Did you know?
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.