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What To See Within Angkor Wat

Explore Angkor Wot

Published: 09 July 2015

Angkor Wat is one of the most famous attractions and several Cambodia tours are centred around the exploration of this marvellous architectural and religious masterpiece. Located close to Siem Reap, this temple complex that stretches over 400 square kilometres, is considered the largest religious monument in the world. While initially used by Hindus, it began to be used by Buddhists in the 13th century, and continues to remain a Buddhist place of worship today. Fittingly, Angkor Wat literally translates to ‘City of Temples’ or ‘Temple City’ and includes:

Angkor Wat:
Over 200 feet high and divided in several layers, this temple built by Suryavarman is the biggest pyramid in Asia. It is also the largest temple in the complex, lending its name to the entire site. The central part has four towers and is shaped like a lotus flower. Famous battles and scenes from Hindu and Buddhist mythology are depicted on 2,600 feet of bas-reliefs, offering an incomparable visual treat.

The Bayon:
This temple has 54 towers and 216 faces of Avalokiteshvara and looks magnificent at sunrise. Built by Jayavarman VII, the Bayon is located in the centre of Angkor Thom. It has three levels – 2 rectangular and 1 circular. Exploring all the tiny halls and rooms make for one of the best experiences of any Angkor Wat tours.

Elephant Terrace:
The elephant terrace is huge, 1,000 feet long and 9 feet high, this viewing platform has elephants, lions and garudas carved along its base and was built by Jayavarman VII. Most accounts hold that it was probably used for public and royal ceremonies.

Preah Khan:
This temple is said to have been a large Buddhist university with more than 1.000 teachers. It is one of the largest sites in the Angkor Wat temple complex and used as a palace by Yasovarman II and Tribhuvanadityavarman. Many historians state that it was also a site for a famous battle. Today, the ruins of this structure are not very well-maintained, but is still worth a visit during your Cambodia holidays.

Ta Som
If you’ve ever seen any pictures of the ruins of Angkor Wat, chances are you were looking at Ta Som. Similar in structure to another temple, Ta Phrom, this temple has a huge tree growing on top of the eastern Gopura. Don’t miss the opportunity to take wonderful photos of this famous site!

While there are several other monuments and ruins you can explore and visit in this wonderful temple complex, the ones mentioned above are the key ones. You can then safely tick Angkor Wat in Cambodia of your bucket list!

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