Fr. John Domin
1923 - 2017
Tue 6/13 10:30 am
Ta Prohm, built in 1186, and dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII was a vibrant Buddhist monastery, which, according to the inscription, housed 12,640 inhabitants, 615 of whom were dancers.
Today unrestored Ta Prohm is known not for the majesty of the building but rather for the extended roots of the trees which have overwhelmed the temple, uprooting its walls and foundation.
The roots grow out of the foundation and extend down walls, creating an exhilarating site and a witness to the fact that the Cambodian forest, unchecked, is stronger than stone.
Not much of the original monastery remain.
Ta Prohm is a monastery of five enclosures, courtyards and narrow corridors. Despite the ruin, one can still fine delicately carved stone on the remaining walls of the temple.
The portal and walls around this narrow entrance are intricately carved with Bas-reliefs and religious motifs.
The crumbled remains of Ta Prohm are the result of an encroaching forest as is dramatically exemplified in this picture.
One of the towers of the monastery, covered with plants and moss, can be seen behind the far-reaching roots of this tree.
Elephants with long curled trunks are carved into the stone along with deities and demons with toothy grimaces, bulging eyes, large torsos and tails.
This temple is dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII; there are carvings of apsaras as well as Bas-reliefs.
The tree and its roots cover the face of this tower.
A close-up of some of the carvings on the walls of the temple.
1 - 12
Ta Prohm, Cambodia
© 2016 Sanctuary for Sacred Arts