Asrama - Monastery

Airavana - Elephant, the mount of Indra

Amitabha - Buddha of the higher spirit, represented on the head-dress of bodhisattvas

Amrita - Elixir of life, from the churning of the ocean

Ananta - Serpent on which Vishnou reclines on the ocean

Angkor - City

Apsaras - Celestial dancers

Asura - Demon with power equal to that of the gods

Avatar - Incarnation (or manifestation) of Vishnou

Avalokitesvara - Or Lokesvara, the compassionate bodhisattva, responding to the idea of Providence, with four arms and carrying the amitabha on his head-dress: attributes; lotus, rosary, bottle and a book

Balang - Pedestal

Banteay - Citadel

Baray - An area of water enclosed within mounds of earth

Beng - A pool

Bodhisattva - One in the process of becoming a Buddha

Buddha - The Sage who has achieved ultimate wisdom

Brahma - One of the gods of the Brahmanic trinity - the creator, generally with 4 faces, mounted on the Hamsa (swan or sacred bird)

Cedei - Or stupa, a funerary or commemorative monument usually containing the remains of incineration

Cham - The inhabitants of Champa, kingdom of the Hindu civilisation on the coast of what is now Vietnam, earlier than the Annamites

Damrei - Elephant

Deva- A god

Devaraja - Or god king, the essence of Royalty, supposed to reside in the royal linga

Devata - Feminine divinity

Dharmasala - House of fire or shelter for pilgrims

Dhyana-mudra - Meditative posture of the Buddha (with hands crossed in the lap)

Durga - One of the wives of Shiva

Dvarapala - A guardian of the temple (deva or asura)

Ficus - Religiosa Sacred tree (Buddhist religion)

Fou-Nan - The Chinese name of an ancient Indo-Chinese empire preceding the kingdom of Cambodia

Gajasimha - Lion with a snout

Ganesha - Son of Shiva, god with the head of an Elephant

Ganga - One of the wives of Shiva (goddess of the Ganges)

Garuda - Divine bird with a human body, enemy of the nagas and the mount of Vishnou

Gopura - Entry pavilion to the various temple enclosures

Guru - Master

Hamsa - Sacred bird, the mount of Brahma

Hanuman - The white monkey. Chief of the army of monkeys

Harihara - A god unifying in the same figure Hari (Vishnou) and Hara (Shiva)

Hayagriva - Secondary god of the family of Shiva, represented with the head of a horse

Hinayana - Or small vehicle - a Buddhist sect

Ishvara - One of the names of Shiva

Indra - Brahmanic god, master of thunder and lightning; his mount is Airavana the elephant (usually three headed) and his attribute, the thunderbolt

Kailasa - One of the mountain peaks of the Himalaya where Shiva resides

Kala - The head of a monster, supposed to represent one aspect of Shiva

Kali - One of the names of the sakti of Shiva

Kama - The god of love

Ko - Ox

Kompong - A port or village by the water

Krishna - Manifestation of Vishnou

Kubera - The god of wealth, dwarfed and deformed, mounted on a Yaksha or a rat

Lakshmana - Brother of Rama (from the Ramayana)

Lakshmi - The wife or sakti of Vishnou

Lanka - The island of Ceylon, home of the rakshasas

Linga - Phallic idol, one of the forms of Shiva

Lokapala - Guardian of one of the four cardinal points

Lokesvara - Other name for Avalokitesvara, the compassionate bodhisattva

Mahabharata - Grand Hindu epic

Mahayana - Or Large Vehicle, a Buddhist sect

Maitreya - Future Buddha (a sort of Messiah)

Makara - Sea monster with the head of an elephant, who, in ornamentation, often disgorges the naga

Mara - Evil spirit who tempts the Buddha

Men - A light pavilion used for incineration

Meru - Mountain, centre of the world and residence of the gods

Mucilinda - Naga sheltering Buddha in meditation

Madras - Symbolic gesture of gods or Buddha

Mukhalinga - A linga adorned with a face

Mukuta - Or mokot, the conical head-dress worn behind the diadem

Naga - Stylisation of the Cobra - a mythical serpent, usually multi-headedGenie of the waters who shelters the Buddha in meditation with his fanned heads.

Nagaraja - King of the Nagas

Nagi - Female naga

Nandin - Sacred bull, the mount of Shiva

Narasimha - The God Vishnou, with the lower part in human form and the head of a lion

Neak-ta - Popular idol, or the shelter that contains it

Nirvana - The ultimate enlightenment and the supreme Buddhist objective

Pala - Dynasty ruling in Bihar and Bengal between about AD 750 and 1196

Parinirvana - The entry of the Buddha to enlightenment, the pose of the statues of the reclining Buddha

Parvati - Wife or sakti of Shiva

Peshani - Millstone intended for grinding

Phnom - Mountain

Phtel - Bowl

Pradakshina - A circumambulation ritual always keeping the monument to the right

Prah - Saint, sacred

Prah patima - A metal leaf stamped with the image of the Buddha

Prajnaparamita - The mystical mother of the Buddhas, symbol of wisdom

Prasat - Sanctuary in the form of a tower

Prasavya - Circumambulation funerary ritual, in the opposite manner to the pradakshina

Prei - Forest

Pourana - Historical Indian legend

Puri - Town

Rahu - Head of the monster demon of eclipses

Rakshasa - Inferior demon joining with the asuras against the devas

Rakshasi - Feminine form of rakshasa

Rama - A manifestation of Vishnou (Ramayana)

Ramayana - Grand Hindu epic, the history of Rama and of Sita

Rati - The wife of Kama, god of love

Ravana - King of the rakshasas, with multiple heads and arms

Rishi - Brahman ascetic

Sakra - The wheel of the Buddha, signifying immortality and power

Saka - The Indian era the most commonly used in the inscriptions, preceding the Christian era by 78 years

Sakti - he wife or feminine energy of the Hindu gods

Sarasvati - Wife of Brahma, goddess of eloquence

Sarong - A length of cloth wrapped around the lower body

Sema - Steles (inscribed stones) placed on the axes and corners of Buddhist terraces to define the sacred platform

Seng - Lion

Sita - Wife of Rama (Ramayana)

Shiva - One of the gods of the Brahmanic trinity - the creator and destroyer, mounted on Nandin (the sacred bull), generally with a third frontal eye and a crescent on the chignon, worshipped in the form of the linga

Shri - Sakti of the god Vishnou (or Lakshmi)

Skanda - God of war, son of Shiva, mounted on a peacock or on a rhinoceros.

Snanadroni - An ablution slab with a beak, always orientated to the north, placed on the pedestal of the idols for the flow of lustral water

Somasutra - Channel for the evacuation of lustral water out of the sanctuary

Srah - Pool

Srei - Woman

Stupa - Or cedei, a funerary or commemorative monument usually containing the remains of incineration

Sugriva - King of the monkeys, dethroned by his brother Valin and ally of Rama (Ramayana)

Surya - God of the sun, haloed with a ring of light and mounted on a horse-drawn chariot

Tandava - Dance of Shiva separating the cosmic periods of the creation and destruction of the worlds

Tantrism - Buddhist sect from the Mahayana

Tara - Feminine energy of Lokesvara, similar to the Prajnaparamita

Tchen-La - Of water and earth, ancient Chinese name for Cambodia

Tevoda - Or devata, a feminine divinity

Thom - Large

Trapeang - Sea

Tricula - Trident, the weapon of Shiva

Trimurti - Brahmanic trinity (Shiva between Vishnou and Brahma)

Tripitaka - Sacred Buddhist texts

Uma - Wife or sakti of Shiva

Ushnisha - Protuberance from the skull crowning the head of Buddha

Vajra - Thunderbolt, the attribute of Indra

Valin - King of the monkeys, brother of Sugriva and overcome by him with the help of Rama (Ramayana)

Varaha - Manifestation of Vishnou (wild boar)

Vasuki - The serpent in the churning of the Ocean

Vat - Pagoda

Veda - Brahman rules

Vihara - Monastery

Vishvakarman - The divine architect, son of Shiva

Vishnou - One of the gods of the Brahmanic trinity - the protector. His mount is Garuda and he generally has four arms that hold a disk, a conch, a ball and a club Numerous manifestations.

Yama - God of death and the supreme judge, mounted on a buffalo

Yakshas - Or Yeaks, genie of good or evil


chapter 4

up 1
The exact interpretation of the cult of Devaraja remains questionable - some suggest god- king, others king-of-the-gods.

chapter 5

up 2
The original use of these stone tanks remains controversial - some archaeologists suggest that they were used only for offerings.

chapter 6

up 3
Le Notre was Louis XIV's landscape architect of Versailles and others.

chapter 8

up 4
Author's note: - The head of Kala is also known as the "Head of Rahu", the demon of the eclipses. The legend of Rahu is linked to the Churning of the Sea of Milk - the monster steals the amrita, the elixir of immortality, and is denounced by the sun and the moon to Vishnou who, with a cast of his disk, cuts his body in two. Ever since, both halves remaining immortal, he endeavours, in order to revenge himself, to devour the Sun and the Moon whenever one of them passes near by. It is still customary to shoot at the moon during an eclipse to scare the monster away.

chapter 11

up 5
Author's note: - Jacques Lagisquet took up his position as Conservator again on the departure of Maurice Glaize in 1946, followed by Henri Marchal who held it until 1953. Jean Boisselier served first as assistant, then as scientific director until 1955. After Mr Laur the last French conservator was B.P. Groslier who was forced to resign by political events in 1972

Angkor Wat

up 6
Only a few of the thousand buddhas remain.

up 7
The central stairway has since been improved.

Following the collapse of the heaven and hell gallery in 1947, Mssrs Marchal and Lagisquet started restoration work which finished in 1950. Mr Lagisquet then reformed the false ceiling in this gallery with concrete panels.
Other general work undertaken from 1946 to 1972:
Consolidation work continued with partial anastylosis, particularly of the libraries.

Prasat Bei

This and the previous temple have been subject to restoration in the 'sixties, and this lintel can now be seen in its rightful location above the door.

the Bayon

up 10
Author's note: - Mr Cœdes rather sees, in the addition of the four corners of galleries masking the arrangement in a cross, an arrangement analogous to the one which blocked the initial cross of the Baphuon with an oblong base surrounding the line of the original cross - the architect wanting to emphasise in symbolic form the representation of the Bayon as Mount Meru, which in Indian cosmology continues below ground in equal proportion to its elevation above.

monument 486

up 11
The lintel is longer in place. This monument now stands badly ruined and is not often cleared of vegetation.

Elephant Terrace

up 12
Further excavation by Mr Marchal in 1952 revealed more internal bas-reliefs at the northern end.

Terrace of the Leper King

up 13
The Terrace of the Leper King was restored by the École Française d'Extrême Orient in 1995.

up 14
After an attempt to steal his head he was replaced with a copy - from which the head was then successfully stolen. He now sits in the centre of the National Museum, Phnom Penh.


up 15
Restored by B.P. Groslier during the 'sixties in an ambitious programme of work for the monument which was abandoned in 1972. Partial work on the central pyramid was resumed in 1995 by the EFEO.

up 16
The elements of most of the bas-reliefs still lie methodically scattered in the surrounding forest.


up 17
This is no longer the case since the walls have been removed following anastylosis work in 1965 by B.P. Groslier.

Ta Nei

up 18
The south-west corner pavilion has since collapsed.

Ta Prohm

up 19
The stele is no longer in position.

up 20
It is no longer advisable to enter the fourth eastern gopura.


up 21
The fronton is no longer in position.

up 22
This temple now stands badly ruined.

Prasat Kravan

up 23
All towers are now in a better state following extensive restoration work during the 'sixties. Replacement bricks are stamped with the mark CA.

Pre Rup

up 24
This tale relates to the temple of Banteay Samre.

the Eastern Mebon

up 25
The stele is no longer in place.

Ta Som

up 26
This famous tree has long since disappeared.

Neak Pean

up 27
These elephants are no longer in position.

up 28
Louis XIV's landscape architect of Versailles and others.

Prah Khan

up 29
These and virtually all the other free standing statues described are no longer in place.

up 30
The two lions are no longer in position.

up 31
The Lokesvara is now in the National Museum, Phnom Penh.

up 32
Ganesha is no longer in place.

Banteay Srei

up 33
Although the road has since improved, security has sadly deteriorated. Visitors to Banteay Srei should always first check the situation with the local police. These days one can park just by the eastern entrance to the temple.

up 34 The interpretation of this scene remains questionable.

Banteay Samre

up 35
Only the feet remain...

up 36
Others propose its use as a casket destined to receive offerings or for water having served in ablution.


up 37
No longer in place.

Prah Ko

up 38
The stele is no longer in place.

up 39
These statues are no longer in place.


up 40
The south-east tower collapsed in 1966.

Phnom Krom

up 41
The camp has since gone but the pagoda grown.

up 42
The old market to the south, on the west bank of the river. The mud in the rainy season and the quarry on the side of the hill do not always allow easy access.

up 43
Only their broken pedestals remain.

Ak Yom

up 44
Ak Yom is now visible, though badly ruined, just on the southern side of the track that surrounds the baray - a few hundred metres west of the sluice.

the Western Mebon

up 45
Not much remains of this site since it was used by the military during the '70s. Boats now leave from the concrete dam on the south bank of the baray.

Beng Mealea

up 46
This journey to Beng Mealea is no longer easy, nor is the game hunting, nor the enthusing in the jungle.