Banteay Srei, Angkor Wat

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  • Banteay Srei
    by schurman23
  • Banteay Srei
    by schurman23
  • Banteay Srei
    by schurman23
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    Bantaey Srei

    by schurman23 Updated Oct 15, 2011

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    Almost near the foot of Kulen Mountains, Bantaey Srei stands with its mix pink sandtone and wood temples with exquisite decorative carvings which have miniature resemblance of other Angkor Temples. These decorations represents its name which translates to Citadel of Women/Beauty. These wonderful pieces of architecture was not a royal temple, but was built by one of the King's counselors.

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    Intricate carvings

    by Willettsworld Written Apr 27, 2010

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    Located some 25km (15 miles) north-east of the main group of temples at Angkor, Banteay Srei is known for the intricacy of its carvings. Instead of the carving being done into a plaster coating normally layered onto the stone, the temple was faced with pink sandstone and the carvings done into that. The results are breathtaking.

    The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and the carvings display mythical creatures and Hindu stories and legends. The best carvings are found on the two libraries where the pediments display Shiva seated on the summit of Mount Kailasa, the ten-headed demon king Ravana, and the god of the sky Indra creating rain to put out a forest fire.

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    Pink sandstone with amazing carvings

    by Willettsworld Written Apr 27, 2010

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    Even though this temple is located some 25km (15 miles) north-east of the main group of temples at Angkor, if you have the time then you should take a visit here. Banteay Srei is undoubtedly Angkor's most beautiful, yet smallest temple, with soft pink sandstone and exceptional carvings which have led it to be widely praised as a "precious gem", or the "jewel of Khmer art."

    Consecrated in 967 AD during the reign of King Rajendravarman, Banteay Srei (meaning "Citadel of Women") was never a royal temple. It is thought to have been built by a guru of the king and it's believed that this lack of a royal go-ahead is one of the reasons why it is so small. What it may lack in size it more than makes up for in beauty. Some have suggested that the temple was built by women as no man could have created something so beautiful and with so fine a hand. The carvings cover an incredible amount of the temple's surface and the reliefs are often deep.

    As with many Khmer temples, the main sections of Banteay Srei were built of laterite, but instead of the carving being done into a plaster coating normally layered onto the stone, the temple was faced with pink sandstone and the carvings done into that. The results are breathtaking. Throughout the monument are lintels, door jambs and window columns all layered with amazingly well executed and preserved carvings. Shear magic!

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    Be amazed by Banteay Srei, Jewel of Kmer Art!

    by monina_c Updated Jul 12, 2009

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    One of the devatas that gave the temple its name
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    Banteay Srei is a 10th century temple made of sandstone dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. It is made very dramatic by the detailed carving on its walls. This temple is a very popular part of the Angkor Wat tour. Being so, it is advisable to go there early in the morning so you can miss the swarm that descends in the mid-morning.

    Banteay Srei aka Citadel of Women (also Citadel of Beauty) is so named because of the numerous carvings of minor female dieties scattered all over the complex.

    Sadly, it is currently undergoing repairs so some sections are visibly newer than the rest. To get dramatic photos you'll just have to be creative and stick to the older sections. :)

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  • iwys's Profile Photo

    Banteay Srei

    by iwys Updated Jan 4, 2009

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    No tourists! Amazing!
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    Banteay Srei is a beautiful temple complex, north-east of Angkor, founded by the king's chief Brahman advisor, Yajnavaraha in 967AD. This is known from an inscription at the site.

    Banteay Srei was rediscovered by French archaeologists in the twentieth century.
    Its remote location meant that tourists used to get shot and robbed here. An American woman and her guide were killed here in 1995. But, don't worry: nowadays it is perfectly safe and very much on the Japanese package tourist trail. So much so, that it is difficult to take a picture of the ruins without getting a group of tourists in front of them. After about twenty minutes waiting, I finally succeeeded.

    The temple complex itself is very small, so it doesn't take anywhere near as much time to walk around as most of the other Angkor sites do.

    The temple is surrounded by a moat, still filled with water, so you enter through a triumphal caseway over the moat. Inside there are three tower shrines, made of red sandstone, the tallest of which is 10 metres high. The temple doorways are protected by carved heads of Kala, a demon who ate his own body.

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    The Citadel of the women

    by King_Golo Updated Oct 21, 2008

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    Carvings in Banteay Srei

    Banteay Srei is supposed to be Angkor's temple with the most extraordinary carvings. This is certainly true, as there are marvellously carved pictures of mythic creatures as well as humans. It is said that only women could have done this due to their smoother hands... :-) Well, I couldn't do it, so this must be true, too!
    Banteay Srei's drawback are the hordes of tourists visiting it. Furthermore, when I was there parts of the complex were off limits to visitors. And last but not least it's 30km away from Angkor's main sights - on Cambodian roads, this equals a daytrip! Still, it's worth going there - usually in combination with the Roluos temples.

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  • bojomacaraig's Profile Photo

    The pink sandstone

    by bojomacaraig Written Oct 10, 2008

    Banteay Srei. While some of the temples are impressive because of their sheer size, Banteay Srei stands alone in the quality of its construction and decoration. Its pink sandstone wall are decorated with what some consider to be the best carving of all and in an amazing state of preservation. Built in 967 and dedicated to Brahma it is located twenty five kilometers North of Angkor Wat.

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    Another impressive temple

    by muratkorman Written Sep 13, 2008

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    The walls and doorways of this beautiful temple have so much to capture your attention. Although the size of this temple is small, the artistic details make it become one of the most popular temples in this area. Banteay Srey is also called woman temple and the only disadvantage is its location: It is 32km north of Siem Reap.

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    Banteay Srei

    by Snipernurse Written May 5, 2008
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    Another great temple well worthy of the travel to get there and time needed to explore. Unique in its own respect as well, this temple is built from more volcanic like rock and features bass reliefs and carvings to gain your imagination. It is a fairly large structure and affords many photo opportunities. Overall, one of the top 5 temples of the complex, don't miss it!

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    Banteay Srey

    by Etoile2B Written Oct 2, 2007

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    Banteay Srey
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    Located 38km outside of Siem Reap, this temple is still hotly on the tourist trail. Part of the charm of visiting these remote sites is the drive out through the Cambodian countryside and the small villages along the way. If you plan to visit Banteay Srey your driver will likely be expecting more money due to the distance, so be sure to settle on the price beforehand. Our driver suggested visiting this temple and the even further a field Kbal Spean as our itinerary for the third day of our visit to Angkor. Unfortunately he left us under the impression that his payment would be the same as the day before and it wasn’t until we reached Banteay Srey that he changed the rules on us. Thankfully, we were able to reach a mutually agreeable settlement and it didn’t ruin our day, but keep this in mind when you are making arrangements to visit these distant temples.

    Banteay Srey means something along the lines of “Citadel of the Women”. It was built in the late 10th Century for Rajendravarman. The temple is of Hindu origins. This gorgeous red sandstone temple is known for it’s ornate and pristine carvings. The temple is currently undergoing restorations but the majority of the temple is still easily accessible. Despite it’s remote location, Banteay Srey is very popular, even in the morning. We arrived relatively early, not sunrise early, but in the morning and even then busses crammed with tourists were arriving alongside us. Regardless we still were able to see the entire site and didn’t feel overwhelmed by the crowds like at Angkor Wat. There are plenty of food stalls and souvenir stands across the way from the temple and public bathroom facilities are a slight walk down the road.

    Our trip out to these remote sites was one of the highlights of our trip!

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  • blisscoti's Profile Photo

    Display of well-preserved intricacy

    by blisscoti Updated Jan 2, 2007
    Banteay Srei's intricate reliefs
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    Located further north of Angkor Wat, it requires you to pay at least US$5 extra for the journey up there. But it is certainly worth the trip up to see this 'Jewel of Khmer Art'. The temple's actual name means 'Citadel of Beauty'. Not built as a royal temple like the others, it was built by one of the king's counsellors.

    The first thing that strikes you when you reach the temple is the miniature scale where you can just see the entire temple at the entrance. You will be also amazed by the number of tourists this little temple can pack in.

    The pink sandstone relief carvings are evidently the finest I have seen among the temples. I am intrigued by the depth of the relief and the sharpness of works. The carvings look freshly carved instead of having being weathered for hundreds of years.

    This is an exceptional temple that's not to be missed. Small but packs a lot.

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  • runwitme's Profile Photo

    Banteay Srei (Citadel of Beauty)

    by runwitme Updated Dec 23, 2006

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    I hired a car USD30 for the whole day to expore the "Grand Circuit of Angkor". The ruins on this route were not covered in the AWIHM and they are located much further away from the town area. It is recommended to take a car. The journey is bumpy and dusty due to bad road conditions. The journey was scenic though, going through many rustic villages. I planned to cover 6 temples - Banteay Srei, Banteay Samre, East Mebon, Ta Som, Neak Pean and Preah Khan.

    First stop: Banteay Srei, located 25km away from Angkor.

    It is also known as the "pink temple" due to the colour of the structure. Well, it is not exactly pink but red coloured sand stone. The carvings here are very delicate and the details are amazing! I spend more than 1 hour here, just admiring the fine carvings. At some parts, ropes prevented me from getting close to the beautiful carvings.

    It is worth the bumpy rides. One of must visit temples at Angkor.

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    Banteay Srei, Citadel Of The Women

    by kidfree Written Sep 25, 2006

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    Entrance, Banteay Srei
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    Although a little further away from the main Angkor temples Banteay Srei is more than worth the extra miles. A small temple by comparison it is never the less excellently preserved and the carvings in the walls are really deep in the pink sandstone that is best seen in the early morning light. Being small it can seem crowded and it may be best to combine a visit with a trip to Kbal Spean or even beng Mealea.

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  • rochellevm's Profile Photo

    Banteay Srei in the morning

    by rochellevm Written May 15, 2006

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    Banteay Srei in the morning

    Banteay Srei is a small temple outside of Siem Reap. It is worth a visit although it is a bit far and small, since it is very unique. The carvings are very intricate and are in pink sandstones. It would be a good time to visit there early in the morning while there are less tourists. Expect that by 9:00am however, it is packed with tourists.

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  • dfactor's Profile Photo

    Banteay Srei

    by dfactor Updated Jul 22, 2005

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    Inner enclosure of Banteay Srei

    At more than 30km from Siem Reap, you will need a little more than an hour to get to Banteay Srei on tuk tuk. By much more faster in car and coach of course. The bumpy and dusty roads to Banteay Srei can make the ride on tuk tuk rather unpleasant.
    I was caught by surprise with the size of Banteay Srei, you can practically look at the back of the temple from the main entrance. But the great thing about this temple is its lavishly decorated fine carvings almost all over the temple. They look so delicate and they are more than 1000 years old. Well, they don't call Banteay Srei the "Jewel of Khmer Art" for no reason. I have to second it.
    Not to be missed by every visitor to Siem Reap.

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