Terrace of the Leper King
The legendary leper
What we say:
Commencing where the Elephant Terrace left off, and believed to date to the 13th century, the 6m-high Terrace of the Leper King is so named for the statue of Yama, the God of the Underworld, atop it.
Stark naked, Yama sits with one knee raised, surveying the Royal Square. Because it is tainted by discolouration and lichen, the statue was believed to be one of a leper, and the name stuck. The statue is a replica, with the original now held in the National Museum in Phnom Penh.
The Leper King Terrace is decorated with seven levels (the top level is almost all gone) of bas relief carvings. Three of the four walls (east, north and south) are carved with very deep bas reliefs. The carvings on the north wall are among the best — keep an eye out for the sword swallower.
The terrace also has a hidden rear corridor which can be entered from either the southwest or northwest and which zigzags behind the main terrace. Along this secret passage the lower level of bas reliefs represent the underworld — keep an eye out for the particularly vivid expressions on some of the faces. Likewise watch out for the persistent children who will hassle you no end as they're out of sight of the Apsara staff.
More detailsNorth of the Elephant Terrace
Last updated: 27th December, 2009
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