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Angkor Archeological Park

Banteay Kdei

Explore the heart of the Khmer ancestral empire

     This monument dating back to the late 12th century, beginning of the 13th century under the reign of  Jayavarman VII, is opposite the Sras Srang Royal Bath. Though not as popular as Ta Phrom or Preah Khan (Monuments of a similar period and style), it nevertheless provides an ideal setting to linger. But Banteay Kdei is very known by the discovery, in 2001, of a cache in which broken statues of Buddha and other Buddhist artifacts (274 pieces) had been buried. They are now in display of the Preah Norodom Sihanouk Angkor Museum.

History

     At this Mahayana Buddhist monastic complex, at least two different styles are evident, relating to Angkor Vat and Bayon styles. Various sanctuary towers were also apparently joined only after their construction by a system of galleries and vestibules that exploit the use of the cloister. Changes and additions to the design following the original construction result in the sometimes confused and unbalanced present-day layout.

The ensemble is on a single level and consists, within two successive enclosure walls, of two concentric galleries from which emerge towers, preceded to the east by a cloister. This temple is similar in design and architecture to Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, although smaller and less complex.

There is no information concerning the exact dedication of this temple, and a 10th-century inscription found in the western gopura of the second enclosure has been noted to have been sculpted on re-used stones possibly from the neighboring temple of Kutisvara.

 

     The east gopura entrance in the outer laterite enclosure (as are the other axial entrances) is surmounted by smiling Lokesvara visages similar to those at Ta Prohm, and the doorway flanked by garudas in each corner. The large Buddhist cruciform terrace immediately in front of the temple is slightly raised and decorated with naga and garuda-balustrades and lions that are in the Bayon style.
     
As at Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, there is a vast rectangular hall that perhaps served as a space for ritual dance. The square columns, like those at the entrances to the Bayon, are decorated with paired or single dancing apsara sculpted in low-relief. Bas-relief dvarapala flank the entrances, surrounded by devata. The central sanctuary, which still carries some traces of sculpture, was probably rough-cut in order to receive a metal facing.

The gopura of the third enclosure is cruciform in plan, has internal columns and is covered by vaults. In the internal courtyard and walls of porches are Buddha images defaced in the period following Jayavarman VII’s reign. The vaults of these outer galleries, constructed in both laterite and sandstone, has in places, collapsed. Access from the rear of this complex leads to the eastern entrance of Ta Prohm temple.

In 2001, a team from the University of Sophia (Japan) uncovered 274 fragment pieces of Buddhist sculpture while pursuing a research excavation in Banteay Kdei. Most of the excavated statues are sculpted from sandstone and these were found together with a small number of metal artifacts.

Discover all the current projects happening in Banteay Kdei Temple

Info and tips for visitor

Date :

End of the 12th century

Style

Bayon

Opening hours

7:30 am to 5:30 pm

Reign

Jayavarman VII

Religion

Buddhist

Tour

40 minutes to 1 hour

Click to take a tour of the photo gallery of Banteay Kdei Temple