April 7, 2014

Mira Costa School - Day 6 - Angkor Wat

by  on April 7, 2014 in Letters From Cambodia

Buddhist altars are still actively used by monks and the general public.
A symbol of Cambodia and source of national pride is the Angkor Wat temple complex.  This United Nations World Heritage Site was built in the 9th century and restored by the French in the early 1900′s as it had been completely enveloped by the jungle.  Originally built as a Hindu temple, today it acts as a Buddhist temple.

Watching the sun rise over Angkor Wat.
We visited the complex at sunrise, and, after dodging the Chinese and Australian tourists, found a good spot to document this peaceful event.

The temple is filled with relief carvings of hindu apsaras.
Once the sun was up, we spent a couple of hours exploring the network of rooms and hallways, and relief carvings depicting hindu stories and history.  This emphasis on education continues with the design of the complex itself as the main entrance is flanked by two libraries (we sat on the steps of one of the libraries to watch the sunrise).

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