PAGAN....and also Khmer

The Pagan Kingdom and the Khmer Empire will be covered here.

In the 840s, people called the Burmans created the kingdom of Pagan. The kingdom was located in what is now Myanmar, in the fertile Irrawaddy River valley. This area, as most river banks were, was ideal for farming, rice being the main crop. Anawratha, Pagan's first king, ruled from 1044 to 1077. He began to conquer the surrounding area and united most of modern day Myanmar by 1057. Anawratha and his successors supported Theravada Buddhism, amd built thousands of temples to display their support. This made Pagan a center of learning for Buddhism. Even Marco Polo mention Pagan's greatness. In the 1200s, the Mongols demanded tribute for Pagan, and naturally, the Pagan king refused and sent his army into Mongol territory. This ended horribly for the Pagans, as their army was whipped out. Although Pagan still survived, it lost much of its previous splendor. Click here to read more.

To the southeast of Pagan, another powerful empire was emerging in what is now Cambodia. This empire was Khmer. By the 800s,Khmer was already beginning to conquer the surrounding territory. The empire reached its peak from 850 to 1220, when they controlled much of Southeast Asia. The Khmer borrowed greatly from Indian culture, accepting both Hindu and Buddhist customs. Angkor, the empire's capital city, was shaped like the Hindu universe. There were also large temple complexes built. Angkor West is the most famous of these complexes, which ruins still stand today. How could the empire afford all of this, you ask/ Well, rice farming had made the empire very rich, so they could afford all of the extravagant buildings. Click here to watch a video on more about Khmer.

One of Pagan's many great temples.
Ruins in Khmer

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