similar design to the later Jayavarman VII temples of Preah Khan and
Banteay Kdei, this sprawling monastic complex is only partially cleared
of jungle overgrowth. Intentionally left partially unrestored, massive
fig and silk-cotton trees grow from the towers and corridors offering a
‘jungle atmosphere’ and some of the best ‘tree-in-temple’ photo
opportunities at Angkor. Ta Prohm is well worth an extended exploration
of its dark corridors and open plazas. This temple was one of Jayavarman
VII's first major temple projects. Ta Prohm was dedicated to his mother.
(Preah Khan, built shortly in the same general style, was dedicated to
Jayavarman VII’s father.) Ta Prohm was originally constructed as a
Buddhist monastery and was enormously wealthy in its time, boasting of
control over 3000 villages, thousands of support staff and vast stores
of jewels and gold. Of the monastic complex style temples, Ta Prohm is a
superior example and should be included in almost any temple itinerary.