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India builds replica of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat

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Khmer king Suryavarman II had the great temple Angkor Wat in today’s Cambodia built  in the early 12th century. 900 years later, the Indians plan to construct a replica – bigger that the original.

The news surfaced in March that a Hindu trust in India’s eastern state of Bihar had begun building a new version of Cambodia’s most famous temple. The project, with a budget of $20 million, will result in the world’s biggest Hindu temple, the BBC reported.

Situated on the banks of river Ganges, the temple will be finished in ten years, according to plan.

“It will be the world’s largest Hindu temple, bigger in size, shape and height than the Angkor Wat of Cambodia,” the trust’s secretary, Acharya Kishore Kunal, told the BBC.


Angkor Wat wall detail.

But if the Indians thought Cambodia would greet the project, they misjudged gravely. A diplomatic crisis is now underway between the countries, with the Cambodian government condemning the Indian Angkor clone project as a ”shameful act”, Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Hailed as “an architectural masterpiece” by a Cambodian tourism website, the Angkor Wat is important for the country out of financial aspects. Tourists from all over come in thousands every year to see Angkor and neighboring temples, engrossed in the jungle close to the town Siem Reap. An Indian copy, though if would lack the original’s historical value, could possibly have a negative long-term effect. A Cambodian government spokesman, Phay Siphan, describes the Indian new Angkor as a deliberate attempt to undermine its ”universal value”, according to Sydney Morning Herald.

Photos: Erik Bergin

Map of Angkor Wat/Siem Reap

The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.