Category:Wat Phou

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<nowiki>Vat Phou; Ват-Пху; Vat Phou; Ват-Пху; Wat Phu; Վաթ Փհու; 瓦普寺; ვატ-ფხუ; プラーサート・ワット・プー; Vat Phou; ואט פהו; Ват Пхоу; ຜາສາດຫີນວັດພູ; Vat Phou; Vat Phu; Vat Phou; வாட் பூ, லாவோஸ்; Vat Phou; Vat Phou; Vat Fou; Wat Phou; Ват Пу; Wat Phou; ปราสาทหินวัดพู; Ват-Пху; Vat Phou; Wat Phou; വാഥ് ഫൂ; Vat Fou; Vat Phou; Vat Pu; Vat Phou; Vat Phou; Vat Phou; معبد فات فو; Ват Пхоу; వాట్ ఫౌ; Ruine in Laos; pura di Laos; Hindu temples complex and ruins in Laos (UNESCO site); ավերակ տաճար Լաոսում; ruines de temples au Laos; tempel in Laos; Wat Phu; Vat Phu; Wat Phou; Vat Phu; Kurukshetra tirtha (Laos, SE Asia); معبدفات فو; Vat Phu</nowiki>
Vat Phou 
Hindu temples complex and ruins in Laos (UNESCO site)
Main path lined with stone pillars to the ruined Khmer Hindu temple of Wat Phou, Champasak, Laos.jpg
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  • Laos
Located in or next to body of water
14° 50′ 56.1″ N, 105° 48′ 56.6″ E
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The Wat Phou site, also referred to as Vat Phou or Vat Phu or Kurukshetra, is a UNESCO world heritage site located on the right bank of Mekong river in Champasak Province of southern Laos. It stretches from the river bank to a lush mountain unusually shaped like a Shiva linga and called Lingaparvata in ancient times. It was considered sacred by the Khmer people and their kings. From the hills flow a permanent sacred spring, near which the Khmer built a sacred city stretching from the hills to the Mekong river.

The Wat Phou site contains

  • the oldest known Sanskrit inscription in southeast Asia (c. 450 CE) – called the Champassak Inscription of Devanika,
  • some of the early Tamil inscriptions in southeast Asia (6th to 7th century),
  • some of the earliest known Shiva, Vishnu and Durga (pre-Angkor) Hindu artwork along the Mekong river, and
  • numerous ruins of ancient to medieval Hindu temples.

The oldest layer of artwork and temple remains are from the 5th century, other smaller temples from 6th to 10th centuries. Most of the large mandapa and temple ruins that survive at Wat Phou date between the 10th and 14th century.

The site was rediscovered and details about it published during the colonial era by the French with the help of local villagers. The buildings were reclaimed by the Buddhists, and some buildings now feature a Buddha statue along with some other Buddhist iconography. The extant site attracts Buddhist devotees as well as hosts annual Buddhist festivals.

Along with temples, the Wat Phou heritage site has many mounds. Some of these have been excavated by Japanese, Italian and French teams. These have confirmed the existence of nearly 3 mile (5 kilometer) stretch of Hindu and Buddhist temples midst an ancient city. Many inscriptions have been found, some of which call this site as the Kurukshetra tirtha – mirroring the Indian mythistory of the Mahabharata.

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