Ta Prohm temple, Cambodia built by King Jayavarman VII for his mother at the end of 12th century

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The land which was referenced as Kambhoj country in Mahabharat, is todays Cambodia! Hindus resided here till 15th century. It is said that Hindu empire by the name Khmer ruled Cambodia from 802 AD till 1421 AD. In reality, Kambhoj region was Sage Koundinya’s area. Also, Kambhoj region was also a region of Nagas. As per references available, the King of Kambhoj had also participated in the war of Mahabharat. Being a region of Nagas, this is also the region of Deity Shiva. It is said that Shrivishnu’s vehicle Garud resides on the Mahendra mountain. Therefore this is also a region of Shrivishnu. This article details few highlights of the study tour conducted by Shrichitshakti Mrs. Anjali Gadgil and 4 student seekers, in this Kambhoj country, the region of Harihar.

Shrichitshakti (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil


1. King Jayavarman VII built a temple for his mother and installed Pradnyaparamita idol, Buddhist Deity of Knowledge (similar to Devi Saraswati)

After visiting Bapun temple, we visited the famous Ta Prohm temple located on the eastern side of the Angkor Thom temple premises. It is said that this temple was built at the end of 12th century by King Jayavarman VII for his mother. This temple, in reality, is a Buddhist royal place of residence. During the arena of King Jayavarman, the influence of Buddhist religion was on the rise in Khmer empire. Idol of Pradnyaparamita from Buddhist religion would have been installed in this temple which was built during that period. In short this temple was a Gurukul and idol of Deity of Knowledge, Pradnyaparamita, was installed in the center akin to Devi Saraswati.


2. Ta-Prohm temple became world-famous because of being gripped by trees grown in demonical form and formation of forest in the entire area of Angkor in 300 years post fall of Khmer empire

Trees in demonical form with its roots taking the world famous Ta-Prohm temple, Angkor in its clutches
At Ta-Prohm temple (From left : Shri. Divakar Agawane, Shri. Vinayak Shanbhag, Shrichitshakti (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil, Shri. Devendra Singh Sood and Shri. Satyakam Kanaglekar)

This temple has become famous past 30 years due to the demonical trees that have overgrown and taken the temple into its clutches. After 15th century, post fall of Khmer empire, in almost 300 years the area of Angkor has turned into a forest. Specialty of this forest is that the height of each tree in this area is extraordinarily gigantic. These trees attain such great heights that its roots present on the ground also have taken a demonical form. These roots are capable of taking any structure in its grip, such huge is their form. The trees surrounding the temple have become so big that it feels as if they are embracing the temple.


3. Cambodian government giving responsibility of the temple’s restoration work to Archaeological Survey of India, and Shrichitshakti (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil meeting the architect and engineer Shri. Devendra Singh Sood

Shri. Vinayak Shanbhag

Interestingly, the Cambodian government entrusted the task of rebuilding the dilapidated temple to India in 1984, and the Archaeological Survey of India completed the work with great difficulty. Near the entrance of the temple is the office of the Archaeological Survey of India, a large workshop for creating idols / sculptures and a small museum. Shrichitshakti (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil met the chief architect and engineer of Archaeological Survey of India involved in the temple restoration work, Shri. Devendra Singh Sood, and his wife. Shri. Sood gave detailed information about the history of Ta-Prohm temple and the way in which India completed the redevelopment work of this most complicated temple structure.

– Shri Vinayak Shanbhag, Cambodia

We could closely experience the presence of Hindu culture existing since earlier times in this region of Cambodia which is 4000 kilometers away from India. Millions of gratitude unto the holy feet of Paratpar Guru Dr. Athavale, for giving this opportunity to us. – Shrichitshakti (Mrs.) Anjali Gadgil

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