About Angkor Wat
As per Britannica Encyclopedia about Angkor Wat,
“All of the original religious motifs derived from Hinduism, and the temple was dedicated to the gods Shiv, Brahma and Vishnu. The five central towers of Angkor Wat symbolize the peaks of Mount Meru, which according to Hindu mythology is the dwelling place of the gods. The mountain is said to be surrounded by an ocean, and the complex’s enormous moat suggests the oceans at the edge of the world. A 617-foot (188-metre) bridge allows access to the site. The temple is reached by passing through three galleries, each separated by a paved walkway. The temple walls are covered with bas-relief sculptures of very high quality, representing Hindu gods and ancient Khmer scenes as well as scenes from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.
After the Cham people of Indochina sacked Angkor in 1177, King Jayavarman VII (reigned 1181–c. 1220) decided that the Hindu gods had failed him. When he built a new capital nearby, Angkor Thom, he dedicated it to Buddhism. Thereafter Angkor Wat became a Buddhist shrine, and many of its carvings and statues of Hindu deities were replaced by Buddhist art.”
Wikipedia has slightly different story to narrate,
“The initial design and construction of the temple took place in the first half of the 12th century, during the reign of Suryavarman II (ruled 1113 – c. 1150). Dedicated to Vishnu, it was built as the king’s state temple and capital city. As neither the foundation stela nor any contemporary inscriptions referring to the temple have been found, its original name is unknown, but it may have been known as “Varah Vishnu-lok” after the presiding deity. Work seems to have ended shortly after the king’s death, leaving some of the bas-relief decoration unfinished.The term Vrah Viṣṇuloka or Parama Viṣṇuloka literally means “The king who has gone to the supreme world of Vishnu”, which refer to Suryavarman II posthumously and intend to venerate his glory and memory.
In 1177, approximately 27 years after the death of Suryavarman II, Angkor was sacked by the Chams, the traditional enemies of the Khmer. Thereafter the empire was restored by a new king, Jayavarman VII, who established a new capital and state temple (Angkor Thom and the Bayon respectively) a few kilometres to the north.
Towards the end of the 12th century, Angkor Wat gradually transformed from a Hindu centre of worship to Buddhism, which continues to the present day. Angkor Wat is unusual among the Angkor temples in that although it was largely neglected after the 16th century it was never completely abandoned. Fourteen inscriptions dated from the 17th century discovered in Angkor area testify to Japanese Buddhist pilgrims that had established small settlements alongside Khmer locals. At that time, the temple was thought by the Japanese visitors as the famed Jetavana garden of the Buddha, which originally located in the kingdom of Magadha, India.”
Though a controversial topic, but both the above narrations have one common answer, that the temple has suffered a religious conversion, inspite of the fact that, all religions follow the same principle of “God is One” but the fact is that, the religious places have always suffered destruction and Hindu religion is one which, once upon a time had boundaries stretched till Cambodia, Indonesia on east hands, is now only confined to current Indian territory.
While entering the temple, on both the sides, there is a remnant of snake figure, whose body stretches to all sides. This figure of snake is none other than the Vasuki snake who was used as a rope for churning during Sagar Manthan.
Since the temple is completely dedicated to lord Vishnu, hence many figures could be seen around temple, which are related to the lord Vishnu.