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Cambodia is a country completely different from others with a lot of history to tell and places to see like the famous Angkor temple, as it easily attracts with its elegant cocoon towers rising harmoniously towards the sky, but like any place it has a particular history, which has been well known in the last decades.
It all began in 1107, when Dharanindravarman I ascended to the throne of the kingdom of Angkor after the death of his brother, as the Khmer Empire experienced a period of unrest and civil war. However, the new king found it difficult to cope with this situation, so this unambitious monarch would have to face his audacious nephew Suryavarma years later.
Determined to rule and dominate the vast Khmer empire, the young man launched an offensive against his uncle, who won a great victory over the king after a day of battle. The king had been killed by his nephew while on the back of an elephant, in fact there is an inscription found on a stele that mentions that this young man had killed his uncle as a garuda on a mountain would have killed a snake.
The usurper was crowned in 1113, becoming king Suryavarma II. This monarch was to exercise one of the most ambitious reigns of the Khmer empire, but his extremely long reign lasted until 1150, so early in his reign he set out to strengthen the empire and restore the order that had been taken away for 50 years. However, during 1128, 1132 and 1138 he launched several offensives against the Dai-Viets in present-day Vietnam, which had an unfavorable outcome.
Suryavarma II died soon after, around 1150, and if the results of his military conquests seem mixed, this king, on the other hand, left a considerable legacy, called today the temple of Angkor Wat.
The name of this incredible temple means "the city that is a temple", which offers an exceptional representation of Mount Meru with its five towers and its immense moat symbolizing the cosmic ocean. Not to mention that the beauty of its magnificent bas-reliefs make this temple the apogee of Khmer Hindu art, telling Hindu mythological stories such as the Ramayana, the churning of the sea of milk and the epic tale of the Mahabharata, which often attract the attention not only of locals but also of travelers passing through this great place.
It is important to note that this temple is in honor of Vishnu, a god who plays an important role in this episode of Hindu mythology. However, the temple was later converted to Buddhism when the Khmer kingdom became Buddhist, so it was used by Buddhist monks during the 15th and 16th centuries.
Today, this exceptional heritage is threatened by erosion, which endangers especially the exterior sculptures subjected to inclement weather. Not to mention that the vegetation that once protected the temples is now exposed to the rain.
It really is a must-see place in Cambodia where its walls tell their own story and that is very fascinating. I must admit that this place caught my attention instantly, because of its ancient history, I hope to visit it sometime, it's amazing!
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