The Biggest Hindu Temples on Earth ‘Angkor Wat’ are Well Known through out world. Cambodia is a country of culture, tradition and ethnic civilization, located in Southeast Asia between Thailand and Vietnam. The people of Cambodia are known as “Cambodian” or “Khmer”. It is a perfect destination for heritage and culture lovers.
Laos is situated on the northeast of Cambodia; Vietnam is on the east and southeast, Thailand on the west and northwest and Gulf of Thailand on the southwest. As an under-developed country, Cambodia has forests that located in valuable timber.
“Khmer” is the official language of Cambodia and also division of the Mon-Khmer family, enriched by the Indian Pali and Sanskrit languages and influenced by Thai and French. Khmer is like other languages that spoken by hilltribe people of Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia. Some old people spoke French, but younger generation prefers to learn English.
Cambodia has about 13.4 million populations, 90% of them are ethnic Cambodians or Khmer and 5% includes people of Vietnamese origin and 1% Chinese. Lastly, 4% is that generally focused in the mountainous northeast.
Approximately 80% of the population live in the rural areas and their profession is farming, that practiced on family-operated holdings, basically.
Culture of Cambodia
Cambodian culture includes Theravada Buddhism, Hinduism, French Colonialism, Angkorian culture, and modern globalization. Theravada Buddhism is practiced by about 96% of the Cambodian residential.
Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, the government ministry has responsibility for promoting and developing Cambodian culture. H.E. Mr. Him Chhem is the current Senior Minister. Besides the lowland ethnic majority, Cambodian culture also includes some twenty culturally distinct hill tribes colloquially named as the Khmer Loeu, a term coined by Norodom Sihanouk for motivating unity among the highlanders and lowlanders.
The “Cambodia” name originated from the French “Cambodge” that comes from the Khmer word Kâmpuchea, means “born of Kambu.” Earlier the country was identified as “Kampuchea” and now it refers as Cambodia and officially as the “Kingdom of Cambodia”.
Arts & Architecture of Cambodia
The art and culture of Cambodia reflects the religious traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Angkor’s architects have created stone temples of Hinduism and Buddhism, symbolizing the cosmic world and sculptors are decorated with wall carvings and sculptures of Hindu gods and the Buddha.
The entire surviving monuments and religious buildings are built by stone or brick. In earlier, the culture and art of kingdoms of Funan and Chenla were middle to the evolution of Angkorian art and architecture. The pre-Angkorian periods relics had founded across South-Cambodia wherein most of is Hindu art, but a number of Mahayana-Buddhist Bodhisattvas. Its architecture and decoration were governed by a series of mystical and religious beliefs, during the Angkor period.
Ordinary motifs in Khmer statue are apsaras that carved with splendidly ornate jewellery, clothed in the latest Angkor fashion and represented the ultimate ideal of feminine beauty of that time and become a kind of symbol of the Khmer culture. Nagas are other motifs that play an important part in Hindu mythology and are possibly over any other motif characteristic of Southeast Asia. In order to represent the cosmic Mt. Meru, the home of Indian cosmology gods, temples were designed and bounded by oceans.
Angkor means “city” or “capital”, and Wat means “temple”. Angkor Wat is the biggest and most famous of the architectural masterpieces of Cambodia and maybe the largest religious building on planet. As per the imagination of Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat took an estimated 30 years for building. For the king, it is usually believed as a funeral temple.
Angkor Wat is bound by intricate bas reliefs on four sides, the story of each are varied. “The Churning of the Ocean of Milk” is most famous from them, situated on the east wing. Once more, the middle sanctuary of the temple complex symbolizes Mt. Meru, the five towers symbolize Meru’s five peaks, the enclosing wall symbolizes the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond. Angkor Wat’s symmetrical towers are stylized on the Cambodian flag and have become a symbol of Khmer culture.
Cambodian dances are represented by women; they dressed in brightly colored costumes with elaborate headdresses. These dances are slow, escorted with graceful movements. Using drums, gongs, and bamboo xylophones, the music is created. In the villages of Cambodia, plays in which actors perform with masks are very famous. Shadow plays, where the performers use black leather puppets, are also quite well-known.
Heritage of Cambodia
Cambodia, the only country in the world to symbolize a temple ruin on its national flag. This is place where some of the most remarkable structures ever built by man can be seen. For the splendor of its physical culture, as symbolized by the magnificent monuments of the Angkorian era, Cambodia is known in all over the world. These monuments have been the attention of a major multinational conservation effort, for the earlier decade.
In Southeast Asia, there are two best ancient temple complexes, one at Bagan in Burma and the second one is Angkor Wat, built by the Khmer civilization between 802 and 1220 AD for the king Suryavarman II at Angkor in Cambodia. It is dedicated to the god Vishnu and Buddhist. It is the largest religious building in world.
For guests, these temples are prime attraction in the country. Angkor Wat is the great preserved illustration of Khmer architecture in Cambodia and is very impressive in design, which some rank it among the Seven Wonders of the World. It emerges on the Cambodian national flag, a so uncommon example of a flag including an image of a building. In the 1800s, the “lost city” of Angkor first attracted the interest of Europeans, after Cambodia was occupied by the French.
Angkor Wat, this remarkable ancient temple in the jungle till now continues to draw thousands of visitors’ attention. Angkor Wat Buddhist monks are daily visited by many tourists. Their bright orange robes build a vivid contrast with the grey stone of the temple.