Angkor-Wat means “Temple City” or “City of Temples” as in Khmer, the Cambodian language, Angkor means “city” or “capital city”, and Wat means “temple grounds”. So the original name of Angor Wat was “ Vrah Vishnulok” or “ Param Vishnulok” meaning “The Sacred Dwelling of Lord Vishnu” in Sanskrit.
Angkor Wat is the largest religious building / temple in the world.
Larger than any other temple in Asia, the Great Pyramid of Egypt, or St. Peter’s Basilica. It is only one of a thousand temples in the Angkor region in Rome. Its design is so remarkable that some consider it one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Angkor Wat is located in what is now Cambodia’s Southeast Asia.
Angkor was long covered by dense jungle and was a forgotten place for many centuries. Wandering Buddhist monks sometimes passed by the temples on their way through the jungle. They didn’t know how these magnificent temples were built, so they created a story about them.
They said the temple was built by God in ancient times. Some people said they were built by giants.Some people said they had been built by giants. These legends eventually reached other places. Some Asians went in search of this mysterious city of the gods. In the end, some European adventurers heard stories about the Lost Forest City, but most people did not believe them.
In 1860, Frenchman Henri Mahut became the first European to see Angkor. Mahout was in the Cambodian jungle looking for plant species unknown in France. Soon the locals told him about the “temples that giants built in the forest”. Mahut was curious, so he hired local guides and began researching temples.
Other explorers in front of him searched but found nothing. The mahout was lucky. He found the city and its magnificent temple. He spent three weeks painting the temple. It is now called Angkor Wat, which means “temple of the city”. I don’t know what the builder called it.
Unfortunately, Mahout died of fever in the jungle at age 35. His diary and paintings were brought to France, where people began to take an interest in this place. Immediately a visitor came to see it. Among them was Anna Leonowens, King Siam’s British Governor. Others have come to steal the relics.
Historians and archaeologists have learned more about this ancient city and its temples.
Inscriptions on the wallsof Angkor-Wat
Archaeologists and historians were fortunate because the walls of the temple were covered with inscriptions to tell the story. These inscriptions were written in Sanskrit, an ancient language that greatly influenced Cambodian.
They tell us that the builders of Angkor Wat were the ancestors of today’s Cambodians. A thousand years ago, Angkor was the capital of an empire that spanned parts of present-day Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. The city of Angkor was once home to about a million people. The city was founded in the ninth century and abandoned in the fifteenth.
Angkor Wat was built as a symbolic representation of Mount Meru. Mount Meru, in Hindu Mythology, is the sacred five peaked mountain standing in the Center of the Universe. It is said that Mount Meru was the home of Gods.