Today we headed out early, but after dinner, to catch Ta Prohm when its quiet.
Ta Prohm is famous as "The Jungle Temple". Left largely alone (tho a
digression on that will follow) and having lots of giant trees and
vines crawling in and out it is a beautiful place. One of the large
monastery complexes one can clamber through half rubble filled rooms
and doorways, through holes in walls and find yourself in beautiful
empty rooms, with the ceiling below your feet, trees above, and not
another tourist in sight. Until you clamber back out and find
yourself in a Korean tour group of 40 people posing for a picture by a
One of the more intellectually interesting facets of this trip is
looking at various "preservation" and "conservation" practices that
are going on here.
Once and a while I get in a discussion about various schools of
thought in "preservation" and "Conservation". And I've always been
one of the "don't muck about if you can avoid it as the future will
always have better techniques.". And "make sure people can tell what
modern work has been done and what is old."
Around here those aren't exactly the theories. Here its more "make it
like it was" and "make it as seamless as possible".
So today at Ta Prohm, walking through the loggia I thought was still
standing, we regarded a picture showing the giant pile of stone it had
been until 1980-something. And with a few years here the jungle
totally hides any new mortar and a good layer of moss on everything
and bang! Its 1000 years old.
But it does mean that when we made it out farther to the small jewel
of a temple called "The Women's temple" or Banteay Srei (I think it
might have been Nina's fave back in 68) that we regretted their
preservation and conservation work.
Banteay Srei is tiny, and the carvings are amazing! Super good
sandstone and apparently very good carvers equalled unparalleled
beatuty. The stories of Shiva and Vishnu and Burning Forests and
warring Monkey Kings. Amazing.
dinner plans arrive
gots to go.
"Science is a Differential Equation. Religion is a Boundary Condition."
- A. Turing