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.
Late 12th century AD
30 - 45 minutes
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.
Siem Reap: 11.0km
Angkor Wat: 4.0km
Ta Keo: 2.6km
Banteay Prei: 4.4km
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.
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.
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Not much is known about the terrace except that it was originally made from organic material.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.
Did you find this Temple Guide helpful? Please share!