Majestic structures…sophisticated engineering…intricate stone carvings…splendid works-of-art…
These are but a few of the so many descriptions that went running through my head as I finally set foot on this great and grandiose temple that took my attention through my readings ages ago. I dreamed, but never did I imagine that at a young age I’d actually roam around and inside the temple.
In the land called The Kingdom of Wonders, Cambodia, stands the center of power of the Khmer Empire that reigned as the strongest empire in Southeast Asia during its era, or at least, what is left of it – the Angkor Wat!
“Angkor” means “City”, and “Wat” means “Temple”. So its name basically means the “City Temple”.
Along with the Klement’09, my batchmates, let me take you on a tour of our experience when we visited the mysterious Angkor Wat!
To witness the sunrise over Angkor Wat is a “must-do” and “not-to-miss” activity when you visit the place. Our team, Klement’09, woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning, Cambodian time, to get ourselves dressed and prepared for the day tour. We left the guesthouse early, rode on a “tuk-tuk” (a local transportation
that is run by a motorcycle with a carriage-like thingy attached to it) taking us to the temple. While it was still dark, we hasten ourselves to the temple, and took a place near the lake inside the temple’s premises. And we waited for that seemingly once in a lifetime experience of witnessing one of the best sunrises in the face of the earth. We waited. We waited more. And I sincerely waited.
And just before I could say a word, the dark sky slowly breaks as a ray of light coming from the back of the temple’s towers gently made a slit towards the heavens. Minutes later, the sky has opened into what seems to be a play of colors patching different hue and texture over the now visible silhouette of the temple. At the back of my mind I amusingly asked, “Is that God messing up with His canvas? ‘cause if it is, He’s doing an awesome job messing up right now!”
I stood in wonder before what seemed to be a painting-made-real. From the awe-inspiring sunrise to the breath-taking structural contours of the temple reflected upon the surface of the still, shimmering lake.
Every moment from then on has become more and more exciting as Angkor Wat gradually sheds off the shadows and bares its glorious ruins.
HISTORY WITHIN THE RUINS
As our team moved on to see what’s in store for us inside the temple, I realized that the entire temple was actually a book. Each wall was like a page that narrates an entire chapter of the life, culture and civilization of the people who built and once roamed the temples.
At the end of the day, with so much amazement, I would say that this place can only be built by a highly intelligent and sophisticated civilization.
And so my mind wondered as we left the temple, “where could they be? and how could they abandon such a magnificent mega-structure into the jungles?”