The Khmer built their capital at Angkor (in present-day Cambodia). Therefore, the empire is sometimes called the Angkor empire. Indian culture and religion (Hinduism and Buddhism) influenced the Khmer. After the neighboring Tai peoples captured Angkor in the 15th century, the Khmer empire crumbled.
Why was the Khmer empire built?
The layout of the 162.6-hectare complex overall is, historians say, designed to match Hindu cosmology. The most common reason for the complex’s being built is that Suryavarman II wanted it to be a temple to the god Vishnu.
Is Cambodia a Hindu country?
Modern Cambodia is made up of about 95 percent Theravada Buddhists, with Cham Muslims, Christians and tribal animists making up most of the remainder. However, it hasn’t always been this way, with Cambodia’s roots steeped deep in Hinduism.
When did the Khmer empire begin?
The Khmer Empire has its beginnings somewhere in the late eighth century when Jayavarman II (c. 770–835) is said to have returned to Chenla from exile in Java. At the time of Jayavarman II’s return, Chenla was under the control of the Shailendra, a dynasty of foreign kings from Java.
How was the Khmer Empire unique?
The Khmer Empire was one of the first organized political states in Southeast Asia. From its enormous capital at Angkor Thom, the kingdom held sway over territory that includes present-day Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and southern Vietnam for nearly five hundred years.