Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Asuras or demons, at the South Gate entrance to Angkor Thom. Identifiable by their grimaces and fierce visage, the demons are in direct confrontation with the gods for the elixir of life that springs from the Churning of the Sea of Milk. The number of demons and gods are the same on the South Gate causeway, though there's a difference when you view the same scene on the walls of Angkor Wat - in that famous bas-relief there are 92 asuras and 88 gods. Never a good idea to have more demons than good guys in my view. Just below the demons is the moat that encircles Angkor Thom, approximately 3km in length on each of the four sides. The demons and gods both grip the naga tightly, which is also meant to represent a link between the world of men (outside the temple) and the world of the gods (inside).