Banteay Srei: Krishna killing Kamsa, a scene from Mahabharata depicted on the west-facing facade of the north library

Krishna killing Kamsa, a scene from Mahabharata depicted on the west-facing facade of the north library

Krishna killing Kamsa, a scene from Mahabharata depicted on the west-facing facade of the north library

Krishna killing Kamsa
The image shows the facade of the north library situated near the entrance of the innermost enclosure of the Banteay Srei Temple located 16 miles northeast of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

As you can see from the image, there are three levels of pediments above the beautifully decorated doorway. The top two pediments are almost empty except for the enclosing decoration.

The lowest level pediment has a detailed bas-relief portraying Krishna killing Kamsa, a scene based on a well-known episode taken from the Hindu epic Mahabharata. As seen in the bas-relief, Krishna is holding Kamsa’s hair and is trying to behead him with a sword.

Kamsa, the King of Mathura and maternal uncle of Krishna, feared Krishna would kill him because of a prophecy that foretold his death at the hands of the eighth child of his sister Devaki. Krishna happens to be her eighth child.

After failing to kill Krishna by other means, Kamsa invites Krishna and his brother Balarama for a wrestling match with his top wrestlers at his court. When Krishna and Balarama defeat the wrestlers, Kamsa gets furious and attacks Krishna with a sword. Krishna then grabs the sword from Kamsa and beheads him, thus fulfilling the prophecy.

Related Pages
Banteay Srei, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Ta Prohm, Phnom Kulen, Tonle Sap, Cambodia
Bali, Prambanan, Borobudur, Indonesia

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