Subscribe Search

Search form

Temple Watch: Heavenly topless bodies

Temple Watch: Heavenly topless bodies

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Legend has it that the Apsara dance figures commonly seen around Angkor, were originally water nymphs that arose from the Ocean of Milk. They were thought to have been sent by the Hindu God Indra to seduce holy men. Tens of thousands of these dancers worked and performed at the temples in Angkorian times and entertained the men after hours. The Apsara became an important feature of Khmer temple art between the eighth and 13th centuries. They are often depicted dancing or flying across the heavens. With slim, wasp-like waists, beautiful costumes, jewellery, headdresses and exposed breasts, they represent an idealised female form. Those seen at the dance shows in Siem Reap and elsewhere are more modestly dressed. Many Apsaras are not dancing or flying across the heavens, but standing in niches or in groups. The standing Apsaras are generally known as devatas. This is a generic name for minor Hindu deities, so strictly speaking the term Apsaras is more appropriate. Some of the best examples of Apsaras are in Angkor Wat, with notable examples at the Bayon and Halls of the Dancers in Preah Khan.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Hun Sen says Montagnards don’t exist in Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen once again attacked ex-opposition leader Sam Rainsy for pledging “autonomy” to Montagnards, claiming – seemingly incorrectly – the ethnic minority does not exist in Cambodia. “We respect all minorities such as Jarai, Steang, Phnong, but we have never had Montagnards,” the premier said