The second temple in our series of “Two Days in Angkor Wat,” was Banteay Srei. I was immediately taken by this temple, but when I learned that Banteay Srei means citadel of the women, or citadel of beauty, I was even more in love. Built out of red sand stone, a medium that lends itself to elaborate wall carvings, Banteay Srei is absolutely stunning and considered a jewel of Khmer art.
DAY 1: Temple 2 – Banteay Srie
Banteay Srei is filled with beautiful and intricate relief carvings throughout the temple’s grounds. Unfortunately, when the temple was rediscovered in 1914, it was subject to severe art theft in 1923. However, the main instigator of the theft was eventually caught, persecuted and the pieces were returned to their rightful home.
Visiting Banteay Srei aka the women’s citadel was a picture of grace, beauty and the celebration of the female form. I adored visiting this temple. It is one of the further temples to visit (and therefore most guides/drivers will charge you a little extra to visit), but worth the drive. A benefit to Banteay Srei’s distance is that it is a wonderful spot to watch the sunrise and avoid the masses of tourists. For more info on options for getting around Angkor Wat, I discuss them in my first post of the series, here.
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