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Asia's Top 12 Sacred Pilgrimage Sites & Holy Temples


10 of 12

Angkor Wat in Cambodia
Asia's Top 12 Sacred Pilgrimage Sites & Holy Temples

Seeing Angkor Wat changes people forever. For the better.

© Sam Garza/Flickr-Wikimedia Commons.

One of Planet Earth's most-recognized landmarks is Cambodia's Angkor Wat, a walled, 203-acre temple complex over 900 years old. Meaning "city temple," Angkor Wat is the world's largest religious structure, topping even St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.

Now one of the most-visited UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Angkor Wat was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II as a Hindu temple. The multi-level stepped structure – five towers atop a man-made mountain -- was intended represent Mount Meru, the home of the gods in Hindu mythology. Angkor Wat gradually became a Buddhist place of worship as this faith took root in Southeast Asia.

Today, Angkor Wat – and its miles of stone bas-reliefs illustrating Hindu gods and epics -- is one of the most-visited places in Asia. Even non-Buddhists say they can feel its divinity.

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