Ta Prohm Kel is a small hospital chapel not to be confused with the famous Ta Prohm temple. Instead, Ta Prohm Kel is another one of the hospital chapels built by King Jayavarman VII in the 12th and 13th centuries.
The temple was built in the Bayon style and is a Buddhist chapel. It shows some signs of vandalism which would have happened during the Hindu uprising in the late 13th century.
Ta Prohm Kel offers little to tourists and isn’t of any particular historical significance. Therefore, it’s rarely visited by tourists. This can be a good things, especially if you want to get some uninterrupted photos.
Late 12th Century
10 - 30 minutes
As you enter the park, keep driving past the main entrance to Angkor Wat. You’ll see some parking spaces, shops and restaurants on the left side. About 300m past the entrance to Angkor Wat, the shops and parking area will end. You’ll see Ta Prohm Kel in a small opening past the first row of trees.
The temple is easily accessible from the road. Ask your tuk tuk driver or taxi driver to wait on the road and walk through the trees to the temple. If you’re cycling, you’ll be able to cycle directly up to the main temple.
Siem Reap: 7.3km
Angkor Thom: 3.8km
Angkor Wat: 0.4km
Preah Khan: 6.1km
As Ta Prohm Kel is small, mostly ruined and has no historical significance, it’s unlikely that you’ll see it featured on many tours. However, due to it’s proximity to Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, it’s a quick and easy stop along the way.
If you are on a private tour of the temples, ask your guide to stop along the way. If you are on a shared or group tour, you probably won’t get the opportunity to see this temple unless it is listed on the tour itinerary.
Why Visit Ta Prohm Kel?
If you’re looking for a quiet spot to take a break or want to see something which most visitors don’t get to see, then Ta Prohm Kel is a good choice.
Little is known about Ta Prohm Kel temple. What is known is that it was built as part of Jayavarman VII’s great construction program. It is one of the 102 hospital chapels built by the king during his reign.
Nothing is left of the actual hospital and all that remains is this small chapel which is in very poor condition.
It’s likely that the hospital and chapel were abandoned with the other temples in the area around the 16th century.
Layout and Design
Like most Khmer temples, the small central sanctuary opens to the east. The other three sides contained false doors. There was a small entrance building (gopura) to the east. Only some traces of this gopura can be seen today.
Ta Prohm Kel was built in the Bayon style and was decorated with devatas and other Buddhist figures. Many of these carvings were vandalised, probably during the Hindu uprising in the late 13th century.
There is a small channel called a somasutra which was used for draining water used during ceremonies.
Inside the sanctuary, there are some coarse carvings. It’s likely that these were added much later.
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