Angkor Wat, Cambodia

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My first card from Cambodia comes from Arnold.

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Angkor Wat was first a Hindu, then subsequently a Buddhist, temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world. The temple was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura (present-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaiva tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors. The modern name, Angkor Wat, means “Temple City” or “City of Temples” in Khmer.

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Narasimha stone statue at Hampi

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This is one of the 4 cards I received from Smitha from India. 🙂

Narasimha is an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu and one of Hinduism’s most popular deities. Narasimha is often visualised as half-man/half-lion, having a human-like torso and lower body, with a lion-like face and claws. (If I have to be perfectly honest, I think it looks more like a frog, not so much like a lion.) This image is widely worshipped in deity form by a significant number of Vaishnava groups. He is known primarily as the ‘Great Protector’ who specifically defends and protects his devotees in times of need.

This particular statue is located in Hampi – village in northern Karnataka state, India. It is located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, the former capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Predating the city of Vijayanagara, it continues to be an important religious centre, housing the Virupaksha Temple, as well as several other monuments belonging to the old city. The ruins are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as the Group of Monuments at Hampi.