Angkor Wat: Gods Vs. Asuras Bas-Relief – Indra Riding Airavata

Indra riding Airavata depicted in the Gods Vs. Asuras bas-relief carved in the lower-level gallery of the Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Indra riding Airavata depicted in the Gods Vs. Asuras bas-relief

Indra riding Airavata
The image shows a section of the Gods Vs. Asuras bas-relief depicting a battle scene in which Indra, the king of the heaven and devas (demigods), fighting the asuras (demons). This bas-relief is carved on the western section of the north gallery located on the perimeter of the lower level of the Angkor Wat Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Check the Angkor Wat Temple Layout for the exact location of the Battle between Gods Vs. Asuras bas-relief. Read the Angkor Wat Bas-Reliefs page for a detailed description of this and other bas-reliefs.

As you can see from the image, Indra is standing majestically on top of his vahana (vehicle), an elephant named Airavata. It appears both the Indra and Airavata are in a battle mode. Sitting in front of him is the mahout goading the elephant to move forward with an ankusha, a pointed tool with a hook used in India and Southeast Asia for controlling and training elephants. Indra is wielding his signature weapon, Vajrayuda, with his right hand while holding a defensive shield with his left hand. Surrounding Indra and Airavata are the devas and asuras engaged in hand-to-hand combat.

Indra is also one of the Ashta Dikpalas (guardians of the eight directions), and his job is to guard the east direction.

Check this Ashta Dikpala painting from the Hampi Virupkasha Temple Murals for a description of all eight dikpalas.

Gods Vs. Asuras Images
Vishnu Riding Garuda
Varuna Riding Makara
Kartikeya (Skanda) Riding a Peacock
Brahma in a Cocoon
Multi-headed Asura Riding a Chariot

Indra Related Images
Burning of Khandava Forest – Indra Dousing the Fire Set by Agni – East Library Facade of the Banteay Srei Temple
Indra Riding Airavata – A bas-relief on the pediment of the gopura at the entrance
Indra with his Consort Indrani – Outer wall of the Somanathapura Keshava Temple in Karnataka, India

Related Pages
Angkor Wat, Angkor Wat Bas-Reliefs, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei
Phnom Kulen, Tonlé Sap, Cambodia
Bali, Prambanan, Borobudur, Indonesia

Copyright © 2020 by Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.

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