The temple complex, built in the capital of the Khmer Empire, took approximately 30 years to build. It was originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu before becoming a Buddhist temple by the end of the 12th century.
What is Angkor Wat and why was it built?
In the 12th century, King Suryavarman II of the Khmer Empire began work on a 500-acre (200 hectare) temple in the capital city of Angkor, in what is now Cambodia. The complex was built to honor the Hindu god Vishnu, but 14th-century leaders converted the site into a Buddhist temple.
How was Angkor Wat destroyed?
The cause of the Angkor empire’s demise in the early 15th century long remained a mystery. But researchers have now shown that intense monsoon rains that followed a prolonged drought in the region caused widespread damage to the city’s infrastructure, leading to its collapse.
What religion is Angkor Wat?
When he built a new capital nearby, Angkor Thom, he dedicated it to Buddhism. Thereafter, Angkor Wat became a Buddhist shrine, and many of its carvings and statues of Hindu deities were replaced by Buddhist art.