temple is perhaps the largest religious temple existing in the entire world. One of the biggest attractions in Northern Cambodia, Angkor Wat is five miles away from the happening city of Siem Reap. The city has a population of around 2,00,000.

Angkor Wat is an amazing tourist spot that will leave you in awe and stupefy your mind. The Angkor rulers had built this astounding temple over many years. There are multiple mysteries, legends and rumors revolving around the history of the creation of Angkor Wat temple.

The Builder of Angkor Wat

According to the famous legends of the land, the construction of Angkor Wat took place because of the order of eminent Indra. He wanted this place to be the enigmatic palace of his son Precha Ket Mealea. However, this obstructs the other famous legend by the 13th-century Chinese traveler Zhou Daguan. He strongly supported the idea that the Angkor Wat temple is the creation of a divine architect. He created the whole temple, within the time span of a single night.

Angkor city was the center of the Khmer dynasty. It was a land of prosperity, opulence and grandeur. The construction of Angkor Wat temple further added to its majestic charm. As the legend goes, King Suryavarman II wanted this temple to be his funeral temple. The construction work continued for as long as three decades.

Read More: Angkor Wat Layout and Plan    Angkor Wat Architecture


Legends and Myths Regarding the Construction of Angkor Wat

• As per the myths, Lord Indra ordered to construct this majestic temple for his son – Precha Ket Mealea.

• If we go by the words of the 13th-century Chinese traveler, then Angkor Wat is the masterpiece of a divine architect.

• The most common belief is that the construction of Angkor Wat dates back to the 12th century. Suryavarman II was a powerful Angkorian ruler and devotee of Lord Vishnu. He wanted this temple to serve as the place of worship for Vishnu. We still do not know the original name of the temple because archaeologists do not have any foundation stela or any inscriptions. The construction allegedly had ended abruptly right after the death of King Suryavarman II.

• At the end of the 12th century, Angkor Wat or Varah Vishnulok no longer remained a Hindu temple. It became the center of Buddhism.

• The Japanese Buddhist pilgrims of the 17th century thought of Angkor Wat as the Jetvana Garden of Buddha.

• In the year 1860, French naturalist and explorer Henri Mouhot rediscovered the site of the temple and helped in its restoration to a great extent.

The Angkor Wat temple’s history shows that it was primarily designed as a Hindu temple as that was the religion of the region’s ruler, also the man who built Angkor Wat, Suryavarman II, at the time. However, Angkor Wat was then considered a Buddhist site, around the end of the 12th century.


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