Guardian Statue - Antique Khmer Stone Angkor Wat Style Yaksha Temple Guardian - 57cm / 23"

Angkor Wat Yaksha: The Silent Sentinels of Time


Angkor Wat, the magnificent temple complex in Cambodia, is renowned for its awe-inspiring architecture and rich historical significance. Within the sacred precincts of Angkor Wat, one can find a remarkable group of stone sculptures known as Yaksha or Temple Guardians. These guardian figures, with their imposing presence and intricate details, serve as a testament to the artistic and spiritual heritage of the Khmer civilization. This Blog will delve into the history, significance, and artistic features of the Angkor Wat Yaksha, shedding light on their role as the silent sentinels of time.

Historical Context

The Angkor Wat temple complex was built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. As the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat was constructed as a dedicated space for worship and reflection. In the religious context of Hinduism, the Yaksha played an essential role as guardian deities. Yakshas were supernatural beings believed to protect the temple from evil spirits and malevolent forces.

Significance and Role

The Yaksha sculptures, standing tall at the entrances and throughout the temple, held a multifaceted significance. They served as both protectors of the sacred space and representations of divine beings who ensured the welfare of the temple and its visitors. Their fierce and imposing appearances were meant to deter any malign influence from entering the temple, making them symbolic gatekeepers to the spiritual world.

The Yaksha, in Hinduism, are often associated with Kubera, the god of wealth and guardian of the northern direction. This association underlines the belief in the spiritual and material abundance that the temple was expected to bestow upon its devotees. The presence of these guardians at Angkor Wat reflects the temple's spiritual and economic importance to the Khmer Empire.

Stone Yaksha

Artistic Features

The Angkor Wat Yaksha are prime examples of Khmer artistry and sculptural skill. These stone figures, often exceeding human height, display an exquisite level of detail and craftsmanship. The sculptures exhibit a harmonious blend of Hindu iconography and Khmer artistic tradition, showcasing the influence of Indian art on the Khmer civilization.

The Yaksha figures are typically depicted as robust and imposing beings, with bulging muscles and fierce expressions. They wear ornate headdresses and jewelry, emphasizing their divine nature. Their attire and accessories are adorned with intricate carvings, showcasing the artistic prowess of the Khmer artisans. The level of detail in their facial features, including elaborate mustaches and beards, is a testament to the sculptors' skill.

The Yaksha statues are also characterized by their dynamic poses, which contribute to their imposing presence. They often stand with one leg forward, in a posture known as the "tribhanga" stance, which adds a sense of movement and vitality to the sculptures. Their ferocious expressions and dynamic postures emphasize their role as protectors and guardians.


The Angkor Wat Yaksha, with their rich historical significance, spiritual importance, and exquisite artistic features, continue to be a source of fascination and admiration for visitors and scholars alike. As silent sentinels of time, they stand as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Khmer civilization and their mastery of architecture and sculpture.

These guardian figures not only protect the sacred space of Angkor Wat but also safeguard the cultural and artistic heritage of Cambodia, reminding us of the profound connection between art, spirituality, and history in this remarkable temple complex.

Bronze Yaksha