Srivijaya
Overview
 
Srivijaya was a powerful ancient thalassocratic
Thalassocracy
The term thalassocracy refers to a state with primarily maritime realms—an empire at sea, such as Athens or the Phoenician network of merchant cities...

 Malay empire based on the island of Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

, modern day Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, which influenced much of Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

. The earliest solid proof of its existence dates from the 7th century; a Chinese monk, I-Tsing, wrote that he visited Srivijaya in 671 for 6 months. The first inscription in which the name Srivijaya appears also dates from the 7th century, namely the Kedukan Bukit Inscription
Kedukan Bukit Inscription
The Kedukan Bukit Inscription was discovered by the Dutchman M. Batenburg on 29 November 1920 at Kedukan Bukit, South Sumatra, on the banks of the River Tatang, a tributary of the River Musi. It is the oldest surviving specimen of the Malay language, in a form known as Old Malay. It is a small...

 around Palembang
Palembang
Palembang is the capital city of the South Sumatra province in Indonesia. Palembang is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, and has a history of being a capital of a maritime empire. Located on the Musi River banks on the east coast of southern Sumatra island, it has an area of 400.61 square...

 in Sumatra, dated 683.
Encyclopedia
Srivijaya was a powerful ancient thalassocratic
Thalassocracy
The term thalassocracy refers to a state with primarily maritime realms—an empire at sea, such as Athens or the Phoenician network of merchant cities...

 Malay empire based on the island of Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

, modern day Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, which influenced much of Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

. The earliest solid proof of its existence dates from the 7th century; a Chinese monk, I-Tsing, wrote that he visited Srivijaya in 671 for 6 months. The first inscription in which the name Srivijaya appears also dates from the 7th century, namely the Kedukan Bukit Inscription
Kedukan Bukit Inscription
The Kedukan Bukit Inscription was discovered by the Dutchman M. Batenburg on 29 November 1920 at Kedukan Bukit, South Sumatra, on the banks of the River Tatang, a tributary of the River Musi. It is the oldest surviving specimen of the Malay language, in a form known as Old Malay. It is a small...

 around Palembang
Palembang
Palembang is the capital city of the South Sumatra province in Indonesia. Palembang is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, and has a history of being a capital of a maritime empire. Located on the Musi River banks on the east coast of southern Sumatra island, it has an area of 400.61 square...

 in Sumatra, dated 683. The kingdom ceased to exist in the 13th century due to various factors, including the expansion of the Javanese Majapahit empire. Srivijaya was an important center for Buddhist expansion in the 8th to 12th centuries. In Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

, sri (श्री) means "fortunate," "prosperous," or "happy" and vijaya (विजय) means "victorious" or "excellence".

After Srivijaya fell, it was largely forgotten and historians had not even considered that a large united kingdom could have been present in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

. The existence of Srivijaya was only formally suspected in 1918, when French historian George Coedès
George Coedès
Georges Cœdès was a 20th century scholar of southeast Asian archaeology and history. Coedès was born in Paris to a family of supposed Hungarian-Jewish emigres. In fact, the family was known as having settled in the region of Strasbourg before 1740. His ancestors were working for the royal Treasury...

 of the École française d'Extrême-Orient
École française d'Extrême-Orient
The École française d'Extrême-Orient is a French institute dedicated to the study of Asian societies. Translated into English, it approximately means the French School of the Far East. It was founded in 1900 with headquarters in Hanoi in what was then French Indochina. After independence, its...

 postulated its existence. By 1993, Pierre-Yves Manguin had proven that the centre of Srivijaya was along the Musi River
Musi River (Indonesia)
The Musi River is located in southern Sumatra, Indonesia.It is about 750 kilometers long, and drains most of South Sumatra province. After flowing through Palembang, the provincial capital, it joins with the several other rivers, including the Banyuasin River, to form a delta near the city of...

 between Bukit Seguntang and Sabokingking (situated in what is now the province of South Sumatra
South Sumatra
South Sumatra is a province of Indonesia.-Geography:It is on the island of Sumatra, and borders the provinces of Lampung to the south, Bengkulu to the west, and Jambi to the north...

, Indonesia).

Historiography

There was no continuous knowledge of Srivijaya even in Indonesian histories; its forgotten past has been recreated by foreign scholars. No modern Indonesians, not even those of the Palembang area around which the kingdom was based, had heard of Srivijaya until the 1920s, when French scholar George Coedès
George Coedès
Georges Cœdès was a 20th century scholar of southeast Asian archaeology and history. Coedès was born in Paris to a family of supposed Hungarian-Jewish emigres. In fact, the family was known as having settled in the region of Strasbourg before 1740. His ancestors were working for the royal Treasury...

 published his discoveries and interpretations in Dutch and Indonesian-language newspapers. Coedès noted that the Chinese references to "Sanfoqi", previously read as "Sribhoja", and the inscriptions in Old Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

 refer to the same empire.

Srivijaya has become a symbol of early Sumatran importance as a great empire to balance Java's Majapahit in the east. In the twentieth century, both empires were referred to by nationalist intellectuals to argue for an Indonesian identity within an Indonesian state prior to the Dutch colonial state.

Srivijaya and by extension Sumatra had been known by different names to different peoples. The Chinese called it Sanfotsi or San Fo Qi, and there was an even older kingdom of Kantoli
Kantoli
Kantoli was an ancient kingdom suspected to be located somewhere between Jambi and Palembang in southern Sumatra around the 5th century of the common era. Chinese records indicate that "Sanfotsi was formerly called Kantoli" and this as well as the location of the kingdom have led historians to...

 that could be considered the predecessor of Srivijaya. Sanskrit and Pali referred to it as Yavadesh and Javadeh, respectively. The Arabs called it Zabag and the Khmer called it Melayu. This is another reason why the discovery of Srivijaya was so difficult. While some of these names are strongly reminiscent of the name of Java, there is a distinct possibility that they may have referred to Sumatra instead.

The first part "Sri
Sri
Sri , also transliterated as Shri or Shree or shre is a word of Sanskrit origin, used in the Indian subcontinent as polite form of address equivalent to the English "Mr." in written and spoken language, or as a title of veneration for deities .-Etymology:Sri has the root meaning of radiance, or...

" comes from Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 and is an honourific place name, similar to Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

. "Vijaya" can mean "victory", a similarly named empire in India was called Vijayanagara
Vijayanagara
Vijayanagara is in Bellary District, northern Karnataka. It is the name of the now-ruined capital city "which was regarded as the second Rome" that surrounds modern-day Hampi, of the historic Vijayanagara empire which extended over the southern part of India....

. The name of the empire can therefore also be written "Sri Vijaya".

Formation and growth

Little physical evidence of Srivijaya remains. According to the Kedukan Bukit Inscription
Kedukan Bukit Inscription
The Kedukan Bukit Inscription was discovered by the Dutchman M. Batenburg on 29 November 1920 at Kedukan Bukit, South Sumatra, on the banks of the River Tatang, a tributary of the River Musi. It is the oldest surviving specimen of the Malay language, in a form known as Old Malay. It is a small...

, dated 605 Saka (683 AD), the empire of Srivijaya was founded by Dapunta Hyang Çri Yacanaca (Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa). He led 20,000 troops (mainly by land plus a few hundred ships) from Minanga Tamwan to Jambi and Palembang
Palembang
Palembang is the capital city of the South Sumatra province in Indonesia. Palembang is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, and has a history of being a capital of a maritime empire. Located on the Musi River banks on the east coast of southern Sumatra island, it has an area of 400.61 square...

.

The empire was a coastal trading centre and was a thalassocracy
Thalassocracy
The term thalassocracy refers to a state with primarily maritime realms—an empire at sea, such as Athens or the Phoenician network of merchant cities...

. As such, it did not extend its influence far beyond the coastal areas of the islands of Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

, with the exception of contributing to the population of Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

 3,300 miles to the west. Around the year 500, Srivijayan roots began to develop around present-day Palembang
Palembang
Palembang is the capital city of the South Sumatra province in Indonesia. Palembang is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, and has a history of being a capital of a maritime empire. Located on the Musi River banks on the east coast of southern Sumatra island, it has an area of 400.61 square...

, Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

, in modern Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. The empire was organised in three main zones — the estuarine capital region centred on Palembang, the Musi River
Musi River (Indonesia)
The Musi River is located in southern Sumatra, Indonesia.It is about 750 kilometers long, and drains most of South Sumatra province. After flowing through Palembang, the provincial capital, it joins with the several other rivers, including the Banyuasin River, to form a delta near the city of...

 basin which served as hinterland and rival estuarine areas capable of forming rival power centres. The areas upstream of the Musi River were rich in various commodities valuable to Chinese traders. The capital was administered directly by the ruler while the hinterland remained under its own local datu
Datu
Datu is the title for tribal chiefs, sovereign princes, and monarchs in the Visayas and Mindanao Regions of the Philippines. Together with Lakan , Apo in Central and Northern Luzon, Sultan and Rajah, they are titles used for native royalty, and are still currently used in the Philippines...

s or chief
Tribal chief
A tribal chief is the leader of a tribal society or chiefdom. Tribal societies with social stratification under a single leader emerged in the Neolithic period out of earlier tribal structures with little stratification, and they remained prevalent throughout the Iron Age.In the case of ...

s, who were organized into a network of allegiance
Allegiance
An allegiance is a duty of fidelity said to be owed by a subject or a citizen to his/her state or sovereign.-Etymology:From Middle English ligeaunce . The al- prefix was probably added through confusion with another legal term, allegeance, an "allegation"...

 to the Srivijaya maharaja
Maharaja
Mahārāja is a Sanskrit title for a "great king" or "high king". The female equivalent title Maharani denotes either the wife of a Maharaja or, in states where that was customary, a woman ruling in her own right. The widow of a Maharaja is known as a Rajamata...

 or king. Force was the dominant element in the empire's relations with rival river systems such as the Batang Hari
Batang Hari River
The Batang Hari is the longest river in Sumatra, Indonesia. It originates in the Minangkabau highlands and flows to the east coast of Sumatra. The city of Jambi is located at the mouth of the river.-External links:...

, which centred in Jambi.

Under the leadership of Jayanasa, the kingdom of Malayu
Melayu Kingdom
Melayu Kingdom was a classical Southeast Asian kingdom that existed between the 7th and the 13th century of the common era. It was established around present-day Dharmasraya on Sumatera, Indonesia, approximately 300 km north of Palembang...

 became the first kingdom to be integrated into the Srivijayan Empire. This possibly occurred in the 680s. Malayu, also known as Jambi, was rich in gold and was held in high esteem. Srivijaya recognized that the submission of Malayu would increase their own prestige.

According to the Kota Kapur Inscription
Kota Kapur Inscription
Kota Kapur Inscription is an inscription discovered in western coast of Bangka Island, offcoast South Sumatra, Indonesia, by J.K. van der Meulen in December 1892. It was named after "Kotakapur" village, the location where this archaeological findings were discovered. This inscription is using old...

, discovered on Bangka Island
Bangka Island
Bangka is an island lying east of Sumatra, Indonesia. Population 626,955. Area: c.4,600 sq mi .There is an additional small island named Pulau Bangka in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia.-Geography:...

, the empire conquered most of Southern Sumatra and neighboring island of Bangka, as far as Lampung
Lampung
Lampung is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the southern tip of the island of Sumatra and borders the provinces of Bengkulu and South Sumatra. Lampung is the original home of the Lampung people, who speak a distinct language from other people in Sumatra and have their own alphabet. Its...

. Also according to this inscription, Jayanasa launched a military campaign against Bhumi Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

 in late 7th century, a period which coincides with the decline of Tarumanagara
Tarumanagara
Tarumanagara or Taruma Kingdom or just Taruma is an early Sundanese Indianized kingdom, whose fifth-century ruler, Purnavarman, produced the earliest known inscriptions on Java island...

 in West Java and Holing
Kalingga
Kalingga or Holing was an Indianized kingdom on the north coast of Central Java, Indonesia. The exact location of kingdom's capital is unknown, it is thought to be somewhere between present-day Pekalongan and Jepara. Kalingga existed between the 6th and 7th century...

 (Kalingga) in Central Java. The empire thus grew to control the trade on the Strait of Malacca
Strait of Malacca
The Strait of Malacca is a narrow, stretch of water between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is named after the Malacca Sultanate that ruled over the archipelago between 1414 to 1511.-Extent:...

, Sunda Strait
Sunda Strait
The Sunda Strait is the strait between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. It connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean...

, the South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

, the Java Sea
Java Sea
The Java Sea is a large shallow sea on the Sunda Shelf. It was formed as sea levels rose at the end of the last ice age. The Java Sea lies between the Indonesian islands of Borneo to the north, Java to the south; Sumatra to the west, and Sulawesi to the east...

, and Karimata Strait
Karimata Strait
The Karimata Strait is the wide strait that connects the South China Sea to the Java Sea, dividing the islands of Sumatra from Borneo , both in Indonesia....

.

Chinese records dating to the late 7th century mention two Sumatran kingdoms, as well as three other kingdoms on Java as part of Srivijaya. By the end of the 8th century, many western Javanese kingdoms, such as Tarumanagara
Tarumanagara
Tarumanagara or Taruma Kingdom or just Taruma is an early Sundanese Indianized kingdom, whose fifth-century ruler, Purnavarman, produced the earliest known inscriptions on Java island...

 and Holing
Kalingga
Kalingga or Holing was an Indianized kingdom on the north coast of Central Java, Indonesia. The exact location of kingdom's capital is unknown, it is thought to be somewhere between present-day Pekalongan and Jepara. Kalingga existed between the 6th and 7th century...

, were within the Srivijayan sphere of influence. It has also been recorded that a Buddhist family related to Srivijaya dominated central Java at that time. The family was probably the Sailendra
Sailendra
Sailendra is the name of an influential Indonesian dynasty that emerged in 8th century Java.The Sailendras were active promoters of Mahayana Buddhism and covered the Kedu Plain of Central Java with Buddhist monuments, including the world famous Borobudur.The Sailendras are considered to be a...

s. The ruling lineage of Srivijaya intermarried with the Sailendras of Central Java and lived along the Javanese Sanjaya dynasty
Sanjaya Dynasty
The Sañjaya Dynasty was an ancient Javanese dynasty that ruled the Mataram kingdom in Java during first millennium CE. The dynasty was an active promoter of Hinduism in ancient Java.-Origin and formation:...

 when the Srivijayan capital was located in Java.

During the same century, Langkasuka on the Malay Peninsula became part of Srivijaya. Soon after this, Pan Pan and Trambralinga, which were located north of Langkasuka, came under Srivijayan influence. These kingdoms on the peninsula were major trading nations that transported goods across the peninsula's isthmus.

With the expansion into Java and the Malay Peninsula, Srivijaya controlled two major trade choke point
Choke point
In military strategy, a choke point is a geographical feature on land such as a valley, defile or a bridge, or at sea such as a strait which an armed force is forced to pass, sometimes on a substantially narrower front, and therefore greatly decreasing its combat power, in order to reach its...

s in Southeast Asia. Some Srivijayan temple ruins are observable in Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 and Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

.

The area of Chaiya
Chaiya
Chaiya is a district and town in Surat Thani Province in southern Thailand. The town itself has a population of 13,133 , while the whole district has a population of 47,750.-Geography:...

, in Surat Thani Province
Surat Thani Province
Surat Thani is the largest of the southern provinces of Thailand, on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Thailand. Surat Thani means City of Good People, the title given to the city by King Vajiravudh ....

, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, was already inhabited in prehistoric times by Semang
Semang
The Semang are a Negrito ethnic group of the Malay Peninsula. Lowland Semang tribes are also known as Sakai, although this term is considered to be derogatory by the Semang people. They are probably the indigenous peoples of this area. They have been recorded to have lived here since before the...

 and Malayan tribes. Founded in the 3rd century, the Srivijaya kingdom dominated the Malay Peninsula
Malay Peninsula
The Malay Peninsula or Thai-Malay Peninsula is a peninsula in Southeast Asia. The land mass runs approximately north-south and, at its terminus, is the southern-most point of the Asian mainland...

 and much of the island of Java from there until the 13th century. The city of Chaiya
Chaiya
Chaiya is a district and town in Surat Thani Province in southern Thailand. The town itself has a population of 13,133 , while the whole district has a population of 47,750.-Geography:...

's name may be derived from its original Malay name "Cahaya" (meaning 'light', 'gleam' or 'glow'). However, some scholars believe that Chai-ya probably comes from Sri-vi-ja-ya. It was a regional capital in the Srivijaya empire of the 5th to 13th century. Some Thai historians argue it was the capital of Srivijaya itself, but this is generally discounted. Wiang Sa
Amphoe Wiang Sa, Surat Thani Province
-Geography:Wiang Sa is located in the southeast of Surat Thani province. Neighboring district are Phrasaeng, Khian Sa and Ban Na San of Surat Thani, and Phipun, Chawang and Tham Phannara of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province....

 and Phunphin
Phunphin
Phunphin is a district in the province Surat Thani in the south of Thailand. The town Tha Kham as the central town of the district has 22,478 citizens in an area of 14.2 square kilometer.-Geography:...

 were other main settlements of that time.

At some point in the 7th century, Cham ports in eastern Indochina started to attract traders. This diverted the flow of trade from Srivijaya. In an effort to divert the flow, the Srivijayan king or maharaja
Maharaja
Mahārāja is a Sanskrit title for a "great king" or "high king". The female equivalent title Maharani denotes either the wife of a Maharaja or, in states where that was customary, a woman ruling in her own right. The widow of a Maharaja is known as a Rajamata...

, Dharmasetu
Dharmasetu
Dharmasetu was an 8th century maharaja of Srivijaya. Under his reign, he successfully incorporated Pan Pan, a kingdom located in the north of the Malay Peninsula into Srivijayan sphere of influence before 775 AD....

, launched various raids against the coastal cities of Indochina. The city of Indrapura
Indrapura (Champa)
Indrapura from 875 CE was the capital city of the ancient kingdom of Champa for several decades, under the reign of Indravarman II and some of his followers belonging to the 6th dynasty.The site is near the present-day village of Đông Dương, not far from the modern city of Da...

 by the Mekong River was temporarily controlled from Palembang in the early 8th century. The Srivijayans continued to dominate areas around present-day Cambodia until the Khmer
Khmer people
Khmer people are the predominant ethnic group in Cambodia, accounting for approximately 90% of the 14.8 million people in the country. They speak the Khmer language, which is part of the larger Mon–Khmer language family found throughout Southeast Asia...

 King Jayavarman II
Jayavarman II
Jayavarman II was a 9th century king of Cambodia, widely recognized as the founder of the Khmer Empire, which ruled much of the Southeast Asian mainland for more than six hundred years. Historians formerly dated his reign as running from 802 AD to 850 AD, but some scholars now have set it back to...

, the founder of the Khmer Empire
Khmer Empire
The Khmer Empire was one of the most powerful empires in Southeast Asia. The empire, which grew out of the former kingdom of Chenla, at times ruled over and/or vassalized parts of modern-day Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, and Malaysia. Its greatest legacy is Angkor, the site of the capital city...

 dynasty, severed the Srivijayan link later in the same century.
After Dharmasetu, Samaratungga
Samaratungga
Samaratungga was the head of the Sailendra dynasty who ruled Central Java and Srivijaya in the 8th and the 9th century. He was the successor of King Indra, and his name was mentioned in Karangtengah inscription dated 824 CE as the constructor of a sacred buddhist building called Venuvana to place...

 became the next Maharaja of Srivijaya. He reigned as ruler from 792 to 835. Unlike the expansionist Dharmasetu, Samaratungga did not indulge in military expansion but preferred to strengthen the Srivijayan hold of Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

. He personally oversaw the construction of Borobudur
Borobudur
Borobudur, or Barabudur, is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument near Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues...

; the temple was completed in 825, during his reign.

Relationship with regional powers

In the year 100 Hijra (718 CE) King of Srivijaya named Sri Indravarman send a letter to the Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz of the Umayyad Caliphate and requested the Caliph to sent him a preacher who could explain Islamic faith to him. The letter reads:

" From the King of the kings who is the descendant of a thousand kings, whose (his) wife was also grand-daughters of a thousand kings, whose in (his) animal cages are (filled with) a thousand of elephants, whose (his) territory there are two rivers that irrigate the aloes tree, spices fragrance, nutmeg and lime lines that its fragrant aroma reach out to a distance of 12 miles. To the Arab King who does not associate other gods with Allah. I have sent you a gift, which is actually a gift that is not so much, but just a token of friendship. I want you to send me someone who can teach Islam to me and explain to me about its laws."

— Letter of Srivijayan King, Sri Indravarman for Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz.



This event demonstrates that the Srivijayan court had established diplomatic and trade relations with the Islamic-Arab world, however it does not necessarily signify the Srivijayan king had embraced Islam, rather, it more likely signified the king's desire to learn more about laws and cultures of his trading partners and the civilizations around known world of Srivijaya; namely China, India and the Middle East.

Although historical records and archaeological evidence are scarce, it appears that by the seventh century, Srivijaya had established suzerainty over large areas of Sumatra, western Java and much of the Malay Peninsula
Malay Peninsula
The Malay Peninsula or Thai-Malay Peninsula is a peninsula in Southeast Asia. The land mass runs approximately north-south and, at its terminus, is the southern-most point of the Asian mainland...

. Dominating the Malacca
Strait of Malacca
The Strait of Malacca is a narrow, stretch of water between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is named after the Malacca Sultanate that ruled over the archipelago between 1414 to 1511.-Extent:...

 and Sunda
Sunda Strait
The Sunda Strait is the strait between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. It connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean...

 straits, Srivijaya controlled both the spice route
Spice trade
Civilizations of Asia were involved in spice trade from the ancient times, and the Greco-Roman world soon followed by trading along the Incense route and the Roman-India routes...

 traffic and local trade, charging a toll on passing ships. Serving as an entrepôt for Chinese, Malay, and Indian markets, the port of Palembang, accessible from the coast by way of a river, accumulated great wealth. Envoys travelled to and from China frequently.
Malayu kingdom
Melayu Kingdom
Melayu Kingdom was a classical Southeast Asian kingdom that existed between the 7th and the 13th century of the common era. It was established around present-day Dharmasraya on Sumatera, Indonesia, approximately 300 km north of Palembang...

 was the first rival power centre absorbed into the empire, and thus began the domination of the region through trade and conquest in the 7th and 9th centuries. Malayu kingdom's gold mines up in Batang Hari
Batang Hari River
The Batang Hari is the longest river in Sumatra, Indonesia. It originates in the Minangkabau highlands and flows to the east coast of Sumatra. The city of Jambi is located at the mouth of the river.-External links:...

 river hinterland were a crucial economic resource and may be the origin of the word Suvarnadvipa
Suvarnabhumi
Suvarnabhumi or Suvannabhumi meaning the "Golden Land" or "Land of Gold", is a term coined by the ancient Indians which refers broadly to Lower Burma, Lower Thailand, Lower Malay Peninsula, the Sumatra, but more generally accepted to refer more specifically to Lower Burma...

 (island of gold), the Sanskrit name for Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

. Srivijaya helped spread the Malay culture throughout Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, and western Borneo
Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located north of Java Island, Indonesia, at the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia....

. Srivijaya's influence waned in the 11th century. It was in frequent conflict with, and ultimately subjugated by, Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

nese kingdoms, first Singhasari
Singhasari
Singhasari was a kingdom located in east Java between 1222 and 1292. The kingdom succeeded Kingdom of Kediri as the dominant kingdom in eastern Java.-Foundation:...

and then Majapahit. This was not the first time the Srivijayans conflicted with the Javanese. According to historian Paul Michel Munoz, the Javanese Sanjaya dynasty
Sanjaya Dynasty
The Sañjaya Dynasty was an ancient Javanese dynasty that ruled the Mataram kingdom in Java during first millennium CE. The dynasty was an active promoter of Hinduism in ancient Java.-Origin and formation:...

 was a strong rival of the Srivijayans in the 8th century when the Srivijayan capital was located in Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

. The seat of the empire moved to Malayu Muaro Jambi
Muaro Jambi
Muaro Jambi might refer to:* Muaro Jambi Regency, a regency in Jambi province, Indonesia* Muaro Jambi Temple Compounds, an archaeological site consist of several buddhist temples...

 in the last centuries of Srivijaya's existence.

The Khmer Empire
Khmer Empire
The Khmer Empire was one of the most powerful empires in Southeast Asia. The empire, which grew out of the former kingdom of Chenla, at times ruled over and/or vassalized parts of modern-day Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, and Malaysia. Its greatest legacy is Angkor, the site of the capital city...

 might also have been a tributary
Tributary state
The term tributary state refers to one of the two main ways in which a pre-modern state might be subordinate to a more powerful neighbour. The heart of the relationship was that the tributary would send a regular token of submission to the superior power...

 in its early stages.

Some historians claim that Chaiya
Chaiya
Chaiya is a district and town in Surat Thani Province in southern Thailand. The town itself has a population of 13,133 , while the whole district has a population of 47,750.-Geography:...

 in the Surat Thani province
Surat Thani Province
Surat Thani is the largest of the southern provinces of Thailand, on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Thailand. Surat Thani means City of Good People, the title given to the city by King Vajiravudh ....

 in Southern Thailand was at least temporarily the capital of Srivijaya, but this claim is widely disputed. However, Chaiya was probably a regional centre of the kingdom. The temple of Borom That in Chaiya contains a reconstructed pagoda
Pagoda
A pagoda is the general term in the English language for a tiered tower with multiple eaves common in Nepal, India, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. Some pagodas are used as Taoist houses of worship. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most commonly Buddhist,...

 in Srivijaya style.

Phra Boromathat Chaiya is highlighted by the chedi
Pagoda
A pagoda is the general term in the English language for a tiered tower with multiple eaves common in Nepal, India, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. Some pagodas are used as Taoist houses of worship. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most commonly Buddhist,...

 in Srivijaya style, dating back from the 7th century but elaborately restored. Buddha relics are enshrined in the chedi, in the surrounding chapels are several Buddha statues in Srivijaya style as it was labeled by Prince Damrong
Damrong Rajanubhab
Ditsawarakuman Damrong Rajanubhab was the founder of the modern Thai education system as well as the modern provincial administration...

 in his Collected Inscriptions of Siam, is now attributed to Wat Hua Wiang in Chaiya. Dated to the year 697 of the Mahasakkarat era (i.e. 775 CE), the inscription on a Bai Sema
Bai Sema
Bai Sema are the boundary stones which designate the sacred area for a phra ubosot within a Thai Buddhist temple .-History:...

 shaped stone tells about the King of Srivijaya having erected three stupas at that site that possibly the one at Wat Phra Borom That. But also be assumed as three stupas at Wat Hua Wiang (Hua Wiang temple), Wat Lhong (Lhong temple) and Wat Kaew (Kaew temple) found in the area of Chaiya ancient city, stand in the direction from north to south on the old sand dune.

After the fall of the Srivijaya in Chaiya, the area was divided into the cities (Mueang) Chaiya, Thatong (now Kanchanadit) and Khirirat Nikhom.

Srivijaya also maintained close relations with the Pala Empire
Pala Empire
The Pāla Empire was one of the major middle kingdoms of India existed from 750–1174 CE. It was ruled by a Buddhist dynasty from Bengal in the eastern region of the Indian subcontinent, all the rulers bearing names ending with the suffix Pala , which means protector. The Palas were often described...

 in Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

, and an 860 Nalanda inscription
Nalanda inscription
The Nalanda inscription is an inscription located Nalanda, Bihar, India, dated 860. The inscription mentioned about king Devapaladeva of Bengala had granted the request of Sri Maharaja of Suvarnadvipa, Balaputra, to build a Buddhist monastery near Bodh Gaya...

 records that maharaja Balaputra dedicated a monastery at the Nalanda university
Nalanda
Nālandā is the name of an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar, India.The site of Nalanda is located in the Indian state of Bihar, about 55 miles south east of Patna, and was a Buddhist center of learning from the fifth or sixth century CE to 1197 CE. It has been called "one of the...

 in Pala territory. Relations with the Chola dynasty of southern India were initially friendly but deteriorated into actual warfare in the eleventh century.

Golden age

After trade disruption at Canton
Guangzhou
Guangzhou , known historically as Canton or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of the Guangdong province in the People's Republic of China. Located in southern China on the Pearl River, about north-northwest of Hong Kong, Guangzhou is a key national transportation hub and trading port...

 between 820 and 850, the ruler of Jambi (Melayu Kingdom
Melayu Kingdom
Melayu Kingdom was a classical Southeast Asian kingdom that existed between the 7th and the 13th century of the common era. It was established around present-day Dharmasraya on Sumatera, Indonesia, approximately 300 km north of Palembang...

) was able to assert enough independence to send missions to China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 in 853 and 871. Melayu kingdom's independence coincided with the troubled time when the Sailendra
Sailendra
Sailendra is the name of an influential Indonesian dynasty that emerged in 8th century Java.The Sailendras were active promoters of Mahayana Buddhism and covered the Kedu Plain of Central Java with Buddhist monuments, including the world famous Borobudur.The Sailendras are considered to be a...

n Balaputradewa, expelled from Java, seized the throne of Srivijaya. The new maharaja was able to dispatch a tributary mission to China by 902. Only two years later, the expiring Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 conferred a title on a Srivijayan envoy.

In the first half of the tenth century, between the fall of Tang and the rise of Song
Song Dynasty
The Song Dynasty was a ruling dynasty in China between 960 and 1279; it succeeded the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and was followed by the Yuan Dynasty. It was the first government in world history to issue banknotes or paper money, and the first Chinese government to establish a...

, there was brisk trade between the overseas world and the Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 kingdom of Min
Min (Ten Kingdoms)
Min was one of the Ten Kingdoms which was in existence between the years of 909 and 945. It existed in a mountainous region of modern day Fujian province of China and had a history of quasi-independent rule. Its capital was Fuzhou 福州. It was founded by Wang Shenzhi .-Founding:Wang Shenzhi’s older...

 and the rich Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 kingdom of Nan Han. Srivijaya undoubtedly benefited from this, in anticipation of the prosperity it was to enjoy under the early Song. Circa 903, the Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 writer Ibn Rustah was so impressed with the wealth of Srivijaya's ruler that he declared one would not hear of a king who was richer, stronger or with more revenue. The main urban centres were at Palembang (especially the Karanganyar site near Bukit Seguntang area), Muara Jambi
Muara Jambi
Muaro Jambi Regency is a regency of Jambi, Indonesia. From the 4th until the 13th century, it was the seat of the Hindu-Buddhist Melayu Kingdom. It has an area of 5,246 km² and population of 314,598....

 and Kedah
Kedah
Kedah is a state of Malaysia, located in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The state covers a total area of over 9,000 km², and it consists of the mainland and Langkawi. The mainland has a relatively flat terrain, which is used to grow rice...

.

The migration to Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

 accelerated in the 9th century, when the powerful Sumatran empire of Srivijaya controlled much of the maritime trade in the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

.

In late 10th century the rivalry between Sumatran Srivijaya and Javanese Medang kingdom has become more intense and hostile. The animosity was probably caused by Srivijaya effort to reclaim Sailendra lands in Java, as Balaputra and his offsprings — the series Srivijaya Maharajas — was belongs to Sailendra dynasty, or probably led by Medang aspiration to challenge Srivijaya domination in the region. In the year 990
990
Year 990 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar.- Religion :* The Pax Ecclesiae, an edict by the church in southern France attempting to outlaw acts of war against non-combatants and the clergy, is promulgated.- Births :* Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor * Edmund II of England,...

, king Dharmawangsa
Dharmawangsa
Dharmawangsa was the last raja of the Kingdom of Medang from 990-1006 CE. He succeeded Sri Makutawangsawardhana. Dharmawangsa was the patron of the translator of the Mahabarata text into Old Javanese...

 launched a naval invasion against Srivijaya, and unsuccessfully attempted to capture Palembang. Dharmawangsa's invasion has led the Maharaja of Srivijaya, Chulamaniwarmadewa to seeks protection from China. In 1006, Srivijaya's mandala alliance has proven its resilience by succeeds to repelled the Javanese invasion. In retaliation, Srivijaya assisted Haji (king) Wurawari of Lwaram to revolt, attacked and destroyed the Medang palace. With the death of Dharmawangsa and the fall of the Medang capital, Srivijaya has contributed to the collapse of Medang kingdom, leaving Eastern Java in further unrest, violence, and desolation for several years to come.

The influence of the empire had reached Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 by the 10th century. A kingdom under its sphere of influence had already been established there.

By the twelfth century, the kingdom included parts of Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

, the Malay Peninsula
Malay Peninsula
The Malay Peninsula or Thai-Malay Peninsula is a peninsula in Southeast Asia. The land mass runs approximately north-south and, at its terminus, is the southern-most point of the Asian mainland...

, Western Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

, Sulawesi
Sulawesi
Sulawesi is one of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia and is situated between Borneo and the Maluku Islands. In Indonesia, only Sumatra, Borneo, and Papua are larger in territory, and only Java and Sumatra have larger Indonesian populations.- Etymology :The Portuguese were the first to...

, the Moluccas, Borneo
Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located north of Java Island, Indonesia, at the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia....

 and the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, most notably the Sulu Archipelago
Sulu Archipelago
The Sulu Archipelago is a chain of islands in the southwestern Philippines. This archipelago is considered to be part of the Moroland by the local rebel independence movement. This island group forms the northern limit of the Celebes Sea....

 and the Visayas
Visayas
The Visayas or Visayan Islands and locally known as Kabisay-an gid, is one of the three principal geographical divisions of the Philippines, along with Mindanao and Luzon. It consists of several islands, primarily surrounding the Visayan Sea, although the Visayas are considered the northeast...

 islands (and indeed the latter island group, as well as its population, is named after the empire).

Srivijaya remained a formidable sea power until the thirteenth century.

Art and Culture

".... many of kings and rulers in the islands of southern seas adore and believed in lord Buddha, in their hearts has flourished (the seeds of) good deeds. Within the walls of Srivijaya capital city lived 1000 buddhist monks, they have studied diligently and performed (the noble teachings) very well.... If a Chinese monk wished to travel to India and seeks the (Buddha's) teachings, it will be better for them to stay here first for a year or two, to deepening their knowledge before continued their study to India.".

— Description of Srivijaya according to I Ching.



According to various historical sources, a complex and cosmopolitan society with a refined culture, deeply influenced by Vajrayana Buddhism, flourished in the Srivijayan capital. The 7th century Talang Tuwo inscription
Talang Tuwo inscription
Talang Tuwo inscription is a 7th century Srivijaya inscription discovered by Louis Constant Westenenk on 17 November 1920 on the foot of Bukit Seguntang near Palembang.The inscription was discovered in good condition with clear inscribed scripts...

 described Buddhist rituals and blessings at the auspicious event of establishing public park. The Telaga Batu inscription
Telaga Batu inscription
Telaga Batu iscription is a 7th century Srivijayan inscription discovered in Sabokingking, 3 Ilir, Ilir Timur II, Palembang, South Sumatra around 1950s. The iscription is now displayed in National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta, with inventory number D.155...

 testifies to the complexity and stratified titles of Srivijayan state officials, while the Kota Kapur Inscription
Kota Kapur Inscription
Kota Kapur Inscription is an inscription discovered in western coast of Bangka Island, offcoast South Sumatra, Indonesia, by J.K. van der Meulen in December 1892. It was named after "Kotakapur" village, the location where this archaeological findings were discovered. This inscription is using old...

 mentions Srivijaya military dominance against Java. These inscriptions were in the Old Malay
Old Malay
The Old Malay language, also called Classical Malay, is the ancestor of the modern Malay language, including Indonesian and Malaysian. It developed in the now Melayu Kingdom of Sumatra. It was heavily influenced by Sanskrit and Kawi , and was grammatically quite similar to modern Malay.-Old...

 language, the language used by Srivijayan and also the ancestor of Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

 and Indonesian language
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

. Since the 7th century, the Old Malay language has been used in Nusantara
Nusantara
Nusantara is an Indonesian word for the Indonesian archipelago. It is originated from Old Javanese and literally means "archipelago".The word Nusantara was taken from an oath by Gajah Mada, as written on an old Javanese manuscript Pararaton and Negarakertagama...

 (Malay-Indonesian archipelago), marked by these Srivijaya inscriptions and other inscriptions using old Malay language in coastal areas of the archipelago, such as those discovered in Java. The trade contact carried by some ethnics at the time was the main vehicle to spread Malay language, since it was the communication device amongst the traders. By then, Malay language become lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

and was spoken widely by most people in the archipelago.

However, despite its economic, cultural and military prowess, Srivijaya left few archaeological remains in their heartlands in Sumatra, in contrast with Srivijayan episode in Central Java during the leadership of Sailendra
Sailendra
Sailendra is the name of an influential Indonesian dynasty that emerged in 8th century Java.The Sailendras were active promoters of Mahayana Buddhism and covered the Kedu Plain of Central Java with Buddhist monuments, including the world famous Borobudur.The Sailendras are considered to be a...

s that produced numerous monuments; such as the Kalasan
Candi Kalasan
Kalasan , also known as Candi Kalibening, is an 8th century Buddhist temple in Indonesia. It is located 13 km east of Yogyakarta on the way to Prambanan temple, on the south side of the main road 'Jalan Solo' between Yogyakarta and Surakarta....

, Sewu and Borobudur
Borobudur
Borobudur, or Barabudur, is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument near Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues...

 mandala. The buddhist temples dated from Srivijayan era in Sumatra are Muaro Jambi
Muaro Jambi
Muaro Jambi might refer to:* Muaro Jambi Regency, a regency in Jambi province, Indonesia* Muaro Jambi Temple Compounds, an archaeological site consist of several buddhist temples...

, Muara Takus
Candi Muara Takus
Muara Takus is a Buddhist temple complex, thought to belong to the Sriwijaya empire. It is situated in Kampar Regency in Riau province, Sumatra, Indonesia. Its surviving temples and other archaeological remains are thought to date to the eleventh and twelfth century AD...

 and Biaro Bahal, however unlike the temples of Central Java that constructed from andesite stones, the Sumatran temples were constructed from red bricks.

Some buddhist statues such as buddha and boddhisattva Avalokiteshvara were discovered in Bukit Seguntang, Palembang, Jambi, Bidor
Bidor
Bidor is a small town in the district of Batang Padang, Perak, Malaysia. Chinese name is 美罗.-Geography:Bidor is located between Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur via the North-South Expressway...

, Perak
Perak
Perak , one of the 13 states of Malaysia, is the second largest state in the Peninsular Malaysia bordering Kedah and Yala Province of Thailand to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the east, Selangor the Strait of Malacca to the south and west.Perak means silver in Malay...

 and Chaiya
Chaiya
Chaiya is a district and town in Surat Thani Province in southern Thailand. The town itself has a population of 13,133 , while the whole district has a population of 47,750.-Geography:...

. All of these statues were demonstrating the same elegance and common style identified as "Srivijayan art" that reflects close resemblance — probably inspired — by both Indian Amaravati style and Javanese Sailendra art (circa 8th to 9th century).

Religion

Srivijaya and its Kings were instrumental in the spread of Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 as they established it in places they conquered like Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

, Malaya
Malaya
-Geographic/former political entities:* The Malay Peninsula* Malay Archipelago, the broader macroregion.-Malaya including Singapore:* British Malaya , a loose collection of British-controlled states...

, and other lands. People making pilgrimages were encouraged to spend time with the monks in the capital city of Palembang
Palembang
Palembang is the capital city of the South Sumatra province in Indonesia. Palembang is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, and has a history of being a capital of a maritime empire. Located on the Musi River banks on the east coast of southern Sumatra island, it has an area of 400.61 square...

 on their journey to India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

.

A stronghold of Vajrayana
Vajrayana
Vajrayāna Buddhism is also known as Tantric Buddhism, Tantrayāna, Mantrayāna, Secret Mantra, Esoteric Buddhism and the Diamond Vehicle...

 Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Srivijaya attracted pilgrims and scholars from other parts of Asia. These included the Chinese monk I Ching
I Ching (monk)
Yijing was a Tang Dynasty Chinese Buddhist monk, originally named Zhang Wenming . The written records of his travels contributed to the world knowledge of the ancient kingdom of Srivijaya, as well as providing information about the other kingdoms lying on the route between China and the Nālandā...

, who made several lengthy visits to Sumatra on his way to study at Nalanda University in India in 671 and 695, and the 11th century Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

i Buddhist scholar Atisha
Atisha
Atiśa Dipankara Shrijnana was a Buddhist teacher from the Pala Empire who, along with Konchog Gyalpo and Marpa, was one of the major figures in the establishment of the Sarma lineages in Tibet after the repression of Buddhism by King Langdarma .- Birth :Atisha is most commonly said to have been...

, who played a major role in the development of Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

. I Ching reports that the kingdom was home to more than a thousand Buddhist scholars; it was in Srivijaya that he wrote his memoir of Buddhism during his own lifetime. Travellers to these islands mentioned that gold coinage was in use on the coasts, but not inland.

Economy and Commerce

In the world of commerce, Srivijaya rapidly rose to be a far-flung empire controlling the two passages between India and China, namely the Sunda Strait
Sunda Strait
The Sunda Strait is the strait between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. It connects the Java Sea to the Indian Ocean...

 from Palembang and the Malacca strait from Kedah. Arab accounts state that the empire of the maharaja was so vast that in two years the swiftest vessel could not travel round all its islands, which produced camphor, aloes, cloves, sandal-wood, nutmegs, cardamom and cubebs, ivory, gold and tin, making the maharaja as rich as any king in India.

Other than fostering the lucrative trade relations with India and China, Srivijaya also established commerce link with Arabia. Highly possible, a messenger sent by Maharaja Sri Indravarman to deliver his letter for Caliph
Caliph
The Caliph is the head of state in a Caliphate, and the title for the ruler of the Islamic Ummah, an Islamic community ruled by the Shari'ah. It is a transcribed version of the Arabic word   which means "successor" or "representative"...

 Umar ibn AbdulAziz of Ummayad in 718, was returned to Srivijaya with Zanji (black female slave from Zanj
Zanj
Zanj was a name used by medieval Arab geographers to refer to both a certain portion of the coast of East Africa and its inhabitants, Bantu-speaking peoples called the Zanj...

), the Caliph's present for maharaja. Later the Chinese chronicle mentioned about Shih-li-t-'o-pa-mo (Sri Indravarman), Maharaja of Shih-li-fo-shih in 724 had sent the emperor a ts'engchi (Chinese spelling of Arabic Zanji) as a gift.

Decline

In 1025, Rajendra Chola, the Chola king from Coromandel
Coromandel Coast
The Coromandel Coast is the name given to the southeastern coast of the Indian Subcontinent between Cape Comorin and False Divi Point...

 in South India
South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...

, conquered Kedah
Kedah
Kedah is a state of Malaysia, located in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The state covers a total area of over 9,000 km², and it consists of the mainland and Langkawi. The mainland has a relatively flat terrain, which is used to grow rice...

 from Srivijaya and occupied it for some time. The Cholas continued a series of raids and conquests of parts of Sumatra and Malay Peninsula for the next 20 years. Although the Chola invasion was ultimately unsuccessful, it gravely weakened the Srivijayan hegemony and enabled the formation of regional kingdoms based, like Kediri, on intensive agriculture rather than coastal and long-distance trade.

Between 1079 and 1088, Chinese records show that Srivijaya sent ambassadors from Jambi and Palembang. In 1079 in particular, an ambassador from Jambi and Palembang each visited China. Jambi sent two more ambassadors to China in 1082 and 1088. This suggests that the centre of Srivijaya frequently shifted between the two major cities during that period. The Chola expedition as well as changing trade routes weakened Palembang, allowing Jambi to take the leadership of Srivijaya from the 11th century on.

According to a Chinese source in the book of Chu-fan-chi written around 1225, Chou Ju-kua describe that in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

 archipelago there were two most powerful and richest kingdoms; Srivijaya and Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

 (Kediri). In Java he founds that the people adhere two kinds of religions: Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 and the religions of Brahmins (Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

), while the people of Srivijaya adhere Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

. The people of Java are brave and short tempered, dare to put a fight. Their favourite pastimes was cockfighting and pig fighting. The currency was made from the mixture of copper
Copper
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; an exposed surface has a reddish-orange tarnish...

, silver
Silver
Silver is a metallic chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal...

, and tin
Tin
Tin is a chemical element with the symbol Sn and atomic number 50. It is a main group metal in group 14 of the periodic table. Tin shows chemical similarity to both neighboring group 14 elements, germanium and lead and has two possible oxidation states, +2 and the slightly more stable +4...

.

The book of Chu-fan-chi mentioned that Java was ruled by a maharaja
Maharaja
Mahārāja is a Sanskrit title for a "great king" or "high king". The female equivalent title Maharani denotes either the wife of a Maharaja or, in states where that was customary, a woman ruling in her own right. The widow of a Maharaja is known as a Rajamata...

, that rules several colonies: Pai-hua-yuan (Pacitan
Pacitan
Pacitan is a regency located in the southwestern East Java Province, with Central Java Province on its west border. Located between 7.55° - 8.17°S and 110.55° - 111.25°E. The borders of Pacitan Regency are: Wonogiri Regency in the west, Ponorogo Regency and Wonogiri Regency in the north,...

), Ma-tung (Medang), Ta-pen (Tumapel, now Malang
Malang
Malang is the second largest city in East Java province, Indonesia. It has an ancient history dating back to the Mataram Kingdom. The city population at the 2010 Census was 819,708. During the period of Dutch colonization, it was a popular destination for European residents. The city is famous for...

), Hi-ning (Dieng
Dieng Plateau
Dieng Plateu, is a marshy plateau that forms the floor of a caldera complex on the Dieng active volcano complex near Wonosobo, Central Java, Indonesia. Referred to as "Dieng" by Indonesians, it sits at 2,000m above sea level far from major population centres...

), Jung-ya-lu (Hujung Galuh, now Surabaya
Surabaya
Surabaya is Indonesia's second-largest city with a population of over 2.7 million , and the capital of the province of East Java...

), Tung-ki (Jenggi, West Papua), Ta-kang (Sumba
Sumba
Sumba is an island in eastern Indonesia, is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, and is in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. Sumba has an area of 11,153 km², and the population was officially at 611,422 in 2005...

), Huang-ma-chu (Southwest Papua
Papua (Indonesian province)
Papua comprises most of the western half of the island of New Guinea and nearby islands. Its capital is Jayapura. It's the largest and easternmost province of Indonesia. The province originally covered the entire western half of New Guinea...

), Ma-li (Bali
Bali
Bali is an Indonesian island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east...

), Kulun (Gurun, identified as Gorong or Sorong
Sorong
Sorong is a chartered coastal city in the eastern Indonesian province of West Papua. Its only land borders are with Sorong Regency. It is the gateway to Indonesia's Raja Ampat Islands, species rich coral reef islands in an area considered the heart of the world's coral reef biodiversity. It also...

 in West Papua or an island in Nusa Tenggara), Tan-jung-wu-lo (Tanjungpura
West Kalimantan
West Kalimantan is a province of Indonesia. It is one of four Indonesian provinces in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. Its capital city Pontianak is located right on the Equator....

 in Borneo), Ti-wu (Timor
Timor
Timor is an island at the southern end of Maritime Southeast Asia, north of the Timor Sea. It is divided between the independent state of East Timor, and West Timor, belonging to the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara. The island's surface is 30,777 square kilometres...

), Pingya-i (Banggai
Banggai
Banggai Archipelago is a group of islands, which is located at the far eastern end of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. It makes up a newly established regency after splitting out of Luwuk. It is surrounded by the Banda Sea's Gulf of Tolo , and the Molucca Sea...

 in Sulawesi), and Wu-nu-ku (Maluku
Maluku Islands
The Maluku Islands are an archipelago that is part of Indonesia, and part of the larger Maritime Southeast Asia region. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone...

).

About Srivijaya, Chou-Ju-Kua reported that Srivijaya had 15 colonies and was still the mightiest and wealthiest state in western part of archipelago. Srivijaya's colony are: Pong-fong (Pahang
Pahang
Pahang is the third largest state in Malaysia, after Sarawak and Sabah, occupying the huge Pahang River river basin. It is bordered to the north by Kelantan, to the west by Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, to the south by Johor and to the east by Terengganu and the South China Sea.Its state...

), Tong-ya-nong (Terengganu
Terengganu
Terengganu is a sultanate and constitutive state of federal Malaysia. The state is also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Iman...

), Ling-ya-si-kia (Langkasuka
Langkasuka
Langkasuka was an ancient Hindu Malay kingdom located in the Malay Peninsula...

), Kilan-tan (Kelantan
Kelantan
Kelantan is a state of Malaysia. The capital and royal seat is Kota Bharu. The Arabic honorific of the state is Darul Naim, ....

), Fo-lo-an (Dungun
Dungun
Dungun is a coastal district of the Malaysian state of Terengganu. Kuala Dungun is the capital of the district.Kuala Dungun town used to be an iron mining town in the 1940s. Iron ores were actually mined in a small town inland called Bukit Besi located to the west, while Kuala Dungun served as the...

, eastern part of Malay Peninsula, a town within state of Terengganu), Ji-lo-t'ing (Cherating
Cherating
Cherating is a beach town in Pahang, Malaysia, located about 47 km north of Kuantan. It is the location of Asia’s first Club Mediterranee ....

), Ts'ien-mai (Semawe, Malay Peninsula), Pa-t'a (Sungai Paka, located in Terengganu
Terengganu
Terengganu is a sultanate and constitutive state of federal Malaysia. The state is also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Iman...

 of Malay Peninsula), Tan-ma-ling (Tambralinga
Tambralinga
Tambralinga was an ancient kingdom located on the Malay Peninsula that at one time came under the influence of Srivijaya. The name had been forgotten until scholars recognized Tambralinga as Nagara Sri Dharmaraja. Early records are scarce while estimations range from the seventh to fourteenth...

, Ligor or Nakhon Si Thammarat
Nakhon Si Thammarat
Nakhon Si Thammarat is a town in southern Thailand, capital of the Nakhon Si Thammarat Province and the Nakhon Si Thammarat district. It is about south of Bangkok, on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. The city was the administrative center of southern Thailand during most of its history. ...

, South Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

), Kia-lo-hi (Grahi, (Krabi
Krabi Province
Krabi is one of the southern provinces of Thailand, at the shore of the Andaman Sea. Neighbouring provinces are Phang Nga, Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat and Trang. The Phuket province to the west is also neighbouring, but without any land boundary...

) northern part of Malay peninsula), Pa-lin-fong (Palembang
Palembang
Palembang is the capital city of the South Sumatra province in Indonesia. Palembang is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, and has a history of being a capital of a maritime empire. Located on the Musi River banks on the east coast of southern Sumatra island, it has an area of 400.61 square...

), Sin-t'o (Sunda
Sunda Kingdom
The Sunda Kingdom was a Hindu kingdom located on the western part of Java from 669 to around 1579, covering areas of present-day Banten, Jakarta, West Java, and the western part of Central Java...

), Lan-wu-li (Lamuri at Aceh
Aceh
Aceh is a special region of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. Its full name is Daerah Istimewa Aceh , Nanggroë Aceh Darussalam and Aceh . Past spellings of its name include Acheh, Atjeh and Achin...

), Kien-pi (Jambi) and Si-lan (Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

).

According to this source in early 13th century Srivijaya still ruled Sumatra, Malay peninsula, and western Java (Sunda
Sunda Kingdom
The Sunda Kingdom was a Hindu kingdom located on the western part of Java from 669 to around 1579, covering areas of present-day Banten, Jakarta, West Java, and the western part of Central Java...

). About Sunda
Sunda Kingdom
The Sunda Kingdom was a Hindu kingdom located on the western part of Java from 669 to around 1579, covering areas of present-day Banten, Jakarta, West Java, and the western part of Central Java...

, the book describe it further that the port of Sunda (Sunda Kelapa
Sunda Kelapa
Sunda Kelapa is the old port of Jakarta located on the estuarine of Ciliwung River. "Sunda Kalapa" is the original name, and it was the main port of Sunda Kingdom of Pajajaran. The port is situated in Penjaringan sub-district, of North Jakarta, Indonesia...

) is really good and strategic, pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

 from Sunda is among the best quality. People work on agriculture and their house are build on wooden piles (rumah panggung). However the country was invested by robbers and thieves. In sum, this Chinese source from early 13th century suggested that the Indonesian archipelago was ruled by two great kingdoms, western part was under Srivijaya's rule, while eastern part was under Kediri domination.

In 1288, Singhasari
Singhasari
Singhasari was a kingdom located in east Java between 1222 and 1292. The kingdom succeeded Kingdom of Kediri as the dominant kingdom in eastern Java.-Foundation:...

, the successor of Kediri in Java, conquered Melayu state includes Palembang, Jambi as well as much of Srivijaya during the Pamalayu expedition
Pamalayu expedition
The Pamalayu expedition was a military expeditionary force sent by King Kertanegara of Singhasari to conquer the Sumatran Melayu Kingdom. It was decreed in 1275, though perhaps not undertaken until later.Little is known about the results of the expedition...

.

In the year 1293, Majapahit ruled much of Sumatra as the successor of Singhasari. Prince Adityawarman
Adityawarman
Adityawarman , a nobleman born in east Java, from Pararaton poem, his mother's name was Dara Jingga from Dharmasraya princess; his father’s name was Adwayawarman from Kuburajo Inscription around Limo Kaum in West Sumatra...

 was given responsibilities over Sumatera in 1347 by Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi
Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi
Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi or known in her regnal name Tribhuwannottunggadewi Jayawishnuwardhani, was a Javanese queen regnant and the third monarch of Majapahit empire, reigning from 1328 to 1350...

, the third monarch of Majapahit. The rebellion in 1377 was squashed by Majapahit but it left the area of southern Sumatera in chaos and desolation.

In the following years, sedimentation on the Musi river estuary cut the kingdom's capital off from direct sea access. The strategic disadvantage crippled the trade in the Kingdom's capital. As the decline continued, Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 made its way to the Aceh
Aceh
Aceh is a special region of Indonesia, located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra. Its full name is Daerah Istimewa Aceh , Nanggroë Aceh Darussalam and Aceh . Past spellings of its name include Acheh, Atjeh and Achin...

 region of Sumatra, spreading through contacts with Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 and India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n traders. By the late 13th century, the kingdom of Pasai
Pasai
Pasai, also known as Samudera and Samudera-Pasai sometimes called Samudera Darussalam was a Muslim harbour kingdom on the north coast of Sumatra from the 13th to the 15th centuries CE. It was believed the word Samudera derived from Samudra meaning ocean in Sanskrit...

 in northern Sumatra converted to Islam. At the same time, Srivijaya was briefly a tributary state
Tributary state
The term tributary state refers to one of the two main ways in which a pre-modern state might be subordinate to a more powerful neighbour. The heart of the relationship was that the tributary would send a regular token of submission to the superior power...

 of the Khmer empire and later the Sukhothai kingdom
Sukhothai kingdom
The Sukhothai Kingdom ) was an early kingdom in the area around the city Sukhothai, in north central Thailand. The Kingdom existed from 1238 till 1438...

. The last inscription, on which a crown prince, Ananggavarman, son of Adityawarman
Adityawarman
Adityawarman , a nobleman born in east Java, from Pararaton poem, his mother's name was Dara Jingga from Dharmasraya princess; his father’s name was Adwayawarman from Kuburajo Inscription around Limo Kaum in West Sumatra...

, is mentioned, dates from 1374.

Several attempts to revive Srivijaya were made by the fleeing princes of Srivijaya. In 1324, a prince of Srivijaya origin, Sri Maharaja Sang Utama Parameswara Batara Sri Tribuwana (Sang Nila Utama) founded the ancient Singapore (Temasek). He maintained control over Temasek for 48 years. Confirmed as ruler over Temasek by an envoy of the Chinese Emperor ca 1366. He was succeeded by his son Paduka Sri Pekerma Wira Diraja (1372–1386) and grandson, Paduka Seri Rana Wira Kerma (1386–1399). In 1401, his great grandson, Paduka Sri Maharaja Parameswara
Parameswara (sultan)
Parameswara , also called Iskandar Shah or Sri Majara, was a Malay-Hindu prince from Temasek who founded the Malacca Sultanate around 1402.-Etymology:...

 was expelled from Temasek by a Majapahit invasion. He later headed north and founded Sultanate of Malacca in 1402. The Sultanate of Malacca succeeded Srivijaya Empire as a Malay political entity of the archipelago.

Legacy

Although Srivijaya left few archaeological remains and was almost forgotten in the collective memory of the Malay people, the rediscovery of this ancient maritime empire by Coedès back in the 1920s stimulated the notion that it was possible in the past for a widespread political entity to thrive in Southeast Asia.

The most important legacy of Srivijayan empire was probably their language. For centuries, Srivijaya through their expansion, economic power and military prowess was responsible for the widespread of Old Malay
Old Malay
The Old Malay language, also called Classical Malay, is the ancestor of the modern Malay language, including Indonesian and Malaysian. It developed in the now Melayu Kingdom of Sumatra. It was heavily influenced by Sanskrit and Kawi , and was grammatically quite similar to modern Malay.-Old...

 language throughout the Malay-Indonesian archipelago. It was the working language of traders, used in various ports and marketplaces in the region. The language of Srivijayan was probably had paved the way for the prominence of present day Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

 and Indonesian language
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

, to be the official language of Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore and as the unifying language of modern Indonesia.

According to the Malay Annals, Parameswara the founder of Malacca Sultanate
Malacca Sultanate
Established by the Malay ruler Parameswara, the Sultanate of Malacca was first a Hindu kingdom in 1402 and later became Muslim following the marriage of the princess of Pasai in 1409. Centered in the modern town of Malacca, the sultanate bordered the Ayutthaya Kingdom of Siam in the north to...

 claimed to be the member of the Palembang Srivijaya lineage. This suggested that in the 15th century the prestige of Srivijaya still remained and was used as the source for political legitimacy in the region.
Modern Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

n nationalists have also invoked Srivijaya along with Majapahit, as a source of pride in Indonesia's past greatness. Srivijaya has become the focus of national pride and regional identity, especially for the people of Palembang
Palembang
Palembang is the capital city of the South Sumatra province in Indonesia. Palembang is one of the oldest cities in Indonesia, and has a history of being a capital of a maritime empire. Located on the Musi River banks on the east coast of southern Sumatra island, it has an area of 400.61 square...

, South Sumatra
South Sumatra
South Sumatra is a province of Indonesia.-Geography:It is on the island of Sumatra, and borders the provinces of Lampung to the south, Bengkulu to the west, and Jambi to the north...

 province, and the Malay people as a whole. For the people of Palembang, Srivijaya has also become a source of artistic inspiration for Gending Sriwijaya song and traditional dance.

The same situation also happened in southern Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, where Sevichai (Thai
Thai language
Thai , also known as Central Thai and Siamese, is the national and official language of Thailand and the native language of the Thai people, Thailand's dominant ethnic group. Thai is a member of the Tai group of the Tai–Kadai language family. Historical linguists have been unable to definitively...

: Srivijaya) dance was recreated in accordance with the art and culture of ancient Srivijaya. Today the Srivijayan legacy is also celebrated and identified with Malay minority of Southern Thailand
Southern Thailand
Southern Thailand is a distinct region of Thailand, connected with the Central region by the narrow Kra Isthmus.-Geography:Southern Thailand is located on the Malay Peninsula, with an area around 70,713 km², bounded to the north by Kra Isthmus as the narrowest part of the peninsula. The...

. In Thailand, the Srivijayan art were associated with Javanese art and architecture, probably demonstrate the Sailendra influences over Java, Sumatra and the Peninsula. The examples of Srivijayan style temples are Phra Borom Mathat at Chaiya
Chaiya
Chaiya is a district and town in Surat Thani Province in southern Thailand. The town itself has a population of 13,133 , while the whole district has a population of 47,750.-Geography:...

 constructed in Javanese style made of brick and mortar (circa 9th – 10th century), Wat Kaew Pagoda at Chaiya, also of Javanese form and Wat Long Pagoda. The original Wat Mahathat at Nakhon Si Thammarat
Nakhon Si Thammarat
Nakhon Si Thammarat is a town in southern Thailand, capital of the Nakhon Si Thammarat Province and the Nakhon Si Thammarat district. It is about south of Bangkok, on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. The city was the administrative center of southern Thailand during most of its history. ...

 (a Srivijayan city) was subsequently encased by a larger Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 styled building.

In Indonesia, Srivijaya is a street name in many cities and has become synonymous with Palembang and South Sumatra. Srivijaya University
Srivijaya University
Sriwijaya University is a public university in Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia. It was founded on 29 October 1960. The current rector, for the years 2007-2011, is Badia Perizade.Sriwijaya University has nine colleges :#Economics#Law...

, established in 1960 in Palembang, was named after Srivijaya. Kodam Sriwijaya (a military commando area unit), PT Pupuk Sriwijaya (a fertilizer company), Sriwijaya Post (a Palembang based newspaper), Sriwijaya Air
Sriwijaya Air
Sriwijaya Air is an airline based in Jakarta with headquarters in Central Jakarta, Jakarta, Indonesia. It offers domestic flights to major cities in Indonesia and limited International destinations...

 (an airline), Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium, and Sriwijaya F.C.
Sriwijaya F.C.
Sriwijaya Football Club, which is commonly referred to simply as Sriwijaya, is an Indonesian football club based in Palembang, Province of South Sumatra, Indonesia...

 (Palembang football club) were also all named to honor this ancient maritime empire. On 11 November 2011 during the opening ceremony of 2011 Southeast Asian Games
2011 Southeast Asian Games
The 26th Southeast Asian Games was held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia on 11 until 22 November 2011. Indonesia's fourth time to host the SEA Games, it last hosted the Games in 1997...

 in Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium, Palembang, a colossal dance performance titled "Srivijaya the Golden Peninsula" was performed featuring Palembang traditional dances and also an actual size replica of ancient ship to describe the glory of this maritime empire.

List of Rulers

The Maharajas of Srivijaya
Date King's name Capital Stone inscription or embassies to China and events
683 Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa Srivijaya Kedukan Bukit
Kedukan Bukit Inscription
The Kedukan Bukit Inscription was discovered by the Dutchman M. Batenburg on 29 November 1920 at Kedukan Bukit, South Sumatra, on the banks of the River Tatang, a tributary of the River Musi. It is the oldest surviving specimen of the Malay language, in a form known as Old Malay. It is a small...

 (682), Talang Tuwo
Talang Tuwo inscription
Talang Tuwo inscription is a 7th century Srivijaya inscription discovered by Louis Constant Westenenk on 17 November 1920 on the foot of Bukit Seguntang near Palembang.The inscription was discovered in good condition with clear inscribed scripts...

 (684), and Kota Kapur
Kota Kapur Inscription
Kota Kapur Inscription is an inscription discovered in western coast of Bangka Island, offcoast South Sumatra, Indonesia, by J.K. van der Meulen in December 1892. It was named after "Kotakapur" village, the location where this archaeological findings were discovered. This inscription is using old...

 inscriptions
Malayu conquest, Central Java conquest
702 Indravarman
Che-li-to-le-pa-mo
Srivijaya
Shih-li-fo-shih
Embassies 702-716, 724(China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

)
Embassies to Caliph Muawiyah I and Caliph Umar bin Abdul Aziz
728 Rudra vikraman
Lieou-t'eng-wei-kong
Srivijaya
Shih-li-fo-shih
Embassy 728-748
No information for the period 728-775
790 Dharmasetu
Dharmasetu
Dharmasetu was an 8th century maharaja of Srivijaya. Under his reign, he successfully incorporated Pan Pan, a kingdom located in the north of the Malay Peninsula into Srivijayan sphere of influence before 775 AD....

  or Vishnu
Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

Nakhon Si Thammarat
Nakhon Si Thammarat
Nakhon Si Thammarat is a town in southern Thailand, capital of the Nakhon Si Thammarat Province and the Nakhon Si Thammarat district. It is about south of Bangkok, on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. The city was the administrative center of southern Thailand during most of its history. ...

 (Ligor), Vat Sema Muang
775 Dharanindra Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

Ligor, started to build Borobudur
Borobudur
Borobudur, or Barabudur, is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument near Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues...

 in 770,
conquered South Cambodia
782 Samaragrawira Java Ligor, Arabian text (790), started to build Borobudur
Borobudur
Borobudur, or Barabudur, is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument near Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues...

 in 770, conquered South Cambodia
792 Samaratungga
Samaratungga
Samaratungga was the head of the Sailendra dynasty who ruled Central Java and Srivijaya in the 8th and the 9th century. He was the successor of King Indra, and his name was mentioned in Karangtengah inscription dated 824 CE as the constructor of a sacred buddhist building called Venuvana to place...

Java Karangtengah inscription
Karangtengah inscription
Karangtengah inscription is the inscriptions written on five pieces of stones dated 746 Saka or 824 CE, discovered in Karangtengah hamlet, Temanggung Regency, Central Java, Indonesia. The inscription was written in ancient Javanese script in two languages; Old Javanese and Sanskrit...

 (824), 802 lost Cambodia, 825 completion of Borobudur
835 Balaputra
Balaputra
Balaputra was the maharaja of Srivijaya in the 9th century CE as well as the former head of the Sailendra dynasty. He was the youngest son of the preceding Sailendran maharaja, Samaratunga, through marriage with Dewi Tara who was in turn the daughter of another maharaja, Dharmasetu of...

dewa
Srivijaya
San-fo-ts'i
Lost Central Java, moved to Srivijaya
Nalanda inscription
Nalanda inscription
The Nalanda inscription is an inscription located Nalanda, Bihar, India, dated 860. The inscription mentioned about king Devapaladeva of Bengala had granted the request of Sri Maharaja of Suvarnadvipa, Balaputra, to build a Buddhist monastery near Bodh Gaya...

 (860)
No information for the period 835-960
960 Çri Udayadityavarman
Se-li-hou-ta-hia-li-tan
Srivijaya
San-fo-ts'i
Embassies 960, 962
980 Haji
Hia-Tche
Srivijaya
San-fo-ts'i
Embassies 980-983
988 Sri Culamanivarmadeva
Se-li-chu-la-wu-ni-fu-ma-tian-hwa
Srivijaya
San-fo-ts'i
Embassy 988-992-1003
Javanese King Dharmawangsa
Dharmawangsa
Dharmawangsa was the last raja of the Kingdom of Medang from 990-1006 CE. He succeeded Sri Makutawangsawardhana. Dharmawangsa was the patron of the translator of the Mahabarata text into Old Javanese...

 attack of Srivijaya, building of temple for Chinese Emperor, Tanjore Inscription or Leiden Inscription (1044), gift of village by Raja-raja I
1008 Sri Maravijayottungga
Se-li-ma-la-pi
Srivijaya
San-fo-ts'i
Embassy 1008
1017 Sumatrabhumi Srivijaya
San-fo-ts'i
Embassy 1017
1025 Sangramavijayottungga Srivijaya
San-fo-ts'i
Captured by Rajendra Chola
Chola Inscription on the temple of Rajaraja, Tanjore
1028 Sri Deva Palembang
Pa-lin-fong
Embassy 1028
Building of Tien Ching temple, Kuang Cho (Kanton) for Chinese Emperor
1078 Kulothunga Chola I
Kulothunga Chola I
Kō Rājakēsarivarman Abaya Kulōthunga Chōla was one of the greatest kings of the Chola Empire. He was one of the sovereigns who bore the title Kulottunga, literally meaning the exalter of his race.-Early life:...


Ti-hua-ka-lo
Palembang
Pa-lin-fong
Embassy 1079
No information for the period 1080-1155
1156 Rajaraja Chola II
Rajaraja Chola II
Rajaraja Chola II succeeded his father Kulothunga Chola II to the Chola throne in 1150 C.E. He was made his heir apparent and coregent in 1146 C.E and so the inscriptions of Rajaraja II count his reign from 1146 C.E...

Palembang
Pa-lin-fong
Larger Leyden Plates
1183 Srimat Trailokyaraja Maulibhusana Warmadewa Dharmasraya Kingdom
Dharmasraya
Dharmasraya is a regency of West Sumatra, Indonesia....

Bronze Buddha Chaiya
Chaiya
Chaiya is a district and town in Surat Thani Province in southern Thailand. The town itself has a population of 13,133 , while the whole district has a population of 47,750.-Geography:...

 1183
No information for the period 1183-1275
1286 Srimat Tribhuwanaraja Mauli Warmadewa Dharmasraya Kingdom
Dharmasraya
Dharmasraya is a regency of West Sumatra, Indonesia....

Padang Roco inscription
Padang Roco Inscription
The Padang Roco Inscription, in Indonesian Prasasti Padang Roco, is an inscription dated 1286 CE, discovered near the source of Batanghari river, Padangroco temple complex, Nagari Siguntur, Sitiung, Dharmasraya Regency, West Sumatra, Indonesia....

 1286, Pamalayu expedition
Pamalayu expedition
The Pamalayu expedition was a military expeditionary force sent by King Kertanegara of Singhasari to conquer the Sumatran Melayu Kingdom. It was decreed in 1275, though perhaps not undertaken until later.Little is known about the results of the expedition...

 1275-1293

Further references

  • D. G. E. Hall, A History of South-east Asia. London: Macmillan, 1955.
  • D. R. SarDesai. Southeast Asia: Past and Present. Boulder: Westview Press, 1997.
  • Lynda Norene Shaffer. Maritime Southeast Asia to 1500. London: ME Sharpe Armonk, 1996.
  • Stuart-Fox, Martin. A Short History of China and Southeast Asia: Tribute, Trade, and Influence. London: Allen and Unwin, 2003.

External links

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