Banteay Srei: South Sanctuary Tower – South Facing Facade

South facing facade of the south sanctuary tower of the Banteay Srei Temple

South facing facade of the south sanctuary tower

South-facing facade of the south sanctuary tower
The south sanctuary tower is inside the inner enclosure of the Banteay Srei Temple, about located 16 miles northeast of Siem Reap in Cambodia.

As you can see from the image, the beautifully decorated false door of the facade is flanked on either side by a devata carried by three hamsas (swans). Most of the carvings on this facade are intact. Above the door, the facade is cone-shaped and has five levels, each having a finely-carved circular pediment. Because of the cone shape, the higher the level, narrower is the pediment.

Because the facade is facing South, the theme of the carving is Yama , who is the dikpala (guardian) of the south direction, in addition to being the god of death and justice.

The lintel on top of the false door depicts the front view of Yama sitting on his vehicle, a male buffalo, and is carried by two lions. Yama is flanked on either side by an unknown deity sitting on Kaala, the time monster, who is on top of an elephant.

The pediment above the lintel depicts the side view of Yama sitting on his vehicle and carried by three lions. Behind this pediment is part of another false door, and above that is the second level pediment depicting unknown deity riding an elephant. The pediments of two upper levels, which are a lot narrower, depict the Kaala monster.

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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