The following 35 amazing photos show the stunning beauty of the ruins of the Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia. The temple was originally dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The modern name, Angkor Wat, means “City of Temples” in Khmer language.

Angkor, meaning “city” or “capital city”, is a vernacular form of the word nokor, which comes from the Sanskrit word nagara (नगर). Wat is the Khmer word for “temple grounds” (coming from the Sanskrit word vāṭa (वाट) “enclosure”).

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In many places in the Puranas and Mahabharata there are references to the Kamboja dynasties. Cambodia’s ancient sanskrit name is “Kambuja” (कंबुज). Later this was distorted into Cambodia.

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Yaska (an early Sanskrit grammarian who preceded Panini, from around the seventh century BCE) etymologizied the name as both Kambal.bhojah and Kamaniya.bhojah.

According to Nirukta:

shavtirgatikarma Kambojesveva bhasyate
kambojah kambal.bhojah kamaniya.bhoja va
kambalaha kamaniyo bhavati
vikaramasy. Aryesu bhasyante shava iti
( -Nirukta 2.2)

The Kambojas enjoy kambalah (blankets) i.e. they are Kambal.bhojah, and also they enjoy beautiful (kamaniya) things, hence they are ‘kamaniya.bhojah’. Therefore they are called “Kambojas”.

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Panini, the 4th century BC Sanskrit grammarian, a native to Gandhara (present day Kandahar in Afghanistan), in his Aṣṭādhyāyī mentions many terms pertaining to the geography and ethnology of pre-Mauryan India. In his sutras (4.1.168-177) Panini references a number of Kshatriya janapadas and notes it as one of the fifteen prominent Kshatriya monarchies of the times.

For more information on this ancient temple, please read the article The Lost Hindu Empire of Cambodia.

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