There are many places in the world that one can go. However, only some of these places can be considered wonders of the universe. If one is curious to learn about an interesting place, full of historical substance, they should visit the Angkor Wat site in Cambodia. The Angkor Wat is thought by many as one of the greatest wonders of the world because of its history, architecture, and mysteries & legends. The Angkor Wat was built around 1115 A. D.
in Cambodia. It took between 30 and 40 years to complete (Angkor Wat, 1). Cambodia was not chosen because of "sacred importance", but because it had a strategic military position and it also contained agricultural potential (Places of Peace and Power, 1). Cambodia is known as "the civilization whose most awesome monument is the great lost city of Angkor Wat" (Esler, 278). The temple of Angkor Wat was built originally for the Hindu religion.
It would be dedicated to the Hindu god, Vishnu. This was to provide a place of worship and "purity" (Jungle Science, 1). Many Hindu Temples have the concept of Mandala (Jungle Science, 1). Cambodia came to life between the ninth and fifteenth centuries when the Khmer Empire came about. The Angkor dynasty brought about wealth and prosperity.
Because of this, huge buildings were built and dedicated to their god kings and gods (Esler, 278). However, despite all of these other buildings, the Angkor Wat is still considered to be the most magnificent of them all. The Angkor Wat truly reflects the wealth of the times. There were sometimes in this great city, that there was once " a population many times as large as that of medieval London" (Esler, 278).
Business, and women dominated this city. The Khmers abandoned this city in 1432 (Places of Peace and Power, 1). There are only remains of the Angkor Wat today. Even though there are only ruins left of this city and temple, it is still considered to be one of the most extravagant creations of all time (Esler, 279). The Angkor Wat's architecture is amazing in itself, as it has been thought of as "the largest temple in the world" (Esler, 279).
The Angkor Wat, otherwise known as the "Pearl of Cambodia" has a rectangular wall that measures 800 by 1025 meters. (Angkor Wat, 1). It is so massive, that all the other known wonders of the world could fit in the Angkor Wat's front yard! It was built using sandstone, which was rare to the area at that time (Angkor Wat, 1). "The wall that is surrounding the entire temple was carved from laterite " (Angkor Wat, 1). "The Angkor Wat temple is a classical example of the temple mountain of Mt. Meru, central in Hindu cosmology" The five towers of the Angkor Wat are supposed to symbolize the five different mountain peaks.
The walls of the Angkor Wat are supposed to symbolize mountains at the edge of the earth. The moat that surrounds the Angkor Wat is supposed to symbolize the ocean (Angkor Wat, 1). On the walls, one could find many battles being depicted, or signs of the Hindu religion are present. These all have to do with the Khmer empires and their rulers.
(Angkor Wat, 1). There are also carvings of "aps aras or celestial dancers" throughout the temple (Angkor Wat, 1). The Angkor Wat is so important to Cambodia that it is even on its national flag as well on its "current 500 Riel banknote" (Angkor Wat, 1). For many years Angkor was considered to be a lost city.
Itself was considered a legend (Angkor Wat Information Pages, 1). Peasants rediscovered Angkor Wat. The peasants thought they had found "temples built by gods or giants" (Angkor Wat Information Pages, 1). Some people thought that these were folktales that the peasants liked to tell. Others believed that there really was a city long ago-They were right. The temples of Angkor Wat were founded once again by Henri Mahout in 1860.
After him, many other archaeologists and interpreters came to try and discover the meaning behind these magnificent buildings (Angkor Wat Information Pages, 1). Mysteries of the temple were later explained by some of the inscriptions on the wall. This was done "mainly by French scholars in the late 19 th and early 20 th centuries" (Angkor Wat Information Pages, 1). There are legends that still roam about the Angkor Wat. One of these is the question of how the "original Kingdom of Cambodia" came about.
One of the myths is that it supposedly came about by "the union of a fairy princess and an Indian, Brahmin " (Angkor Wat Information Pages, 1). Individual temples have their own legends. "The Phimeanakas Temple, built by Rajendra varman (AD 944 - AD 968) was said to be visited every night by a snake princess, on whom the prosperity of the kingdom depended" (Angkor Wat Information Pages, 1). As one can see, The Angkor Wat is full of secrets, legends, and mysteries.
How then can it not be considered one of the greatest wonders of the world? Its history is very interesting and precise. Its architecture is unbelievable. It's a wonder in itself how something as wonderful and massive as the Angkor Wat could have been constructed at such a time. It obviously took a great time to build, and it was worth the whole time. The Angkor Wat is somewhere that is visited by tourists all around the world. It will continue to do so in the future as well.
Works Cited Angkor Wat Information Pages. Angkor Wat Internet Organization 1995-2000 web > Angkor Wat. Real Time Media 2000 web > Esler, Anthony. The Human Venture. 4 th ed.
Vol 1. Upper Saddle River: Prentice, 1996 Jungle Science: The Temples Of Angkor Wat In Cambodia. web > Places Of Peace And Power. Martin Gray 1983-2002 web.