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Ancient Monuments in Asia: Angkor Wat and Khajuraho Temples

Ask South-East Asian archeologists about the most significant archeological site in the region and many will most certainly mention Angkor Wat, found at the Angkor Archeological Park. In this article, you will learn more about this attraction, as well as the Khajuraho Temples in India.

Angkor Wat , Cambodia

Surrounded by an array of extensive temples and buildings, travel to the center of the complex to uncover Angkor Wat. Serving as one of the best-preserved temples in Cambodia, the complex has a history that traces back to the early part of 12th century when it was built for King Suryavarman II as his state temple and capital city.

Since its establishment, the temple is known as the only one of its kind to continue on as a central religious center. In the beginning, it was a sacred place for Hindus (dedicated to Vishnu) and then became important to Buddhists. The temple showcases the highest quality of the classical Khmer style of architectural design, becoming a well-known symbol for Cambodia. It even appears on the national flag for the country.

3 Facts About Angkor Wat

1) The modern name of the site, Angkor Wat, translates into “City Temple.”

2) One of the first Westerners to set their eyes on the temple was a Portuguese monk named Antonio da Magdalena, who paid a visit to the site in 1586. Some of the ways he described what he saw includes: “extraordinary construction” and “it is like no other building in the world.”

3) Carving is one of the most popular forms of decoration throughout Angkor Wat. Myths and literary pieces associated with the Indian culture play an important role in the decoration of the complex. For example, unicorns, griffins, warriors, and winged dragons pulling chariots are just some of the images used on reliefs at Angkor Wat that continue on for miles.

Khajuraho Temples , India

Kama Sutra enthusiasts visiting India may want to pay a visit to the Khajuraho Temples, where more than 20 temples are dedicated to the world of sexuality and sex. Some of the more popular highlights of the temples are the erotic sculptures seen at every twist and turn. From elaborately carved temples images to an outright commemoration of love, living, and worship , the Khajuraho Temples brings thousands upon thousands of tourists to the country. The site is the perfect place to explore ancient Hindu faith as well as Tantric practices , all at the same time.

3 Facts About the Khajuraho Temples

1) The temples are separated into three different groups – Western, Eastern, and Southern. Seek the Western collection to view the main temples with features, such as the impressive Kandariya Mahadeo Temple. In the Eastern Group, you’ll find finely sculptured Jain temples, whereas the Southern group boasts only two temples for you to explore.

2) Some tourists complain that the location of the temples are out of the way, but you will find this intriguing attraction in northern Madhya Pradesh, which is about 385 miles south east of Delhi.

3) If you plan a trip to see the temples, aim for late February to early March so that you may enjoy the energy of a weeklong classical dance festival at the Chitragupta Temple complex in Khajuraho. Performers, arts and crafters, and dance groups from all over India gather for this event.