The magic of Angkor Wat and magnificent Cambodian temples like Ta Prohm and Bayon is all in the details: richly-carved female devata and apsara bas-relief figures, a visiting Buddhist monk clad in a tangerine-colored robe spotted amid the grey structures, a handsome horse wearing a bejeweled bridle in Angkor Wat’s fore.
Continue reading “Photo du Jour: A Bejeweled Horse – Angkor Wat, Cambodia”
The 1,796 female figures rendered in sandstone on Angkor Wat’s pillars and walls have weathered war, and a harsh tropical environment for more than 800 years. I was first struck by the beauty and individuality of these devatas in 2009, during my first visit to Angkor Wat, which is the largest religious building in the world. During a subsequent visit to Cambodia last month, I was just as intrigued.
How many artisans did it take to carve these bas-relief figures? Are they modeled after real women of centuries past? If they could speak, what stories would they tell?
Continue reading “The Devatas and Apsaras of Angkor Wat in Black & White”