Angkor Wat Tour in Siem Reap:
A part of the Angkor Archaeological Park and the largest religious structure in the world, Angkor Wat is an attraction without comparisons. Nestled on the outskirts of Siem Reap, this architectural structure has dazzled the world and carved a niche for itself in the Cambodian National Flag as a symbol of Cambodia and even in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its intricacy and magnificence are so renowned that it has put Cambodia on the map of world travellers and has put it so firmly that tourists arrive in hordes just to see this wonderful temple from the 12th Century.
Delve into the many treasures housed in this 200 hectares Angkor Wat complex with an expedition to the region. Enjoy a photo-op with the lions decorating the naga-balustrade-bordered causeway; pay your respects to Ta Reach and the other divinities and spirits housed in the colonnade leading into the Angkor Wat inner complex; and marvel at the intricate bas-relief depictions of scenes of historical events from King Suryavarman’s reign and scenes from epics such as Mahabharata, Ramayana and Vishnupuran.
Going further, discover the Preah Poan or the Gallery of the ‘Thousand Buddhas’ and Bakan, the areas that mark the transition of Angkor Wat from a pre-dominantly Vishnu temple into a Buddhist place of worship. Only a handful of the stone, wood and metal statues of Buddha statues remain in Preah Poan today; others were moved to conservation houses and many more were lost. Apart from the statues, the Gallery of the Thousand Buddhas boasts several 16th to 18th Century inscriptions of religious works in the regional language, Khmer as well as in Pali on its walls.
Climb to the second and third tiers for further discoveries and access to the central courtyard or sanctuary. Bakan or the uppermost level once featured four entranceways that opened to the four cardinal points and sheltered an idol of Lord Vishnu, the presiding deity of Angkor Wat. When Buddhism made its mark in the temple, the entranceways were filled with sandstone walls and deep relief images of the Standing Buddha sculpted on them. Exquisite views, sunrises and a refreshing breeze await all those who make the ascent to the topmost tier.