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Photographer's Note

It is one of the most photographed structure of Angkor, but Ta Prohm is special...meaning "Old Brahma" in Khmer, it is one of few temples (other being Preah Khan) which has deliberately been left in its "original" state, Strangler Figs, Banyans, or kapok trees grow on top of the buildings, their roots interlacing with the carved lintels, showing the unique way that nature has of taking back and swallowing the constructions.

To me, as an Indian, Ta Prohm is important, because a 10 year Indo-Cambodian restoration project is underway from 2004 under the aegis of Archaeological Survey of India.

This tree with it’s massive roots needs no introduction, but I wanted to capture the derelict state of the temple in the same frame. The apsara on the wall is almost worn out. Pillars & stones lie strewn on the ground. The doorway on the right leads to more ruins.

Have I achieved my objective? You are the best judge!

“Stone and wood clasp each other in grim hostility; yet all is silent and still, without any visible movement to indicate their struggle as if they were wrestlers suddenly petrified, struck motionless in the middle of a fight, the rounds in this battle were not measured by minutes, but by centuries…it’s simply staggering! “

A Sanskrit inscription on stone, still in place, give details of the temple. Ta Prohm 3,140 villages. It took 79,365 people to maintain the temple including 18 great priests, 2,740 officials, 2,202 assistants and 615 dancers. Among the property belonging to the temple was a set of golden dishes weighing more than 500 kilograms, 35 diamonds, 40,620 pearls, 4,540 precious stones, 876 veils from China, 512 silk beds and 523 parasols. Even considering that these numbers were probably exaggerated to glorify the king, Ta Prohm must have been an important and impressive monument.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7754 W: 324 N: 15606] (55035)
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