A lot is in the name; Bangkok to get back its indigenous and formal name

17th February 2022 – The name of the capital city of Thailand is now being changed from Bangkok to “Krung Thep Maha Nakhon”. The announcement was made by the Office of the Royal Society (ORST) after the Thai Cabinet approved the name change in principle.

Most Thais call the city as “Krung Thep” which is the shorter version of its traditional and formal name “Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit”. The English translation of this name is “City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Vishvakarman at Indra’s behest.

Notably, traditional Vedic culture spread from the present day Afghanistan in the West to Thailand and Cambodia in the East. Interestingly, many cities and towns in Thailand still have Sanskritized names. For instance,

Siam – Syama from Sanskrit

Ayutthaya – Ayodhya, birth place of Shri Ram

Chaiyaphum – Victory Land (Jaya Bhumi)

Lobpuri – City of Luv (Shri Ram’s son)

Chantaburi – City of Moon (Chandra Puri)

Ratchaburi – King’s City (Raja Puri)

Prachinburi – Old City (Pracheen Puri)

Sukhothai – City of Happiness (Sukh Puri)

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