A royal temple like Banteay Chhmar was built for performing rituals and to honor images of gods, Buddhas, and other sacred or enlightened beings for the sake of the kingdomâ€™s protection and ongoing prosperity. Conch shells were blown at the start
of rituals to make the sound corresponding to the syllable om.
The dancing figure of Hevajra, a Buddhist being of enlightenment with eight heads, sixteen arms, and four legs, has been worked into the bronze embellishment of the shell. Hevajra was elevated to a prominent position in Khmer Buddhism of the Angkorian period as the standard figure denoting the practice of rituals prescribed in a text called the Hevajra-tantra. The tripod stand with three serpents is probably not original to the shell.