Banteay Samre

Published on 02 June 2015 04:16 AM Post By ៖ Apsara National Authority
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.

Anastylosis transformed this monument with its well-preserved exceptional ornamentation. Dated to shortly after Angkor Vat, its compact, well-balanced proportions echo other monuments of the period such as Beng Mealea and Chau Say Tevoda.Viewed from the east, the approach is by a 200 metre causeway paved in laterite and bordered by a naga balustrade in the style of Angkor Vat.

The imposing external laterite enclosure wall must have formed, one of the walls of a tile-covered gallery joining a gopura that would have been far more impressive than the existing projecting entrance with portico.

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. Few temples present an iconography so complete and in such an excellent state of preservation, and particular attention should be given to the following scenes:

A stone tank, with a hole pierced in the top of it and with a drainage channel in the bottom, has also been restored and placed in the large room adjacent to the central sanctuary. It is considered to be some form of sarcophagus, enabling the procedure of periodic ablution of mortal remains which were placed here.

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