The ensemble is dedicated to
the god 'Tribhuvanamaheshvara'. The sculptures are of exceptional
refinement and because of this Banteay Srei often earns
the epithet 'the jewel of Khmer art'.
At this temple, for the first time pediments appear with
stories notably those on the north and south libraries.
These exhibit themes related to Shivaism (the demon Ravana
shaking Mount Kailasa above which Shiva is enthroned; with
Kama arriving to disturb his meditation). Other pediments
portray Vishnuist themes such as 'The Rain of Indra' and
'The Killing of Kamsa'.Two other famous pediments from this
monument now can be found at the National Museum of Cambodia,
Phnom Penh and at the Musé national des Arts asiatiques
- Guimet, Paris. Numerous lintels also display sculptures
from Indian mythology.
Proof of the continued occupation and therefore the maintenance
of Banteay Srei and the surrounding site called Ishvarapura
(with the Siem Reap river as the source of water), is provided
by one important inscription of the early 14th century that
can be seen on a stone door jamb of the gopura in the third
A recent joint project between the APSARA Authority and
the Swiss government entitled, 'Conservation
of Banteay Srei' officially commenced at the beginning
of July 2002.This project is planned for a three-year period
from 2002 to 2005. It focuses on the conservation and improvement
of the site covering restoration and maintenance of the
temple; landscaping of the surroundings and protection of
the natural environment in addition to a detailed study
of the history of the site.