In a tale that traces royal love, divine wisdom, treachery and betrayal, “Angkor – The Untold Story” depicts the passion of a woman so pure that the temple she helped build nearly a millennium ago still stands as a testament to her passion. In this production by the Apsaras Arts dance troupe of Singapore, Indian apsaras reveal the untold story of Angkor Wat in a spectacular performance that is a breathtaking homage to the art and heritage of Cambodia and India. The November 2013 Indian Festival of Esplanade showcases their presentation as its opening performance.
The Hindu temple of Angkor Wat enshrines nearly 2000 portraits of ancient Khmer women documented here in the Angkor Wat Devata Inventory.
This article is based on research presented by Trudy Jacobsen in her book “Lost Goddesses: The Denial of Female Power in the History of Cambodia”.
The women of Angkor Wat, frequently called devata and apsaras, are related to many divine, semi-divine and mortal Asian females.
On the towers above, serene faces gaze out over the jungle. But below, Jayavarman VII followed the example of King Suryavarman II by filling his monument with female energy. The portraits of sacred women, now called devata or apsaras depending on their style, surround the Bayon.
The small, elegant Khmer temple of Thommanon is located just outside the Gate of Victory that gives access to the ancient walled city of Angkor Thom from the east. Directly to its south is the small temple of Chau Say Tevoda, currently under restoration.
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
Cambodia’s great kings filled entire temples with sanctified images of women. Why do female images at Preah Khan dominate this extraordinary ancient temple? Khmer devata goddesses in the heart of Preah Khan temple
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