In 550 AD Bhavavarman I created Chenla, which later included the former
kingdoms of Champa and Funan.
The capital was at Isanapura. A third king, Isanavarman I,
conquered much of the Mon territory in modern
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Jayavarman II (770-835 AD) founded Angkor with a grand ritual in 802 AD on Mount Mahendraparvata (modern
Phnom Kulen). Traditional accounts claimed he
originally lived somewhere on Java, Indonesia --
probably at ancient Borobudur.
His first city in Kambujadesa was at Hariharalaya, but
Jayavarman's capital was at Indrapura (circa 781 AD). He seized Vyadhapura
(modern Banteay Prey Nokor), capital of Funan, and conquered
Indravarman I (877-889 AD) expanded territory through peaceful means. He also built the temple of
Preah Ko and irrigation projects. His son, Yasovarman I
(aka Leper King"), built extensive water reservoirs and founded Angkor Wat.
In 950 AD, the first war between Khmer and Champa forces began. Jayavarman V (968-1001 AD) built the lovely
temple of Banteay Srei. Following a few years of turmoil,
Suryavarman I (1010-1050 AD) brought order and established relations with the Indian empire of
In 1113 AD, Suryavarman II succeeded to the throne and
established the Golden Age of the Khmer. He extended the empire to its zenith and completed the
largest temple at Angkor Wat.
His empire included regional centers at Lopburi
(aka Lavapura) and Phimai
(aka Vimayapura). He died between 1145 and 1150 AD while campaigning against the
In 1177 AD, Cham naval forces defeated the Khmer on Tonle Sap
and made Kambuja a province of Champa. Jayavarman VII
(1181-1219 AD) raised an army and regained Khmer independence. In 1203 AD, he defeated Champa and seized much of
its territory. He built numerous cities, temples and the Srah Srang
Thai subjects at Sukhothai rebelled against
King Indravarman II (1219-1243 AD). He also withdrew from eastern provinces due to a Cham-Dai Viet alliance.
Jayavarman VIII (1243-1205 AD) was the last strong ruler of the Khmer. He rejected Buddhism
and built a Hindu temple-mountain at
Baphuon. He avoided war by paying tribute to
Thai rebel and Dai Viet forces continued pushing against the Khmer Empire.
See pictures of the period. Another cause for
internal collapse was the failing irrigation system. In 1350 AD, Sukhothai lost to
Ayutthaya, which sacked Angkor Thom in 1431 AD.