The Terrace of the Elephants is a remarkable architectural feature located in the Angkor Thom temple complex in Cambodia. This historical site, built in the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII, holds great significance and is dedicated to an unknown deity. The terrace stretches for 350 meters and stands at a height of 2.5 meters, making it an impressive sight to behold. Although most of the original structure has been lost to time, the foundation platforms still remain intact.
This terrace served as a viewing platform for King Jayavarman VII to observe his army. It functioned as a reviewing stand for various ceremonies and was also the base for the king’s audience hall. The terrace is adorned with intricate carvings of elephants, which have become its iconic feature. Alongside these carvings, the middle section showcases decorations of garuda and lions, adding to its grandeur. At each end of the terrace, there is a famous parade of elephants, further enhancing its visual appeal.
Situated in the middle of the royal square of Angkor Thom, the Terrace of the Elephants offers visitors a peaceful environment to explore. It is just 400 meters away from the renowned Bayon temple, allowing visitors to easily access both sites during their visit. The terrace is often referred to as an “Abode of Peace,” providing a serene atmosphere for tourists to appreciate its architectural splendor and historical importance.
To reach the Terrace of the Elephants, visitors can opt for various transportation options from Siem Reap, such as tuk-tuks, bicycles, or taxis for hire. It is recommended to hire a Tuk-Tuk or carry a map, as navigating the roads leading to the temple complex can be challenging. For those looking to witness the terrace in all its glory, it is advisable to visit during the late monsoons when the clouds create a picturesque backdrop, enhancing the overall experience.
The Terrace of the Elephants in Angkor Thom is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and architecture aficionados alike. Its rich historical significance, stunning carvings of elephants, and peaceful surroundings make it a truly unique attraction within the Angkor Archaeological Park.