Most temples’ names in the Angkor area make use of special terms from the Khmer language. Here you can see a list comprising some of those terms and examples:
- Angkor: Literally means “city”. Angkor comes from the Sanskrit word nagara.
- Banteay: It means “citadel” or “fortress” and it’s used for walled temples.
- Baray: It means “reservoir”.
- Phnom: It means “mountain” or “hill”. Even small hills are named Phnom.
- Prasat: It means “temple”. Prasat comes from the Sanskrit word prasada.
- Preah: It means “God” or “King” and it can also be used as adjective meaning “sacred” or “holy”. ( For instance, Preah Khan means sacred sword.)
- Srei: It means “woman”. (For instance, Banteay Srei means citadel of women.)
- Ta: It means “grandfather”, or sometimes “ancestor”. (For instance, Ta Prohm means Ancestor Brahma.)
- Thom: It means “large”. (For instance, Angkor Thom means large city.)
- Wat: It comes from the Sanskrit word vattaram and it means “temple”. (For instance, Angkor Wat means temple city.)
It´s pretty easy, right? Just with these few words you are able to understand most Angkorian temple names. Here we go:
Khmer terms of Angkor: Try by yourself
- Angkor Wat = city temple / temple city
- Angkor Thom = city large / large city
- Banteay Srei = citadel of women
- Preah Khan = sacred sword
- Prasat Kravan = Temple Artabotrys Odoratissimus : -)
- Ta Prohm = ancestor Brahma
- Wat Bo = Even not knowing the meaning of Bo, now you know this is a temple! :)
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