Banteay Srei is a small temple not far from Angkor Thom, in Siem Reap. Banteay Srei was built by two local dignitaries, Brahmin Yajnavarahas and his younger brother in the middle of the 10th century. However, this temple was rediscovered in 1914 and rebuilt during the 1930’s by Henri Marchal, a French architect.
Banteay Srei means the Citadel of women in Khmer. It is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva as “Lord of the Three Worlds”.
Architectural features of this temple are unique and wonderful because of the pink sandstone structure. Banteay Srei was built largely of special pink sandstone that can be caved, but is very difficult to resist time and weathering. Therefore, there are only two small areas used this material. Read more: Travel to Cambodia
Banteay Srei temple comprises four enclosures arranged along an east – west axis. The fourth enclosure remains Isvarapura’s outer wall, approximately 500 m square. In the fourth, there is a walkway leading to the main Eastern entrance.
The third enclosure measures 95 by 100 meters, with two Gorupam entrances, from the east and west. Within the third, most of area is enclosed by a moat, which is now dry.
The second enclosure is located between an outer laterite wall measuring 38 by 42 meters, with gopuras at the eastern and western ends, and a brick inner enclosure wall, measuring 24 by 24 meters. The western gopura is a bas – relief depicting the struggle between the monkey princes Vali and Sugriva, as well as Rama’s interruption. In addition, within the second enclosure, two library buildings open to the West. Each library has two pediments, facing east and west. The pediments of both libraries contain carvings of mythological stories. Unfortunately, the brick inner enclosure wall has largely collapsed. Cambodia tours
Between the gopuras are the buildings of the inner enclosure: a library in each of the southeast and northeast corners and in the center, the sanctuary sets on a T-shaped platform 0.9 meters high. Since 2010, the first enclosure has been opened to meet tourists’ demand, but the inner temple has been roped off and inaccessible.
Banteay Srei temple is considered as a symbol of sculpture in the Angkor period. If you go to Siem Reap, you shall visit Banteay Srei temple and explore its particular features.
The Indochina Voyages team.