Friday, February 17, 2012

River of a Thousand Lingas



Still rather early in the morning, we began our trek through the forest to reach our destination of Kbal Spean - known more popularly as “River of a Thousand Lingas.” The shade of the tall trees shielded us from the bright sun. Roots wiggled across the path like snakes, making it imperative to watch one’s step. Rocks and boulders and provided an extra challenge, but some areas had stairs to make it easier to climb upward. About half an hour later, we arrived at the 9th-12th century Hindu carvings.  Clear water glided and over river boulders, some of which contained carved Yoni symbols (womb or sacred temple). Shallow Lingas (representing the male fertility organ) were carved in neat grid rows in the sandstone river bed, reminding me of giant bubblewrap. It was believed that the water was purified as it flowed over the religious sculptures, thus cleansing the king’s sins. On the river bank boulder, a relief carving contained a reclining Vishnu, serpent god Anenta, goddess Lakshmi, and Brahma sitting on a lotus petal. I also spotted a rock containing relief carvings of small figures (depicting Shiva and Uma) riding a bull and other larger figures looking up to them. Additional carvings were found near a waterfall.

1 comment:

Bibi said...

Amazing...I am so moved when I see these ancient places (in person), but if I can't do otherwise, on your blog. I;m not good, as you know, at picking my way along rocks, but I think I'd have done it here.