Ta Prohm Layout And Enclosures :
The three inner enclosures of the temple are galleried, while the towers at the corner of the first enclosure form a quincunx with the tower of the central sanctuary. This plan is complicated for the visitor to navigate as the access to the temple’s is in a partially collapsed state. There are also other buildings dotting the site, some of which represent later additions. These other buildings are; the libraries located in the southeast corners of the first and third enclosures, the satellite temples on the north and south sides of the third enclosure, the Dancers Hall between the third and fourth eastern gopuras, and a House of Fire east of the fourth eastern gopura.
Ta Prohm design is a typical “flat” Khmer temple. Five rectangular enclosing walls surround a central sanctuary. As with other Hindu or Buddhist temple, Ta Prohm is oriented to the east and the temple proper is set back to the west along an elongated east-west axis. The outer wall has a dimension of 1000 by 650 meters bordering an area of 650,000 square meters that at one time would have been the site of a substantial town, but now it’s largely forested. There is gopuras entrance at each cardinal points, but today its access is only possible from the east and west. In the 13th century, face towers similar to those found at the Bayon were added to the gopuras. Some of the face towers have collapsed. In ancient time, moats could be found inside and outside the fourth enclosure.
The most distinctive feature of Ta Prohm are the trees growing out of the ruins. Two species of trees predominate, but sources disagree on their identification. The larger is either the silk-cotton tree known as Ceiba pentandra or thitpok Tetrameles nudiflora, and the smaller is either the strangler fig (Ficus gibbosa). or gold apple (Diospyros decandra). Angkor scholar Maurice Glaize observed that the trunks of the silk-cotton trees soar skywards under a shadowy green canopy, their long spreading skirts trailing the ground and their endless roots coiling more like reptiles than plants.
The Art Of Ta Prohm :
Not many narrative bas-reliefs in Ta Prohm compared to Angkor Wat or Bayon. One explanation that was put forward is that the temple’s original Buddhist narrative artwork must have been destroyed by Hindu iconoclasts after the death of Jayavarman VII. Anyway, some depictions of scenes from Buddhist mythology do remain. A badly eroded bas-relief illustrates the “Great Departure” of Siddhartha, the future Buddha, from his father’s palace. Ta Prohm also features stone reliefs of devatas, meditating monks or ascetics, and dvarapalas or temple guardians.
More photos of Ta Prohm Temple here.
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