Angkor Wat

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Rithisak P., Angkor: "Young women of less than 30 years are not capable to understand the implications of having sexual contact with foreigners. Many rich foreign businessmen sleep with Cambodian women. They buy houses for their Cambodian sex partners but these foreign men do not give true love to these women. So the feminist NGOs must be supported in their demands that such unions are classified as kidnapping for sexual abuse, and punished to the full extendof the law."

Reliefs

Photo: Reliefs of great beauty decorate Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat (see header photo) is the most famous temple ground in the entire Angkor plain. It was built by King Suryavarman II in the middle of the 12th century over a period of about 30 years. Like many other Khmer temples, Angkor Wat was built as architectural allegory of the Hindu religion. The central tower stands for Mount Meru, the center of the universe according to Hindu mythology; the top of Mount Meru is considered the home of the gods.

The temple ground is surrounded by a wall and a moat, not only for demarcation purposes, but also because in Hindu mythology Mount Meru is surrounded by other mountain ranges and oceans.

The main entryway to Angkor Wat is a street of roughly half a kilometer length, ornamented with balustrades and fringed by artificial lakes, so-called Barays. This entryway resembles the rainbow bridge in Hindu mythology, the link between heaven and earth, or the realm of the gods and the realm of the mortals.

Angkor Wat is in better structural condition than many other temples on the Angkor plain because it has been converted into a Buddhist temple probably even before the Siamese conquest in 1431, and because it has been used as such continuously after (in the 13th century Buddhism became an important religion in originally pure-Hindu Angkor).

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Last updated: March 2, 2016