Prasat Ta Prohm (Siem Reap)

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Prasat Ta Prohm
Native Nameប្រាសាទតាព្រហ្ម
K InscriptionK.273, K.274, K.461, K.909
Inscr. LocationIn situ
Part ofPrasat Ta Prohm, Yasodharapura III, Angkor
CommuneNokor Thom
DistrictSiem Reap Municipality
ProvinceSiem Reap
Coordinates13.43481, 103.88898
FoundedLate 12th Century
BuilderJayavarman VII
Art StyleBayon
MaterialLaterite, Sandstone
Year/s Restored2013 to present day
UNESCO Inscription1992

396 Prasat Ta Prohm 2.jpg
(one vote)

Site Size & Condition: Large Prasat Prasat Ta Prohm (ប្រាសាទតាព្រហ្ម - Pronounced: Pra-saht Ta Prom), is one of Jayavarman VII's, and indeed Angkor's, largest and most complicated sites. Officially consecrated in 1186, (although many years of work must have been involved), under the name Rajavihara and dedicated to the King's mother.

East-facing Ta Prohm is a flat, rather than a pyramid, style temple with 5 concentric enclosures - the outer of which is a vast 650m x 1000m. The main temple is off-set well to the west of the enclosure with a long eastern entrance causeway lined with what appears to be a pair of Dharmasalas? The northern one, Prasat Ta Prohm Dharmasala is in reasonable condition while sandstone slabs and foundations on the south side of the causeway could represent a second, symmetrical, site. 4 gopuras, with the iconic carved faces, pierce the outer enclosure wall at the cardinal points. Archeologists point to numerous additions and alterations having been made up until as late as the 15th century (King Srindravarman) while traces of 2 moats (inside and outside the 4th enclosure) have led Claudes Jacques, among others, to hypothesize the presence of an existing temple within the inner moat, prior to Jayavarman's work.

The highly complex inner areas are made more so by the ruinous state of much of the temple - apparently a combination of nature and bad (hasty?) construction techniques. The ruins, trees and giant roots are of course what makes Prasat Ta Prohm so popular although current work on the site seems to us, in many instances, to cross the fine line between justifiable restoration and gratuitous reconstruction.

Much of the Buddhist-related decoration was defaced during the late 13th-century and many lintels and pediments are missing, damaged, or eroded. Needless to say, plentiful devatas and guardian figures, as well as apsaras in the hall of the Dancers, remain.

A hugely popular site and you'll need to get your timing right for a visit to this one.

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