- George Moore
Banteay Srei probably has the most exquisite carvings in the whole of angkor and in the Siem Reap temples further afield. The mastery, perfection and accuracy of its designs have amazed archaeologists, architects, scholars and visitors alike making Banteay Srei one of the most visisted cambodian temples. The central sanctuary is the best example of its fine decoration - there is no space left uncarved, and the walls are covered with elaborated bass reliefs of floral as well as geometrical motifs.
The two libraries in the inner enclosure contain two pediments each of the most delicate nature. The east facing pediment of the southern library portrays a scene from the Ramayana in which Shiva and his wife Uma are sitting on the summit of Mount Kailasa. They are accompanied by diverse creatures and wise men whilst in the center of the scene the ten headed demon king Ravana is shaking the mountain enraged. Shiva brings the weight of the mountain upong Ravan with his toe trapping the demon underneath for 1,000 years. The western pediment depicts the scene where the God of love Kama throws an arrow at Siva to make him interested in Uma, and enraged by this distraction Shiva gazes upon him with his third eye reducin Kama to ashes.
The east facing pediment of the northern library shows the scene where Indra, God of the sky, creates rain to put out a big fire in the forest started by Angi, god of fire, to kill a naga that lived in the forest. The western fronton of this room depicts Krishna murdering his uncle because he tried to kill him when he was a child.
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