Ta Prohm - Unique Places Around the World

The ancient temple of Ta Prohm, Cambodia.
The ancient temple of Ta Prohm, Cambodia.

Ta Prohm is an ancient temple in the town of Angkor in Cambodia. It was formerly known as Rajavihara meaning "Monastery of the king". The temple was built in the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII of the Khmer empire. It was used as a university and Buddhist monastery. Approximately 12,500 residents lived in the temple.

5. Description

Ta Prohm is an incredibly spectacular sight located in the middle of the jungle, and the temple is covered by enormous roots and tall trees. The roots are firmly attached to the temple’s walls where they extract water. Tall trees dominate the scene at Ta Prohm and provide a magical effect to the temple. The temple walls have beautiful and intricate carvings. Piles of stones lie around the temple. Ta Prohm has 39 towers which are inter-linked by many galleries. Its outer walls enclose an area of 650,000 m2.

4. Habitat

The Ta Prohm monument is located in one of the largest archaeological sites in the world, Angkor Park. The monument is surrounded by indigenous trees that date back to the 15th century. The temple is bounded by numerous trees and winding roots. Figs, silk-cottons and ficus trees intertwine with the ancient structures to create a magical scene.

3. Uniqueness

The Ta Prohm temple complex has a unique blend of the ancient buildings and the intricate tree cover. The trees that rise out of the ruins and tower over the monument make Ta Prohm a distinct place. The building’s architectural designs are a masterpiece, and the detailed carvings on the walls give the temple a magnificent finish. The artwork on the building showcases the art of the 12th century. Additionally, Ta Prohm is unique in that it occupies a vast landscape the size of a small town.

2. Tourism

Ta Prohm is a world-famous tourist site. It is the number one tourist location in the Angkor region of Cambodia. It became famous after memorable scenes of the blockbuster movie ‘Tomb Raider’ was shot at the site. The monument's proximity to Siem Reap- Cambodia’s tourism hub has also contributed to its popularity among visitors. The large network of buildings and overgrown trees make it an attractive tourist location. Due to the significant cultural and historical role of the Ta Prohm monument, UNESCO listed it as a World Heritage Site in 1992.

1. Threats

Ta Prohm was a well-maintained temple before the fall of the Khmer empire. After the 15th century, the temple was neglected, and it slowly turned into a jungle. Many years of neglect led to the weakening of the structures at Ta Prohm. Conservation and restoration efforts began at the start of the 21st century. A French company leading in conservation efforts at Ta Prohm decided to retain the blend between the temple and the jungle. However, some of the huge trees weigh down on the Ta Prohm and pose a threat to the stability of the temple. Furthermore, the large number of tourists who visit the site annually are a threat to the temple’s delicate structures. Wooden walkways and roped railings are placed along visitors’ paths to reduce damage to the monument. Lastly, Inhabitants in the park surrounding Ta Prohm pose a threat to the monument’s authenticity as they engage in unregulated agricultural activities.


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