Anyone who has visited the Angkor region knows that Angkor Wat is a magnificent structure, deserving of all the accolades that have been heaped on it. But somewhere in the north, there is a small temple named Banteay Srei that will steal your heart.
Banteay Srei or Citadel of Women was built in the 10th Century and is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. It was discovered in 1914 and was the first Angkorian temple to be restored successfully using a method called, anastylosis. It is located in the northern region of Angkor, far away from the main clusters of temples and will take about 45 minutes from Angkor Wat to reach Banteay Srei. You can also hire one of the tuk-tuks to take you or a bicycle to cycle there.
Banteay Srei is an unusually tiny temple, when compared to the massive superstructures of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. From afar, it almost looks like a toy that was presented to an ancient Khmer princess to play in. But what it lacks in size, it makes up in beauty. This petite temple is built with pink sandstone, laterite and bricks, giving the complex red and pink tones, making it a delight to photograph. Every inch of the temple is also filled with the most intricate carving of scenes from the Ramayana that you can ever find in Angkor.
Although it is slightly out of the way, Banteay Srei should not be missed by anyone visiting the Angkor Region.