Saturday, July 5, 2008

Dvarapalas of Wat Phu

The best-preserved of the Dvarapala carvings at Wat Phu
Yesterday I brought you the Devatas of Wat Phu in southern Laos, today its the two Dvarapalas - door-keepers or guardians - that are carved on the front exterior eastern-facing wall of the main sanctuary on the upper level of the temple. They emphasize strength and power and protect the treasures within the sanctuary. In both carvings, the guardian is clasping a heavy mace as his weapon of choice and his hair is in the top-knot fashion with large earrings. There are other Dvarapala statues at Wat Phu but they are free-standing (or lying in the grass) compared to these fine examples.
Face and headdress detail of this Dvarapala at Wat Phu
Both hands clasp the heavy mace of the doorway guardians
A slightly damaged Dvarapala at Wat Phu's uppper level
Face and headdress in detailed close-up


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