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India Plans Angkor Wat Replica (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 03/05/2012 4:59 pm   Updated: 03/05/2012 4:59 pm

India will spend the next 10 years constructing a replica of Angkor Wat, the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site in Cambodia.

A Hindu trust is sponsoring the project, which will cost an estimated $20 million, on a 40-acre plot of land in the eastern state of Bihar, according to the AFP.

Organizers in India aim to make the replica the tallest Hindu temple in the world.

"It will be a replica of Angkor Wat but the temple will be slightly taller than the original," Kishore Kunal, secretary of the Bihar Mahavir Mandir Trust, told the AFP. The temple will replicate Angkor Wat's "grandeur and splendor."

The trust's secretary, Acharya Kishore Kunal, told the BBC that the temple "will be known as Virat Angkor Wat Ram temple but will also house other Hindu deities like Radha-Krishna, Shiv-Parvati, Ganesh, Surya and 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu...We'll make this temple the pride of the Hindu temples in the world and I've started it on the occasion of the 100th year of Bihar state's foundation."

Angkor Wat, the remains of the capital of the Khmer Empire, is one of the most heavily-touristed sites in Southeast Asia, with more than one million tourists visiting the site within the first eight months of 2011.

But will tourists flock to a replica?

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Tourists walkup to the world heritage Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap province, some 300 kilometers northwest of Phnom Penh. The faded 'No Climbing' signs are no match for the tourists jostling to capture that perfect shot of the sun setting over the temple of Angkor Wat, Cambodia's most famous attraction.

(TANG CHHIN SOTHY/AFP/Getty Images)
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Filed by Kate Auletta  |