Thursday, 19 April 2012

Q: Queen

There have only been two Queens that have been documented during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, from the year 1181 AD and during that time were recognised as very good years. He was a great king leaving his stamp on Cambodian history.

King Jayavarman VII and his two Queens created a wonderful Khmer Empire. His first Queen Jayarajadevi was his first wife with incredible talent in architecture but later died and he married her sister Queen Indradevi, both sisters and devout Buddhists. The second queen was also an architect, they both advised in the structure and designs of  the temples. They nurtured social changes for the people of Cambodia helping in the organisation of religious education for the future generation. The king built different functions and memorials for his parents. They were great war leaders as a triad. Together with the King not only did  he cover architecture but places of education, hospitals and rest places for weary travellers. Wherever the king went his queen's were close behind him.

In 1989 the World Monument Fund spent a great deal of time and money doing such good work  to maintain this beautiful temple Preah Khan. They classified these two Queen's were apsaras or deities.  This allowed the locals to deface these queens, so that they could worship them. Hence the statues have lipstick, powder and incense around them. These were the only sculptures to have precious stones encrusted in their crown, and other areas of their bodies as well as golden hoops in their ears. All of which have been stolen or lobes hacked off.  It is believed that these two statues were indeed queens and not apsaras after all.


  1. All the information in this post is new to me. Very interesting; that photo catches your attention too.

  2. Thanks Bob, I am please you enjoyed reading it.

  3. I don't know how many Q is for Queen blogs I have seen/read today, but it has been several I almost left your page until I saw the statue pic and read. This was a very interesting blog topic and you did a good job of being both pithy and informative. I am wondering who plucked the jewels out! lol

  4. Hi Jenni .. poor Queens defaced .. but finally realised as true Queens and not deities. Good to read that the King and his two Queens were enlightened ... promoting good architecture, education, hospitals and rest places for weary travellers.

    Cheers Hilary

  5. Hi Jeremy,

    I am glad my post stopped you in your tracks!

    I have no idea who plucked the jewels from their eyebrows but the jewels did leave braille marks. At the time it was believed that they were not queens but apsaras and dancing girls.

    Only laterally when the braille marks were examined on their forehead & eyebrows, only then did they realise, that the marks were infact caused by the jewels being plucked. Now it has been accepted that these two ladies have been given the recognition they deserve.

    Not really the answer you were looking for - I guess! lol

    Many thanks for you comment. Jenni

  6. Hi Hilary,

    So pleased to hear your thoughts, always nice to hear others views.
    Thanks again. Cheers Jenni