Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Time for T

Temple T's best lintel showing the Churning of the Sea of Milk. In the middle a 4-armed Vishnu dances.
Amongst the trees and a water-filled moat was Temple T. It was early afternoon, not a soul in sight and just some birdcalls as a backing soundtrack to my visit. This is the first of the five temples of the Preah Pithu group that sits to the northeast of the Royal Square in Angkor Thom and sees practically no visitors. Occasionally the Angkor elephants come here for a dip in the moat but not on this day. The five temples have no names, just letters and numbers (Temple T is Monument 481). They were built in the 12-13th century. Temple T's approach is via a terrace with nice naga balustrades that lead onto a three-tier foundation topped by a shrine, without a roof. On the grassy floor surrounding the shrine are fallen lintels and carvings that house a few gems, whilst the tower itself has a few devatas in various states of disrepair. The best lintel I could find amongst the stone fragments was a Churning of the Sea of Milk lintel that was difficult to make out due to weathering and the lichen covering the carving. I moved onto Temple U that sits closeby.
The small sandstone pyramid of Temple T in the afternoon shade
A white-faced devata on the wall of the ruined shrine at the top of Temple T
A fragment of a kala lintel on the ground at Temple T
Two dancing figures on a decorative stone
Another kala figure devouring garlands of flowers with a beheaded figure sat on top

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