Carvings of Banteay Srei

Built in the 10th century, Banteay Srei is a small temple with delicate carvings in red sandstone, by far the best carvings we saw at Angkor temples. Banteay Srei was dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.

Like many Angkor temples, Banteay Srei is surrounded by a moat, shown below.

Banteay Srei Temple
Banteay Srei Temple

The three towers below are similar to those built the century before at Lolei and Prasat Bakong, but the Banteay Srei towers are covered with carvings. The courtyard is paved with laterite, a tropical mud rich in iron that dries hard. We visited Banteay Srei at sunset, when the setting sun enhanced color of the red sandstone.

three towers covered with carvings (click to enlarge)
three towers covered with carvings (click to enlarge)

This photo of the corner of the center tower shows some of the carvings covering the towers.

carvings on red sandstone
intricate carvings cover the tower walls

The red sandstone of the towers supports delicate carvings that have survived outdoors for a thousand years. The devata below is a standing maiden.

carving (click to enlarge)
carving (click to enlarge)
doorway and lintel at Banteay Srei
doorway and lintel at Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei is a real treat to see — the delicate carvings and red color are beautiful and amazingly well preserved considering they’ve been outdoors for a thousand years.


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I enjoy travel, art, food, photography, nature, California native plants, history, and yoga. I am a retired software engineer. The gravatar is a Nuttall's woodpecker that visited our backyard.

4 thoughts on “Carvings of Banteay Srei”

  1. It’s amazing to see how well-preserved Banteay Srei’s reliefs are. There are also ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples in Indonesia, but most of them fell victim to the elements. Human intervention is needed to conserve them.


  2. Thank you. From this paper,

    red sandstone weathers better than white sandstone, and tree cover also reduces weathering. This says that we should cover the buildings to reduce weathering.


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