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The Temple of Ta Prohm

The Temple of Ta ProhmCambodia as it is depicted now dates back to 612 years. The most famous symbol of the old Cambodia, wild and free is a monument complex of Angkor Wat, but besides it the country is rich with many interesting places. Clean and vast beaches of Sihanoukville and unique temples and places, picturesque nature, old and natural open-air museums and religious places - all this is a bright variety of attractions that Cambodia offers to its visitors as a good reason to visit Cambodia

The History of the Temple

The historical city of Angkor was once the original capital of the ancient Empire of Khmer and also one of the most inhabitant cities in the world. The extent of it was known in all neighboring states. This large, covering ~ 550 square kilometers complex of buildings was known far across the borders of the Khmer Empire until it was demolished in 1431 by the troops of Siam. More than one hundred palaces and temples lay hidden under the canopy of lush tropical forest to the end of the nineteenth century, when the French naturalist Ann Myo reopened it for humanity. And in 1992, the whole area of Angkor was considered a historical site of UNESCO.

The Temple of Ta ProhmThe world renown this place became after the shooting of the film "Lara Croft - Tomb Raider", which was carried out in several temples of Angkor. As a result, the temple of Ta Prohm is famous even to those who never made a trip to Cambodia. So if you have been wondering up till now, be sure that all the decorations are real and fully natural, and can be easily visited now.

Though for those who would like to find here some treasures of the ancients or tackle the mystic riddles, this in fact, was nothing more than the result of good script writing. Even though the image of the place has already been mixed because of the film, to date the grandeur and tranquility reign here, and the mystic atmosphere of clamminess is felt in every sound and move.  

Ta Prohm Origin

Ta Prohm is a one of a kind temple, bound with massive roots of huge trees. It was once richly decorated with precious stones, there was music, and in the halls were held receptions and Apsara dances. When in the late nineteenth century, the French found Ta Prohm, it was decided not to conduct a full restoration of the temple. The main reason for that were the giant trees - ficus and silk trees- that fused so much with the ancient walls that now seem as one. And now we can see this large-scale monument of Cambodia is in the form in which it was found by the researchers. 

The structure includes a number of majestic Angkor temples, the most renown of which is the "city of temples" of Angkor Wat. This place was created as a temple and as well as a mausoleum of King Suryavarman II in the years 1112-1152. This is also the biggest religious building in the world.

Angkor Wat can be called a "burial" temple: the king started its construction in order to have his ashes placed there after the death. Essentially, the purpose of this place is the same as that of the Egyptian pyramids. There is, however, another version, about the divine origin of this unique city. Legend says that Angkor Wat in Cambodia was raised by the son of the Hindu god Indra, the Khmer ruler Preh Katomialia. One day he went to the heavenly chambers with his godly father, where everything was simply ideal, including the barn. Son loved the place of the sacred animals, so he decided to make a copy of the magnificent building on Earth. So in such a way, the Angkor Wat a replica of the barn Indra was created on Earth.

The Temple of Ta Prohm – 2ndThe temple complex Ta Prohm is indeed, extremely majestic. It can be even named as a tower-complex, the central tower is about sixty-five meters tall and there are four additional smaller sized towers around. The structure represents the five peaks of the divine mountain Meru. Large moat surrounds the Ta Prohm and is about 190 feet wide and more than 5 kilometers long. The moat represents the world's oceans. To the main entrance of the temple leads the stone-paved road. The building itself has the form of a three-stage pyramid and is lavishly decorated with carvings and other wall-pictures and paintings.    

Actually the Angkor Wat alone has already given the world popularity to Cambodia, and thus this temple itself would already be enough for Cambodia to fit into the "top" of the countries list with the most famous and unique architecture. But this monument is just a drop in the sea! As the area of Angkor has a large number of other breathtaking places of worship.

Other Temples of Ta Prohm

One of those, for example, is the temple of Pre-Rup (translated from Khmer - "Turning the body"): a huge mountain which is also considered to be a temple that is dedicated to Shiva. At the end of tenth century Pre-Rup was the new capital for Khmer people. The place is emclosed by a moat and fences, and the main temple is located on the hill. The strange name comes from the cremation ceremony when the body is consistently overturned in a funeral flames. But these days, its erstwhile gloominess The Temple of Ta Prohm – 2ndis already lost, and now it is believed that it is the most suitable place in Cambodia for enjoying the sunsets.

No less immense is the Angkor Thom ("Big City") and a three-tiered pyramid of Bayonne. From a distance it looks like an awkward jumble of huge rocks, but while approaching you can already see the amazing bas-reliefs with carvings of various everyday life scenes of the ancient people of Khmer Empire and the famous images of the Avalokiteśvara, which are made with such great skills that, depending on the time of day and also on the view angle the sunlight changes the facial expression of the images.   

Another unique place is also the so-called Elephant Terrace: from this terrace which is located 350-meter above the ground the old Khmer kings watched over the ceremonies on the main square of Angkor Thom. In a little more southern part of Angkor lies the "East Bareilles" - a giant artificial lake of a length of about 7 km and with a width of 1.8 kilometers.

In the vicinity of Angkor can be found another one of the first Khmer capitals named Hariharalaya. This capital was built by Jayavarman II and has a number of very unique in its nature monuments found directly on the territory of the city, including the five-tier Bakong temple. In these lands there is also a sacred mountain of Phnom Kulen and the river Kbal Spean, ("River of thousands lingas") - in its stone bottom of this river are carved numerous phallic symbols and sculptures of gods...

Ta Prohm in the Evening

As many of the attractions of Cambodia need your full attention, and if you truly want to understand and feel the atmosphere of the place be prepared to spend the whole day and night at this place. It is no longer a dark and depressive place; it is a unique place which can also offer you great view during the evening, and also during night. Be sure to devote one evening for this place and later see the sunrise together with the beloved ones in the Ta Prohm.

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