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Apsara at Angkor

When visiting Cambodia look for the Apsara at Angkor Temples, one thing you will see regularly are the beautiful dancing girls carved on the temple walls and reliefs. The Apsara is a female spirit in Hindu and Buddhist mythology, they are youthful and elegant, and superb in the art of dancing.

They dance to the music made by the Gandharvas to entertain and sometimes seduce both gods and men and are often depicted taking flight, or at service of a god, they may be compared to angels.


In the temple complexes around Siem Reap, these apsara are particularly prominent at Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon and Ta Prohm appearing in many different reliefs, but always dancing. In the Angkor Wat temple alone there are over 1,700 dancing goddess carvings.

While in Siem Reap, Cambodia, you can see an Apsara Dance which is the classical dance developed in the late 1940’s by Queen Sisowath Kossamak. The central character of the dance, leads her Apsaras through a flower garden where they partake of its beauty. The movements of the dance are distinctly classical yet, as the dance was developed for theatrical presentation, it is shorter and a bit more relaxed and flowing. The dance portrays excellent examples of the movements, manner and spirit of Khmer Classical dance.

Our Cambodia Packages often include a cultural show including dinner of typical Cambodian cuisine, where you will see an Apsara dance show.

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