Banteay Srei: North Library – East Facade

East facing facade of the north library situated in the inner enclosure of Banteay Srei Temple in Cambodia.

East facing facade of the north library

North library – East facade
The north library structure is situated near the entrance of the innermost enclosure of the Banteay Srei Temple, about 16 miles northeast of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The platform on which the library is built is star-shaped and has two levels. The doorway of the facade has a beautifully decorated false door flanked by pilasters. Because this facade is facing east, Indra, who is the dikpala (guardian) of the east, is the theme of the carvings on both the lintel and pediment.

The bas-relief on the lintel depicts Indra riding his vehicle Airavata, a three-headed elephant. As you can see from the image, Indra is in the middle sitting above an elephant head. At each end of the lintel, there is an elephant with a human-like figure seated on it.

As you can see from the image, there are three pediments. The innermost is the narrowest and is in the front, and the outermost is the widest and is on the back. Each pediment is enclosed by a finely carved creeper which is resting on an intricately decorated pillar.

The bas-relief on the lowermost pediment depicts Burning of Khandava Forest, an episode based on the Hindu epic Mahabharata. It shows Indra, who is riding his vehicle Airavata, is trying to put out the fire that is burning the Khandava Forest. Read a detailed explanation in this page: Burning of the Kandava Forest. This pediment is enclosed by a curved creeper ending on each side with the head of Makara, a crocodile-like mythical creature.

Library Related Images
North Library – East Facade
South Library – East Facade

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

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