05 Sep 2012
Cambodia's stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor Wat is getting a replica made in India. On the banks of the Ganges river in the state of Bihar, a larger version of the massive temple is being built.
Angkor Wat, located in Siem Reep, was built in the early 12th century by King Suryavarman II and is an icon for the country.
The Mahavir Mandir Trust is undertaking a $20 million project that will take ten years to complete.
Acharya Kishore Kunal, told The Hindustan Times, "The launch of the project has been timed to coincide with the ongoing centenary year celebrations of the foundation of Bihar."
The Indian version is called Virat Angkor Wat Ram temple and has hopes to be the worlds largest Hindu temple complex. The tallest point of the building will reach 67.6 meters.
Kunal said to the BBC, "It will be the world's largest Hindu temple... bigger in size, shape and height than the Angkor Wat of Cambodia ... It will be known as Virat Angkor Wat Ram temple but will also house other Hindu deities like Radha-Krishna, Shiv-Parvati, Ganesh, Surya and 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu."
The site of the build has mythological significance as it is believed that Vishvamitra, Ram, Lakshman who are all dieties were welcomed by King Sumati of the Vaishali kingdom where the site is located.
Angkor Wat is one of the world's biggest tourist destinations and Cambodia's biggest tourist draw.