A Spiritual Journey to the World Heritage Site: Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei

This is a well-researched and informative documentary by Rath Ary and Vijay Singh about the Sacred Temple of Shri Tribhuvan Maheshwar (the Great Lord of Three Worlds, or Lord Shiva) that is now known as Banteay Srei.

The temple was built around 25km north-east of the main Angkor complex in what is now Cambodia by the King Rajendravarman’s priest Yajnavaraha and is one of the only temples in Angkor that was not built by one of the Kings themselves.

The temple was inaugurated in 967 during the reign of Jayavarman V at a time when Indian influence of Khmer culture was at its height and shows how closely they followed the Indian traditions, and also how well they knew them, in all their intricacy.

Banteay Srei

Working from the surviving inscriptions the film provides an outline of the daily life of the temple and gives a lot of useful information pertaining to its function as a hermitage, educational and devotional center.

Presenting specially drawn plans of the temple and close ups of the friezes, together with the occasional animation, the film explains the sources of the mythological scenes which cover the walls and pediments of the buildings.

Banteay Srei

Most of the scenes are drawn from the great epics of India: the Mahābhārata, the Rāmāyaṇa and from the Purāṇas, and each of the scenes is explained in some detail, bringing the intricate friezes to life.

The film is narrated by Indira Mishra and O. P. Rathor, and has authentic chanting of Veda and Strota hymns by Suresh Wadkar and Ganesh & Shakti Singh, who also recite the ślokas found in the inscriptions.


If you want to follow up on the temple, there are over 40 high definition photographs at the Photo Dharma website, and also more information from the Wikipedia, together with a map showing its location.

 

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Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei

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