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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26 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
    2 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
    1 month ago

    Beautiful photography with very well written description Indrani ji !!

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