Ta Phrom is much smaller than Angkor Wat or Bayon, but it is just this temple that produces the greatest impression, so you should visit it after you looked around these two great temples. At Ta Phrom there were left the trees, which swallowed the whole Angkor Wat hundreds years ago.
When the Angkor Wat temple complex was discovered by the Europeans in 1861, almost all its buildings were overgrown by jungles and looked like Ta Phrom, but gradually, people won back the temples from jungles, cutting down huge trees, which grew between the temples on their roofs.
And only in Ta Phrom it was decided to spare the trees, and it was quite right decision, which made it possible to retain the uniqueness and singularity of the whole Angkor Wat temple complex. As when you wander among the half-ruined structures of Ta Phrom and see giant trees with strong roots you perceive all power of nature.
It is the best place to see that men or even civilization as a whole is helpless before the power of nature. Sometime the kings of the Khmer Empire erected huge temples, thereby trying to prove to themselves and to the others their magnificence, but that civilization was ruined and strong roots are a kind of the hand of nature, which took back these temples.
Unlike Angkor Wat or Bayon temples, Ta Phrom is a small temple and all its structures have but one floor, but round each corner you can see wonderfully beautiful views. For complete authenticity you need only the Bandar-logs and scattered treasures. By the way, it was a visit to Ta Phrom that inspired Rudyard Kipling to write the story of Mowgli.
In 1186 the king Jayavarman VII had Ta Phrom temple consecrated and devoted it to his mother. The temple is located one kilometer to the east of the huge square of Angkor Thom, former capital of the Khmer Empire. Ta Phrom, as Phre Khan, was a monastery and Buddhist university.