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Chronology Of Cambodian History
Suryavarman I


Suryavarman I, great Khmer king of the Angkor period (802-1431) of Cambodian history. He was renowned as a conqueror and builder who greatly expanded his territorial holdings and consolidated the conquered lands into a strong, unified empire.

After the death of King Jayavarman V in 1001, his nephew, Udayadityavarman, succeeded to the throne. However, Suryavarman, said to be a son of the King of Tambralinga - a Tamil-Malay state on the Malay peninsula, claimed his right to the same throne. He based his right on the claim of descent through his mother, from the maternal line of Indravarman I. Suryavarman seems to have landed in eastern Cambodia, began his reign in 1002, and match toward the capital.

When Suryavarman began his rule in 1002, another king, Jayaviravarman, also said to rule other part of Cambodia. The struggle between Suryavarman and Jayaviravarman is said to have lasted until 1011 when Suryavarman defeated his rival and rules exclusively.

During his reign, inscriptions record Suryavarman's boundless energy in promoting public works, especially irrigation projects; in founding monasteries; and in planning and developing the site of the traditional Cambodia capital, Angkor. Among the many temples completed during his reign are the beautiful Phimeanakas and Ta Keo, both remarkable examples of Khmer architecture.

Suryavarman was a strong and capable ruler who had knowledge of prayer, ritual, sacrifice, and astronomy. He expanded his territory into the Mae Nam Valley west of the Tonle Sap (Great Lake). He further subjugated vast tracts of land on the fringes of southern Laos. He asserted his suzerainty over these territories so firmly that they remained within the Khmer empire for several centuries. His reign was marked by domestic peace and prosperity; no revolts against him are mentioned.

Suryavarman died in 1050; he received the posthumous title of Nirvanapada, "the king, who had gone to Nirvana,".

"In 933c (A.D. 1011) August-September This is the oath which we, belonging to the body of tamvrac (lictor) of the first (second, third, or fourth) category, swear, all, without exception, cutting our hands, offering our lives and our devotion gratefully, without fault, to H.M. Sri Suryavarmadeva, who had been in complete enjoyment of sovereign since 924c (A.D. 1002), in the presence of the sacred fire, of the holy jewel, the brahmans and the acaryas. We will not revere another king, we shall never be hostile (to our king), and will not be accompices of any enemy, we will not try to harm him in any way. All actions which are the fruit of our thankful devotion to H.M. Sri Suryavarmadeva, we pledge ourselves to perform them. If there is war, we promise to fight and to risk life, with all our soul, in devotion towards our King. If there is no war and we die by suicide or sudden death, may we obtain the recompense of people devoted to their masters. If our existence remains at the service of H.M. up to our death, we will perform our task with devotion to the King, whatever may be the time and circumstances of our death." The oath of allegiance of Suryavarman's officials.