Why was Angkor Wat built

The Angkor Wat is a temple which was built in the city of Angkor, Cambodia, during the first half of the 12th century. The Angkor Wat is actually a huge compound and the size of the structure is so big (500 acres) that it is considered to be the largest building ever built for religious purposes in the whole world. Angkor Wat has tremendous archeological value and is a fine testimonial to the architectural skills possessed by the Khmer all those years ago. A common mistake made by a lot of people is that they consider the whole Temple grounds in Angkor, that hosts roughly one thousand temples or more, as the Angkor Wat. This is a mistake because in truth, Angkor Wat is the name of one temple only; the finest and the biggest structure there.

The Angkor Wat was built by the Khmer civilization to honor the memory of Suryavarman II, the king of the Khmer during a portion of the 12th century. As intended, Suryavarman II was entombed inside the Angkor Wat and it was made to be a Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Hindu deity who protects the universe. Vishnu is one of the most powerful deities within the Hindu Mythology and Suryavarman II associated himself closely with this deity as that worked in favor of raising his position to that of a king with divine blessings, which in turn guaranteed him an undisputed authority over the people. During the time in which the temple was made, the Khmer had gained a lot of power and territory that extended over, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The temple had remained a Hindu temple dedicated to Vishnu for a few hundred years, but it was changed into a Buddhist temple later when the royal family itself changed its religion to Buddhism. Today, the Angkor Wat is a Buddhist Temple and a major tourist site, but the signs of Hinduism are evident all over the structure even today because that was what it was supposed to represent when it was built by the Khmer.