Evidence of Trade with IndiaPrimary evidence of trade between the Khmer and Indian peoples was created in 500AD, in the form of stone carvings, books, and traded items, such as coins and gold. This trade was the basis of the Khmer and Indian people's relationship. It led to the sharing of religion, building and crafting techniques, and ways of life between the Khmers and Indians.
Kingdom of Funan FallsThe Kingdom of Funan, the first true kingdom in the Lower Mekong River region, founded in 68AD, is conquered by Chelna in 550. A foreigner named Huntian established the single unified kingdom in the first century. Its capital was Vyadhapura, and it consisted of many other cities. It is now defeated and claimed by the Chams.
Jan 1, 802
The Khmer Empire FormedIn 802, Jayavarman II forms the Khmer Empire by uniting the states that were previously ruled by local kings independently. Jayavarman II unified the Khmers under one ruler, himself, with his divine status. Jayavarman II was consecrated as a god-king (devaraja) on the sacred Mount Mahendraparvata in 802, cementing his place as the universal monarch of all the Khmer groups. This led to the creation of the Khmer empire, and in turn, eliminated conflict between the previously warring states.
Jan 1, 1122
Angkor Wat Construction StartedAngkor Wat's construction was commenced in 1122 by Suryavarman II as a monument to Vishnu. Building a grand temple was a common action of the Khmer god-kings, as the temple represented power and authority, and guaranteed an afterlife in heaven. The temple was built in 30 years, and construction stopped immediately before Suryavarman II's death in 1150. It was an immense feat of Khmer architecture.
Jan 1, 1150
Angkor Wat BuiltAngkor Wat, completed in 1150 by king Suryavarman II, was the crowning jewel of the Khmer Empire, and is the largest temple in the world to date. It was dedicated to the highest Hindu God, Vishnu, and was built to guarantee the passge of Suryavarman II into heaven after his death. The temple housed Suryavarman II's linga (a symbol of power and authority) and symbolised his dominant status. Angkor Wat was the heart of the Khmer empire at the time, and is the largest known monument of the Khmers.
Jan 1, 1177
Chams Overtake Eastern Khmer TerritoryDuring attacks in 1177, The Chams invaded the Khmers from their territory in the east, driving back the Khmers, and overtaking their great capital, Angkor. In 1177, The Champa king, Jaya Indravarman IV launched a surprise attack on the Khmer capital by sailing his armies through the Siem Reap River. In the attacks, The Chams raided the temple of Angkor Wat, stealing its treasures, and defacing its sculptures and bas-reliefs. This was one of the greatest Khmer losses.
Jan 1, 1181
Chams DefeatedIn 1181, king Jayavarman VII launched a millitary campaign against the Chams, as vengeance for the Cham raids of Angkor in 1177, and to finally defeat one of their traditional enemies. Leading a powerful army, Jayavarman VII repelled the Chams from Angkor, and attacked Champa, further east, to finally defeat them. The conquest of Champa gave Jayavarman VII the highest position of god-king, and sparked his rule as one of the greatest achieving Khmer kings.
Jan 1, 1243
Rule of Jayavarman VIIIIn 1243, Jayavarman VIII is pronounced the new god-king of the Khmers. During his rule, he strongly renounces Buddhism, and orders for all Buddhist images, such as bas-reliefs and sculptures, to be destroyed. Also, in 1283, during Jayavarman VIII's reign, the Mongols, under the command of Kublai Khan, attacked the Khmers as a response to Jayavarman VIII's imprisonment of Mongolians in Champa. However, after an annual payment of treasures to the Mongols, Jayavarman achieved peace in his reign.
Jan 1, 1431
Thais Attack AngkorIn the two years beginning in 1431, the Thais, another rival of the Khmers, attacks Angkor, overtaking and looting it again, after the 12th century Cham attacks. To prevent the Thais from locating Angkor Wat, the Khmers abandoned the great temple. Over the next few centuries, the location of Angkor is forgotten, and the temple is lost. However, with its whereabouts unknown, Angkor Wat was saved from further raiding and destruction.
Jan 1, 1432
Capital Relocated to Phnom PenhAfter the Thai takeover of Angkor, the Khmer Empire's capital, the Khmer leaders had to relocate the capital. The Khmer capital was replaced by Phnom Penh, situated on the banks of the Tonle Sap and the Mekong River. This was the chosen location for capital, as it was well developed near freshwater suppies, had good quality infrastructure, and was relatively wealthy compared to other cities. The new capital served as the royal home, safe from the Thais, until the late 16th century.