Attractive Resin Fridge Magnet Depicting Angkor Wat, Temple Complex, Cambodia
Have a small reminder of Khmer architecture with you every day in the form of this delightful fridge magnet which features the ancient temple complex of Angkor Wat (city of temples). Originally constructed in the 12th century this beautiful site was the temple, and then mausoleum, for King Suryavarman II. At the time of its construction it was a Hindu temple, dedicated to the god Vishnu. Some 100 years later, towards the end of the 13th century, it slowly converted to a temple of the Theravada Buddhist religion and has remained so ever since.
So who was King Suryavarman
Suryavarman II was enthroned in 1113, succeeding his great uncle King Dharanindravarman I who had not been a very effective ruler of the Khmer Empire. At the time of the succession the central control of the Empire had diminished. Suryavarman II undertook many military operations to re-unite the Empire. In conjunction with this he practiced diplomacy as can be seen from the events of 1116 when formal relations with China recommenced. Having ruled over a period of greater unity in the Empire, when art and architecture advanced significantly, Suryavarman II died sometime between 1145 and 1150. His cousin Dharanindravarman II succeeded him as ruler. A first for Khmer rulers, an image of Suryavarman II can actually be seen in the south gallery at Angkor Wat.
The Beauty that is Angkor Wat
This city of temples is majestic in its beauty. Located 5.5 kilometres north of the town of Siem Reap it is a permanent monument to the architectural excellence of King Suryavarman II’s reign. There are two main themes in the architecture of Angkor Wat. The temple mountain was a common theme in the building of state temples in the Angkor region, it represented Mount Meru; in Hindu mythology this was the home of the gods. The other theme present at Angkor Wat is that of the galleried temple. The galleries were open on either one or both sides and surrounded enclosures or ran along the temple axis. The towers at the centre of the temple form a quincunx pattern. The term quincunx originates from a coin of the Roman Republic and reflects a five point pattern which forms a cross, as on the five side of a die. A great deal of the beauty of this wonderful edifice was preserved by the fact that, even though it suffered neglect after the 16th century, it was never totally abandoned. The surrounding jungle areas helped to protect it from the elements. Despite this partial preservation the 20th century has seen a lot of restoration at the site which is a popular symbol of Cambodia and has formed part of the national flag since circa 1863.
Visiting Angkor Archaeological Park
The site of Angkor Wat forms part of the Angkor Archaeological Park, which covers over 400 square kilometres of northern Cambodia. Siem Reap, six kilometres away, is the nearest accommodation spot for this popular tourist attraction. The area is hot all year round but is at its coolest (25-30 degrees Celsius), and driest from November to February. The downside of visiting at this time is that it can become very crowded. The temples are quietest from June to October but you could get very muddy as it is the rainy season; whilst March to May is the hottest time of year. If you do decide to visit the site is easily accessible from Siem Reap, being only a twenty minute drive away. Tourists are well catered for with a range of transport available from tour buses, to cars with drivers and motorbikes. This park has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992 and is well worth a visit. If you are not able to get there then why not purchase this little piece of Angkor Wat memorabilia, an attractive fridge magnet, from World-wide-gifts.com.