Why Was Angkor Wat Built?

Angkor Wat is a famous colossal Buddhist temple which is located in the north of Cambodia. This temple is the world’s largest religious monument, which is spread across an area of more than 400 acres. Siem Reap city houses almost 200,000 people and is roughly five miles from the historical temple Angkor Wat is located in the north of modern Cambodia.

Many people have continually been hearing about the very renowned Angkor Wat. Thus, they are striving to know more about why was Angkor Wat Built. Have a look at the information provided below to know more about why was Angkor Wat built.

1. Showcase the Power the King and Prosperity of the Empire:

The foremost reason for the question of why was Angkor Wat built lies unresolved if this point isn’t discussed. It is mainly built to showcase the power and authority of the king and the pomp and prosperity of the empire.

Military campaigns for expansion of the empire were headed by Khmer King. The empire reached its utmost power and influence under King Suryavarman II’s rule. To build up the Angkor Wat, the king used robust and most expensive building material available at that time. Only significant temples were built by using such expensive construction material, like sandstone blocks. The use of sandstone blocks was known as the demonstration of the extraordinary wealth of the builder, King Suryavarman II.

Angkor Wat Complex
Brilliant Architecture - Angkor Wat

Artistic Bas-relief Carving
Artistic Bas-relief Carving on Angkor Wat

2. Appreciation for Art

King Suryavarman II was the first king to be a part of the extant art. In the western part of the south gallery, Suryavarman II can be seen in the architectural work. He is portrayed as sitting on his throne as his servants are fanning him. There is also a display of his military might on the walls of Angkor Wat. Its commendable art and the beautiful aesthetic appeal has proved to be an important solution for the interrogation of why was Angkor Wat built.

3. The Tomb for the King

It stands as one of the most important reasons behind the interrogation about why was Angkor Wat built. There have been a lot of speculations when it comes to Angkor Wat’s unusual orientation since it faces west instead of the traditional east. West is the direction where the sun sets. And also, it signifies the direction of death. Hence, it may be true that Angkor Wat might have been built as a tomb for the king.

The anti-clockwise direction of the base reliefs also hints towards the belief that Angkor Wat was the tomb of the King. The anti-clockwise direction is not normal, according to the ancient Hindu funerary rites. Hence this provides further evidence supporting the view that it was a king’s tomb. It still remains a mystery whether the ashes of King Suryavarman II is there in the main monument or central monument of Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat remained in use until fairly recently that was the 1800s, but it then stopped being an active temple. Unfortunately, the site sustained significant damage, from forest overgrowth to earthquakes and even war.


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