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Cambodia Travel
Cambodia Travel
Cambodia Travel
Cambodia Travel

Chronological Survey of Angkor `s Rulers

Jayavarman II: (770-834 ) , normally regarded as founder of Angkor , began his career as an exile and returning to Cambodia ,extended his  dominion  in a series of campaigns that led him from the lower Mekong to north and west of the Great Lake. According to a much later inscription he had a series of capitals, the last being at Hriharalaya ( Lolei ), a few miles to the south-east of Siem reap. Claims to suzerainty over the Khmer by a Malay power were formally rejected when in 802, at Mahendraparvata in the Kulen hills, he consecrated the ideal of Khmer unity and independence. Historians used to date his reign from 802 to 850, but it now appears necessary to set it back at each end.

Jayavarman III:(  834-870 ) little is known about him except that he liked to hunt elephants. It is possible that his empire shrank, and was restored again by his successor.

Indravarman I (877-899 ) appear s to have been linked to Jayavarman II `s line, though his genealogical claims do not make the connection explicit. He was responsible for the Preah Koh and the bakong at Hariharalaya.

Yasovarman I (889-910 ) whose accession may not have been peaceful , moved the capital to the north of siem reap now is and where most later kings remained . His capital , Yasodharapura  was at the Bakheng hill , which give its name to the monument mould to its peak Yasovarman`s central shrine. His empire was claimed to extend to the south of Cambodia, to Champa, into Laos and into Thailand. He was responsible for the great Reservoir known as the East Baray. Among other major works he also built a massive embankment around his capital city and causeway linking it to Hriharalaya.

Harsavarman I (910-923 ) came from Yasovarman`s immediate family .Possibly after death of Yasovarman the empire crumbled, with the kings at Angkor controlling a restricted area .

Isanavarman II (923-928 ) is mentioned in some inscription as far as these show , his empire may well have been confined to Angkor and the region of battambong in the west.

Jayavarman IV ( 928-941 ) had a power base to the north of Angkor at Koh Ker referred to in an inscription as Chok Gargyar ( Island of Glory ) Here at least since AD 922 the date of an edict issued by him , he had been exercising power as a governor vassal or rival of the previous king isanavarman II. He ruled over territories in Battambong , Siem Reap, Kampong Thom , Kompong Chamand Ta Kev .

Harsavarman II ( 941-944 ) Jayavarman`s immediate successor came to the throne in obscure circumstances possibly amid conflict.

Rajendravarman II ( 944-978 )restored Angkor after a period of neglect and consolidated the empire. He claimed descent from the ruler of Bhavapura and brought together under his rule a number of territories not previously assimilated. His empire was claimed to extend to Vietnam, Laos part of Thailand, Burma and even China. In 950 he despatch ed an at least partly successful military expedition to Champa. His religious monuments include Eastern Mebon and the Pre Rup.

Jayavarman V  ( 968-1000 ) Rajendravarman was followed by Jayavarman V  968-1000  In consistent versions of the date of succession to Rajendhravarman may reflect strife. He built the Ta Kev monument at western end of the Eastern Baray as the center of his capital Jayendranagari. His younger sister married an Indian Brahman Divakarabhatta from Mathura.

Udayadiyavarman I ( 1002-1002 ) Jayavarman `s death was followed by several years of conflict between rivals . Udayadiyavarman I 1002-1002 figures chiefly as a short lived participant in an evidently very destructive contest for power at the capital. Udayadiyavarman was followed at Angkor by Jayaviravarman .

Jayaviravarman  ( 1002-1010 ) who lasted until 1010 he however was never able to assert his control over the hole empire and was ousted in 1010, he is not usually reckoned in the list of kings .

Suryavarman I ( 1002-1050 ) the origins of Suryavarman I 1002-1050 have been debated . It used to be thought that he was a usurper, and that he came from the west. His claims to the throne are not obviously worse than those of many other rulers generally regarded as legitimate ,and his territorial base was in east , on Mekong beginning in 1000, he fought his way towards Angkor via the Dangrek hill and put an end to the reign of his by predecessor at Angkor in 1010 the oath of allegiance sworn to him by his officials was dated AD 1011. Suryavarman`s monument include four major Linga Shrines to north , south, east and west of the capital and he was probably responsible for the Western Baray, the largest Reservoir of all. Many inscriptions date from his reign probably reflecting increasing competition for endowed land and the extension of the cultivated area.

Udayadiyavarman II ( 1050-1066 ) The next ruler was Udayadiyavarman II. Like other rulers, he become larger than life in the portraits of him offered by his inscription :

He excelled in seducing women to his will by his beauty, warrior by his heroism, sages by his good qualities, the people by his power, brahmans by his charity. Endowed with many noble qualities, when Suryavarman went to the skies, this Prince of great energy was sworn universal monarch by his ministers.

His temple monument was the Baphoun, a great pyramid originally possessing a gilt tower. Udayadiyavarman patronized the family of priests attached to the devaraja cult. The property bestowed upon the family at this time lay in the north-west of Cambodia, suggesting perhaps that migration and settlement were intensifying in the direction of Thailand .

Hrasavarman III  ( 1066-1089 ) during the reign of Harsavarman III 1066-1077-1080 according to Chinese sources, Angkor and Champa were jointly required to help China fight the Vietnam. Subsequently there was war with Champa, in which the Cham claims to have taken a city and offered prisoners and booty to a Cham national temple.

Jayavarman VI  (1080-1107 ) came from family said to have been ruling at Mahidrara, possibly in Thailand, and his succession looks more irregular than most he can be seen as the initiator of a new dynasty sometime identified as the Mahidhara line. He was probably responsible for the great religious foundation at Phimai ( up the Mun River in Thailand ) where many Indian and local territorial gods but especially the Buddha were honoured .

Dharanindravarman I  ( 1107-1112 ) was the older brother of the previous ruler , little is known about his short and doubtless unstable reign.

Suryavarman II ( 1113-1150 ) is most famous as the builder of Angkor Wat, which was his central national shrine and probably contained the palace and administrative building within its enclosures. He was also active in war : successful campaigns against the Chams led to the installation of his own nominee on the Cham throne at Vijaya. It was during his reign that the Sung dynasty fled south

embassies were sent from Angkor to China in 1116 and 1120.

Dharanindravarman II  ( 1150-1160 ) the father of the later ruler King Jayavarman VII was credited in epigraphy with royal power , however  there is no evidence that he ruled at Angkor  and it is more accurate to place next on the list King Yasovarman II ( 1150-1160-1165 ) whose end at the hands of the usurper Tribhuvanadiya, one of his official was probably  violent.

Tribhuvanadiya  ( 1165-1177 ) is obscure. it is possible that his palace was at the site of the subsequent Preah Khan temple complex , which contains a shrine to the god Tribhuvanavarmesvara. His reign ended when a Cham fleet made its way unexpectedly up the Tonle Sap to Great Lake and scored a rapid and devastating victory that gave power at Angkor to the Cham ruler Jaya-Indhravarman IV.

Jayavarman VII( 1181-1220 ) The Cham were soon expelled by Jayavarman VII 1181-1818 the main features of whose reign are detailed above. After expelling the Chams he fought his way to dominance and inaugurated his reign as Khmer emperor . His empire extended to the lower Mekong, into Laos to the north, and into Khmer parts of Thailand. He constructed a new capital city, Angkor Thom, centred on the Bayon Shrine which had a Buddhist icon and whose towers were decorated with faces of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. He built 102 hospital, bone fire houses and constructed roads linking Angkor with the outer part of the kingdom. The chronology of the his reign is quite obscure.

Indravarman II( 1220-1243 ) little is known about his successor Indhravarman II whose reign lasted until 1243.

Jayavarman VIII (1243-1295 )sponsored the last known royally endowed temple for the benefit of the priest Jayamangalartha, said to have lived to the truly ripe of age of 104. There is evidence of a phase of resurgent Hinduism that inspired the defacement of some of Jayavarman VII `s Buddhist sculpture and it is thought that this unusually intolerant episode of Hindu fundamentalism took place in the reign of Jayavarman VIII although it has been suggested that Indhravarman II might have been responsible and that he could possibly have been the leper of folk memory

Indravarman III(  1295-1308 ) was reigning at the time of visit of Chou Ta-Kuan who offers a great deal of concrete information about Angkor at the time. He reports wars against Thai invaders in subsequent reigns the problem became worse. However for the time being Angkor was still the centre of a bustling kingdom.

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