Angkor, Cambodia

The Angkor Dynasty flourished here between the 9th and 15th centuries. It ruled a vast territory, and hundreds of stone buildings remain its legacy.

Outstanding among them is the Angkor Wat. It is a Hindu temple complex and one of the largest religious monuments in the world. Stories of the creation of the universe adorn the long corridor walls. There are reliefs of magnificent Goddesses. Modelled on the kings dancers and court ladies, the costumes and accessories suggest cultural sophistication. The damage on the Goddess here is due to destruction during the country’s recent civil war. When peace came in 1992, UNESCO inscribed Angkor on the World Heritage List, as well as the World Heritage in Danger List to save it from further destruction and looting.

The Sophia University of Japan formed the Angkor survey group team in 1980. The ruins were studied and restored. Local people were trained to carry out work.

This is Ta Prom. A man-made monument struggling against the relentless power of nature. And this is another site at Angkor, the Banteay Kdei. Sophia University’s International Mission Team came across 274 Buddha statues buried in the earth during an excavation training session. The heads of the statues had been removed.

Experts believe the find shows, there was a religious revolution resulting from Hindu and Buddhist conflict. Here, a sculpture of a meditating bodhisattva. It has an entrancing symmetrical Khmer smile, reflecting a long Asian spiritual tradition. Angkor Wat, a crossroads of history.

Angkor Wat - photo by Christian Junker / Flickr

Angkor - photo by Nhi Dang / Flickr

Sign up to get a Weekly Email from

* indicates required

Smartphone and Tablet users click here to sign up for
our weekly email