Chao Say Tevoda Temple in Siem Reap
Chao Say Tevoda Temple
Chao Say Tevoda Temple in Siem Reap Cambodia is a small temple locates near the Siem Reap river bank, about 500 meters east from the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom. Its date of construction is unknown. However, according to the art style and its decorations, indicated that Chao Say Tevoda temple was built in the late 11th to early 12th century, in Angkor Wat style. According to stone inscription at Beng Mealea temple said that the temples which built in the same period were Beng Mealea, Banteay Samre, Thommanon, and Chao Say Tevoda.
Prasat Chao Say Tevoda is a completed construction temple facing to the east and dedicated to Shiva, the Hindu trinity. However, we can find many carvings on the lintels and frontons are about Vishnu, similar to other temple in the reigned of Suryavarman II (1113-1150).
Some architecture were added later at the end of the 12th century in the reign of Jayavarman VII (1181-1220). He added the platform which connected the temple to Siem Reap River and the causeway leading to the temple. He also added to this temple some carvings about Mahayana Buddhism in the scenes of Vissantara Jataka.
Chao Say Tevoda temple was a place which used to perform the Shivasa-haratri ceremony. Shivasa-haratri is a ceremony that reviews about the night that Shiva made love with his 9th consort to absorb female energy which is called Sakti. He used Sakti to upgrades his sacred power to create the universe and all creatures. And after the universe had been created, Shiva died on his wife’s chest. According to this legend, Shiva’s principals carved his linga and his wife’s yoni to celebrate the ceremony as respect to Shiva. In the ceremony, water is poured on Shiva’s linga and passing the yoni which is considered as the holy water. Sometimes milk is used instead of water in which the white color is represented Shiva’s sperm.
Architecture Plan of Chao Say Tevoda Temple
The layout of Chao Say Tevoda Temple and Thommanon Temple is nearly the same that they are considered as twin temple. However, the scale of Chao Say Tevoda is smaller in everything. Thommanon has only two entrance gopuras and one library, while Chao Say Tevoda has four gopuras and two libraries.
Chao Say Tevoda is rectangular in plan, with a central sanctuary facing east, two libraries in the north east and south east, they all enclosed by laterite walls of 50 m x 40 m, with gopura at each side.
Visiting Chao Say Tevoda, the path to reach the site is from the north, then walk to left towards the east gopura. The original entrance of the temple is from the east with two lines of boundary stones at both sides of the walkway, each side has 20 stones. Passing the boundary stones lines, there is a platform at about 1 m high from the ground, decorated with naga balustrade same at Banteay Kdei and Srah Srong. The platform connects with the temple by a stone bridge (raised causeway) supported with three row of octagonal, in the same style of Baphuon temple.
The east gopura has three entrances and connected to the mandapa, the rectangular room with a porch precedes the central sanctuary, by a short stone bridge (this is added later as well).