Buddhist temple abandoned in Angkor, the Ta Prohm is known for the huge trees and the massive roots growing out of its walls. The abandoned Buddhist temple is cloaked in dappled shadow, its crumbling towers and walls locked in the slow muscular embrace of vast root systems. Undoubtedly the most atmospheric ruin at Angkor, Ta Prohm should be high on the hit list of every visitor. Its appeal lies in the fact that, unlike the other monuments of Angkor, it has been swallowed by the jungle, and looks very much the way most of the monuments of Angkor appeared when European explorers first stumbled upon them.
The abandoned Buddhist temple was intentionally left in much the same way as it was when Henri Marchal, curator, and conservator of the EFEO did some basic clearing work in 1920. Only the most necessary work to prevent further deterioration and collapse was done. The attractive forest setting and the original state of the abandoned temple have made it one of the most visited abandoned Buddhist temples.
The History of Abandoned Buddhist Temple: Ta Prohm
Built-in 1186 and originally known as Rajavihara (Monastery of the King), Ta Prohm was a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII. It is one of the few temples in the Angkor region where an inscription provides information about the temple’s dependents and inhabitants. Almost 80,000 people were required to maintain or attend the temple, among them more than 2700 officials and 615 dancers.
The abandoned Buddhist temple is part of one of the greatest structures ever built in the world known as Angkor Wat. According to legend, the king’s mother was buried in the temple and her tomb was surrounded by four big walls made of diamonds.
Layout of the Abandoned Buddhist Temple Complex
Ta Prohm is among the largest of the monuments in the Angkor complex, the in scrimption gives an idea of the size of the temple. The complex included 260 statues of gods, 39 towers with pinnacles and 566 groups of residences. Ta Prohm comprises a series of long low buildings standing on one level, which are enclosed by rectangular laterite wall (600 by 1,000 meters, 1,959 by 3,281 feet). Only traces of the wall are still visible.
The center of the monument is reached by a series of towers connected with passages. This arrangement forms a ‘ sort of sacred way into the heart of the monument’; three-square galleries enclose the area. From the main Eastern entrance, a 350-meter long path leads to a terrace with guardian lions and Naga balustrades that crosses the moat. In front of the terrace is a rest house for pilgrims visiting the temple.
The Central Sanctuary of the Abandoned Buddhist Temple
The central sanctuary of abandoned Buddhist temple in Cambodia is enclosed by galleries with a tower at each of its corners. The square central courtyard is 24 meters long, a single sanctuary tower is set in its center. The South East corner of the courtyard contains a library building.
The false doors on the north and south sides of the large rectangular enclosure with high walls are finely decorated. There are four small courts with galleries and pillars (12). Ritual dances may have been performed in this area. The walls of these passages are decorated with relief. To the left there is a hall with pillars placed close together. They probably provided the base for a structure built of wood. Beyond are small rectangular cells, which surround the exterior of Ta Prohm.
Stunning Photos of Buddhist Temple Abandoned in Cambodia
How To Get To The Abandoned Ta Prohm in Cambodia
The most direct way to reach Siem Reap and Angkor Wat is through Siem Reap International Airport outside the city. Most full service and budget Asian airlines have at least a few connections to Siem Reap from a lot of major Asian cities. You can also take domestic flights from Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville.
How to Get to the Ta Prohm By bicycle
The cheapest way to get around Siem Reap is by bicycle, which may be free at your hotel or hostel or if rent, the rent free is from US$1 – 8 per day depending on types and quality of bike. Please be prepared for a long ride if you want to combine Ta Prohm temple with other temples. Since the weather in Siem Reap is quite hot and humid, nevertheless to say, bring enough water with you.
How to Get to the Ta Prohm by tuk tuk
Tuk tuk seems to be the most convenient way to get around Cambodia, especially in Siem Reap. You can easily find tuk tuk drivers everywhere along the side of the road in Siem Reap. The price is ranging from US$15- 25 per day for temples located near by the city center. A tuk tuk can hold up 4 people so you can always split the cost between friends. Most of tuk tuk drivers can speak English and know where to take you to.
The Abandoned Buddhist Temple Ta Prohm on Google Maps
Find the location oftThe Abandoned Buddhist Temple Ta Prohm in Cambodia on maps.
If you’d like to see more abandoned places then check out our articles on the Stunning Photos of Train Graveyard at the Sukhumi railway station and the Abandoned Sukhumi Babushara Airport in Abkhazia