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Ta Prohm Temple, widely popular as “The Tomb Raider” is a historic temple settled amidst the dense forests of Cambodia. It is famous for its surreal beauty which represents an enchanting blend of architecture and nature. The temple has intricate stone carvings on all its walls and eye-catching monuments in every part. Spread across a huge area, it is encircled by Kapok, Banyan and Fig trees on all sides creating a magical aura for the visitors. The place has a spiritual charm attached to it that awakens your senses as soon as you enter here. You must visit this temple on your next trip to Cambodia to witness nature as a creator as well as destroyer and your spiritual journey will attain a new accomplishment.

Ta Prohm Temple History

 Dinosaur carving in Ta Prohm Temple

Image Credit : Harald Hoyer for wikimedia commons

The famous Ta Prohm temple has a history dating back centuries ago. It was built by Jayavarman VII, a king of the Khmer dynasty as an honour to the grandeur. Initially, it was named as Rajavihara signifying the Royal Temple. Earlier, the temple was known to be a monastery and a place for preaching Mahayana Buddhism with a capacity to hold 13 thousand people including dancers, monks, maids and priests. The temple is situated in the eastern part of the Angkor Thom and 12 km away from the midpoint of Siem Reap.
The temple faced severe destruction in the 15th century by the Siamese people who forced the Khmer king to leave Phnom Penh. The army stole away all ornaments leaving behind just holes that are now visible to the tourists. Additionally, the temple was named “Queen’s Tomb” as the King’s mother was worshipped there. As stated by several legends, the temple was built with four stone walls covered with diamonds. Many historical records also mention that the temple had a rich treasury comprising 5 tons of golden dishes, 454 precious gems, 524 umbrellas, 35 pearls and 512 beds.

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Marvel At The Architecture

Tree engulfing in Combodia.

Image credit: Diego Delso for wikimedia commons

Ta Prohm temple is built in the typical Khmer architectural style with towers holding it upright from all sides. The most striking feature of this temple is how it is enchained by giant tree roots. There’s a laterite wall encircling the temple. There are 39 towers, 260 idols of gods, straight doorways and courtyards through which you’ll reach the midpoint of the temple. As it was abandoned in the past while undergoing the war effects, many archaeologists planned for its renovation. Nevertheless, the temple was completely covered by the tree roots penetrating the walls due to which the restoration never became possible. People visit this temple to get the unfiltered experience of a historic temple as it continues to be in the state in which it was brought over in the 19th century.
The majestic appearance and natural surroundings of Ta Prohm make it one of the most visited temples in the Angkor complex. Every inch of the temple represents the beauty of Khmer architecture. It also houses a central sanctuary encircled by five large walls. This temple’s entry point is Gopura, adorned with Lokeshvare idols in all directions. The eastern entry points will take you to a garden decorated with Naga status and Lions as well as the Hall of Fire which is the main spot for pilgrims to stop when they come to the temple. Adding to it, the temple also showcases several art galleries in the inner sanctum. You’ll find several Buddhist statues placed near the eastern gate of the other wall.

How To Reach

visit the temple for a a mesmerizing view

Image Credit: Supanut Arunoprayote. for wikimedia commons

There are multiple ways in which you can reach the Ta Prohm Temple including the ones listed below:

1. By Tuk Tuk
Tuk Tuk is the most feasible way to roam around Cambodia, particularly in the Siem Reap area. You’ll find several TukTuk drivers waiting on the road in Siem Reap.

2. By Bicycle
If you’re looking for the most economical way to get through this city, you can choose a bicycle. You can get a bicycle for free at your guest house or hotel. Alternatively, you may also rent a bicycle from several rental agencies. The rent of bicycles depends on the season, availability, type, quality and duration of your trip. It can be a lengthy ride if you’re planning to visit all the temples in the Angkor complex.

3. By Cab
For those who want a seamless journey, the easiest way to reach Ta Prohm is by booking a private cab, provided it fits your budget. This will also make it easier for you to visit other nearby places like Beng Mealea and Kulen Mountain.

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Tips To Follow

The striking beauty of Old Tree at Ta Prohm Temple

Image Source: Pexels

If you’re planning a visit to this world-famous temple, here are a few tips that might help you ease your trip:
Hire a local guide: It is advisable to hire a local guide to learn about the historical sights and hidden wonders of the temple. They also help you in exploring short and easy routes that offer amazing scenic vistas.
Proper attire: Don’t forget to dress yourself in appropriate attire as it is a sacred place and dressing rightly shows that you respect the culture and heritage.
The right time to visit: To explore the surreal environment of Ta Prohm temple, you must during early in the morning or late afternoon as the place remains less crowded during these hours.
Don’t forget your camera: You should have your camera or mobile phone handy to be able to capture the breathtaking views inside the temple. At every step, you’ll come across captivating views that will leave you spellbound.

Best Time To Visit

 Best time to visit Ta Prohm Temple

Image Source: Clay Gilliland for wikimedia commons

Before planning a trip, it is essential to know the most suitable season for that particular trip. To visit Siem Reap, the best season is the winter season, from October to April. This season’s weather remains pleasant, with moderate temperatures and low rainfall. Here are a few reasons why you should visit Ta Prohm Siem Reap during these months:

  • The humidity levels are very low, nearly 60-70%.
  • The weather is ideal for exploring the temple complex.
  • Mostly, the sky remains sunny and blue, making it picture-perfect.
  • The crowd is competitively lower than in the peak months.
  • The natural landscapes and lush greenery adorn the temple after days of rainfall, and the sight is beyond amazing.

Further Read: Koh Ker Temple Cambodia

Ta Prohm is an ancient temple in Cambodia which is famous for the massive trees and roots submerged in its walls. With its striking historic features and unique appearance, it is the most visited temple in Angkor. The walls of Ta Prohm temple are entwined with fig and silk-cotton trees in all directions making it a sight worth witnessing. Don’t forget to include this marvellous temple in the itinerary for your next trip to Cambodia trip to Cambodia!

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Cover Image Credit: Supanut Arunoprayote for Wikimedia Commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Ta Prohm Temple

What are the times to visit the Ta Prohm Temple?

The Ta Prohm temple timings for visitors are every day from 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM. However, these timings may sometimes change based on the season, crowd and other factors. It is advisable to check the official website before visiting.

Is there any entry fee to visit the Ta Prohm Temple?

Ta Prohm is allocated within the Angkor Archaeological Park for which there’s an entry pass. This entry pass allows you to visit all the temples in the complex. 1 day pass is USD 37 per person, 3 day pass is USD 62 per person and 7 day pass is USD 72 per person.

Is photography allowed at the Ta Prohm temple?

Yes, the visitors are allowed to take photos both inside and outside of the temple. Ensure that you’re practising flash-free photography so that other visitors are not uncomfortable.

Does Ta Prohm Temple Siem Reap have any specific dress code for the visitors?

There’s no specific dress code for the visitors to the Ta Prohm Temple. However, as it is a religious place, problems are expected to avoid wearing revealing attire. It is essential to cover the shoulders and knees of both men and women.

What makes the Ta Prohm temple so fascinating?

The historic architecture with massive tree roots covering the temple makes this temple look more captivating to visitors.

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