Day 34: Angkor Small Circuit – Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm is most famous for its overgrowing Banyan Trees, portraying an image of nature claiming back what was originally and rightly theirs. It has two main entrances, of which I was dropped off and picked up at the west entrance. A gopura stands before the west entrance to the temple.

You might also recognise Ta Prohm if you’ve watched Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

It is a walk through the forest from the gopura.

Crossing a bridge over the now-dry moat to the temple.

Passing through the first wall of the temple.

Some parts of the wall have collapsed under the weight of nature.

A path to the main temple. The visit route requires me to proceed left first before entering the temple. There is a one-way visit path for Ta Prohm.

The west entrance of the temple, now used for exiting visitors only.

A collapsed wall, possibly before the site was discovered.

Metal frames hold up what is left of the wall, with the weight of the tree growing above it crushing the stones below. It also holds up the tree to prevent it from crashing into the temple proper.

The same portion of the wall with a clearer view of the tree’s roots.

The same portion of the wall with the full height of the ever-growing tree.

Another collapsed wall.

Cranes can be seen in Ta Prohm, with many attempts to save the temple from nature overgrowth, not to prevent nature from taking over, but to prevent further destruction of the temple. It seems impossible to restore the site to its original form with the amount of overgrowth anyway, and I hope it stays this way.

Metal frames can be found inside the temple to hold up certain ceilings…

… or in this case an entire tree.

The same tree who’s roots are being held up by the metal frames are shown in the previous picture. The frames are probably not there to just take the load off the temple walls but also to prevent the tree from collapsing in the temple itself.

One of the courtyards in the temple.

Another tree growing off the corner of another wall.

Some stretches of corridors have their ceilings partially collapsed, though no longer with any loads above it. It probably came down together with the ceiling. However, it is still not a walking path and there are ample danger signs placed in front of these passages.

The famous doorway surrounded by the roots of the above tree. You can no longer stand at the door to have your photo taken though, the closest you’ll get now is the rope barricade on the platform that you walk on now.

Exiting Ta Prohm back to my tuk tuk.

Next stop: Banteay Kdei & Srah Srang

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