ANGKOR WAT (Khmer : អង្គរវត្ត or "Capital Temple")
is an Indianized temple complex in
Cambodia and the largest religious
monument in the world, with the site measuring 162.6 hectares
(1,626,000 m2; 402 acres). It was originally constructed as a Hindu
temple of god
Vishnu for the
Khmer Empire , gradually transforming
Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century. 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
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 centre 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.
Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the
temple-mountain and the later galleried temple . It is designed to
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. Unlike most Angkorian temples,
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 adorning its walls.
* 1 Etymology
* 2 History
* 3 Architecture
* 3.1 Site and plan
* 3.2 Style
* 3.3 Features
* 3.3.1 Outer enclosure
* 3.3.2 Central structure
* 3.3.3 Decoration
* 3.4 Construction techniques
* 4.1 Restoration and conservation
* 4.2 Tourism
* 5 Gallery
* 6 References
* 7 Bibliography
* 8 External links
The modern name,
Angkor Wat, means "Temple City" or "City of Temples"
in Khmer ; Angkor, meaning "city" or "capital city", is a vernacular
form of the word nokor (នគរ), which comes from the
Devanāgarī : नगर).
Wat is the Khmer word for "temple
grounds", also derived from
Sanskrit vāṭa (
वाट), meaning "enclosure".
The original name of the temple was Vrah Viṣṇuloka (Sanskrit) or
Brah Bisnulōk (Local variant) which means the sacred dwelling of
Suryavarman II , the builder of
Wat lies 5.5 kilometres (3.4 mi) north of the modern town of
Siem Reap , and a short distance south and slightly east of the
previous capital, which was centred at
Baphuon . In an area of
Cambodia where there is an important group of ancient structures, it
is the southernmost of Angkor's main sites.
According to legend, the construction of
Wat was ordered by
Indra to act as a palace for his son Precha Ket Mealea. According to
the 13th century Chinese traveller
Daguan Zhou , it was believed by
some that the temple was constructed in a single night by a divine
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. As neither the foundation stela
nor any contemporary inscriptions referring to the temple have been
found, its original name is unknown, but it may have been known as
"Varah Vishnu-lok" after the presiding deity. Work seems to have ended
shortly after the king's death, leaving some of the bas-relief
decoration unfinished. In 1177, approximately 27 years after the
death of Suryavarman II,
Angkor was sacked by the Chams , the
traditional enemies of the Khmer. Thereafter the empire was restored
by a new king,
Jayavarman VII , who established a new capital and
state temple (
Angkor Thom and the
Bayon respectively) a few kilometres
to the north.
Towards the end of the 12th century,
Wat gradually transformed
Hindu centre of worship to
Buddhism , which continues to the
Wat is unusual among the
Angkor temples in that
although it was somewhat neglected after the 16th century it was never
completely abandoned, its preservation being due in part to the fact
that its moat also provided some protection from encroachment by the
One of the first Western visitors to the temple was António da
Madalena , a Portuguese monk who visited in 1586 and said that it "is
of such extraordinary construction that it is not possible to describe
it with a pen, particularly since it is like no other building in the
world. It has towers and decoration and all the refinements which the
human genius can conceive of."
By the 17th century,
Wat was not completely abandoned and
functioned as a Buddhist temple. Fourteen inscriptions dated from the
17th century discovered in
Angkor area testify to Japanese Buddhist
pilgrims that had established small settlements alongside Khmer
locals. At that time, the temple was thought by the Japanese visitors
as the famed
Jetavana garden of the
Buddha , which originally located
in the kingdom of
Magadha , India. The best-known inscription tells
Ukondafu Kazufusa , who celebrated the
Khmer New Year
Khmer New Year at
in 1632. Facade of
Angkor Wat, a drawing by
Henri Mouhot , c.
1860 Sketch of
Angkor Wat, a drawing by
Louis Delaporte , c. 1880
In the mid-19th century, the temple was visited by the French
naturalist and explorer
Henri Mouhot , who popularised the site in the
West through the publication of travel notes, in which he wrote:
"One of these temples—a rival to that of Solomon , and erected by
Michelangelo —might take an honorable place beside our
most beautiful buildings. It is grander than anything left to us by
Greece or Rome , and presents a sad contrast to the state of barbarism
in which the nation is now plunged."
Mouhot, like other early Western visitors, found it difficult to
believe that the Khmers could have built the temple and mistakenly
dated it to around the same era as Rome. The true history of Angkor
Wat was pieced together only from stylistic and epigraphic evidence
accumulated during the subsequent clearing and restoration work
carried out across the whole
Angkor site. There were no ordinary
dwellings or houses or other signs of settlement, including cooking
utensils, weapons, or items of clothing usually found at ancient
sites. Instead there is the evidence of the monuments themselves.
Wat required considerable restoration in the 20th century,
mainly the removal of accumulated earth and vegetation. Work was
interrupted by the civil war and
Khmer Rouge control of the country
during the 1970s and 1980s, but relatively little damage was done
during this period. Camping
Khmer Rouge forces used whatever wood
remained in the building structures for firewood, a pavilion was
ruined by a stray American shell, and a shoot-out between Khmer Rouge
and Vietnamese forces put a few bullet holes in a bas relief. Far more
damage was done after the wars, by art thieves working out of
Thailand, which, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, claimed almost
every head that could be lopped off the structures, including
The temple is a powerful symbol of Cambodia, and is a source of great
national pride that has factored into Cambodia's diplomatic relations
with France, the United States and its neighbour Thailand. A depiction
Wat has been a part of Cambodian national flags since the
introduction of the first version circa 1863. From a larger
historical and even transcultural perspective, however, the temple of
Wat did not become a symbol of national pride sui generis but
had been inscribed into a larger politico-cultural process of
French-colonial heritage production in which the original temple site
was presented in French colonial and universal exhibitions in Paris
and Marseille between 1889 and 1937.
Angkor Wat's aesthetics were
also on display in the plaster cast museum of
Louis Delaporte called
musée Indo-chinois which existed in the Parisian Trocadero Palace
from c.1880 to the mid-1920s.
The splendid artistic legacy of
Wat and other Khmer monuments
Angkor region led directly to France adopting
Cambodia as a
protectorate on 11 August 1863 and invading Siam to take control of
the ruins. This quickly led to
Cambodia reclaiming lands in the
northwestern corner of the country that had been under Siamese (Thai)
control since AD 1351 (Manich Jumsai 2001), or by some accounts, AD
Cambodia gained independence from France on 9 November 1953 and
Wat since that time. It is safe to say that from
the colonial period onwards until the site's nomination as UNESCO
World Heritage in 1992, this specific temple of
instrumental in the formation of the modern and gradually globalised
concept of built cultural heritage.
In December 2015, it was announced that a research team from
University of Sydney
University of Sydney had found a previously unseen ensemble of buried
towers built and demolished during the construction of
Angkor Wat, as
well as massive structure of unknown purpose on its south side and
wooden fortifications. The findings also include evidence of
low-density residential occupation in the region, with a road grid,
ponds and mounds. These indicate that the temple precinct, bounded by
moat and wall, may not have been used exclusively by the priestly
elite, as was previously thought. The team used
ground-penetrating radar and targeted excavation to map
Wat General plan of
Wat with central
structure in the middle Detailed plan of the central structure
SITE AND PLAN
Aerial view of
Angkor Wat, located at 13°24′45″N 103°52′0″E /
13.41250°N 103.86667°E / 13.41250; 103.86667 , is a unique
combination of the temple mountain (the standard design for the
empire's state temples) and the later plan of concentric galleries .
The temple is a representation of
Mount Meru , the home of the gods:
the central quincunx of towers symbolises the five peaks of the
mountain, and the walls and moat symbolise the surrounding mountain
ranges and ocean. Access to the upper areas of the temple was
progressively more exclusive, with the laity being admitted only to
the lowest level.
Unlike most Khmer temples,
Wat is oriented to the west rather
than the east. This has led many (including
Maurice Glaize and George
Coedès ) to conclude that Suryavarman intended it to serve as his
funerary temple. Further evidence for this view is provided by the
bas-reliefs , which proceed in a counter-clockwise
Hindu terminology—as this is the reverse of
the normal order. Rituals take place in reverse order during Brahminic
funeral services. The archaeologist Charles Higham also describes a
container which may have been a funerary jar which was recovered from
the central tower. It has been nominated by some as the greatest
expenditure of energy on the disposal of a corpse. Freeman and
Jacques, however, note that several other temples of
from the typical eastern orientation, and suggest that
alignment was due to its dedication to Vishnu, who was associated with
A further interpretation of
Wat has been proposed by Eleanor
Mannikka . Drawing on the temple's alignment and dimensions, and on
the content and arrangement of the bas-reliefs, she argues that the
structure represents a claimed new era of peace under King Suryavarman
II : "as the measurements of solar and lunar time cycles were built
into the sacred space of
Angkor Wat, this divine mandate to rule was
anchored to consecrated chambers and corridors meant to perpetuate the
king's power and to honour and placate the deities manifest in the
heavens above." Mannikka's suggestions have been received with a
mixture of interest and scepticism in academic circles. She distances
herself from the speculations of others, such as
Graham Hancock , that
Wat is part of a representation of the constellation Draco .
Wat as viewed from the side
Wat is the prime example of the classical style of Khmer
Wat style—to which it has given its name.
By the 12th century Khmer architects had become skilled and confident
in the use of sandstone (rather than brick or laterite ) as the main
building material. Most of the visible areas are of sandstone blocks,
while laterite was used for the outer wall and for hidden structural
parts. The binding agent used to join the blocks is yet to be
identified, although natural resins or slaked lime has been suggested.
The temple has drawn praise above all for the harmony of its design.
According to Maurice Glaize, a mid-20th-century conservator of Angkor,
the temple "attains a classic perfection by the restrained
monumentality of its finely balanced elements and the precise
arrangement of its proportions. It is a work of power, unity and
Architecturally, the elements characteristic of the style include:
the ogival , redented towers shaped like lotus buds; half-galleries to
broaden passageways; axial galleries connecting enclosures; and the
cruciform terraces which appear along the main axis of the temple.
Typical decorative elements are devatas (or apsaras) , bas-reliefs ,
and on pediments extensive garlands and narrative scenes. The statuary
Wat is considered conservative, being more static and less
graceful than earlier work. Other elements of the design have been
destroyed by looting and the passage of time, including gilded stucco
on the towers, gilding on some figures on the bas-reliefs, and wooden
ceiling panels and doors.
View of the west wall of the outer enclosure of
The outer wall, 1,024 m (3,360 ft) by 802 m (2,631 ft) and 4.5 m (15
ft) high, is surrounded by a 30 m (98 ft) apron of open ground and a
moat 190 m (620 ft) wide. Access to the temple is by an earth bank to
the east and a sandstone causeway to the west; the latter, the main
entrance, is a later addition, possibly replacing a wooden bridge.
There are gopuras at each of the cardinal points ; the western is by
far the largest and has three ruined towers. Glaize notes that this
gopura both hides and echoes the form of the temple proper. Under the
southern tower is a statue of
Vishnu , known as Ta Reach, which may
originally have occupied the temple's central shrine. Galleries run
between the towers and as far as two further entrances on either side
of the gopura often referred to as "elephant gates", as they are large
enough to admit those animals. These galleries have square pillars on
the outer (west) side and a closed wall on the inner (east) side. The
ceiling between the pillars is decorated with lotus rosettes; the west
face of the wall with dancing figures; and the east face of the wall
with balustered windows, dancing male figures on prancing animals, and
devatas , including (south of the entrance) the only one in the temple
to be showing her teeth.
The outer wall encloses a space of 820,000 square metres (203 acres),
which besides the temple proper was originally occupied by the city
and, to the north of the temple, the royal palace. Like all secular
buildings of Angkor, these were built of perishable materials rather
than of stone, so nothing remains of them except the outlines of some
of the streets. Most of the area is now covered by forest. A 350 m
(1,150 ft) causeway connects the western gopura to the temple proper,
with naga balustrades and six sets of steps leading down to the city
on either side. Each side also features a library with entrances at
each cardinal point, in front of the third set of stairs from the
entrance, and a pond between the library and the temple itself. The
ponds are later additions to the design, as is the cruciform terrace
guarded by lions connecting the causeway to the central structure.
The middle tower of
Wat symbolizes the sacred mountain,
mount Meru. Aerial view of the central structure; in front of
the central structure lies the cruciform terrace.
The temple stands on a terrace raised higher than the city. It is
made of three rectangular galleries rising to a central tower, each
level higher than the last. Mannikka interprets these galleries as
being dedicated to the king,
Brahma , the moon, and
Vishnu . Each
gallery has a gopura at each of the points, and the two inner
galleries each have towers at their corners, forming a quincunx with
the central tower. Because the temple faces west, the features are all
set back towards the east, leaving more space to be filled in each
enclosure and gallery on the west side; for the same reason the
west-facing steps are shallower than those on the other sides. A
The outer gallery measures 187 m (614 ft) by 215 m (705 ft), with
pavilions rather than towers at the corners. The gallery is open to
the outside of the temple, with columned half-galleries extending and
buttressing the structure. Connecting the outer gallery to the second
enclosure on the west side is a cruciform cloister called Preah Poan
(the "Hall of a Thousand Gods").
Buddha images were left in the
cloister by pilgrims over the centuries, although most have now been
removed. This area has many inscriptions relating the good deeds of
pilgrims, most written in Khmer but others in Burmese and Japanese.
The four small courtyards marked out by the cloister may originally
have been filled with water. North and south of the cloister are
Beyond, the second and inner galleries are connected to each other
and to two flanking libraries by another cruciform terrace, again a
later addition. From the second level upwards, devatas abound on the
walls, singly or in groups of up to four. The second-level enclosure
is 100 m (330 ft) by 115 m (377 ft), and may originally have been
flooded to represent the ocean around
Mount Meru . Three sets of
steps on each side lead up to the corner towers and gopuras of the
inner gallery. The very steep stairways represent the difficulty of
ascending to the kingdom of the gods. This inner gallery, called the
Bakan, is a 60 m (200 ft) square with axial galleries connecting each
gopura with the central shrine, and subsidiary shrines located below
the corner towers. The roofings of the galleries are decorated with
the motif of the body of a snake ending in the heads of lions or
garudas . Carved lintels and pediments decorate the entrances to the
galleries and to the shrines. The tower above the central shrine rises
43 m (141 ft) to a height of 65 m (213 ft) above the ground; unlike
those of previous temple mountains, the central tower is raised above
the surrounding four. The shrine itself, originally occupied by a
Vishnu and open on each side, was walled in when the temple
was converted to
Buddhism , the new walls featuring standing
Buddhas. In 1934, the conservator George Trouvé excavated the pit
beneath the central shrine: filled with sand and water it had already
been robbed of its treasure, but he did find a sacred foundation
deposit of gold leaf two metres above ground level.
The bas-relief of the Churning of the Sea of Milk shows Vishnu
in the centre, his turtle
Kurma below, asuras and devas to left
and right, and apsaras and
characteristic of the
Integrated with the architecture of the building, and one of the
causes for its fame is
Angkor Wat's extensive decoration, which
predominantly takes the form of bas-relief friezes. The inner walls of
the outer gallery bear a series of large-scale scenes mainly depicting
episodes from the
Hindu epics the
Ramayana and the
Higham has called these, "the greatest known linear arrangement of
stone carving". From the north-west corner anti-clockwise, the
western gallery shows the Battle of Lanka (from the Ramayana, in which
Ravana ) and the Battle of Kurukshetra (from the
Mahabharata, showing the mutual annihilation of the
Pandava clans). On the southern gallery follow the only historical
scene, a procession of
Suryavarman II , then the 32 hells and 37
heavens of Hinduism. Decoration on the corner
On the eastern gallery is one of the most celebrated scenes, the
Churning of the Sea of Milk , showing 92 asuras and 88 devas using
Vasuki to churn the sea under Vishnu's direction (Mannikka
counts only 91 asuras, and explains the asymmetrical numbers as
representing the number of days from the winter solstice to the spring
equinox , and from the equinox to the summer solstice ). It is
Vishnu defeating asuras (a 16th-century addition). The
northern gallery shows Krishna's victory over Bana (where according to
Glaize, "The workmanship is at its worst"), and a battle between the
Hindu gods and asuras. The north-west and south-west corner pavilions
both feature much smaller-scale scenes, some unidentified but most
Ramayana or the life of
Wat is decorated with depictions of apsaras and devata ; there
are more than 1,796 depictions of devata in the present research
Wat architects employed small apsara images (30 cm
(12 in)–40 cm (16 in)) as decorative motifs on pillars and walls.
They incorporated larger devata images (all full-body portraits
measuring approximately 95 cm (37 in)–110 cm (43 in)) more
prominently at every level of the temple from the entry pavilion to
the tops of the high towers. In 1927, Sappho Marchal published a study
cataloging the remarkable diversity of their hair, headdresses,
garments, stance, jewellery and decorative flowers, which Marchal
concluded were based on actual practices of the
BAS-RELIEFS OF ANGKOR WAT
The stones, as smooth as polished marble, were laid without mortar
with very tight joints that are sometimes hard to find. The blocks
were held together by mortise and tenon joints in some cases, while in
others they used dovetails and gravity. The blocks were presumably put
in place by a combination of elephants, coir ropes, pulleys and bamboo
Henri Mouhot noted that most of the blocks had holes 2.5
cm (0.98 in) in diameter and 3 cm (1.2 in) deep, with more holes on
the larger blocks. Some scholars have suggested that these were used
to join them together with iron rods, but others claim they were used
to hold temporary pegs to help manoeuvre them into place.
The monument was made out of 5 million to 10 million sandstone blocks
with a maximum weight of 1.5 tons each. In fact, the entire city of
Angkor used up far greater amounts of stone than all the Egyptian
pyramids combined, and occupied an area significantly greater than
Paris . Moreover, unlike the Egyptian pyramids which use
limestone quarried barely 0.5 km (0.31 mi) away all the time, the
entire city of
Angkor was built with sandstone quarried 40 km (25 mi)
(or more) away. This sandstone had to be transported from Mount
Kulen, a quarry approximately 25 miles (40 km) to the northeast. The
route has been suggested to span 35 kilometres (22 mi) along a canal
Tonlé Sap lake, another 35 kilometres (22 mi) crossing the
lake, and finally 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) against the current along
Siem Reap River , making a total journey of 90 kilometres (56 mi).
However, Etsuo Uchida and Ichita Shimoda of
Waseda University in Tokyo
, Japanese have discovered in 2011 a shorter 35-kilometre (22 mi)
canal connecting Mount Kulen and
Wat using satellite imagery.
The two believe that the Khmer used this route instead.
Virtually all of its surfaces, columns, lintels and even roofs are
carved. There are miles of reliefs illustrating scenes from Indian
literature including unicorns, griffins, winged dragons pulling
chariots as well as warriors following an elephant-mounted leader and
celestial dancing girls with elaborate hair styles. The gallery wall
alone is decorated with almost 1,000 square metres of bas reliefs.
Holes on some of the
Angkor walls indicate that they may have been
decorated with bronze sheets. These were highly prized in ancient
times and were a prime target for robbers. While excavating Khajuraho,
Alex Evans, a stonemason and sculptor, recreated a stone sculpture
under 4 feet (1.2 m), this took about 60 days to carve. Roger Hopkins
and Mark Lehner also conducted experiments to quarry limestone which
took 12 quarrymen 22 days to quarry about 400 tons of stone. The
labour force to quarry, transport, carve and install so much sandstone
must have run into the thousands including many highly skilled
artisans. The skills required to carve these sculptures were developed
hundreds of years earlier, as demonstrated by some artefacts that have
been dated to the seventh century, before the Khmer came to power.
ANGKOR WAT TODAY
RESTORATION AND CONSERVATION
World Monuments Fund video on conservation of Angkor
As with most other ancient temples in Cambodia,
Wat has faced
extensive damage and deterioration by a combination of plant
overgrowth, fungi, ground movements, war damage and theft. The war
Angkor Wat's temples however has been very limited, compared
to the rest of Cambodia's temple ruins, and it has also received the
most attentive restoration. Bullet holes left by a shoot-out
Khmer Rouge and Vietnamese forces at
The restoration of
Wat in the modern era began with the
establishment of the Conservation d'
Angkor Conservancy) by the
École française d\'Extrême-Orient (EFEO) in 1908; before that date,
activities at the site were primarily concerned with exploration.
The Conservation d'
Angkor was responsible for the research,
conservation, and restoration activities carried out at
the early 1970s, and a major restoration of
Angkor was undertaken in
the 1960s. However, work on
Angkor was abandoned during the Khmer
Rouge era and the Conservation d'
Angkor was disbanded in 1975.
Between 1986 and 1992, the
Archaeological Survey of India
Archaeological Survey of India carried out
restoration work on the temple, as France did not recognise the
Cambodian government at the time. Criticism has been raised about both
the early French restoration attempts and particularly the later
Indian work, with concerns over damage done to the stone surface by
the use of chemicals and cement.
In 1992, following an appeal for help by
Norodom Sihanouk , Angkor
Wat was listed in UNESCO's
World Heritage in Danger
World Heritage in Danger (later removed in
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site together with an appeal by
UNESCO to the
international community to save Angkor. Zoning of the area was set
up to protect the
Angkor site in 1994,
APSARA was established in 1995
to protect and manage the area, and a law to protect Cambodian
heritage was passed in 1996. A number of countries such as France,
Japan and China are currently involved in various
conservation projects. The
German Apsara Conservation Project (GACP)
is working to protect the devatas , and other bas-reliefs which
decorate the temple, from damage. The organisation's survey found that
around 20% of the devatas were in very poor condition, mainly because
of natural erosion and deterioration of the stone but in part also due
to earlier restoration efforts. Other work involves the repair of
collapsed sections of the structure, and prevention of further
collapse: the west facade of the upper level, for example, has been
buttressed by scaffolding since 2002, while a Japanese team completed
restoration of the north library of the outer enclosure in 2005.
World Monuments Fund began conservation work on the Churning of the
Sea of Milk Gallery in 2008 after several years of studies on its
condition. The project restored the traditional Khmer roofing system
and removed cement used in earlier restoration attempts that had
resulted in salts entering the structure behind the bas-relief,
discolouring and damaging the sculpted surfaces. The main phase of
work ended in 2012, with the final component being the installation of
finials on the roof of the gallery in 2013. The restored head of
a naga beside an unrestored lion at the start of the causeway leading
to the entrance of
Angkor Wat. The contrast of restored and unrestored
figures is deliberate. The major restoration of the causeway was first
initiated in the 1960s by the French.
Microbial biofilms have been found degrading sandstone at
Preah Khan, and the
Bayon and West Prasat in Angkor. The dehydration-
and radiation-resistant filamentous cyanobacteria can produce organic
acids that degrade the stone. A dark filamentous fungus was found in
internal and external
Preah Khan samples, while the alga Trentepohlia
was found only in samples taken from external, pink-stained stone at
Preah Khan. Replicas were also made to replace some of the lost or
Since the 1990s,
Wat has become a major tourist destination.
In 1993, there were only 7,650 visitors to the site; by 2004,
government figures show that 561,000 foreign visitors had arrived in
Siem Reap province that year, approximately 50% of all foreign
tourists in Cambodia. The number reached over a million in 2007, and
over two million by 2012. Most visited
Angkor Wat, which received
over two million foreign tourists in 2013. The site has been managed
by the private SOKIMEX group since 1990, which rented it from the
Cambodian government . The influx of tourists has so far caused
relatively little damage, other than some graffiti ; ropes and wooden
steps have been introduced to protect the bas-reliefs and floors,
respectively. Tourism has also provided some additional funds for
maintenance—as of 2000 approximately 28% of ticket revenues across
Angkor site was spent on the temples—although most work is
carried out by foreign government-sponsored teams rather than by the
Wat has seen significant growth in tourism throughout
UNESCO and its International Co-ordinating Committee for
the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of
in association with representatives from the Royal Government and
APSARA , organised seminars to discuss the concept of "cultural
tourism". Wanting to avoid commercial and mass tourism, the seminars
emphasised the importance of providing high quality accommodation and
services in order for the
Cambodian government to benefit
economically, while also incorporating the richness of Cambodian
culture. In 2001, this incentive resulted in the concept of the
Angkor Tourist City" which would be developed with regard to
traditional Khmer architecture, contain leisure and tourist
facilities, and provide luxurious hotels capable of accommodating
large amounts of tourists.
The prospect of developing such large tourist accommodations has
encountered concerns from both
APSARA and the ICC, claiming that
previous tourism developments in the area have neglected construction
regulations and more of these projects have the potential to damage
landscape features. Also, the large scale of these projects have
begun to threaten the quality of the nearby town's water, sewage, and
electricity systems. It has been noted that such high frequency of
tourism and growing demand for quality accommodations in the area,
such as the development of a large highway, has had a direct effect on
the underground water table, subsequently straining the structural
stability of the temples at
Angkor Wat. Locals of
Siem Reap have also
voiced concern that the charm and atmosphere of their town have been
compromised in order to entertain tourism. Since this local
atmosphere is the key component to projects like
Angkor Tourist City,
the local officials continue to discuss how to successfully
incorporate future tourism without sacrificing local values and
ASEAN Tourism Forum 2012, it was agreed that
Wat would become sister sites and the provinces sister
Statue inside the temple complex
* ^ "Largest religious structure". Guinness World Records.
Retrieved 29 April 2016.
* ^ A B Ashley M. Richter (8 September 2009). "Recycling Monuments:
Buddhism Switch at Angkor".
CyArk . Retrieved 7 June
* ^ Higham, C. (2014). Early Mainland Southeast Asia. Bangkok:
River Books Co., Ltd. pp. 372, 378–379. ISBN 978-616-7339-44-3 .
* ^ "Government ::Cambodia". CIA World Factbook.
* ^ "Cambodia\'s
Wat Breaking Records for Visitors Again
News from Tourism Cambodia". Tourism of Cambodia.
* ^ Chuon Nath Khmer Dictionary (1966, Buddhist Institute, Phnom
* ^ Cambodian-English Dictionary by Robert K. Headley, Kylin Chhor,
Lam Kheng Lim, Lim Hak Kheang, and Chen Chun (1977, Catholic
* ^ J. Hackin; Clayment Huart; Raymonde Linossier; Raymonde
Linossier; H. de Wilman Grabowska; Charles-Henri Marchal; Henri
Maspero; Serge Eliseev (1932). Asiatic Mythology:A Detailed
Description and Explanation of the Mythologies of All the Great
Nations of Asia. p. 194.
* ^ daguan Zhou (2007). A Record of Cambodia: The Land and Its
People. Translated by Peter Harris. Silkworm Books.
* ^ A B "
Angkor Wat, 1113–1150". The Huntington Archive of
Buddhist and Related Art. College of the Arts, The Ohio State
University. Retrieved 27 April 2008.
* ^ Coedès, George (1968). Walter F. Vella, ed. The Indianized
States of Southeast Asia. trans.Susan Brown Cowing. University of
Hawaii Press. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-8248-0368-1 .
* ^ Glaize, The Monuments of the
Angkor Group p. 59.
* ^ Higham, The Civilization of
Angkor pp. 1–2.
* ^ Masako Fukawa; Stan Fukawa (6 Nov 2014). "Japanese Diaspora -
Cambodia". Discover Nikkei. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
* ^ Abdoul-Carime Nasir. "Au-dela du plan Japonais du XVII siècle
Angkor Vat, (A XVII century Japanese map of
Angkor Wat)" (PDF) (in
French). Retrieved 18 October 2015.
* ^ "History of Cambodia, Post-
Angkor Era (1431 - present day)".
Cambodia Travel. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
* ^ Quoted in Brief Presentation by Venerable Vodano Sophan Seng
* ^ A B Time Life Lost Civilizations series: Southeast Asia: A Past
Regained (1995). p.67–99
* ^ A B Glaize p. 59.
* ^ A B C Russell Ciochon & Jamie James (14 October 1989). "The
Angkor Wat". New Scientist. pp. 52–57. Retrieved 22
* ^ Flags of the World, Cambodian Flag History
* ^ Falser, Michael (2011).
Krishna and the Plaster Cast.
Translating the Cambodian Temple of
Wat in the French Colonial
* ^ Falser, Michael (2013). From Gaillon to Sanchi, from Vézelay
Angkor Wat. The Musée Indo-Chinois in Paris: A Transcultural
Perspective on Architectural Museums..
* ^ Cambodge: The Cultivation of a Nation, 1860–1945 by Penny
Edwards. 2007. ISBN 978-0-8248-2923-0
* ^ Falser, Michael: Clearing the Path towards Civilization - 150
Years of "Saving Angkor". In: Michael Falser (ed.) Cultural Heritage
as Civilizing Mission. From Decay to Recovery. Springer: Heidelberg,
New York, pp. 279–346.
* ^ "Recent research has transformed archaeologists\' understanding
Wat and its surroundings". University of Sydney. 9 December
2015. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
* ^ A B Freeman and Jacques p. 48.
* ^ Glaize p. 62.
* ^ Coedès, George (1968). Walter F. Vella, ed. The Indianized
States of Southeast Asia. trans.Susan Brown Cowing. University of
Hawaii Press. p. 162. ISBN 978-0-8248-0368-1 .
* ^ The diplomatic envoy Zhou Da Guan sent by Emperor Temür Khan
Angkor in 1295 reported that the head of state was buried in a
tower after his death, and he referred to
Wat as a mausoleum
* ^ A B Higham, The Civilization of
Angkor p. 118.
* ^ A B Scarre, Chris editor "The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient
World", p. 81–85 (1999) Thames & Hudson, London
* ^ Mannikka, Eleanor .
Angkor Wat, 1113–1150. (This page does
not cite an author's name.)
* ^ Stencel, Robert, Fred Gifford, and Eleanor Moron. "Astronomy
and Cosmology at
Angkor Wat." Science 193 (1976): 281–287.
(Mannikka, née Moron)
* ^ Transcript of Atlantis Reborn, broadcast BBC2 4 November 1999.
German Apsara Conservation Project Building Techniques, p. 5.
* ^ Glaize p. 25.
Angkor Vat Style
* ^ Freeman and Jacques p. 29.
* ^ A B Freeman and Jacques p. 49.
* ^ Glaize p. 61.
* ^ A B Freeman and Jacques p. 50.
* ^ Glaize p. 63.
* ^ Ray, Lonely Planet guide to
Cambodia p. 195.
* ^ Ray p. 199.
* ^ Briggs p. 199.
* ^ Glaize p. 65.
* ^ Higham, Early Cultures of Mainland Southeast Asia p. 318.
* ^ Glaize
* ^ Described in Michael Buckley, The Churning of the
Ocean of Milk
* ^ Glaize p. 69.
Wat devata inventory - February 2010 Archived 23 April
2010 at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ Sappho Marchal, Khmer Costumes and Ornaments of the
* ^ Ghose, Tia (31 October 2012). "Mystery of
Huge Stones Solved". livescience.com.
* ^ "Lost City of
Angkor Wat". National Geographic.
* ^ Uchida, Etsuo; Shimoda, Ichita (2013). "Quarries and
transportation routes of
Angkor monument sandstone blocks". Journal of
Archaeological Science. 40 (2): 1158–1164. ISSN 0305-4403 . doi
* ^ "Lost Worlds of the
Kama Sutra" History channel
* ^ Lehner, Mark The Complete Pyramids, London: Thames and Hudson
(1997)p. 202–225 ISBN 0-500-05084-8 .
* ^ "Considerations for the Conservation and Presentation of the.
Historic City of Angkor" (PDF). World Monuments Fund. p. 65. Archived
from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2011.
* ^ "The
Siem Reap Centre, Cambodia". EFEO.
* ^ "The Modern Period: The creation of the
* ^ Cambodia. Lonely Planet. 2010. p. 157. ISBN 978-1-74179-457-1 .
* ^ Kapila D. Silva; Neel Kamal Chapagain, eds. (2013). Asian
Heritage Management: Contexts, Concerns, and Prospects. Routledge. pp.
220–221. ISBN 978-0-415-52054-6 .
* ^ "Activities Abroad#Cambodia". Archaeological Survey of India.
* ^ Phillip Shenon (21 June 1992). "Washing Buddha\'s Face". New
* ^ Kapila D. Silva; Neel Kamal Chapagain, eds. (2013). Asian
Heritage Management: Contexts, Concerns, and Prospects. Routledge. p.
223. ISBN 978-0-415-52054-6 .
* ^ Michael Falser (ed.). Cultural Heritage as Civilizing Mission:
From Decay to Recovery. Springer International. p. 253. ISBN
* ^ Albert Mumma; Susan Smith. Poverty Alleviation and
Environmental Law. ElgarOnline. p. 290. ISBN 978-1-78100-329-9 .
* ^ "Royal Decree establishing Protected Cultural Zones". APSARA.
* ^ Yorke M. Rowan; Uzi Baram (2004). Marketing Heritage:
Archaeology and the Consumption of the Past. AltaMira Press. p. 123.
ISBN 978-0-7591-0342-9 .
* ^ Hing Thoraxy. "Achievement of "APSARA". Archived from the
original on 3 March 2001.
German Apsara Conservation Project Archived 5 February 2005 at
Wayback Machine ., Conservation, Risk Map, p. 2.
* ^ "Infrastructures in
Angkor Park". Yashodhara no. 6: January –
APSARA Authority. Archived from the original on 26 May
2012. Retrieved 25 April 2008.
* ^ "The Completion of the Restoration Work of the Northern Library
APSARA Authority. 3 June 2005. Retrieved 25 April
* ^ Gaylarde CC; Rodríguez CH; Navarro-Noya YE; Ortega-Morales BO
(Feb 2012). "Microbial biofilms on the sandstone monuments of the
Wat Complex, Cambodia". Current Microbiology. 64 (2): 85–92.
PMID 22006074 . doi :10.1007/s00284-011-0034-y .
* ^ Guy De Launey (21 August 2012). "Restoring ancient monuments at
Angkor Wat". BBC.
* ^ Justine Smith (25 February 2007). "Tourist invasion threatens
to ruin glories of
Angkor Wat". The Observer.
* ^ "Executive Summary from Jan–Dec 2005". Tourism of Cambodia.
Statistics & Tourism Information Department, Ministry of Tourism of
Cambodia. Archived from the original on 13 April 2008. Retrieved 25
* ^ "Tourism Statistics: Annual Report" (PDF). Ministry of Tourism.
* ^ "Tourism Annual Report 2012" (PDF). Ministry of Tourism.
* ^ "Ticket sales at
Wat exceed 2 million", The Phnom Penh
Post, 21 January 2015
* ^ Tales of Asia, Preserving Angkor: Interview with Ang Choulean
(13 October 2000)
* ^ A B C D E F G H Winter, Tim (2007). "Rethinking tourism in
asia". Annals of Tourism Research. 34: 27. doi
* ^ "Borobudur,
Wat to become sister sites". 13 January
* Architecture portal
* Albanese, Marilia (2006). The Treasures of
Vercelli: White Star Publishers. ISBN 88-544-0117-X .
* Briggs, Lawrence Robert (1951, reprinted 1999). The Ancient Khmer
Empire. White Lotus. ISBN 974-8434-93-1 .
* Forbes, Andrew; Henley, David (2011). Angkor, Eighth Wonder of the
World. Chiang Mai: Cognoscenti Books. ASIN: B0085RYW0O
* Freeman, Michael and Jacques, Claude (1999). Ancient Angkor. River
Books. ISBN 0-8348-0426-3 .
* Higham, Charles (2001). The Civilization of Angkor. Phoenix. ISBN
* Higham, Charles (2003). Early Cultures of Mainland Southeast Asia.
Art Media Resources. ISBN 1-58886-028-0 .
* Hing Thoraxy. Achievement of "APSARA": Problems and Resolutions in
the Management of the
* Jessup, Helen Ibbitson; Brukoff, Barry (2011). Temples of Cambodia
- The Heart of