"Churning of the Sea of Milk Bas-Relief" Angkor Wat Tip by Willettsworld

Angkor Wat, Angkor Wat: 233 reviews and 471 photos


This is one of the most famous and spectacular bas-reliefs. This 49m panel tells a part of the story of the Hindu creation epic, the churning of the sea of milk. In this epic, the gods (to the left) and the demons (to the right) agree to cooperate to churn the sea of milk. Churning it for 1,000 years creates an elixir that causes immortality, and the gods and demons agree to share it. Although not depicted in the mural, as soon as the elixir starts to flow the gods renege on their part of the deal while the demons try to steal it. Note at the central part of the relief, towards the bottom, all the sea life being cut to pieces by the force of the churning. Just above them is a turtle (a vehicle of the Hindu god Vishnu), which supports the mountain when it threatens to sink into the sea. Above the mountain Vishnu directs operations.

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  • Written Apr 27, 2010
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