Photographer's Note

Ta Prohm was built during the reign of Jayavarman VII, a great king who reconquered the Khmer empire from Cham invaders in the years 1177-1181. Jayavarman VII dedicated Ta Prohm to his mother

Known today as Ta Prohm or "Old Brahma", this monument was initially named "Rajavihara" meaning "royal monastery".

While most of the main temples in the immediate Angkor area have been cleared of vegetation leaving only cold lifeless stone, it was decided to leave Ta Prohm untouched as a testament of the forces of nature. The silent conflict between the massive tree roots prying their way between the stone blocks in the dappled sunlight leaves visitors awestruck. You can see glimpses of the ongoing battle between the nature & the stones here
and here.

Reminds me of Aldous Huxley as he said "Nature, - if you water and feed it too well with that strong tropical sun and rain, it will lose control..."

India is helping the restoration of Ta Prohm at an estimated cost of US$6 million & we were proud to find a board stating that the restoration of the temple is being done as a 10 year Indo-Cambodian venture beginning 2004, under the aegis of Archeological Survey of India. Near the entrance we met two officials of ASI, who, not surprisingly were thrilled to find us, fellow Indians, so far away from home.

This great temple is now famous as Lara Croft Temple…sadly so. And this is one of the hottest tourist spots in Angkor alongwith Angkor Wat & Angkor Thom. The complex is virtually ‘infested’ with tourists at all times of the day. There’s a scramble for ‘photogenic’ spots inside the temple to pose alongside the age old giant ficus trees or roots. This is one such spot....

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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