Ta Prohm temple swallowed by the jungle

Angkor in Cambodia was a hit in the early 2000s with the release of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Angelina Jolie played the lead role. Ta Prohm Temple was built by the Khmer Empire. A unique example of antiquity cannot be confused with other buildings, it is distinguished by a unique connection with nature.

abandoned cities of the ancient world

Built in the 12th century, the temple embraces the roots of centuries-old trees, and dense greenery entwines its walls. The stone roofs could not withstand the pressure and lost to nature, which gradually turns the grandiose structure into ruins.

Once upon a time, Angkor was something of a modern metropolis with a population of millions, but the inhabitants of Siam (today Thailand) took over the city. The center of Cambodia had to be moved to Phnom Penh, and in the meantime, the rich heritage of the Khmers turned into an abandoned place. Ta-Prom is not the only temple in the jungle. Here, in Angkor, the largest temple in the world, built in honor of the god Vishnu, Angkor Wat, has been preserved.

The ruins of the Ta-Prom temple were discovered by archaeologists in 1882. At that time, the picture was similar to what we see today. It was the archaeologists who decided to leave the structure untouched, fearing that cutting down trees would lead to the destruction of the sanctuary.

Apparently they were right. In addition, the struggle of ancient ruins with nature does not leave indifferent any visiting tourist - an unimaginable sight.

You can look at the bas-reliefs on the walls of the temple for a long time. The most interesting of them are the mythical demigoddesses - Apsaras, depicted as beautiful women. But the evening twilight turns them into monstrous creatures. One of the walls is decorated with a bas-relief depicting a stegosaurus. How the Khmer could have known about the existence of dinosaurs is still a mystery.

The ancient temple in Cambodia was a city within a big city. From the Khmer language, Ta Prohm is translated as "monastery of the king." The king at that time was Javayarman VII, who decorated the structure with gold and pearls. They say he kept diamonds inside. Of course, none of his contemporaries found any of them. Therefore, an abandoned temple in the middle of the Cambodian jungle will be of interest not to treasure hunters, but rather to lovers of abandoned places.

Do you love such places? Read our article about abandoned cities of the ancient world.

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5 years ago

So they actually filmed Tomb Raider here? Never would have thought