Plans are afoot in India to build a replica of Cambodia's famed Angkor Wat temple complex, and thus become the largest Hindu temple in the world. The replica will be known as Virat Angkor Wat Ram Mandir, occupying 6 hectares of land on the Hajipur-Bidupur road near Ismailpur village in Bihar province. The place where the 1,000 million-rupee project will be built has been named Angkor Nagar.

The Bihar Mahavir Mandir Trust has taken up the project. Its construction will take 10 years. The proposed temple will be 67.66 metres high and have five storeys.

"It will be the world's largest Hindu temple… bigger in size, shape and height than the Angkor Wat of Cambodia," said Acharya Kishore Kunal, chairman of the trust. The original Angkor Wat was once a Hindu temple, but later became a place of Buddhist worship. Kunal said the launch of the project has been timed to coincide with the ongoing centenary year celebrations of the foundation of Bihar.

Kunal said that the selected site for construction of the temple has mythological significance as it is believed that the deities Ram, Lakshman and Vishvamitra had visited the village and were welcomed by King Sumati of the Vaishali kingdom.

"The temple will also house other Hindu deities such as Radha-Krishna, Shiva-Parvati, Ganesha and Surya. Lord Vishnu and his 10 incarnations will also be housed here," he said.

The original UNESCO-listed Angkor Wat in Cambodia was a Hindu temple when built in the 12th century AD but was later used for Buddhist worship.

Source: Hindustan Times/BBC




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