Banteay Srei: Burning of Khandava Forest – An episode from Mahabharata depicted on the east-facing north library pediment

Burning of Khandava Forest - An episode from Mahabharata depicted on the east-facing north library pediment

Burning of Khandava Forest – An episode from Mahabharata depicted on the east-facing north library pediment

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Burning of Khandava Forest
The bas-relief portrays a scene from the Burning of Khandava Forest episode described in the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

At the top of the bas-relief is Indra, who is seen riding a three-headed elephant named Airavata, trying to put out the fire set by Agni by bringing down the rain. The bas-relief depicts a layer of water underneath Indra to show that he is bringing down the rain.

Below the layer of water, there are two layers of arrows preventing the rain from coming down. These are created by Arjuna, who is seen standing at the lower-left side on a chariot with the bow on his left hand and arrows on his right hand.

On the lower-right side is Krishna, who is seen holding the Sudarshana Chakra on his right hand, preventing animals, asuras, and Takshaka’s (naga king) family escaping the Khandava Forest.

The pediment shown in the image belongs to the north library situated inside the innermost enclosure of the Banteay Srei Temple located 16 miles northeast of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Visit: Bantaey Srei and Cambodia

Copyright © 2018 by Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.

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