The northern face tower of Prasat Samnang Tasok, at Banteay Chhmar
I promised to bring you some more photos from Banteay Chhmar. So here they are. Well actually, they are photos from Prasat Samnang Tasok
, one of the nine satellite temples that surround the main complex at Banteay Chhmar. It is one of four standing satellite temples with the Bayon-like faces. The other remaining satellite temples may've had them in the past, but they are now in disrepair and all trace of the faces have disappeared. Samnang Tasok is essentially a gate-tower, such as you'd find at the city of Angkor Thom, standing to the east of the main complex, amidst dense vegetation and undergrowth, with a ruined gopura nearby. In fact we camped next to its moat and you wouldn't have known there was a temple inside the dense foliage until you walked inside and saw the faces peering directly at you. There's something about these giant faces that have captured my imagination since I first saw them at Angkor Thom, oh so many years ago. 1994 to be precise. I truly believe that they belong to the god-king Jayavarman VII. I don't have any evidence, just my gut-feeling. Probably, because I want
them to be of Jayavarman. They are an incredible legacy from the Angkor Empire and everything should be done to protect and preserve them whilst they are still in situ. One of the face towers in the central complex has already collapsed, this cannot be allowed to happen again. I'm pleased to see conservation efforts are being undertaken at Banteay Chhmar, there is much to do and I hope one of their priorities is to ensure the stability of all the face towers.
The blind doorway and northern face at Prasat Samnang Tasok The decoration is still visible around the north face of the gate-tower The western face is in a much poorer condition and will only get worse without restoration The doorway and western face of Prasat Samnang Tasok This is the southern face of the gate-tower The southern (left) and eastern faces of Samnang Tasok at Banteay Chhmar A longer shot of the southern and eastern faces at the satellite temple, east of the main complex
Labels: Banteay Chhmar, Prasat Samnang Tasok