Ta Phrom / Rajavihara

This is a very “popular” temple to visit due to the abundance of the invasive Silk Cotton trees & roots penetrating the temple site, inside the temple buildings is a scaffolding network holding quite a lot of it up preventing collapse. Overall I felt it a bit to manicured for my taste particularly the first section where a massive tree root grows in the corner of the temple. Wooden decking is built right up to the tree creating a bottle neck as all the tourists that pass by, stop to have their photo taken.

It would better to have given the tree some space and put a curved decking a couple of meters away. The daft thing is around the back where hardly any people go are much more impressive trees. This is also the temple made famous by the Tomb Raider movie (ghastly). So you will find the odd person acting out their movie fantasy and getting all excited. The reality this site is a Buddhist Monastic complex.

There was a lot of conservation work going on when we visited. I still managed a few photos, but this is where a 70/300 (Nikon) or 12/100 (Olympus) compact zoom comes into its own for subject isolation amongst all the people milling about.

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This is not Ta Phrom but a small outlying building just before the main one. Most people ignored it but I thought it worthy of some attention.

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The big tree root that everyone ques up to have their photo taken. If I had gone wider you would see the ugly wooden decking on the right-hand side.

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If you look closely. You can see orange scaffold on the left.

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Fallen columns covered in green moss.

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There are lots of dark gloomy passage ways at this temple.

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Another tree root. At a guess its about 36 inches in diameter. Like an Anaconda snake working its way slowly through the nooks and crannies.

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Stone carving detail.

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A door way and Strangler Fig roots.

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Tree roots that have grown over a wall and into the ground. The wall is about 8′ high.

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Poke your had around a few corners at the back and moody scenes like this appear.

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As above. I came across a nun giving blessings in one of these hidden doorways, all very spiritual.

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A doorway.

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Dense foliage and tree root growing in the corner.

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Columns and carvings.

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A stair case in between two huge trees.

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Tree and roots on the back wall.

All images were taken with the Olympus Pen F and a 12/100 f4 zoom. Jolly handy in a situation like this where the tourist footfall is really high.

Link

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4 replies »

  1. Those roots are very impressive indeed, and give a spooky feel to the whole temple. I haven’t played or seen Tomb Raider, but I can see why they picked this spot.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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