Banteay Srei 

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Gateways to Banteay Srei: Citadel of the women, make up what they lack in height with the beauty of their ornamentation.

This is one of the most beautiful temples of Angkor.  It was commissioned in 967 by a Brahmin and it's hard pink sandstone is  exquisitely carved.

 

 

Every inch of the walls of the three central shrines are covered with elaborate carvings, more Indian in inspiration than others at Angkor.  Mythical creatures with human bodies and animal heads guard the entrances.

This is top of my list of temples to revisit.  In 2005 an extensive renovation project limited access along with a very large group of tourists who blocked the only available route through the complex.  

Next time I will allow a lot more time, time to wait out the tour groups and to more fully appreciate the beauty of Banteay Srei

I met this budding flautist on my way to Neak Pean, another temple to revisit.  That visit will take place in September or October rather than March as I think the conditions for photography will be better at the end of the rainy season.  

 

Banteay Kdei 'Citadel of the Cells'

A small temple built by Jayavarman VII.  The presence of Buddhist monks over many centuries prevented it becoming completely overgrown like Ta Prohm which it resembles.  In spite of this it is not in good condition having been built with inferior sandstone.

It is a pleasant place to visit, less crowded than the more famous monuments.  I was alone here until a large group of Cambodian women joined me.

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