Terrace of the Elephants

If you are visiting the Angkor group of temples during your Cambodia trip, there is no way that you can miss out on this place. The very location of Terrace of the Elephants makes sure that no travelers get passed through without casting a glance at its majestic beauty.

There are several temples inside the complex belonging to different Gods and spiritual beliefs, but the one that excels in architectural splendour and historical value at the same time is surely Terrace of the Elephants. The importance of this place lies in its legends and the purpose for which it was erected. Here are some of the interesting facts about Terrace of the Elephants that will be of much help if you are going to pay a visit during your holiday in Cambodia.

Terrace of the Elephants
Terrace of the Elephants

Quick facts:

•  Time of creation: 12th century
•  Creator: Jayavarman VII
•  Religion: Buddhism
•  Dedicated to: Unknown
•  Architectural style: Bayon 

Location

Terrace of the Elephants is one of the primary spots of the Angkor Thom temple complex. It is located in the middle of the royal square of Angkor Thom and the famous Bayon temple is 400 meters (437.4 yards) from this place.

It is an Abode of Peace.

Once you step inside the Angkor Thom temple complex, the ancient walled city of temples will cast its spell on you. You will find several structures standing at distances from each other proclaiming the lost glory of the once capital city of the Angkor dynasty. Terrace of the Elephants would distinctively make its mark as the surrounding vibes of peace will be felt by any traveler instantly as he/she gets inside the complex.

Much known for its green-washed background and ever-reigning serenity, Terrace of the Elephants, attracts thousands of tourists every year to offer them life-long memories of an adventure-filled experience.

Historical Importance

No temple inside the Angkor Wat is void of any interesting story. Terrace of the Elephants, too, has its share of amazement attached to it. According to the legend, the builder of this royal complex, king Jayavarman VII used to watch his victorious army coming back from the wars. Hence, Terrace of the Elephants served as a place to fell the glory of triumph and pride of excellence to its builder, Jayavarman VII.

See More: What to See inside Angkor Wat?


Special Platforms

There are the platforms are adorned with stone-carved elephants. What’s surprising is, the king personally used this platform to observe the triumphant army coming back from the battlefields.

The Present Condition

The erstwhile tower of prosperity and royal pride now lies as sheer evidence of its past glory. Terrace of the Elephants that once served the king as his observatory platform is now a place that void of any regal touch and opulence.

Today, this place stands without any of its overhead structures and only with the platform adorned with stone-carved elephants from which it has derived its name.

Terrace of the Elephants
Peaceful Environment of Terrace of the Elephants

Religion

The Hindu kings built the temple area of the Angkor archaeological complex. Most of the temples were initially dedicated to the Hindu Gods. However, under the overwhelming influence of Buddhism during the latter half of the medieval times, many of these temples got converted into Buddhist temples and monasteries. This place is also a symbol of such a transformation and Buddhism is the faith that rules its territory.

Best Time to Visit

Any time is a suitable time for visiting Terrace of the elephants. However, visiting in the late monsoons allows the photographers to capture exceptional frames adorned with the clouds at the backdrop of this terrace.

How to Reach Terrace of the Elephants?

The distance of the temple from Siem Reap airport is 9.7 km (6 miles) and if you are staying at a hotel at a central position, the distance would be further less. After you reach the city of Siem Reap, take a Tuk-tuk to reach the temple ruins. The average tuk-tuk charges for a drop to the temple complex vary within $15-20. If you are going to hire the tuk-tuk for an entire day, the charges are going to be $25 inclusive of guided demonstration.

Another excellent option can be hiring a bicycle to reach the temple complex. It is going to be adventure and less expensive as well. The daily rent of bicycle varies from $1.5-3.5 depending on the hours and type of bicycle.

There are taxis available for hire as well, with charges being around $30 for a tour of the main Angkor Wat temple and the nearby temples and monuments of Angkor Thom. Taxi and tuk-tuk journeys from Siem Reap typically take around half an hour under normal traffic conditions.

Take the left from the main Angkor Wat entrance and head into Angkor Thom. Keep going past the Ta Prohm and the Baksei Chamkron temples and you would find Terrace of the Elephants on your left.

Notes: Do not forget to take a map as the local drivers often get confused with the roads to the temple complex. The best would be to hire the tuk-tuk from hotels as these drivers are well-versed with the roads.

Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom are the places in Cambodia that make for the country’s history, heritage, and identity. Visit Terrace of the Elephants to enjoy its mesmerising beauty and the ancient charm that bewilders thousands every year.