Ta Som Temple Devata Goddesses Depict Sacred Khmer Women in Cambodia

Ta Som Temple Devata Goddesses
Perhaps her distant grandmother is portrayed in the ancient temple nearby?

By Kent Davis

The Khmer temple of Ta Som is located northeast of the walled city of Angkor Thom and east of the water temple of Neak Pean. Ta Som Temple Devata Goddesses

King Jayavarman VII built Ta Som late in the 12th century and dedicated it to his father, King Dharanindravarman II, who ruled the Khmer Empire from 1150 to 1160 following the death of King Suryavarman II.

Like most Khmer temples, Ta Som is filled with standing female images called devata (or tevoda, tevada), and flying or dancing female divinities called apsara (or apsarases, apsaras).

At first glance the women appear similar, but upon close examination one sees that each is unique and features her own special attributes. Some display attributes and abilities that characterize them as divine. Others seem to be earthly women fulfilling sacred duties.

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