An Asian Machu Picchu?

Its existence had been inferred for long, but now archaeologists using airborne laser technology have confirmed the discovery of a lost city on the slopes of a mountain in Cambodia, a Machu Picchu of sorts, that could have an even greater impact on the Southeast Asian nation’s already booming tourist industry. A team of French and Australian archaeologists peeled away layers of jungle foliage to trace the contours of the ancient temple city of Mahendraparvat that existed some 1,200 years ago, in today’s Siem Reap province, 40 km north of the Angkor Wat, the famous Hindu temple complex that draws more than 2 million visitors every year.

Mahendraparvat predated Angkor by at least 350 years and served as one of the three capitals (courts) of King Jayavarman II, said to be the founder of the Khmer empire. According to legend, his other two seats were Amarendrapura and Hariharalaya. Up on the slopes of Phnom Kulen, a mountain sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists, archaeologists have found five previously unrecorded temples and a gridded network of roads and dykes that connected these and 36 other previously recorded ruins. What amazed them was that all these ruins were divided in regular city blocks scattered across the mountain.

Full report here Business Standard 


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