Temple Watch: Heavily armed gods

Temple Watch: Heavily armed gods

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Hindu gods feature prominently in Khmer religion and art. By far, the most well known is Vishnu the Creator, commonly seen in benign poses with four arms. But there are many incidences where Vishnu the Supreme God has eight or more.  These multi-armed depictions are symbols of dominance or war. A four-armed Vishnu is featured creating the celestial ocean of milk in the eastern gallery of Angkor Wat. The most impressive Vishnu statue at Angkor has eight arms and is found to the right of the western gallery entrance of Angkor Wat. The statue had been repaired in the past with a concrete reproduction of the head that had been lost. The original head and body were reunited in 2003. The reclining Vishnu at Kbal Spean was brutally hacked off the rock in 2003, and an ugly scar remained until it was replaced in August 2006. My favourite Vishnu images, carved in brick, can be seen at the small temple of Prasat Kravan to the south east of the Grand Circuit. He is depicted with eight arms in the central sanctuary tower. Vishnu can be seen to either side, riding on a garuda (half-man, half-bird) and spanning the universe.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • Chinese living in Kingdom more than doubles since ’17

    The number of Chinese nationals living in Cambodia this year has increased to more than 210,000. The figure rose from last year’s 100,000, the newly appointed Secretary of State Sok Phal confirmed yesterday. He said: “Of the 210,000, more than 78,000 are living in Preah Sihanouk [province], but