The world is filled with breath-taking natural and man made structures. Some of the major tourist destinations include the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon, the Colosseum, and many others around the world. But according to American travel website TripAdvisor, the top tourist destination isn’t any of these places. It’s a Hindu temple.

Trip Advisor recently released a list – ‘Trip Advisor’s Traveller’s Choice List for 2017’ – of the top tourist locations across the world. It was based on visitors and tourists’ ranking of a landmark in the past 12 months.

Angkor Wat scored 33,000 5-star reviews. “This is the Khmer nation’s pride, because Angkor is not only part of the prosperous heritage of Cambodia, but it has also become the heart and soul of the nation,” said Long Kosal, a spokesman for the government’s Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (APSARA).

According to World Archaeology, Angkor Wat is ‘the most extensive urban complex in the pre-industrial world.’ The temple also topped the 2015 TripAdvisor landmarks list, and last year, Lonely Planet gave the temples of Angkor the top spot.

About the Temple Complex

The Angkor Wat was built as per the classical style of Khmer architecture. It was initially dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and was converted to Theravada Buddhist Temple in the 14th or 15th century.

The Angkor Wat is a complex of temples, basins, dikes, reservoirs and canals. UNESCO describes the site as follows – ‘it is a unique concentration of features testifying to an exceptional civilization.’ It declared Angkor War a World Heritage Site in 1992.

It was designed in such a way that it represents Mount Meru, abode of Lord Brahma and the Demi Gods. The decorations of the temple portray stories or fables from Hindu epics. The temple complex receives more than 2 million visitors annually.

It is a matter of pride for every Hindu that amidst all the wonders of nature and those created by mankind, a Hindu temple complex is the most adored by tourists from all faiths, beliefs, and traditions.


Vinayak Jain

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