ប្រាសាទតាព្រហ្ម

( Ta Prohm )

Ta Prohm (Khmer: ប្រាសាទតាព្រហ្ម, UNGEGN: Ta Prôhm, ALA-LC: Tā Brahm [taː prom]; "Ancestor Brahma") is the modern name of a temple near the city of Siem Reap, Cambodia, approximately one kilometre east of Angkor Thom and on the southern edge of the East Baray. It was built in the Bayon style largely in the late 12th century and early 13th century and was originally called Rajavihara (Khmer: រាជវិហារ, UNGEGN: Réachvĭhar, ALA-LC: Rājvihār [riəc.vihiə]; "Royal Monastery"). It was founded by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and center of...Read more

Ta Prohm (Khmer: ប្រាសាទតាព្រហ្ម, UNGEGN: Ta Prôhm, ALA-LC: Tā Brahm [taː prom]; "Ancestor Brahma") is the modern name of a temple near the city of Siem Reap, Cambodia, approximately one kilometre east of Angkor Thom and on the southern edge of the East Baray. It was built in the Bayon style largely in the late 12th century and early 13th century and was originally called Rajavihara (Khmer: រាជវិហារ, UNGEGN: Réachvĭhar, ALA-LC: Rājvihār [riəc.vihiə]; "Royal Monastery"). It was founded by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and center of learning dedicated to his mother. Almost 80,000 people were required to live in or visit the temple, including over 2,700 officials and 615 dancers.

The temple is referred to as the "Tomb Raider Temple" or the "Angelina Jolie Temple" due to its depiction in the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001).

The temple was built without mortar and, after it was abandoned, trees took root in the loosened stones. The trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of the most popular temples with visitors to the area. It has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1992.

Foundation and expansion

In 1186 A.D., Jayavarman VII embarked on a massive program of construction and public works. Rajavihara ("monastery of the king"), today known as Ta Prohm ("ancestor Brahma"), was one of the first temples founded pursuant to that program. The stele commemorating the foundation gives a date of 1186 A.D.[1]

Jayavarman VII constructed Rajavihara in honour of his family. The temple's main image, representing Prajnaparamita, the personification of wisdom, was modelled on the king's mother. The northern and southern satellite temples in the third enclosure were dedicated to the king's guru, Jayamangalartha,[2]: 174  and his elder brother respectively. As such, Ta Prohm formed a complementary pair with the temple monastery of Preah Khan, dedicated in 1191 A.D., the main image of which represented the Bodhisattva of compassion Lokesvara and was modelled on the king's father.[3]

The temple's stele records that the site was home to more than 12,500 people (including 18 high priests and 615 dancers), with an additional 80,000 inhabitants in the surrounding villages working to provide services and supplies. The stele also notes that the temple amassed considerable riches, including gold, pearls, and silks.[4] Expansions and additions to Ta Prohm continued as late as the rule of Srindravarman at the end of the 15th century.

Abandonment and restoration  Roots of a spung running along the gallery of the second enclosure.

After the fall of the Khmer Empire in the 15th century, the temple of Ta Prohm was abandoned and neglected for centuries. When the effort to conserve and restore the temples of Angkor began in the early 21st century, the École française d'Extrême-Orient decided that Ta Prohm would be left largely as it had been found, as a "concession to the general taste for the picturesque." According to pioneering Angkor scholar Maurice Glaize, Ta Prohm was singled out because it was "one of the most imposing [temples] and the one which had best merged with the jungle, but not yet to the point of becoming a part of it".[5] Nevertheless, much work has been done to stabilize the ruins, to permit access, and to maintain "this condition of apparent neglect."[3]

In 1992, UNESCO inscribed Ta Prohm on the World Heritage List. The conservation and restoration of Ta Prohm is a partnership project of the Archaeological Survey of India and the APSARA (Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap).[6]

By 2013, the Archaeological Survey of India restored most parts of the temple complex, some of which were constructed from scratch.[6] Wooden walkways, platforms, and roped railings were put in place around the site to protect the monument from further damages from tourists.

In November 2022, a renovation of the Hall of Dancers was completed.[7]

^ Glaize, p.143. For the text of the foundational stele and its translation into French, see Coèdes, "La stèle de Ta-Prohm." ^ Coedès, George (1968). Walter F. Vella (ed.). The Indianized States of Southeast Asia. trans.Susan Brown Cowing. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-0368-1. ^ a b Freeman and Jacques, p.136. ^ Glaize, p.143. ^ Glaize, p.141. ^ a b "ASI rebuilding the glory of Buddhist complex in Cambodia". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 2012-07-31. ^ Sokny, Chea (15 November 2022). "Ta Prohm's 'Hall of Dancers' set for tourists". The Phnom Penh Post.
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