Occupying 500 acres and soaring to 699 feet (213 m) Angkor Wat, located in modern-day Cambodia, is the name of one of the largest temple complexes in the world. Built as a Hindu funerary temple in the 12th century, it became part of the Theravada Buddhist movement in the 14th century. Angkor Wat takes its name from the town, Angkor Thom, with ‘wat’ meaning ‘temple’. Built on three rectangular levels, its third gallery supports four corner towers with a tower at its centre. This central tower symbolizes Meru, a mythical mountain at the centre of the universe. It is entered from a cross-shaped causeway, over what was once a moat. The ‘Terrace of Honour’ opens into the acoustically named ‘Hall of Echoes’ and, to the right, the ‘Gallery of 1,000 Buddhas. The temple’s architectural balance and harmony makes it uniquely perfect.
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