Archive for the ‘Shrok’ Category

Bantaey Srei, Bantaey Samre, Sra Srang, Bantaey Kdei and Ta Prohm

17th Sep 2006

I woke up at 5am this morning to catch the sunrise once again at Angkor Wat. Saphol (my tuk-tuk driver was already waiting there) since today will be a different route altogether he asked a new price. I bargained finally for 15USD for the whole day.

After a long, peaceful and quite drive passing through the lush green, unexplored landscape we reached Bantaey SreiThe Citadel of Women“. The temple is considered to be the pinnacle of Khmer art. Otherwise referred as “The jewel of Khmer art“.

This monument is dedicated to the God ‘Tribhuvanamaheshvara‘. These walls exhibit themes of Shiva (Ravana trying to disrupt the meditation of Shiva enthroned on Mount Kailash, by shaking the mountain; Kama attempting to disturpt his medidation by means of seduction). Other themes of Vishnu such as ‘The Rain of Indra‘ and ‘The Killing of Kamsa‘ are a few themes that can be viewed on these walls .

Bantaey Srei

It is said that the art on this temples walls must have been carved by some skillfull women as the intricate carvings and the 3 dimensional art wouldn’t have been possible by the hands of a man. Bantaey Srei though very small in size is considered the most beautiful of all. The ornatley carved stones on the pink hue stone is a wonder to watch.

Carvings, Bantaey Srei

Carvings, Bantaey Srei

Our next stop was Bantaey Samre
built by Suryavarman II in the middle of the 12th century has bas-reliefs depeciting the legends of Vishnu

Bantaey Samre

and then to the famous Sra Srang (the wide pleasure pool) used for ceremonies and royal bathing, faces Bantaey Kdei .It is said that “Elephant bathing was not allowed” was inscribed on the walls of this pool.

Sra Srang

As I was walking up to the view point I was swarmed by kids trying to sell me bracelets and metal buddhas I looked around to find that there were more stalls trying to sell clothes, linen, T-Shirts, Cool drinks, Coconut water, beer. I heard screaming voices “Sir..do you want something cold to drink..you look tiiered”. “Sir would you like to buy a T-shirt..very cheap 1 for 3 dollar..I give you best price sir” having experienced all these in the last two days…I ignored those calls..noticing that the girls started again “Sir..I remember you..you remember me OK? When you come back you buy from me OK..otherwise you make me cry”

I burst into laughter and so did all the tourists around who are being subjected to this. Honestly, it could be annoying for most tourists if they are not used to this selling, tailing you back until you buy..but for me it was a very pleseant experience as I had humour filled in me all the time..in fact I think it is the golden rule if you wish to make your travel memorable. Be ready to get conned, ripped off, buying fake stuff etc c’mon this happens to innocent tourists in your home country too..be careful but don’t snap back at them or get angry..ignore if it annoys you..but if you have to confront be polite..say “No, thank you” and add a smile if you can.

The Sra Srang lakes faces opposite Bantaey Kdei The Citadel of Cells“. Banteay Kdei was built as a Buddhist complex by Jayavarman II. It is said that the existing condition of this monument is due to hasty construction which was carried out during that period.

Bantaey Kdei

Ta Prohm is stones throw away from Bantaey Kdei .

Ta Prohm means “Great City“. It is said that Jayavarman VII, has dedicated this temple to his mother. A classic example of nature against man. One witnesses here the conflict between nature and stone: The stone trying to withstand and the vegetation growing tall over the monuments

see for yourself.

Ta Phrom

massive roots embracing the walls..these trees must’ve been growing on the top of these temples for atleast 200 to 300 years may be older.

Ta Phrom, Entrance

unfortunately a few years ago, part of a gallery inside this monument was damaged due to lighting which brought a massive tree down.

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