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Ornately carved central tower entrance at Banteay Srei Temple with guardian statue

A guardian statue kneels in front of the entrance to an ornately carved central tower entrance at Banteay Srei Temple. Seen behind the statue is a closed "false door" created of stone for the passage of deities only. The original doors used by Khmer worshippers were made of wood and long ago deteriorated in the humid, tropical weather.

The statue of the male guardian nature spirit (known as a "yaksa") is missing its right arm. Many of the original Angkor area temple statues are safely stored in museums with replicas on display at the outdooe temple sites. In small niches to the sides of the door are female deities (known as "devata") who signify fertility and good blessings.

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