Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Jungle and Hilltop Temple


Ta Prohm is a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of King Jayavarman VII.  It is one of the largest monuments in the Angkor complex which is proven by a rare Sanskrit inscription found in one stone that gives some specific details of the temple such as number of workers/ priests/ assistants/ dancers, etc.  

From the inscription, one can deduce how impressive that monument once was.  But today, left to the jungle, Ta Prohm is known for its haunting beauty.  Make no mistake about it, with its massive trees and rubbles everywhere the temple is extensively ruined - one factor could be due to its relative isolation.  A Google map snapshot is added below for reference.  Also, not much restoration was done on the complex since it was found by the French.  So it is the perfect setting for travelers who wanna be ala-Lara Croft. ;)

But its beauty lies in its kingdom of trees.  Heck, a lot of writers waxed poetic on this feature.  There are 2 kinds of trees that predominate the temple: the cotton silk and the fig tree.  While yes I do appreciate its beauty but I'm not a poet  so I'll just copy/ paste whatever was written about them. :P

"On every side, in fantastic over-scale, the trunks of the silk-cotton trees soar skywards under a shadowy green canopy, their long spreading skirts trailing the ground and their endless roots coiling more like reptiles than plants."

Posing by the rubbles,

As expected, tourists (specially this particular group of Chinese people) swarmed in that famous Lara Croft spot where the ground opened and swallowed her.  Believe me, I didn't see that movie but the queue by that area tells you something.  Besides, Youtube was very helpful. ;) 

By the way, if you're wondering why we didn't have the usual photos of the complex, this is because Jace above had a slip that injured his ankle somewhere at the temple entrance.  It prompted us to rest for minutes since he had difficulties walking. :(

We had lunch in a restau near the temple so Jace can have some more rest.  We skipped some parts of Day 1 itinerary but props to him for not cancelling on the sunset viewing at Phnom Bakheng temple.  

I believe we wThe summit is some 67 meters and the climb to the top was a bit tiresome.  But look at the people who came!!!

And then after a few more minutes....

There.  For some reason, this view reminded me of Kenya.  Something desert-like.  Hmmm...I also remember everybody clapping right after the sunset viewing was over as though a magnificent play had just ended. Haha!  

1 comment:

Wil Pelayo said...

Makes me want to re visit Cambodia...

btw I am alive.. lol