Terrace of the Elephants


Constructed when: late 12th century
Constructed by: King Jayavarman VII
Religion: Buddhism
Architectural style: Bayon
Location: 200 meters directly north of the Bayon




Where Kings once stood reviewing their troops.

The Terrace of the Elephants is part of the walled city of Angkor Thom, a ruined temple complex in Cambodia. The terrace was used by Angkor's king Jayavarman VII as a platform from which to view his victorious returning army. It was attached to the palace of Phimeanakas, of which only a few ruins remain. Most of the original structure was made of organic material and has long since disappeared. Most of what remains are the foundation platforms of the complex. The terrace is named for the carvings of elephants on its eastern face.

The 350m-long Terrace of Elephants was used as a giant reviewing stand for public ceremonies and served as a base for the king's grand audience hall. It has five outworks extending towards the Central Square-three in the centre and one at each end. The middle section of the retaining wall is decorated with life size garuda and lions; towards either end are the two parts of the famous parade of elephants complete with their Khmer mahouts.


Stone carvings at a rear ledge of the terrace.


School children on an outing, walking the length of the terrace.


Garudas and elephants flank a terrace entrance.


A battle scene with horse drawn chariots and foot soldiers.



Historical information and some descriptions of temple sites are sourced from the Angkor series of Wikipedia articles. This text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The main Wikipedia page on Angkor can be found at - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angkor