Hall of Dancers Banteay Kdei, Angkor, Cambodia – Indrani Ghose Photography

Banteay Kdei is a small temple compared to other prominent temples in Angkor complex. It is less crowded and easy to tour. Depending on interest in photography and the time spent for photographing time required to tour it will range from half an hour to a couple of hours. You can easily fit this for a day tour of Angkor. While I did a post on Banteay Kdei Temple Tour, this second post is dedicated to photographs of Banteay Kdei Temple.

Banteay Kdei entrance Garuda image

Garuda Image on entrance gates of Banteay Kdei

Banteay Kdei entrance

Banteay Kdei entrance

Lord Buddha idol in Banteay Kdei

Buddha image installed during Jayaraman VII in the shrine at the entrance.

Central Complex of Banteay Kdei

The central complex lacks the usual pyramid like roof. There is no information available about the deity this temple is dedicated to. Probably this was never a temple and may have served as dancing halls. Two galleries that run around the main sanctuary tower linked to each other by corridors are in fact the first and second enclosing walls.

Surprisingly the Buddha at the entrance in central complex is an original, intact statue where so many pieces have been stolen or destroyed (beheaded).

Hall of Dancing Girls Banteay Kdei

Remnants of idols of Hindu Gods

Hall of Dancers1

Deserted corridors of Banteay Kdei Temple

Faceless and yet struggling to exist

Faceless and yet struggling to exist

Hall of Dancers Banteay Kdei

This open roofed building has four courtyards. However the roof is missing and historians have concluded that the pillars may have supported a wooden roof. Each of these pillars is decorated with apsaras dancing alone or in pairs. One of the reasons why the place got the name – Hall of Dancers. The hairstyle and jewelry of apsaras are very clear in these sculptures. There are very finely carved lotus buds at the feet of the dancing apsaras’ figurines.

A good spot for photography enthusiasts!

Hall of the Dancing Girls Banteay Kdei

Corridor of hall of Dancers Banteay Kdei. The roof is missing.

Hall of Dancing Girls Banteay Kdei

View from shrine at the entrance towards Hall of Dancers

Windows of central shrine

Windows looking into the hall of Dancing girls.

Hall of the Dancing Girls Banteay Kdei

Captured one lone tourist at the end of series of windows.

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Third Enclosure of Banteay Kdei

The third enclosure gopura is out of bound for tourists and is clearly marked with no-entry sign. I read up: it has internal columns and the walls of porches featured Buddha images. These images were destroyed during the period following Jayavarman’s reign. Like I mentioned before Banteay Kdei served as a monastery for the monks during the reign of Jayavarman VII. Sadly his successor, King Jayavarman VIII vandalized Buddha images installed within during Jayavarman VII in an attempt to promote Hinduism. Later Buddhism regained its hold over the temple.

Inside  small rooms there were neglected broken bases of linga.

Banteay Kdei 3rd enclosure

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Library at Banteay Kdei

Remains of what is believed to could have been a library of Banteay Kdei.

West Gate of Banteay Kdei

The gate has 4 images of  Buddha’s (or Jayavarman’s?) iconic smiling face. It seems as if the building blocks haven’t fitted well. These images are similar to the ones in Bayon Temple.

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If you have come this far and you have liked the post here is a pinnable image for you. Click to save to your collections of Unesco World heritage Sites and Cambodia Tours.

Hall of Dancers Banteay Kdei, Angkor, Cambodia – Indrani Ghose Photography

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40 Responses to “Hall of Dancers Banteay Kdei, Angkor, Cambodia – Indrani Ghose Photography

  • Fantastic shots of wonderful creation of one time! Sad to see the ruins… Such beautiful creations once destroyed, aren’t taken care of rebuilding.

  • WOW! great photos, we were a bit rushed when we visited Angkor and so I would love to go back and spend more time wandering around these fascinating ruins. So many awesome photo spots my partner would be in heaven!

  • What a place! I really like the smiling faces of the Buddha, but the entire temple seems quite well preserved and good to visit

  • It really is a beautiful temple! You are right; there are a lot of photo opportunities. This temple really captures the imagination. I would love to see it in person someday!

  • First of all very beautiful photographs of sculptures of Hall of dancers. Hopefully they don’t get destroyed further as lots of destruction have taken place. It should be restored as these sculptures and deities of Hindu gods are so priceless and precious. Series of windows is the most photogenic part of this place.

  • I felt like I was right there with you! What a cool place to explore. I almost prefer old places to be in a bit of ruin, it adds to the excitement. I love that the Buddha was the original. It must be so old!

  • So beautiful and haunting the photos really make me feel like I am there. I hope that some money goes into preservation of this monument as it is a shame to see it melting back into the forest.

  • I feel like I need to do more research on the Hindu religion itself as I’m not as well versed in it as I would like to be. I really love exploring ancient ruins and love the windows with the dancing girls. It looks like a very picturesque location.

  • PN Subramanian
    5 months ago

    Beautifully narrated and captured visually. Would be of great help to people visiting the site.

  • This is such a great post, thanks for sharing! I was there earlier this year, but I don’t remember this particular temple since I only had one day there. But I am grateful you took so many pictures of it so it feels like I was there too 🙂 By the way, I love the pic of the detail of the dancer without the head. So beautiful!

  • Banteay Kdei looks quite an offbeat place to cover. But I loved these gorgeous ruins and the broken sculptures. This surely a photographer’s paradise for sure. Quite interesting to know about this place.

  • Wow, you definitely captured the magic of it all. I haven’t been but I’d love to go now that I’ve read your post 😉

  • Thank you for sharing your experience exploring the Banteay Kdei Temple. It’s history alone is interesting enough to warrant a visit.!

    • Too bad the third enclosure gopura is off limits. I’m sure the Buddha images would’ve been amazing to see to if it weren’t vandalized.

  • Very interesting ruins with a rich varied history. You mention a reign, from what period do the ruins date from.

  • Wow, this is really beautiful, and I love how clear the sculptures are carved. I would like to visit these places and get some awesome shots of them, just as you successfully did.

  • This looks so interesting! I love it when building are so old they don’t really know what they were used for! Cambodia is full of so much history, I would like to go back and explore more.

  • Banteay Kdei ruins never looked this fine. It’s interesting, and look at those sculpted faces on the wall! They give me eerie feels, but, they are beautiful nonetheless. Would be happy to explore the area!

  • I’ve been to Angkor Wat ages ago, and I only had the one day pass. I did go to Banteay Kdei but haven’t had the time to pay too much attention to it. Too bad, those pillars are interesting! I know there are carvings but I didn’t know they are dancers. I should have done more research. LOL

  • I loved visiting Angkor Wat and would really like to do smaller temples too. The photos are beautiful and some parts are very well preserved. I can’t believe the Buddha is original. Do they know the date? It is incredible to stand in front of such a place

  • It’s such a pity that so many statues at Banteay Kdei have been stolen or beheaded. I can only try to imagine what the Hall of Dancers must have looked like back in the day. This is definitely an Angkor Wat highlight.

  • I actually love taking photos in this temple. As you’ve mentioned, there are only few people visiting here. Probably, the most memorable on my Siem reap tour because I was scam by someone inside. 🙁 Good thing I’m always alert. If you are visiting this temple, be aware of someone offering help to take photos for you. At the end of the tour he will not let you go until you didnt give him money. I feel so harassed that time. Nonetheless, I love the architectural design of this temple.

  • Love this post, Indrani! From Garuda to Buddha’s face, it’s all incredibly carved 🙂 Can’t wait to visit these rock sculptures in person…

  • Wow! Do beautiful are these old structures. I can only imagine a flourishing life here…

  • Beautiful pictures Indrani…such a lovely place! Have been wanting to visit Angkor Wat for long! Must be great vibe there, right (?)… with so much history, in fact it stands true for any such place. 🙂

  • Yogi Saraswat
    4 months ago

    Beautiful photography with very well written description Indrani ji !!

  • Banteay Kdei is a fascinating place! I love the carvings of the dancers – great photography – you’ve captured the spirit as well as the actuality of the place I think.

  • I visited Banteay Kdei back in 2009, but these lovely photos brought back so many great memories of my magical time there. I especially love the Pair of Apsaras!

  • Great photos. Even through the ruins I can see the prior beauty of this place and imagine it full of people. The carvings are lovely and it is impressive how intricate some are and how well they have stood up to the test of time. I haven’t been to Cambodia yet but I think that this place will make the list, it looks so interesting.

  • I never even heard of this place and now I want to visit it. Banteay Kdei looks amazing and I love the photos. Will visit when I get to that area one day.

  • I’ve always love ruins! They usually have this eerie ambiance but very intriguing and has many stories behind the walls. Though it’s sad to see some parts of this temple are missing. Thanks for sharing this. Angkor Wat has been on my list for ages. And I will make sure to explore Banteay Kdei when I’m there. Great set of pictures btw 😀

  • Nice pics! I remember this temple when I visited the Angkor area, and I defintiely agree that these smaller temples are as interesting as the big ones, and your photos show how fascinating the place is. Thanks for bringing me back all these nice memories in my head 🙂

  • Oh Cambodia, your post reminds me so much of Angkor watt and Cambodia itself. I met a nice guy here who became very close to me. I have been here and it looks majestic. The temples have something beyond their appearance that is just fo fascinating.

  • I love exploring such historical sites which have intriguing stories behind them. I wonder why Buddha’s statue was intact when the other statues has been destroyed or beheaded? I need to visit Cambodia soon!

  • Your recommendation of being photo worthy is ranked right up there. I’d say this whole place is a photographer lover’s dream place to visit. Your photos do a great job of sharing the story of this temple. I often wonder what goes through a person’s mind when these carvings are taking place.

  • This is the first time I am hearing about Banteay Kdei temple in Cambodia. Those ruins look quite photogenic and the sculptures might have been an art marvel during their time. Would love to check this out, during our Cambodia visit. Thanks for sharing.

  • Fiona Rodrigo
    1 month ago

    Love the ruins and the architecture. The engravings on the walls are so beautiful. I have read a similar post on this a few months back and that not many know or visit this which is sad. It has some lovely architecture which should not be missed

  • These are beautiful photos. I always try to imagine what took place at these old places.

  • These are great photos! You’ve really captured it well. I love exploring ruins/historical sites so now you’ve made me want to go here!

  • These images are breathtaking. would love to travel here someday.

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