All located a short distance from each other, these sites inside Angkor Thom (The Great City of Angkor) are its northern gate, Preah Paliley and the Terrace of the Leper King.
The North Gate is one of Angkor Thom’s 5 gates allowing passage through 12 kilometers of walls that surround the nine square kilometers of Angkor Thom – the Great City of Angkor – the walls are divided by two axes running north-south and east-west. The south gate is the best preserved overall, but the Gopuram on the north gate is the best preserved feature on any gate.
But the architecture of all four gates is virtually the same: The central tower is capped by three face-towers that face the four directions. Below them at the base of the gate are two sets of elephant statues that flank the entrance. The south gate is the busiest while few go to the North, making it a gem to visit and photograph.
The Terrace of the Leper King is located in the northwest corner of the Royal Square of Angkor Thom. There was, in fact, no real “leper king”. The name comes from a 15th century statue found there, the Hindu god Yama, the God of Death.
It was called the “leper king statue” because of discoloration and moss growing on it looked like a person with leprosy. Plus it fit with a Cambodian legend. The site is believed to have been used as a crematorium and is filled to the rafters with carvings and bass reliefs.
Preah Palilay is a small Buddhist sanctuary tucked in a wooded area north of the Royal Palace in Angkor Thom. Experts can’t pinpoint when it was built, but sometime between the 12th and 14th centuries. It was cleaned in 1918-19. It’s well-known for the trio of trees growing out of the ruins and the remaining pediments showing faces and Buddhist tales. Other pediments have been taken to museums.
It’s well-known for the trio of trees growing out of the ruins and the remaining pediments showing faces and Buddhist tales. Other pediments have been taken to museums.