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Angkor Wat: Detail of ornamental carving of foliate forms
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.