A Ta Prohm Temple structure with a tree grown on top

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm is one of the most visited temple complexes in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The temple complex is intermingled with tall trees, some of which have grown on top of structures with their roots flowing down to the ground, which makes a fascinating view.

Location

It is located a mile east of Bayon.

Archaeological Site

The Ta Prohm archaeological site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The Archaeological Society of India (ASI) has been collaborating with the Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (APSARA) of Cambodia to conserve and restore the site.  The image below shows the layout of the site.

Layout of the Ta Prohm temple complex
The layout of the Ta Prohm temple complex

History

According to the inscription found inside the temple, King Jayavarman VII, who was a follower of Mahayana Buddhism, built Ta Prohm as a Buddhist monument in 1186 CE and dedicated it to his mother. It is believed that she is buried inside the temple complex. Ta Prohm also has two smaller temples inside the complex dedicated to his brother and guru (teacher).

Ta Prohm, which means Ancestor Brahma, was originally named Raja Vihara, which in Sanskrit literally means king’s rest house. But the term vihara was generally used in Buddhist texts to indicate a monastery. Therefore, Ta Prohm must have been a Buddhist monastery.

Layout

The layout and architecture of Ta Prohm are more like Banteay Srei than Angkor Wat. It is not a temple mountain like Angkor Wat, but rather like Banteay Srei having temple structures within the concentric enclosures.

Like most of the Hindu and Buddhist temples, Ta Prohm faces east. It has five concentric enclosures of rectangular shape with a wall surrounding each, but most of the walls have collapsed.

Temple Complex

The image shows the causeway and the entrance to the third innermost enclosure from the west side.

An entrance to the third enclosure of the Ta Prohm temple complex from the west side
An entrance to the third enclosure of the Ta Prohm temple complex from the west side

Ta Prohm has many temple structures with tall trees grown on top of them. The roots of the trees flow down to the ground covering parts of the structure. These scenes have fascinated people all over the world and tourists flock to see these fascinating structures that coexist with the jungle.

Ta Prohm temple structures with trees grown on top

Copyright © 2018-2019 by Lawrence Rodrigues. All rights reserved.

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