Just one hundred miles to the south, the Khmer civilization sanctified thousands of female images on the walls of their most important temples, both Hindu and Buddhist. But here, in what is now modern day Thailand, only two devata remain, fulfilling a mysterious spiritual mission long since forgotten.
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). Ta Som temple devata goddesses depict Sacred Khmer women in Cambodia
Sacred images of Khmer women still dominate and protect the temple with their auspicious presence. Many stand hidden in shadowed alcoves, seen by few visitors. Preah Khan Khmer temple devata goddesses
These photos reveal a few of the “Devata of Darkness”: images of Cambodia’s sacred women called devata — sometimes inaccurately referred to as apsaras — hidden from the light of day in passages beneath the collapsed structure. Preah Khan temple Khmer devata goddesses of darkness
Researcher Kent Davis theorizes that the many carved images of women found throughout the temple complex hold the key to the origins and purpose of the ancient monuments. Mysterious Khmer Devata Goddesses-Who were the Women of Angkor Wat?
Today acolytes are few, but sacred images of Khmer women still abound, protecting the temple with their auspicious presence.
Who were the six sisters of the Angkor Wat devata at Wat Athvea? South of Siem Reap the small temple enshrines six 12th century goddesses.
The ancient queens of Jayavarman VII, Indradevi and Jayarajadevi, guided the Khmer civilization bringing education, health, spirituality and enlightenment to 12th century Southeast Asia.
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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. Little is known of the history and purpose of Ta Som.