Free Documentaries | Videos - Summary: Angkor Wat is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built by 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 the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture.
Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early South Indian Hindu architecture, with key features such as the Jagati. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers.
The initial design and construction of the temple took place in the first half of the 12th century, during the reign of Suryavarman II (ruled 1113 -- c. 1150). Dedicated to Vishnu, it was built as the king's state temple and capital city. In the late 13th century, Angkor Wat gradually moved from Hindu to Theravada Buddhist use, which continues to the present day.