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Angkor Wat replica to be built in India

7th March 2012

A replica of the UNESCO World Heritage site in Cambodia is to be constructed in the eastern state of Bihar

On 5 March, an Indian Hindu trust launched a ten-year project to build a replica of Cambodia's Angkor Wat temple. The 40-acre site along the Ganges River in Hajipur has been chosen by officials for its mythological significance.

The $20 million build is sponsored by the Mahavir Mandir Trust and aims to reconstruct the grandeur of Angkor Wat, altering it slightly to make it the tallest temple in the Hindu world at 67.9m.

"We cannot match the original in terms of the size of the entire temple complex. But we will try what we can with the land and the means that we have," said Kishore Kunal, secretary of the Bihar Mahavir Mandir Trust.

The UNESCO-listed site in Siem Reap is Cambodia's national icon and is a major tourist attraction with 206,000 people visiting the site in January 2012 alone.

Originally built in the 12th century, it was a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu but later became a site for Buddhist worship.

The Indian replica will be known as Virat Angkor Wat Ram temple, but will host other deities.

What do you think about building replicas? There's an Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas and an entire Austrian village being cloned by a Chinese company. Is imitation the highest of form of flattery or is it simply stealing another country's thunder? Let us know your thoughts and whether you'd visit the Indian temple.

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