The Tower Restoration Project at Ta Prohm Kel Temple now Completed in Angkor Park

SIEM REAP — The central tower of the Ta Prohm Kel temple stands once again following several months of restoration. It has been meticulously repaired and brought back to its former glory.

The restoration project began some time ago and involved a strict procedure. Since the temple is located in the Angkor Archeological Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, restoration plans first had to be authorized by the APSARA National Authority—the government body overseeing the site—and by the International Coordinating Committee of Angkor (ICC-Angkor) and its team of experts.

Caption: Mao Sokny, an architect with APSARA’s Department of Conservation of Monuments and Preventive Archaeology. Photo: APSARA

Then Mao Sokny, an architect with APSARA’s Department of Conservation of Monuments and Preventive Archaeology who was in charge of the project, started the work. As he explained, the temple was severely damaged; some stones had tumbled, and half of the central tower had collapsed.

Ta Prohm Kel is believed to have been built in the late 12th century/early 13th century, and to have been one of the chapels that were part of King Jayavarman VII’s hospitals.  Located on the northwest side of Angkor Wat, it served as a place of worship and one of the four hospital chapels in the immediate area of Angkor Thom, Sokny said.


Restoration was done in two phases, he said. During the first phase, studies were conducted including excavation work and drawings of the layout. Then during the second phase of March-through-December 2023, the restoration work took place. This involved adding some new stones to strengthen the structure of the damaged portions of the monument, Sokny said.

“With the completion of the tower restoration work, specialists are going to start working on the restoration of the pond in the northeast corner, repairing the southeast corner platform of the south library and the east gate of the temple,” he said.


Now that the temple’s tower has been restored, the APSARA Authority is getting ready for an increasing number of visitors at Ta Prohm Kel, the more so that the temple is located a short distance from the famed Angkor Wat.

“To make it simpler for tourists to visit the temple, the team is currently organizing a new visiting circuit, cleaning the drainage system so that water flows into the pond on the north side, and taking care of the rest of the area.” Sokny said.


In the meantime, the temple's structures will be further studied and excavated by the APSARA National Authority, he added.

Learn more about King Jayavarman VII's chapel hospital of the ancient time:

Healing the Empire: Angkor’s Chapel Hospitals

Hospitals Under King Jayavarman VII

Provisions and Manpower Needed to Run Angkor’s 12th Century Hospital

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