Today on Discovery
Enterprise we visit one of the most important
archaeological sites in South East Asia, Angkor
Wat in the acclaimed National Geographic Channel series Ancient Megastructures.
Situated deep in the Cambodian jungle, the majestic
to honour the Hindu god Vishnu and which took over 30 years to build. temple
of Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early Dravidian Architecture, with key features such as the Jagati. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 miles) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples,
Angkor Wat is oriented to the west;
scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for
the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs, and
for the numerous devatas adorning its walls.
The modern name, Angkor Wat, means "Temple City" or "City of Temples" in Khmer; Angkor, meaning "city" or "capital city", is a vernacular form of the word nokor , which comes from the Sanskrit word nagara). Wat is the Khmer word for "temple grounds", derived from the Pali word "vatta". Prior to this time the temple was known as Preah Pisnulok (Vara Vishnuloka in Sanskrit), after the posthumous title of its founder.
All the episodes of the National Geographic Channel's Megastructures and Ancient Megastructures are available on a DVD megaset from Amazon.com.