The Khmer Empire, also known as the Angkor Empire, was a powerful empire of Southeast Asia that was established in AD 802 and ended in 1431 with the invasion of the Siamese and abandonment of Angkor. The Khmer Empire was responsible for many of the historic monuments and temples found throughout the jungles of modern-day Cambodia and also in other countries of Southeast Asia, all made possible by the fact the Khmer Empire reached across modern-day Cambodia, parts of Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, making it a strategic trading partner with ships traveling from China and India.
Of all the architecture, the empire is best known for constructing Angkor Wat, one of the modern world’s greatest wonders. Known in English as Angkor Wat (“City Temple”), the gigantic complex was built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century to serve as the king’s state temple and capital city. Since it has remained so finely preserved, it has maintained religious significance for nearly 900 years, first dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, and then Buddhist.
Understandably, it has become one of Cambodia’s most potent symbols and tourist attractions, and it even appears on the Cambodian national flag. Angkor Wat continues to fascinate the world, both due to its sheer grandeur and size as well as its ornamental decorations both inside and out. With political strife in Cambodia having cooled, Angkor Wat is now a major tourist attraction, bringing upwards of half a million foreigners per year, which accounts for more than half of the nation’s tourists.
As a result, the long-lasting influence this empire had on the people of Cambodia can still be felt today, with Angkor Wat being featured on the national flag.
The Khmer Empire: The History and Legacy of One of Southeast Asia’s Most Influential Empires chronicles the remarkable history of the Khmer and their impact on the region. You will learn about the Khmer Empire like never before.