Angkor Wat deserves your vote!

An editorial, surprisingly from the New Delhi Organiser, urging readers to cast their vote for Angkor for inclusion into the new 7 Wonders of the World list. India has been pouring in money – including a television edvertising campaign – to cast a vote for the Taj Mahal, and it’s quite edifying to see this editorial recognisint the Indian influences in Khmer architecture.

18 June 2007 (The Organiser) – An editorial, surprisingly from the New Delhi Organiser, urging readers to cast their vote for Angkor for inclusion into the new 7 Wonders of the World list. India has been pouring in money – including a television edvertising campaign – to cast a vote for the Taj Mahal, and it’s quite edifying to see this editorial recognisint the Indian influences in Khmer architecture.

Seven “new wonders” – Angkor Wat too deserves your vote

The most important monument of the Khmer Empire and the world’s largest sacred temple complex, Angkor is famous for its complex ornamentation and striking beauty. The temples at Angkor are spread out over 64 kms around the village of Sien Reap, about 308 kms from the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

Indian television channels and websites have of late launched a campaign asking people to vote for the inclusion of the Taj Mahal as one of the seven “new wonders” of the world. With barely three weeks left for the nominations to close, hectic efforts including celebrity endorsements are on to get the most perfect jewel of Muslim art in India into the elite club through sms, internet and phone voting. Music wizard A R Rahman has even composed a theme song for the Taj to canvass support for the historic monument in Agra built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Persian born princess Arjuman Bano Begum popularly known as Mumtaz Mahal.

Notwithstanding the controversies surrounding the Taj, including claims by some Hindu groups that it was built over a temple dedicated to Goddess Yamuna and the alleged atrocities perpetrated on the workmen (whose hands were reportedly cut-off by the Emperor who did not want them to build any such grand mausoleum), the Mughal tomb remains an integral part of our composite heritage and attracts tourists from the world over, providing employment to lakhs of our countrymen and millions of dollars in foreign exchange.

And as Indians, we should also undoubtedly join this campaign to enable this enduring symbol of our country to make it to the top seven. But equally significant, both for all Indians and Hindus across the globe is the presence of the world’s largest Hindu temple, Angkor, among the 21 finalist candidates in the campaign to choose the New Seven Wonders of the World.

The most important monument of the Khmer Empire and the world’s largest sacred temple complex, Angkor is famous for its complex ornamentation and striking beauty. The temples at Angkor are spread out over 64 kms around the village of Sien Reap, about 308 kms from the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

Read the full editorial about why Angkor deserves the vote.
If you haven’t done so, you should also cast your vote (for Angkor, of course!) in the New 7 Wonders website.

Books about the Angkor temples and complexes:
Angkor Cities and Temples by C. Jaques
Ancient Angkor (River Book Guides) by C. Jaques
The Treasures of Angkor: Cultural Travel Guide (Rizzoli Art Guide) by M. Albanese
– Angkor by T. Wiltshire
Angkor and the Khmer Civilization (Ancient Peoples and Places) by M. D. Coe
Angkor: A Tour of the Monuments by T. Zephir and L. Invernizzi
The Civilization of Angkor by C. Higham
The Ancient Civilization of Angkor by C. Pym

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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