Lions are meant to be the symbol of royal power, and can be found all over South East Asia as palace or temple guardians – even though there aren’t many lions around here. They are said to be Persian influence, transmitted from culture to culture. And it is interesting to see how they change as you go further and further away from the deserts and savannas where lions originally roam.
Angkor (Cambodia) has very graceful and distinctive lions, but somehow I didn’t take many pictures.
They are well known for their spectacular bottoms, and there are lots of people around trying to strike the pose for photos.
Kathmandu’s (Nepal) palace guards are colourful and playful. In Hinduism, lions are the carrier of the fearsome goddess Durga, and also an avatar of the god Vishnu.
Penang and Melaka in Malaysia have a strong Chinese presence; in Chinese culture, lions protect people from evil spirits. They often have a ball rolling in their mouths.
Luang Prabang’s (Laos) temples are mostly flanked by nagas (dragons), being on the bank of the mighty Mekhong; but some creatures that may or may not be lions make a special appearance. Note the lipstick and nail polish 🙂 The Lord Buddha is sometimes atop a lion to depict royal lineage. He also referred to his teachings as the “lion’s roar”.
…to be continued…
(All the listed places are World Heritage areas.)
(The image in the header is from Singapore – Lion City.)