The ruins of the TA-Prom temple in Cambodia: the destructive power of the jungle
TA-Prom temple is one of the most monumental on the territory of the Angkor Hindu complex in Cambodia. It is located in a dense jungle in a dilapidated state. The terrifying force of nature “strangles” the temple: the trees that for centuries entwined the towers, terraces and statues of TA-prom have changed them beyond recognition. And the vines formed a kind of natural dome over the temple.
The construction of the TA-Prom temple was completed in 1186. It was built in honor of the mother of Emperor Jayavarman VII in the traditional Khmer Bayon style. Initially, the temple complex area of 730 square kilometers included 260 gilded statues of Hindu gods, 39 towers and several hundred stone dwellings for servants. TA-Prom was surrounded by a triangular wall, which has not been preserved to this day.
The large-scale territory of the temple complex was served by almost 12 thousand people-monks, acolytes and dancers. Gold tableware, diamonds, pearls, silk bedspreads, and jewel-encrusted umbrellas were found on its territory. Three thousand nearby villages were subordinate to the temple.
For hundreds of years, the advancing jungle has changed the architecture of TA-prom beyond recognition. Walking through the ruins of a religious building, you can turn into a real researcher: it is not for nothing that the shooting of several scenes of the film “Lara Croft: tomb raider”took place here.
In the middle of the XX century, archaeologists and scientists decided not to restore the original appearance of TA-prom in order for tourists to get an idea of what the temples of Angkor looked like before the arrival of civilization. However, in 1992, the complex was included in the UNESCO world heritage list – and restoration work began on the entire territory. The reconstruction of TA-prom began only in 2009: the first step was to cut down centuries-old trees to prevent further destruction. It will take at least ten years to fully restore the original appearance of the temple.
It is best to visit TA-Prom accompanied by a local guide – he knows how to get to the most interesting parts of the temple along narrow paths. We recommend that independent travelers have a detailed guide.
To visit Angkor, you must issue an individual pass with a photo. You can do this at the ticket offices at the main entrance to the temple complex. A one-day ticket will cost $ 20. You can’t stay on the territory without a pass; a fine is required for violation. Visiting Angkor is possible from five o’clock in the morning until sunset.
If you wish, you can stay in Siem reap for a few days. Hotels and guest houses are located throughout the city and along the roads. You can book accommodation in Siem reap on the website Travel.ru.
How to get
The nearest city to the TA-Prom temple is Siem reap, 15 kilometers away. You can get to the attraction as part of a tourist group or on your own-on tuk-tuks. For reference: the outer wall of TA-prom is located near the Banteay Kday temple. The entrance is on the West side, and the exit is on the East side.
To get from Phnom Penh to the TA-Prom temple (327 kilometers), you can use the national highway 6 (National Highway 6), as well as by speedboat, via Siem reap. Flights are operated daily, from 7: 30 am until sunset. The path runs along the Tonle SAP lake, past floating fishing villages. The journey time is about six hours. Tickets can be purchased at hotels and tourist offices in Phnom Penh. During the dry season, in the period from April to July, the boat schedule changes due to shallowing (and in some cases, it is canceled altogether). From the jetty in Siem reap, you can get to the TA-Prom temple by taxi or tuk-tuk.
The bus service connects Siem reap with many cities in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam, particularly Ho Chi Minh city, Bangkok, and Pattaya. Tickets are sold at travel agencies, hotels, and street vendors. It is best to avoid night crossings in Cambodia: most accidents involving tourist buses occur in the dark. The journey time from Phnom Penh and Battambang to Siem Reap is 6 hours, and from Sihanoukville is 10 hours. From Bangkok and Pattaya to Siem reap can be reached with a stopover at the border crossing of Aranyaprathet.
Siem Reap airport, located 7 kilometers from TA-Prom temple, accepts flights from Phnom Penh, Singapore, Bangkok, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh city, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and other cities in Southeast Asia.
TA-Prom temple is located in the Angkor complex, southwest of the East Mebon temple and East of the historic city of Angkor Thoma, in Siem reap province, in northwestern Cambodia.