Built by Jayavarman VII, Terrace of the Elephants is a part of the walled city of Angkor Thom, in Cambodia. Most of the original structure was made of organic material and is lost, only the foundation platform of the complex remains. The terrace is named for the carvings of elephants on its eastern face. The middle section of the retaining wall is decorated with life-size Lions and Garuda – a large mythical bird-like creature that appears in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology.
The 350m-long terrace was used as a giant reviewing stand for public ceremonies and served as a base for the king’s grand audience hall. In front of the terrace platform are the twelve identical Suor Prat towers, where some say acrobats performed on ropes stretched between the towers. Other stories suggest that these towers were used to resolve disputes through ‘celestial judgement’. Whenever there was a conflict between two people, both persons were locked inside a tower for several days. Whoever comes out without any disease or sickness would be declared the righteous party.
|Garuda – a bird like mythical creature|
|Naga and Lions at the terrace|