World Travel GuidesUNESCO World Heritage Site Churning the Ocean of Milk, Angkor Wat


   Compare Hotel Room Rates from different Booking Sites       


Churning the Ocean of Milk is the most famous and spectacular bas-relief gallery at
Angkor Wat. It describes the Hindu creation myth from Bhagavata-Purana and is spectacularly depicted on one 49-meter panel. In Churning the Ocean of Milk, a rare cooperation came about between the devas (gods) and the demons (asuras) in pulling alternately on the giant naga Vasuki which is coiled around Mount Mandara. The purpose is to rotate the mountain to churn the cosmic Ocean of Milk to produce amrita, the elixir of immortality.

According to the Bhagavata-Purana, as soon as the amrita was produced, the devas took possession of it, and broke their promise to the asura to give them half, who then tried to steal it from the devas.



Middle section of the Churning of the Ocean of Milk gallery. To get the lighting right, I did a composite of four tiers.




On this gallery, we see the scene of the actual churning in the bas-relief. Walking from left to right again, we view in the first 5 meters the army of the asuras assembled with their horses and elephants. Then the churning scene starts. First we see Ravana, the giant multi-headed asura, holding the five heads of Vasuki, the giant naga (serpent or dragon). After that we see 92 identical asuras pulling in unison on the naga. On the lower tier we see marine creatures representing the Ocean of Milk. They are caught by the turbulence of the churning.

As we reach the centre of the panel, we see that these animals - fish, crocodile, turtle - are sliced into pieces because the churning is so violent. Mount Mandara is column-like, almost hidden behind the four-armed Vishnu who is directing the operations. Below Vishnu is his avatar (celestial vehicle), the turtle Kurma, who is supporting the mountain from sinking into the ocean. Above Vishnu we see Indra flying to keep the mountain steady. The churning created celestial nymphs, the apsaras, flying in two directions above.

As we continue walking to the right, we see the row of devas pulling Vasuki. There are 88 of them, and finishing the scene we see the great monkey god, Hanuman, holding Vasuki's tail. Please note that in the original Hindu Bhagavata-Purana, there are neither Hanuman nor Ravana in the story. Somehow the Khmers have made some improvisation by adding these Ramayana characters into the Vedic legend.


The Churning of the Ocean of Milk gallery at Angkor Wat.


Left: Ravana, the giant asura, holding on the head of Vasuki, heading the troop of asuras. Right: Hanuman, the monkey god, holding to the tail of Vasuki, heading the troop of devas.



Return to Angkor UNESCO World Heritage Site
Angkor Travel Tips or to Cambodia Travel Guide





  • Tips to become a smart traveler: Useful tips to remember, to get the best out of your travels.
  • Preparing for a Trip: Systematic approach to help you prepare for your trip.
  • How to plan your travel itinerary: Step-by-step guide to creating the itinerary for your trip.
  • Find and compare hotel room rates: View room rates from all the different booking sites.
  • Learn to compare room rates: Step-by-step guide on finding the lowest rates every time.
  • When NOT to go where: List of seasons to avoid when traveling the globe.
  • How to pack your luggage: Useful steps to take when packing your luggage.
  • Packing List (PDF): Print out this free packing list to make sure you don't forget anything for your trip.
  • Voltage, Frequency, Plugs & Sockets of the World: Learn about the mains electricity supply in the world.
  • Travelers' List of Plugs and Sockets (PDF): Easy-to-use list of electricity and plugs for all countries.
  • Making International Direct Dail Calls: Learn to make IDD calls from anywhere in the world.
  • IDD Call Prefixes & Country Codes (PDF): Listing of Call Prefixes and Country Codes on one page for you to bring on your trip.
  • Safety Tips When Traveling Alone: Useful advice for when you travel on your own.
  • Guide to Health Matters related to Travel: Comprehensive coverage of different issues related to your health when traveling.
  • Getting Travel Insurance for your trip: Benefits of travel insurance, and advise on when you should signing up for one.
  • Improve your travel photography: Tips to improve your photography skills, especially when traveling.
  • Guide to Traveling Around the World: Useful tips for encircling the globe.
  • English Made Simple: Improve your English for your travel.


  • Find a hotel Nuru massage boston downtown nuru-massage-boston.com.




    Powered by
    Travelgrove




    Follow Me on Pinterest

    Point - Click - Discover!

    Thanks for visiting this webpage. To continue exploring, choose another destination!


    My World Travel Guides - celebrating a beautiful world beautifully.

    Earning a living as a Happy Jobless Guy

    I am a Happy Jobless Guy! I am one of the few people who is fortunate enough to earn an income from my websites that I don't to go out to work. My sites get thousands of visitors every day. It has been a long process, but it is something everybody can achieve, and that means YOU. The following are some articles which you might want to read if you want to do what I do:
    1. Money Making Manual
    2. How to earn from writing websites
    3. Guide for earning a living without holding a job
    4. Generate a Sitemap for your website
    5. Complete Step-by-Step e-Business Building System