Angkor Wat, an ancient Hindu temple in Cambodia, is among the most famous and most beautiful examples of religious architecture on Earth.

It is located inside Angkor, an ancient city that was once the center of the Khmer Empire. The Khmer Empire was founded in the early 800s. By the middle of the 15th century, it had ceased to exist. The ruins of Angkor were rediscovered by Henri Mouhot, a French explorer, in 1860.

The ruined city of Angkor is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located near the modern Cambodian city of Siem Riep.

Angkor Wat was built in the 12th century in honor of Vishnu, a Hindu god. It was built when Khmer was ruled by Suryavarman II.

It is about 210 feet (65 meters) high and designed to symbolize Mount Meru, the center of the Hindu spiritual universe.

The temple directly lies along a north-west axis and is believed to have been used for astronomical observations.

A moat that is supposed to represent the cosmic ocean surrounds the temple.

The temple complex is made up of nested rectangular structures. The central structure has towers on each of the four corners and is built in the shape of a lotus flower.

Inside Angkor Wat, there are images of more than 1,500 asparas - Hindu celestial dancers.

Bas reliefs with striking images run along almost half a mile of columned galleries. These include depictions of Heaven, the Earth and Hell, carved into three parallel layers. Other carvings include Suryavarman II's army and Vishnu conquering the demons.

Although Angkor Wat was founded a Hindu temple, during its history, the Khmer Empire has sometimes been ruled by Hindus and sometimes been Buddhist. The temple reflects this. Images of Buddha and statues of bodhisattvas share the temple with carvings showing scenes from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.