Sunday, April 29, 2007

When roots attack...

Ta Prohm, Angkor.

Samode, Rajasthan.

It’s always interesting to see nature break through man made structures. It’s what made Ta Prohm interesting. The archaeologists decided to keep the trees intact when they started their work. (But from what I gathered on the trip they are now posing a threat to the temple complex.)

The inner sanctum of Ta Prohm was quite empty. There was hardly anyone in that area of the temple. Roots, bricks, rubble. And a monk who was sitting next to a Buddha statue, lighting incense. He graciously tied a saffron dhaaga on my wrist. There was also a snake that slithered away into the rubble when I climbed on top of a pile of bricks to take some photos. The Japanese tour groups arrived and made their way in soon after. Needless to say I didn’t hang around the area for much longer. I made my way out and went about exploring other parts of the temple.

Trees and roots are everywhere. Sometimes it seemed as if they were squeezing the life out of the temple. I was glad they were there. If only for selfish reasons. They provided a tiny bit of respite from the terribly harsh sun. And made for a most bizarre and wondrous temple visit.

P.S.: Remembered the second picture from a trip to Rajasthan a few years back. The tree in the village in Samode was sitting proudly on a pile of rubble from part of a collapsed wall. No one had had the heart to cut it down. Now it was simply too big.


Tabula Rasa said...

nice parallel!

i *loved* ta prohm. it's probably the most magical place i've ever been.

TS said...


*Must visit!

??! said...

Reminds me of the last lines from one of the best chapters in one of childhood's favourite books...
"A month later the place was a dimpled mound, covered with soft, green young stuff; and by the end of the Rains there was the roaring Jungle in full blast on the spot that had been under plough not six months before."

- The Second Jungle Book ('Letting in the Jungle')

the wannabe indian punkster said...

Now I *must* go to Angkor.

And Hanoi was lovely. It was very languid to begin with. And weirdly calming, if I'm making any sense. And the spicy/sour fish hotpot in Hanoi is the best in the world.


Renovatio said...

Dimpled mound... I always loved that... makes me want to say... niggling...

Don't ask :p

Szerelem said...

TR: =) I liked Ta Prohm too...but I think I liked Bayon best.

ts: *Must*

??!: I haven't read that!! But those are very apt.

punkster: want to go to Hanoi.

Renovatio: Ok. Not asking!

MockTurtle said...

Beautiful. The roots seem to almost flow over the walls. Makes you contemplate the future of human civilization.

That Armchair Philosopher said...

nice comparisons :)

@punk - spicy/hot/sour fish hotpot. mmmm. *looks to see if he can get it nearby*