Ta Prohm Temple - Adventure at the Tomb Raider Temple

Ta Prohm Temple or the Tomb Raider Temple is a must-visit stop for travelers on their way to Angkor Wat. It is a shadowy place, cloaked by the roots of giant fig trees. Nature has engulfed the Ta Prohm temple in her arms. This unique look attracts umpteen visitors to this temple each year. It represents a delicate cycle – humans conquering the nature for construction, and again nature gaining victory over human. You will feel like you have reached another world. Ta Prohm testifies the power of Mother Nature. As people abandoned the Ta Prohm temple, the mighty jungle did not waste time and engulfed it into its muscular roots.

Why do people call it as the Tomb Raider temple?

Ta Prohm Temple got its name as the Tomb Raider because this place served as the setting for the cinematic adaption of "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider." The world got to notice this awe-inspiring movie on the big screen in the year 2001.

Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia
Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia

History

King Jayavarman VII built the Ta Prohm temple, in the form of a Rajavihara (monastery) in the year 1186. It is a Buddhist temple. He dedicated this temple to his mother. The inscription provides much-needed details about the temple, its inhabitants, and its dependents. Apparently, about 80,000 people served to provide maintenance for the Ta Prohm temple. Among them, around 615 were dancers, and 2,700 were officials.

At present, the Ta Prohm temple is under the restoration process. Cambodian archaeologists, as well as their Indian counterparts, are working together to restore this majestic temple.

Structure and Layout

Ta Prohm temple comprises of closed courtyards, towers, and narrow corridors. You will not be able to pass through all the corridors. Roots of trees and piles of delicately carved stone blocks will block your way. Moss, lichens, etc. have made their way to the bas-reliefs. You will marvel at the shrubs sprouting from the roofs of the temple. Hundreds of years old trees filter the sunlight in such a way that gives Ta Prohm temple a hint of a greenish hue.

Construction Material

The main material of construction for Ta Prohm temple was sandstone and laterite. Sandstones were readily available at that time from the nearby Kulen Mountains. Sandstones form the base of extensive carvings that still adorn the walls of the temple. The temple has a square sanctuary and a Prasat. There are four doorways that open into the chamber. Earlier the sacred idol used to be here.

Chief Attractions of Ta Prohm Temple

One of the chief attractions of Ta Prohm temple is the Crocodile tree. You can find it in the easternmost gopura. Also, the Tomb Raider tree is quite popular among travelers as it has featured in the movie. Earlier, visitors would climb up to the damaged galleries, but now there is a restriction on doing so.  This is for the protection of the travelers as well as the Ta Prohm temple.

Crocodile Tree in Ta Prohm
Crocodile Tree in Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm Temple
Visitors Take Photos with the Unique Tree


How to Reach Ta-Prohm Temple?

Ta-Prohm is located inside the Angkor Wat complex at a distance of 7.8km (4.8 miles)/26 minutes. You can reach Siem Reap by flight or train. If you are staying in a hotel in Siem Reap, then you can hire a tuk-tuk. It will take about 30 minutes to reach Ta-Prohm temple. It is 13km (8.1 miles) from Siem Reap. There are also rented car and taxi services available that offer day tour so you can choose accordingly.

Tuk-Tuk Fare: $15-$25 per day (up to 8 hours)
Taxi Fare: $30-$50 per day (up to 8 hours)
Rented Car: $40-$60 per day (up to 8 hours)

Key Details

•  Entry fee: You need to carry the Angkor Wat pass to enter into the Ta Prohm temple. The pass cost around $20.
•  Visiting hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
•  Visiting days: All days’ open
•  Pro tip: You should visit the Ta Prohm temple early in the morning. It looks the most impressive early in the morning. Also, spend at least two hours at this spot so that you can explore the place entirely.

If you want to visit this wonderful place on your way to Angkor Wat, and we are sure you want to, then keep in mind the above-given details, which will clear away all your worries and doubts. So, do not waste time and include this place in your itinerary as soon as possible. Happy traveling!


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