The Terrace of the Elephants is one of the most visited sites in the Angkor Park. It is a 2.5m tall and 300m long platform which was used by King Jayavarman VII to view his victorious returning armies.

Most of the original structure has disappeared as it was built with perishable materials such as wood. What can be seen today is the ornate foundations which contain many carvings of elephants, hence the name “Terrace of the Elephants”.

It is a popular spot because if you’re going through Angkor Thom, then there’s no way you can miss it. The huge viewing platform is in the Royal Square and is passed on nearly every tour of the ancient city.

Temple Facts

Date:

Late 12th century AD

Religion:

Buddhism

Built By:

Jayavarman VII

Dedicated To:

Unknown

Style:

Bayon

Best Time to Visit:

Anytime

Length of Visit:

30 - 45 minutes

Temple Pass:

Required

More information about the Angkor Temple Pass.

Terrace of the Elephant Temple Guide

Location

The Terrace of the Elephants is located in the Royal Square in the ancient city of Angkor Thom about 400m north of Bayon Temple. Nearby temples include Phimeanakas, Baphuon, Suor Prat Tower, North Khleang, Tep Pranam, and the Preah Pithu Group.

Getting There

If you enter Angkor Thom via the South Gate (like most visitors do), keep heading north past Bayon. Continue north and you’ll see the terrace on the left side.

If you’re entering via the eastern Victory Gate. Continue straight along Victory Way and you’ll see the terrace directly in front of you. For those entering from the North Gate, head south for around 500m and you’ll see the terrace on the right side.

Coordinates

13.4462325, 103.8565752

Distances

Siem Reap: 11.0km

Angkor Wat: 4.0km

Ta Keo: 2.6km

Banteay Prei: 4.4km

Tours

Nearly all tours which pass through Angkor Thom will give you the opportunity to stop at the Terrace of the Elephants. Particularly, tours of Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm will pass right past the terrace. The Angkor Wat Small Circuit Tour also lists the terrace on its itinerary.

If you’re exploring the temples on your own without a guide, make sure you stop by here and take a look at one of the most popular areas in the park.

Accommodation

There are no hotels in the Angkor complex as modern buildings are not allowed here. Most guests will look for accommodation in Siem Reap town. There are hundreds of hotels to choose from and you will have no problems finding something within your budget at any time of the year.

Why Visit Terrace of the Elephants?

You won’t see anything else like both the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King anywhere else in the park. It’s a must-see attraction.

History

The Terrace of the Elephants was constructed in the late 12th century by King Jayavarman VII. The original structure was used as a viewing platform for the king to welcome home his victorious armies from battles.

Not much is known about the terrace except that it was originally made from organic material. This has long disappeared and only the foundation which was made from stone still exists today.

Layout and Design

The Terrace is 350m long and 2.5m tall. The viewing stand was also used for public ceremonies and used as a base for the king’s audience hall. There are five staircases with three along the side and one at each end.

On the staircases you see sculptures of elephants. Along the sides, there are carvings and sculptures of many animals including elephants, horses and lions. There are also carvings of warriors and dancers.

 

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