Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Looking out from the forest

The central tower of Prasat Yeay Chy
This is Prasat Yeay Chy, one of nine satellite temples that surround the main temple complex of Banteay Chhmar in northwest Cambodia. It has fared as well, or not so well depending on your point of view, as the main temple. The central face tower has just two of its four faces remaining intact, the other two lie in pieces on the floor of the temple. Its gopura is broken and in ruins and the forest is trying its best to reclaim the area. On the wall of the gopura are some fading examples of female devata as well as other smaller buddhist figures etched into the sandstone but I couldn't find any lintels in situ. The undergrowth makes investigating the temple area a challenge but it wouldn't be a temple adventure without a problem or two, one of which is the giant red ants that don't give you a chance to stand still for too long. Yeay Chy is one of four satellite temples with their face towers still standing, Prasat Samnang Tasok being another, and the location of our overnight tented accommodation, whilst Prasat Ta Prohm, located just behind the village of Banteay Chhmar, has been cleared of much of its vegetation and is considerably easier to visit.
The weather-worn devatas on the gopura wall
The eastern face of the central tower at Prasat Yeay Chy
The central tower is still surrounded by quite dense vegetation
The inside of the central tower, which is pretty ruined
The north face of the central towers peeps out from the forest of trees
The north face of Prasat Yeay Chy

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