South wall of the mantapa
The mantapa (covered hall) is in front of the central sanctuary tower of the Banteay Srei Temple located 16 miles northeast of Siem Reap, Cambodia. The image shows the south-facing wall of the mantapa guarded by two squatting dwarapalakas (guardians of the door) who have human bodies and monkey faces.
The pediment on the door depicts Kaala (Time Monster) devouring an elephant, and on top of Kaala there is an unidentified deity. The lintel also shows Kaala.
Note: Kaala means time in Sanskrit. Because Time devours everything eventually, Kaala is symbolized as a monster. According to Hindu mythology, Shiva controls the time cycles by creation, preservation, and destruction, which makes him the timekeeper of the universe. For this reason, Kaala is often associated with Shiva.
The dwarapalakas on the left side have lion faces and belong to the east-facing entrance of the south sanctuary tower.
– North Sanctuary Tower – North facing facade
– North Sanctuary Tower – West facing facade
– North Sanctuary Tower – East Facing Facade
– South Sanctuary Tower – East Facing Facade
– South Sanctuary Tower – South Facing Facade
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