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Banteay Samre Temple
Banteay Samre Temple

Date:                           Built in early twelfth century

Religion:                    Hinduism

King:                           Suryavarman II (1112-1150)

Posthumous name:   Paramavishnuloka


This monument that takes its name from the Samre people is found to the east of the earth embankment forming the eastern wall of the East Baray. There is a legend connecting the naming of this monument with a farmer who mistakenly killed the king then ascended the throne.
Style
Banteay Samre is a short temple with very intricate carvings, designed with three rows of galleries. Those galleries were designed separately from each other. Banteay Samre has only one tower built of sandstone.
Banteay Samre has a long walkway to the east measuring 250m long. This walkway has very similar style to the walkway of Angkor Wat. There were Naga and Nagin balustrades all along but today they only remains a little.
There’s also dirt walkway to the west of the temple.
 
There is a sandstone platform to the east with several lion statues in an action of guarding. These lion statues also have similar style to Angkor Wat lion. The tails of these lions were stolen as they were made of useful metal.
 
Its first gallery is 83m by 77m. It still has laterite wall and well preserved gray sandstone pillars, window frames. Its roof was originally covered with wooden structure with red tile roof. The second gallery 44m by 38m built of laterite and sandstone.
 
Banteay Samre has unique deeply carvings. It is interesting to note that many scenes on the pediments of the upper levels have been identified as episodes from the Vessantara Jataka. The presence of Buddhist scenes in a Hindu temple and the fact that in some places certain sculpted motifs, probably also Buddhist, have been mutilated makes a statement about the religious tolerance of the monument's patron.

Central area
What makes the tourist feel so interested to visit Banteay Samre is the balcony terrace flanking by Naga balustrades which is a unique style of this temple.
 
The windows of this temple have unsealed window with double rows of bars. The frames of those windows are decorated with carvings of Jasmine flower buds that we’ve ever seen in other temples.There’re also two libraries inside this temple.
 
There is a stone coffin in the central tower thta was found in 1930. We’ve known that the ancient Khmer people kept dead body of important people at least one year, before the cremation ceremony was held.
 
There was originally a Vishnu statue at the central tower. Unfortunately, many sculptures and carvings of this temple were stolen from 1945-1947 and again from 1980-1995 during the Cambodia civil war.
 
 
 

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