- AD100 - AD600: The Kingdom of Funan
that rules over a vast land of Indo China and part of
now South East Asia covers part of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and
the whole Cambodia.
- AD600 - AD800: The Kingdom of Chenla
still rules part of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and the whole
- AD800 - AD 1400: The Kingdom and Khmer Empire.
The Kingdom starts to crumble thereafter AD 800. The peripheral areas of
the Kingdom falls into the hands of the Thais invading
from the West and the North and the Vietnamese from the
- AD1400 - 1860: The erosion of the
Khmer Empire. More and more peripheral lands are
occupied by the Thais and the Vietnamese.
- 1860 - 1953: The French colonize Indochina
and rule Cambodia as protectorate.
- 1953: Cambodia gains independence
- 1975: Cambodia falls into Communism
ruled by Khmer Rouge supported by China
- 1979: Cambodia is invaded by Vietnamese that
in turn drive Khmer Rouge regime out of power.
- 1991: Cambodia holds a democratic
election administered by the United Nations.
The Rise and the Fall of Angkor
- AD900 - AD1200: The development of the City of Angkor
- AD1200 - AD1400: The Decline of Angkor and Khmer Empire
- AD1400 - 1860: The Khmer Empire is
in disarray. The peripheral land of the empire is lost to the invading
Thais from the West and the Vietnamese from the East.
Angkor Wat temple: Built in 12th century
during the reign of King Suryavarman II (1112-1150),
dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu. Angkor Wat temple is the
main feature of Cambodia tourism, the all-time visited temple among hundreds of
Khmer temple ruins.
Angkor, the capital of Khmer empire from 9th to 13th century, ruled a vast
territory that is now Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos. During these
periods, the Khmers build hundreds of temples and Buddhist monasteries through
out Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. Despite of Angkor temples are seen
sprawling over the hundreds of historical sites in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia,
the main temples featuring Angkor civilization and political culture involving
administration and power are located in
Siem Reap province.
These temple ruins converge in an area of
400 square kilometers just
north of Siem Reap town
and Tonley Sap lake.
- The Decline of Khmer Kingdom Power
- Angkor began in 819 A.D. when King Jayavarman II (802-850) moved a Khmer
settlement to Siem Reap province and the settlement became an
administrative centre of Khmer empire.
During the reign of King Suryavarman
II (1113-1150), in which Angkor Wat temple was built, the Chams from
Champa from the East (now Vietnam) began armed incursions
and sacked Angkor. Following the death of King Suryavarman II
and the Cham invasion, Angkor is invaded and ransacked
by the Thais, based in western part of
the Khmer Empire. These Thai army forces had been employed by the Khmer King to repel the Cham
invaders. Thereafter, again and again, the Chams and the Thais
invaded and ransacked Angkor.
King Jayavarman VII (1181-1215) who built Angkor Thom fought
and repelled the invading Chams and the Thais. The glory of Khmers and Angkor
was again restored but the it was short lived.
The Empire began to crumble after the
death of King Jayavarman VII. The Thais from the west and the invaders
from the East, this time the Vietnamese, frequently carried out armed incursions
and invaded Angkor and the Khmer Empire's peripheral territory was gradually
lost. After the capture of
Angkor by the Thais in 1431, Khmers moved their capital from Angkor to Phnom Penh
leaving Angkor unoccupied to the mercy of the jungles. From the early
15th century until the late 19th century, the Buddhist
monks lived in Angkor and made Angkor the largest religious pilgrimage site in South East Asia.
- The Angkor Restoration
- The loss of Khmer territory continued until 1863 when France
established a colonial regime that ruled Cambodia until 1953. Angkor ruins were
discovered by a French researcher in 1920 and thereafter a comprehensive program of Angkor
restoration and archeological research sponsored by the
French government began. The restoration program was
halted in late 1960's during a political upheaval and civil war in
Cambodia. During the war, Angkor suffered heavy damages
and wide-spread lootings. The
other sculptures were either broken or stolen.
The civil war eventually ended in early 1990's and the restoration program of
Angkor re-started. This time, the program is sponsored by an international
agency UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural
Organization). Angkor is again opened to the world. Now streams of
visitors from around the world are irresistibly drawn to this great city of
Angkor ruins to marvel its breathtaking beauty.
Reigns of Khmer Kings: 8th century to early 14th century
| Jayavarman II
| Jayavarman III
| Indravarman I
| Yasovarman I
| Harshvarman I
| Isanavarman II
| Jayavarman IV
| Harshavarman II
| Jayavarman V
| Suryavarman I
| Udayadityavar II
| Harshavarman III
| Jayavarman VI
| Dharanindravarman I
| Suryavarman II
| Dharanindravarmen II
| Jayavarman VII
| Indarvarman II
| Jayavarmand VIII
| Indravarman III
Source and reference:
Americana 2002 edition, the World Book Encyclopedia 1999
edition, the World
Book Encyclopedia 1999 edition,
Wikipedia Media Encyclopedia.