Banteay Srei is a 10th century Cambodian temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Located in the area of Angkor in Cambodia. It lies near the hill of Phnom Dei, 25 kilometres north-east of the main group of temples that once belonged to the medieval capitals of Yasodharapura and Angkor Thom. Banteay Srei is built largely of red sandstone, a medium that lends itself to the elaborate decorative wall carvings which are still observable today. The buildings themselves are miniature in scale, unusually so when measured by the standards of Angkorian construction. These factors have made the temple extremely popular with tourists, and have led to its being widely praised as a precious gem or the jewel of Khmer art. Banteay Srei is the modern name of a 10th century Khmer temple originally called “Tribhuvanamahesvara” (Great Lord of the Threefold World) an appellation of the god Siva. Consecrated on the 22nd of April, 967 A.D, Banteay Srei was the only major temple at Angkor not built by a monarch; its construction is credited to a courtier named Yajnavaraha, who served as a counsellor to king Rajendravarman II. The temple’s modern name, Banteay Srei – citadel of the women, or citadel of beauty – is probably related to the intricacy of the bas relief carvings found on the walls and the tiny dimensions of the buildings themselves.
Photograph taken with Nikon D100 & 12-24mm lens at 12mm on 26th January 2005