Banteay Srei Temple in Siem Reap Guide:
A much smaller and more beautiful alternative or addition to your Angkor Temple Tour itinerary would be the Banteay Srei Temple, a 10th Century temple dedicated to God Tribhuvanamaheshvara.
Probably the only temple to be built by a non-royal dignitary of the Khmer Empire, Banteay Srei might be smaller than Angkor Wat or the Angkor Thom temples but it is definitely much more ornate with finely sculpted walls, lintels and pediments; its small structure especially in the face of Angkor grandiose gives it a fairy-tale ambience.
Built of red sandstone, which makes the intricate carvings standout so much better, Banteay Srei is a jewel of Khmer art with intricately carved apsaras, which lend the temple the pseudonym, ‘Citadel of Women’, and intricately crafted pediments depicting stories and legends of Shaivism and Vishnuism throughout the three enclosures and the inner libraries.
Scenes depicted include the scene from the Shivapuran, when Ravana lifts Mount Kailash, Lord Shiva’s abode from its very foundations and shakes it; the lion-man Narasiṃha clawing the demon Hiranyakasipu; and the mythical scene of Lord Indra causing rain to put out the fire in the Khāṇḍava Forest that was ignited by Lord Agni to kill the naga King Taksaka.