See what the world's largest temple -- designed by ancient architects to inspire awe and wonder -- looked like in its original splendor.
How to build Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat (Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត or "Capital Temple") is a temple complex inCambodia and the largest religious monument in the world. It was first aHindu and later a Buddhist temple. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura (Khmer:យសោធរបុរៈ, present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaiva tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia,[appearing on its national flag, and it is the country's prime attraction for visitors.
The impressive architecture of Angkor Wat conveys a sense of harmonious design, but a recent survey using ground-penetrating radar (GPR), coupled with targeted excavation, reveals a more complex picture. Fragmentary traces of a quincunx of earlier towers have been detected, which were partially demolished when the outer enclosure and western gateway were completed.