Elephant Terrace, Angkor Thom - Highlights

Elephant Terrace and The Terrace of the Leper King are within the grounds of Angkor Thom, and are not Angkor temples in themselves but rather remaining features of the ancient city walls of Angkor Thom. Elephant Terrace is a formidable 300m long platform flanking the entire east side of the Angkor Thom complex, which was the foundation for royal reception pavilions, being initially part of Phimeanakas, and was where Jayavarman VII would stand and proudly await his victorious army after battle. Guarding the stairwells of the terraces are masterfully carved three headed elephants, and their trunks pull lotuses from the ground. The wall, 3m high, has a long succession of elephant carvings showing the elephants in battle. Dotted around the terrace are carvings of lion headed warriors, garudas, and guardian lions. Seven headed horses can also be found - all these fantastical creatures show the depth of Hindu mythology.

 

Naga sculpture at Elephant Terrace, Cambodia

Naga sculpture at Elephant Terrace, Cambodia

The magnificent Terrace of the Leper King sits proudly in the Northwest corner of the royal square. This terrace is also very well preserved and the deep reliefs on show are detailed and interesting. Like Elephant Terrace, the scenes of Hindu mythology which are present are numerous. Deities in battle wielding swords, devatas, nagas and marine creatures feature, believed to date back to the thirteenth century. The terrace is given its present day name due to a statue found at the site which dates back to the fifteenth century of Yama, the god of death. Dharmaraja was his name, but the present day name is due to the statue being reminiscent of a Khmer legend of an Angkorian king who had leprosy.



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Elephant Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King Highlights - Angkor temples guides by ABOUTAsia.