Ta Prohm is overwhelming on several levels. First of all, and probably most famously, it has been overtaken by the surrounding jungle, and trees grow in and among the temple structures. But I found the immensity of the restoration efforts to be overwhelming as well. A team from India has worked closely with the Cambodian authorities to undertake a restoration program that is still ongoing. At one point, ST and I walked past a massive pile of stones, and I saw that each stone had been numbered, and my brain exploded a little bit at the idea of trying to put that centuries-old puzzle together. Evidence of the restoration is everywhere at the temple with cranes and other construction materials scattered around the site.
Walking through this temple, it is astounding that visitors are allowed in at all. There are sections of massive stone falls, some of which are marked off with a sign, but most are not. Some sections of the temple have little walkways, but most of them are free form for tourists to wander as you please. It’s a remarkable place though, so I was happy to get to see it. Check back tomorrow for more pictures of our visit to Ta Prohm.
Title quote: “royal monastery,” Ta Prohm’s original name