Banteay Kdei was another temple built by Jayavarman VII in the 12th and 13th centuries, like Bayon temple. It was primarily used as a Buddhist monastery, and monks resided there continuously until the 1960s. There were also Hindu influences in this temple, so you can see Hindu carvings next to the Buddha sculptures.
This temple has a similar design to Bayon, which makes sense given the timing of both construction projects. However, most of Banteay Kdei is one story whereas Bayon has several levels. Banteay Kdei also seems longer – you walk straight through a line of sequential buildings so it’s almost like one long hallway with little details off to each side.
We saw a lot of temples, but it still strikes me how different each one seemed as you’re walking through them. Sure, they share a lot of features: Hindu deity carvings, Buddhist symbols, stonework, dust and trees. But they really do seem different as you’re exploring. For the final temple, come back tomorrow to read about Prasat Kravan.
Title quote: Meaning of the Khmer name, Banteay Kdei