Ta Prohm - Buddhist temple (Angkor, Siem Reap)
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- ▸ Cambodia Travel Guide
Ta Prohm is among the largest of the monuments in the Angkor complex, the in scrimption gives an idea of the size of the temple. Ta Prohm is a temple of towers, closed courtyards and narrow corridors. Many of the corridors are impassable, clogged with jumbled piles of delicately carved stone blocks dislodged by the roots of long-decayed trees. Bas-reliefs on bulging walls are carpeted with lichen, moss and creeping plants, and shrubs sprout from the roofs of monumental porches. The complex included 260 statues of gods, 39 towers with pinnacles and 566 groups of residences.
When Angkor was rediscovered in the early 20th century by French archaeologists, all of the temples had become overgrown–but none so spectacularly as Ta Prohm. Nevertheless, as they excavated and restored the other temples, the archaeologists had to make sure that the giant tree roots enveloping Ta Prohm would not further deteriorate the structure or make it dangerous to visit. Though Ta Prohm may look like nature unfettered, the appearance of neglect is in fact fastidiously maintained.
Shrouded in dense jungle the temple of Ta Prohm is ethereal in aspect and conjures up a romantic aura. Fig, banyan and kapok trees spread their gigantic roots over stones, probing walls and terraces apart, as their branches and leaves intertwine to form a roof over the structures. Trunks of trees twist amongst stone pillars. The strange, haunted charm of the place entwines itself about you as you go, as inescapably as the roots have wound themselves about the walls and towers', wrote a visitor 40 years ago.
Visitors are no longer permitted to climb onto the crumbling galleries, due to the potential damage to both temple and visitor. Ta Prohm is at its most impressive early in the day. Allow as much as two hours to visit, especially if you want to explore the maze-like corridors and iconic tree roots.
Ta Prohm is extensively ruined, but you can still explore numerous towers, close courtyards and narrow corridors, discovering hidden gems of stone reliefs beneath the encroaching foliage. Many of the corridors are impassible, thanks to the jumbled piles of carved stone blocks that clog their interiors.
Ta Prohm’s popularity has soared in recent years along with the rest of the Angkor complex, but especially because of its appearance in the movie “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.”
In fact, Angkor Wat alone would be enough for Cambodia to make one of the top countries with the most famous architectural ensembles. But this monument is only a drop in the ocean! Angkor has dozens of other incredible places to visit.
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Address: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
More information: Date built: 1186 A.D. Phone: +855 12 406 929
Opening hours: 05 Am - 6 Pm
Entrance fee: One-day ($37), Three-day ($62) and Seven-day ($72) blocks that must be used on consecutive days.
- Sights in Siem Reap
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