Khmer Empire

Khmer Empire
ख्मेर साम्राज्य
Map of Southeast Asia 900 CE; Khmer Empire in red
CapitalMahendraparvata (early 9th cent.)
Hariharalaya (9th cent.)
Koh Ker (928–944 AD)
Yasodharapura (Angkor) (late 9th to early 15th cent.)
LanguagesOld Khmer
Mahayana Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism
GovernmentAbsolute monarchy
 • 802–850Jayavarman II
 • 1113–1150Suryavarman II
 • 1181–1218Jayavarman VII
 • 1393–1463Ponhea Yat
Historical eraMiddle Ages
 • Enthronement of Jayavarman II802
 • Siamese invasion1431
1,200,000 km2 (460,000 sq mi)
 • 1150 est.2,000,000 
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Dark ages of Cambodia
Ayutthaya Kingdom
Lan Xang
Today part of Cambodia

The Khmer Empire (Khmer: ចក្រភពខ្មែរ: Chakrphup Khmer or អាណាចក្រខ្មែរ: Anachak Khmer ), officially the Angkor Empire (Khmer: អាណាចក្រអង្គរ: Anachak Angkor), the predecessor state to modern Cambodia ("Kampuchea" or "Srok Khmer" to the Khmer people), was a powerful Hindu-Buddhist empire in Southeast Asia. The empire, which grew out of the former kingdoms of Funan and Chenla, at times ruled over and/or vassalised most of mainland Southeast Asia.[1]

Its greatest legacy is Angkor, in present-day Cambodia, which was the site of the capital city during the empire's zenith. The majestic monuments of Angkor—such as Angkor Wat and Bayon—bear testimony to the Khmer Empire's immense power and wealth, impressive art and culture, architectural technique and aesthetics achievements, as well as the variety of belief systems that it patronised over time. Satellite imaging has revealed that Angkor, during its peak in the 11th to 13th centuries, was the largest pre-industrial urban centre in the world.[2]

The beginning of the era of the Khmer Empire is conventionally dated to 802 CE. In this year, King Jayavarman II had himself declared chakravartin ("king of the world", or "king of kings") on Phnom Kulen. The empire ended with the fall of Angkor in the 15th century.


The history of Angkor as the central area of settlement of the historical kingdom of Kambujadesa is also the history of the Khmer kingdom from the 9th to the 13th centuries.[3]

From Kambuja itself — and so also from the Angkor region — no written records have survived other than stone inscriptions. Therefore, the current knowledge of the historical Khmer civilisation is derived primarily from:

  • Archaeological excavation, reconstruction and investigation
  • Stone inscriptions (most important are foundation steles of temples), which report on the political and religious deeds of the kings
  • Reliefs in a series of temple walls with depictions of military marches, life in the palace, market scenes and also the everyday lives of the population
  • Reports and chronicles of Chinese diplomats, traders and travellers.
Other Languages
Bân-lâm-gú: Khmer Tè-kok
bosanski: Kmersko carstvo
català: Imperi Khmer
dansk: Khmerriget
Deutsch: Khmer-Reich
español: Imperio jemer
Esperanto: Kmera imperio
français: Empire khmer
한국어: 크메르 제국
hrvatski: Kmersko Carstvo
Bahasa Indonesia: Kerajaan Khmer
italiano: Impero Khmer
ქართული: კამბუჯადეშა
lietuvių: Khmerų imperija
Nederlands: Khmer-rijk
नेपाल भाषा: ख्मेर साम्राज्य
norsk: Khmerriket
ភាសាខ្មែរ: អាណាចក្រខ្មែរ
polski: Angkor
português: Império Khmer
română: Imperiul Khmer
русский: Камбуджадеша
slovenčina: Khmérska ríša
српски / srpski: Кмерско царство
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kmersko Carstvo
svenska: Khmerriket
українська: Кхмерська імперія
Tiếng Việt: Đế quốc Khmer
吴语: 高棉帝国
粵語: 真臘
中文: 高棉帝国