Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Magical Ta Prohm

Made famous by Angelina Jolie and her Tomb Raider movie, and also the use of a photo of a door and a massive tree root on the cover of Lonely Planet for Cambodia, Ta Prohm is the "jungle temple".

Not too far from the Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom complexes, this temple sees probably as much tourist traffic as the other two because of the modern day claims to fame. But the enchanting view of the battle between ancient civilisation constructions and nature warrant attention in their own right.

The area was obvious cleared of trees for the temple, and then since the end of the Angkor era, the forest has been working it's way back to the area.

The way the trees have grown on and over the walls and structures of the temple is mainly the act of birds, who have picked up seeds on their travels and dropped some here and there, on the temple stones.

These massive trees have then had time to sprout, and wind their roots around the temple elements over the years and years when the temples were lost. The root systems battling with the ancient stones makes for an impressive site.

Many of the tree roots have woven through the laid stone bricks, in search of earth and water.

This young lad, above, was just hanging about, a child of the area I assume. He almost seemed to be hamming it up for the cameras, but he was also just going about his day.

The collision between jungle and temple makes Ta Prohm one of the most crumbly structures of the ancient cities, but given the magic of the trees, surely it should not be any other way!

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