Sleeping through the centuries…one can still imagine the secrets Ta Som Temple still holds.
Walking through the impressive entry, reminiscent of South Gate Entrance where there are high relief carvings abound in a well-preserved temple…and Ta Som Temple holds a couple of hidden surprises.
Built during the 12th century, Ta Som has been credited to Jayavarman VII, who was said to have dedicated it to his father: this temple was discovered among Angkor Thom Archaeology Park by French explorers.
This ancient place has had a past cloaked in destruction – and said to have been purposely destroyed in the 16th century by enemy forces who invaded Cambodia.
It remained in a state of ruin for centuries – until work began in 1998, where efforts were made to restore the Ta Som to its former glory.
Much work was done to help restore Ta Som to its earlier grandeur, however now only bare plinths stand where large, grand statues once stood. These were believed to have been taken as a result of the spoils of war over the centuries – and one can only imagine how Ta Som Temple once looked.
Monumental gateways known as “gopuras”, which are ornate entrance ways mark the front of each of the 3 compound that make up Ta Som. Here vendors sell their wears such as as clothes and paintings, which brings back life to this once forgotten temple.
This is a large, single level architectural wonder where you can take some great photographs of high relief carvings and beautiful sculptures.
Moving through to the end of the building is one of the most spectacular part of your visit to Ta Som – and here you will see a huge tree that has entwined itself among the temple stones.
It combines the spectacular beauty with rich history of the ancient past and makes for a great social media photo.
TIP: There are many nooks and crannies, so if you are interested in seeing what is inside these places it is best to take a torch.
Ta Som is a well shaded, single level temple and is a good place to be during the strongest heat of the day – it has also made it onto our 10 Best Temples in Siem Reap.