Angkor Wat (Khmer: អង្គរវត្ត, Ângkôr Vôtt [ʔɑŋkɔː ʋŏət]; lit. 'Temple City' or 'City of Temples') is a temple complex in northwest Cambodia. A national symbol and sacred site of Cambodian Buddhism, the complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a significant tourist destination.
Angkor Wat is the largest religious complex in the world by land area, measuring 162.6 hectares (401+3⁄4 acres) or more than three times the area of the Vatican City. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of four towers surrounding a central spire that rises to a height of 65 m (213 ft) above the ground. The temple has three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. It lies within an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2+1⁄4 miles) long and a moat more than five kilometres (three miles) long.The temple was built in the early 12th century at the behest of Suryavarman II of the Khmer Empire, within the imperial capital Yaśodharapura (យសោធរបុរៈ, present-day Angkor). It served as the state temple for the empire. Originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, it was converted to a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century.Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple-mountain and the later galleried temple. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west. Scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of its architecture, extensive bas-reliefs, and the statues of Buddhas and Devas that adorn its walls.
As the best-preserved temple at the site, Angkor Wat is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Buddhists in Cambodia and around the world, having played a major role in converting Cambodia into a Buddhist nation. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and is the country's main tourist attraction.