Photo Gallery

Ta Prohm Temple (built c. 1186)

Ta Prohm was built during the reign of Jayavarman VII, a great king who reconquered the Khmer empire from Cham invaders in the years 1177-1181. Needless to say, the war caused great damage to the ancient capital of Angkor. The ambitious king set about making it into a proper seat of power by ordering the reconstruction of a number of temples. Ta Prohm was the centerpiece of his masterplan, located roughly in the center of the capital. Though the temple covers barely 2.5 acres, its walls and moat encompass 148 acres, which would have sheltered a town attached to the temple. Here, 12,640 people lived, supported by a population of 79,365 who worked in nearby villages to provide food and supplies.

Ta Prohm housed the deity Prajnaparamita, the 'perfection of wisdom.' It was consecrated in 1186. Like many Khmer kings, Jayavarman had it carved in the likeness of his mother. The Prajnaparamita statue was surrounded by 260 lesser divinities, housed in their own sanctuaries.

Interestingly, the temple was also the headquarters of a vast hospital network created by the good king. From Ta Prohm, supplies filtered out to 102 hospitals located throughout the empire. The Khmer kings seem to have taken the Buddha's call to mercy into their own hands.

Nowadays, Ta Prohm is in a sad state of disrepair. Voracious trees called Strangler Figs have damaged much of the complex. Take a look at images three and four to see for yourself.


The approximate location of Ta Prohm is 13.434794' N, 103.889218' E (WGS 84 map datum).


All images copyright 2000 by Professor Robert D. Fiala of Concordia University, Nebraska

Cohen, Joan Lebold. Angkor: The Monuments of the God Kings
  Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1975. New York

Freeman, Michael and Roger Warner. Angkor: The Hidden Glories
  Houghton Mifflin Company., 1990. Boston

Jacques, Claude. Angkor: Cities and Temples
  River Books Co., Ltd., 1997. Thailand

Laur, Jean. Angkor: an Illustrated Guide to the Monuments
  Flammarion, 2002. Italy

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Chris posted on Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:05 am:

Ta Prohm is my favorite temple in the Angkor Archaeological Park. This place is very unique and different from all the other temples that you will visit in Cambodia.

Lillian Hay posted on Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:07 pm:

My daughter and I were here with Viking River Cruises

Jessica posted on Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:50 pm:

this should tell more about hte temple and less about the empire!!!!

sea seangtho posted on Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:43 am:

I want to see the ta prohm temple

Amarnath Cave posted on Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:21 am:

That is awesome.. Nature overtaking civilization.This big trees are only telling the story how old this temple is..

rajendiran posted on Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:33 pm:

now india was taken care for conservation of this monument headed by mr rajendira vajpai SAE .ASI INDIA

nel posted on Fri Mar 12, 2010 5:26 am:

looking at these pictures makes me feel nostalgic.. But i have to visit this temple soon.

Kris Hodgson posted on Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:50 pm:

My favourite of all the temples that I visisted, I found it to be very peaceful and stayed for a few houra just wondering around feeling the aura and character of this wonderful temple all around me.