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Banteay Srei

Angkor, Cambodia

Temple of the Women

Nestled deep in the forests northeast of the main Angkor complex lies the exquisite Banteay Srei temple. Built in 967 AD, it is considered the birthplace of classical Khmer architecture due to its intricate decorative carvings in red sandstone. Dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, Banteay Srei's original name Isvarapura means "the citadel of the god". Despite its modest size, the remarkable quality of Banteay Srei's artistry has earned it an additional moniker - "the jewel of Khmer art". Legends abound of stories of its construction, many lending to the precision of women; however, most scholars believe the reality is that the finely detailed carvings took decades of painstaking labor by highly skilled artisans.

Today, Banteay Srei remains one of the most studied and celebrated temples in Angkor thanks to its impeccable state of preservation and intricate decorative carvings. The name means "Citadel of Women" in modern Khmer and has stuck, though historians posit this etymological legend emerged centuries after construction. Exploring this small temple rewards those taking time to marvel at every little detail, from the ornate libraries, finely crafted pediments, to battle scenes, all carved with astounding complexity. It is surely one of the most beautiful complexes in all of Angkor, with its luster scarcely fading through the ages.


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Nestled deep within the forests northeast of the main Angkor complex, situated at the base of Phnom Dei hill.


Constructed in 967 AD during the reign of King Rajendravarman II, predating Angkor Wat by around two centuries.


Originally named Isvarapura, meaning "citadel of Shiva". Dedicated as a Hindu temple to the god Shiva.


Remarkably well-preserved with intricate decorative carvings in red  sandstone. Considered the birthplace of classical Khmer architecture  style.


Banteay Srei

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Temple of the Women


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