Cultural Contacts between India and Cambodia: Architecture, Sculptures and Inscriptions

Foundation’s Center for Soft Power hosted a collaborative discussion on the theme
“Cultural Contacts between India and Cambodia: Architecture, Sculptures and
Inscriptions” on 16.07.2019. The main speaker of the event was Dr. Chithra
Madhavan. The round table was attended by numerous esteemed guests.

"India’s imprints have
travelled to Southeast Asia primarily through trade and culture in what is
described today as soft power. Cambodia is one of the rare countries which has
a temple on its flag", said Dr. Madhavan. She also said "Mount
Kulen in Cambodia is made of sandstone. It is considered sacred for both Hindus
and Buddhists. It truly symbolises India’s shared heritage with Cambodia."

Dr. Madhavan said "A
lot of Indian thought is discernible in the architecture of temples in
Cambodia. Inscriptions in Sanskrit can be found too. In Banteay Srei temple,
close to 11 inscriptions have been found in Sanskrit." "There
is ample proof for links between South Indian temples and Cambodian temples",
Dr. Chithra Madhavan said.

Dr. Madhavan alsop said "The
tradition of depicting Karaikal Ammaiyar along with Nataraja is ingrained in
Chola-period architecture. Ammaiyar belonged to the list of 63 Nayanmar saints.
And this tradition has been duly transported across the sea to Cambodia."
"The names of the Khmer kings like Jayavarman, Suryavarman, Yashovarman
and their cities Shambupura, Ratnagiri, Mahendraparvata have roots in Sanskrit."

"Panels on some
important scenes from the Ramayana, Mahabharata and Samudra Manthan can be seen
at the famous Angkor Wat temple", she explained. Dr. Madhavan said
that Ta Prohm is one of the finest Buddhist temples in Cambodia. It was used as
a location for the film, Tomb Raider. The interaction ended with CSP
felicitating Dr. Madhavan for the interactive session.