The monastic temple of Ta Prohm is located in Cambodia's Angkor Archeological Park and is best known as the setting for the movie Tomb Raider. Our guide strategically timed our early lunch so that we had the grounds to ourselves while the giant tour bus groups were eating.
Unlike most of the other Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm has been left mostly unrestored and engulfed by the jungle. Imposing banyan and strangler fig trees have overtaken the crumbling ruins, harmoniously entwining their tentacle-like roots into the structure. We roamed the austere corridors in awe of the site’s haunting beauty.
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Ta Prohm Temple at Angkor
I arranged for a 5:00 a.m. ride with a tuk tuk driver and skipped the sunrise at Angkor Wat in hopes of being the first to arrive at Ta Prohm that morning.
Built in 1186 A.D., its original name, Rajavihara, means royal temple.
The disheveled blocks, the jungle, the mist, the quiet and an absence of distraction contributed to incidental meditation.
There's a surreal beauty where nature overtakes architecture, something sensual about nature's and time's touch.
I came to Ta Prohm to be close to something ancient, to feel the power of nature, to steal a moment of beauty.