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Timeless Travels Magazine - - CAMBODIA -

Angkor is the Kh­mer name mean­ing ‘cap­i­tal city’. It is a re­gion of Cam­bo­dia that served as the seat of the Kh­mer Em­pire, from c.802 CE to 1431 CE. The tem­ples in the Angkor area num­ber over 1000, and com­prise the most sig­nif­i­cant site of Kh­mer ar­chi­tec­ture. ∞ The Kh­mer Em­pire was the pow­er­ful Kh­mer Hindu-Bud­dhist em­pire in South­east Asia. The em­pire grew out of the for­mer King­dom of Ju­nan and Che­nia, and at times ruled over most of main­land South­east Aisa, parts of mod­ern day Laos, Thai­land and south­ern Viet­nam. ∞ The great­est legacy of the Kh­mer Em­pire is Angkor, the site of it’s cap­i­tal city at the height of its rule. The mas­sive mon­u­ments bear wit­ness to the em­pire’s im­mense power and wealth, im­pres­sive art and cul­ture and ar­chi­tec­tural tech­niques. ∞ Angkor Wat was orig­i­nally a Hindu, and then later a Bud­dhist, tem­ple com­plex and the largest re­li­gious mon­u­ment in the world. The tem­ple was built by Kh­mer King Suryavar­man II in the early 12th cen­tury, as his state tem­ple and even­tual mau­soleum. ∞ The Kh­mer em­pire was founded on ex­ten­sive net­works of rice grow­ing com­mu­ni­ties. The king and his of­fi­cials were in charge of ir­ri­ga­tion man­age­ment and wa­ter dis­tri­bu­tion, which con­sisted of an in­tri­cate se­ries of hy­draulics in­fra­struc­ture, such as canals, moats, and mas­sive reser­voirs. The ex­ten­sive ir­ri­ga­tion projects pro­vided rice sur­pluses that could sup­port a large pop­u­la­tion. ∞ The state re­li­gion was the cult of De­varaja, el­e­vat­ing the Kh­mer kings as pos­sess­ing the di­vine qual­ity of liv­ing gods on earth. The cult en­abled the Kh­mer kings to em­bark on mas­sive ar­chi­tec­tural projects, con­struct­ing ma­jes­tic mon­u­ments such as Angkor Wat and Bayon to celebrate the king’s di­vine rule on earth.

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