Ancient Kingdoms in Southeast Asia

Old Kingdoms in Southeast Asia

The Ta Muan Thom Temple is located in no man's land, surrounded by jungle, politics and a fair share of landmines. Old Hindu kingdoms of Southeast Asia. Kingdom of Southeast Asia City of Ayutthaya lies in the lush travel plain of the Chao Phraya River Valley, 90 km northern of today's Bangkok. Throughout the 400-year Ayutthaya era, the Thais strengthened their leadership positions in today's centrally and north-central Thailand as well as in much of the south peninsula area.

As many of Ayutthaya's neighbors named the land "Siam", the Thais of Ayutthaya became known as Siamese. At first Ayutthaya was only a small urban king on the north-western border of the mighty Khmer kingdom. However, within less than a hundred years, the Khmer were defeated by the Khmer and in 1431 they dismissed their great capitol Angkor.

A severely debilitated Sukhothai was appointed a provincial of Ayutthaya in 1438, but Chiang Mai (Lan Na) remained free of the Ayutthayan rule, although it was later placed under Burmese rule. Once the Siamese had captured Angkor, they returned many Khmer prisoners to Ayutthaya. The Khmer had been a number of civil servants or artisans at the Khmer courts, and Ayutthaya's leaders adopted many of the Hindu traditions followed by the Khmer, which included the Khmer's idea of the sovereign as a god-king.

Thais evolved a state in which the sovereign was at the center of a set of concentrated orbits. Ayutthaya's monarchs also enacted official civilian and penal code laws derived from ancient India. The Ayutthaya was an impoverished community, and the permanent need for labour contributed to protecting customers from the exaggerated claims of benefactors; if the patrons' claims became too cumbersome, the suitor could move at any time and take new lands as a last means.

Ayutthaya was in its heyday one of the richest and most cosmopolitan towns of its time. This was followed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by merchants and Missionaries from the Netherlands, England, Spain and France. Besides the large amount of trading with China, Southeast Asia and India, the Ayutthaya emperors also sent out tributes to the emperor every three years, founded buddhist campaigns in Sri Lanka and sent ambassadors abroad to Europe.

His Majesty King Narai (decree 1656-88) instigated a succession of démarches between Ayutthaya and the Versailles courts and even named the Grecian explorer Constantine Phaulkon Prime Minster. The Siamese drove the people from Ayutthaya in 1688 and for the next 150 years shut their gates to the west.

The greatest menace to Ayuttha rule, however, came not from Europe, but from Myanmar. 1569 a troop from the Burmese state of Toungoo Ayutthaya overwhelmed and ravaged the land for kilometres. Ayutthaya, headed by Naresuan (reigned 1590-1605), regained his autonomy. However, the Myanmar dispute continued and Burmese troops reoccupied Ayutthaya in the mid-18th centuries.

After the plunder ing of the town in 1767, the Emperor and members of the imperial dynasty and thousand of prisoners were sent to Myanmar. Burmese tribes had invaded the centre of Myanmar from the northern hemisphere between about 500 and 950, occupying Pyu peoples who had come from Bihar and Bengal under the rule of Mahayana Buddhism.

In the mid 9th centrury, Bagan had become the capitol of a mighty empire that would unite Myanmar and initiate Burmese rule over the land, which continues to this very day.

In the course of the eighth and ninth millennia, the Nanzhao empire became the dominating force in the southwest of China. In the early years of the nineteenth millennium, Nanzhao carried out a number of attacks on the towns of the continent of Southeast Asia and even conquered Hanoi in 861. Mon and Khmer stood the test of time, but the Halingyi city of Pyu was destroyed.

Burmese entered this void and founded Bagan 849 as their capitol. Bagan was overwhelmed by the Mongols during their extensive invasions in 1287 and never regained its dominant status. Today Bagan is a pilgrim center and houses old buddhistic shrines that have been renovated and are still in use today.

The Old Bagan was a town surrounded by walls with a west side on the Irrawaddy Rivers. This was the centre of a web of highways that allowed its sovereigns to rule a large zone of fruitful plain and dominated other large Myanmar royal towns such as Bago. An important international trading was carried out with India, Ceylon and other Southeast Asian countries from the harbour of Thiripyissaya, further downstream.

During King Anawrahta's reign (1044-77), the Burmese tribes eventually captured the other tribes of the area, among them the Mon, who had dominated the southern regions around Thaton and Bago. Transporting the Mon monastic king's dynasty and their learned and artisan workers to Bagan, they made it the capitol and center of an officially founded Islamic system of Theravada (Hinayana) Buddhism from Sri Lanka.

Over the next 200 years, the vast number of convents and crypts constructed and preserved was made possible both by the great richness of the realm and by the large number of qualified and untrained servants belonging to each one. Looking at the Bagan site shows a number of variation and combination of thematics.

The pyramid-shaped Mahabodhi from the last part of the twelfth centuries, which was erected as a copy of the Buddha's Illumination in Bodh Gaya, India, and the Ananda Temple directly behind the eastern gateway, which was established in 1091 under King Kyanzittha, are also venerated. Burmese styles were further evolved in the great Sulamani Empire and peaked in Gavdawpalin, devoted to the primeval dynasties, whose outside is adorned with minipagodas and the inside with extreme lush, colourful ornamentation on the canvas.

Following Burma's 1784-85 defeat at the hands of the Arakan Empire, Arakan ethnic fugitives went northern into Britain, forming from their Bengal shelters arms across the frontier and attacked Myanmar troops in Arakan. Britain's hopes of getting the people of Burma to subdue by keeping the River Deltas intact and threatens the country's capitol fell through as the Myanmar opposition stabilised.

During a battle just outside Ava, Burma's General Bandula was murdered and his army expelled. In July 1852 the British had conquered the harbours of Lower Burma and started a march against the city. Myanmar folk never imagined how quickly the capitol would be overrun.

Myanmar also thought that the only UK goal was to substitute King Thibaw for a princely Indian who had been housed and cared for for the Indian Throne. However, the Brits eventually agreed not only to annex the whole of North Burma as a settlement, but to make the whole land a provincial of India.

Yangon became the provincial capitol after being the capitol of British Lower Burma. The Champa was founded in 192 A.D. during the dissolution of the Hanynasty of China, when the Han officer responsible for the Han Empire founded his own empire on the territory of the present-day town of Hue.

The Chinese infiltrated Champa in 446 in revenge for the attacks of Cham on their coastline and brought the area back under their sovereignty. Eventually, under a new 6th centuries family, Champa left his loyalty to China and embarked on an age of great independence, wealth and achievement.

At the end of the eighth millennium the Chams were diverted by Java raids, but in the ninth millennium they revived their pressures on the China Provinces in the northern hemisphere and the expanding Khmer Empire in the western hemisphere. During Indravarman II, who founded the Indrapura family in 875, the capitol of the land was relocated to the northerly Amaravati region (Quang Nam), near today's Hue, and lavish buildings and complextemples were built.

It was in the tenth centuries that the Dai Viet Empire, located in Hanoi, Vietnam, began to put pressures on Champa, which forced it to abandon Amaravati 1000 and Vijaya 1069. In 1074 Harivarman IV, who established the 9th Cham family, fended off further Khmer invasions from Vietnam and Cambodia, but in 1145 the Khmer penetrated under the hostile lead of Suryavarman II and captured Champa.

A new Cham emperor, Jaya Harivarman I, stood up two years later and abolished Khmer domination, and his replacement dismissed the Khmer capitol Angkor in 1177. The Chams came back under Bambodian sovereignty between 1190 and 1220, and later in the thirteenth centuries they were assaulted by the Transkönigs of Vietnam and by the Mongols in 1284.

Until the end of the fifteenth and fifteenth centuries, unceasing offensive and defensive battles had virtually annihilated the Champa Empire; one by one, their counties were appropriated until Champa was completely destroyed in the seventeenth centuries. Chiang Mai Königreich (also known as LanNa ) in today's North Thailand was established by the Thai emperor of Chiang Rai, Mangrai, who captured the old (9th century) Haripunjaya empire and in 1296 established a new main city in Chiang Mai.

Among Mangrai and his followers, Chiang Mai became not only mighty, but also a center for the dissemination of Theravada Buddhism to Thailand's people in what is now northeast Myanmar, south China and North Laos. Captured by the Toungoo, it was annexed to the Burmese Reich in 1558, but the Ayutthaya and Bangkok countries of Thailand demanded Burmese domination of the area.

The Thai Taksin expelled Myanma in 1774, but Chiang Mai maintained a certain autonomy from Bangkok until the end of the nineteenth cent. It is the third biggest Thai capital after Bangkok and Khorat (Nakhon Ratchasima). Serving as a center of religion, economy, culture, education and transport for North Thailand and part of neighboring Myanmar.

Located on the western banks of the stream, the older part of the city, and in particular the enclosed eighteenth century residential area, contains remains of many thirteenth - and fourteenth-century churches, including Wat Phra Sing (1345), which housed Phra Sing, the most revered Buddha statue in the northern world, and Wat Chedi Luang (1411), Bangkok's renowned emerald Buddha in the fifteenth and sixteenth-centuries.

The Phu Ping Palace, the Thai king's residence is also close by. The civilisation of the Kashmer evolved over several different eras. One was characterized by the small, somewhat remote Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms of Funan and Chenla, which began in the 1. cent. A.D. and reached into the 8. cent. Jayavarman II created the Angkor House in the early part of the 18th and early 19th hundreds and at the beginning of the 19th and early 20th hundreds.

It was the classic Khmer civilisation time ( 802-1432 ). Khmer kingdom reached its peak in the twelfth centuries under Suryavarman II, who constructed the Angkor Wat shrine ensemble. The army extended to the western part of Thailand and to the eastern part of Vietnam.

Khmer Empire's power was built on a well-developed system of irrigation paddy growing and an intricate red tape that exercised power over the Khmer workforce. Jayavarman VII expanded the kingdom further than any of his forerunners in the early thirteenth Century. It later disintegrated in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries when the internal insecurity brought about by the entry of feeble Khmer monarchs subjected them to attack by their neighbors.

The Khmer could no longer protect their capitol Angkor in the fifteenth cent. Over the next 400 years, the Khmer Empire was in a phase of dramatic economic and cultural collapse, often involving the Khmer Empire in conflicts with Vietnam and Siam. The Khmer Emperors became minions of one or the other many a time.

The Lao story begins with Fa Ngum, the emperor who with the help of the Khmer monarch in Angkor established the first Lao state, Lan Xang. Ngum Fa was a great soldier and between 1353 and 1371 he captured areas that covered today's Laos and most of today's north and east Thailand.

Extending Indian Khmer civilisation to the higher Mekong River, he established Theravada Buddhism, which had been proclaimed by Khmer monks from Angkor. 1373 Fa Ngum was replaced by his Son Oun Hueun, who did much to organise the model of management and defence for the realm. Photisarath (reign 1520-48), who brought Lan Xang into a two-hundred-year battle against Myanmar and the Thai empire of Ayutthaya, ended this era of calm and tranquillity.

He fought three battles against Ayutthaya and managed to put his son Setthathirath on the Thai state of Chiang Mai (Lan Na) which marks Lan Xang's maximal territory extension. Its rule was characterized by the defeat of Chiang Mai in Myanma, by the relocation of the city from Luang Prabang to Vientiane (Vien Chan) and by the defense against two Myanmar incursions, which took place around 1565 and 1570.

In 1694, when Souligna Vongsa passed away, one of his grandsons took the crown with the help of a Viet Nam military, putting Lan Xang under Viet Namese domination and ushering in a chaotic era that ended in the division of the Lan Xang kings. In 1707, under the supervision of the Nordic Province, they proclaimed their independence and founded the separated kingdoms of Luang Prabang and Vientiane.

In 1713 the southern part of the country splintered and established itself as the Champassak state. Lan Xang was divided into three competing kingdoms and no longer existed. Le Dénastie was the largest and longest continuing Vietnamese family. The Earlier Le, its forerunner, was established by Le Hoan and ran from 980 to 1009.

Later Le was founded when its founding father, Le Loi, began a resistive struggle against the China army that occupied Vietnam. Until 1428 he had freed the land and was able to begin the restoration procedure of the south part of the Indian-Chinese peninsula from the Indian Empire of Champa.

1471 Le Thanh Tong, the greatest of the Le emperors, subdued Champa forever. The Thanh Tong split Vietnam into 13 democracies and founded a three-yearly public administration audit following the example of the one in China. True powers were split between two different tribes, the Trinh in the northern part and the Nguyen with their capitals in Hue in the southern part.

Around 1630 the division between the two had become so severe that the people of the South constructed two ramparts across the Dong Hai plains (at 18° northern latitude) to form the dunes and completed the Northern area by the end of the eighteenth and eighteenth centuries. 1771 a peasants revolt under the leadership of the Tay Son brethren extended throughout the land and seven years later brought down the family.

However, members of the Nguyen community were able to receive help from France and reunify the country under the Nguyenynasty. Late Ly was the first of the three great Vietnamese dykes (Ly, Tran, Le). Later known as Dai Viet, the empire was founded by Ly Thai To in the area of the Red River Delta in what is now North Vietnam.

Hanoi (Thang Long) was the capitol. Former Lyydynasty, created by Ly Bon, last only from 544 to 603. Later Ly was the first solid Viet Nam nationality, helping to consolidate many of the features of the contemporary Viet Nam state. A civilian administration education institute and a study college have been set up.

It was this centrally governed system that allowed Ly to set up a general army that kept the intruding Chinese and the Champa at bay indefinitely for two centenaries. Influenced by the Lyra, Viet Nam's impact expanded south into the area under the control of the Indian Empire of Champa. After emigrating from West China to the south, the Mon tribe set tles in the Chao Phraya River valley (southern Thailand) around the sixth millennium AD.

Its early kingdoms of Dvaravati and Haripunjaya had links to the ancient Funan and China kingdoms of Cambodia and were also strongly affected by Khmer civilisation. In the following century, after the Mon had migrated west into the Irrawaddy River delta in the south of Myanmar, they purchased Theravada Buddhism, their state religion, from Sri Lanka and South India, and adopted the Indian Pali writing.

Around 825 they had settled down in the south and southeast of Myanmar and created the towns of Bago(Pegu)and Thaton. At about the same time, Burmese wanderers to the south took over the land in Myanmar and formed the Bagan Empire. Bagan conquered the Mon Empire in 1057, conquered the city of Thaton and brought 30,000 Mon prisoners to Bagan.

In 1287, after the collapse of Bagan to the Mongols, the Mon under Wareru gained back their sovereignty and conquered Martaban and Bago, practically taking control of their previous area. For the next 200 years there were ceaseless wars between the Mon and the Burmese, but the Mon were able to maintain their autonomy until 1539, when they came under the rule of Toungoo Myanmar.

By the middle of the 18th centuries, the Mon had risen in revolt and re-established their Bago empire, but it took only about 10 years. They are still in Southeast Myanmar, although their numbers are small in comparison to the Burmese population. A number of small Bai kingdoms occupy the Erhai Lake area between the Mekong and Yangtze rivers and the Red River springs, which from the 2. centuries BC were under different levels of control from China.

Namhao was created by the union of six such kingdoms in 729. Heading a small kingdom, Pi-lo-ko expanded his command of the five neighboring kingdoms and joined forces with China, which needed an allies against the hostile Tibetans. When the reunification was completed, Pi-lo-ko set up Nanzhao's center of influence in Dali.

Geographical circumstances made the money impenetrable and two Beijing assaults were fended off in 751 and 754. The Nanzhao region also dominated the East-West trading lanes from China and Tongking via Myanmar to India. In many parts of the empire there was mining of salts and golds, and a system of governance and management was created.

The Nanzhao became an imperialist state that waged 832 to Myanmar and 862 to Northern Vietnam. Mon and Khmer stood the test of time, but the Halingyi town of Pyu was destroyed. Burmese entered this void and founded Bagan 849 as their capitol. Nanzhao's peak stretched over most of Yunnan and much of present-day Myanmar, but it went back at the end of the nineteenth cent.

Later it was called the smaller Dali Empire (still under Bai control) until it was conquered by the Mongols under the command of Kublai Khan in 1253. Spokespersons of the Tibeto-Burmanic tongues known as the Pyu founded Myanmar kingdoms in Binnaka, Mongamo, Shri Ksetra and Halingyi between the 1. and 9. centuryBC.

Long ago, a trading itinerary between China and India had crossed the north of Myanmar and then the valley of the Chindwin River. During the years 97 and 121 A.D. the messages of Rome in China opted for the cross-country road through Myanmar. Pyu, however, offered an alternate itinerary down the Irrawaddy to Shri Ksetra and then by ocean westbound to India and eastbound to Southeast Asia Island.

Traditional China history notes that the Pyu claim to have the supremacy of 18 kingdoms. Your architect may have designed the arched sanctuary, which later found its greatest manifestation in Bagan during its golden years. The Pyu moved their capitol northwards to Halingji in the arid region in the seventh millennium and left Shri Ksetra as a second center for monitoring southern commerce.

Sukhothai, initially a province city within the Angkor-based Khmer realm, achieved autonomy in the thirteenth centuries and emerged as the capitol of the first unified and autonomous Thai state in the Chao Phraya River area. Sukhothai' s third sovereign, King Ramkhamhaeng (ruled 1279-1298), expanded his monarchy northwards into present-day Laos, westwards to the Andaman Sea, and southwards to the Malay Peninsula.

This ancient city is said to have had about 80,000 residents. Ramkhamhaeng's architectonic evolution began and culminated in the second half of the fourteenth centuries, when most of Sukhothai's convents were constructed. In 1351, when Ayutthaya was established as the capitol of a mighty competing Thai family, the emperor's power of Sukhothai began to decline, and in 1438 the city was captured and integrated into the Ayutthaya state.

It is believed that Sukhothai was left in the Late 15th or Early 14th centuries. During the 1970' the Thai authorities, with the help of UNESCO, restored the ancient site of Sukhothai, which included several temples (Wats), reliquaries (Chedi or Stupas), decorative lakes and Buddha sculptures.

Minkyinyo King (1486-1531) of Toungoo is regarded as the founding father of the Mohnyin-Shan tribe that captured Myanmar's north and eliminated an aspect of Myanmar's fragmentary existence since the fall of the Bagan tribe in 1287. Tabinshwehti consolidated his might in Toungoo, high up on the Sittang River, south, flooded the Irrawaddy River Basin and smashed the Mon capitol of Bago (Pegu).

In 1544, after having vanquished a counter-attack at Pyay (Prome) lead by Shan, Tabinshwehti was coronated in the old capitol Bagan as queen of Myanmar. Myanmar troops were beaten in Arakan, but Tabinshwehti lead his receding troops east to Ayutthaya, where he was vanquished by rebel Thai troops. As a vigorous guide and efficient commanding officer, he made Toungoo Myanmar the most powerfull state in Southeast Asia.

Following a series of expeditions, his invasions stretched from Dawei in the southern part to Shwebo in the northern part and from Ava in the eastern part to Chiang Mai. The Myanmar supremacy even included a large part of Laos and stretched over the Chao Phraya Tal to Ayutthaya, near Bangkok. For 15 years Thailand stayed under the rule of Myanmar. When Bayinnaung passed away in 1581, he was ready to launch a last, crucial attack on the Arakan family.

Its followers were compelled to suppress rebellion in other parts of the realm, and defeat of Arakan was never accomplished. Instead, the Myanmar imperium began to disintegrate. For one and a half centuries, the Toungoo tribe lived until the passing of Mahadammayaza in 1752, but never again did all of Myanmar rule.

Tran Dubrovnik superseded the Later Ly period (1009-1225), which had begun the Viet Namian expansion southwards of the Red River area at the cost of the Indian Empire of Champa. Transdynastic capitol Hanoi was plundered in 1257, but the Tran chieftains defeated this first Mongolian incursion, and a unified Viet-Namese Champaign struggle defeated the second and third Mongolian incursions in 1284 and 1287, respectively.

The Tran took back the heat on Champa after the Mongol menace had been removed. The Transmonarch Tran Anh Ton invade Champa in 1312, capturing his emperor and making the land a subordinate state. In 1326 Champa gained back his temporary independency and even his former province under his great Che Bong Nga (reigned 1360-90).

But after Che's demise, the Tran Tran recaptured the land and moved their capitol from Hanoi to Thanh Hoa in 1398 to mirror the displacement in their area. Only in 1428 were the Chinese expelled and a new indigenous family rebuilt.

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