ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Lost Khmer Empire

Updated on April 19, 2015

Temples of the Ancient Angkor city

The Khmer Empire was once a powerful country in Southeast Asia. According to historical records, it was founded in 802 AD by the king Jayavarman II and at the peak of its power it spread throughout the territory of modern Cambodia and reached out to the territory of Thailand, Laos, and southern Vietnam.

The city of Angkor was the capital of the state and is famous for its temple Ta Prohm. During the rise of the empire, the temple was home to thousands of people. Many religious events took place inside its walls. When the Khmer empire fell, Ta Prohm was also abandoned and forgotten for centuries. As a result, the stone walls of the temple merged with the jungle. However, the trees were never cut - they fit the design of the constructions so well, that it was decided to leave the temple the way it was. Now the ruins of Ta Prohm temple remind a mysterious garden where nature and human artifacts seem to be existing in perfect harmony.

Source

Ta Prohm is a part of the great Angkor Wat complex, obviously the biggest religious complex in the world (see photo below). This means that the Khmer people were great architects and builders. The construction of Angkor Wat temple took place during the reign of Suryavarman II - a powerful king and a famous religious reformer.

Nowadays, millions of tourists visit Angkor region to marvel at the beauty of its divine temples.

Source

Not only genius constructors, the Khmer were also great sea traders with their trade routes expanding up to India. Long term interaction with India left its traces in arts, social life and religion of the Khmer. This was probably the reason why both Hinduism and Buddhism were accepted as important religions of the Khmer people. However, India was not the only country that influence history of the Khmer - there are numerous records in Chinese history that shed light upon the Khmer civilization. Although they never conquered either China or most part of Vietnam, this nevertheless means their trade routes expanded far into the lands of Asia.

Source

The smiling faces of deities are carved on most columns of the temple, depicting the calmness and peace in the state of deep meditation. Ganesha, Vishnu (protector of all creation) and Shiva were main the deities in the Khmer pantheon. Monks still visit the temples to meditate and worship the gods.

The video below reveals some more in depth information about the ancient city Angkor, the capital of the Khmer empire and its marvelous complex of temples.

Cambodia the Kingdom of Wonder

The Rise and the Decline of the Khmer Empire

Angkor's geographical position was good enough to reap harvests several times a year. Mekong river, one of the longest rivers in the world, was an apple of discord for the Khmer and their neighbors, which triggered a number of wars with the Khmer neighbors in the distant past. The Cham and the Vietnamese were the main rivals of the Khmer, according to numerous historical evidences. However, the empire itself was not living without troubles: it is believed that rivalry between the noble families within the state and conspiracies against its kings were one of the reasons for the decline of the civilization. Climate change may also have caused problems and shortened the food supply.

It was mostly during the reign of Suryavarman II (1113—1150) when the Khmer empire reached the peak of its power. The king defeated its rivals, united the region and resumed diplomatic relations with other countries. The period of the king's reign is usually referred to as the Golden Age of the Khmer civilization.

Another powerful figure of the Khmer civilization was Jayavarman VII (1181 - 1215). He cleared Angkor from the Cham and resumed the construction of temples, hospitals and roads in the city. The construction of the great Angkor Thom complex is accredited to Jayavarman VII.

Ancient Tempel Angkor Wat

The documentary above describes the process of construction of Angkor Wat temple. It features architects and engineers who explain how the Khmer managed to build such a great work of art in the middle of the jungle.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Vintervarg 

      3 years ago

      Definitely. I have not been there yet, but I gathered some info and wrote the hub hoping that I'll finally travel there in the nearest future :-)

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 

      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      a beautiful country with amazibg stones

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)