Terrace of Elephants

The History and Culture of Angkor Wat’s Breathtaking Terrace of Elephants

The Terrace of the Elephants at Angkor Wat is a stone terrace that stands as a testament to the power and culture of the ancient Khmer people. Built in the 12th century, it features intricate carvings depicting scenes from Hindu mythology—including an elephant parade—and provides an important insight into Khmer culture.

Learn About the Backstory Behind Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat was built in the 12th century as a temple complex dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. It was one of the largest and most important religious sites of its time, attracting both Cambodian and international pilgrims throughout its history. The Terrace of Elephants helped to further emphasize Angkor Wat’s grandeur and served as an impressive platform for royal ceremonies. Additionally, it represented Hindu cosmology, with its three tiers symbolizing the three levels of existence: heaven, earth and underworld.

Explore the Detail of the Carvings in Angkor Wat’s Terrace of Elephants

The Terrace of Elephants is definitely one of the most iconic and breathtaking attractions in Angkor Wat. What makes it even more special is the intricate detail found in its carvings along the length of the platform. There are lifelike renditions of entwined serpents, lively parades of dancing animals, galloping elephants, mythical sea creatures, and vibrant floral motifs that gracefully adorn the terrace. Explore this amazing sculpture with a trusted expert to learn more about its symbols and get all your questions answered!

Discover the Symbolism of the Elephant Motif at Angkor Wat

The elephant motif found in Angkor Wat is used as a symbol of royalty, divine power, and protection. Elephants are frequently depicted alongside Khmer rulers and their size is thought to represent royal power and strength. In the 10th century, King Jayavarman VII even had four giant stone elephants at the corners of the temple to act as symbolic guardian figures that were meant to protect the temple grounds from any potential evil forces.

Uncover The Meaning of Different Scarf Patterns Found At The Terrace Of Elephants

Various patterns of the scarf found on the elephants have symbolic meaning behind them. A star-shaped pattern seen often in the decorations of Angkor Wat is known as ‘ganda’ or ‘garland’, an ancient symbol of royalty and power. In addition to that, a hieroglyphic inscription found at the terrace interpret a kind of bear-like creature which is thought to be related to Khmer cultural symbols, such as good fortune and protection against any negative energy.

The History & Culture Behind The Terrance’s Elephant Design

A terrace of elephants created for Angkor Wat is an integral part of Khmer culture and history. Although it has gone through myriad constructions, reconstructions, and deconstructions, the idea behind the designs still stands intact. Through studying the building process of the terrace over time, one can gain a greater insight into how these cultural symbols came to life and their true mesmerising effect to all who see them.

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A proper grand tour of Angkor Wat

Many Siem Reap tour companies offer grand tours, but you do not know what you will see. What we offer is a proper grand tour that not only takes you to 36 temples, we explain what you will see before you arrive at Angkor Wat. Your grand tour also includes a sunrise at Angkor Wat and and a sunset at Angor Wat over 3 days.

We offer this to you either by exclusive jeep, mini bus, coach, Tuk Tuk or female TukTuk. The choice is yours.