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Nearly 800 years after their creation, the 60 foot (20 meter) high gates of the ancient city of Angkor Thom still present an awe-inspiring sight. Each gate is crowned with four gargantuan faces of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara - said to represent the omnipresence of the king. Inside the walls, which stretch 7.5 miles (12 km) around the city, stand numerous monuments built by king Jayavarman VII to honor Shiva, a Hindu deity. The city eventually was covered by the jungle and remained "lost" to the outside world for several hundred years. Today, archeologists and the Cambodian government struggle against the jungle, robbers and Khmer Rouge insurgents to protect what many people consider one of the "seven wonders of the world". This area is popularly known as "Angkor Wat" for the giant and well-preserved temple located nearby.

Angkor Thom (Cambodia) by Raymond Paynter
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