Located in Cambodia, the Banteay Srei Temple (otherwise known as the Banteay Srey Temple) is a Hindu temple dating to the tenth century. The name when translated means the ‘Citadel of Beauty’. Situated in Cambodia’s famous Angkor region, near the renowned Phnom Dei Hill, the temple is dedicated to Shiva, the Hindu deity. The Banteay Srei Temple is primarily made up of red sandstone and is a prime example of the Khmer architectural style and is sometimes referred to as the ‘Jewel of Khmer Art’. Small in size, especially when compared to other temples in the Angkor region, the temple’s walls are decorated with ornate carvings that have been well preserved through the ages.
The Banteay Srei Temple was constructed in 967 by a courtier called Yajnavaraha, who served king Rajendravarman II as a counsellor. When the temple was built there was a town named Isvarapura that surrounded it. However, the town no longer exists. Since it was built, the ancient temple has undergone many changes, most notably a series of expansions and reconstructions in the eleventh century, and these changes are reflected in its varied architectural styles. The temple was eventually abandoned in the fourteenth century and was only rediscovered again in 1914.
Since its rediscovery the Banteay Srei Temple has become one of the most popular attractions in the country. Despite the best efforts of the government at preserving the remains, there have been cases of vandalism and looting. Some statues, including one of Shiva, have been removed and put in museums (although replicas can be found in their place). Tourists who want to see the originals can head over to the National Museum located in the capital, Phnom Penh.
Tourists who want to enjoy Cambodia’s Angkor Archaeological Park can head over to Siem Reap, which is one of the main access points. Those planning on visiting here and are on the lookout for a good hotel Siem Reap will enjoy staying at the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor. The Siem Reap hotel offers elegantly decorated rooms and enjoys a convenient location. Sitting on around fifteen acres of land, the hotel is a quiet haven where guests can rest and unwind after a day of sightseeing.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.