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Панорама Бантей Срей

Banteay Srei


If the symbols are not visible downlad a khmer font

Date Second part of the X century (sanctified at 22 April 967)
Built  by Yajnavaraha during the reign of kings Radzhendravarman II and Jayavarman V
Cult: Brahman (Shivite)
Clearing H.Parmentier and V. Goloubew in 1924 with anastylosis by Henri Marchal from 1931 until 1936.


The name Banteay Srey relatively modern, means 'Citadel of the Women', or perhaps 'Citadel of Beauty', and presumably refers to its size and the delicacy of its decoration. The temple's actual name, taken from that of its central linga, was Tribhuvanamahesvara — 'Great Lord of the Threefold World'.

Unlike the major sites at Angkor, Banteay Srei was not a royal temple. It was built by one of Rajendravarman's counsellors, Yajnavaraha, who was also the guru of the future king Jayavarman V. Yajnavaraha was granted this land on the banks of the upper Siem Reap river by the king. He and his younger brother commissioned the temple, which was finished just a year before King Rajendravarman died. As usual, a settlement surrounded the temple; in this case, the name of the small city was Isvarapura.

Discovered by the French only in 1914  it achieved an early notoriety when Andre Malraux, who later wrote Man's Fate and was Minister of Culture under the de Gaulle administration, thievied four apsaras in 1923. He was caught almost immediately and stolen parts was been returned by Henry Marchal with George Groslier assistance. The restoration of the temple between 1931 and 1936  by Marchal was notable for the first significant use at Angkor of the technique of anastylosis, adopted from the Dutch work in the East Indies.

The full success of the method anastylosis undertaken Henri Marchal gave result of general acceptance of this restoration technique by EFEO, inspired by the methods used by archaeologists in Java and although the task in Banteay Srei was facilitated by the small size of the buildings, blocks of stone cut from durable sandstone, which has retained its clear thread with plenty of wonderful preserved decoration, but on the other hand, the work of Henri Marchal was complicated by the remoteness of the church are difficult to access, with minimal means and inexperienced workers who were in the process of work.

After finding of the stele of temple foundation in 1936 in eastern gopura of fourth enclosure , it became clear that Banteay Srei designed all at once, as evidenced by the uniformity of style. Engraved in the year 968, the first year of the reign of Jayavarman V, the inscription gives the date of April-May, 967 with the position of the sun, moon and planets. This year was the last year of Rajndravarmana, which probably started the construction of at least some part of the temple. After the pray to, Shiva and his "Shakti", the text of the stela contains a eulogy Jayavarman V and his "guru", Yajnavaraha who founded Banteay Srei, together with his younger brother, instaled Shri Shiva Tribhavanamaheshvara linga in the central sanctuary. Other inscriptions engraved on the door jambs tells about other linga location in the southern sanctuary and the statue of Vishnu in the north.


Дорога к Бантей Срей

The road to one of the most beautiful temple has almost the same color as the color of the sandstone it is made.


Гопура Бантей Срей

The temple begins to the east cruciform laterite gopuram with sandstone columns and finely decorated pilasters. The main stele of the temple was discovered here in 1936, enabling the date of consecration to be worked out precisely from its information about the position of the sun, moon and planets.

Фронтон с Индрой Бантей Срей

The pediment of this gopuram shows Indra on his three-headed elephant and promises rich interior decoration with to beautiful pink hue of the stone. The places where stood tiled roof beams still can be visible in the masonwork. The mark 1


         open plan in separate window               open plan in separate window without numbers  Banteay Srey Plan


Бантей Срей

Walking through, the wide sidewalk, almost 70m distant, leads to the third enclosure and decorated with columns (32 pcs) on both side which ones collapsed by wild elephants in ancient times every year. These columns are almost the same as in  Preah Vihear.
The mark 2


Бантей Срей. Нарасимха и Хираньяхашипу.

On the other right side of the causeway there is "long gallery" with a superb pediment where depicted Vishnu appeared in the avatar of a lion Narasimha at the time when the king of Asuras Hiranyahashipu going to kill his son Prahlada - a great devotee of the Supreme Personality of God. Lion Narasimha holds Hiranyahashipu and ripping the chest. Shrimad Bhagavatam 7.8.  The purpose of these 'long galleries' is unknown.
The mark 3  


Banteay Srey Ganesha

Ganesha with two undefined figures. The mark 4


Бантей Срей

The temple consists of three enclosure which are a simple walls of 95 by 110 meters, 38 to 42 meters and 24 to 24 meters. The third (outer) enclosure is surrounded by a moat with laterite boundary of the both sides, divided into east and west by the sidewalk leads to each of his gopuram.


see in full definition (3 Mb) Бантей Срей. Лакшми.

Under Garuda holding a branch with leaves, two elephants pour water from the pots that holding in their trunks onto Lakshmi - the goddess of beauty and fertility, wife Vishnu. The pediment of eastern gopuram of the second enclosure, at the end of the pavement The mark 6

Бантей Срей. Линга.   Бантей Срей. Линги.

There are different linga inside each chamber.  Most of them are without central "male" element. The mark 6

Бантей Срей. Бык Нандин.

After exit from gopuram is remains of Nandin bull, drive animal (vakhana) of Shiva, in sitting position The mark 7


Banteay Srey


Eastern gopura of inner enclousure

Banteay Srey Dancing Shiva

The East-facing pediment of gopuram  depicts Shiva Nataraj - multi-armed got in the dance of the rhythm of life which culminates in destruction at the end of a kalpa or world cycle. At his feet are a drummer and an emaciated Kareikkalammeyar - his disciple. The mark 8


Banteay Srey Durga

032 The West-facing pediment depicts Shiva's consort in her terrible form - Durga, dancing on a bound demon in the form of a lion. Underneath, the lintel depicts avatar of Vishnu as a horse Hayagriva holding the heads of demons Madhu and Kaitabha who stole the Vedas from Brahma .  The mark 9

Inside inner enclosure

Southern Library

Бантей Срей. Южная библиотека.  

Eastern pediment - Ravana shakes Kailasa Mounting

The famous bas-relief of pediment depicts no less famous story from the Ramayana as a Rakshasa (demon- eater of human flesh) Ravana, depicted many-armed and many-headed, trying to shake  Kailasa Mounting where Shiva lives.
The mountain itself is depicted as a tiered pyramid, like Mount Meru and is depicted in the background of a stylized forest. At the top sits Shiva with his wife Uma, crouching beside him in a delightful position. Shiva presses the mountain by his right foot to stop shaking.
The second row shows worried priests and worshipers, showing by finger on Ravana. On the right is praying female figure.
In the third row are worshipers with the heads of elephants, lions, birds and horses. On both sides are monkeys in fine hats.
The lower tier occupied by Ravana with animals that flee in horror of him. The mark 10

  see in full definition (0,5 Mb) Бантей Срей. Равана трясёт гору Кайласа.


Western pediment - Kama shoots Shiva

God of love (3) Kama shoots Shiva (1) to ignite the fire of the love to Parvati in his heart that they will produce children the same perfect ascetics as he is. Actually, it happened during the meditation on Mount Kailash and here he gives her a rosary.

 Siva noticed this on time and incinerated Kama-deva by his third eye. Ascetics on the Mount Kailash (4). Praying with animal heads (5) ( often in Angkor). On the bottom row of bull Nandin (6), and ordinary people with their animals (7). On the plan The mark 11

  see in full definition without numbers (3,5 Mb) Бантей Срей. Кама стреляет в Шиву.

Northern Library

Бантей Срей. Северная библиотека.

Indra and Arjuna (his son) each obliged by their promises and Dharma going to struggle that may to destroy the whole world while Krishna interfered  and convinced Indra that the Pandavas are right and he must to help them to build the city named in his honor Indraprastha and fire god Agni has made for Ardjuna his great bow Gondiva from magic derived from the Khandava forest.


Eastern pediment - Fire in Khandava Forest

The pediment of this "library" depicts the story of the Mahabharata - A Fire in Khandava Forest.

Preface: When disagreements in Hastinoapure capital between Padavas and the Kauravas became insurmountable the keeper of the throne of Khastinopour Bhishma and Minister Vedura decided to divide the kingdom of Hastinapour between the Pandavas and the Kauravas. Devout Crown Prince of the Pandavas Yudhidshhera to avoid further antagonism choose for Pandavas most lifeless Khandavaprasthu province inhabited by Nagas (snakes) and Rakshasa (demons eaters of human flesh).

The king of Nagas Takshaka reigned in this province with the support of the god Indra who promised will not pouring a rain on that province for it may be suitable only for snakes. The Pandavas brothers: Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula and Sakhadeva offered Takshaka respect and suggest to live together that he rejected. The forest was bewitched by a Mayasura demon and Arjuna called up the fire god Agni by his arrows to cover by fire the forest just to clean it from magic without bringing a harm to trees and inhabitants (6).

Further events is depicted in bas-relief of pediment. Takshaka (5) forced Indra to fulfill his promise to protect Khandava forest (8). Indra on his three-headed elephant Airavata (2) unleashes torrents of rain (3) on Khandava forest(8) for extinguish the fire but Arjuna (1) obstructs the rain by his arrows (4). The two children's figures (7) in the middle of barelief are considered to be unknown but some time before they were considered as Krishna and Balarama in childhood.
The mark 12

see in full definition without numbers (0,5 Mb) Бантей Срей. Фронтон северной библиотеки. Кришна, Арджуна, Индра.


Western pediment - Krishna kills King Kamsa. This scene has been taken from the Srimad Bhagavatam 10.44. The action takes place in the palace. Two large figures presented in perspective that is rare in the bas-reliefs of Angkor. Krishna holds Kamsa's hair and going to kill him in the palace which ones gives us an idea how was beautiful wooden palaces at Angkor. In the corners, apparently, Krishna and Arjuna armed by bow and arrows on the chariot pulled by horses are coming into the palace. In the other rooms depicted excited woman watching on happening.  The mark 13

Бантей Срей. Библиотеки.

  Бантей Срей. Кришна убивает Камсу.

Central Sanctuary

Eastern entrance to the mandapa


Banteay Srey Indra

Indra rides a three-headed Airavata. Mark 14


Western pediment

see in full definition (3,8 Mb) Бантей Срей

Varuna on geese is on pediment. The lintel depicts the scene from the Ramayana showing Ravana abducting Sita - wife of Rama. The mark 18


Northern pediment

see in full definition (3,3 Mb) Banteay Srey Rahu

Pediment: Rahu devours an elephant. The lintel and pediment has a typical filling by foliage for depiction of Rahu. The mark 21

     see in full definition (3,9 Mb)
 Бантей Срей. Апсара.  Banteay Srey Guardian
Magnificent Apsaras and guardians standing in niches on all facades.

Southern Sanctuary

East-facing pediment

Бантей Срей. Шива с Умой

Shiva and Uma are riding on Nandin at pediment and Indra rides on the three-headed Airavata on the lintel. The mark 15


South-facing pediment

see in full definition (3,6 Mb) Banteay Srey Yama

Yama - God of the South direction as well as the Judge after death on a buffalo both on the pediment and on the lintel. The mark 16


Northern sanctuary

North-facing pediment

see in full definition (4,5 Mb) Banteay Srey Bhima

Pediment: Kubera - Got of wealth and North direction on a throne, representing the magic chariot Pushpaka, supported by three lions.
Lintel: the scene from the Mahabharata: Bhima, Arjuna's brother, is tearing into two parts of king Jarasandha. The mark 20


West-facing pediment

see in full definition (3,4 Mb) Бантей Срей

Pediment: Varuna - God of western direction and god of World Ocean on three gooses - Hamsas.
Lintel: Vishnu on his vahana - Garuda.
The mark 19


Бантей Срей

Monkeys guard the entrance of the sanctuary


Banteay Srey West view to sanctuary

View on the west side of sanctuaries


The western gopura

Battle between Valin and Sugriva. .

The scene from the Ramayana:  Valin (the son of Indra) despoiled Sugriva's (the son of Surya - the Sun God) kingdom of monkeys.

Rama promised to help him to return the kingdom in exchange for helping of monkeys kingdom army led by Hanuman against the army of Ravana to release Sita - the wife of Rama.

During the fight Sugriva going to defeat but Valin resorted to tricks, pretending to be dead and was ready to deal a fatal blow to Sugriva but Rama (to the right armed by bow) pierced him by arrow. Behind him, it seems, his brother Lakshman.

The mark 22

  see in full definition (5,3 Mb) Бантей Срей. Дуэль Валина и Сугривы.

View to Banteay Srei from western gopuram.

Бантей Срей. Западная гопура.
been used stuff of books Maurice Glaize "Angkor"; Michael Petrochenko "Angkor Temples"; Claude Jacques, Michael Freeman "Angkor Cities and Temples" and "The Monuments of Angkor Group" by Maurice Glaize