The Terrace of the Elephants is a famous historical site located in the ancient city of Angkor Thom, in Cambodia. It was built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, who ruled from 1181 to 1218 AD.
The Terrace of the Elephants is a grand platform that stretches for about 350 meters and stands at a height of over 2.5 meters. The terrace gets its name from the intricate carvings of elephants that adorn the walls. These carvings depict royal processions, including elephants wearing ceremonial attire, along with warriors, dancers, and musicians.
The purpose of the terrace was primarily ceremonial, serving as a viewing platform for royal ceremonies and public gatherings. It was also used as a stage for various performances and processions during festivals and important events. The terrace was designed to impress and awe the people of that time with its grandeur.
Visiting the Terrace of the Elephants is a must for history enthusiasts and those interested in the ancient Khmer civilization. The intricate carvings and the sheer size of the terrace offer a glimpse into the grandeur of the Angkor period.
Here are a few tips for visiting the Terrace of the Elephants:
1. Location: The terrace is located within the Angkor Thom complex, just a short distance from the famous Bayon Temple. It is easily accessible by tuk-tuk or hired car from Siem Reap.
2. Opening Hours: The Angkor Archaeological Park, including the Terrace of the Elephants, is open from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. It is advisable to arrive early to avoid crowds and make the most of your visit.
3. Guided Tours: Consider hiring a local guide who can provide you with detailed information about the history and significance of the terrace. They can also help navigate the vast Angkor Thom complex.
4. Sun Protection: The terrace is exposed to the sun, so it is important to bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the heat. It is also a good idea to carry a bottle of water to stay hydrated.
5. Respect the Site: The terrace is a historical monument, so it is essential to respect the site and not touch or climb on the carvings. Be mindful of the signs and instructions provided by the authorities.
The Terrace of the Elephants is a remarkable testament to the architectural and artistic brilliance of the Khmer Empire. Exploring this site will transport you back in time, allowing you to appreciate the rich history and cultural heritage of Cambodia.