Hindus upset at damage to landmark Hindu temple by Thai-Cambodian clashes

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Nevada (US), Feb 7 (ANI): Hindus are shocked and upset at the reported damage to 11th century Preah Vihear Hindu Shiva temple complex because of Thai-Cambodian crossfire at their border.

Notable Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged the international community to urgently intervene to stop the fighting in order to save the landmark Hindu temple from further damage.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that world community should raise funds to restore the temple to its original shape and provide some infrastructure in the area for devotees and other visitors. As temple was the cause of long-running border feud between Thailand and Cambodia, it should be turned over to United Nations control.

Rajan Zed argued that historic Preah Vihear was a world heritage and it was moral duty of the world to keep it preserved and intact for the coming generations. The reported collapse of a wing besides other damage to the already fragile complex was hurtful to the devotees because Lord Shiva temple was a sacred site to Hindus of the world.

It was important that Preah Vihear Hindu Shiva temple be protected, Zed stressed.

Known as Preah Vihear in Cambodia and Khao Phra Viharn in Thailand, this remote temple at the border between Thailand and Cambodia, which had reportedly not been clearly demarcated, had been a source of tension for generations. Preah Vihear was said to even predate Cambodia's Angkor Wat temple complex by about 100 years and its stunning setting made it finest of all the ruins left from the mighty Khmer civilization, Rajan Zed added.

Zed further said that world should not let this sacred site dedicated to Lord Shiva (situated where Preah Vihear province of northern Cambodia touched Sisaket province of eastern Thailand) be further damaged to advance political agendas of some as there appeared to be a no clear solution to settle the long-standing territorial dispute surrounding the temple, which was already a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and whose history could be traced to 9th century when the hermitage was founded.

Moreover, Temple of Preah Vihear, an outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture mostly created by Suryavarman I and Suryavarman II, was a unique architectural complex of a series of sanctuaries and was said to be exceptional for the quality of its architecture and carved stone ornamentation. It was reportedly dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva in his manifestations as Sikharesvara and Bhadresvara. It was also said to be marking representation of sacred Mount Meru, the abode of the gods, and showing a depiction of Churning of the Ocean, a Hindu scriptural episode, Rajan Zed indicated. (ANI)

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