Battle of Kurukshetra

Angkor Wat

The southern portion of the west gallery depicts a battle scene from the Hindu Mahabharata epic, in which the Kauravas (coming from the north) and the Pandavas (coming from the south) advance upon each other, meeting in furious battle. Infantry are shown on the lowest tier, with officers on elephants, and chiefs on the second and third tiers.

Some of the more interesting details (from left to right): a dead chief lying on a pile of arrows, surrounded by his grieving parents and troops; a warrior on an elephant who, by putting down his weapon, has accepted defeat; and a mortally wounded officer, falling from his carriage into the arms of his soldiers. Over the centuries, some sections have been polished (by the millions of hands that have fallen upon them) to look like black marble. The portico at the southwestern corner is decorated with sculptures representing characters from the Ramayana.