Terrace of the Leper King
Terrace of the Leper King is an elaborate stone terrace is packed with high relief carvings in a repetitious display of beauty….with craftsmanship that is amazing!
One of the most popular sites in Angkor Thom Archaeology Park, it is recognized for fine, elaborate decorated walls and is located next to the Terrace of Elephants. Terrace of the Leper King is believed to have been built as a representation of Mount Meru, which is the center of the universe for both Buddhist and Hindu religions.
There are rumors abound as to who the Leper King really was?
It is thought that the terrace was named because of the statue that once occupied the platform, which depicted the God of death. The original statue has now been move and placed in the National Museum at Phenom Penh. However such a depiction of death, leads many to believe that Terrance of the Leper King was in fact the royal crematorium.
It is believe that Royals were cremated and placed in burial jars, which seemed to be confirmed in the 1960’s. This is when archaeologist BP Groslier was heading a team excavating Srah Srang, where he found numerous cremated remains placed in these rumored burial jars. The site also contain grave goods which included lead, bronze and other ceramics dating back to the 11th century.
Pre Rup Temple is also thought to be a funeral shrine and may have been used in conjunction with Terrace of the Leapers, during the elaborate Khmer burial ceremonies.
These burial jars could have provided much information about the history, genetics and burial practices of the ancient Khmer empire. However, the jars have now gone missing and some think that this took place during the war in Cambodia – but no one seems to know for sure.
Because records have been lost, we may never know what this beautiful site was really used for…and it leaves much to the imagination.