Terrace of the Leper King is located in the northwest corner of the Royal Square of Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

Walsl with artificial carving at Terrace of the Leper King.

Terrace of the Leper King, Siem Reap, Cambodia Terrace of the Leper King, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Terrace of the Leper King was built in the Bayon style under Jayavarman VII.

Terrace of the Leper King, Siem Reap, Cambodia Terrace of the Leper King, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Terrace of the Leper King is located in a special location in Angkor Temples Complex

The tourist will have a chance to take the photographs very special at here

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There are a lot of the images that were carved on the stone walls inTerrace of the Leper King

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This site is included a lot of very special stone statues

Terrace of the Leper King is situated in the northwest corner of the Royal Square of Angkor Thom Complex, Cambodia. It was built in the style of Bayon under the reign of King Jayavarman VII though its modern name originates from a 15th century sculpture discovered at the side. From the main entrance of the Royal Square of Angkor Thom, tourists can reach the temple by tramcar. After passing Bayon, Baphuon Temple and then Terrace of the Elephants, they will see Terrace of the Leper King lying at the end of the corridor.

This structure is unique by its special name as well as the way of sculpture and decoration. Its name might derive from the statue of a leper king placed on the yard. In fact, it is only a duplicate because the original has been moved to the Phnom Penh National Museum. The statue is described with the posture of the right leg raised up – a posture of Java style according to some researchers.

There are many legends and mysteries around the name “the leper king”. It is assumed that King Jayavarman VII was a leper, so he built a lot of hospitals during the reigning time. But this hypothesis seems to have no plausible historical grounds. Some historians believe that this statue is Kubera – the God of Health or Yasovarman I (both of them were lepers). Another opinion is based on inscriptions which are engraved on the statue. It means the embodiment of Yama – The God of Death or Judgment. Some other people also claim that the statue of a leper king has this name because of lichens growing on it. Furthermore, the posture of the lost arm on the statue also indicates that it is holding something.

Some researchers believe that almost all Khmer temples are tombs of kings who were cremated. As a result, they affirm that tombs of the Royal are places on Terrace of the Leper King. But this is still the belief of only some people and there hasn’t been any historical evidence to support it.

Terrace of the Leper King is placed on a square base with each side of 25m long and 6m high. They are all made of laterite, clad in sandstone and decorated with bas-reliefs which are divided into 7 horizontal strips. The outer wall describes mythological creatures: god snake, garuda, giants with many arms holding the sword or mace…The inner wall has impressively decorated bas-reliefs. Their content is quite similar to that of outer reliefs. This wall was built first and buried under the soil when the outer wall was constructed. Besides, they are added some low pillars carved with the image of fish, elephant and a horizontal strip describing a river. It is intricately carved walls that depict the life of humans and other living creatures. The final layer of the wall is sculpted with the image of gods riding marine animals and holding sacred objects in hands.

It can’t be denied that legends and stories around the name of this landmark create its own appeal to tourists. They come here not only to admire an ancient Khmer structure, take beautiful photos but also to know more about weird stories behind it. Though this destination is a little less famous than other tourist spots, it is still a must-see place in the Kingdom of Cambodia. If you love ancient temples and unique architectures in this country, Terrace of the Leper King will be a good stop for your journey in Cambodia. Be ready to discover and have interesting experiences with this landmark!

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