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Large Unique Vishnu Kurma Murti Discovered in Cambodia

Cambodia’s Apsara National Authority discovered a large turtle (Vishnu Kurma Murti )  sculpted from sandstone at the Kandal Srah Srang temple of Siem Reap province’s Angkor Archaeological Park. The statue, which measures approximately 22 by 37 inches, is estimated to be about 1,000 years old, and may have been used in the preparation of offerings to the Hindu god Vishnu associated with the Sea of Milk churning ceremony.

The turtle is known as one of the avatars of the Hindu god, Vishnu. Sometimes, turtles are placed as a votive object in a temple’s foundations or at its centre. As for the turtle we found, we don’t know its purpose yet.

However, according to our preliminary assessment, the turtle was probably prepared to be placed at the temple’s foundation,” said Mr Socheat.

“It could also be a valuable stone, which was placed for the celebration of any religious ceremony during that time,” he added.

He said such sculptures and crystal stones had also been found at other temples, such as the Lor Ley and Neak Pean temples. However, Mr Socheat noted the turtle sculptures found in the past were smaller than the present relic discovered at Kandal Srah Srang Temple.

“Although previous studies were conducted about the temple, there has been no in-depth research about it, where various objects have been buried. Our recent discovery can help explain the history of the temple, including the religious ceremonies that were once performed here,” he said. (Source)