Angkor Wat Temple
Warmly Welcome To Siem Reap, Kingdom Of Wonders!
Firstly, I would like to recommend you that an auspicious beginning of your Angkor visit is to make merit at the shrine of the so-called Big God and Small God, located in the Royal Crusade for Independence Garden in the center of Siem Reap. According to the 12th century legend, two monks had a dream that two goddesses told them the Thais would soon invade Cambodia and the goddesses asked that the images of Big God and Small God be stored in the great temple of Angkor Wat. The monks ignored the request until they had the same dream again and then they moved the images to the mezzanine floor in the gallery of a Thousand Buddhas. As predicted by the goddesses, the Thais invaded and pillaged the area but they didn’t find the images. The goddesses, in accordance with belief, are the daughters of an Angkorian king and are known by the local residents as Preah Ang Thom and Preah Ang Toch or Neang Chék, Neang Chorm. The local people have worshipped these two since the 12th century and they believed that making an offering to them will insure peace throughout the kingdom.
Angkor Wat literally means the Holy City which became a Buddhist Monastery in the 16th century, after the Khmers moved the capital from here to Phnom Penh; the buddhist monks came to maintain this temple. Its real name in the 12th AD was called Vrah Parama Vishnuloka meaning the Sacred/Heavenly Abode of Vishnu. When the temple became a well-known buddhist site, according to 16th AD inscription, its name was called Preah Mohanokor Indrabrat Preah Visnuloka and in 17th century inscription, called Indrabrat Nokor Sreisodhara Visnuloka. The 2 pagodas in the Angkor Wat complex have been called North and South Indrabat Borei. The word “Indrabat” in the Pali language, derived from the Sanskrit “Indrabrat” which refers to the city of Indra (it is rooted in the brahmanical belief that Indra has a palace on secular plane) and nowadays Siem Reap people or a big amount of people call it Angkor Touch meaning “Small City”. Angkor Wat, the largest and tallest temple of the Angkor groups and one of the most intact is an architectural masterpiece. Its perfection of composition, balance, proportions, reliefs and sculptures makes it one of the finest monuments in the world. It is an expression of Khmer art during the Khmer Empire reached its greatest territorial expansions and its apogee in cultural, artistic, economic, political and architectural achievements and also one of the most inspired and spectacular monuments ever conceived by the human mind, soaring skyward and surrounded by a moat that would make its European castle counterparts blush. It is a sumptuous blend of form and function, a spellbinding shrine to Vishnu and, with its captivating image replicated in the reflective pools below, a feast for unbelieving eyes as well as the most popular spot for sunrise around Angkor and not without good reason. The sun shifts position depending on the time of year, and during the equinoxes of March 20/21 and Sept 22/23 it rises directly over the central tower. Sometimes it’s a glowing ball of orange emerging above the cloud line; at other times flaming streaks of cirrus clouds paint the sky blood-red, providing a dramatic backdrop to the temple. But even if it doesn’t deliver, don’t be disappointed – this is always a magical and mesmerizing place to be at dawn.