Posted by: travelrat | January 28, 2020

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm 1

Siem Riep: 11th November 2019

The temple of Ta Prohm lies just a short distance away from the other complexes within the site. It is … or rather, was … a Buddhist temple built by Jayavarman VII, the 12th Century builder of Angkor Thom, and dedicated to his mother.

The temple was abandoned at the fall of the Khmer Empire in the 15th Century, and Nature took over to reclaim the site, with the growth of trees taking over the structure. Under French Colonial rule in the 19th Century, efforts were made to preserve the site in the condition in which it was found.  Even today, a joint project by Cambodia and India seeks the same end; to preserve, rather than restore.

It’s an even more spectacular sight than Beng Melea, and a prime example of how Nature can reclaim that which was lost. I have an idea that, if left to its own devices, the site would be completely taken over eventually. It doesn’t take much imagination to shut out the other visitors, and pretend you’re the first person to lay eyes on it for centuries.

Just about every source I consulted says that one of the trees was made famous by its appearance in ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’.  However, mentioning it has become somewhat of a cliché … so I won’t !!

Ta Prohm 2


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