The Terrace of the Elephants is an impressive archaeological site located in the ancient city of Angkor Thom, within the Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia. It is one of the most popular attractions for tourists visiting the Angkor complex.
Built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century, the Terrace of the Elephants served as a grandstand for public ceremonies and royal processions. It was a part of the royal palace complex and was used by the king to address his troops and the public. The terrace derives its name from the stunning bas-relief carvings of elephants that adorn its walls.
The Terrace of the Elephants stretches over 300 meters in length and stands at a height of 2.5 meters. The terrace is adorned with intricate carvings depicting elephants, mythical creatures, warriors, and dancers, showcasing the grandeur of the Khmer empire. The central section of the terrace features a raised platform with five staircases leading up to it.
Tips for tourists:
1. Visit during sunrise or sunset: The Terrace of the Elephants offers breathtaking views during sunrise and sunset. The soft golden light enhances the beauty of the carvings and creates a magical atmosphere.
2. Wear appropriate clothing: As the terrace is a sacred and historical site, it is important to dress respectfully. Avoid wearing revealing or inappropriate clothing, and ensure your shoulders and knees are covered.
3. Engage a local guide: To fully understand the historical and cultural significance of the Terrace of the Elephants, it is recommended to hire a local guide who can provide detailed information and insights about the site.
4. Explore the surrounding area: The Terrace of the Elephants is located within the larger Angkor Thom complex, which includes other remarkable structures such as the Bayon Temple and the Baphuon Temple. Take the time to explore these nearby attractions to get a comprehensive experience of the ancient city.
5. Be mindful of preservation: The Terrace of the Elephants is an ancient structure, and it is crucial to respect and preserve its historical value. Avoid touching or climbing on the carvings, and be mindful of any rules or guidelines set by the authorities.
Visiting the Terrace of the Elephants allows you to immerse yourself in the rich history and architectural marvels of the Khmer empire. It is truly a must-visit destination for any traveler exploring the wonders of Cambodia.