A Return to Angkor: The Tree-Adorned Temple of Ta Prohm

Regarded as one of Angkor’s most atmospheric temples, Ta Prohm is perhaps best known as the location in which the movie Tomb Raider was filmed (admittedly, I have not seen it).

The circa 12th century temple’s gnarly, towering trees are at times indistinguishable from the stone walls, pillars, and foundations that they are devouring.

And the setting is mysterious.

If you have ever pondered what would happen to man’s structures if left tended only by Mother Nature for several centuries, Ta Prohm illustrates the answer well.

Ta Prohm was built by King Jayavarman VII in honor of his mother, Jayashitamani. Since 2006, it has been undergoing renovation, thanks to the Indian government. Thus far, the projects have stabilized the structure, using metal girders.  A colonnade has also been restored, using columns that long ago haphazardly collapsed. It is expected that these jigsaw-like puzzle repairs will continue through 2014.

I feel fortunate to have twice seen Ta Prohm before the complex becomes too refurbished, for it is the temple’s faults that offer the most treasured character.

Where in the World?

Photography & text © Tricia A. Mitchell. All rights reserved.


12 thoughts on “A Return to Angkor: The Tree-Adorned Temple of Ta Prohm

    1. Victor, agreed! Both times I have been to Angkor, time has been rather short and I felt as though I was whizzing through the various sites. It is incredible how many there are to see! Which temples were your favorites?

      I’m hoping to make it to Banteay Srei the next time we’re in Siem Reap. I’ve heard it’s a beautiful and delicately-carved temple.

    1. Sonali, I hope your dream will soon become a reality! Angkor is such a tremendous place to explore and savor. It’s a pleasure to hear that my photos have allowed others to escape there – if only for a few moments. :)

    1. Thanks for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed the photos from our Angkorian adventures; it makes sharing the photos that much more enjoyable. I just saw your images from Germany – lovely! Makes me yearn for Europe, even though we’re enjoying Asia so very much!

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