Angkor Wat: Death of Vali

A door on the gallery of the middle terrace of the Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Relief depicting the Death of Vali episode carved into the pediment of a door in the gallery of middle terrace

Death of Vali
The image shows a door on the middle terrace gallery of the Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The lintel (which is just above the door) depicts Indra wielding his weapon Vajrayuda with his right hand while riding his vahana (vehicle) Airavata, a three-headed elephant.

The bas-relief on the pediment depicts a scene based on an episode from Ramayana in which Vali, the Monkey King of Kishkindha, lay dying while his courtiers mourn and the gods above watch him dying.

According to the story, Sugriva, Vali’s younger brother, secretly desired Vali’s throne. When Rama approached Sugriva seeking his help to find his wife Sita kidnapped by Ravana, Sugriva saw an opportunity to fulfill his desire. As a condition to look for Rama’s wife, Sugriva asked Rama to help topple Vali. Rama agreed to this condition and allied with Sugriva. Rama and Sugriva devised a plan to defeat Vali. As per the plan, Sugriva invited Vali for a duel, and during the fight, Rama, who was hiding behind the trees, killed Vali with an arrow.

The Banteay Srei Temple has a beautifully carved bas-relief that illustrates the Vali-Sugriva fight.

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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