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The relatively small inside of the compound could only be visited in part due to restauration works. There are several small sanctuariey of similar shape and style, all abundantly decorated with stone carvings, especially above the entrances. The decorative themes are taken from hinduistic mythology, especially the Ramayana legend.
Updated Feb 5, 2004
It is worth spending lots of time marvelling at the artistic carvings like the one on the picture (see also intro pix)
I believe, however, that the grander carving pannels on the site are no longer the originals: After having been initially abducted by a French adventurer by the name of Malraux - who ironically was later named cultural minister by General de Gaulle - in the early days of colonial Angkor Wat rediscovery, they were subsequently returned to the site but were, much later, - so I read somewhere - replaced by replica and the original taken to a museum. Maybe for the better, and they still look amazing.
Updated Feb 7, 2004
Banteay Srai's construction began in 967 and the temple is dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva.
It supposedly served as a women's temple or convent (?) during a time of warfare when lots of the men were away from the area. Hence its name which translates to "Citadel of the Women". At least that is the legendary explanations I have read.
Another version, apparently confirmed by an inscription found on site, is that it was commissioned by a Brahmin (rather than a king) who was a tutor of Kind Jayavarman V.
Its possible use or dedication by women may also explain the harmonious and more human dimensions as well as the delicate ornaments so unique in the Angkor Wat area. Male builders in Angkor were more megalomanic...
Updated Feb 7, 2004
Address: 20 km NE of Angkor Wat, 30 km from Siem Reab
In order to visit all the Angkor monuments, including those further away such as Banteay Srei, all visitors must obtain the Angkor Pass at a ticket booth along the road from Siem Reap to Angkor Wat (or you can get them at the Sokha Angkor Resort if you are stay there). There are 3 types of passes as follows:
US$ 20 for one day
US$ 40 for three days
US$ 60 for one week (7 days)
Do note the following:
- This pass is important because there will be checks at the entrances of the monuments, especially the popular ones such as Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Prohm etc. You will not be allowed to enter without the pass.
- All passes are issued with a picture. They are not transferable to another person.
- Fees must be paid in US dollars, Cambodian Riel, Thai Baht or Euro. Credit cards are not accepted for payment, but there is a bank counter at the ticket booth where visitors can get a cash advance on their credit card.
- Entry is free for children under 12 years old. Children 12 and above must pay full price.
- Entry is free for all Cambodian nationals.
- There are no discounts for groups.
- The Angkor Pass is not refundable.
- Validity of the Angkor Pass is between 5.30am and 5.30pm on the same day.
Updated Dec 14, 2009
The main temple area of Banteay Srei is surrounded by a moat with water lilies and lotus plants frowing in the water. If you want to take nice photos of the whole temple, go to the other side of the moat and you can take photos with reflection if the water is still. Please see photos in this tip for the water reflection effects.
Updated Sep 13, 2010
Banteay Samre is a temple located along the way from Siem Reap to Banteay Srei. It was built under Suryavarman II and Yasovarman II in the early 12th century, and is a Hindu temple in the Angkor Wat style. Named after the Samre, an ancient people of Indochina, the temple uses the same materials as Banteay Srei.
More photos of Banteay Samre are at the travelogue section of this VT page.
Updated Sep 13, 2010
The main reason to be here, of course, is the lovely pink sandstone temple. The carving on this temple is incredible - there is a huge amount of detail.
The temple is over a thousand years old, and is a Hindu monument, dedicated to Shiva. It's not a large temple, and when I visited parts were roped of, mainly to prevent wear and tear from the many visitors - but it was still a worthwhile trip; it's quite unlike the other temples I managed to see and a real architectural gem.
Written Mar 9, 2005
Banteay Samre is on the way to Banteay Srei and shouldn't be missed if you're in the vicinity.
However, watch out for the road conditions especially in the rainy season as the road may have turned nto a unpassable mud path.
The temple is built by the same king who built the Angkor Wat and is dedicated to Hindu Gods.
Written Oct 3, 2004
Kbal Spean located about 47 Km from Siem Reap . From the foot hill must trek about about 2 Km. Into the forest .
The sculptures here presumed to be built in the reign of King Udayadittayavaraman II in early 9th century ,the ancinet khmer people believed that the water which ran throught sculpture ?s a holy water . It was for making holy water in Brahmin ritual , for royal ritual , for people merit ,for curing the disease ,etc??
On the bed of the river and also some parts of the bank, there?re a numorous lingas , some pictures depicted the scences of Vishanu reclining on the Naga , the 4 faces Brahma , the Trimurti with 3 gods : Siva Brahma & Vishnu houses in Prasart. Also there?s a waterfall where can enjoy swimming.
For visiting here should take about half a day . On the foot hill there?re some local restuarants which ?s not expensive.
Written Nov 17, 2003
Built in 2nd half of 10th century by King Rajendravarman in Banteay Srei style.
Almost was built in pink sandstone in miniature propotions .And the style of carving are so unique and beautiful as the style of Banteay Srei .For history , it was not a royal temple but built by one of King ‘s counsellors named Yajnavaraha. His activities known by the inscription which still found in the sanctuary.
Must see things:
-The East pediment of the South library depicted about Ramayana episode in scene , Ravana shaking mount Kailasa.
-Devi bas-relief on the South sanctuary wall.
-The East pediment of the North library depicted about Ramayana episode in scene , fire in the Khandava forest.
Updated Feb 25, 2004