Shutterstock 128239916

Timeline of the Khmer Empire

  • Period: Jan 1, 1113 to Dec 31, 1145

    Suryavarman II Reigns

    Suryavarman II takes power with ambitious goals for the Khmer Empire to become a significant power.
  • Dec 31, 1113

    Angkor Wat: Finished; Suryavarman Rises to Power

    Angkor Wat: Finished; Suryavarman Rises to Power
    Angkor Wat finished.
    The largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat, is completed. Suryvarman II succeeds Suryavarman I.
  • Dec 31, 1145

    The End of Suryavarman II's Rule.

    The End of Suryavarman II's Rule.
    Statue of Suryavarman II.
    Suryavarman II's rule ends.
  • Jan 1, 1177

    The Downfall

    The Downfall
    A depiction of the Cham invasion carved into stone.
    From 1177 to 1178, Hindu Chams invade and pillage the Angkor Kingdom from the East.
  • Jan 1, 1181

    The Start of Jayavarman VII's Reign

    The Start of Jayavarman VII's Reign
    A painting depicting the uprise against the Cham occupation.
    Jayavarman VII ascends to the throne, defeating the Chams soon afterwards.
  • Period: Jan 1, 1181 to Dec 31, 1219

    A New King

    Reign of Jayavarman VII, the greatest Khmer king. He vows to restore the Khmer Empire’s former glory by defeating the Chams and expanding the empire to its furthest extent.
  • Dec 31, 1219

    The End of the Greatest King

    The End of the Greatest King
    A statue of Jayavarman VII
    After defeating the Chams to reclaim the land and expanding the Khmer Empire to its greatest extent, Jayavarman VII, the Greatest King, ends his rule.
  • Jan 1, 1243

    Jayavarman VIII Begins His Reign; Hinduism Is Made the Main Religion

    Jayavarman VIII Begins His Reign; Hinduism Is Made the Main Religion
    A typical Khmer Hindu painting.
    Jayavarman VIII rises to power, using it to introduce Hinduism and reject Buddhism.
  • Period: Jan 1, 1243 to Dec 31, 1298

    The Rule of Jayavarman VIII; The Entry of Hinduism.

    During the reign of Jayavarman VIII , he renounces Buddhism and orders that Buddhist temples and images be destroyed and Hinduism become the main religion.
  • Dec 31, 1298

    Jayavarman VIII's Reign Ends.

    Jayavarman VIII's Reign Ends.
    The ruins of a Buddhist temple.
    Jayavarman VIII's rule ends. Even though Buddhism begins its integration back into society, ruined Buddhist temples all around the empire remind the people of his anti-Buddhist regime.
  • Jan 1, 1300

    The Old Religion Returns.

    The Old Religion Returns.
    One of the first Buddhist paintings that came into fashion with the return of Buddhism.
    Buddhism grows in importance and again becomes the main religion of Khmer Kings in the 1300's.
  • Jan 1, 1431

    Invasion by the Thais.

    Invasion by the Thais.
    Painting of the Thai Invasion.
    Thai army attacks Angkor, defeating the Khmer people in battle.The Khmer people give up on the city of Angkor, as it has been pillaged beyond repair. This event marks the end to the official Khmer Empire.
  • Jan 1, 1432

    Leaving Angkor.

    Leaving Angkor.
    Picture of an abandoned Khmer building.
    Khmers abandon Angkor. Over subsequent centuries, the jungle grows around and over Angkor and its location is forgotten.
  • Jan 1, 1440

    The New Capital.

    The New Capital.
    One of the first buildings made in honour of the Khmers moving to Phnom Penh.
    Khmer rulers relocate the capital to Phnom Penh during the 1440's, which remains the capital of Cambodia even through to the present day.
  • The 2nd Thai Invasion.

    The 2nd Thai Invasion.
    Artwork depicting the battle between the two kings.
    Siamese (Thai) king attacks and defeats Khmer king and takes control. The empire stays fundamentally the same, just under a different ruler.
  • The Vietnamese.

    The Vietnamese.
    Painting showing the naval battle in the Mekong River.
    Vietnamese armies repeatedly attack Khmer forces in Mekong River delta and defeat the Khmer in the 1700’s. The approximate borders of Cambodia are determined after much conquest and foreign influence.
  • Construction for Angkor Wat Begins

    Construction for Angkor Wat Begins
    Painting of Angkor Wat being built.
    Construction for the Khmer temple of Angkor Wat, dedicated to the Hindu god, Vishnu, begins.
  • The Birth of the Khmer Empire After Unification; The First Emperor’s Enthronement.

    The Birth of the Khmer Empire After Unification; The First Emperor’s Enthronement.
    Painting of Jayavarman II being enthroned.
    Jayavarman II is enthroned as devaraja (god-king) after unifying small states to establish one large empire, independent from the rule of "Java". The Angkor region of Cambodia is assigned as the capital and thus, the Khmer Empire is born.
  • Jayavarman II's death

    Jayavarman II's death
    Statue of Jayavarman II.
    Jayvarman II, the founder and first king of the Khmer Empire, ends his rule by death. His son Jayavarman III succeeds him.
  • Period: to Dec 31, 1145

    Expansion and Religion

    Khmer Empire expands and Angkor Wat starts construction. Buddhism becomes important.
  • Period: to Dec 31, 1113

    The Building of Angkor Wat

    Angkor Wat, the biggest religious monument in history, is built and is dedicated to the Hindu god, Vishnu.
    Construction begins during king Suryavarman I's reign and ends during Suryavarman II's rule.
  • Period: to Dec 31, 1431

    The Khmer Empire

    The Khmer Empire in South East Asia from when Jayavarman II becomes the ruler of Khmer and proclaims himself as devaraja (God-king) to when Thai armies invade Angkor.
  • Period: to

    Jayavarman II's rule

    The founder of the Khmer Empire rules for 48 years before passing away.