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The Stone Lion of Bakheng is a sandstone hand carved statue representing one of the lions that keep guard of the Phnom Bakheng temple (9th-10th centuries) at Angkor site
On each side of the slope and near the summit of the hill where the temple is placed, you can find seated lions sculpted on rocks. The lion is a reverenced animal in Hindu tradition and is an avatar in Hinduism; it is the personification or embodiment of Vishnu. In Buddhism the lion symbolizes strength, consistency and wisdom and it is the throne where the Buddha sits.
The main symbolic meaning of lions is primarily related to strength. The lion’s roar is a symbol connected with the Goddess Kali and the Dharama Protector Mahakala, which are preeminent figures of Hinduism. The lion is a nocturnal creature and, as night in Hindu's tradition symbolizes dream states or the subconscious, the lion is then a symbol of command and authority over subconscious thought. The Lion symbol is deeply ingrained in Hinduism as well as Buddhism.
Lions were an important element of the Angkorian bestiary and were often used as adornments in religious sites.