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Angkor temples captured by Google

09 April 2014 09:52

Angkor Wat has been captured on camera by the Google Cultural Institute project

Angkor Wat has been captured on camera by the Google Cultural Institute project

The spectacular temples of Angkor in Cambodia are the latest world wonders to be captured as part of Google's Cultural Institute project.

Angkor is one of the most significant archaeological sites in south-east Asia and home to the remains of Angkor Wat and Bayon temples.

Google has now captured the beauty of the site in 90,000 panoramic images, letting armchair tourists "experience the scale and beauty of Angkor wherever they are".

The tech firm said the project also highlights how technology can change the way cultural destinations and sites of significance are preserved for future generations.

But while the Google Cultural Institute project gives armchair tourists the opportunity to explore things they may not have the opportunity to visit themselves, nothing beats seeing the real thing. As ever with travelling, be prepared and make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance or adventure travel insurance if you're taking a trek.

Angkor Wat is 3.4 miles (5.5km) north of the town of Siem Reap in Cambodia. The area houses the remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, dating from the 9th to 15 centuries.

Jayavarman II united the two states that covered the territory of modern Cambodia in the early 9th century. This laid the foundations of what became the Khmer Empire, a major power in south-east Asia for five centuries.

Two cities were established - at Roulas and Yasodharapura, or modern-day Angkor.

Angkor Wat - Wat meaning temple - was constructed by Khmer king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. It was built as a Hindu place of worship but was maintained by Buddhist monks after the capital moved to Phnom Penh in 1942.

At first glance, Angkor Wat appears to be a mass of stone with a central causeway, but is actually a number of elevated towers and covered galleries on different levels. Each tower is made up of graduated tiers that create a cone shape, with the highest being 699ft (213m).

It is thought that Angkor Wat was built as a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II.

Another key feature of the complex is the outer gallery of the temple which contains bas-reliefs that stretch for almost 1,960ft (600m), including the Ramayana gallery.

The reliefs were designed to be viewed from left to right in the order of Hindu funeral ritual, supporting the funerary claims.