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.
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.
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.
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 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.
New South Korean Road Protects Angkor Temples. The government of South Korea has offered to fund a new road that will protect the temples.
Chau Say Tevoda Khmer Devata Temple Reopens. Visitors can again see angels (devata) on earth as the Chau Say Tevoda Khmer devata temple reopens.
Anna Maria Island is home to Kent Davis, one of the world’s few researchers working exclusively on Angkor Wat. Davis is compiling a database tracking the characteristics of every woman portrayed at the temple.
Michel Jacq-Hergoualc’h’s artistic and analytical milestone is a fascinating resource for Khmerophiles everywhere, as well as for readers interested in ancient warfare in general. The Armies of Angkor Military Structure and Weaponry of the Khmers Book Review