Photographer's Note

Pediments in Banteay Srei are large in comparison to entrances, and are in a sweeping gabled shape. For the first time in Khmer architecture, whole scenes appear on the pediments.

In this pediment, Indra (the Hindu God of weather & war & Lord of heaven, riding Airavata and surrounded by pleading worshippers) produces rain in order to extinguish a fire in the Khandava forest. This action is opposed by Krishna and his brother Balarama (bottom right and left, standing on chariots), who are sending their arrows skywards to prevent the rain from reaching the ground. The arrows fly so close together that they form a kind of roof, supported by a line of hamsas, between Indra's waters (horizontal wavy lines) and the forest below. At the center, nagas attempt to escape the fire and rejoin Indra's waters by climbing the roof of arrows, while forest animals that include monkeys, elephants, lions, and deer cower fearfully below.

This shot is my tribute to the superb workmanship of the Khmer artists of the 10th century. Though ravaged over time, the restoration done to this wonderful temple allow us to see the magnificient works eleven centuries after they were created.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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