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Banteay Kdei, the Citadel of Chambers

We mentioned the ancient temple Banteay Kdei in our last Angkor Archaeological Park blog post about Srah Srang. Banteay Kdei, also known by two other names – “A Citadel of Chambers” and “The Citadel of Monks’ Cells” – is located only about 300 meters west of Srah Srang and our lovely Angkor restaurant, Sala Russey.

Quick Details:

Date Finished: Middle of the 12th to the beginning of the 13th century

Under: King Jayavarman VII

Materials: Laterite Stone – Sandstone

Type: Buddhist

The Plans

Banteay Kdei black and white plans

Banteay Kdei Architecture

Banteay Kdei full map

full map of Banteay Kdei Complex

The Banteay Kdei temple is cloistered in a 65-meter by 50-meter space. This space is cloistered by three other enclosures, the largest being the compound wall – 700-meters by 300-meters – built from laterite stone.

When entering “A Citadel of Chambers” through the east gopura, please take notice of a cruciform embellished with Lokesvara images.

On the western side of Banteay Kdei, around 200 meters from the entrance, you’ll come across a narrow terrace crossing over the moat. This terrace is heavily decorated with stone lions, nagas (balustrades), and garudas.

In some places along the enclosure walls, you’ll find old carvings of foliated scrolls, small figures, and large devatas.

Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for more interesting artwork as you walk through Banteay Kdei to find many representations of Buddha, nagas, garudas, lions, dvarapalas, and devatas.

Does Banteay Kdei feel familiar? This temple is a similar but smaller version of Ta Prohm, also built in the Bayon architectural style.

History of Banteay Kdei

ancient dvarpala statue with a white background

This is a dvarpala

Banteay Kdei’s name originates from an even earlier name – Kuti, which is mentioned in the Sdok Kak Thom.

“When they arrived at the eastern district, the king bestowed an estate and a village called Kuti upon the family of the royal chaplain.”

It is possible that King Jayavarman VII transformed or completed already existing monuments in the area, including Banteay Kdei. This is believed because there are two different architectural styles present, relating to the periods of Angkor Wat and Bayon.

The general consensus is that Banteay Kdei was finished in the mid-12th to the early 13th century under the direction of Jayavarman VII.

Nearby Temples

Several temples can be found nearby Banteay Kdei. You can also find our Angkor Cafe within walking distance – less than one kilometer away!

  • The rarely visited Kutisvara is located approximately 400 meters northwest
  • The majestic Ta Phrom is located approximately 600 meters to the west
  • Prasat Kravan is located approximately 600 meters to the west
overgrown ancient Kutisvara temple


Giant tree taking over the ancient temple of Ta Prohm

Ta Phrom

light brown colored ancient temple Prasat Kravan

Prasat Kravan courtesy of Diego Delso,

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