Srivijaya
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Srivijaya ( id, Sriwijaya) was a
Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, most commonly referred to as the Buddha, was a ...
thalassocratic A thalassocracy or thalattocracy sometimes also maritime empire, is a state with primarily maritime realms, an empire at sea, or a seaborne empire. Traditional thalassocracies seldom dominate interiors, even in their home territories. Examples ...
empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". The center of the empire (sometimes referred to as the metropole) ex ...
based on the island of
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is fully within Indonesian territory, as well as the list of islands by area, sixth-largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 (182,812 mi.2), n ...
(in modern-day
Indonesia Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans. It consists of over List of islands of Indonesia, 17,000 islands, including Sumatr ...
), which influenced much of
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia, South-eastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, south-eastern region of Asia, consistin ...
. Srivijaya was an important centre for the expansion of
Buddhism Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religions, Indian religion or Indian philosophy#Buddhist philosophy, philosophical tradition based on Pre-sectarian Buddhism, teachings attributed to the Buddha. ...
from the 7th to the 12th century AD. Srivijaya was the first polity to dominate much of western
Maritime Southeast Asia Maritime Southeast Asia comprises the countries of Brunei Brunei ( , ), formally Brunei Darussalam ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: , ), is a country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast ...
. Due to its location, the Srivijaya developed complex technology utilizing maritime resources. In addition, its economy became progressively reliant on the booming trade in the region, thus transforming it into a prestige goods-based economy. The earliest reference to it dates from the 7th century. A
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; zh, t= ), or Tang Empire, was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907 AD, with an Zhou dynasty (690–705), interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dyn ...
Chinese
monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin ) is a person who practices religious asceticism by monastic living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicat ...
,
Yijing The ''I Ching'' or ''Yi Jing'' (, ), usually translated ''Book of Changes'' or ''Classic of Changes'', is an ancient Chinese divination text that is among the oldest of the Chinese classics. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou ...
, wrote that he visited Srivijaya in year 671 for six months. The earliest known inscription in which the name Srivijaya appears also dates from the 7th century in the
Kedukan Bukit inscription The Kedukan Bukit inscription is an inscription discovered by the Dutchman C.J. Batenburg on 29 November 1920 at Kedukan Bukit, South Sumatra, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), on the banks of Tatang River, a tributary of Musi River (Indonesia) ...
found near
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
,
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is fully within Indonesian territory, as well as the list of islands by area, sixth-largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 (182,812 mi.2), n ...
, dated 16 June 682. Between the late 7th and early 11th century, Srivijaya rose to become a
hegemon Hegemony (, , ) is the political, economic, and military predominance of one State (polity), state over other states. In Ancient Greece (8th BC – AD 6th ), hegemony denoted the politico-military dominance of the ''hegemon'' city-state over oth ...
in
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia, South-eastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, south-eastern region of Asia, consistin ...
. It was involved in close interactions, often rivalries, with the neighbouring Mataram, Khmer and
Champa Champa (Cham language, Cham: ꨌꩌꨛꨩ; km, ចាម្ប៉ា; vi, Chiêm Thành or ) were a collection of independent Chams, Cham Polity, polities that extended across the coast of what is contemporary central and southern Vietnam ...
. Srivijaya's main foreign interest was nurturing lucrative trade agreements with
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
which lasted from the Tang to the
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou. ...
. Srivijaya had religious, cultural and trade links with the Buddhist
Pala Pala may refer to: Places Chad *Pala, Chad, the capital of the region of Mayo-Kebbi Ouest Estonia *Pala, Kose Parish, village in Kose Parish, Harju County *Pala, Kuusalu Parish, village in Kuusalu Parish, Harju County *Pala, Järva County, vill ...
of
Bengal Bengal ( ; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region in South Asia South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most not ...
, as well as with the
Islamic Caliphate A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
in the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233: ) is a geopolitical region commonly encompassing Arabian Peninsula, Arabia (including the Arabian Peninsula and Bahrain), Anatolia, Asia Minor (Asian part of Turkey except Hatay Pro ...
. Before the 12th century, Srivijaya was primarily a land-based polity rather than a maritime power, fleets were available but acted as logistical support to facilitate the projection of land power. In response to the change in the maritime Asian economy, and threatened by the loss of its dependencies, Srivijaya developed a naval strategy to delay its decline. The naval strategy of Srivijaya was mainly punitive; this was done to coerce trading ships to be called to their port. Later, the naval strategy degenerated to raiding fleet. The kingdom ceased to exist in the 13th century due to various factors, including the expansion of the competitor Javanese
Singhasari Singhasari ( jv, ꦏꦫꦠꦺꦴꦤ꧀ꦱꦶꦔ꧀ꦲꦱꦫꦶ, translit=Karaton Singhasari or , id, Kerajaan Singasari) was a Javanese Hindu kingdom located in east Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater ...
and
Majapahit Majapahit ( jv, ꦩꦗꦥꦲꦶꦠ꧀; ), also known as Wilwatikta ( jv, ꦮꦶꦭ꧀ꦮꦠꦶꦏ꧀ꦠ; ), was a Javanese people, Javanese Hinduism, Hindu-Buddhism, Buddhist thalassocracy, thalassocratic empire in Southeast Asia that was ba ...
empires. After Srivijaya fell, it was largely forgotten. It was not until 1918 that French historian George Cœdès, of l'
École française d'Extrême-Orient The French School of the Far East (french: École française d'Extrême-Orient, ), abbreviated EFEO, is an associated college of PSL University Paris Sciences et Lettres University (PSL University or simply PSL) is a public In public r ...
, formally postulated its existence.


Etymology

Srivijaya is a
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had Trans-cul ...
-derived name: श्रीविजय, ''Śrīvijaya''. ''Śrī'' means "fortunate", "prosperous", or "happy" and ''Vijaya'' means "victorious" or "excellence". Thus, the combined word ''Srivijaya'' means "shining victory", "splendid triumph", "prosperous victor", "radiance of excellence" or simply "glorious". Early 20th-century historians that studied the inscriptions of
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is fully within Indonesian territory, as well as the list of islands by area, sixth-largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 (182,812 mi.2), n ...
and the neighboring islands thought that the term "Srivijaya" referred to a king's name. In 1913, H. Kern was the first
epigraphist Epigraphy () is the study of inscriptions, or epigraphs, as writing; it is the science of identifying graphemes, clarifying their meanings, classifying their uses according to dates and cultural contexts, and drawing conclusions about the wr ...
that identified the name "Srivijaya" written in a 7th-century
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 the village of the same name which is the location where this arch ...
(discovered in 1892). However, at that time he believed that it referred to a king named "Vijaya", with " Sri" as an honorific title for a king or ruler. The Sundanese manuscript of
Carita Parahyangan Carita Parahyangan ( en, Tale of Parahyangan, official Sundanese script: ) is a text contained in a single manuscript written around the late 16th century, registered as Kropak 406 from the former collection of the Bataviaasch Genootschap voor Kuns ...
, composed around the late 16th century in
West Java West Java ( id, Jawa Barat, su, ᮏᮝ ᮊᮥᮜᮧᮔ᮪, romanized ''Jawa Kulon'') is a Provinces of Indonesia, province of Indonesia on the western part of the island of Java, with its provincial capital in Bandung. West Java is bordered by ...
, vaguely mentioned about the name "Sang Sri Wijaya". The manuscript describes princely hero that rose to be a king named Sanjaya that — after he secured his rule in
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
— was involved in battle with the Malayu and
Keling Keling () or Kling is a derogatory term used in parts of Southeast Asia to denote a person originating from the Indian subcontinent. This includes both those from India and overseas Indians. In modern usage it is not commonly capitalised. The t ...
against their king Sang Sri Wijaya. Subsequently, after studying local stone inscriptions, manuscripts and Chinese historical accounts, historians concluded that the term "Srivijaya" was actually referred to a
polity A polity is an identifiable Politics, political entity – a group of people with a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relations, and have a capacity to mobilize ...
or kingdom. The main concern is to define Srivijaya's amorphous statehood as a
thalassocracy A thalassocracy or thalattocracy sometimes also maritime empire, is a state with primarily maritime realms, an empire at sea, or a seaborne empire. Traditional thalassocracies seldom dominate interiors, even in their home territories. Examples ...
, which dominated a confederation of semi autonomous harbour cities in Maritime Southeast Asia.


Historiography

Little physical evidence of Srivijaya remains. There had been no continuous knowledge of the history of Srivijaya even in
Indonesia Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans. It consists of over List of islands of Indonesia, 17,000 islands, including Sumatr ...
and
Maritime Southeast Asia Maritime Southeast Asia comprises the countries of Brunei Brunei ( , ), formally Brunei Darussalam ( ms, Negara Brunei Darussalam, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: , ), is a country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast ...
; its forgotten past has been resurrected by foreign scholars. Contemporary Indonesians, even those from the area of
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
(around where the kingdom was based), had not heard of Srivijaya until the 1920s when the French scholar, George Cœdès, published his discoveries and interpretations in the Dutch and
Indonesian language Indonesian ( ) is the official and national language of Indonesia. It is a standardized variety of Malay, an Austronesian language that has been used as a lingua franca in the multilingual Indonesian archipelago for centuries. Indonesia ...
newspapers. Cœdès noted that the Chinese references to '' Sanfoqi'', previously read as ''Sribhoja'' or ''Sribogha'', and the inscriptions in
Old Malay Malay language, Malay was first used in the first millennia known as Old Malay, a part of the Austronesian languages, Austronesian language family. Over a period of two Millennium, millennia, Malay has undergone various stages of development that ...
refer to the same empire. The Srivijayan historiography was acquired, composed and established from two main sources: the Chinese historical accounts and the Southeast Asian stone inscriptions that have been discovered and deciphered in the region. The
Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, most commonly referred to as the Buddha, was a ...
pilgrim
Yijing The ''I Ching'' or ''Yi Jing'' (, ), usually translated ''Book of Changes'' or ''Classic of Changes'', is an ancient Chinese divination text that is among the oldest of the Chinese classics. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou ...
's account is especially important in describing Srivijaya, when he visited the kingdom in 671 for six months. The 7th-century ''siddhayatra'' inscriptions discovered in
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
and
Bangka Island Bangka is an island lying east of Sumatra, Indonesia. It is administered under the province of the Bangka Belitung Islands, being one of its namesakes alongside the smaller island of Belitung across the Gaspar Strait. The 9th largest island in In ...
are also vital primary historical sources. Also, regional accounts that some might be preserved and retold as tales and legends, such as the Legend of the Maharaja of Javaka and the Khmer King also provide a glimpse of the kingdom. Some Indian and
Arabic Arabic (, ' ; , ' or ) is a Semitic languages, Semitic language spoken primarily across the Arab world.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration with Geoffrey Khan, Michael P. Streck, Janet C ...
accounts also vaguely describe the riches and fabulous fortune of the king of Zabag. The historical records of Srivijaya were reconstructed from a number of stone inscriptions, most of them written in
Old Malay Malay language, Malay was first used in the first millennia known as Old Malay, a part of the Austronesian languages, Austronesian language family. Over a period of two Millennium, millennia, Malay has undergone various stages of development that ...
using
Pallava script The Pallava script or Pallava Grantha, is a Brahmic scripts, Brahmic script, named after the Pallava dynasty of South India, attested since the 4th century AD. As epigrapher Arlo Griffiths makes clear, however, the term is misleading as not all o ...
, such as the Kedukan Bukit, Talang Tuwo, Telaga Batu and Kota Kapur inscriptions. Srivijaya became a symbol of early Sumatran importance as a great empire to balance Java's
Majapahit Majapahit ( jv, ꦩꦗꦥꦲꦶꦠ꧀; ), also known as Wilwatikta ( jv, ꦮꦶꦭ꧀ꦮꦠꦶꦏ꧀ꦠ; ), was a Javanese people, Javanese Hinduism, Hindu-Buddhism, Buddhist thalassocracy, thalassocratic empire in Southeast Asia that was ba ...
in the east. In the 20th century, both empires were referred to by nationalistic intellectuals to argue for an Indonesian identity within a united Indonesian state that had existed prior to the colonial state of the
Dutch East Indies The Dutch East Indies, also known as the Netherlands East Indies ( nl, Nederlands(ch)-Indië; ), was a Dutch colony consisting of what is now Indonesia. It was formed from the nationalised trading posts of the Dutch East India Company, whic ...
. Srivijaya, and by extension Sumatra, had been known by different names to different peoples. The Chinese called it '' Sanfotsi'', '' Sanfoqi'' or ''Che-li-fo-che'' (''Shilifoshi''), and there was an even older kingdom of Kantoli, which could be considered the predecessor of Srivijaya.
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had Trans-cul ...
and
Pali Pali () is a Middle Indo-Aryan languages, Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is widely studied because it is the language of the Buddhist ''Pali Canon, Pāli Canon'' or ''Tripiṭaka, Tipiṭaka'' as ...
texts referred to it as ''Yavades'' and ''Javadeh'', respectively. The
Arabs The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping o ...
called it '' Zabag'' or ''Sribuza'' and the Khmers called it ''Melayu''. While the Javanese called them ''
Suvarnabhumi ( sa, सुवर्णभूमि; Pali: '); my, သုဝဏ္ဏဘူမိ, ; km, សុវណ្ណភូមិ, ''Sovannaphoum''; and th, สุวรรณภูมิ, . is a toponym Toponymy, toponymics, or toponomastics is ...
'', ''
Suvarnadvipa ( sa, सुवर्णभूमि; Pali: '); my, သုဝဏ္ဏဘူမိ, ; km, សុវណ្ណភូមិ, ''Sovannaphoum''; and th, สุวรรณภูมิ, . is a toponym, that appears in many ancient Indian literary s ...
'', ''Melayu'', or ''Malayu.'' 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 Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
, there is a distinct possibility that they may have referred to
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is fully within Indonesian territory, as well as the list of islands by area, sixth-largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 (182,812 mi.2), n ...
instead.


Capital


Palembang

According to the
Kedukan Bukit inscription The Kedukan Bukit inscription is an inscription discovered by the Dutchman C.J. Batenburg on 29 November 1920 at Kedukan Bukit, South Sumatra, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), on the banks of Tatang River, a tributary of Musi River (Indonesia) ...
, dated 605 Saka (683), Srivijaya was first established in the vicinity of today's
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
, on the banks of Musi River. It mentions that Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa came from Minanga Tamwan. The exact location of Minanga Tamwan is still a subject of discussion. The
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
theory as the place where Srivijaya was first established was presented by Cœdes and supported by Pierre-Yves Manguin. Soekmono, on the other hand, argues that
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
was not the capital of Srivijaya and suggests that the Kampar River system in
Riau Riau is a Provinces of Indonesia, province of Indonesia. It is located on the central eastern coast of Sumatra along the Strait of Malacca. The province shares land borders with North Sumatra to the northwest, West Sumatra to the west, and Jam ...
where the
Muara Takus Muara Takus ( id, Candi Muara Takus) is a Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha Siddhartha Gaut ...
temple is located as Minanga Tamwan. Other than the Kedukan Bukit inscription and other Srivijayan inscriptions, immediately to the west of modern Palembang city, a quantity of artefacts have been revealed through archaeological surveys commenced since the 20th century. Artefacts unearthed includes large amount of Chinese ceramics and Indian rouletted ware remains, also the ruins of stupa at the foot of Bukit Seguntang. Furthermore, a significant number of Hindu-Buddhist statuary has been recovered from the Musi River basin. These discoveries reinforce the suggestion that Palembang was the center of Srivijaya. Nevertheless, Palembang left little archaeological traces of ancient urban settlement. This is probably because of the nature of Palembang environment — a low-lying plain which frequently flooded by Musi River. Expert suggests that the ancient Palembang settlement was formed as a collection of floating houses made from thatched materials, such as wood,
bamboo Bamboos are a diverse group of evergreen perennial plant, perennial flowering plants making up the subfamily (biology), subfamily Bambusoideae of the grass family Poaceae. Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family. The origin ...
and straw roof. The 13th century Chinese account confirmed this; in his '' Zhu Fan Zhi'', Zhao Rukuo mentioned, "The residents of '' Sanfo-tsi'' (Srivijaya) live scattered outside the city on the water, within rafts lined with reeds." It was probably only
Kedatuan ''Kedatuan'' (ancient or Sundanese language, Sundanese spelling: ''kadatuan''; Javanese language, Javanese romanization: ''kedaton'') were historical semi-independent city-states or Principality, principalities throughout ancient Maritime Southea ...
(king's court) and religious structures were built on land, while the people live in floating houses along Musi River. Palembang and its relevance to the early Malay state suffered a great deal of controversy in terms of its evidence build-up through the archaeological record. Strong historical evidence found in Chinese sources, speaking of city-like settlements as early as 700 AD, and later
Arab The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group mainly inhabiting the Arab world in Western Asia, ...
travelers, who visited the region during the 10th and 11th centuries, held written proof, naming the kingdom of Srivijaya in their context. As far as early state-like polities in the
Malay Archipelago The Malay Archipelago ( Indonesian/ Malay: , tgl, Kapuluang Malay) is the archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster, or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing ...
, the geographical location of modern Palembang was a possible candidate for the 1st-millennium kingdom settlement like Srivijaya as it is the best described and most secure in historical context, its prestige was apparent in wealth and urban characteristics, and the most unique, which no other 1st-millennium kingdom held, was its location in junction to three major rivers, the Musi River, the Komering River, and the Ogan River. The historical evidence was contrasted in 1975 with publications by Bennet Bronson and Jan Wisseman. Findings at certain major excavation sites, such as Geding Suro, Penyaringan Air Bersih, Sarang Wati, and Bukit Seguntang, conducted in the region played major roles in the negative evidence of the 1st-millennium kingdom in the same region. It was noted that the region contained no locatable settlements earlier than the middle of the second millennium. Lack of evidence of southern settlements in the archaeological record comes from the disinterest in the archeologist and the unclear physical visibility of the settlement themselves. Archeology of the 1920s and 1930s focused more on art and epigraphy found in the regions. Some northern urban settlements were sited due to some overlap in fitting the sinocentric model of city-state urban centers. An approach to differentiate between urban settlements in the southern regions from the northern ones of
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia, South-eastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, south-eastern region of Asia, consistin ...
was initiated by a proposition for an alternative model. Excavations showed failed signs of a complex urban center under the lens of a sinocentric model, leading to parameters of a new proposed model. Parameters for such a model of a city-like settlement included isolation in relevance to its hinterland. No hinterland creates for low archaeological visibility. The settlement must also have access to both easy transportation and major interregional trade routes, crucial in a region with few resources. Access to the former and later played a major role in the creation of an extreme economic surplus in the absence of an exploited hinterland. The urban center must be able to organize politically without the need for ceremonial foci such as temples, monuments and inscriptions. Lastly, habitations must be impermanent, being highly probable in the region Palembang and of southern Southeast Asia. Such a model was proposed to challenge city concepts of ancient urban centers in
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia, South-eastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, south-eastern region of Asia, consistin ...
and basic postulates themselves such as regions found in the South, like Palembang, based their achievements in correlation with urbanization. Due to the contradicting pattern found in southern regions, like Palembang, in 1977 Bennet Bronson developed a speculative model for a better understanding of the Sumatran coastal region, such as insular and
peninsular Malaysia Peninsular Malaysia ( ms, Semenanjung Malaysia; Jawi alphabet, Jawi: سمننجڠ مليسيا), or the States of Malaya ( ms, Negeri-negeri Tanah Melayu; Jawi alphabet, Jawi: نڬري-نڬري تانه ملايو), also known as West Malaysia ...
, the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
, and western
Indonesia Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans. It consists of over List of islands of Indonesia, 17,000 islands, including Sumatr ...
. Its main focus was the relationship of political, economic and geographical systems. The general political and economic pattern of the region seems irrelevant to other parts of the world of their time, but in correlation with their maritime trade network, it produced high levels of socio-economic complexity. He concluded, from his earlier publications in 1974 that state development in this region developed much differently than the rest of early Southeast Asia. Bronson's model was based on the dendritic patterns of a drainage basin where its opening leads out to sea. Being that historical evidence places the capital in Palembang, and in junction of three rivers, the Musi River, the Komering River, and the Ogan River, such model can be applied. For the system to function appropriately, several constraints are required. The inability for terrestrial transportation results in movements of all goods through water routes, lining up economical patterns with the dendritic patterns formed by the streams. The second being the overseas center is economically superior to the ports found at the mouth of the rivers, having a higher population and a more productive and technologically advanced economy. Lastly, constraints on the land work against and do not developments of urban settlements. An aerial photograph taken in 1984 near Palembang (in what is now Srivijaya Archaeological Park) revealed the remnants of ancient man-made canals, moats, ponds, and artificial islands, suggesting the location of Srivijaya's urban centre. Several artefacts such as fragments of inscriptions, Buddhist statues, beads, pottery and Chinese ceramics were found, confirming that the area had, at one time, dense human habitation.Ahmad Rapanie, Cahyo Sulistianingsih, Ribuan Nata, "Kerajaan Sriwijaya, Beberapa Situs dan Temuannya", Museum Negeri Sumatera Selatan, Dinas Pendidikan Provinsi Sumatera Selatan. By 1993, Pierre-Yves Manguin had shown that the centre of Srivijaya was along the Musi River between Bukit Seguntang and Sabokingking (situated in what is now
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
,
South Sumatra South Sumatra ( id, Sumatra Selatan) is a Provinces of Indonesia, province of Indonesia. It is located on the southeast of the island of Sumatra, The province spans and had a population of 8,467,432 at the 2020 Census. The capital of the provinc ...
, Indonesia). Palembang is called in , this is probably a testament of its history as once a great port. The recent troves discovered from the muddy sediments in the bottom of Musi river seems to confirms that Palembang was indeed the commercial centre of Srivijaya kingdom. In 2021 numbers of treasures were surfaced from shallows and riverbed by local fishermen that turns to be treasure divers. The troves includes coins of certain periods, gold jewelries, Buddhist statues, gems, colourful beads, and Chinese ceramic fragments. However, these troves are immediately lost for the historical knowledge, since local treasure hunters immediately has sold them to international antiquities dealers before archaeologists can properly study them. These discoveries has led to the treasure rush in Musi river in 2021, where locals has formed groups of treasure divers operating in some parts of Musi river in and around Palembang.


Jambi

Some scholar argues that the centre of Srivijaya was located in Muaro Jambi, and not Palembang as many previous writers suggested. In 2013, archaeological research led by the
University of Indonesia The University of Indonesia ( id, Universitas Indonesia, abbreviated as UI) is a public university in Depok, West Java and Salemba, Jakarta, Indonesia. It is one of the oldest tertiary-level educational institutions in Indonesia (known as the Dut ...
discovered several religious and habitation sites at the Muaro Jambi Temple Compounds, suggesting that the initial centre of Srivijaya was located in Muaro Jambi Regency, Jambi on the
Batang Hari River The Batang Hari ( Indonesian: ''Sungai Batanghari'') is the longest river in Jambi Jambi is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Ro ...
, rather than on the originally-proposed Musi River. The archaeological site includes eight excavated temple sanctuaries and covers about 12 square kilometers, and stretches 7.5 kilometers along the Batang Hari River, while 80 mounds (''menapos'') of temple ruins, are not yet restored. The Muaro Jambi archaeological site was
Mahayana ''Mahāyāna'' (; "Great Vehicle") is a term for a broad group of Buddhism, Buddhist traditions, Buddhist texts#Mahāyāna texts, texts, Buddhist philosophy, philosophies, and practices. Mahāyāna Buddhism developed in India (c. 1st century BC ...
-
Vajrayana Vajrayāna ( sa, वज्रयान, "thunderbolt vehicle", "diamond vehicle", or "indestructible vehicle"), along with Mantrayāna, Guhyamantrayāna, Tantrayāna, Secret Mantra, Tantric Buddhism, and Esoteric Buddhism, are names referring t ...
Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, most commonly referred to as the Buddha, was a ...
in nature, which suggests that the site served as a Buddhist learning center, connected to the 10th century famous Buddhist scholar Suvarṇadvipi Dharmakīrti. Chinese sources also mentioned that Srivijaya hosts thousands of Buddhist
monks A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin ) is a person who practices religious asceticism by monastic living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicat ...
. Compared to Palembang, Muaro Jambi has richer archaeological sites, i.e. multiple red brick temples and building structures along the Batang Hari river. On the other hand, no comparable temple or building structure ever discovered in Palembang. The proponent of Muaro Jambi theory as Srivijaya's capital pointing out that the descriptions written by I-Tsing and Chau Ju-kua, the description of Srivijaya realms by the Cholas, also the archaeological findings, suggests that the Srivijaya capital fits Muaro Jambi's environs better than the marshy Palembang. The study also compares the environs, geographical location, and the economic wealth of both cities; arguing that Jambi, located on the mouth of Batang Hari river basin with its connection to Minangkabau hinterland was the centre of gold trade in the area, that described as the fabulous wealth of Srivijaya. Around the end of the 11th century, the capital had moved to Jambi and would remain as its capital until the 13th century.


Central Java

In the second half of the eighth century, the capital of Srivijayan Mandala seems to be relocated and reestablished in Central Java, in the splendid court of the
Mataram Kingdom The Mataram Kingdom (, jv, ꦩꦠꦫꦩ꧀, ) was a Javanese people, Javanese Hinduism, Hindu–Buddhism, Buddhist kingdom that flourished between the 8th and 11th centuries. It was based in Central Java, and later in East Java. Established b ...
located somewhere in fertile Kedu and Kewu Plain, in the same location of the majestic
Borobudur Borobudur, also transcribed Barabudur ( id, Candi Borobudur, jv, ꦕꦤ꧀ꦝꦶꦧꦫꦧꦸꦝꦸꦂ, Candhi Barabudhur) is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang Regency, not far from the town of Muntilan, in Central Java, Indo ...
, Manjusrigrha and
Prambanan Prambanan ( id, Candi Prambanan, jv, ꦫꦫꦗꦺꦴꦁꦒꦿꦁ, Rara Jonggrang) is a 9th-century Hindu temple compound in Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia, dedicated to the Trimurti, Trimūrti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahm ...
monuments. This unique period is known as the Srivijayan episode in
Central Java Central Java ( id, Jawa Tengah) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major terri ...
, when the monarch of Sailendras rose to become the Maharaja of Srivijaya. By that time, Srivijayan Mandala seems to be consists of the federation or an alliance of city-states, spanned from Java to Sumatra and Malay Peninsula, connected with trade connection cemented with political allegiance. By that time Srivijayan trading centres remain in Palembang, and to further extent also includes ports of Jambi, Kedah and Chaiya; while its political, religious and ceremonial center was established in Central Java.


Other places

Another theory suggests that Dapunta Hyang came from the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, and that the
Chaiya District Chaiya ( th, ไชยา, ) is a former capital district ('' Amphoe mueang'') of Surat Thani province, Southern Thailand Southern Thailand, Southern Siam or Tambralinga is a southernmost cultural region of Thailand, separated from Central Tha ...
in Surat Thani Province,
Thailand Thailand ( ), historically known as Siam () and officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia, located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , with a population of almost 70 mi ...
, was the centre of Srivijaya. The Srivijayan Period is referred to as the time when Srivijaya ruled over present-day southern Thailand. In the region of Chaiya, there is clear evidence of Srivijayan influence seen in artwork inspired by
Mahayana Buddhism ''Mahāyāna'' (; "Great Vehicle") is a term for a broad group of Buddhism, Buddhist traditions, Buddhist texts#Mahāyāna texts, texts, Buddhist philosophy, philosophies, and practices. Mahāyāna Buddhism developed in India (c. 1st century BC ...
. Because of the large amount of remains, such as the Ligor stele, found in this region, some scholars attempted to prove Chaiya as the capital rather than Palembang. This period was also a time for art. The Buddhist art of the Srivijayan Kingdom was believed to have borrowed from Indian styles like that of the Dvaravati school of art. The city of Chaiya's name may be derived from the Malay name "Cahaya" which means "light" or "radiance". However, some scholars believe that ''Chaiya'' probably comes from ''Srivijaya''. It was a regional capital in the Srivijaya empire. Some Thai historians argue it was the capital of Srivijaya itself, but this is generally discounted.


History


Formation and growth


Siddhayatra

Around the year 500, the roots of the Srivijayan empire began to develop around present-day
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
,
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is fully within Indonesian territory, as well as the list of islands by area, sixth-largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 (182,812 mi.2), n ...
. The
Kedukan Bukit inscription The Kedukan Bukit inscription is an inscription discovered by the Dutchman C.J. Batenburg on 29 November 1920 at Kedukan Bukit, South Sumatra, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), on the banks of Tatang River, a tributary of Musi River (Indonesia) ...
(683), discovered on the banks of the Tatang River near the Karanganyar site, states that the empire of Srivijaya was founded by Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa and his retinue. He had embarked on a sacred ''siddhayatra'' journey and led 20,000 troops and 312 people in boats with 1,312 foot soldiers from Minanga Tamwan to
Jambi Jambi is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative ...
and
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
. Many of this armed forces gathered under the Srivijayan rule would have been the sea people, referred to generally as the ''
orang laut The Orang Laut are several seafaring ethnic group An ethnic group or an ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Thos ...
''. In establishing its power, Srivijaya had first to consolidate its position in Southeast Sumatra, which at that time consists of numbers of quasi-independent polities ruled by local
Datu ''Datu'' is a title which denotes the rulers (variously described in historical accounts as chiefs, sovereign princes, and monarchs) of numerous indigenous peoples throughout the Philippine archipelago. The title is still used today, especial ...
s (chieftain). From the
Old Malay Malay language, Malay was first used in the first millennia known as Old Malay, a part of the Austronesian languages, Austronesian language family. Over a period of two Millennium, millennia, Malay has undergone various stages of development that ...
inscriptions, it is notable that Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa launched a maritime conquest in 684 with 20,000 men in the ''siddhayatra'' journey to acquire wealth, power, and 'magical powers'. Under the leadership of Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa, the
Melayu Kingdom The Melayu Kingdom (also known as Malayu, Dharmasraya Kingdom or the Jambi Kingdom; , wikt:Appendix:Baxter-Sagart Old Chinese reconstruction, reconstructed Middle Chinese pronunciation ''mat-la-yu kwok'')Muljana, Slamet , (2006), ''Sriwijaya'', ...
became the first kingdom to be integrated into Srivijaya. This possibly occurred in the 680s. Melayu, also known as
Jambi Jambi is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative ...
, was rich in gold and held in high esteem at the time. Srivijaya recognised that the submission of Melayu would increase its own prestige. The empire was organised in three main zones: the estuarine capital region centred on
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
, the Musi River basin which served as a hinterland, and competitor estuarine areas capable of forming competitor 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 local
datu ''Datu'' is a title which denotes the rulers (variously described in historical accounts as chiefs, sovereign princes, and monarchs) of numerous indigenous peoples throughout the Philippine archipelago. The title is still used today, especial ...
s or
tribal chief A tribal chief or chieftain is the leader of a tribal society or chiefdom. Tribe The concept of tribe is a broadly applied concept, based on tribal concepts of societies of western Afroeurasia. Tribal societies are sometimes categorized ...
s, who were organised into a network of alliances with the Srivijaya
maharaja Mahārāja (; also spelled Maharajah, Maharaj) is a Sanskrit title for a "great ruler", "great Monarch, king" or "high king". A few ruled states informally called empires, including ruler raja Sri Gupta, founder of the ancient Indian Gupta Em ...
or king. Force was the dominant element in the empire's relations with competitor river systems such as the
Batang Hari River The Batang Hari ( Indonesian: ''Sungai Batanghari'') is the longest river in Jambi Jambi is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Ro ...
, centred in
Jambi Jambi is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative ...
. The
Telaga Batu inscription Telaga Batu inscription is a 7th-century Srivijayan inscription discovered in Sabokingking, 3 Ilir, Ilir Timur II, Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia, around the 1950s. The inscription is now displayed in National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta, wit ...
, discovered in Sabokingking, eastern
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
, is also a ''siddhayatra'' inscription, from the 7th century. This inscription was very likely used in a ceremonial ''sumpah'' (allegiance ritual). The top of the stone is adorned with seven
nāga The Nagas (IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Indic scripts as employed by Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization ...
heads, and on the lower portion there is a type of water spout to channel liquid that was likely poured over the stone during a ritual. The ritual included a curse upon those who commit treason against Kadatuan Srivijaya. The Talang Tuwo inscription is also a ''siddhayatra'' inscription. Discovered in Seguntang Hill, western
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
, this inscription tells about the establishment of the bountiful ''Śrīksetra'' garden endowed by King Jayanasa of Srivijaya for the well-being of all creatures. It is likely that the Seguntang Hill site was the location of the ''Śrīksetra'' garden.


Regional conquests

According to the
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 the village of the same name which is the location where this arch ...
discovered on
Bangka Island Bangka is an island lying east of Sumatra, Indonesia. It is administered under the province of the Bangka Belitung Islands, being one of its namesakes alongside the smaller island of Belitung across the Gaspar Strait. The 9th largest island in In ...
, the empire conquered most of southern
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is fully within Indonesian territory, as well as the list of islands by area, sixth-largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 (182,812 mi.2), n ...
and the neighbouring island of Bangka as far as Palas Pasemah in
Lampung Lampung (Lampung language, Lampung: ), officially the Province of Lampung ( id, Provinsi Lampung) is a provinces of Indonesia, province of Indonesia. It is located on the southern tip of the island of Sumatra. It has a short border with the pro ...
. Also, according to the inscriptions, Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa launched a military campaign against
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
in the late 7th century, a period which coincided with the decline of
Tarumanagara Tarumanagara or Taruma Kingdom or just Taruma is an early Sundanese people, Sundanese Greater India#Indianised kingdoms, Indianised kingdom, located in western Java, whose 5th-century ruler, Purnawarman, produced the earliest known inscript ...
in
West Java West Java ( id, Jawa Barat, su, ᮏᮝ ᮊᮥᮜᮧᮔ᮪, romanized ''Jawa Kulon'') is a Provinces of Indonesia, province of Indonesia on the western part of the island of Java, with its provincial capital in Bandung. West Java is bordered by ...
and the
Kalingga Kalingga ( jv, Karajan Kalingga; 訶陵 ''Hēlíng'' or 闍婆 ''She-pó / She-bó'' in Chinese sources) was a 6th-century Indianized kingdom Greater India, or the Indian cultural sphere, is an area composed of many countries and region ...
in
Central Java Central Java ( id, Jawa Tengah) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major terri ...
. The empire thus grew to control trade on the
Strait of Malacca The Strait of Malacca is a narrow stretch of water, 500 mi (800 km) long and from 40 to 155 mi (65–250 km) wide, between the Malay Peninsula (Peninsular Malaysia) to the northeast and the Indonesian island of Sumatra to the southwest, connec ...
, the western side of
Java Sea The Java Sea ( id, Laut Jawa, jv, Segara Jawa) is an extensive shallow sea on the Sunda Shelf, between the Indonesian islands of Borneo to the north, Java to the south, Sumatra to the west, and Sulawesi to the east. Karimata Strait to its nort ...
, and possibly the
Gulf of Thailand The Gulf of Thailand, also known as the Gulf of Siam, is a shallow inlet in the southwestern South China Sea, bounded between the southwestern shores of the Indochinese Peninsula and the northern half of the Malay Peninsula. It is around in le ...
. Chinese records dating to the late 7th century mention two
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is fully within Indonesian territory, as well as the list of islands by area, sixth-largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 (182,812 mi.2), n ...
n kingdoms and three other kingdoms on
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
as being part of Srivijaya. By the end of the 8th century, many western Javanese kingdoms, such as Tarumanagara and
Kalingga Kalingga ( jv, Karajan Kalingga; 訶陵 ''Hēlíng'' or 闍婆 ''She-pó / She-bó'' in Chinese sources) was a 6th-century Indianized kingdom Greater India, or the Indian cultural sphere, is an area composed of many countries and region ...
, were within the Srivijayan sphere of influence.


Golden age

The 7th-century
Sojomerto inscription The Sojomerto inscription is an inscription discovered in Sojomerto village, Reban, Batang Regency, Central Java Central Java ( id, Jawa Tengah) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sove ...
mentioned that an
Old Malay Malay language, Malay was first used in the first millennia known as Old Malay, a part of the Austronesian languages, Austronesian language family. Over a period of two Millennium, millennia, Malay has undergone various stages of development that ...
-speaking Shivaist family led by Dapunta Selendra had established themselves in the Batang area of the northern coast of
Central Java Central Java ( id, Jawa Tengah) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major terri ...
. He was possibly the progenitor of the
Sailendra The Shailendra dynasty (, derived from Sanskrit combined words ''Śaila'' and ''Indra'', meaning "King of the Mountain", also spelled Sailendra, Syailendra or Selendra) was the name of a notable Indianized kingdom, Indianised dynasty that eme ...
family. By the early 8th century, an influential
Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, most commonly referred to as the Buddha, was a ...
family related to Srivijaya, the Sailendra family of Javanese ancestry, dominated
Central Java Central Java ( id, Jawa Tengah) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major terri ...
. The ruling lineage of Srivijaya then intermarried with the Sailendras of
Central Java Central Java ( id, Jawa Tengah) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major terri ...
.


Conquest of Malay Peninsula

During the same century,
Langkasuka Langkasuka was an ancient Hindu-Buddhist kingdom located in the Malay Peninsula. The name is Sanskrit in origin; it is thought to be a combination of ''langkha'' for "resplendent land" -''Sukha, sukkha'' for "bliss". The kingdom, along with Ea ...
on the
Malay Peninsula The Malay Peninsula (Malay language, Malay: ''Semenanjung Tanah Melayu'') is a peninsula in Mainland Southeast Asia. The landmass runs approximately north–south, and at its terminus, it is the southernmost point of the Asian continental mai ...
became part of Srivijaya. Soon after this, Pan Pan and
Tambralinga Tambralinga ( sa, Tāmbraliṅga) was an Indianised kingdom located on the Malay Peninsula, existing at least from the 10th to 13th century. It was under the influence of Srivijaya for some time, but later became independent from it. The name ...
, north of Langkasuka, came under Srivijayan influence. These kingdoms on the peninsula were major trading nations that transported goods across the
Kra isthmus The Kra Isthmus ( th, คอคอดกระ, ) in Thailand is the narrowest part of the Malay Peninsula. The western part of the isthmus belongs to Ranong Province and the eastern part to Chumphon Province, both in Southern Thailand. The is ...
. The
Ligor inscription Ligor inscription is an 8th-century stone stele or inscription discovered in Ligor, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Southern Thailand Malay Peninsula. This inscription was written and carved on two sides, the first part is called Ligor A inscription, or also k ...
in Vat Sema Muang says that Maharaja Dharmasetu of Srivijaya ordered the construction of three sanctuaries dedicated to the Bodhisattvas Padmapani,
Vajrapani (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...
, and
Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, most commonly referred to as the Buddha, was a śramaṇa, wandering ascetic and religious teacher who lived in South Asia during the 6th or 5th century BCE and founded Buddhism. According to Buddhist tradition, he was ...
in the northern
Malay Peninsula The Malay Peninsula (Malay language, Malay: ''Semenanjung Tanah Melayu'') is a peninsula in Mainland Southeast Asia. The landmass runs approximately north–south, and at its terminus, it is the southernmost point of the Asian continental mai ...
.


Sailendra dynasty rule

The Sailendras of
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
established and nurtured a dynastic alliance with the
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is fully within Indonesian territory, as well as the list of islands by area, sixth-largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 (182,812 mi.2), n ...
n Srivijayan lineage, and then further established their rule and authority in the
Mataram Kingdom The Mataram Kingdom (, jv, ꦩꦠꦫꦩ꧀, ) was a Javanese people, Javanese Hinduism, Hindu–Buddhism, Buddhist kingdom that flourished between the 8th and 11th centuries. It was based in Central Java, and later in East Java. Established b ...
of
Central Java Central Java ( id, Jawa Tengah) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major terri ...
. In
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
,
Dharanindra Dharanindra or commonly known as King Indra was the ruler of the Sailendra dynasty who was the Emperor of Mataram Kingdom, Mataram in Central Java and Srivijaya in South Sumatera. Dharanindra was the successor of Panangkaran, he ruled the kingdom in ...
's successor was
Samaragrawira Sri Maharaja Samaragrawira or also known as Rakai Warak was a ruler of the Mataram Kingdom of Central Java from approximately 800 to 819. This name is found in the list of kings of Mataram in the Mantyasih inscription. One theory put forward by ...
(r. 800–819), mentioned in the
Nalanda inscription The Nalanda Copper-plate of Devapaladeva is an ancient Buddhist inscription located in Nalanda, within the present day Bihar state of Northeastern India. It has been dated to 860 CE. The inscription talks about king Devapaladeva of Pala Empire, B ...
(dated 860) as the father of Balaputradewa, and the son of ''Śailendravamsatilaka'' (the jewel of the Śailendra family) with the stylised name being ''Śrīviravairimathana'' (the slayer of a heroic enemy), which refers to Dharanindra. Unlike his predecessor, the expansive and warlike Dharanindra, Samaragrawira seems to have been a pacifist, enjoying the peaceful prosperity of interior
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
in the Kedu Plain and being more interested in completing the
Borobudur Borobudur, also transcribed Barabudur ( id, Candi Borobudur, jv, ꦕꦤ꧀ꦝꦶꦧꦫꦧꦸꦝꦸꦂ, Candhi Barabudhur) is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang Regency, not far from the town of Muntilan, in Central Java, Indo ...
project. He appointed the Khmer Prince
Jayavarman II Jayavarman II ( km, ជ័យវរ្ម័នទី២; c. 770 – 850) (reigned c. 802–850) was a Khmer people, Khmer prince who founded and became the ruler of the Khmer Empire (Cambodia) after unifying the Khmer civilization. The Khmer Emp ...
as governor of Indrapura in the
Mekong The Mekong or Mekong River is a trans-boundary river in East Asia and Southeast Asia. It is the world's List of rivers by length, twelfth longest river and List of longest rivers of Asia, the third longest in Asia. Its estimated length is , ...
delta under Sailendran rule. This decision was later proven to be a mistake, as Jayavarman II revolted, moved his capital further inland north from Tonle Sap to
Mahendraparvata Mahendraparvata ( km, មហេន្ទ្របវ៌ត) is an ancient city of the Khmer Empire era in Cambodia. The existence of the city has been known for decades, but much of it lay concealed by forest and earth. The city was uncovered b ...
, severing the link to Srivijaya and proclaimed Khmer independence from
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
in 802. Samaragrawira was mentioned as the king of Java that married Tārā, daughter of Dharmasetu. He was mentioned as his other name Rakai Warak in
Mantyasih inscription The Mantyasih inscription (also known as Balitung charter and Kedu inscription) is an important inscription found and kept by Li Djok Ban in Ngadireja Parakan Temanggung, then the inscription was brought by one of the princes of Surakarta to be bro ...
. Earlier historians, such as N. J. Krom and Cœdes, tend to equate Samaragrawira and
Samaratungga Samaratungga was the head of the Sailendra The Shailendra dynasty (, derived from Sanskrit combined words ''Śaila'' and ''Indra'', meaning "King of the Mountain", also spelled Sailendra, Syailendra or Selendra) was the name of a notable In ...
as the same person. However, later historians such as Slamet Muljana equate Samaratungga with Rakai Garung, mentioned in the Mantyasih inscription as the fifth monarch of the
Mataram kingdom The Mataram Kingdom (, jv, ꦩꦠꦫꦩ꧀, ) was a Javanese people, Javanese Hinduism, Hindu–Buddhism, Buddhist kingdom that flourished between the 8th and 11th centuries. It was based in Central Java, and later in East Java. Established b ...
. This would mean that Samaratungga was the successor of Samaragrawira. Dewi Tara, the daughter of Dharmasetu, married Samaratunga, a member of the Sailendra family who assumed the throne of Srivijaya around 792. By the 8th century, the Srivijayan court was virtually located in
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
, as the Sailendras monarch rose to become the
Maharaja Mahārāja (; also spelled Maharajah, Maharaj) is a Sanskrit title for a "great ruler", "great Monarch, king" or "high king". A few ruled states informally called empires, including ruler raja Sri Gupta, founder of the ancient Indian Gupta Em ...
of Srivijaya. After Dharmasetu,
Samaratungga Samaratungga was the head of the Sailendra The Shailendra dynasty (, derived from Sanskrit combined words ''Śaila'' and ''Indra'', meaning "King of the Mountain", also spelled Sailendra, Syailendra or Selendra) was the name of a notable In ...
became the next
Maharaja Mahārāja (; also spelled Maharajah, Maharaj) is a Sanskrit title for a "great ruler", "great Monarch, king" or "high king". A few ruled states informally called empires, including ruler raja Sri Gupta, founder of the ancient Indian Gupta Em ...
of Srivijaya. He reigned as ruler from 792 to 835. Unlike the expansionist Dharmasetu,
Samaratungga Samaratungga was the head of the Sailendra The Shailendra dynasty (, derived from Sanskrit combined words ''Śaila'' and ''Indra'', meaning "King of the Mountain", also spelled Sailendra, Syailendra or Selendra) was the name of a notable In ...
did not indulge in military expansion but preferred to strengthen the Srivijayan hold of
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
. He personally oversaw the construction of the grand monument of
Borobudur Borobudur, also transcribed Barabudur ( id, Candi Borobudur, jv, ꦕꦤ꧀ꦝꦶꦧꦫꦧꦸꦝꦸꦂ, Candhi Barabudhur) is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang Regency, not far from the town of Muntilan, in Central Java, Indo ...
; a massive stone
mandala A mandala ( sa, मण्डल, maṇḍala, circle, ) is a geometric configuration of symbols. In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of practitioners and adepts, as a spiritual guidance tool, for e ...
, which was completed in 825, during his reign. According to Cœdès, "In the second half of the ninth century Java and Sumatra were united under the rule of a
Sailendra The Shailendra dynasty (, derived from Sanskrit combined words ''Śaila'' and ''Indra'', meaning "King of the Mountain", also spelled Sailendra, Syailendra or Selendra) was the name of a notable Indianized kingdom, Indianised dynasty that eme ...
reigning in
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
... its center at
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
."
Samaratungga Samaratungga was the head of the Sailendra The Shailendra dynasty (, derived from Sanskrit combined words ''Śaila'' and ''Indra'', meaning "King of the Mountain", also spelled Sailendra, Syailendra or Selendra) was the name of a notable In ...
, just like Samaragrawira, seems to have been deeply influenced by peaceful
Mahayana ''Mahāyāna'' (; "Great Vehicle") is a term for a broad group of Buddhism, Buddhist traditions, Buddhist texts#Mahāyāna texts, texts, Buddhist philosophy, philosophies, and practices. Mahāyāna Buddhism developed in India (c. 1st century BC ...
Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, most commonly referred to as the Buddha, was a ...
beliefs and strove to become a peaceful and benevolent ruler. His successor was Princess
Pramodhawardhani Pramodhawardhani (also known as Çrī Kahulunnan or Çrī Sanjiwana) was the queen consort of king Rakai Pikatan (r. 838-850) of Medang Kingdom in 9th century Central Java. She was the daughter of Sailendran king Samaratungga (r. 812—833). Her ...
who was betrothed to Shivaite
Rakai Pikatan Rakai Pikatan was a king of the Sanjaya dynasty Mataram Kingdom in Central Java who built the Prambanan temple, dedicated to Shiva, which was completed in 856 AD. Rakai Pikatan was also called Mpu Manuku. The monarch of the Mataram Kingdom before R ...
, son of the influential Rakai Patapan, a landlord in
Central Java Central Java ( id, Jawa Tengah) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major terri ...
. The political move that seems as an effort to secure peace and Sailendran rule on
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
by reconciling the
Mahayana ''Mahāyāna'' (; "Great Vehicle") is a term for a broad group of Buddhism, Buddhist traditions, Buddhist texts#Mahāyāna texts, texts, Buddhist philosophy, philosophies, and practices. Mahāyāna Buddhism developed in India (c. 1st century BC ...
Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha Siddhartha Gautama, most commonly referred to as the Buddha, was a ...
with Shivaist
Hindu Hindus (; ) are people who religiously adhere to Hinduism.Jeffery D. Long (2007), A Vision for Hinduism, IB Tauris, , pages 35–37 Historically, the term has also been used as a geographical, cultural, and later religious identifier for ...
s.


Return to Palembang

Prince
Balaputra Balaputradewa was the maharaja Mahārāja (; also spelled Maharajah, Maharaj) is a Sanskrit title for a "great ruler", "great Monarch, king" or "high king". A few ruled states informally called empires, including ruler raja Sri Gupta, found ...
, however, opposed the rule of Pikatan and Pramodhawardhani in
Central Java Central Java ( id, Jawa Tengah) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major terri ...
. The relations between
Balaputra Balaputradewa was the maharaja Mahārāja (; also spelled Maharajah, Maharaj) is a Sanskrit title for a "great ruler", "great Monarch, king" or "high king". A few ruled states informally called empires, including ruler raja Sri Gupta, found ...
and Pramodhawardhani are interpreted differently by some historians. An older theory according to Bosch and De Casparis holds that
Balaputra Balaputradewa was the maharaja Mahārāja (; also spelled Maharajah, Maharaj) is a Sanskrit title for a "great ruler", "great Monarch, king" or "high king". A few ruled states informally called empires, including ruler raja Sri Gupta, found ...
was the son of
Samaratungga Samaratungga was the head of the Sailendra The Shailendra dynasty (, derived from Sanskrit combined words ''Śaila'' and ''Indra'', meaning "King of the Mountain", also spelled Sailendra, Syailendra or Selendra) was the name of a notable In ...
, which means he was the younger brother of Pramodhawardhani. Later historians such as Muljana, on the other hand, argued that
Balaputra Balaputradewa was the maharaja Mahārāja (; also spelled Maharajah, Maharaj) is a Sanskrit title for a "great ruler", "great Monarch, king" or "high king". A few ruled states informally called empires, including ruler raja Sri Gupta, found ...
was the son of Samaragrawira and the younger brother of
Samaratungga Samaratungga was the head of the Sailendra The Shailendra dynasty (, derived from Sanskrit combined words ''Śaila'' and ''Indra'', meaning "King of the Mountain", also spelled Sailendra, Syailendra or Selendra) was the name of a notable In ...
, which means he was the uncle of Pramodhawardhani. It is not known whether Balaputra was expelled from
Central Java Central Java ( id, Jawa Tengah) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major terri ...
because of a succession dispute with Pikatan, or that he already ruled in ''
Suvarnadvipa ( sa, सुवर्णभूमि; Pali: '); my, သုဝဏ္ဏဘူမိ, ; km, សុវណ្ណភូមិ, ''Sovannaphoum''; and th, สุวรรณภูมิ, . is a toponym, that appears in many ancient Indian literary s ...
'' or ''
Suvarnabhumi ( sa, सुवर्णभूमि; Pali: '); my, သုဝဏ္ဏဘူမိ, ; km, សុវណ្ណភូមិ, ''Sovannaphoum''; and th, สุวรรณภูมิ, . is a toponym Toponymy, toponymics, or toponomastics is ...
'' (ancient name of
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is fully within Indonesian territory, as well as the list of islands by area, sixth-largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 (182,812 mi.2), n ...
). Either way, it seems that Balaputra eventually ruled the
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is fully within Indonesian territory, as well as the list of islands by area, sixth-largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 (182,812 mi.2), n ...
n branch of
Sailendra dynasty The Shailendra dynasty (, derived from Sanskrit combined words ''Śaila'' and ''Indra'', meaning "King of the Mountain", also spelled Sailendra, Syailendra or Selendra) was the name of a notable Indianized kingdom, Indianised dynasty that eme ...
and was enthroned in the Srivijayan capital of
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
. Historians have argued that this was because Balaputra's mother Tara, the queen consort of King Samaragrawira, was the princess of Srivijaya, making Balaputra the heir of the Srivijayan throne. Balaputra the Maharaja of Srivijaya later stated his claim as the rightful heir of the
Sailendra dynasty The Shailendra dynasty (, derived from Sanskrit combined words ''Śaila'' and ''Indra'', meaning "King of the Mountain", also spelled Sailendra, Syailendra or Selendra) was the name of a notable Indianized kingdom, Indianised dynasty that eme ...
from
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
, as proclaimed in the
Nalanda inscription The Nalanda Copper-plate of Devapaladeva is an ancient Buddhist inscription located in Nalanda, within the present day Bihar state of Northeastern India. It has been dated to 860 CE. The inscription talks about king Devapaladeva of Pala Empire, B ...
dated 860. After a trade disruption at Canton between 820 and 850, the ruler of
Jambi Jambi is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative ...
(Melayu Kingdom) was able to assert enough independence to send missions to
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
in 853 and 871. The
Melayu Kingdom The Melayu Kingdom (also known as Malayu, Dharmasraya Kingdom or the Jambi Kingdom; , wikt:Appendix:Baxter-Sagart Old Chinese reconstruction, reconstructed Middle Chinese pronunciation ''mat-la-yu kwok'')Muljana, Slamet , (2006), ''Sriwijaya'', ...
's independence coincided with the troubled times when the
Sailendra The Shailendra dynasty (, derived from Sanskrit combined words ''Śaila'' and ''Indra'', meaning "King of the Mountain", also spelled Sailendra, Syailendra or Selendra) was the name of a notable Indianized kingdom, Indianised dynasty that eme ...
n Balaputradewa was expelled from
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
and later seized the throne of Srivijaya. The new maharaja was able to dispatch a tributary mission to
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
by 902. Two years after that, the weakening
Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; zh, t= ), or Tang Empire, was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907 AD, with an Zhou dynasty (690–705), interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dyn ...
conferred a title on a Srivijayan envoy. In the first half of the 10th century, between the fall of
Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; zh, t= ), or Tang Empire, was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907 AD, with an Zhou dynasty (690–705), interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dyn ...
and the rise of
Song A song is a musical composition intended to be performed by the human voice. This is often done at melody, distinct and fixed pitches (melodies) using patterns of sound and silence. Songs contain various song form, forms, such as those includ ...
, there was brisk trading between the overseas world with the
Fujian Fujian (; postal romanization, alternately romanized as Fukien or Hokkien) is a provinces of China, province on the southeastern coast of China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, Guangdong to the south, and ...
kingdom of Min and the rich
Guangdong Guangdong (, ), alternatively romanized as Canton or Kwangtung, is a coastal province in South China on the north shore of the South China Sea. The capital of the province is Guangzhou. With a population of 126.01 million (as of 202 ...
kingdom of Nan Han. Srivijaya undoubtedly benefited from this. Sometime around 903, the
Muslim Muslims ( ar, المسلمون, , ) are people who adhere to Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the ...
writer
Ibn Rustah Ahmad ibn Rustah Isfahani ( fa, احمد ابن رسته اصفهانی ''Aḥmad ibn Rusta Iṣfahānī''), more commonly known as Ibn Rustah (, also spelled ''Ibn Rusta'' and ''Ibn Ruste''), was a tenth-century Persians, Persian explorer and g ...
was so impressed with the wealth of the Srivijayan ruler that he declared that one would not hear of a king who was richer, stronger or had more revenue. The main urban centres of Srivijaya were then at
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
(especially the Karanganyar site near Seguntang Hill area), Muara Jambi and
Kedah Kedah (), also known by its honorific Darul Aman (Islam), Aman and historically as Queda, is a States and federal territories of Malaysia, state of Malaysia, located in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The state covers a total area ...
.


Srivijayan exploration

The core of the Srivijayan realm was concentrated in and around the
Malacca Malacca ( ms, Melaka) is a state in Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutional monarchy consists of States and federal territories of Malaysia, thirteen states and three federal terr ...
and Sunda straits and in
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is fully within Indonesian territory, as well as the list of islands by area, sixth-largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 (182,812 mi.2), n ...
,
Malay Peninsula The Malay Peninsula (Malay language, Malay: ''Semenanjung Tanah Melayu'') is a peninsula in Mainland Southeast Asia. The landmass runs approximately north–south, and at its terminus, it is the southernmost point of the Asian continental mai ...
and Western Java. However, between the 9th and the 12th centuries, the influence of Srivijaya seems to have extended far beyond the core. Srivijayan navigators may have reached as far as
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara, ), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately off the coast of East Afric ...
. The migration to Madagascar was estimated to have taken place 1,200 years ago around 830 CE. According to an extensive new mitochondrial DNA study, native
Malagasy people The Malagasy (french: Malgache) are an Austronesian peoples, Austronesian-speaking African ethnic group native to the island country of Madagascar. Traditionally, the population have been divided by subgroups (tribes or ethnicities). Examples ...
today can likely trace their heritage back to 30 founding mothers who sailed from
Indonesia Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans. It consists of over List of islands of Indonesia, 17,000 islands, including Sumatr ...
1,200 years ago. Malagasy contains loan words from
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had Trans-cul ...
, with all the local linguistic modifications via Javanese or
Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language Malay (; ms, Bahasa Melayu, links=no, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: , Rejang script, Rencong: ) is an Austronesian languages, Austronesian language that is an official language of Brunei, Indo ...
, hinting that
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara, ), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately off the coast of East Afric ...
may have been colonised by settlers from Srivijaya.


War against Java

In the 10th century, the rivalry between Sumatran Srivijaya and the Javanese
Mataram kingdom The Mataram Kingdom (, jv, ꦩꦠꦫꦩ꧀, ) was a Javanese people, Javanese Hinduism, Hindu–Buddhism, Buddhist kingdom that flourished between the 8th and 11th centuries. It was based in Central Java, and later in East Java. Established b ...
became more intense and hostile. The animosity was probably caused by Srivijaya's effort to reclaim the Sailendra lands in Java or by Mataram's aspiration to challenge Srivijaya domination in the region. In
East Java East Java ( id, Jawa Timur) is a province of Indonesia located in the easternmost hemisphere of Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the sou ...
, the Anjukladang inscription dated from 937 mentions an infiltration attack from Malayu — which refers to a Srivijayan attack upon the Mataram Kingdom of
East Java East Java ( id, Jawa Timur) is a province of Indonesia located in the easternmost hemisphere of Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the sou ...
. The villagers of Anjuk Ladang were awarded for their service and merit in assisting the king's army, under the leadership of Mpu Sindok, in repelling invading Malayu (Sumatra) forces; subsequently, a ''jayastambha'' (victory monument) was erected in their honor. In 990, King
Dharmawangsa Dharmawangsa , stylized regnal name Sri Maharaja Isyana Dharmawangsa Teguh Anantawikramottunggadewa (died 1016) of the Isyana dynasty, was the last raja of the Mataram Kingdom, Kingdom of Mataram, who reigned from 990 to 1016 CE. He also known by hi ...
of Java launched a naval invasion against Srivijaya and attempted to capture the capital
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
. The news of the Javanese invasion of Srivijaya was recorded in Chinese
Song A song is a musical composition intended to be performed by the human voice. This is often done at melody, distinct and fixed pitches (melodies) using patterns of sound and silence. Songs contain various song form, forms, such as those includ ...
period sources. In 988, a Srivijayan envoy was sent to the Chinese court in
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton () and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital and largest city of Guangdong province in southern China. Located on the Pearl River about north-northwest of Hong K ...
. After sojourning for about two years in
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population exceeding 1.4 billion, slig ...
, the envoy learned that his country had been attacked by ''She-po'' (
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
) which made him unable to return home. In 992 the envoy from ''She-po'' (Java) arrived in the Chinese court and explaining that their country was involved in continuous war with ''San-fo-qi'' (Srivijaya). In 999 the Srivijayan envoy sailed from China to
Champa Champa (Cham language, Cham: ꨌꩌꨛꨩ; km, ចាម្ប៉ា; vi, Chiêm Thành or ) were a collection of independent Chams, Cham Polity, polities that extended across the coast of what is contemporary central and southern Vietnam ...
in an attempt to return home, however, he received no news about the condition of his country. The Srivijayan envoy then sailed back to China and appealed to the Chinese Emperor for the protection of Srivijaya against Javanese invaders. Dharmawangsa's invasion led the
Maharaja Mahārāja (; also spelled Maharajah, Maharaj) is a Sanskrit title for a "great ruler", "great Monarch, king" or "high king". A few ruled states informally called empires, including ruler raja Sri Gupta, founder of the ancient Indian Gupta Em ...
of Srivijaya, Sri
Cudamani Warmadewa Sri Cudamani Warmadewa or Sri Cudamani Varmadeva or written as ''Shi-li-zhu-luo-wu-ni-fo-ma-tiao-hua'' (Chinese transcription), was an emperor of Srivijaya Srivijaya ( id, Sriwijaya) was a Buddhism, Buddhist thalassocracy, thalassocratic emp ...
, to seek protection from China. Warmadewa was known as an able and astute ruler, with shrewd diplomatic skills. In the midst of the crisis brought by the Javanese invasion, he secured Chinese political support by appeasing the Chinese Emperor. In 1003, a
Song A song is a musical composition intended to be performed by the human voice. This is often done at melody, distinct and fixed pitches (melodies) using patterns of sound and silence. Songs contain various song form, forms, such as those includ ...
historical record reported that the envoy of ''San-fo-qi'' was dispatched by the king ''Shi-li-zhu-luo-wu-ni-fo-ma-tiao-hua'' (Sri Cudamani Warmadewa). The Srivijayan envoy told the Chinese court that in their country a Buddhist temple had been erected to pray for the long life of Chinese Emperor, and asked the emperor to give the name and the bell for this temple which was built in his honor. Rejoiced, the Chinese Emperor named the temple ''Ch'eng-t'en-wan-shou'' ('ten thousand years of receiving blessing from heaven, which is China) and a bell was immediately cast and sent to Srivijaya to be installed in the temple. In 1006, Srivijaya's alliance proved its resilience by successfully repelling the Javanese invasion. The Javanese invasion was ultimately unsuccessful. This attack opened the eyes of Srivijayan Maharaja to the dangerousness of the Javanese Mataram Kingdom, so he patiently laid a plan to destroy his Javanese nemesis. In retaliation, Srivijaya assisted Haji (king) Wurawari of Lwaram to revolt, which led to the attack and destruction of the Mataram palace. This sudden and unexpected attack took place during the wedding ceremony of Dharmawangsa's daughter, which left the court unprepared and shocked. With the death of Dharmawangsa and the fall of the Mataram capital, Srivijaya contributed to the collapse of Mataram kingdom, leaving Eastern Java in further unrest, violence and, ultimately, desolation for several years to come.


Decline


Chola invasion

The contributary factors in the decline of Srivijaya were foreign piracy and raids that disrupted trade and security in the region.
Rajendra Chola Rajendra Chola I (; Middle Tamil: Rājēntira Cōḻaṉ; Classical Sanskrit: Rājēndradēva Cōla; Old Malay: ''Raja Suran''; c. 971 CE – 1044 CE), often referred to as Rajendra the Great, and also known as Gangaikonda Chola (Middle Tamil ...
, the
Chola The Chola dynasty was a Tamils, Tamil thalassocratic Tamil Dynasties, empire of southern India and one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the history of the world. The earliest datable references to the Chola are from inscriptions dated ...
king from
Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu (; , TN) is a States and union territories of India, state in southern India. It is the List of states and union territories of India by area, tenth largest Indian state by area and the List of states and union territories of India ...
in
South India South India, also known as Dakshina Bharata or Peninsular India, consists of the peninsular southern part of India. It encompasses the States and union territories of India, Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and T ...
, launched naval raids on ports of Srivijaya in 1025. His navy sailed swiftly to Sumatra using monsoon winds, made a stealth attack and raided Srivijaya's 14 ports. The strike took Srivijaya by surprise and unprepared; they first ransacked the capital city of Palembang and then swiftly moved on to other ports including Kadaram (modern Kedah). The Cholas are known to have benefitted from both
piracy Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence by ship or boat-borne attackers upon another ship or a coastal area, typically with the goal of stealing cargo and other valuable goods. Those who conduct acts of piracy are called pirates, v ...
and foreign trade. At times, the Chola seafaring led to outright plunder and conquest as far as Southeast Asia. An inscription of King Rajendra states that he had captured the King of Kadaram, Sangrama Vijayatunggavarman, son of Mara Vijayatunggavarman, and plundered many treasures including the ''Vidhyadara-torana,'' the jewelled 'war gate' of Srivijaya adorned with great splendour. According to the 15th-century Malay annals Sejarah Melayu,
Rajendra Chola I Rajendra Chola I (; Middle Tamil: Rājēntira Cōḻaṉ; Classical Sanskrit: Rājēndradēva Cōla; Old Malay: ''Raja Suran''; c. 971 CE – 1044 CE), often referred to as Rajendra the Great, and also known as Gangaikonda Chola (Middle Tamil ...
after the successful naval raid in 1025 married Onang Kiu, the daughter of Vijayottunggavarman. This invasion forced Srivijaya to make peace with the
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
nese kingdom of
Kahuripan Kahuripan (also spelt Kuripan) was an 11th-century Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a popul ...
. The peace deal was brokered by the exiled daughter of Vijayottunggavarman, who managed to escape the destruction of Palembang, and came to the court of King Airlangga in
East Java East Java ( id, Jawa Timur) is a province of Indonesia located in the easternmost hemisphere of Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the sou ...
. She also became the queen consort of Airlangga named Dharmaprasadottungadevi and, in 1035, Airlangga constructed a Buddhist monastery named Srivijayasrama dedicated to his queen consort. The Cholas continued a series of raids and conquests of parts of Sumatra and Malay Peninsula for the next 20 years. The expedition of
Rajendra Chola I Rajendra Chola I (; Middle Tamil: Rājēntira Cōḻaṉ; Classical Sanskrit: Rājēndradēva Cōla; Old Malay: ''Raja Suran''; c. 971 CE – 1044 CE), often referred to as Rajendra the Great, and also known as Gangaikonda Chola (Middle Tamil ...
had such a lasting impression on the Malay people of the period that his name is even mentioned (in the corrupted form as ''Raja Chulan'') in the medieval Malay chronicle the ''Sejarah Melayu'' (
Malay Annals The ''Malay Annals'' ( Malay: ''Sejarah Melayu'', Jawi: سجاره ملايو), originally titled ''Sulalatus Salatin'' (''Genealogy of Kings''), is a literary work that gives a romanticised history of the origin, evolution and demise of the g ...
). Even today the Chola rule is remembered in
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutional monarchy consists of States and federal territories of Malaysia, thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two r ...
as many Malaysian princes have names ending with Cholan or Chulan, one such was the Raja of
Perak Perak () is a States and federal territories of Malaysia, state of Malaysia on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. Perak has land borders with the Malaysian states of Kedah to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the e ...
called Raja Chulan. Rajendra Chola's overseas expeditions against Srivijaya were unique in India's history and its otherwise peaceful relations with the states of Southeast Asia. The reasons for the naval expeditions are uncertain as the sources are silent about its exact causes. Nilakanta Sastri suggests that the attacks were probably caused by Srivijaya's attempts to throw obstacles in the way of the Chola trade with the East or, more probably, a simple desire on the part of Rajendra Chola to extend his military victories to the well known countries to gain prestige. The new research however, suggests that the attack was a pre-emptive strike with a commercial motive. Rajendra Chola's naval strike was a geostrategic manoeuvre. The raids gravely weakened the Srivijayan hegemony and enabled the formation of regional kingdoms like Kediri, which were based on intensive agriculture rather than coastal and long-distance trade. With the passing of time, the regional trading center shifted from the old Srivijayan capital of Palembang to another trade centre on the island of Sumatra,
Jambi Jambi is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative ...
, which was the centre of Malayu.


Under the Cholas

The Chola control over Srivijaya under Rajendra Chola I lasted two decades until 1045 AD. According to one theory proposed by Sri Lankan historian Senarath Paranavitana, Rajendra Chola I was murdered in 1044 AD, during his visit to Srivijaya by Purandara, on the order of Samara Vijayatunggavarman, Sangrama Vijayatunggavarman's brother. According to this theory, Samara launched a massive annihilation against
Chola The Chola dynasty was a Tamils, Tamil thalassocratic Tamil Dynasties, empire of southern India and one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the history of the world. The earliest datable references to the Chola are from inscriptions dated ...
and claimed the Srivijaya throne in 1045. Samara sent his cousin and son-in-law, Mahendra, with his army to help
Vijayabahu I Vijayabahu I (born ''Prince Keerthi'') (ruled 1055–1110), also known as Vijayabahu the Great, was a medieval List of rulers of Sri Lanka, king of Sri Lanka. Born to a royal bloodline, Vijayabahu grew up under Chola conquest of Anuradhapura, Cho ...
to defeat the Cholas and regain the throne. Samara's name was mentioned by Mahinda VI of Polonnaruwa in the Madigiriya inscription and Bolanda inscription. On the contrary, according to South Indian epigraphs and records, Rajendra Chola I died in Brahmadesam, now a part of the
North Arcot North Arcot was a former district in Madras Presidency, acquired by the annexation of the Arcot State in 1855 when its Nawab died without issue. It had Chittoor as its headquarters (currently in Andhra pradesh). On 1 April 1911, the Chittoor di ...
district in
Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu (; , TN) is a States and union territories of India, state in southern India. It is the List of states and union territories of India by area, tenth largest Indian state by area and the List of states and union territories of India ...
, India. This information is recorded in an inscription of his son, Rajadhiraja Chola I, which states that Rajendra Chola's queen Viramadeviyar committed sati upon Rajendra's death and her remains were interred in the same tomb as Rajendra Chola I in Brahmadesam. It adds that the queen's brother, who was a general in Rajendra's army, set up a watershed at the same place in memory of his sister. There is also evidence to suggest that Kulottunga Chola, the maternal grandson of emperor Rajendra Chola I, in his youth (1063) was in Sri Vijaya, restoring order and maintaining Chola influence in that area. Virarajendra Chola states in his inscription, dated in the 7th year of his reign, that he conquered Kadaram (Kedah) and gave it back to its king who came and worshiped his feet. These expeditions were led by Kulottunga to help the
Sailendra The Shailendra dynasty (, derived from Sanskrit combined words ''Śaila'' and ''Indra'', meaning "King of the Mountain", also spelled Sailendra, Syailendra or Selendra) was the name of a notable Indianized kingdom, Indianised dynasty that eme ...
king who had sought the help of Virarajendra Chola. An inscription of Canton mentions Ti-hua-kialo as the ruler of Sri Vijaya. According to historians, this ruler is the same as the Chola ruler Ti-hua-kialo (identified with Kulottunga) mentioned in the Song annals and who sent an embassy to China. According to Tan Yeok Song, the editor of the Sri Vijayan inscription of Canton, Kulottunga stayed in Kadaram (Kedah) after the naval expedition of 1067 AD and reinstalled its king before returning to South India and ascending the throne.


Internal and external rivalries

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. That would suggest that the centre of Srivijaya frequently shifted between the two major cities during that period. The Chola expeditions as well as the changing trade routes weakened Palembang, allowing Jambi to take the leadership of Srivijaya from the 11th century onwards. By the 12th century, a new dynasty called Mauli rose as the paramount of Srivijaya. The earliest reference to the new dynasty was found in the Grahi inscription from 1183 discovered in Chaiya ( Grahi), Southern Thailand Malay Peninsula. The inscription bears the order of Maharaja Srimat Trailokyaraja Maulibhusana Warmadewa to the ''bhupati'' (regent) of Grahi named Mahasenapati Galanai to make a statue of Buddha weighing 1 ''bhara'' 2 ''tula'' with a value of 10 gold ''tamlin''. The artist responsible for the creation of the statue is Mraten Sri Nano. According to the Chinese
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou. ...
book '' Zhu Fan Zhi'', written around 1225 by Zhao Rugua, the two most powerful and richest kingdoms in the
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia, South-eastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, south-eastern region of Asia, consistin ...
n archipelago were Srivijaya and Java ( Kediri), with the western part (Sumatra, the Malay peninsula, and western Java/ Sunda) under Srivijaya's rule and the eastern part was under Kediri's domination. It says that the people in Java followed two kinds of religions,
Buddhism Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religions, Indian religion or Indian philosophy#Buddhist philosophy, philosophical tradition based on Pre-sectarian Buddhism, teachings attributed to the Buddha. ...
and the religion of
Brahmins Brahmin (; sa, ब्राह्मण, brāhmaṇa) is a Varna (Hinduism), varna as well as a caste within Hindu society. The Brahmins are designated as the priestly class as they serve as Hindu priest, priests (purohit, pandit, or pujari) ...
(
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religions, Indian religion or ''dharma'', a religious and universal order or way of life by which followers abide. As a religion, it is the Major religious groups, world's third-largest, with over 1.2–1.35 billion ...
), while the people of Srivijaya followed
Buddhism Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religions, Indian religion or Indian philosophy#Buddhist philosophy, philosophical tradition based on Pre-sectarian Buddhism, teachings attributed to the Buddha. ...
. The book describes the people of Java as being brave, short-tempered and willing to fight. It also notes that their favourite pastimes were
cockfighting A cockfight is a blood sport, held in a ring called a cockpit. The history of raising fowl for fighting goes back 6,000 years. The first documented use of the ''word'' gamecock, denoting use of the cock (bird), cock as to a "game", a sport, pas ...
and pig fighting. The coins used as currency were made from a mixture of
copper Copper is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Cu (from la, cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductility, ductile metal with very high thermal conductivity, thermal and electrical conductivity. A fre ...
,
silver Silver is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Ag (from the Latin ', derived from the Proto-Indo-European wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h₂erǵ-, ''h₂erǵ'': "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47. A soft, whi ...
and
tin Tin is a chemical element with the Chemical symbol, symbol Sn (from la, :la:Stannum, stannum) and atomic number 50. Tin is a silvery-coloured metal. Tin is soft enough to be cut with little force and a bar of tin can be bent by hand wit ...
. ''Zhu fan zhi'' also states that Java was ruled by a
maharaja Mahārāja (; also spelled Maharajah, Maharaj) is a Sanskrit title for a "great ruler", "great Monarch, king" or "high king". A few ruled states informally called empires, including ruler raja Sri Gupta, founder of the ancient Indian Gupta Em ...
and included the following "dependencies": ''Pai-hua-yuan'' ( Pacitan), Ma-tung (Mataram), ''Ta-pen'' (Tumapel, now
Malang Malang (; ) is a landlocked List of regencies and cities of Indonesia, city in the Indonesian Provinces of Indonesia, province of East Java. It has a history dating back to the age of Singhasari, Singhasari Kingdom. It is the second most popul ...
), ''Hi-ning'' ( Dieng), ''Jung-ya-lu'' (Hujung Galuh, now
Surabaya Surabaya ( jv, ꦱꦸꦫꦧꦪ or jv, ꦯꦹꦫꦨꦪ; ; ) is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of East Java and the List of Indonesian cities by population, second-largest city in Indonesia, after Jakarta. L ...
), ''Tung-ki'' (Jenggi, West Papua), ''Ta-kang'' (
Sumba Sumba ( id, Pulau Sumba) is an island in eastern Indonesia. It is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands and is in the province of East Nusa Tenggara. Sumba has an area of , and the population was 779,049 at the 2020 Census; the official estimate as at ...
), ''Huang-ma-chu'' (
Southwest Papua Southwest Papua ( id, Papua Barat Daya) is a provinces of Indonesia, province of Indonesia, and is a fraction of Western New Guinea. Despite being named southwest, it is a misnomer and this province is actually located in the northwest edge of Pa ...
), ''Ma-li'' (
Bali Bali () is a Provinces of Indonesia, province of Indonesia and the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands. East of Java and west of Lombok, the province includes the island of Bali and a few smaller neighbouring islands, notably Nusa Penida, ...
), ''Kulun'' (Gurun, identified as Gorong or
Sorong Sorong is the largest city A city is a human settlement of notable size.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. ...
in West Papua or an island in
Nusa Tenggara The Lesser Sunda Islands or nowadays known as Nusa Tenggara Islands ( id, Kepulauan Nusa Tenggara, formerly ) are an archipelago in Maritime Southeast Asia, north of Australia. Together with the Greater Sunda Islands to the west they make up t ...
), ''Tan-jung-wu-lo'' ( Tanjungpura in modern-day
West Kalimantan West Kalimantan ( id, Kalimantan Barat) is a Provinces of Indonesia, province of Indonesia. It is one of five Indonesian provinces comprising Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. Its capital city is Pontianak, Indonesia, Pont ...
,
Borneo Borneo (; id, Kalimantan) is the List of islands by area, third-largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java Isl ...
), ''Ti-wu'' (
Timor Timor is an island at the southern end of Maritime Southeast Asia, in the north of the Timor Sea. The island is divided between the sovereign states of East Timor on the eastern part and Indonesia on the western part. The Indonesian part ...
), ''Pingya-i'' ( Banggai in Sulawesi) and ''Wu-nu-ku'' ( Maluku). Additionally, Zhao Rugua said that Srivijaya "was still a great power at the beginning of the thirteenth century" with 15 colonies: ''Pong-fong'' (
Pahang Pahang (;Jawi alphabet, Jawi: , Pahang Hulu Malay: ''Paha'', Pahang Hilir Malay: ''Pahaeng'', Ulu Tembeling Malay: ''Pahaq)'' officially Pahang Darul Makmur with the Arabic honorific ''Darul Makmur'' (Jawi: , "The Abode of Tranquility") is a ...
), ''Tong-ya-nong'' (
Terengganu Terengganu (; Terengganu Malay: ''Tranung'', Jawi script, Jawi: ), formerly spelled Trengganu or Tringganu, is a sultanate and States and federal territories of Malaysia, constitutive state of federal Malaysia. The state is also known by its Ar ...
), ''Ling-ya-si-kia'' (
Langkasuka Langkasuka was an ancient Hindu-Buddhist kingdom located in the Malay Peninsula. The name is Sanskrit in origin; it is thought to be a combination of ''langkha'' for "resplendent land" -''Sukha, sukkha'' for "bliss". The kingdom, along with Ea ...
), ''Kilan-tan'' (
Kelantan Kelantan (; Jawi alphabet, Jawi: ; Kelantan-Pattani Malay, Kelantanese Malay: ''Klate'') is a state in Malaysia. The capital is Kota Bharu and royal seat is Kubang Kerian. The honorific, honorific name of the state is ''Darul Naim'' (Jawi: ; " ...
), ''Fo-lo-an'' ( Dungun, eastern part of Malay Peninsula, a town within state of Terengganu),'' Ji-lo-t'ing'' ( Cherating), ''Ts'ien-mai'' (Semawe, Malay Peninsula), ''Pa-t'a'' ( Sungai Paka, located in
Terengganu Terengganu (; Terengganu Malay: ''Tranung'', Jawi script, Jawi: ), formerly spelled Trengganu or Tringganu, is a sultanate and States and federal territories of Malaysia, constitutive state of federal Malaysia. The state is also known by its Ar ...
of Malay Peninsula), ''Tan-ma-ling'' (
Tambralinga Tambralinga ( sa, Tāmbraliṅga) was an Indianised kingdom located on the Malay Peninsula, existing at least from the 10th to 13th century. It was under the influence of Srivijaya for some time, but later became independent from it. The name ...
, ''Ligor or''
Nakhon Si Thammarat Nakhon Si Thammarat Municipality ( th, เทศบาลนครนครศรีธรรมราช, ; from Pali ''Nagara Sri Dhammaraja'') is a municipality (''thesaban nakhon'') in Southern Thailand, capital of Nakhon Si Thammarat provi ...
, South
Thailand Thailand ( ), historically known as Siam () and officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia, located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , with a population of almost 70 mi ...
), ''Kia-lo-hi'' (Grahi, ( Krabi) northern part of Malay peninsula), ''Pa-lin-fong'' (
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
), ''Sin-t'o'' ( Sunda), ''Lan-wu-li'' (
Lamuri Lamuri or Lambri was a kingdom in northern Sumatra, Indonesia from the Srivijaya period until the early 16th century. The area was inhabited by Hindus, Hindu population around the seventh century. There is also evidence of Buddhism. The region is ...
at
Aceh Aceh ( ), officially the Aceh Province ( ace, Nanggroë Acèh; id, Provinsi Aceh) is the westernmost province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the anc ...
), ''Kien-pi'' (
Jambi Jambi is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative ...
) and ''Si-lan'' (
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, Romanization of Khmer#UNGEGN, UNGEGN: ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese Peninsula in Southeast Asia, spanning an ar ...
or
Ceylon Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකා, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an ...
(?)). Srivijaya remained a formidable sea power until the 13th century. According to Cœdès, at the end of the 13th century, the empire "had ceased to exist... caused by the simultaneous pressure on its two flanks of Siam and Java."


Javanese pressure

By the 13th century, the
Singhasari Singhasari ( jv, ꦏꦫꦠꦺꦴꦤ꧀ꦱꦶꦔ꧀ꦲꦱꦫꦶ, translit=Karaton Singhasari or , id, Kerajaan Singasari) was a Javanese Hindu kingdom located in east Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater ...
empire, the successor state of Kediri in Java, rose as a regional hegemon in maritime Southeast Asia. In 1275, the ambitious and able king
Kertanegara Sri Maharajadiraja Sri Kertanegara Wikrama Dharmatunggadewa, Kritanagara, or Sivabuddha (died 1292), was the last and most important ruler of the Singhasari kingdom of Java, reigning from 1268 to 1292. Under his rule Javanese trade and power devel ...
, the fifth monarch of Singhasari who had been reigning since 1254, launched a naval campaign northward towards the remains of the Srivijayan mandala. The strongest of these Malay kingdoms was
Jambi Jambi is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Roman ''Roman province, provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative ...
, which captured the Srivijaya capital in 1088, then the Dharmasraya kingdom, and the
Temasek Temasek (also spelt Temasik) is an early recorded name of a settlement on the site of modern Singapore. The name appears in early Malay language, Malay and Javanese language, Javanese literature, and it is also recorded in Yuan dynasty, Yuan a ...
kingdom of Singapore, and then remaining territories. In 1288, Kertanegara's forces conquered most of the Melayu states, including Palembang, Jambi and much of Srivijaya, during the
Pamalayu expedition The Pamalayu campaign was a diplomatic and military expeditionary force sent by the Javanese people, Javanese King Kertanegara of Singhasari to conquer the Sumatran Melayu Kingdom. It was decreed in 1275, though perhaps not undertaken until later. ...
. The
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 West Sumat ...
was discovered in 1911 near the source of the Batang Hari river. The 1286 inscription states that under the order of king
Kertanegara Sri Maharajadiraja Sri Kertanegara Wikrama Dharmatunggadewa, Kritanagara, or Sivabuddha (died 1292), was the last and most important ruler of the Singhasari kingdom of Java, reigning from 1268 to 1292. Under his rule Javanese trade and power devel ...
of Singhasari, a statue of Amoghapasa Lokeshvara was transported from Bhumijawa (
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
) to Suvarnabhumi (
Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is fully within Indonesian territory, as well as the list of islands by area, sixth-largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 (182,812 mi.2), n ...
) to be erected at Dharmasraya. This gift made the people of Suvarnabhumi rejoice, especially their king
Tribhuwanaraja Sri Maharaja Srimat Tribhuwanaraja Mauliwarmadewa was a king of Dharmasraya in ''Bhumi Malayu'' (Sumatra), as written on the Padang Roco inscription (1286). The inscription mentioned that the king and his people of Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and ...
. In 1293, the
Majapahit Majapahit ( jv, ꦩꦗꦥꦲꦶꦠ꧀; ), also known as Wilwatikta ( jv, ꦮꦶꦭ꧀ꦮꦠꦶꦏ꧀ꦠ; ), was a Javanese people, Javanese Hinduism, Hindu-Buddhism, Buddhist thalassocracy, thalassocratic empire in Southeast Asia that was ba ...
empire, the successor state of Singhasari, ruled much of Sumatra. Prince
Adityawarman Adityawarman (formal regnal name Maharajadiraja Srīmat Srī Udayādityawarma Pratāpaparākrama Rājendra Maulimāli Warmadewa. ) was a king of Malayapura Suvarnabhumi, and is the successor of the Mauli dynasty based on central Sumatra. He ...
was given power over
Sumatera Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans. It consists of ov ...
in 1347 by
Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi, known in her regnal name Tribhuwannottunggadewi Jayawishnuwardhani, also known as Dyah Gitarja, was a Javanese queen regnant and the third Majapahit monarch, reigning from 1328 to 1350. She also bears the title Bhre K ...
, the third monarch of
Majapahit Majapahit ( jv, ꦩꦗꦥꦲꦶꦠ꧀; ), also known as Wilwatikta ( jv, ꦮꦶꦭ꧀ꦮꦠꦶꦏ꧀ꦠ; ), was a Javanese people, Javanese Hinduism, Hindu-Buddhism, Buddhist thalassocracy, thalassocratic empire in Southeast Asia that was ba ...
. A rebellion broke out in 1377 and was quashed by
Majapahit Majapahit ( jv, ꦩꦗꦥꦲꦶꦠ꧀; ), also known as Wilwatikta ( jv, ꦮꦶꦭ꧀ꦮꦠꦶꦏ꧀ꦠ; ), was a Javanese people, Javanese Hinduism, Hindu-Buddhism, Buddhist thalassocracy, thalassocratic empire in Southeast Asia that was ba ...
but it left the area of southern
Sumatera Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans. It consists of ov ...
in chaos and desolation. In the following years, sedimentation on the Musi river estuary cut the kingdom's capital off from direct sea access. This strategic disadvantage crippled trade in the kingdom's capital. As the decline continued,
Islam Islam (; ar, ۘالِإسلَام, , ) is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion centred primarily around the Quran, a religious text considered by Muslims to be the direct word of God in Islam, God (or ''Allah'') as it was revealed to Muh ...
made its way to the
Aceh Aceh ( ), officially the Aceh Province ( ace, Nanggroë Acèh; id, Provinsi Aceh) is the westernmost province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the anc ...
region of Sumatra, spreading through contacts with
Arab The Arabs (singular: Arab; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, DIN 31635: , , plural ar, عَرَب, DIN 31635: , Arabic pronunciation: ), also known as the Arab people, are an ethnic group mainly inhabiting the Arab world in Western Asia, ...
and
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
n traders. By the late 13th century, the kingdom of
Pasai The Samudera Pasai Sultanate (), also known as Samudera or Pasai or Samudera Darussalam or Pacem, was a Muslim harbour kingdom on the north coast of Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest isl ...
, in northern Sumatra, converted to Islam. At the same time, Srivijayan lands in the Malay Peninsula (now
Southern Thailand Southern Thailand, Southern Siam or Tambralinga is a southernmost cultural region of Thailand, separated from Central Thailand region by the Kra Isthmus. Geography Southern Thailand is on the Malay Peninsula, with an area of around , bounded t ...
) were briefly a
tributary state A tributary state is a term for a pre-modern state (polity), state in a particular type of subordinate relationship to a more powerful state which involved the sending of a regular token of submission, or tribute, to the superior power (the suz ...
of the Khmer empire and later the
Sukhothai kingdom The Sukhothai Kingdom ( th, สุโขทัย, , IAST: , ) was a post-classical Thai kingdom (Mandala (political model), mandala) in Mainland Southeast Asia surrounding the ancient capital city of Sukhothai (city), Sukhothai in present-day ...
. The last inscription on which a crown prince, Ananggavarman, son of
Adityawarman Adityawarman (formal regnal name Maharajadiraja Srīmat Srī Udayādityawarma Pratāpaparākrama Rājendra Maulimāli Warmadewa. ) was a king of Malayapura Suvarnabhumi, and is the successor of the Mauli dynasty based on central Sumatra. He ...
, is mentioned, dates from 1374.


Final efforts of revival

After decades of Javanese domination, there were several last efforts made by Sumatran rulers to revive the old prestige and fortune of Malay-Srivijayan Mandala. Several attempts to revive Srivijaya were made by the fleeing princes of Srivijaya. According to the
Malay Annals The ''Malay Annals'' ( Malay: ''Sejarah Melayu'', Jawi: سجاره ملايو), originally titled ''Sulalatus Salatin'' (''Genealogy of Kings''), is a literary work that gives a romanticised history of the origin, evolution and demise of the g ...
, a new ruler named Sang Sapurba was promoted as the new paramount of Srivijayan mandala. It was said that after his accession to Seguntang Hill with his two younger brothers, Sang Sapurba entered into a sacred covenant with Demang Lebar Daun, the native ruler of Palembang. The newly installed sovereign afterwards descended from the hill of Seguntang into the great plain of the Musi river, where he married Wan Sendari, the daughter of the local chief, Demang Lebar Daun. Sang Sapurba was said to have reigned in Minangkabau lands. According to
Visayan Visayans (Bisayan languages, Visayan: ''mga Bisaya''; ) or Visayan people are a Ethnic groups in the Philippines, Philippine ethnolinguistic group or metaethnicity native to the Visayas, the southernmost islands of Luzon and a significant portio ...
legends, in the 1200s, there was a
resistance movement A resistance movement is an organized effort by some portion of the civil population of a country to withstand the legally established government or an occupying power and to disrupt civil order and stability. It may seek to achieve its objectives ...
of Srivijayan datus aimed against the encroaching powers of the Hindu Chola and Majapahit empires. The datus migrated to and organized their resistance movement from the Visayas islands of the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
, which was named after their Srivijayan homeland.Jovito S. Abellana, "Bisaya Patronymesis Sri Visjaya" (Ms., Cebuano Studies Center, ca. 1960) Ten Datus, led by Datu Puti, established a
rump state A rump state is the remnant of a once much larger State (polity), state, left with a reduced territory in the wake of secession, annexation, military occupation, occupation, decolonization, or a successful coup d'état or revolution on part of it ...
of Srivijaya, called
Madja-as The Confederation of Madya-as was a legendary pre-colonial supra-baranganic polity on the island of Panay in the Philippines. It was mentioned in Pedro Monteclaro's book titled Maragtas. It was supposedly created by Datu Sumakwel to exercis ...
, in the Visayas islands.G. Nye Steiger, H. Otley Beyer, Conrado Benitez, ''A History of the Orient'', Oxford: 1929, Ginn and Company, p. 120. This rump state waged war against the Chola empire and Majapahit and also raided China, before they were eventually assimilated into the Spanish empire that expanded to the Philippines from Mexico.


Government and economy


Political administration

The 7th century
Telaga Batu inscription Telaga Batu inscription is a 7th-century Srivijayan inscription discovered in Sabokingking, 3 Ilir, Ilir Timur II, Palembang, South Sumatra, Indonesia, around the 1950s. The inscription is now displayed in National Museum of Indonesia, Jakarta, wit ...
, discovered in Sabokingking, Palembang, testifies to the complexity and stratified titles of the Srivijayan state officials. These titles are mentioned: ''rājaputra'' (princes, lit: sons of king), ''kumārāmātya'' (ministers), ''bhūpati'' (regional rulers), ''senāpati'' (generals), ''nāyaka'' (local community leaders), ''pratyaya'' (nobles), ''hāji pratyaya'' (lesser kings), ''dandanayaka'' (judges), ''tuhā an vatak'' (workers inspectors), ''vuruh'' (workers), ''addhyāksi nījavarna'' (lower supervisors), ''vāsīkarana'' (blacksmiths/weapon makers), ''cātabhata'' (soldiers), ''adhikarana'' (officials), ''kāyastha'' (store workers), ''sthāpaka'' (artisans), ''puhāvam'' (ship captains), ''vaniyāga'' (traders), ''marsī hāji'' (king's servants), ''hulun hāji'' (king's slaves). During its formation, the empire was organised in three main zones — the estuarine capital region centred on Palembang, the Musi River basin which served as hinterland and source of valuable goods, and rival estuarine areas capable of forming rival power centres. These rival estuarine areas, through raids and conquests, were held under Srivijayan power, such as the Batanghari estuarine ( Malayu in Jambi). Several strategic ports also included places like
Bangka Island Bangka is an island lying east of Sumatra, Indonesia. It is administered under the province of the Bangka Belitung Islands, being one of its namesakes alongside the smaller island of Belitung across the Gaspar Strait. The 9th largest island in In ...
(Kota Kapur), ports and kingdoms in Java (highly possible
Tarumanagara Tarumanagara or Taruma Kingdom or just Taruma is an early Sundanese people, Sundanese Greater India#Indianised kingdoms, Indianised kingdom, located in western Java, whose 5th-century ruler, Purnawarman, produced the earliest known inscript ...
and
Kalingga Kalingga ( jv, Karajan Kalingga; 訶陵 ''Hēlíng'' or 闍婆 ''She-pó / She-bó'' in Chinese sources) was a 6th-century Indianized kingdom Greater India, or the Indian cultural sphere, is an area composed of many countries and region ...
),
Kedah Kedah (), also known by its honorific Darul Aman (Islam), Aman and historically as Queda, is a States and federal territories of Malaysia, state of Malaysia, located in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The state covers a total area ...
and Chaiya in Malay peninsula, and
Lamuri Lamuri or Lambri was a kingdom in northern Sumatra, Indonesia from the Srivijaya period until the early 16th century. The area was inhabited by Hindus, Hindu population around the seventh century. There is also evidence of Buddhism. The region is ...
and Pannai in northern Sumatra. There are also reports mentioning the Java-Srivijayan raids on Southern Cambodia (Mekong estuarine) and ports of
Champa Champa (Cham language, Cham: ꨌꩌꨛꨩ; km, ចាម្ប៉ា; vi, Chiêm Thành or ) were a collection of independent Chams, Cham Polity, polities that extended across the coast of what is contemporary central and southern Vietnam ...
. After its expansion to the neighbouring states, the Srivijayan empire was formed as a collection of several Kadatuans (local principalities), which swore allegiance to the central ruling powerful Kadatuan ruled by the Srivijayan Maharaja. The political relations and system relating to its realms is described as a mandala model, typical of that of classical Southeast Asian Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms. It could be described as federation of kingdoms or vassalised polity under a centre of domination, namely the central Kadatuan Srivijaya. The polity was defined by its centre rather than its boundaries and it could be composed of numerous other tributary polities without undergoing further administrative integration. The relations between the central kadatuan and its member (subscribers) kadatuans were dynamic. As such, the status would shift over generations. Minor trading ports throughout the region were controlled by local vassal rulers in place on behalf of the king. They also presided over harvesting resources from their respective regions for export. A portion of their revenue was required to be paid to the king. They were not allowed to infringe upon international trade relations, but the temptation of keeping more money to themselves eventually led foreign traders and local rulers to conduct illicit trading relations of their own. Other sources claim that the Champa invasion had weakened the central government significantly, forcing vassals to keep the international trade revenue for themselves. In addition to coercive methods through raids and conquests and being bound by ''pasumpahan'' (oath of allegiance), the royalties of each kadatuan often formed alliances through dynastic marriages. For example, a previously suzerained kadatuan over time might rise in prestige and power, so that eventually its ruler could lay claim to be the maharaja of the central kadatuan. The relationship between Srivijayan in Sumatra (descendants of Dapunta Hyang Sri Jayanasa) and Sailendras in Java exemplified this political dynamic.


Economy


Trade agreements and commerce

The main interest of Srivijayan foreign economic relations was to secure a highly lucrative trade agreement to serve a large Chinese market, that span from the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; zh, t= ), or Tang Empire, was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907 AD, with an Zhou dynasty (690–705), interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dyn ...
to the
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou. ...
era. In order to participate in this trade agreement, Srivijaya was involved in a tributary relation with China, in which they sent several numbers of envoys and embassies to secure the Chinese court's favour. By 1178, a Srivijayan mission to China highlighted Srivijaya's role as an intermediary to acquire Bornean products, such as plum flower-shaped Borneo camphor planks. In the world of commerce, Srivijaya rose rapidly to be a far-flung empire controlling the two passages between India and China, namely the
Sunda Strait The Sunda Strait ( id, Selat Sunda) is the strait between the Indonesian islands of Java island, Java and Sumatra. It connects the Java Sea with the Indian Ocean. Etymology The strait takes its name from the Sunda Kingdom, which ruled the weste ...
from Palembang and the
Malacca Strait The Strait of Malacca is a narrow stretch of water, 500 mi (800 km) long and from 40 to 155 mi (65–250 km) wide, between the Malay Peninsula (Peninsular Malaysia) to the northeast and the Indonesian island of Sumatra to the southwest, connec ...
from Kedah. Arab accounts state that the empire of the Srivijayan Maharaja was so vast that the swiftest vessel would not have been able to travel around all its islands within two years. The islands that the accounts referred to produced camphor, aloes, sandal-wood, spices like
clove Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, ''Syzygium aromaticum'' (). They are native to the Maluku Islands (or Moluccas) in Indonesia, and are commonly used as a spice, flavoring or Aroma compound, fragrance in fina ...
s,
nutmeg Nutmeg is the seed or ground spice of several species of the genus '' Myristica''. '' Myristica fragrans'' (fragrant nutmeg or true nutmeg) is a dark-leaved evergreen In botany, an evergreen is a plant which has Leaf, foliage that remains g ...
s,
cardamom Cardamom (), sometimes cardamon or cardamum, is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera '' Elettaria'' and '' Amomum'' in the family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to the Indian subcontinent and Indonesia In ...
and
cubeb ''Piper cubeba'', cubeb or tailed pepper is a plant in genus ''Piper (plant), Piper'', cultivated for its fruit and essential oil. It is mostly grown in Java (island), Java and Sumatra, hence sometimes called Java pepper. The fruits are gathere ...
s, as well as ivory, gold and tin, all of which equalled the wealth of the Maharaja to any king in
Medieval India Medieval India refers to a long period of Post-classical history of the Indian subcontinent between the "ancient period" and "modern period". It is usually regarded as running approximately from the breakup of the Gupta Empire in the 6th cent ...
.Marwati Djoened Poesponegoro,
Nugroho Notosusanto Brigadier General Raden Panji Nugroho Notosusanto (15 July 1930 – 3 June 1985) was an Indonesian short story writer turned military historian who served as professor of history at the University of Indonesia. Born to a noble family in Cent ...
, (1992), ''Sejarah nasional Indonesia: Jaman kuna'', PT Balai Pustaka,
The Srivijayan government centralized the sourcing and trading of native and foreign goods in "warehouses" which streamlined the trade process by making a variety of products easily accessible in one area.


Riverine system model

Besides interregional trade agreements, the Srivijayan economy is also theorized to have adopted a "riverine system model", where dominance of a river-system and river-mouth centers guaranteed the kingdom's control of the flow of goods from the hinterland region of where the river flows upstream; as well as control on trade within the Straits of Malacca and international trade routes going through the strait. Srivijaya's victory on its dominance of river-mouth centers on the Sumatra, Malaya and western Java coasts ensured Palembang's control over the region. This was accomplished through its system of: 'oath of allegiances' to local elites; its efforts on redistributions of wealth; and alliances made with local ''datus'' (chieftains) rather than on direct coercion. Some historians believe that the Srivijayan core port may have initially been the Musi but then it moved to Jambi and nearby riverine centers in the 11th century. Internal competition among Malay groups of different river systems have been documented by Chinese dynastic records.


Items of trade and barter system

The port of Srivijaya served as an important entrepôt in which valuable commodities from the region and beyond are collected, traded and shipped.
Rice Rice is the seed of the Poaceae, grass species ''Oryza sativa'' (Asian rice) or less commonly ''Oryza glaberrima'' (African rice). The name wild rice is usually used for species of the genera ''Zizania (genus), Zizania'' and ''Porteresia'', bo ...
,
cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy Staple (textiles), staple fiber that grows in a wikt:boll, boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus ''Gossypium'' in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose ...
,
indigo Indigo is a deep color close to the Shades of blue#Blue (RGB) (X11 blue), color wheel blue (a primary color in the RGB color space), as well as to some variants of ultramarine, based on the indigo dye, ancient dye of the same name. The word " ...
and
silver Silver is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Ag (from the Latin ', derived from the Proto-Indo-European wikt:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h₂erǵ-, ''h₂erǵ'': "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47. A soft, whi ...
from Java;
aloe ''Aloe'' (; also written ''Aloë'') is a genus containing over 650 species of flowering plant, flowering succulent plant, succulent plants.WFO (2022): Aloe L. Published on the Internet;http://www.worldfloraonline.org/taxon/wfo-4000001341. Acc ...
s,
resin In polymer chemistry and materials science, resin is a solid or highly Viscosity, viscous substance of plant or synthetic origin that is typically convertible into polymers. Resins are usually mixtures of organic compounds. This article focus ...
,
camphor Camphor () is a waxy, colorless solid with a strong aroma. It is classified as a terpenoid and a cyclic ketone. It is found in the wood of the camphor laurel (''Cinnamomum camphora''), a large evergreen tree found in East Asia; and in the kap ...
,
ivory Ivory is a hard, white material from the tusks (traditionally from elephants) and teeth of animals, that consists mainly of dentine, one of the physical structures of teeth and tusks. The chemical structure of the teeth and tusks of mammals ...
and rhino's tusks,
tin Tin is a chemical element with the Chemical symbol, symbol Sn (from la, :la:Stannum, stannum) and atomic number 50. Tin is a silvery-coloured metal. Tin is soft enough to be cut with little force and a bar of tin can be bent by hand wit ...
and
gold Gold is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Au (from la, aurum) and atomic number 79. This makes it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. It is a Brightness, bright, slightly orange-yellow, dense, s ...
from Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula;
rattan Rattan, also spelled ratan, is the name for roughly 600 species of Old World climbing palms belonging to subfamily Calamoideae. The greatest diversity of rattan palm species and genera are in the closed-Canopy (biology), canopy Old-growth fo ...
, rare
timber Lumber is wood that has been processed into dimensional lumber, including Beam (structure), beams and plank (wood), planks or boards, a stage in the process of wood production. Lumber is mainly used for construction framing, as well as fini ...
, camphor, gems and precious stones from Borneo; exotic birds and rare animals,
iron Iron () is a chemical element with Symbol (chemistry), symbol Fe (from la, Wikt:ferrum, ferrum) and atomic number 26. It is a metal that belongs to the first transition series and group 8 element, group 8 of the periodic table. It is, Abundance ...
, sappan,
sandalwood Sandalwood is a class of woods from trees in the genus '' Santalum''. The woods are heavy, yellow, and fine-grained, and, unlike many other aromatic woods, they retain their fragrance for decades. Sandalwood oil is extracted from the woods fo ...
, and rare spices including
clove Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, ''Syzygium aromaticum'' (). They are native to the Maluku Islands (or Moluccas) in Indonesia, and are commonly used as a spice, flavoring or Aroma compound, fragrance in fina ...
and
nutmeg Nutmeg is the seed or ground spice of several species of the genus '' Myristica''. '' Myristica fragrans'' (fragrant nutmeg or true nutmeg) is a dark-leaved evergreen In botany, an evergreen is a plant which has Leaf, foliage that remains g ...
from the Eastern Indonesian archipelago; various spices of Southeast Asia and India including pepper,
cubeb ''Piper cubeba'', cubeb or tailed pepper is a plant in genus ''Piper (plant), Piper'', cultivated for its fruit and essential oil. It is mostly grown in Java (island), Java and Sumatra, hence sometimes called Java pepper. The fruits are gathere ...
and
cinnamon Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus ''Cinnamomum''. Cinnamon is used mainly as an aromatic condiment and flavouring additive in a wide variety of cuisines, sweet and savoury dishes, breakfast ...
; also Chinese
ceramics A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant materials made by shaping and then firing an inorganic, nonmetallic material, such as clay, at a high temperature. Common examples are earthenware, porcelain, ...
,
lacquerware Lacquerware are objects decoratively covered with lacquer. Lacquerware includes small or large containers, tableware, a variety of small objects carried by people, and larger objects such as furniture and even coffins painted with lacquer. Befor ...
,
brocade Brocade is a class of richly decorative shuttle (weaving), shuttle-woven fabrics, often made in colored silks and sometimes with gold and silver threads. The name, related to the same root as the word "broccoli", comes from Italian language, ...
, fabrics, silks, and Chinese artworks are among valuable commodities being traded in Srivijayan ports. What goods were actually native to Srivijaya is currently being disputed due to the volume of cargo that regularly passed through the region from India, China, and Arabia. Foreign traders stopped to trade their cargo in Srivijaya with other merchants from Southeast Asia and beyond. It was an easy location for traders from different regions to meet as opposed to visiting each other directly. This system of trade has led researchers to conjecture that the actual native products of Srivijaya were far less than what was originally recorded by Chinese and Arabic traders of the time. It may be that cargo sourced from foreign regions accumulated in Srivijaya. The accumulation of particular foreign goods that were easily accessible and in large supply might have given the impression they were products of Srivijaya. This could also work in the opposite direction with some native Srivijayan goods being mistaken as foreign commodities. Ceramics were a major trade commodity between Srivijaya and China with shard artifacts found along the coast of Sumatra and Java. It is assumed that China and Srivijaya may have had an exclusive ceramics trade relationship because particular ceramic shards can only be found at their point of origin, in Guangzhou, or in Indonesia, but nowhere else along the trade route. When trying to prove this theory, there have been some discrepancies with the dating of said artifacts. Ceramic sherds found around the Geding Suro temple complex have been revealed to be much more recent than previously assumed. A statuette found in the same area did align with Srivijayan chronology, but it has been suggested that this is merely a coincidence and the product was actually brought to the region recently. The currency of the empire was gold and silver coins embossed with the image of the sandalwood flower (of which Srivijaya had a trade monopoly on) and the word "vara," or "glory," in Sanskrit. Other items could be used to barter with, such as porcelain, silk, sugar, iron, rice, dried galangal, rhubarb, and camphor. Some Arabic records that the profits acquired from trade ports and levies were converted into gold and hidden by the King in the royal pond.


Trade relations with Arabia

Other than fostering the lucrative trade relations with India and China, Srivijaya also established commerce links with
Arabia The Arabian Peninsula, (; ar, شِبْهُ الْجَزِيرَةِ الْعَرَبِيَّة, , "Arabian Peninsula" or , , "Island of the Arabs") or Arabia, is a peninsula of Western Asia, situated northeast of Africa on the Arabian Plate. ...
. In a highly plausible account, a messenger was sent by Maharaja
Sri Indravarman Sri Indravarman was an 8th-century king of the Srivijaya, Srivijaya Kingdom who sent three emissaries to the Chinese Tang dynasty, first in 702 CE, second in 716 CE, and third in 724 CE. His name was recorded in the Chinese sources as ''Che-li-t'o-l ...
to deliver a letter to
Caliph A caliphate or khilāfah ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an institution or public office under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة , ), a person considered a political-religious successor to th ...
Umar ibn AbdulAziz of
Ummayad The Umayyad Caliphate (661–750 CE; , ; ar, ٱلْخِلَافَة ٱلْأُمَوِيَّة, al-Khilāfah al-ʾUmawīyah) was the second of the four major caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. The caliphate was ruled by the ...
in 718. The messenger later returned to Srivijaya with a ''Zanji'' (a black female slave from
Zanj Zanj ( ar, زَنْج, adj. , ''Zanjī''; fa, زنگی, Zangi) was a name used by medieval Geography in medieval Islam, Muslim geographers to refer to both a certain portion of Southeast Africa (primarily the Swahili Coast) and to its Bantu pe ...
), a gift from the Caliph to the Maharaja. Later, a Chinese chronicle made mention of ''Shih-li-t-'o-pa-mo'' (Sri Indravarman) and how the Maharaja of ''Shih-li-fo-shih'' had sent the Chinese Emperor a ''ts'engchi'' (Chinese spelling of the Arabic ''Zanji'') as a gift in 724. Arab writers of the 9th and 10th century, in their writings, considered the king of Al-Hind (India and to some extent might include Southeast Asia) as one of the four great kings in the world.India and Indonesia During the Ancien Regime: Essays by P. J. Marshall, Robert Van Niel: p.41Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World: Early Medieval India and the expansion Islam 7th–11th centuries by André Wink p. 226 The reference to the kings of Al-Hind might have also included the kings of Southeast Asia; Sumatra, Java, Burma and Cambodia. They are, invariably, depicted by the Arabs writers as extremely powerful and being equipped with vast armies of men, horses and having tens of thousands of elephants. They were also said to be in possession of vast treasures of gold and silver. Trading records from the 9th and 10th centuries mention Srivijaya, but do not expand upon regions further east, thus indicating that Arabic traders were not engaging with other regions in Southeast Asia, thus serving as further evidence of Srivijaya's important role as a link between the two regions.


Thalassocratic empire

For some periods, Srivijaya controlled the transoceanic trade in its central passage in the
Strait of Malacca The Strait of Malacca is a narrow stretch of water, 500 mi (800 km) long and from 40 to 155 mi (65–250 km) wide, between the Malay Peninsula (Peninsular Malaysia) to the northeast and the Indonesian island of Sumatra to the southwest, connec ...
, as part of the
Maritime Silk Road The Maritime Silk Road or Maritime Silk Route is the Maritime history, maritime section of the historic Silk Road that connected Southeast Asia, China, the Indian subcontinent, the Arabian peninsula, Somalia, Egypt and Europe. It began by the 2n ...
. This has led some historian to argue that the amorphous statehood of Srivijaya, which dominated a confederation of semi autonomous port cities in the Maritime Southeast Asia, was actually a
Thalassocracy A thalassocracy or thalattocracy sometimes also maritime empire, is a state with primarily maritime realms, an empire at sea, or a seaborne empire. Traditional thalassocracies seldom dominate interiors, even in their home territories. Examples ...
. However, the true nature of Srivijaya naval development and maritime hegemony is still a subject of studies and disagreements among historians. Srivijaya benefited from the lucrative maritime trade between China and India as well as trading in products such as Maluku
spice A spice is a seed, fruit In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants that is formed from the ovary after flowering. Fruits are the means by which flowering plants (also known as angiosperms) disseminate their s ...
s within the Malay Archipelago. Serving as Southeast Asia's main entrepôt and gaining trade patronage by the Chinese court, Srivijaya was constantly managing its trade networks and, yet, always wary of potential rival ports of its neighbouring kingdoms. A majority of the revenue from international trade was used to finance the military which was charged with the responsibility of protecting the ports. Some records even describe the use of iron chains to prevent pirate attacks. Srivijayan settlers may have colonized some parts of Madagascar. The migration to Madagascar was estimated to have taken place 1,200 years ago around 830.


7th to 11th centuries

Previously it was assumed that Sriwijaya was a maritime power that could not be separated from ethnicity and society in the Malacca Strait. The assumption that occurs is that the formation of a successful state and hegemony in the strait is directly related to the ability to participate in international maritime activities, which means that a littoral state like this develops and maintains its circle of power with the navy. However, a survey of the available information shows that such an assumption is incorrect. Data on maritime activity are scanty and mention of the navy occurs only in incomplete sources. Even the material aspects of Southeast Asian navies were not known until the 15th century, scientific attention generally focused on shipbuilding techniques. In the Kedukan Bukit inscription (683 AD), it is recorded that only 312 people used boats out of a total force of 20,000 people, which also included 1312 land soldiers. The large number of ground troops shows that the Sriwijaya navy only acts as a minor provider of logistical support. In the 8th century, Sriwijaya's naval capabilities grew to match the proportion of its army strength, although it only played a role as logistical support. Furthermore, the absence of any terms denoting maritime vessel for general use and military showed that the navy is not a permanent aspect of the state in the Malacca Strait. Even when the neighboring powers in maritime Asia, especially Java during the 10th to 14th centuries, and Chola India in the 11th century, began to develop their navies, Srivijaya's naval power was relatively weak. For example, ''Songshi'' and ''Wenxian'' ''Tongkao'' note that between 990 and 991, a Srivijayan envoy was unable to return from South China to Palembang because of the ongoing military conflict between Java and Srivijaya. However the Javanese, Arabs from the Middle East, and South Asia were able to maintain diplomatic and economic exchanges with China during this time. Obviously, the Javanese navy was strong enough to seriously disrupt Srivijaya's communications with China. Despite the naval confrontation between Java and Srivijaya, communication between the coastal governments of the Indian Ocean and China continued during this time, suggesting that the conflict did not always occur on the high seas, but was more likely to be confined to the estuaries and rivers around the Srivijayan capital of Palembang, the mouth of the Musi River and the Bangka Straits. Srivijaya's response to Javanese aggression appeared to be defensive. In his account of Srivijaya, Zhao Rugua records in ''Zhufanzhi'' (circa 1225):
In the past, his stateused an iron chain as a barrier to prepare against other robbing parties (arriving on vessels?). There were opportunities to release (i.e. draw) it by hand. If merchant ships arrive, it has to be released".
The inability of the Malacca Straits states to respond to maritime threats became very clear in the early 11th century. Between 1017 and 1025, the Cholas raided the main Malay ports in the Strait and the Gulf of Siam, including Kedah, Malay (Jambi), Lambri, Sriwijaya and Langkasuka, looted the Kedah treasury and captured Srivijayan rulers, a further indication of the incompetence of the Malacca Straits states to defend itself from naval attacks. Thus, until the 11th century, at least in terms of their military outlook, the kingdom was arguably land-based. Only with the changing international context from the eleventh century onwards, marked initially by the Chola attacks, and then with the increasing presence of Chinese merchants directly operating in Southeast Asian waters, coupled with the emergence of new powers on the seafront, did the role and nature of these navies begin to change.


12th to 13th centuries

After the Chola attack, there is no information about naval problems in the Malacca Strait until a very different story in ''Lingwai daida'' (1178), written by Zhou Qufei:
This country (Srivijaya) has no products, but its people are well trained in warfare. When they put medicine on their body, they can't be hurt. In offensive naval warfare, their attacks are unmatched. Therefore, neighboring countries are aligned with it. If foreign ships passing through the vicinity do not call in this state, esselsare sent to teach them a lesson and to kill. Therefore, the state is rich, with rhino horn, elephant usks(ivory), pearls, aromatics and medicines.
Similar information about Srivijaya is also recorded in ''Zhufanzhi'' (c. 1225), which records:
All are excellent in maritime and land warfare. At any time that a mobilisation order is established, chieftains re the ones whocommand he troops All of them prepare and equip hemselveswith soldiers, equipment, and food. Arriving at the enemy, they dare to die (i.e. are not afraid of dying). ence it is regarded asthe elder of the various states (i.e. first amongst equals)... This state is at the middle of the sea, controlling the choke-point through which the various foreign vessels come and go. In the past, tused an iron chain as a barrier... This year (i.e. presently), it is not taut (i.e. not extended) and not used, ying in apile in the water... If merchant ships cross he vicinityand do not enter .e. call at the port then ships are dispatched to do battle ith them They have to die (i.e. the persons onboard the merchant ships have to be killed). Hence, this state (Srivijaya) is a great shipping centre.
This information may refer to sea and river warfare in particular given the extensive navigation capabilities of the Musi and Batang Hari rivers where the main centers of Srivijaya (Palembang and Jambi) were located. These records show that both the nature of Srivijaya's navy, and the role it played in the survival of the government itself, in the late 12th and 13th centuries, became very different. At the same time, the 12th century saw the beginning of Srivijaya's decline in maritime Southeast Asia and in the eyes of its foreign partners.
Kedah Kedah (), also known by its honorific Darul Aman (Islam), Aman and historically as Queda, is a States and federal territories of Malaysia, state of Malaysia, located in the northwestern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The state covers a total area ...
fell outside the influence of Srivijaya during the 11th century. By the early 13th century, Pahang, Kuala Beranang and Kompei had established direct economic links with the Chinese port of
Quanzhou Quanzhou, postal map romanization, alternatively known as Chinchew, is a prefecture-level city, prefecture-level port city on the north bank of the Jin River, beside the Taiwan Strait in southern Fujian, China. It is Fujian's largest metrop ...
. Jambi became independent from Srivijaya's influence in the early 13th century, while Ligor fell under the influence of Tambralingga in the 1230s. After Singhasari attack on ''Malayu'' in 1275, a large number of Malay port-states emerged in the Strait, each seeking to engage directly with foreign traders, with varying degrees of success. Therefore, the development of an increasingly proactive naval strategy was not only a reaction to the changing nature of interactions with major trading partners such as China and India, but also as a result of Srivijaya's declining power.


Ship types

Textual record of Srivijayan vessels is very lacking, as
Old Malay Malay language, Malay was first used in the first millennia known as Old Malay, a part of the Austronesian languages, Austronesian language family. Over a period of two Millennium, millennia, Malay has undergone various stages of development that ...
texts rarely mentioned watercraft. Kedukan Bukit inscription (683 AD) mentioned ''samvau'' (modern Malay: ''
Sampan A sampan is a relatively flat-bottomed Chinese and Malay wooden boat A boat is a watercraft of a large range of types and sizes, but generally smaller than a ship, which is distinguished by its larger size, shape, cargo or passenger ...
''). A ship type called '' lancang'' is identified as a Malay type of ship in later records, but during the Srivijaya era, the ship was mentioned in 2 inscriptions on the northern coast of Bali dated 896 and 923 AD. These inscriptions are written in the Old Balinese language, and not in Old Malay.Manguin, Pierre-Yves (2012). Lancaran, Ghurab and Ghali: Mediterranean impact on war vessels in Early Modern Southeast Asia. In G. Wade & L. Tana (Eds.), ''Anthony Reid and the Study of the Southeast Asian Past'' (pp. 146–182). Singapore: ISEAS Publishing.


Culture and society

Srivijaya-Palembang's significance both as a center for trade and for the practice of Vajrayana Buddhism has been established by Arab and Chinese historical records over several centuries. Srivijaya' own historical documents, inscriptions in Old Malay, are limited to the second half of the 7th century. The inscriptions uncover the hierarchical leadership system, in which the king is served by many other high-status officials. A complex, stratified, cosmopolitan and prosperous society with refined tastes in art, literature and culture, with complex set of rituals, influenced by Mahayana Buddhist faith; blossomed in the ancient Srivijayan society. Their complex social order can be seen through studies on the inscriptions, foreign accounts, as well as rich portrayal in bas-reliefs of temples from this period. Their accomplished artistry was evidenced from a number of Srivijayan Art Mahayana Buddhist statues discovered in the region. The kingdom had developed a complex society; which characterised by heterogeneity of their society, inequality of social stratification, and the formation of national administrative institution in their kingdom. Some forms of metallurgy were used as jewelry, currency (coins), as status symbols—for decorative purposes.


Art and culture

Trade allowed the spread of art to proliferate. Some art was heavily influenced by Buddhism, further spreading religion and ideologies through the trade of art. The
Buddhist art Buddhist art is visual art produced in the context of Buddhism. It includes Buddha in art, depictions of Gautama Buddha and other Buddhas and bodhisattvas in art, Buddhas and bodhisattvas, notable Buddhist figures both historical and mythical, na ...
and architecture of Srivijaya was influenced by the Indian art of the
Gupta Empire The Gupta Empire was an Outline of ancient India, ancient Indian empire which existed from the early 4th century CE to late 6th century CE. At its zenith, from approximately 319 to 467 CE, it covered much of the Indian subcontinent. This period ...
and
Pala Empire The Pāla Empire (r. 750-1161 CE) was an imperial power during the Post-classical history, post-classical period in the Indian subcontinent, which originated in the region of Bengal. It is named after its ruling dynasty, whose rulers bore name ...
. This is evident in the Indian Amaravati style Buddha statue located in Palembang. This statue, dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries, exists as proof of the spread of art, culture, and ideology through the medium of trade. 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 described Buddhist rituals and blessings at the auspicious event of establishing public park. This inscription allowed historians to understand the practices being held at the time, as well as their importance to the function of Srivijayan society. Talang Tuwo serves as one of the world's oldest inscriptions that talks about the environment, highlighting the centrality of nature in Buddhist religion and further, Srivijayan society. The
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 the village of the same name which is the location where this arch ...
mentions Srivijaya military dominance against Java. These inscriptions were in the
Old Malay Malay language, Malay was first used in the first millennia known as Old Malay, a part of the Austronesian languages, Austronesian language family. Over a period of two Millennium, millennia, Malay has undergone various stages of development that ...
language, the language used by Srivijaya and also the ancestor of
Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language Malay (; ms, Bahasa Melayu, links=no, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: , Rejang script, Rencong: ) is an Austronesian languages, Austronesian language that is an official language of Brunei, Indo ...
and
Indonesian language Indonesian ( ) is the official and national language of Indonesia. It is a standardized variety of Malay, an Austronesian language that has been used as a lingua franca in the multilingual Indonesian archipelago for centuries. Indonesia ...
. Since the 7th century, the Old Malay language has been used in Nusantara (Malay for "Malay Archipelago"), marked by these Srivijayan inscriptions and other inscriptions using old Malay language in the coastal areas of the archipelago, such as those discovered in Java. The trade contact carried by the traders at the time was the main vehicle to spread Malay language, since it was the language used amongst the traders. By then, Malay language become ''
lingua franca A lingua franca (; ; for plurals see ), also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a Natural language, language systematically used to make communication possib ...
'' 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 The Shailendra dynasty (, derived from Sanskrit combined words ''Śaila'' and ''Indra'', meaning "King of the Mountain", also spelled Sailendra, Syailendra or Selendra) was the name of a notable Indianized kingdom, Indianised dynasty that eme ...
s that produced numerous monuments; such as the
Kalasan Kalasan ( id, Candi Kalasan, Javanese language, Javanese: ''Candhi Kalasan''), also known as Candi Kalibening, is an 8th-century Buddhist temple in Java, Indonesia. It is located east of Yogyakarta (city), Yogyakarta on the way to Prambanan temp ...
,
Sewu Sewu ( jv, ꦱꦺꦮꦸ, Sèwu) is an eighth century Mahayana ''Mahāyāna'' (; "Great Vehicle") is a term for a broad group of Buddhism, Buddhist traditions, Buddhist texts#Mahāyāna texts, texts, Buddhist philosophy, philosophies, and pr ...
and
Borobudur Borobudur, also transcribed Barabudur ( id, Candi Borobudur, jv, ꦕꦤ꧀ꦝꦶꦧꦫꦧꦸꦝꦸꦂ, Candhi Barabudhur) is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Magelang Regency, not far from the town of Muntilan, in Central Java, Indo ...
''mandala''. The Buddhist temples dated from Srivijayan era in Sumatra are Muaro Jambi,
Muara Takus Muara Takus ( id, Candi Muara Takus) is a Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha Siddhartha Gaut ...
and Biaro Bahal. Some Buddhist sculptures, such as Buddha
Vairocana Vairocana (also Mahāvairocana, sa, वैरोचन) is a cosmic Buddhahood, buddha from Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. Vairocana is often interpreted, in texts like the ''Avatamsaka Sutra'', as the dharmakāya of the historical Gautama Budd ...
, Boddhisattva Avalokiteshvara and
Maitreya Maitreya (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor ...
, were discovered in numerous sites in Sumatra and Malay Peninsula. These archaeological findings such as stone statue of Buddha discovered in Bukit Seguntang, Palembang, Avalokiteshvara from Bingin Jungut in Musi Rawas, bronze Maitreya statue of Komering, all discovered in South Sumatra. In Jambi, golden statue of Avalokiteshvara were discovered in Rataukapastuo, Muarabulian. In Malay Peninsula the bronze statue of Avalokiteshvara of Bidor discovered in
Perak Perak () is a States and federal territories of Malaysia, state of Malaysia on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. Perak has land borders with the Malaysian states of Kedah to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the e ...
Malaysia, and Avalokiteshvara of Chaiya in Southern Thailand. The difference in material, yet overarching theme of Buddhism found across the region supports the spread of Buddhism through trade. Although each country put their own spin on an idea, it is evident how trade played a huge role in spreading ideas throughout Southeast Asia, especially in Srivijaya. The commonality of Srivijayan art exists in Southeast Asian sites, proving their influence on art and architecture across the region. Without trade, Srivijayan art could not have proliferated, and cross-cultural exchanges of language and style could not have been achieved. After the bronze and Iron Age, an influx of bronze tools and jewelry spread throughout the region. The different styles of bangles and beads represent the different regions of origin and their own specific materials and techniques used. Chinese artworks were one of the main items traded in the region, spreading art styles enveloped in ceramics, pottery, fabrics, silk, and artworks.


Religion

Remnants of Buddhist shrines (stupas) near Palembang and in neighboring areas aid researchers in their understanding of the Buddhism within this society. Srivijaya and its kings were instrumental in the spread of
Buddhism Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religions, Indian religion or Indian philosophy#Buddhist philosophy, philosophical tradition based on Pre-sectarian Buddhism, teachings attributed to the Buddha. ...
as they established it in places they conquered like
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
, Malaya, and other lands.Jerry Bentley, ''Old World Encounters: Cross Cultural Contacts and Exchange in Pre-Modern Times'' (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993), 72. People making pilgrimages were encouraged to spend time with the monks in the capital city of
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
on their journey to
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
. Other than Palembang, in Srivijayan realm of Sumatra, three archaeological sites are notable for their Buddhist temple density. They are Muaro Jambi by the bank of
Batang Hari River The Batang Hari ( Indonesian: ''Sungai Batanghari'') is the longest river in Jambi Jambi is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Ro ...
in Jambi province;
Muara Takus Muara Takus ( id, Candi Muara Takus) is a Buddhist Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on teachings attributed to the Buddha Siddhartha Gaut ...
stupas in Kampar River valley of Riau province; and Biaro Bahal temple compound in Barumun and Pannai river valleys, North Sumatra province. It is highly possible that these Buddhist sites served as ''
sangha Sangha is a Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its prede ...
'' community; the monastic Buddhist learning centers of the region, which attracts students and scholars from all over Asia. In the 5th century AD, the Chinese monk
Faxian Faxian (法顯 ; 337 CE – c. 422 CE), also referred to as Fa-Hien, Fa-hsien and Sehi, was a Chinese Buddhist monk and translator who traveled by foot from China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in ...
visited the region. 250 years later, the monk
Yijing The ''I Ching'' or ''Yi Jing'' (, ), usually translated ''Book of Changes'' or ''Classic of Changes'', is an ancient Chinese divination text that is among the oldest of the Chinese classics. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou ...
stayed in Srivijaya for six months and studied Sanskrit. According to Yijing, within Palembang there were more than 1000 monks studying for themselves and training traveling scholars who were going from India to China and vice versa. These travelers were primarily situated in Palembang for long periods of time due to waiting for Monsoon winds to help further their journey. A stronghold of
Vajrayana Vajrayāna ( sa, वज्रयान, "thunderbolt vehicle", "diamond vehicle", or "indestructible vehicle"), along with Mantrayāna, Guhyamantrayāna, Tantrayāna, Secret Mantra, Tantric Buddhism, and Esoteric Buddhism, are names referring t ...
Buddhism Buddhism ( , ), also known as Buddha Dharma and Dharmavinaya (), is an Indian religions, Indian religion or Indian philosophy#Buddhist philosophy, philosophical tradition based on Pre-sectarian Buddhism, teachings attributed to the Buddha. ...
, Srivijaya attracted pilgrims and scholars from other parts of Asia. These included the Chinese monk Yijing, 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 ( ; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region in South Asia South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most not ...
i Buddhist scholar Atisha, who played a major role in the development of Vajrayana Buddhism in
Tibet Tibet (; ''Böd''; ) is a region in East Asia, covering much of the Tibetan Plateau and spanning about . It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people. Also resident on the plateau are some other ethnic groups such as Monpa people, ...
. Yijing and other monks of his time practiced a pure version of Buddhism although the religion allowed for cultural changes to be made. He is also given credit for translating Buddhist text which has the most instructions on the discipline of the religion. 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 coins were in use in the coastal areas but not inland. Srivijaya drew in priests from as far away as Korea. A notable Srivijayan and revered Buddhist scholar is
Dharmakirti Dharmakīrti (fl. c. 6th or 7th century; Classical Tibetan, Tibetan: ཆོས་ཀྱི་གྲགས་པ་; Wylie transliteration, Wylie: ''chos kyi grags pa''), was an influential Indian Buddhism, Buddhist philosopher who worked at ...
who taught Buddhist philosophy in Srivijaya and Nalanda. The language diction of many inscriptions found near where Srivijaya once reigned incorporated Indian Tantric conceptions. This evidence makes it clear the relationship of the ruler and the concept of bodhisattva—one who was to become a Buddha. This is the first evidence seen in the archaeological record of a Southeast Asian ruler (or king) regarded as a religious leader/figure. One thing researchers have found Srivijaya to be lacking is an emphasis in art and architecture. While neighboring regions have evidence of intricate architecture, such as the Borobudur temple built in 750–850 AD under the Sailendra Dynasty, Palembang lacks Buddhist stupas or sculpture. Though this does not accurately reflect Buddhist influence. Next to Buddhism,
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religions, Indian religion or ''dharma'', a religious and universal order or way of life by which followers abide. As a religion, it is the Major religious groups, world's third-largest, with over 1.2–1.35 billion ...
was also practiced by the population of Srivijayan kingdom. This is based on the discovery of Bumiayu temple ruin, a
red brick A brick is a type of block used to build walls, pavements and other elements in masonry construction. Properly, the term ''brick'' denotes a block composed of dried clay, but is now also used informally to denote other chemically cured cons ...
Shivaist Hindu temple compound built and used between the 8th to 13th century CE. The Bumiayu temple site is located by the banks of Lematang River, a tributary of Musi River. This temple compound was probably built by a ''
Kedatuan ''Kedatuan'' (ancient or Sundanese language, Sundanese spelling: ''kadatuan''; Javanese language, Javanese romanization: ''kedaton'') were historical semi-independent city-states or Principality, principalities throughout ancient Maritime Southea ...
'' (settlement or principality) that belongs within Srivijayan mandala (sphere of influence). The fact that Hindu temple was discovered within the area of Srivijayan Buddhist empire suggests that the kingdom's population adheres to both Hinduism and Buddhism that coexist quite harmoniously. According to the styles of Shiva and Agastya statues found in Bumiayu temple 1, those Hindu statues are dated from around the 9th to 10th-century. By the 12th to 13th-century it seems that the faith in Bumiayu was shifted from Hinduism to Tantric Buddhism.


Relations with regional powers

Although historical records and archaeological evidence are scarce, it appears that by the 7th century, Srivijaya had established suzerainty over large areas of Sumatra, western Java and much of the Malay Peninsula. Initially, Srivijaya's amorphous statehood dominated a
confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in ...
of semi autonomous port cities in the region, through nurturing alliances and gaining fealty among these
polities A polity is an identifiable Politics, political entity – a group of people with a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized social relation, social relations, and have a capacity to mobilize ...
. Regarding its status as the central port of the region, it seems that Srivijaya has a unique "ritual policy" in its relations with the dominant powers of South Asia, Southeast Asia, but mainly with China. The oldest accounts of the empire come from Arabic and Chinese traders who noted in their travel logs of the importance of the empire in regional trade. Its location was instrumental in developing itself as a major connecting port between China and the Middle East to Southeast Asia. Control of the
Malacca Malacca ( ms, Melaka) is a state in Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federation, federal constitutional monarchy consists of States and federal territories of Malaysia, thirteen states and three federal terr ...
and
Sunda Strait The Sunda Strait ( id, Selat Sunda) is the strait between the Indonesian islands of Java island, Java and Sumatra. It connects the Java Sea with the Indian Ocean. Etymology The strait takes its name from the Sunda Kingdom, which ruled the weste ...
s meant it controlled both the spice route traffic as well as 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. Instead of traveling the entire distance from the Middle East to China, which would have taken about a year with the assistance of monsoon winds, it was easier to stop somewhere in the middle, Srivijaya. It took about half a year from either direction to reach Srivijaya which was a far more effective and efficient use of manpower and resources. A round trip from one end to Srivijaya and back would take the same amount of time to go the entire distance one way. This theory has been supported by evidence found in two local shipwrecks. One off the coast of Belitung, an island east of Sumatra, and another near Cirebon, a coastal city on the nearby island of Java. Both ships carried a variety of foreign cargo and, in the case of the Belitung wreck, had foreign origins. The
Melayu Kingdom The Melayu Kingdom (also known as Malayu, Dharmasraya Kingdom or the Jambi Kingdom; , wikt:Appendix:Baxter-Sagart Old Chinese reconstruction, reconstructed Middle Chinese pronunciation ''mat-la-yu kwok'')Muljana, Slamet , (2006), ''Sriwijaya'', ...
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 through the 9th centuries. The Melayu Kingdom's gold mines up in the
Batang Hari River The Batang Hari ( Indonesian: ''Sungai Batanghari'') is the longest river in Jambi Jambi is a province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or sovereign state, state. The term derives from the ancient Ro ...
hinterland were a crucial economic resource and may be the origin of the word
Suvarnadvipa ( sa, सुवर्णभूमि; Pali: '); my, သုဝဏ္ဏဘူမိ, ; km, សុវណ្ណភូមិ, ''Sovannaphoum''; and th, สุวรรณภูมิ, . is a toponym, that appears in many ancient Indian literary s ...
, the Sanskrit name for Sumatra. Srivijaya helped spread the Malay culture throughout Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, and western
Borneo Borneo (; id, Kalimantan) is the List of islands by area, third-largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java Isl ...
. Its influence waned in the 11th century. According to '' Sung-shih'', a
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou. ...
chronicle, Srivijaya sent their envoys for the last time in 1178. Then in 1225 Chau Ju-kua mentioned that Palembang (Srivijaya) was a vassal kingdom that belonged to '' Sanfotsi''. This means that between 1178 and 1225 the Srivijaya kingdom centered in Palembang was defeated by the Malayu kingdom centered in Jambi. Thus, the seat of the empire moved to Muaro Jambi in the last centuries of the kingdom existence. Srivijaya was then in frequent conflict with, and ultimately subjugated by, the
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
nese kingdoms of
Singhasari Singhasari ( jv, ꦏꦫꦠꦺꦴꦤ꧀ꦱꦶꦔ꧀ꦲꦱꦫꦶ, translit=Karaton Singhasari or , id, Kerajaan Singasari) was a Javanese Hindu kingdom located in east Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater ...
and, later,
Majapahit Majapahit ( jv, ꦩꦗꦥꦲꦶꦠ꧀; ), also known as Wilwatikta ( jv, ꦮꦶꦭ꧀ꦮꦠꦶꦏ꧀ꦠ; ), was a Javanese people, Javanese Hinduism, Hindu-Buddhism, Buddhist thalassocracy, thalassocratic empire in Southeast Asia that was ba ...
. This was not the first time the Srivijayans had a conflict with the Javanese. According to historian Paul Michel Munoz, the Javanese
Sanjaya dynasty The Sanjaya dynasty () was an ancient Javanese people, Javanese dynasty that ruled the Kingdom of Mataram, Mataram kingdom in Java during the first millennium CE. The dynasty was an active promoter of Hinduism in ancient Java. Origin and forma ...
was a strong rival of Srivijaya in the 8th century when the Srivijayan capital was located in
Java Java (; id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 151.6 million people, Java is the world's List ...
. The Khmer Empire might also have been a
tributary state A tributary state is a term for a pre-modern state (polity), state in a particular type of subordinate relationship to a more powerful state which involved the sending of a regular token of submission, or tribute, to the superior power (the suz ...
in its early stages. The Khmer king,
Jayavarman II Jayavarman II ( km, ជ័យវរ្ម័នទី២; c. 770 – 850) (reigned c. 802–850) was a Khmer people, Khmer prince who founded and became the ruler of the Khmer Empire (Cambodia) after unifying the Khmer civilization. The Khmer Emp ...
, was mentioned to have spent years in the court of Sailendra in Java before returning to Cambodia to rule around 790. Influenced by the Javanese culture of the Sailendran-Srivijayan ''mandala'' (and likely eager to emulate the Javanese model in his court), he proclaimed Cambodian independence from Java and ruled as
devaraja "Devarāja" was the religious order of the "god-king," or deified monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 2001. p. 707. Life tenure, for life or until abdication, and theref ...
, establishing Khmer empire and starting the
Angkor Angkor ( km, អង្គរ , 'Capital city'), also known as Yasodharapura ( km, យសោធរបុរៈ; sa, यशोधरपुर),Headly, Robert K.; Chhor, Kylin; Lim, Lam Kheng; Kheang, Lim Hak; Chun, Chen. 1977. ''Cambodian-Engli ...
era. Some historians claim that Chaiya in Surat Thani Province 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. Srivijaya also maintained close relations with the
Pala Empire The Pāla Empire (r. 750-1161 CE) was an imperial power during the Post-classical history, post-classical period in the Indian subcontinent, which originated in the region of Bengal. It is named after its ruling dynasty, whose rulers bore name ...
in
Bengal Bengal ( ; bn, বাংলা/বঙ্গ, translit=Bānglā/Bôngô, ) is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region in South Asia South Asia is the southern subregion of Asia Asia (, ) is one of the world's most not ...
. The
Nalanda inscription The Nalanda Copper-plate of Devapaladeva is an ancient Buddhist inscription located in Nalanda, within the present day Bihar state of Northeastern India. It has been dated to 860 CE. The inscription talks about king Devapaladeva of Pala Empire, B ...
, dated 860, records that Maharaja Balaputra dedicated a monastery at the Nalanda university in the Pala territory. The relation between Srivijaya and the
Chola dynasty The Chola dynasty was a Tamils, Tamil thalassocratic Tamil Dynasties, empire of southern India and one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the history of the world. The earliest datable references to the Chola are from inscriptions dated ...
of southern India was initially friendly during the reign of
Raja Raja Chola I Rajaraja I (947 CE – 1014 CE), born Arunmozhi Varman or Arulmozhi Varman and often described as Raja Raja the Great or Raja Raja Chozhan was a Chola dynasty, Chola emperor who reigned from 985 CE to 1014 CE. He was the most powerful Tamil ...
. In 1006, a Srivijayan Maharaja from the Sailendra dynasty, king Maravijayattungavarman, constructed the Chudamani Vihara in the port town of
Nagapattinam Nagapattinam (''nākappaṭṭinam'', previously spelt Nagapatnam or Negapatam) is a town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the administrative headquarters of Nagapattinam District Nagapattinam district is one of the 38 districts (a co ...
.
Sastri Sastri is a surname. Notable people with the surname include: * A. Seshayya Sastri (1828–1903), Indian administrator, Diwan of Travancore 1872–1877 and Diwan of Pudukkottai 1878–1894 * Bapudeva Sastri (1821–1900), Indian scholar in Sanskrit ...
, pp 219–220
However, during the reign of
Rajendra Chola I Rajendra Chola I (; Middle Tamil: Rājēntira Cōḻaṉ; Classical Sanskrit: Rājēndradēva Cōla; Old Malay: ''Raja Suran''; c. 971 CE – 1044 CE), often referred to as Rajendra the Great, and also known as Gangaikonda Chola (Middle Tamil ...
the relationship deteriorated as the Chola Dynasty started to attack Srivijayan cities. The reason for this sudden change in the relationship with the Chola kingdom is not really known. However, as some historians suggest, it would seem that the Khmer king, Suryavarman I of the Khmer Empire, had requested aid from Emperor
Rajendra Chola I Rajendra Chola I (; Middle Tamil: Rājēntira Cōḻaṉ; Classical Sanskrit: Rājēndradēva Cōla; Old Malay: ''Raja Suran''; c. 971 CE – 1044 CE), often referred to as Rajendra the Great, and also known as Gangaikonda Chola (Middle Tamil ...
of the
Chola dynasty The Chola dynasty was a Tamils, Tamil thalassocratic Tamil Dynasties, empire of southern India and one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the history of the world. The earliest datable references to the Chola are from inscriptions dated ...
against Tambralinga.Kenneth R. Hall (October 1975), "Khmer Commercial Development and Foreign Contacts under Sūryavarman I", Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 18 (3), pp. 318-336, Brill Publishers After learning of Suryavarman's alliance with Rajendra Chola, the Tambralinga kingdom requested aid from the Srivijaya king, Sangrama Vijayatungavarman. R. C. Majumdar (1961), "The Overseas Expeditions of King Rājendra Cola", Artibus Asiae 24 (3/4), pp. 338-342, Artibus Asiae Publishers This eventually led to the Chola Empire coming into conflict with the Srivijaya Empire. The conflict ended with a victory for the Chola and heavy losses for Srivijaya and the capture of Sangramavijayottungavarman in the Chola raid in 1025. During the reign of
Kulothunga Chola I Kulottunga I (;1025 CE - 1122 CE) also spelt Kulothunga (), was a Chola Emperor who reigned from 1070 CE to 1122 CE succeeding his cousin Athirajendra Chola. He also served as the Eastern Chalukyas, Eastern Chalukya king from 1061 CE to 1118 C ...
, Srivijaya had sent an embassy to the Chola Dynasty.Buddhism, Diplomacy, and Trade: The Realignment of Sino-Indian Relations by Tansen Sen p.226


Legacy

Although Srivijaya left few archaeological remains and was almost forgotten in the collective memory in Maritime Southeast Asia, the rediscovery of this ancient maritime empire by Cœdès in the 1920s raised the notion that it was possible for a widespread political entity to have thrived in Southeast Asia in the past. Modern Indonesian historians have invoked Srivijaya not merely as a glorification of the past, but as a frame of reference and example of how ancient globalisation, foreign relations and maritime trade, has shaped Asian civilisation. The most important legacy of Srivijayan empire was probably its language. Unlike some inscriptions of Srivijayan contemporaries —
Tarumanagara Tarumanagara or Taruma Kingdom or just Taruma is an early Sundanese people, Sundanese Greater India#Indianised kingdoms, Indianised kingdom, located in western Java, whose 5th-century ruler, Purnawarman, produced the earliest known inscript ...
and other Javanese polities that uses Sanskrit — Srivijayan inscriptions was written in
Old Malay Malay language, Malay was first used in the first millennia known as Old Malay, a part of the Austronesian languages, Austronesian language family. Over a period of two Millennium, millennia, Malay has undergone various stages of development that ...
. This has promoted the status of local languages vis-a-vis to Sanskrit; as the language of elite, employed in royal and religious edicts.
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor languages had Trans-cul ...
was only known by a limited circle;
brahmin Brahmin (; sa, ब्राह्मण, brāhmaṇa) is a Varna (Hinduism), varna as well as a caste within Hindu society. The Brahmins are designated as the priestly class as they serve as Hindu priest, priests (purohit, pandit, or pujari) ...
(priests) and kavi (poets), while Old Malay was a common language in Srivijayan realm. This linguistic policy was probably stemmed from the rather egalitarian nature of Mahayana Buddhist adhered in Srivijaya, in contrast to the elitist nature of Hinduism. Unlike Hinduism, Mahayana Buddhism did not emphasize the
caste system Caste is a form of social stratification characterised by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural ...
that limiting the use and knowledge of liturgical language only to Brahmin caste. For centuries, Srivijaya, through its expansion, economic power and military prowess, was responsible for the widespread of Old Malay throughout the Malay Archipelago. It was the working language of traders and it was used in various ports, and marketplaces in the region. The language of Srivijayan had probably paved the way for the prominence of the present-day
Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language Malay (; ms, Bahasa Melayu, links=no, Jawi alphabet, Jawi: , Rejang script, Rencong: ) is an Austronesian languages, Austronesian language that is an official language of Brunei, Indo ...
and
Indonesian language Indonesian ( ) is the official and national language of Indonesia. It is a standardized variety of Malay, an Austronesian language that has been used as a lingua franca in the multilingual Indonesian archipelago for centuries. Indonesia ...
, now the official language of Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore and the unifying language of modern Indonesia. Today, in Indonesian artistic tradition,
songket ''Songket'' is a ''Tenun'' fabric that belongs to the brocade family of textiles of Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. It is weaving, hand-woven in silk or cotton, and intricately patterned with gold or silver Goldwork (embroidery), ...
weaving art is strongly associated with
Palembang Palembang () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
, and to certain extent also including West Sumatra and Jambi. This has motivated Indonesian historian to trace the origin of songket and its possible link to Srivijaya. Based on an archaeological study on the Bumiayu temple complex in Penukal Abab Lematang Ilir Regency, South Sumatra, it can be seen that songket has been known by the people of South Sumatra since the 9th century CE. A textile motif known today in Palembang songket as ''lepus'' can be seen on the vest worn by Figure 1 statue at the Bumiayu temple complex, which suggests a remarkable continuity of that motif that has been around since the 9th century. This archaeological study has enforced the notions that songket gold threads weaving tradition is a heritage of Srivijaya empire. Modern
Indonesia Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia, is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans. It consists of over List of islands of Indonesia, 17,000 islands, including Sumatr ...
n nationalists have also invoked the name of Srivijaya, along with
Majapahit Majapahit ( jv, ꦩꦗꦥꦲꦶꦠ꧀; ), also known as Wilwatikta ( jv, ꦮꦶꦭ꧀ꦮꦠꦶꦏ꧀ꦠ; ), was a Javanese people, Javanese Hinduism, Hindu-Buddhism, Buddhist thalassocracy, thalassocratic empire in Southeast Asia that was ba ...
, 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 () is the capital city of the Provinces of Indonesia, Indonesian province of South Sumatra. The city proper covers on both banks of the Musi River (Indonesia), Musi River on the eastern lowland of southern Sumatra. It had a populat ...
,
South Sumatra South Sumatra ( id, Sumatra Selatan) is a Provinces of Indonesia, province of Indonesia. It is located on the southeast of the island of Sumatra, The province spans and had a population of 8,467,432 at the 2020 Census. The capital of the provinc ...
province as a whole. For the people of Palembang, Srivijaya has also become a source of artistic inspiration for Gending Sriwijaya song and traditional dance. In Indonesia, Srivijaya is a street name in many cities and has become synonymous with Palembang and South Sumatra. Srivijaya University, established in 1960 in Palembang, was named after Srivijaya. Kodam Sriwijaya (a military commando area unit), PT Pupuk Sriwijaya (a fertiliser company), Sriwijaya Post (a Palembang-based newspaper),
Sriwijaya Air Sriwijaya Air is an Indonesian airline with its headquarters and base located at Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten. History In 2003, Sriwijaya Air was founded by Chandra Lie, Hendry Lie, Andi Halim, and Fandy Lingga, ...
(an airline), Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium, and Sriwijaya F.C. (Palembang football club) were also all named to honour this ancient maritime empire. On 11 November 2011, during the opening ceremony of
2011 Southeast Asian Games The 2011 Southeast Asian Games, ( id, Pesta Olahraga Asia Tenggara 2011) officially known as the 26th Southeast Asian Games, or the 26th SEA Games, and commonly known as Jakarta-Palembang 2011, was a Southeast Asian multi-sport event held from ...
in Gelora Sriwijaya Stadium, Palembang, a colossal dance performance titled "Srivijaya the Golden Peninsula" was performed featuring Palembang traditional dances and also an actual sized replica of an ancient ship to describe the glory of the maritime empire. In popular culture, Srivijaya has become the sources on inspiration for numbers of fictional feature films, novels and comic books. The 2013 film ''Gending Sriwijaya'' for example, took place three centuries after the fall of Srivijaya, telling the story about the court intrigue amidst the effort to revive the fallen empire.


List of kings

Source:


Notes


References


Further reading

* 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. * Stuart-Fox, Martin. ''A Short History of China and Southeast Asia: Tribute, Trade, and Influence''. London: Allen and Unwin, 2003. * Triastanti, Ani. ''Perdagangan Internasional pada Masa Jawa Kuno; Tinjauan Terhadap Data Tertulis Abad X-XII''. Essay of Faculty of Cultural Studies. Gadjah Mada University of Yogyakarta, 2007.


External links


Britannica Encyclopedia: Srivijaya empire

Articles about Srivijaya Kingdom in Southeast Asian Archaeology.com


* ttps://web.archive.org/web/20180208182847/http://melayuonline.com/eng/history/dig/330 Melayu online: Çriwijaya Kingdom
Candi Muaro Jambi


* ttps://web.archive.org/web/20110502044359/http://www.nationalmuseums.finearts.go.th/thaimuseum_eng/chaiya/main.htm Chaiya National Museum {{Empires Hinduism in the Philippines 1377 disestablishments in Indonesia Shailendra dynasty Former empires in Asia Pre-Muslim kingdoms in Malaysian history Former countries in Philippine history 650s establishments in Indonesia Former countries in Indonesian history Former countries in Malaysian history Former countries in Thai history Hindu Buddhist states in Indonesia Island countries Indianized kingdoms States and territories established the 650s States and territories disestablished in 1377