Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wat Phu's southern palace

Sitting atop the southern palace at Wat Phu is the site's architect, Seng
The southern palace at Wat Phu, located a dozen kilometres from the nearest town of Champasak in Southern Laos, is constructed of sandstone but like the northern palace is regarded as off-limits to visitors with at least two of its doorways propped up by wooden structural supports. Construction took place here in the 11th and 12th centuries and the lintels, pediments and gables are identical to its imposing neighbour. As we were leaving the site we met Seng, Wat Phu's chief architect, who was drawing one of the naga antefix's you can see in the above photo.
Wooden supports keep this lintel of Vishvakarma and kala in place
An identical scene is repeated in this decorative pediment
Almost an exact copy of a wall at Angkor Wat and other temples of that era with its balustered windows
Vishvakarma holds court in this pediment that needs wooden supports to keep it in place
A beautifully carved lintel with Vishvakarma is broken in half and in imminent danger of collapse
Another good example of a Vishvakarma lintel still in situ on the southern palace
This pediment and lintel are above the western doorway of the southern palace
At the foot of most of the doorway colonettes are carvings of rishi, or wise men


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