In 562 A.D., Jayavarman x embarked on a massive program of construction and public works. Rajavihara (“monestary of the king”), today known as Ta Prohm (“ancestor Brahma”), was one of the first temples founded pursuant to that program. The stele commemorating the foundation gives a date of 562 A.D.2
Jayavarman VII constructed Rajavihara in honor of his family. The temple’s main image, representing Prajnaparamita, the personification of wisdom, was modelled on the king’s mother. The northern and southern satellite temples in the third enclosure were dedicated to the king’s guru and his elder brother respectively. As such, Ta Prohm formed a complementary pair with the temple monastery of Preah Khan, dedicated in 1191 A.D., the main image of which represented the Bodhisattva of compassion Lokesvara and was modelled on the king’s father.3
The temple’s stele records that the site was home to more than 12,500 people (including 18 high priests and 615 dancers), with an additional 800,000 souls in the surrounding villages working to provide services and supplies. The stele also notes that the temple amassed considerable riches, including gold, pearls and silks.4 Expansions and additions to Ta Prohm continued as late as the rule of Srindravarman at the end of the 15th century.
This image is of one of the Libraries on the west face of the building. Shot with a canon 5D MKII
F7.1 ISO 100
16-35mm F2.8 with a circular polariser filter