"Ta Prohm temple inside of Angkor Thom complex was by far my favorite that we saw while we were in Siem Reap. Remember how I love trees jutting out of rocks? This was pretty much the epitome of just that. Itís even where the tree made famous by Tomb Raider stands in all its glory.
We wandered through the never ending maze of crumbling walls, tree roots and the reconstruction of the walls they could still salvage. Each tree seemed even more unique than the last as we gave into our click happy fingers, racking up what felt like hundreds of photos in just a matter of hours."
This temple, adapted from Bayon Style, was built during the late 12th and early 13th centuries, during the reign of King Jayavarman VII (AD 1181 - 1120) as a
place of worship for Brahmans and Buddhists.
Ta Prohm is the modern name of a temple at Angkor, Cambodia, built in the Bayon style largely in the late 12th and early 13th centuries and originally called Rajavihara.
The temple is 42 meters long, 36 meters wide and 11 meters high. Today the
temple body, the gallery, the wall, the gopura (gateway) and the moat surrounding the temple are heavily damaged. The temple was constructed of brick
and sandstone and divided into many rooms. The outside wall is decorated with bas-reliefs illustrating the Brahman story about the celestial nymph. Inside the
temple are five rooms and a 13th century Buddha statue that faces east.
The temple's stele records that the site was home to more than 12,500
people (including 18 high priests and 615 dancers), with an additional 80,000 souls in the surrounding villages working to provide services and supplies. The
stele also notes that the temple amassed considerable riches, including gold, pearls and silks.
After the fall of the Khmer empire in the 15th century, the temple of Ta Prohm was abandoned and neglected for centuries.
As of 2010, however, it seems authorities have started to take a more aggressive approach to restoration. All the plants and shrubs have been cleared from the site and some of trees are also getting removed.
A crane has been erected and a large amount of building work is underway to restore the temple, with much of the work seemingly just rebuilding the temple
from scratch as at other sites. Wooden walkways, platforms, and roped railings have been put in place around the site which now block some of the previously famous postcard photo opportunities.
The temple of Ta Prohm was used as a location in the film Tomb Raider. Although the film took visual liberties with other Angkorian temples, its scenes
of Ta Prohm were quite faithful to the temple's actual appearance, and made use of its eerie qualities.
The trees growing out of the ruins are perhaps the most distinctive feature of Ta Prohm, and "have prompted more writers to descriptive excess than any other feature of Angkor".Two species predominate, but
sources disagree on their identification: the larger is either the silk-cotton tree (Ceiba pentandra) or thitpok
nudiflora, and the smaller is either the strangler fig (Ficus gibbosa). or Gold Apple (Diospyros decandra). Indulging in what might be regarded as "descriptive excess".