Not to be confused with Devatas, Apsaras, (A Sanskrit word meaning “from the water”) are the female spirit of clouds and water; celestial dancers or water nymphs who had the duty of dancing on the waters and in the heavens to entertain higher gods. Apsaras means beautiful supernatural girls who are able to change their shapes at will. They are youthful and elegant, and superb in the art of dancing and music. Understand that while Devatas (please see my earlier post) usually have their feet on the ground in the bas reliefs, Apsaras usually appear in a group and dancing .
In Angkor Wat temple, they were on walls and pillars, lintels and window frames. I found myself surrounded by apsara everywhere I turned. Although they were all carved in stone, each apsara (above) showed slightly different appearances, either in facial expression, pose or costume and adornments.