When I was 10 years old, a teacher asked this question:
"What is the biggest religious building in the world?"
Most of us thought that it would be a Cathedral. A few answered it was Mecca, a holy place of worship for the muslims. We were quite stunned by the answer: Angkor Wat, A Hindu Temple.
Within the Outer wall is an enclosure which is more than 200 acres in land. Around the temple is a carefully built moat for safety. It was built in the honor of Vishnu, a hindu god. The design is based on Mount Meru, which is the mythical abode of Devas (Hindu Deities).
The temple is rich with Bas relief . Numerous scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharatha (Hindu Epics) are depicted all over this temple. Tantric Deities, Devatas and Apsaras are also carved in many places.
The Temple is so breath taking that it is on the Flag of Cambodia. Undoubtedly, it is a symbol of pride for the country and brings in lots of tourists to the country.
Numerous Underwater Lingas (Phallic Symbol) has been discovered in and around Ankhor Wat. Many wonder how these Lingas were carved underwater.
The temple was abandoned (at least partly) for many centuries and was not known to the rest of the world until Nineteenth Century. A french traveler, Henri Mouhot discovered it completely camouflaged by the trees of the Jungle. Many exquisite sculptures have been destroyed by huge trees and the lack of proper care.
Now, Angkor Wat is used mostly for tourism and as a temple by Theraveda Buddhists. It is a common sight to see saffron clad Buddhist monks meditating.