A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z




Vimean Akas (វិមានអាកាស)

Khmer. Name of a Hindu temple in Angkor Thom (fig.), usually referred to as Prasat Vimean Akas, but also known as Phimean Akas, and which translates as ‘Heavenly Palace’ or Celestial Temple. The term may refer to the abode of an angel or god, as well as to the palace of a king. Whereas the term vimean is reminiscent of the Thai word viman, akas corresponds to the Thai term ahkaht (อากาศ), which means air. It was built at the end of the 10th century, during the reign of King Rajendravarman and then completed by Suryavarman I. It has the shape of a three tier ziggurat-like pyramid with on top a platform, that originally had a tower that was reportedly crowned with a golden spire, as well as some galleries. According to a legend, the king had to spent the first watch of every night alone in the tower to meet a naga in the form of a woman, with no one else permitted to intrude. If one night, the naga, in Khmer mythology believed to be the supreme owner of the land as described in the story of Kambuja, wouldn't not show up for a night, the king's days would be numbered, and if the king wouldn't show up, great calamity would strike his kingdom. Also known as Phimeanakas and in Thai referred to as Prasat Phimaan Ahkaht (พิมานอากาศ), a designation that in part also occurs in the name of Varophaat Phimaan (วโรภาษพิมาน, map - fig.), a palace building within the compound of the Bang Pa-in Summer Palace in Ayutthaya. See MAP.