Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire, built by Jayavarman VII in the late twelfth century. He was the greatest of the Khmer Kings.
Surrounded by a moat and walls the remains of Angkor Thom demonstrate a powerful empire. The remains include the temple of Bayon, the Baphuon, the Terrace of the Elephants, and the Terrace of the Leper King.
The Gates of Angkor Thom
At each of the cardinal points is a gate big enough to allow Elephants to pass through. Facing the four cardinal points at the top of each gate is a stone face.
The Temple of Bayon
The Baphuon, state temple of King Udayadityavarman II, lies between the Royal Palace and the Bayon temple. It is in the shape of a stepped pyramid. The sandstone monument is dedicated to Shiva. In the 15th century, when converted into a Buddhist temple part of the temple was destroyed. Colleen stayed with Ben at the bottom as children under 12 are not allowed into the higher portions of the terrace. After climbing the steep stairs the age limit made sense.
The Elephant Terrace
Built by the King, Jayavarman VII, so that he could watch his returning army march through the Victory gate. He knew how to have a parade!
Terrace of the Leper King
According to Inga, who travels to Cambodia quite a bit, “When the statue was first discovered, it had massive discoloration and moss growing on it resembling a person with leprosy. The statue represents Yama – the Lord of the Dead. In the past, it was thought to represent the legendary “leper king”, King Yasovarman I. The is now considered to have functioned as a royal cremation platform.”
We had the opportunity to video the Elephant Terrace to the Terrace of the Leper King from the Tuk-tuk as we drove to a different site the following day. The video gives you a true sense of how big the promenade was. Gotta Love a good parade!
Next post Ta Prohm Temple made famous by Tomb Raider and Angelina Jolie.