The Khmer civilization that grew to unify most of Southeast Asia between the 8th-14th centuries respected women. Today, we still see their temples filled with images of sacred women –termed devata, apsara or Khmer goddesses – who embody the feminine forces of the universe. While women and goddesses appear as icons in many ancient and modern societies, the Khmers gave sanctified women dominance over their state temples more consistently and more visibly than any other group.
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.
These Banteay Chhmar videos show the intriguing Khmer temple in Cambodia that remains mostly hidden by debris, 800 years after it was built.
In 1924, Khmerophile author and explorer George Groslier took the first automobile trip to Cambodia’s remote Khmer temple Banteay Chhmar.
Like Angkor Wat, the remote Banteay Chhmar temple, is the focus of multiple preservation efforts by UNESCO, Global Heritage Fund, Heritage Watch International and other groups in northwestern Cambodia.
The ancient queens of Jayavarman VII, Indradevi and Jayarajadevi, guided the Khmer civilization bringing education, health, spirituality and enlightenment to 12th century Southeast Asia.
The group Heritage Watch protects Cambodian antiquities by educating visitors, and working with government agencies at key heritage sites.
“The Armies of Angkor: Military Structure and Weaponry of the Khmers” by Michel Jacq-Hergoualc’h. Armies of Angkor-Siam Society Review by Milton Osborne.
UNE MERVEILLEUSE CITE KHMERE – By George Groslier 1937. If one ventures to the north-western borders of Cambodia, one arrives in a region surrounded at right angles by the extreme western end of the Dangrek mountain chain.
The best photo index of Khmer temples in Cambodia and Thailand is available free thanks to the efforts of “Khmersearch,” a skilled (and generous) German photographer.