The Biggest Vishnu Statue in Cambodia, Harikambujendra
Vishnu Statue in Cambodia
Harikambujendra was a named of Vishnu statue displaying in National Museum of Cambodia which is a biggest Vishnu statue in Cambodia built in 6th century, Pre-Angkorian style. Harikambujendra name was taken from a stone inscription built in 12th century in a cave at Phnom Da mountain, Angkor Borei district, Takeo province, Cambodia. The stone inscription described that Harikambujendra means the biggest Hari in Cambodia. Hari means Vishnu, Kambu means Cambodia, and Jendra or Endra means the king of divinities.
Harikambujendra built in 3.4m high and made by sandstone with eight hands holding eight different attributes. The statue we can see in the National Museum today was some parts damaged, and only five hands left, which we can not identify clearly all the attributes he is holding. Some still distinguishable and some rather unusual as a flame, an antelope skin, a flask and a mace. These attributes are not usually associated with Vishnu and may related to the eight divinities guarding the cardinal and sub-cardinal directions over which Vishnu is assuming power. However, according to the document, the eight attributes of this Vishnu are Disc, Conch, Mace, Globe, Antelope skin, Bundle of rods, Lightning, and Vase.
Another marvelous statue of Vishnu also displaying in the National Museum of Cambodia. This statue named Narayana Thom (Preah Noreay Thom), built by metal and some parts are made by valuable metal as on his eyes, eyebrows and mouth beard. The statue was built in parts and then was assembled to be a big Vishnu with four hands in sleeping gesture. Now we can only see the two right hands, one is supporting his head, and another is putting in the same way but not supporting the head.
Related to the founding of this statue saying that, in 1936 there was a farmer lived near West Mebon temple, in Siem Reap province. He dreamed that Buddha God came telling him to take out a Buddha statue which was buried under the ground near the entrance to the temple. In the next morning, he told his dream to a French guardian named Maurice Glaize, who looked after Mebon temple and accompanied him to the entrance of the temple. After digged they didn’t find any Buddha statue, but they have found a big Narayana sculpture. Researches concluded that, this sculpture was the biggest Vishnu statue in South-East Asia in the time that this statue was built in around 12th century.
According to Zhou Daguan, Chinese researcher who was visited Angkor Wat in 1296-1297 described about this statue that this sculpture may had the water flowing from its navel and he also called this statue as Buddha sculpture. As this fragment and a few smaller pieces were found at the Mebon island temple in the middle of the Western-Baray, it is possible that the sculpture is related to hydraulic mechanisms with sacred and practical applications.