Well, here we are folks. It’s the final week of the A-Z challenge, and a challenge it has been this year. I’ll confess I’ve struggled with the motivation to write and I’ve often felt like I’m behind and playing catch up. I realise that’s not the case, as I’ve posted on time each day (so far!) but I was far more organised for the 2016 version. So, I’m kicking the final week off with a visit to one of my favourite sites in Cambodia – Ta Prohm.
Now, if any of you have seen Lara Croft Tomb Raider, you will be familiar with Ta Prohm. It is a ruined and overgrown temple site, and is one of the most beautiful (and most visited) places in Cambodia. Ta Prohm makes up part of the Angkor complex, which is located not far from the modern town of Siem Reap. While it is not as massive or majestic as Angkor Wat or The Bayon, it has a charm and wildness the others lack. Built in the 12th century, it was a hive of activity until the fall of the Khmer empire in the 15th century. Following that it was abandoned and left to ruin for centuries – until being uncovered by European explorers in the 19th century. The beauty of Ta Prohm is that is in relatively unchanged from those days of re-discovery, the site has been untouched by modern hands except to clear a path to walk through.
Nature truly reclaimed Ta Prohm after its abandonment. The structures are dwarfed and overrun by the roots of a veritable forest of fig and banyan trees. As those thick roots meander their way through the site, it’s almost as though they are the glue that holds it all together. Many of the passageways are impassable because of fallen blocks of stone, the once clear bas reliefs along the tunneled corridors are coated in lichen and moss, and all around you, as you walk through the coolness and serenity of Ta Prohm, is the play of shadow and dappled light seeping through the cracks in the green canopy of the tree tops. It is, in a word, beautiful.
This post is part of my contribution to the April 2017 A-Z Challenge
For a list and links to my other challenge posts please click here
For those interested in revisiting my 2016 challenge post for T, here’s the link: T is for Travel, but it’s also for Train Wreck …