Constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries as a Hindu temple complex before being redesigned as a Buddhist one, Angkor Wat or ‘City of Temples’ is a sprawling architectural wonder covering 400 acres.
Home to 72 separate temples and structures all decorated in a combination of Hindu and Buddhist art, the complex’s 5 towered main temple, also called Angkor Wat, was built to be the physical representation of Mount Meru, the sacred 5 peaked mountain of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist cosmology.
Home to Hindu and Buddhist Gods, Mount Meru was a celestial “pole” that connected the spiritual and physical worlds. It was also regarded as the centre of the universe.
As such, Angkor Wat, the 5 towered physical representation of Mount Meru, is also considered to be in the thick of it all.
To get the best experience, arrive early to see the sun rise and then climb the 70 degree stone staircase to the top-most level of the temple to find the stone marker that tour guides and travel guides tout as The Centre of the Universe.
While you’re there, take a moment to appreciate that, for the first and last time in your life, the whole world (and cosmos) revolves around you!