The story behind the name Bayon

The Bayon is one of the most well-known Angkor complex buildings. The majority of people, however, are unaware that it was originally a mispronunciation. Bayon’s original Hindu name was Jayagiri (or victory mountain).

One of the more well-known, well-liked, and beautiful buildings in the Angkor Wat Archaeological Park is the Bayon Temple. The temple, which is located just to the north of Angkor Wat, used to be in the middle of the ancient city of Angkor Thom. 

In honor of the Khmer king who ordered its construction, it is occasionally referred to as Jayavarman’s Temple. It is widely known for its several towers, each of which has a smiling face on it.

Since it had religious images and the French didn’t know the original name at the time, they chose to call it Banyan Temple when they arrived.

Because there were so many depictions of Buddhism there, they gave it the name Banyan temple (i.e. the Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment under the Banyan tree). A pronunciation error occurred when native Khmer workers arrived to renovate the Banyan temple, leading to the creation of Bayon.

Another view on Bayon is that it was named in 1880 by Etienne Aymonier. According to his report, Bayon is the Latin term for what he had seen written in Khmer as “Bayânt,” which he believed was most likely a distorted form of the Pali Vejayant or Sanskrit Vaijayant, the name of the heavenly palace of Indra, of which the Bayon was thought to be the terrestrial counterpart.

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