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Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas

After Baphuon, we proceeded on to visit Terrace of the Elephants. Terrace of the Elephants sits just next to Baphuon within the city of Angkor Thom and is accessible by foot from Baphuon. King Jayavarman VII began the construction of Terrace of the Elephants in the late 12th century and the work is continued by his successor. The construction is of Bayon style. It is said the terrace is used by King Jayavarman VII as a platform to view his victorious returning army, a viewing stand for public ceremonies as well as king’s audience hall.

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Terrace of the Elephants sits just next to Baphuon

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Red sand road in front of Terrace of the Elephants

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Red sand road in front of Terrace of the Elephants (click for wallpaper size)

Terrace of the Elephants is a terrace wall with approximately 2.5 meters tall and 350 meters long. The terrace wall gets its name because of intricate carvings of elephants on it. Besides, it is also deeply carved with nagas, demons and other Khmer mythological beings. The main wall is carved with elephants and garudas. For your information, garuda is a large mythical bird that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology.

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Main wall of Terrace of the Elephants (click for wallpaper size)

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

More elephant carvings

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Closer look at the elephant carvings

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Closer look at the elephant carvings

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

More elephant carvings

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

See the elephant?

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

More elephant carvings

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Carvings of garuda

Five staircases, 3 in the center and 1 at each end, lead up to the 2.5 meters high platform. The platform is furnished with naga railings. Naga is the seven headed serpent in Hindu mythology. At the center of the platform is a high rostrum with a giant lotus seat.

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Center staircase at the main wall of Terrace of the Elephants

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Side staircase to the platform

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Onto the platform

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Platform with naga railings

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Platform with naga railings

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Naga railings

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Naga railings

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Statue of Naga - Seven headed serpent

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Carvings on the platform

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Carvings on the platform

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Carvings on the platform (click for wallpaper size)

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Lion statue

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Giant lotus seat (click for wallpaper size)

Terrace of the Elephants was built to attach with Phimeanakas, a Hindu temple built by King Jayavarman V at the end of the 10th century. Phimeanakas is located inside the ancient Royal Palace compound and thus served as the king’s temple. It takes the form of a 3-tier laterite and sandstone pyramid. We just wandered around the gate, having decided earlier not to visit Phimeanakas because it is never in our itinerary.

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Gateway to Phimeanakas

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Delicately carved lintel and pediment at the gate

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Carvings at column

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Inscriptions on the wall

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Beyond the gateway, road leading to Phimeanakas

The northern section of the wall displays some particularly fine sculpture including the five headed horse and scenes of warriors and dancers. It is best to visit Terrace of the Elephants before noon as the wall faces east hence the best lighting for photography. The Terrace of the Leper King is just next to the Terrace of the Elephants. That shall feature in my next post!

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

The carvings of 5-headed horse

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Carvings of warriors on the wall

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Carvings of dancers

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Carvings of dancers

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Other delicate stone carvings

Terrace of the Elephants & Phimeanakas picture cambodia escapade  photo

Other delicate stone carvings (click for wallpaper size)

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