Images taken in the mosques, mausoleums and madrasas of Uzbekistan.
Photography by El-Branden Brazil
Ta Prohm, which is dedicated to the Hindu god, Brahma, is a magnificent site, where the mysteries of the ancient Khmer and nature come together. The temple was completed in 1186, but time had allowed the surrounding jungle to conquer it, until recent efforts of preservation and reconstruction began.
I first visited Ta Prohm in 1999, when Pol Pot’s horrendous presence in the country had finally come to an end. At that time, I was completely alone in the temple, apart from local kids trying to sell souvenir bamboo flutes. The site was dense with foliage and the ruins of grand buildings.
Each of the seven times I have visited since, the numbers of tourists has exponentially grown, and a lot of the jungle was cut back. In 2019, it was near-impossible to enjoy the ambience of the place, as masses and masses of noisy tourists posed for snapshots.
Due to the Covid pandemic, which has been devastating for the local economy and people, my recent visit in 2022, allowed me a repeat of my time alone in 1999. If you want to see these temples in relative tranquility, now is probably the only chance, and you will be helping the beautiful Cambodians.