Cambodia holiday to Banteay Srey1996
Only two temples were chosen as the symbol among 1800 temples in Cambodia built under Angkor era (the 9th and 15th century). If Angkor Wat is the symbol of the architecture for its spectacular architectural style, Banteay srey represents the architectural sculpture reaching the pinnacle during the Angkor era. In Angkor Wat tour, tourists will have the opportunity to explore the beauty of this temple.
Located about 35km from Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, just about half hour drive, tourists will come to Banteay Srey in the Angkor park population (with the width of 55 square kilometers). This is the most prominent temple among thousand temples of Angkor Empire. Because, in comparison with other temples built by bricks or green sandstones, Banteay Srey is the only temple built entirely by pink sandstones. The materials used to build the temple are the first uniqueness and difference of Banteay Srey, but referring to the beauty of Banteay Srey, that's not all.
Temples and towers was built under the Angkor era were often built by Kings of Cambodia, but Banteay Srey is a difference. The temple was built by a Brahman hermit in 967 during the reigns of King Ragjanravarman (who was supported by the moon) and Jayavarman V (who was supported by Victoria god), to dedicate to King Jayavarman V. The temple has 3 main towers, in which the center tower represents Siva God; two smaller towers represent two Gods of Vishnu and Brahma. Despite being a temple with small area compared to other works, Banteay Srey is the symbol of the beauty in the sculpture of Cambodia at all times, especially in Angkor era.
In Cambodian language, Banteay means temple, Srey means female. Therefore, Banteay Srey means the beauty of the women temple. There are many sculptures of young woman on the cliffs inside the temple. Girls with the charming and mysterious beauty, still standing there through thousand years and is considered a symbol of the beauty of the woman in the Angkor period. From the outside, the temple's gate looks like gate of Preah Vihear - bordering Thailand with the characteristic curved top of gate. The temple now is well-preserved and kept intact to serve tourists on Cambodia holiday, along with the architectural style like other temples of Angkor period including gate, corridor, library, main tower.
Sculpture in Banteay Srey is very exquisite, meticulous and sophisticated. It is explained that just having the belief in the divine, the human have intense emotions to create a unique architectural work like Banteay Srey. In the temple, every wall, every sculpture contributes to describe a unique story. In addition to sculpturing features such as Naga basilisk, Kala face (symbolizing immortality), Rehu - god of wind, Agni - god of fire, the rest is legends associated with epics.
There is Krisna in the Mahabjarata epic, the incarnation of Vishnu God as a young men, went to the earth to do 2 tasks including killing Kam Sak - the undutiful prince killed his parents and brothers to usurp the throne and imprisoned his relatives in the imperial palace. Krisna God cut the head of Kamsak to release royal members. The second task, Krisna had to kill demon which received the praise immortality of Indra God. Due to the immortality, it was too hubris, destroy the humanity, despite being quartered the body into pieces, it can still reshape. To kill it, Krisna tore it into 2 pieces, and took a part of its body to another place, so the demon died.
Front of main tower in Banteay Srey is the image of Nandi god, on the temple gate is Shiva statue with the Ravanda dance carved smoothly and sophisticatedly. There is also the story depicting the protection humanity from the fire of Agni God. The fire burned the earth and made people and animals chaotic, humanity suffering great misery. Understanding the misery of people and animals, the god used water to put out fire. The talent of artisans has created the special attraction for Banteay Srey, leaving deep impression on tourists in Cambodia tours.