Banteay Srei: Gaja Lakshmi, Vishnu’s Wife and the Goddess of Wealth

Gaja Lakshmi, Vishnu's wife and the goddess of wealth, depicted on the west-facing pediment of the east gopura of the middle enclosure

Gaja Lakshmi, Vishnu’s wife and the goddess of wealth, depicted on the west-facing pediment of the east gopura of the middle enclosure

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Gaja Lakshmi
The image shows the west-facing pediment of the east gopura situated on the perimeter of the middle enclosure of the Banteay Srei Temple located 16 miles northeast of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The bas-relief depicts Gaja Lakshmi – one of the eight avatars of Lakshmi – sitting on a lotus flower flanked by two gajas (elephants in Sanskrit) showering her with water and food. Lakshmi is Vishnu’s wife and the goddess of wealth in Hindu mythology. 

The lintel depicts Uluka the Owl as the vahana (vehicle) of Lakshmi. Uluka is not Lakshmi’s vahana everywhere. In temples scenes in India and Southeast Asia, Lakshmi is often portrayed with an elephant as her vahana.

Visit: Banteay Srei and Cambodia

Copyright © 2017-2018 Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.

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