Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In transit

Two of the 40 heavenly devata on the walls of the east gopura of Angkor Wat
After my first-ever visit to the north gopura of the 4th enclosure, I headed to the opposite side of the sprawling Angkor Wat temple complex to visit the south gopura, also for the first-time, stopping briefly at the east gopura along the way. I literally jumped off the moto to snap a few pictures and will spend more time at this entranceway on my next visit to the temple. In the meantime, here's a few pictures of some of the delights awaiting you at the east gopura, often used as the back door to waiting transport for the hordes that file through the main temple each day. The forty devata at this gate are some of the best at Angkor Wat, rivalling the women on display around the central tower sanctuary at the very top of the temple. They are all crowned and their jewelry is abundant which would imply that this gate was used by powerful people and for important ceremonies in its heyday. To get a much better understanding of the important role played by the women on the walls of Angkor Wat, you must read Kent Davis' website Devata.org - absolutely fascinating stuff. My south gopura photos will follow later today.
This pediment at the east gateway shows Yama on his buffalo and two rows of worshippers
Two more of the devata at the east gopura of Angkor Wat
The mysterious devata of the east gopura, crowned and in pairs
Heavily decorated devata of the east gopura, with eyes and mouth open
A broken pediment on the ground shows a line of worshippers in prayer, probably from the lower register of the pediment

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Kent Davis said...

Andy, I love a researcher who counts his devata...especially when the numbers match mine! Whew! (-:

I just added structural counts to our website yesterday http://www.devata.org/?p=670

Soon, we'll have blueprints of each section so visitors can pinpoint locations for women in their photos.

By the way, your photos are terrific! That's a difficult area to shoot with all the shade. Thanks for sharing!

February 18, 2009 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Kent,
I'm not the researcher you think I am....I must 'fess up to not counting the Devata at the East Gopura as I simply didn't have enough time. Its a gate I must return to to photograph properly. I used the number, 40, from your own site as I know you have painstakingly researched all the gopuras and everywhere else.
Don't think too badly of me :-)
Andy

February 18, 2009 at 9:00 PM  

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