BANTEAY SREI TEMPLE
Banteay Srei temple is a 10th century Khmer temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Located in Ankor Areal, Banreay Srei Districk, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Banteay Srei temple is built largely of pink sandstone, a medium that lends itself to the elaborate decorative wall carvings which are still observable today.
Consecrated on 22 April 967 A.D., Banteay Srei temple was the only major temple at Angkor not built by a monarch; its construction is credited to a courtier named Yajnavaraha who served as a counsellor to king Rajendravarman II. The foundational stela says that Yajnavaraha, grandson of king Harsavarman I, was a scholar and philanthropist who helped those who suffered from illness, injustice, or poverty. His pupil was the future king Jayavarman V (r. 968- ca. 1001). Originally, the temple was surrounded by a town called Īśvarapura.
Yajñavarāha's temple was primarily dedicated to the Hindu god Śiva. Originally, it was carried the name Tribhuvanamaheśvara—great lord of the threefold world—in reference to the Shaivite linga that served as its central religious image. However, the temple buildings appear to be divided along the central east-west axis between those buildings located south of the axis, which are devoted to Śiva, and those north of the axis, which are devoted to Viṣṇu.
Banteay Srei Temple is a citadel of the women, or citadel of beauty—is probably related to the intricacy of the bas relief carvings found on the walls and the tiny dimensions of the buildings themselves. Some have speculated that it relates to the many devatas carved into the walls of the buildings.