Hinduism and Buddhism have flourished side by side in the ancient kingdom of Cambodia.
Khmer kings worshiped in particular the Gods Shiva, Vishnu and the Buddha as well as Lokeshvara (the Boddhisattva of compassion).
In order to understand the spirituality of the Angkorian time, our circuit suggests three main groups of temples of religious practice in a chronological order:
1. from the 9th to the 11th century – Shiva,
2. in the first half of the 12th century – Vishnu (co-existing with Shiva, and sometimes with Buddhist images)
3. at the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th century – Mahayana Buddhism.
Generally, Shiva is believed to be the God of Destruction of the old world and a source of energy for the new one whereas Vishnu is considered to be the restorer of harmony in the world. Mahayana Buddhism believes that moral discipline and meditation are the paths one should follow to achieve salvation.
We propose a four-day circuit to broaden the knowledge related to religious activity in Khmer ancient temples.
Following this circuit, the visitors will be able to better their understanding about the religious beliefs and practices of Khmer people in the temples. The beliefs and practices may be felt also in the present-day in Buddhist temples in the villages in Angkor Park.
Angkor is a sacred site, respectful dress and behaviour are strongly encouraged.