The largest Hindu temple of the world is not situated in Bharat. It is situated in the country called Cambodia which was formerly known as “Kamboja”. This temple was built in the 12th century in ‘Yashodharapura’ (Angkor) by King Suryavarman II, in the honour of Lord Vishnu. It was the capital of the Khmer Empire. There is no other building in the world like this temple.
‘Angkor Wat’ means ‘Temple City’. The words are a derivation of the Sanskrit language. This temple has become the symbol of Cambodia as it appears on their National Flag and is the No. 1 tourist attraction of the country. Numerous Hindu gods adore the walls of the temple.
An old legend says that the construction of the Angkor Wat was done on the orders of ‘Indra Devta’ for his son. Another legend, according to a Chinese traveler Daguan Zhou, is that a divine architect constructed the temple in single night. Angkor Wat gradually moved from the Hindu to the Theravada Buddhist use during the end of the 13th century. It continues to be so till the present time. Henri Mouhot, a European traveler, wrote this in his travel note about this temple,“One of these temples—a rival to that of Soloman, and erected by some ancient Michel Angelo—might take an honorable place beside our most beautiful buildings. It is grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome, and presents a sad contrast to the state of barbarism in which the nation is now plunged.”One thing is clear; the Hindu culture has never remained confined to the political boundaries of Bharat. It is indeed all encompassing.
Nirmal joshi (Courtesy : Wah Bharat)