Samre

Being built towards middle of 12th century, Banteay Samre is a medium-size ruin located on the east side of Angkor, away from the rest of the monuments. Visitors usually combined an excursion here to a visit to Banteay Srei. However, as I discovered, although Banteay Samre is on the way to¬†Banteay Srei, it isn’t that far out, so I visited it together with the ruins of the Small Circuit, such as Ta Prohm, Thommanon, etc. I know this is not the usual practise, but it works for me. As for Banteay Srei, I visited it combined with Kbal Spean.

Samre

Banteay Samre is not the most popular monument in Angkor, which is a shame because it is an exquisite example of Khmer art. Owning perhaps to its distance, not many people have been to it.

Banteay Samre is named after a people called Samre who lived at the foot of Mount Kulen. The people living in the village of Pradak (which you’d pass on your way to Banteay Samre) are said to be their descendents.

When Banteay Samre was discovered, it was overrun with vegetation. Restorers using anastylosis Рa restoration process of dismantling, reassembling and replacing vital lost pieces Рhas brought out the beauty of Banteay Samre. When I visited it with Chooi Yoke, we found that the temple was very well kept. The lawns were neat and tidy, and there were workers upkeeping the place.

Banteay Samre consists of an outer wall with four gopuras enclosing a courtyard. Raised within the courtyard is the second enclosure. There is an east and a west inner gopura that links to the gopuras of the outer wall. Steps lead steeply from the outer wall to the central courtyard. There is an seconde courtyard within the second enclosure. Detached within this inner courtyard are two structures which restorers called the “Libraries”. And then, right in the middle of the whole complex, is the Central Sanctuary.

Banteay Samre is not the most popular monument in Angkor, which is a shame because it is an exquisite example of Khmer art. Owning perhaps to its distance, not many people have been to it.

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