5 Little Known Facts About the Banteay Kdei Temple, Siem Reap
Found in Siem Reap, Cambodia, Banteay Kdei Temple (or angkor banteay kdei) has stood the test of time and remains a fascinating collection of ancient architecture. Here are five lesser-known facts about this storied temple that is full of mystery and charm.
Banteay Kdei is one of the few “Hindu-influenced” Temples in Siem Reap
Unlike many of the other temples in Siem Reap, which were influenced by Buddhism, Banteay Kdei is believed to mostly have been Hindu in nature. This can be seen with the presence of Hindu-style towers and a shrine that formerly held a bronze statue of Vishnu. Additionally, some believe it was built on the site of an earlier Angkorian Temple dedicated to Shiva, further highlighting this influence.
The Temple was Constructed using Sandstone Blocks from the Slopes of Kulen Mountain
Banteay Kdei is best known for its unique construction that includes sandstone blocks from the Kulen Mountain. Historians believe this was done for two reasons, the first being to provide stability during rainy seasons. The second reason it was most likely done because of the significant spiritual significance that is associated with these sandstone blocks.
Its Facades Are Decorated with Numerous Statues and Carvings
The impressive façade of Banteay Kdei is adorned with numerous intricate statues and carvings, some of which have been damaged over the centuries by harsh weather. These breathtaking carvings depict religious symbolism from Hinduism, Buddhism, and indigenous Moken beliefs in order to reflect the multicultural origins of this temple. It’s believed that many of these pieces are created to ward off evil spirits by emulating magical power.
The four towers in the Square Hall are believed to keep away Unlucky Spirits
The four towers located within the Square Hall of Banteay Kdei are believed to be magical objects that keep away the unlucky spirits. According to locals, these four towers represent the Angkor Wat mountains; each tower is dedicated to an element of nature – earth, air, fire, and water – in order to protect the temple from negative energy and supernatural forces.
Banteay Kdei is believed to be Built During the Reign of Jayavarman VII
Banteay Kdei, believed to be built during the reign of Jayavarman VII in the late 12th Century, is one of the best-preserved temples on the Angkor complex. Its sturdy walls, intricate carvings and exquisite sculptures have stayed mostly preserved through centuries due to its sheltered location. This amazing temple stands strong to this day as a celebration of ancient Khmer art and architecture.