Ta Prohm Kel
Do not confuse the small single-tower structure Ta Prohm Kel with the large jungletemple Ta Prohm. Ta Prohm Kel - "Kel" being a syllable with a short vowel - is located only 500 metres away from the west entrance of Angkor Wat, on the other side of the road.
The famous king Jayavarman VII (1181- ca.1220), founder of Angkor Thom and its Bayon temple, is famous for having chosen Mahayana Buddhism as the new state cult of the Angkor empire. The Mahayana version of Buddhism stresses the importance of compassion and social acticity. Correspondingly, the Mahayana ruler Jayavarman VII liked to be regarded as a benefactor of the people. One of his welfare projects was the establishment of 102 hospitals throughout his empire. They were called Arogyashalas in Sanskrit. Four of them surrounded the new capital Angkor Thom, the southern one is called Ta Prohm Kel, also spelt Ta Prom Kel.
The remaining stone monument was the shrine inside the hospital, wooden halls disappeared. One false door of the Prasat can still be seen, it is at the north side. One of two Devatas at a corner of the Prasat has curls and braids, the other one a crown-like cover. There was a draining channel called Somasutra through the north wall of the shrine. The Buddhist carving on the northern pediment is in fair condition, though it was damaged during the vandalistic 13th century Hindu resurgence.
The best time for a visit is the morning. The Angkor ticket will not be checked at such a small temple, but at the access roads to Angkor Wat.