Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei, 'Citadel of the Women,' is the reason I came back to Cambodia and Angkor. In 1995, the rag-tag ends of the Khmer Rouge still held sway here in the north and it wasn't safe to visit this temple, which is on the outskirts a few kilometers from the main Angkor complex. In fact, weeks before we went in 1995, a woman had hired a driver and guard, in defiance of advice to the contrary, to get to this complex and they all paid for it with their lives

Built int he second half of the 10th century under Kings Rajendravarman II and Jayavarman V, it is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva

Made of multicolored local sandstone, the complex is small and delicate, but glows with light

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