Date: 2nd half of 10th century
Style: Banteay Srei
-Exquisite decorative carving in pink sandstone
-Peaceful, isolated, semi-wooded setting
-Extraordinary concerntration of mythological narratives in pediments and lintels
Banteay Srei started construction in 967 and it is one of the few temples not to be commissioned by a king, but by a Brahmin. It is a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva.
Although the temple is small, it is renowned for its intricate carvings in pink sandstone, which depict scenes from the Ramayana. Banteay Srei means 'Citadel of the Women', a name which reflects the belief that the carvings are too fine to have been produced by male craftsmen. Indeed, these carvings are the most intricate in Angkor and should be seen.
Bantrey Srei is a bit further than the other temples but it is certainly worth a visit...
To me, this temple was most unique with its extraordinary carvings and mythological narratives. Built by Rajendravarman, this temple is certainly a beauty made out of pink sandstone. There are many inscriptions on door frames which I'll never be able to decipher, but it was truly unique to me...
BS is the most well preserved structure of the Angkor's series. One hour by "tuk-tuk" from Angkorwat. It's not easy to travel this long under the hot sun. Don't expect to see a huge building. The BS is small compare to Angkorwat and the Bayon. It's even smaller compare to Ta phom.
Banteay Srei is built from pink sandstone rather than the grey stone more common in other temples. I think this just adds that little extra attractiveness to it.
The temple is quite small (compared to some other Angkor temples) and all on a single level so it is easy to explore.
Unfortunately, Banteay Srei has part of its temples roped off because people could not keep their hands off the carvings. So, we can now only catch some of the best relief carvings from a distance. Even so, this temple really stands out from the others, not only from its red hue and small stature, but the beautiful surroundings as well.
Banteay Srei is located about 5 kilometers north of Angkor Wat. It is worth every cent you have to get here. But, don't be under the impression that some massive temple awaits; you will be disappointed. What is waiting is possibly the most ornate temple in all of Angkor. It has a red color to the rocks that comprise the walls, and the images that can be taken here are some of the best.
Remember that the carving in this picture is over a 1000 years old!!
About 25 km to the north of the main Angkor site is the temple of Banteay Srei, also known as the Citadel of the Women. Originally built in 967, it was dedicated to Brahma.
This was one of my favourite temples in all Angkor, the carvings in the sandstone are superbly done and make this definitely worth the journey. The road to Banteay Srei is now surfaced all the way so the journey is quite an easy one.
This little temple 30 kms north of Angkor complex is one of the most charming and captivating ones.
Compared to those in Angkor, this seems a private temple, of very small proportions. One of its attractives are the delicate impressive carvings on the walls, some of them are really miniatures of an incredible detail!!
The surrounding is nice too...
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.
Banteay Srei is like a fairytale palace for midgets! Everything is built on a much smaller scale here.
About 16 km north of the main circuit, Banteay Srei is still very much on the beaten path due to its impressive basreliefs and false doors.
Your motodop will probably want more money to take you here, sometimes even demanding $5 extra. You can definitly get this down to $2-3 though.
It is a pretty crowded site because it is so small, and a lot of areas are roped off, but it really is a must see!
Banteay Srei is popular for its sculpture. It's been inaccessible for a long time due to the Khmer Rouge and bandit activity. Security is under control now, and it's appears safe to go out there, even on your own.
It can be difficult to get a nice photograph of the temple because of hordes of visitors from tour buses. You might try visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon. It's about an 1 1/2 hour drive from Siem Riep, so give yourself enough time to get back before dark if you're on your own.
Paying homage to an eastern Indian temple, Banteay Srei is a scaled-down copy. Red due to the clay it is built from, it makes for nice photos in late afternoon sun.
One reason why Banteay Srei is so colourful is that it was built of red sandstone bricks. Many of these have finely-detailed carvings on them.
This is the inner tower shrine devoted to Shiva. There was also a statue of Shiva here, but this was removed in 1914 and can now be seen in the National Museum in Phnom Penh.