November 16th, 2013
There are thousands of wonders to be seen across this earth. Not many,
however, can compare to the archeological feat of Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is the
perfect combination of creative aspiration and religious devotion. Built in Cambodia, this
hydraulic city is one of the oldest, heaviest structures ever to survive almost nine-
hundred years. This great temple is the largest religious temple ever to be built. Walls
etched in culture, towers built in alignment with the stars and mountains, this truly is one
of the most fascinating temples ever to be built.
Angkor Wat was built by Suryavarman II, to his Hindu god, Vishnu.
Suryavarman came to the throne as King of Cambodia in 1113 after beheading his great
uncle, Dharanindravarman. It is thought that Suryavarman II built this temple as his own
tomb. Angkor Wat was Suryavarman II’s legacy, the greatest of all his accomplishments.
Sadly, he did not see it finished as he died in a campaign against Champa. His ashes
were eventually buried in the heart of Angkor Wat, as he so wished.1
“On the Road to Angkor”, a memoir written by Margret Hargreaves-Allen, tells of
Abdulgaffar Peang-Meth, “Understanding the Khmer: Sociological-Cultural Observations”. Asian Survey
Journal 31 (1991): 442-455. JSTOR, www.jstor.org
one woman’s travels along what was once known as the “Royal Way”. This royal way
was a route of Khmer temples from present day Thailand (known as the Khmer Empire
in the 12th century) to Angkor. Although she does not give an exact date of her travels
to Thailand, it would seem that she visited sometime after the Vietnam War, perhaps a
few years after Angkor was open to the public. Margret travels from Bangkok to North
and South Thailand, into Laos and Cambodia, and into India as well.
Arriving at Angkor Wat one crisp December morning, Margret writes, “I am just as
much at a loss
Bibliography: Hargreaves-Allen, Margret. On the Road to Angkor. Nebraska: iUniverse, 2007. Kak, Subhash. "The solar numbers in Angkor Wat." arXiv preprint physics/9811040 (1998). Roberts, Tyson R. "Fish scenes, symbolism, and kingship in the bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat and the Bayon." Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society 50 (2002): 135-193. Robert Stencel, Fred Gifford and Eleanor Morón. “Astronomy and Cosmology at Angkor Wat.” Science , New Series, Vol. 193, No. 4250 (Jul. 23, 1976), pp. 281-287. Peang-Meth, Abdulgaffar. “Understanding the Khmer: Sociological-Cultural Observations” Asian Survey Journal 31 (1991): 442-44.