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History of Banteay Srei, general information
After seeing Banteay Srey , the first thing that comes to mind is some kind of connection with the feminine After all, he is very refined, beautiful and miniature. It is not surprising that the translation of its name from Khmer means no other than "The Citadel of a Woman" or "The Refuge of a Woman". This stunningly beautiful temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and was built in the middle of the 10th century by the court adviser (according to another version - doctor) Yajnavaraha during the reign of kings Rajendravarman II and Jayavarman V. However, it was not intended for royal families. After the construction of the temple, the city of Isvarapura was formed and existed around it.
It was discovered in 1914. Clearing on the territory of the temple began in the 20s of the twentieth century.
Orientation in the temple, tips for inspection
Banteay Srei Temple is located 35 km north of Siem Reap (cm. Banteay Srei on the map of Angkor), so you need to plan your trip in advance. On the eve of renting a vehicle or arranging with the driver of the vehicle (see "Moving around Angkor") about the price, time and route. It should be noted that the trip will cost 5-7 dollars more expensive. It is better to combine Banteay Srei with a tour of the Banteay Samre temple.
For inspection, you can allocate 1-1.5 hours without taking into account the road, for another 1 hour on the road. The best time to take a photo is in the morning before 11 o'clock or in the evening after 15 o'clock, access stops after 17 o'clock.
The entrance is located on the east side. The temple is surrounded by a moat, filled to this day with water, from the opposite shore, looking at the temple, you can see how it is reflected in the surface of the water.
Due to the fact that the temple is built of pink sandstone, this undoubtedly distinguishes it from other temples in terms of pinkish-brick hue. And also this material gives special strength to structures, which contributes to its better preservation to the present day. However, not only the temple itself has been perfectly preserved, but also the bas-reliefs on the walls and pediments, sculptures, patterns, carvings are very fine and clear, which entangles the whole temple. Banteay Srei is one of the places along with Angkor Wat and Angkor thom that certainly deserve attention.
Temple construction, architecture
The entrance to the temple is carried out from the east through the cruciform gopura, passing through which you find yourself on the Avenue of processions with a series of low pillars and columns on both sides. Approximately in the middle of the road on the right and left are the remains of two exits leading to dilapidated buildings (buildings), of which only the entrance openings and part of the walls remain: to the north – one, to the south – three. In front of the gopura of the first (outer) enclosure are the ruins of two buildings. After passing through gopura, there is a stunning view of artificial reservoirs filled with water and the temple. There were staircases along the entire length of the reservoirs, as evidenced by piles of overgrown stones. The gopura of the second enclosure is very well preserved. Then you find yourself on a narrow platform, which is occupied by six buildings along the perimeter, one from the north and south, two from the east and west. Religious images, scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, and various decorative ornaments are reproduced on all the preserved pediments of the buildings.
As for the third (internal) investment, all the buildings and towers have been restored, and therefore demonstrate once again the sophistication and beauty of the decor. There are three towers of the temple, the tops of which resemble water vessels, with a corridor to them. The entrance is embodied by the figures of monkey-like warriors (vanara). There are also two library buildings located here. Inside some buildings, you can find pedestals for lingas.