"Ta Prohm Temple is in the Arms of Great Fig Tree in the Angkor Jungle"
This Angkorian Temple is best known for the two 900 year old Fig trees that have grown on top of it and wrapped it like a child in a thousand arms of massive thick roots.
The roots are thicker than the back of a full grown Crocodile.
The bark resembles the folds of a coiling snake that has burst through the stone floors and climbed up and down every column and precipice of the entire Temple.
Ta Prohm Temple is a beautiful sight and a Must-See for all tourists to the Angkor Region.
It is such a small and ordinary temple that it is hard to see on the Angkor Wat Map that we included. Even though it is a good map of Angkor Wat that shows all the Angkor Temples for miles around.
The Tourists come because of what the trees have done to the temple. How Ironic that a few trees would turn a Temple that was meant to be as ordinary and as insignificant as possible into a masterpiece that tourists adore.
It was meant to be ordinary because the construction of Ta Prohm Temple played a key role in the History of Angkor Wat and the Khmer Civilization.
King Suryavarman II built the Angkor Wat Temple and then dedicated it to a Hindu God. After his death, King Jayavarman VII took the Throne. His first construction project was to build Ta Prohm Temple.
He filled the temple with Buddhist narrative artwork and referred to the Temple as a Mahayana Buddhist Monastery and University.
He was setting the foundation for the entire Khmer Empire to change from a Hindu belief system to a Buddhist One.
The Buddhist narrative artwork that originally filled the Temple was destroyed almost immediately following the death of King Jayavarman VII.
There were still many Hindu iconoclasts loyal to the rule of King Suryavarman II and they quickly smashed much of the Buddhist artwork.
Much of the artwork was destroyed and you can see where people have torn the faces from Statues and other religious Icons.
Today, Cambodia is a predominantly Buddhist population.
Where is Ta Prohm Temple?
It is absolutely worth a visit to Ta Prohm. It is just so difficult to find it on a map under the shadow of Angkor Wat across the road and Angkor Thom looming just ahead.
I like to make it the first temple I visit for the day when everyone else is focused on Angkor Wat and flooding it with a river of bodies.
Have a look at some of the best budget Angkor Cambodia Tours. They will get you to the right places at the right time and remove all of the stress and hassles you'll encounter going it alone.
The full day tours can be had for $65USD or less. That is a fully inclusive private tour of most all the major temples with a guide, lunch and full transportation.
The entry ticket alone to the Temples is $20USD. And if you forget to bring a passport sized photo with you then it is $25USD.
The Temple on a Good Angkor Wat Map
The Temple is located about a kilometer East of Angkor Thom and on the Southern edge of the East Baray.
You can see This Temple on the left hand side of the Angkor Wat Map above. It is just past Angkor Wat on the other side of the main road.
It is a small temple and as I said, I believe that it was meant to be inconspicuous because it was the first temple built to honor Buddhist Doctrine when the Temple of Angkor Wat, which was built by the previous King, is wholly a Hindu place of worship.
Make sure you get a good Angkor Wat map before you pay the entrance fee to the Angkor Archeological Park. This Temple might frustrate you at first but you will find it easier to find than you expected.
I am writing this on Sept. 21st / 2011. They have not yet completed the restoration project that they began in mid 2010. You may find metal scaffolding and some ugly tarps ruin your photos.
Yet the restoration had to be done.
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