The jungle has encroached on Ta Prohm creating a beauty all its own. I arrived with my fellow Exodus Travels explorers mid-day, although inside the temple, because of the massive trees shadowing it, it seems much later; almost dusk-like. Used in the filming of both “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” and “Indiana Jones,” the temple is almost Disney-like in its reflection of what I always imagined the Cambodian temples would be like.
Tree roots snake along and into the Buddhist temple walls. Many artifacts were stolen, but a keen eye reveals the most intricate of carvings, doorways and passageways. The temple is simply remarkable.
Weaving along narrow corridors and into nearly hidden courtyards, I find visitors less gregarious; more concentrated on the surrounding beauty of a temple slowly being overtaken by the jungle. This is a destination of contemplation and awe-inspiring beauty.
The 39 towers are connected by numerous galleries. Exploring the labyrinth is like entering another world; another dimension. Its intimacy is like no other Cambodian temple.
Read about other Cambodian temples in Marilyn Jones's series: Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. The last part of this series will appear on Oct. 18.