Brahma, the god of creation, with 4 faces and the remains of 4 arms, at Koh Ker
I was only at Koh Ker
for a couple of hours of daylight on Monday of this week - I was testing out Hanuman's safari tents - but made a discovery amongst the trees and bushes which I failed to see on any of my previous visits to the former Khmer capital of the 10th century. It was a hunch that turned into a goldmine when I located a series of rockbed bas-relief carvings at the site, which number around 100 individually carved figures, representing all of the major gods, including Vishnu, Indra, Shiva and Brahma. It looked like the area they were in had recently been cleared of vegetation so I'm assuming the majority of them have lain undisturbed for a long time. The bedrock in that corner of the site was sandstone and the figures had been carved facing a small pond known as Trapeang Ang Khnar lying closeby; the bas-reliefs were in two locations, one of which had clearly acted as a quarry for some of the material that was used in constructing the nearby temples. I'll post more photos in due course, but here's a taster of these carvings, which reminded me of other rockface carvings at Kbal Spean and on Phnom Kulen.
Eight figures carved into the sandstone bedrock include hermits and the odd god or two
Labels: Koh Ker