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The Terrace of the Elephants

Terrace of Elephants

  • 'The Terrace of the Elephants' refers to the elevated platform next to The Phimeanakas and Royal Palace monuments. It is a 300 meter long terrace which overlooks the main road running north south through Angkor Thom between the South Gate and the North Gate. It was constructed in the later part of the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII and added to in the 13th century.
  • The Terrace is so named after the carvings and statues which decorate it. It comprises the east wall for the Royal enclosure and at its north end is the Terrace of the Leper King.
  • The Terrace is 350 meters long and comprises a series of walls facing east towards the public square or turning inwards facing north or south to create rectangular extensions, all of which are covered with bas-reliefs of elephants, a large Garuda, lions and elephant mahouts. As it faces east photography here of it should be made in the mornings when the sun shines on it. In the afternoons it is covered in shade.
  • The carved bas-reliefs are viewed walking at the bottom of the walls and the surrounding views are best seen from standing on the top of the terrace, as did King Jayavarman.
  • Whilst on the top of the terrace one can visit the rear where one can find the Phimeanakas, the Royal Palace ruins, Royal pools, etc.
  • There are three stair cases, at the center and at each end, where one can climb up to the top and then to the rear and the Royal Palace monuments.