October 4, 2010

South Gate Angkor Thorn- depiction of a Hindu myth

Location: Devas at South Gate, Angkor Thorn, Siem Reap, Cambodia (13° 26′ 35.89″ N, 103° 51′ 34.85″ E)
Date: 13 November 2002; 11.40am
Camera: Canon G1

Angkor Thorn is within the Angkor Wat complex of Siem Reap, so to speak. It is however, not actually part of Angkor Wat- it is in fact the last capital of the Khmer kingdom. Visitors to Angkor Wat will probably not bother to make such a distinction; it is after all part of a visit to Angkor Wat. There are several distinguishing features of Angkor Thorn but the row of statutes lining the length of the entrance to the South Gate is one of the more enduring. On the left are the gods while on the right are the demons, or asuras. They are supposed to be engaged in a tug-of-war holding on to the seven-headed serpent, or naga. This is a depiction of the Hindu creation myth, Churning of the Ocean of Milk, which is also shown on the bas-relief of Angkor Wat.

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