Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Plans for Indian ‘Angkor’ tweaked



Plans for Indian ‘Angkor’ tweaked

Plans for Indian ‘Angkor’ tweaked

A planned replica of Angkor Wat in India, which set off a firestorm of controversy when announced in March, will no longer be a carbon copy of Cambodia’s greatest national treasure, but reports that the project has been cancelled are false, officials said yesterday.

“Mahavir Mandir Trust of Patna, Bihar has not abandoned the construction of the largest Hindu temple in the world,” said Kishore Kunal, secretary of the Hindu NGO. “The news circulated by many agencies and published in many newspapers is misleading and contrary to the correct situation.”

Under pressure from the Indian government, however, the group has altered its building plans. Now, “it is not an exact replica of Angkor Wat temple, but has taken salient features of Angkor Wat and other temples also”, Kunal said via email.

“To respect the sentiments of Cambodian people, we change the name from Virat Angkor Wat Ram Temple to Virat Ramayan Mandir,” he added.

“Since it is going to be the largest temple in the world, and hence larger than even the Angkor Wat temple, it can’t be exact replica of the Angkor Wat temple, which has got only 9 shikhars (spires) against 13 in our main temple and 18 in all.”

Following the project’s announcement, the Indian government listened with concern to Cambodia’s objections to a replica larger than the original Angkor Wat, first secretary at the Indian Embassy in Phnom Penh Saurav Ray said yesterday.

When the Indian government asked Mahavir Mandir not to build the replica, “reason prevailed,” he said, and the project’s promoters “understood the concern and sentiment” of the Cambodian government.

Thai Korak Satya, secretary of state for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said he could not blame the group for wanting to build the temple, but said that “India should build something new that is completely different from Angkor Wat, something that can be famous in its own right in a future era”.

The new temple, to be built in India’s eastern state of Bihar, will be completed in seven or eight years, according to Kunal.

To contact the reporters on this story: Phak Seangly at [email protected]
Justine Drennan at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma