Angkor Wat is one of the largest monument and the best preserved architectural masterpiece. The perfection in composition, balance, proportions, and sculpture makes it one of the finest structures in the world.
It is one of the largest religious monuments that was ever constructed during this period. Its name means “temple city.” It was originally built as a Hindu temple which was dedicated to God Vishnu. Later, it was converted into a Buddhist temple in the 14th century, and statues of Buddha were added to its rich artwork.
The word ‘Wat’ is the Khmer name for the temple which was attached to the word “Angkor “when it became a Theravada Buddhist monument. After 1432 when the capital moved to Phnom Penh, Angkor Wat was looked after by the Buddhist monks.
Significance of Angkor Wat
Built between 1113 and 1150 A.D, Angkor Wat encompasses an area of about 500 acres which is around 200 hectares. History suggests that the Khmer King Suryavarman built Angkor Wat and it took nearly 30 years to construct it. According to archaeologist Charles Higham, Suryavarman wasn’t just a man, but a demigod. The king is often depicted as a large and muscular man with everyone seated around him. Even the legends suggest that Suryavarman II killed his uncle to become the king. However, there are no sources to support this fact.
The temple is a huge three level pyramid that is built on a floating rectangular piece of land and is surrounded by water. The temple has nine towers, each measuring more than 60 meters high. It is believed that the temple was built to represent the ‘home of the gods’, Mount Meru, which is a mythical sacred mountain in Hindu mythology. Mount Meru is considered as the residence of the god Brahma and the Devas.
Mount Meru of Hindu traditions has clearly mythical aspects, being described as 84,000 Yojan high (about 1,082,000 km (672,000 mi), which would be 85 times the Earth’s diameter), and notes that the Sun along with all the planets in the Solar System revolve around Mt. Meru as one unit.
Another salient feature of the Angkor Wat is that it has around 1796 portraits of women in stone. Each picture is unique, and researchers are unsure regarding the purpose of the same. Myths reveal that the temple was built mathematically to be in harmony with the universe. The distances and the sizes in Angkor Wat are related to Indian mythology.
Eleanor Mannikka, in her work, ‘Angkor: Celestial Temples of the Khmer Empire’ states that it was used for astronomical purposes. In fact, scenes from Hindu scripture the Mahabharata has been carved on the outer wall in eight different panels.
Around 1860, the Europeans got familiar about the temple through French missionaries. Henri Mahout, a French Botanist, conducted extensive research and thought that the temples of Angkor Wat were built by another race and certainly not by the Cambodians.
The Angkor was a city comprising of 1,000,000 people. It is believed to have an elaborate irrigation system, paved roads and beautiful buildings. Within 200 years, the Khmer civilization collapsed for no apparent reason. Scholars are of the opinion that an environmental collapse may have played a significant role in the disappearance of the Khmer civilization.
Who Built Angkor Wat?
Cambodian folklore ascribes the construction of Angkor to Preah Pisnokar, a being considered of half-human, half-divine.
Preah Pisnokar was the son of the moon goddess and a mortal man. One day, the goddess decided to take Pisnokar to Heaven, where he meets the great high god Indra, who determines that the boy is to be given special education. Once in heaven, Pisnokar was given knowledge about mathematics, engineering, architecture, and various other scientific disciplines.
An ancient Cambodian legend states that God Indra was living on Mount Meru and he gave life to his son Ketomealea as a human being whose mission was to protect Buddhist religion and to take care of the Kingdom, in glory, prosperity and peace. God Indra wanted to build a palace on earth for his son, and so he asked Pisnouka to construct Angkor Wat. On the day, Prince Ketomealea was the king of the kingdom, Indra descended on Earth and blessed his son and bestowed him with the name “Aritha-place a-hano” or “Powerful Destroyer of Enemies””. He then called the country “Kampuja” which is now known as Cambodia.
Another belief that surrounds Angkor Wat is that the Anunnaki built it as a landing platform for their flying craft.
The Legend of Preah Pisnouka
Preah Pisnokar is believed to be a part Earthling and part Anunnaki. Legends suggest that Preah Pisnouka built Angkor Wat. Preah’s mother was an ET or Anunnaki or one of the bright ones while his father was an earthling or a human. When Preah reached adulthood, the Anunnaki took him to the heaven, to the flying palace of God Indra. While Preah was on the craft, the Anunnakis taught him the technology and the techniques of the civilization that he was supposed to bring to southeast Asia.
The legend further states that Preah poured magical water onto a stone which turned into concrete. The concrete served as the blocks in the structures of Angkor. The central pyramid of Angkor pointed to the Constellation of Draco at sunrise on the spring equinox of 10,500 BC while the Egyptian Sphinx gazed at the sunrise at Orion. The Anunnaki gold miners from Nibiru planet and the Khmer kings created a design around Angkor while Giza served as mandalas for the aircraft.
Angkor Wat is certainly an intriguing place that will compel us to revisit our prevailing belief that we are more advanced than ancient civilizations.