Angkor Wat – sunrise view
All my life I have had this strange fascination with Angkor Wat. There had been an unexplained desperation to see it. The moment we had reached Siem Reap, I had rushed to visit this place. On the third day of our trip, and we were visiting Angkor Wat again to see it at the time of sun rise. My excitement knew no bounds. We got up very early and came down in our hotel lobby at around 4.30 AM. Our guide Syden and tuk tuk driver were already there waiting for us.
We were about to get out when the boy at the reception came running and handed us our packed breakfast. It was such a pleasant gesture. The evening before, I had causally mentioned about our plan to leave early. Their hospitality touched me to the core as they had gone beyond my expectations. With a lot of warmth in our hearts and a big smile on our faces, we set out for The Angkor Wat. It was still a little dark outside.
By the time we reached there, the morning light had just started to fill the clear sky. Our tuk tuk left us outside the western gate. We crossed the long bridge on the out side moat to reach the entrance. There it was standing, the most beautiful, magical, romantic, grand, a majestic piece of art, amidst its huge green lush lawns, the world famous Angkor Wat. Rightly considered one of the seven wonders by many. A lot of tourists were already camped around its two large pools to get pictures in its morning glory. In spite of the number of people, the usual hustle and bustle was missing and the atmosphere was very calm and peaceful. Every one was waiting for the sunrise, sitting in a meditative pose, listening to the sounds of birds and insects.
At last the sun came out and threw its golden rays on the wat. The cameras came into action all at once. There was a feverish rush to take as many pictures as possible to capture that surreal moment. After taking few pictures, we decided to sit in a quiet corner to absorb the atmosphere, because we knew that even the best of cameras won’t be able to do justice to that magical place.
Built roughly between A.D. 1113 and 1150 by King Suryavarman II, It was dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Many of the bas-reliefs (Sculptures/Carvings) in the temple depict scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, Hindu sacred texts that recount the adventures of two major incarnations of Vishnu. It took almost 30 years to construct it. Encompassing an area of about 500 acres, Angkor Wat is one of the largest religious monuments ever constructed. Its name means “temple city”.
The Angkor Wat appears on the Cambodian national flag, which is a very rare instance of a flag incorporating an image of a building.
It is said that the Angkor Wat, in its beauty and state of preservation, is unrivaled. Its mightiness and magnificence bespeak a pomp and a luxury surpassing that of a Pharaoh or a Shah Jahan, an impressiveness greater than that of the Pyramids, an artistic distinctiveness as fine as that of the Taj Mahal. Its perfection in composition, balance, proportions, relief’s and sculpture make it one of the finest monuments in the world.