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Cambodia’s Ancient Ties With India

The Elephanta Cave complex in Mumbai, ever-popular with tourists, is actually a shrine of the Pashupatas, a lost Shaivite sect whose followers were once found across India. But, incredibly, scattered across the Mekong River delta in Cambodia, are fascinating remains that tell us that the Pashupatas once thrived there too! Not just this, during the early medieval period, Cambodia had a thriving cult of Naga worship, just like India did.

Many such extraordinary connections make the ancient ties between India and Cambodia fascinating.

Sadly, among Indians, apart from social media circulating the fact that the largest Vishnu temple in the world, Angkor Wat, is located in Cambodia, there is little knowledge of how deep and how rich India's ancient ties with Cambodia were.

Take, for example, the case of the ‘First Zero'. It is well known that it was the ‘Shunya’ or the symbol of 'Zero’ developed by Indians that revolutionized the world of mathematics. Till the early 20th century, archaeologists believed that the inscription in the Chaturbhuj temple in Gwalior, dating to 875 CE, contained the oldest-known symbol for ‘zero’.


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