Ta Prohm was the second temple on my list in Siem Reap after main Angkor Wat temple (also read: the magnificent ruins of angkor wat) The moment I entered the temple after a long dusty walk of 500 meters inside the Angkor wat complex, my jaw dropped….what a Serendipity….an extravagant combination of human artifice and raw nature working together in accidental harmony, with impossibly picturesque results. Ancient monument with wide courtyards, ruined by time, half-eaten by encroaching jungle, its hallways and roofs engulfed by giant trees; the temple satiated the hungry nature lover in me at the same time giving the magnanimous look into the past. Though the surrounding is magical, atmosphere is so photogenic, I was yet not left alone to commune with nature as the temples can get very crowded if the visit is not wisely timed hence I visited this temple twice to find the harmony with nature. The ongoing restoration work by UNESCO makes it look like a construction site at some places yet it can startle you with its elegance of rich history.
Ta Prohm was also heavily featured in the Tomb Raider movie, probably because it looks so…eerie. With the overgrown trees and giant tree roots which have so obviously conquered the man-made temple, there’s something eerily tranquil and yet soothing about Ta Prohm.
The complexity of its layout is increased by its party collapsed state, with trees interlaced among the ruins. Two species of trees here are silk-cotton tree and strangler fig tree. The trees have served as the agents of both support and destruction over time.
Join me on my second pictorial saga of Ta Prohm temple
The best time to visit the temple is early morning when the subtle sun rays gaze into shards of broken stone walls and swathes of silences that stay on and witness thousands of people until the sun sets and voices fade; footfalls die. The saga of this ageless temple continues with every sunrise…………