There are two great complexes of ancient temples in Southeast Asia, one at Bagan in Burma, the other at Angkor in Cambodia. The temples
of Angkor, built by the Khmer civilization between 802 and 1220 AD, represent one of humankind's most astonishing and enduring architectural achievements. From Angkor the Khmer kings ruled over a vast domain that reached from Vietnam to China to the Bay of
Bengal. The structures one sees at Angkor today, more than 100 stone temples in all, are the surviving remains of a grand religious, social and administrative metropolis whose other buildings - palaces, public buildings, and houses - were built of wood and
have long since decayed and disappeared.
At the temple of Phnom Bakheng there are 108 surrounding towers. The number 108, considered sacred in both Hindu and Buddhist cosmologies, is the sum of 72
plus 36 (36 being ½ of 72). The number 72 is a primary number in the sequence of numbers linked to the earth’s axial precession, which causes the apparent alteration in the position of the constellations over the period of 25,920 years, or one
degree every 72 years. Another mysterious fact about the Angkor complex is its location 72 degrees of longitude east of the Pyramids of Giza. The temples of Bakong, Prah Ko and Prei Monli at Roluos, south of the main Angkor complex, are situated in relation
to each other in such a way that they mirror the three stars in the Corona Borealis as they appeared at dawn on the spring equinox in 10,500 BC. It is interesting to note that the Corona Borealis would not have been visible from these temples during the 10th
and 11th centuries when they were constructed.
Angkor Wat, built during the early years of the 12th century by Suryavaram II, honors the Hindu god Vishnu and is a symbolic representation of Hindu
cosmology. Consisting of an enormous temple symbolizing the mythic Mt. Meru, its five inter-nested rectangular walls and moats represent chains of mountains and the cosmic ocean. The short dimensions of the vast compound are precisely aligned along a north-south
axis, while the east-west axis has been deliberately diverted 0.75 degrees south of east and north of west, seemingly in order to give observers a three day anticipation of the spring equinox.