Cambodia is famous for ancient temples and pagodas with unique architecture. This is mainly the reason why Cambodia has become a country that its tourism develops strongly with best Asian tours. When coming here, tourists cannot miss the community of Angkor and Siem Reap, especially Ta Som - one of the most mysterious temples in this sacred land.
Do you know where Ta Som Temple is located?
Ta Som Temple is a small temple located in the Angkor Thom complex, near the east of the Jayatataka Baray and the north of the artificial island named Neak Pean. Ta Som Temple is built during the reign of Jayavarman VII from 1181 to 1218. This is the temple that King Jayavarman gave to his father - Dharanindravarman II who is the king of the Khmer Empire from 1150 to 1160. The Ta Som Temple has a unique tower located on a high mound and surrounded by laterite walls.
Ta Som Temple in Cambodia
Ta Som temple is similar to other temples such as Preah Khan, Ta Prohm which are abandoned during the war and covered with trees and vegetations. Besides, the walls here also increase the ruins of the wars at that time. The ruins of the temples also make the visitors interested in exploring. In 1998, Ta Som temple was restored a part of its ruins to serve tourism. The Ta Som temple is an indispensable tourist destination for visitors when visiting Angkor Thom, Cambodia.
The structure of Ta Som Temple
Ta Som Temple is surrounded by a moat and laterite walls. Ta Som has a central tower and two tower gates in two different directions. The main tower gate is located in the east and the second tower gate is situated in the west. Today, the tower gate in the east is still intact but the tower gate in the west has collapsed and is being propped up by wooden pillars.
The tower gate is rectangular and contains a small room on each side, with the window facing the handrail. On the tower gate, the four-sided Buddha image is carved in the same way as the Bayon style. At present, in the tower gate of the east, there is a high and ancient tree which creates the mysterious and sacred beauty of the Ta Som temple. Inside the central temple are a rectangular room and two small libraries located on two sides of the entrance to the East.
The ancient large tree in Ta Som Temple
The 3rd enclosure Bayon style 4-faced gopuras in Ta Som Temple
The outside enclosure is 200m long and 250m wide. The laterite walls are intersected by a gopura entrance building on the West and East side. All gopuras are at the top with the big faces of Lokeshvara which face each of the 4 directions in the similar style as those of Bayon - a temple made by the same King.
The entrance gate headed with a tower and diminishing tiers are located at the center of the cruciform gopuras. Flanking the entrance gated are 2 small rooms with windows. The laterite walls are decorated with carved devatas, while the lintels have a sculpture of a standing Lokeshvara with the stretching arms and some sculptings of the devotees. The gopura building in the east, also known as the main entrance of the temple, is overgrown by the roots of a big tree.
The moat and the second enclosure in Ta Som Temple
In Ta Som temple, there is a path from the gopura of the 3rd enclosure leading to the moat. Located near from the east, the path is flanked by 2 small structures. A cross-shaped terrace passes through the moat to this enclosure and its wall is intersected by the gopura entrance constructions with the porticoes.
The first enclosure embracing the central sanctuary in Ta Som Temple
The first 30m long and 20m wide enclosure is surrounded by galleries. At each of the corners of the galleries are the pavilions, while each central side is a gopura building. On the inside courtyard near the southeast and northeast of the corner pavilions are two libraries, of which the south one is best preserved.
In the center is a single crucial sanctuary, with an entrance in front of a vestibule on each of its 4 sides. The lintels and pediments consist of both Buddhist and Hindu depictions. Some depictions of the Buddha have been deleted in the thirteenth century when the official religion of Angkor was changed back to Hindu.
If you have a chance to visit Cambodia, do not forget to visit and explore the beauty of this mysterious and sacred temple. To know more information about the Ta Som Temple and tours in Cambodia, via our website. Share this article if it is useful for you. Have a nice and memorable trip!