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Ta Prohm

Listed under Temples in Cambodia.

  • Photo of Ta Prohm
  • Photo of Ta Prohm
  • Photo of Ta Prohm
  • Photo of Ta Prohm
  • Photo of Ta Prohm
  • Photo of Ta Prohm
  • Photo of Ta Prohm
  • Photo of Ta Prohm
Photo of Ta Prohm
Photo by flickr user beggs
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This is one of the familiar faces of Angkor – literally. Ta Prohm is the temple with the big face on the rounded front of it that appears in numerous photos of Angkor. It was built as a monastery and university in the late 12th or early 13th Century and these days is one of the few temples that has been left in its originally re-discovered over grown state. Efforts have been made to protect the temple from merging any further with the jungle though, it’s kept in a carefully maintained aura of ‘apparent neglect’. The other unusual thing about this temple is the lack of narrative relief work. Some scholars think it was there originally but then removed when the Hindu faith overtook the popularity of the Buddhist one with the leaders. A few Buddhist carvings remain though, mostly depicting temple guardians, monks meditating and dancing girls.

While many of the Angkor temples are built up like the beginnings of pyramids, Ta Prohm is a flat temple built with five shrinking walls all around a central sanctuary. The outer wall is about 1000m by 650m. The purist layout has been slightly garbled by later additions including a large library in the southeast corner.

The temple has it’s own records printed on it, one of them is a bit of a census and says the temple was home to more than 12,500 people including 18 high priests and 615 temple dancers, and that there were around 80,000 more people living in the vicinity in the town that surrounded it.

The face is Prajnaparamita, the personification of wisdom – but it looks quite similar to the statues and records of the King’s mother…

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

Other expert and press reviews

“Hidden deep in a jungle overrun by parrots and banyan trees is a magical 12th-century temple.”

By William Dalrymple The Observer 14th October 2007 I know nowhere more secretive, more lost-in-the-forest, or more mysteriously, darkly lovely than the Khmer temple complex of Ta Prohm, a few miles' hike into the jungle from Angkor Wat. Angkor itself… Read more...

Written by press. Full Article from The Observer

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