A magnificent display of nature’s power as it engulfs an aged temple of the Buddhist religion.
Ta Prohm temple was established by King Jayavarman VII of the Khmer Empire as a center for Mahayana Buddhism and education, which he dedicated to his mother. The temple was home to about 80,000 people, including 2,700 officials and 615 dancers who were required to live there or visit it. Unfortunately, after the Khmer Empire fell in the 15th century, the temple was abandoned and ignored for several centuries.
The temple’s unique feature is the absence of mortar in its construction, which over time allowed silk-cotton and strangler fig trees to grow around and between the stones. As a result, the temple has been abandoned, and nature has taken over. The presence of trees, together with the lush jungle setting, has made the temple a popular destination among visitors to the area.
The Ta Prohm temple has been intentionally preserved to display its original look when rediscovered during the 19th century. One of the most interesting aspects of this temple is how much it relies on the interdependence between the trees and buildings. Neither the trees nor the buildings would survive without the other, so it’s fascinating to observe how they have adapted over time to support each other’s survival. Any damage to either of them could lead to the destruction of both.