Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Ta Prom Siem Reap Reviews
The jungle temple Apr 05, 2013
Having seen the Temples in the Hollywood movie Tomb Raider with fascination,I wanted to know what the reality on ground was and how much of it were digital settings and morphed scenes.This led me to Angkor Watt, Kulen waterfalls and a few more exciting sites of which I had already reviewed.This Temple were the movie was extensively shot was called Ta Prohm and was dedicated to the mother of the King Jayavarman VII sometime in the end of the 11th century.Surrounded by a Religious University of sages or Buddhist monks it also served as an abode of more than a lakh of people loyal to the queen.This place was also called the Rajavihara or the kings abode as the King then was very much attached to his mother as also deeply engrossed in learning.
The temple has a huge pond opposite the entrance of many faces which leads you into a massive complex maze of ruined corridors, chambers,towers sanctum sanatoriums, courtyards and so on.The most surprising aspect of this site was that it survived time till the 15th century when the fall of the Khmer kingdom devasted it and was thereafter vandalized time and again leaving only the stone structures to be supported by the Jungle in which it stood.The Jungle so to say has marched into this site and now reigns the same.Its power can be seen from the firm roots of tall trees which stand majestically over the great structures which in its time proclaimed pomp and splendor.
People come here to witness the huge roots entwining the huge structures and pose before these majestic roots and trees.The Jungle temple and the university alongside,as I would like to remember it still exhibits bass reliefs of apsaras,kings, sages,warriors,subjects,animals and Gods on the walls supporting the gigantic silk cotton trees growing from out of these structures.
The UNESCO Heritage site is now renovated by the Indian archaeology department under a joint conservation program and they seem to be doing a very good job.
The wonderful extensive Jungle temple is in about more than a sq km and has some souvenir shops and refreshment stalls selling tender coconuts, biscuits, water and soft drinks but the sad part is that this place has not been provided with a rest room to cater the need of the many hundred tourists who folk here throughout the day as this place is one of the most popular sites in Siem Reap.
Make sure to have your valid visit pass with you for the security staff do check on its validity at the entrance.
Now that I had seen this temple I was really surprised at what imagination and fiction can do to a fact in trying to project through a movie,a situation which that mind had perceived to have existed.Whatever it may be this place truly supports the history of a kingly abode and a scholastic monastery in the midst of a huge population.Turning back to look again at the ruins and ever growing trees I realized that nature outlives civilizations and there can be no end to that kingdom of the creator...
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