Angkor Wat: Overall view of the inner gallery, the Bakan, and the steps up to the corner tower
The inner gallery, called the Bakan, is a 60 m square with axial galleries connecting each gopura with the central shrine, and subsidiary shrines located below the corner towers. Three sets of steps on each side lead up to the corner towers and gopuras of the inner gallery. The very steep stairways represent the difficulty of ascending to the kingdom of the gods.
Angkor Wat is a Hindu temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and part of his capital city. (The Angkorian period dates 802-1432). As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation--first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early South Indian Hindu architecture. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west. A UNESCO World Heritage Site.