Indian Angkor Wat temple copy suspended

The duplicate Angkor Wat in India's Bihar state. Source: The Telegraph 20150914

Following a diplomatic protest by Cambodia lodged last year, India announced earlier this month that it has ordered the construction work of a replica Angkor Wat temple in Bihar to be suspended, and the plans re-drawn with suggestions from Cambodia.

The duplicate Angkor Wat in India's Bihar state. Source: The Telegraph 20150914
The duplicate Angkor Wat in India’s Bihar state. Source: The Telegraph 20150914

India Suspends Project for Construction of Angkor Wat Replica
VOA Khmer, 08 September 2015

India Gives up Angkor Wat Replica: Cambodian Spokesman
Khmer Times, 08 September 2015

India stops Angkor Wat replica after Cambodia protests
Global Construction Review, 09 September 2015

Row over Angkor replica ends
TTR Weekly, 11 September 2015

Cambodian officials invited to suggest changes to Angkor Wat ‘replica’
Can-India News, 14 September 2015

Diplomacy axe on Bihar Angkor copy – Centre acts on Ansari visit-eve
The Telegraph, 14 September 2015

Wat copy climbdown
The Telegraph, 14 September 2015

The Narendra Modi government has convinced a private trust in Nitish Kumar-ruled Bihar to drop plans to build a giant temple similar to the iconic Angkor Wat in Cambodia, defusing simmering diplomatic tension just ahead of a visit by Vice-President Hamid Ansari to the Southeast Asian nation.

Cambodia had asked India to stop the construction of the temple a little over 100km from Patna that Phnom Penh alleges is a “copy” of the Angkor Wat temple complex.

“We are facilitating a visit by a team of Cambodian experts to the site in Bihar, so they can examine the proposed temple and suggest the changes needed to avoid any similarity with Angkor Wat,” Anil Wadhwa, secretary (east) in the foreign office, said today. “The private trust building the temple has agreed to make any changes the Cambodian team suggests.”

Ansari departs tomorrow on a two-nation tour of Cambodia and Laos. In Cambodia, he will visit the Angkor Wat and the Ta Prohm temples – which India is helping restore.

Full story here.

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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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