Ta Prohm Temple at Takeo
I was quite excited to see our first temple at Takeo. Takeo is a province of Cambodia. The provincial capital is also named Takeo. Takeo town has a population of 39,186, and is 77km from Phnom Penh.
Ta Prohm Temple at Takeo, is a temple of the Angkorian period, constructed during the reign of King Jayavarman VII (1181-c.1220). Blocks stacked rather unevenly in sections, one wonders what has happened to this temple over the centuries. The temple is quite haphazard in many places.
Common use of laterite – Ta Prohm, Takeo
Many temples were built using laterite blocks. Laterite blocks were often used as the main building material, particularly for foundations, core strength and support. Laterite is a very rough pitted block, a beautiful texture adding to the ancient appearance of the temple. I just loved the beautiful rough texture of this stone, especially with the added contrast of bright green moss and lichen.
Apparently, laterite is a soft iron rich clay, cut from the ground in blocks. It hardens significantly when left in the air and the sun, which speaks for itself when you look at the age of this temple and how the laterite blocks have weathered.
Well preserved decorations at Ta Prohm – Takeo
As you can imagine decoration would be difficult on the deeply pitted surface of laterite without the use of stucco to face the blocks. Sandstone has a much smoother surface, and was widely used in temple building, especially for areas of carving and decorative work.
A young man plays a traditional Cambodian musical instrument, a Khmer xylophone, outside the main temple entrance. The sound was very pleasant to the ears. A Khmer xylophone is known as an “Roneat ek”. The roneat ek is built in the shape of a curved,rectangular shaped boat. It has twenty-one thick bamboo or hard wood bars. It is played with two long beaters about 40 cm long with soft disks for indoors, or hard disks for playing outdoors.
A Cambodian women was busy sweeping the area around the temple. The temple grounds were spotless. I think it is a Khmer family who look after the temple and grounds, keeping its appearance so fresh and inviting.
Ancient stone reliefs and carvings Ta Prohm – Takeo
Our guide explained the stories behind the stone reliefs, and the beautiful carving on the lentil above the temple door. Inside the main temple is a large statue of the Buddha. You may wish to light a candle to place in front of the Buddha, and leave a small donation. You will find it is greatly appreciated.
On the temple walls, well-preserved in one particular area are carvings of devatas. Deva is the Hindu term for deity. A devata is the divine guardian spirit of sacred places. Devatas often occur in Hindu epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata, and in some Buddhist scriptures. Ta Prohm Temple is dedicated to Brahmanism and Buddhism.
A sacred place – Ta Prohm Temple at Takeo
Temples were not considered a place of worship in general, but a sacred place for the statue of the deity. The temples, considered the most important building in a city were always built with stone. The height of the tower rising above the center temple indicates its importance, as does the amount of decoration on the walls. Other buildings in the cities were of timber or bamboo. Houses and other important building have long since vanished with little trace, where the stone temples have endured for centuries.
Exploring the old temple and grounds, with its ancient crumbling walls overgrown with plants and vines was an enjoyable experience. It is so full of atmosphere. If only the walls could speak, what a history they would have to tell!
On the way to Kep……………
- Phnom Penh – City sights
- Mekong cruise on the mighty Mekong River
- Killing fields – Cambodia – a chilling experience
- Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Phnom Penh Cambodia
- Lotus Blanc- Phnom Penh- Restaurant
- Artifacts – National Museum of Cambodia Phnom Penh
- Emerald Buddha Silver Pagoda Phnom Penh
- Royal Palace Throne Hall Phnom Penh
- Cambodia 2011 Phnom Penh city
- Snapshot of Cambodia Kampuchea
- Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Army}challenges and discoveries
- Terracotta Army|Emperor Qin
- Romantic Road attractions Germany
- Romantic Road Frankfurt Germany
- Bavaria Germany Wurzburg – along the Romantic Road