Terrific terraces

Terrific terraces

srphotobyline.jpg
srphotobyline.jpg

To the north of the famous Terrace of the Elephants in Angkor Thom is the Terrace of the Leper King. It dates from the Bayon period and was built in the late 12th or early 13th century. It has seven spectacular tiers of reliefs, depicting Apsaras and scenes from the king's court, as well as hundreds of human figures. There is some speculation about the meaning of the terrace. At the top of the terrace is a statue that, when discovered, was covered in moss, giving the impression of leprosy. It was believed to represent Jayavarman VII.  There is a legend, depicted in the Bayon temple, that the king fought a giant snake that spat poison at him, and he contracted leprosy. The original figure carved in the 14th century was moved to the National Museum in Phnom Penh and is now thought to be Yama, the god of death. Behind the terrace lies an older gallery that was concealed until it was exposed during restoration work in the late 1990s. The hidden carvings are easily accessible down a narrow corridor, with modern concrete supporting the original structure. The entrance has animal figures, including Mekong dolphins, crocodiles, fish and crabs. The narrow terrace zigzags behind, with hundreds of figures including spectacular nine-headed Nagas. Both the Leper King and Elephants terraces are best seen and photographed in the mornings.

MOST VIEWED

  • US to ramp up sanctions after ‘flawed’ national polls

    At a press conference on Wednesday, the US State Department announced that it would expand visa sanctions on the Cambodian officials and individuals it deems responsible for “undermining democracy” in Cambodia. At the briefing, spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated that the department regarded the July 29 elections

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National