Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tamil inscription on a pillar inside Angkor Wat

I saw this on a pillar in the topmost chamber of the Angkor Wat (the most famous structure in the Angkor Temple Complex)

it says: ...gangai jameen madu(rai?) jilla...The village head or zamindar of ...gangai in the Madu(rai?) district....

This certainly did not look or feel like random graffiti by any tourist in the last hundred years. There were many completely uncovered and more legible inscriptions on other pillars which looked like japanese or chinese or whatever. It was sheer serendipity that I happened to walk past this pillar and that I knew how to read Tamil. There were zillions of Japanese milling about and I couldn't get better shots.

In the National Museum at Phnom Penh I also saw an exquisite statuette of Lord Muruga (Skanda) astride a peacock with its neck subtly stylized like a phallus photography was allowed and I didn't have money for the catalogue.

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