Ta Prohm Temple known as Tomb Raider Temple is one of the most famous and beauty temples in Angkor Wat Archaeological Park. Ta Prohm’s state of ruin is also featured in the adventure movie “The tomb raider”; several shots were filmed in the temple. The huge trees and the massive roots growing out of its walls will make your tours with delight and left with regret.
Undoubtedly the unique beauty of jungle style of temple will make every tourist unforgetable and full of love. Unlike the other monuments of Angkor, Ta Prohm Temple has been swallowed by the jungle, these scenary of ruin will make visitors appeared very much like the first European explorers stumbled upon them.
Ta Prohm is locating southwest of the East Mebon and east of Angkor Thom. It is part of the small circuit of the Angkor complex and is just a few minutes in a tuk tuk away from Angkor Wat or Angkor Thom. It can be accessed by enter the monument from the west and leave from the east entrance.
Ta Prohm is especially serene and beautiful in the early morning. A torch and a compass are useful for visiting this temple at all times. Allow as much as time to visit, especially if you want to explore the maze-like corridors and iconic tree roots.
Background of Ta Prom Temple
It was built about mid-12th century to early 13th century and originally known as Rajavihara by the King Jayavarman VII. Ta Prohm Temple was a Duddhist temple, as King Jayavarman VII was a folloer of Mahayana Buddhism and the temple also dedicated to the mother of the king.
It is one of the few temples in the Angkor Wat Archaeological Park where a Sanskrit inscription on stone still in place which provides information about the temple’s dependents and inhabitants. Ta Prohm 3,140 villages. It took 79,365 people to maintain the temple including 18 great priests, 2,740 officials, 2,202 assistants and 615 dancers. Among the property belonging to the temple was a set of golden dishes weighing more than 500 kilograms, 35 diamonds, 40,620 pearls, 4,540 precious stones, 876 veils from China, 512 silk beds and 523 parasols.
After the fall of the Khmer Empire in the 15th century, the temple of Ta Prohm was abandoned and neglected for centuries. Ta Prohm have left largely as it had been found. As of 2013, Archaeological Survey of India has restored most parts of the temple complex some of which have been constructed from scratch.
Layout of the Ta Prohm Temple
Unlike other Khmer temples which designed as a temple-pyramid or temple-mountain, the inner levels of which are higher than the outer, Ta Prohm Temple design have a typical “flat” Khmer temple. Like most Khmer temples, Ta Prohm is oriented to the east. The outer wall of 1000 by 650 metres encloses an area of 650,000 square metres.
There are entrance gopuras at each of the walls, although access today is now only possible from the east and west. The face towers of the temple similar to those found at the Bayon were added to the gopuras. At one time, moats could be found inside and outside the fourth enclosure. Today only traces of the wall are still visible.
The center of the monument is reached by a series of towers connected with passages. Ta Prohm is a temple of towers, closed courtyards and narrow corridors. Many of the corridors are impassable. Bas-reliefs on bulging walls are carpeted with lichen, moss and creeping plants.
The central sanctuary is 24 meters long, a single sanctuary tower in the center and enclosed by galleries with a tower at each of its corners. It used to be possible to climb onto the damaged galleries, but this is now prohibited. The South East corner of the courtyard contains a library building.
Related Article: Bayon Temple – Great Khmer City in Ancient World