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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
13 Sep 2011

On the left is Mr Lander in John Pearce cap at the wheel of the standard vehicle for visiting the remains of 'the world's the largest urban agglomeration in human history prior to the Industrial Revolution' (acc to Wikipedia) outside Siem Reap, Cambodia. 

As a marked contrast to the much-visited Angkor Wat, I thought I'd show a short film made at the much quieter and more overgrown Ta Prohm temple just a few miles away. The trees in particular are almost winning the battle over the ruins, although luckily the Indian government is committed to completing the restoration work. I believe the tree roots are so firmly embedded in many of the structures that they do not dare hack them away altogether. You will see trees higher than several houses apparently growing out of the top of temple buildings.

The photograph immediately below is of a sign showing just how much Indian restorers achieved with a single terrace in three years. The upper part shows the pile of stones they started with. Below that is my film of this atmospheric temple. Listen to the sounds of the jungle...


 And below, the temple in the jungle itself...