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.
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
Le Musée Cernuschi in Paris hosts Discovering Angkor, rare photos of Khmer civilization temples in 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 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.
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.
First published in 1944, “The Monuments of the Angkor Group” remains one of the most comprehensive guidebooks with suggested itineraries, maps and photos.