Siem Reap, Cambodia – This huge temple city, once a Buddhist university filled with as many as 100,000 acolytes, now rests peacefully in the lush jungle of northern Cambodia.
Today acolytes are few, but sacred images of Khmer women still abound, protecting the temple with their auspicious presence.
Jayavarman VII and his queens Indradevi and Jayarajadevi built Preah Khan on the site of the Khmer victory over invading Chams in 1191. Its original name was Nagara Jayasri (holy city of victory). The modern name Preah Khan means “holy sword”. Like many Khmer temples, Preah Khan stands where previous royal palaces of King Yasovarman II and King Tribhuvanadityavarman may have stood.
The sacred woman in this photo gallery have been exposed to harsh tropical sun for more than 700 years but still retain their charm and mystery. For comparison, be sure to visit the other devata temple photo galleries.
The brilliant colors of the friendly Preah Khan devata pictured at the right are natural, but enhanced by increasing the camera’s color saturation.––