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Clip #: TFA-68C
Library: TFA Network
Filmmaker: Deane H. Dickason
Region: South Asia
Angkor Wat Cambodia temples elephants with riders monks with umbrellas
men wrestling and boxing Pradal Serey Khymer boxing playing gamelon man hauling water from river buddhist priests hindu Angkor Thom Buddhisr temple Bayon bas reliefs of Cambodian life in 10th century head of KIng Jayavarman VII with four faces ox drawn cart statues of gods banyan trees jungle Khymer kingdom dancing girls with temple headresses
Angkor Wat (or Angkor Vat) (Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត), is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia, built for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation—first Hindu, dedicated to Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is the epitome 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.
Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 km (2.2 miles) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs and for the numerous devatas (guardian spirits) adorning its walls.
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