11 September 2016

Exploring Cambodia's Banteay Kdei Temple - A Citadel of Chambers

Banteay Kdei Temple is one of many temples in Angkor Temples in Sieam Reap. Banteay Kdei translates to "A citadel of Chambers" and is also known as a "Citadel of Monks". Located in the southeast of Ta Prohm and not frequented by tourists as much as Ta Prohm or Angkor Wat but is definitely worth stopping by to check out this little gem. You will also appreciate the peace and quiet as you wander around what is left of a gem build in the 12th century.  Built in Bayon Architectural style so draws similar style and plan to that of Ta Prohm and Preah Khan and has been occupied by Monks right up until 1960s. 

Like many of the temples in Siem Reap they are under a restoration project to preserve these beautiful structures. There is a lot of history surrounding the temples and learning a little about some of the empires ruling the land adds to your visit of the temples. For example learning about the 13th century vandalism of Buddha images that can be seen on many of the Jayavarman  VII temples, which are apparent on Banteay Kdei. Jayavarman VII was a king in the Khmer Empire which lasted from 802 to 1431. It was during this period that temple of grandeur were erected. During his reign was also a time when much of Cambodia was restored from ruins from previous battles. He became known as a "Great Builder" having been responsible for building many temples that we have come to love and flock to in Cambodia. Apparently his work does not extend to that of Banteay Kdei, although style and inspiration was taken from Bayon, Prah Khan, Ta Prohm for which Jayavaraman was chief architect.

I have already said how I enjoyed my visit at Bayon Temple. This temple is definitely second favourite out of all the temples I visit as, coupled with a much relaxed and less crowded temple it certainly added to an enjoyable experience of exploring Angkorian temples in Cambodia. I will be sharing the 5 temples to check out in Siem Reap with tips on what to pack and how to go about exploring them so look out for that. In the meant time you can also check out my tips on where to sleep, eat and relax in the city of Siem Reap, when not temple running.

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  1. Now I am getting green with envy. Lovely pictures rich with color. Is getting a visa to Cambodia straightforward?

    1. Yep, pretty straight forward. All you need to make sure you have is a passport photo when you arrive and USA dollars. I don't remember needing anything else. You fill in a little form which hand over your passport and picture. There is usually a wait of a couple of minutes to process and thats it.