Angkor Wat: Khmer King Suryavarman II

Khmer King Suryavarman II, the builder of Angkor Wat, in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Khmer King Suryavarman II, the builder of Angkor Wat

King Suryavarman II
This bas-relief depicts Suryavarman II, the Khmer king responsible for building the Angkor Wat Temple. It is part of the Procession of King Suryavarman II bas-relief depicting the king in a procession with his commanders, soldiers, courtiers, and ordinary people. Unlike the other bas-reliefs in Angkor Wat, the Procession of King Suryavarman II bas-relief is based on history. Read the Angkor Wat Bas-Reliefs page for a detailed description of this and other bas-reliefs.

As you can see from the image, King Suryavarman II is elegantly seated on his throne with his legs on the seat – a typical Indian way of sitting. He is portrayed with beautiful jewelry on his body as per the custom in India and the Indianised kingdoms in Southeast Asia. He is wearing bracelets and arm rings on his hands, anklets on his legs, a beautiful necklace around his neck and an udiyan (waist chain) around his waist. He is holding with his right hand a strange object believed to be a dead snake, the significance of which is a mystery.

Surrounding King Suryavarman II are his attendants waving pankahs (fans) with long handles and chauris (fly-whisks). Notice the parasols around the king. There are fifteen of them in this bas-relief. The number of parasols indicates the rank of a commander in his army. The king has the highest number of parasols among the commanders in the procession implying that he is the commander-in-chief. Check this image.

The entire Procession of King Suryavarman II bas-relief covers the western section of the south gallery built on the perimeter of the lower level of the Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Check the Angkor Wat Temple Layout for the exact location of this bas-relief.

Related Images
King Suryavarman II depicted as the commander-in-chief of the army
A commander riding an elephant
Women marching in the procession
A contingent of Siamese soldiers

Related Pages
Angkor Wat, Angkor Wat Bas-Reliefs, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei
Phnom Kulen, Tonlé Sap, Cambodia
Bali, Prambanan, Borobudur, Indonesia

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