Angkor in Numbers

As per derived understanding from study of available information and in the absence of any written record, most of the data is not countable/measurable. It by & large is personal perception of various historians and scientists/travellers surmised/collected over the past nearly two centuries.

There exist 48 small and large Temples in and around Angkor Wat.  The other major ones being Pre Rup, Ta Prom, Bayon and Banteay Srei. For the sake of easy understanding, let us call them all as Angkor.

Work on many of these Angkorean temples began as early as 9th Century CE.

We discuss only the Main Temple of Angkor Wat in these details else it will be too many details without much relevance.

Angkor Wat is located at 13°24′45″ N  and 103°52′0″ E

Nearly 402 Acres of land at Angkor Wat.

Work on the main Temple of the present day Angkor began in 1118 CE. Completed in 1155 CE five years after the death of the King Suryavarman II, who began its construction.

Estimated 300,000 men and 3000 elephants worked for 37 years.

About 6000 tons of rice provided to workers every year by the King during construction work.

Made almost entirely in Laterite and Sandstone.

Temples are dedicated to three Gods, namely Lords Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Buddha. Latter being the ninth re-incarnation of lord Vishnu Himself.

Sculptures in both major forms viz. sculptures in the round (also called free-standing sculptures) and reliefs  that is bas-relief, haut-relief and sunken-relief have been done at Angkor.

Both the principal elements of sculpting viz. Mass and Space have been very effectively utilised at Angkor. One finds very unique balance of these principles all over Angkor.

Bas-relief on walls depict four major mythical episodes namely – the churning of the Holy Ocean of milk; The Ramayana, The Mahabharata and The Heavens & The Hells .

Lord Vishnu had Ten incarnations (Matya Avtar, Kurma Avatar, Varaha Avatar, Narsinha Avatar, Vaman Avatar, ParshuRam Avatar, Rama Avatar, Krishna Avatar, Buddha Avatar and Kalki Avatar) . Whilst there are two others but some seers only count them to be not all. These are Mohini Avatar and the Balraam Avatar. Kalki is yet to be born which is to happen in this present Yuga viz. KaliYuga. At Angkor Wat four of them have been shown besides He Himself (that I noticed), namely – The Kurma Avatar, Rama Avtar,  Krishna Avatar and Lord Buddha Avatar.

Lord Sheshnaag has been depicted as to having 07 hoods in the balustrades all over Angkor and Angkor Wat. However, the legend has it that He had thousand hoods.

The Serpent which was used as the churning thread is Vasuki. As per the Hindu Holy Scriptures, Serpents and us humans are brothers by birth. That’s why it is considered as a great sin to kill a serpent, watch him being killed or ask someone else to kill one.

Lion, the Protector accompanies Lord Sheshnaag everywhere at Angkor. There are at least three type of Lions and three types of Lord Sheshnaag in sculptures. Lions at Pra Rup resemble a Bull dog.

There are 37 Heavens and 32 Hells shown in bas-relief.

Five mounts of the Meru Parvat created in the Main Temple as also at the Pre Rup and a few other Temples as per relevant history.

The outer wall of Main Temple Complex is 1,024 m (3,360 ft) by 802 m (2,631 ft) and 4.5 m (15 ft) high, is surrounded by a 30 m (98 ft) apron of open ground and a moat 190 m (620 ft) wide.

A 350 m (1,150 ft) causeway connects the western gopura to the temple proper.

The outer gallery measures 187 m (614 ft) by 215 m (705 ft), with pavilions rather than towers at the corners.

The second-level enclosure is 100 m (330 ft) by 115 m (377 ft).

This inner gallery, called the Bakan, is a 60 m (200 ft) square with axial galleries connecting each gopura with the central shrine, and subsidiary shrines located below the corner towers.

Height of the Main Meru above the central shrine rises 43 m (141 ft) to a height of 65 m (213 ft) above the ground.

Churning of the Sea of Milk, showing 92 asuras and 88 devas using the serpent Vasuki to churn the sea under Vishnu’s direction.

There are 1800 Apsaras with 36 hairstyles.

Stone blocks have holes 2.5 cm (0.98 in) in diameter and 3 cm (1.2 in) deep  used to hold pegs to help manoeuvre them into place.

Made out of an estimated  8-10 million Sandstone and Laterite blocks with a weight of 1.5-2 tons each.

Angkor Wat was built with sandstone quarried 40 km (25 mi) away from Kulen mountain ranges making a total  turn around journey of 90 kilometres (56 mi). 

The gallery wall alone is decorated with over 1,000 square metres of bas-reliefs.

Alex Evans, a stonemason and sculptor, recreated a stone sculpture under 4 feet (1.2 m), this took about 60 days to carve.

Roger Hopkins and Mark Lehner also conducted experiments to quarry limestone which took 12 quarrymen 22 days to quarry about 400 tons of stone.

Angkor Wat took 37 years to build. The cathedral in Central London, much smaller in size, took 200 years.

Wherever Lord Vishnu resides, there are always swans, lakes, rivers, Peepal trees and lotuses/lilies. At Angkor Wat there is a mighty Peepal Tree, a large moat and numerous lilies. At the time of construction, swans might have been there.

Well over 02 million tourists visit Angkor every year. Most of them Chinese followed by Europeans.


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