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An experience we will never forget
March 24, 2012

Terrace of Leper King

The Terrace of the Leper King is a double terrace wall at the northwest corner of the Royal Square of Angkor Thom.  This terrace has two beautifully carved walls. On the outside wall, the bas-reliefs represent snakes, Garuda with multiple arms and naga. On the wall inside, you can find carvings of elephants.


The Terrace of the Leper King was built in the Bayon style under Jayavarman VII, though its modern name derives from a 15th century sculpture discovered at the site. The statue depicts the Hindu god Yama, the god of Death. He was called the Leper King because discoloration and moss growing on the original statue was reminiscent of a person with leprosy, and also because it fit in with a Cambodian legend of an Angkorian king who had leprosy. The name that the Cambodians know him by, however, is Dharmaraja, as this is what was etched at the bottom of the original statue at the National Museum of Phnom Penh.


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