Are you planning to travel to Cambodia to visit Angkor Wat? As you may have read news, reviews, and travel guides on the web, you may have been amazed and fascinated by this wonder of the world. Are you going to visit Angkor Wat or are you interested in history and archaeology? To help you getting in-depth knowledge about the history the Cambodian ancient temples across Siem Reap and other parts of Cambodia, this is a list of recommended books about Angkor Wat you should read before packing or when in Siem Reap of Cambodia. These books are ideal for avid readers and those who are planning to spend not just days, but weeks or months (if not years) in Siem Reap to delve deeper into the ancient time of Angkor.
- A List of Must-Read Books About Angkor Wat History
A List of Must-Read Books About Angkor Wat History
1. Angkor Wat: The History and Legacy of the World’s Largest Hindu Temple
Did not realize that the Angkor Wat Temple complex was Hindu? This book centers around the architecture of the temples that were influenced by Hindu and Buddhist religion. The featured photographs make this book very worthwhile.
2. Angkor: Cambodia’s Wondrous Khmer Temples
If you’re interested in detailed monument-by-monument itineraries and maps to the temple sites, this is one of the few books you should read. In some way, this book is like the bible for any visit to the temples, including the best restaurant tips.
3. Angkor Wat: Time, Space, and Kingship
This is one of the most insightful, scholarly, unorthodox, and well written books about ancient Angkor for most people. The 360 pages detailed the principles of 12th-century Khmer temple architecture. Therefore, it’s not highly recommended for the travelers and backpackers because it is dauntingly technical.
4. Khmer Mythology: Secrets of Angkor
This books explains the mixed Hindu and Khmer myths that lie behind the carved reliefs at Angkor Wat. The Khmer Mythology: Secrets of Angkor is one of a few excellent books on Khmer mythology. The book discusses the rulers, Buddhist and Hindu interplay, and outstanding description of individual ruins. You’d find it quite helpful if you are traveling to Siem Reap and want to read up on what you will be seeing.
5. Sacred Angkor: The Carved Reliefs of Angkor Wat
For those who are fascinated by the magnificent carvings of the long galleries, the corner pavilions, pediments, lintels, as well as the lesser-known sculpted tapestry reliefs, this is another excellent book on this particular subject.
6. A Dragon Apparent by Norman Lewis
This is one of the must-read books for those who enjoys travel writing or anyone interested in anthropology or in the recent history of South-East Asia.
I hope these books about the history of Angkor Wat will help you to gain more knowledge about the beautiful past of ancient Cambodia. Built in the 12th century, the grand, complex architecture is an expression of Khmer civilization and one of the planet’s largest religious monuments. Many centuries later, Angkor Wat temple and its rich history still and will continue to amaze the travelers, tourists, historians, and researchers from all over the world.
Also good read: