50 Facts About Srivijaya


Srivijaya was a Buddhist thalassocratic empire based on the island of Sumatra, which influenced much of Southeast Asia.

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Srivijaya was an important centre for the expansion of Buddhism from the 7th to the 12th century AD.

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Srivijaya was the first unified kingdom to dominate much of Maritime Southeast Asia.

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Srivijaya had religious, cultural and trade links with the Buddhist Pala of Bengal, as well as with the Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East.

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The naval strategy of Srivijaya was mainly punitive; this was done to coerce trading ships to be called to their port.

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Srivijaya became a symbol of early Sumatran importance as a great empire to balance Java's Majapahit in the east.

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The Palembang theory as the place where Srivijaya was first established was presented by Cœdes and supported by Pierre-Yves Manguin.

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Soekmono, on the other hand, argues that Palembang was not the capital of Srivijaya and suggests that the Kampar River system in Riau where the Muara Takus temple is located as Minanga Tamwan.

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Srivijaya concluded, from his earlier publications in 1974 that state development in this region developed much differently than the rest of early Southeast Asia.

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Some scholar argues that the centre of Srivijaya was located in Muaro Jambi, and not Palembang as many previous writers suggested.

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In 2013, archaeological research led by the University of Indonesia 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, rather than on the originally-proposed Musi River.

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The Kedukan Bukit inscription, 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.

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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 Datus .

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Srivijaya recognised that the submission of Melayu would increase its own prestige.

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The ruling lineage of Srivijaya then intermarried with the Sailendras of Central Java.

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Ligor inscription in Vat Sema Muang says that Maharaja Dharmasetu of Srivijaya ordered the construction of three sanctuaries dedicated to the Bodhisattvas Padmapani, Vajrapani, and Buddha in the northern Malay Peninsula.

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Srivijaya appointed the Khmer Prince Jayavarman II as governor of Indrapura in the Mekong delta under Sailendran rule.

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Srivijaya was mentioned as his other name Rakai Warak in Mantyasih inscription.

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Srivijaya personally oversaw the construction of the grand monument of Borobudur; a massive stone mandala, which was completed in 825, during his reign.

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Srivijaya's successor was Princess Pramodhawardhani who was betrothed to Shivaite Rakai Pikatan, son of the influential Rakai Patapan, a landlord in Central Java.

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Balaputra the Maharaja of Srivijaya later stated his claim as the rightful heir of the Sailendra dynasty from Java, as proclaimed in the Nalanda inscription dated 860.

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In 1006, Srivijaya's alliance proved its resilience by successfully repelling the Javanese invasion.

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In retaliation, Srivijaya assisted Haji Wurawari of Lwaram to revolt, which led to the attack and destruction of the Mataram palace.

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Contributary factors in the decline of Srivijaya were foreign piracy and raids that disrupted trade and security in the region.

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Srivijaya's navy sailed swiftly to Sumatra using monsoon winds, made a stealth attack and raided Srivijaya's 14 ports.

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Rajendra Chola's overseas expeditions against Srivijaya were unique in India's history and its otherwise peaceful relations with the states of Southeast Asia.

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That would suggest that the centre of Srivijaya frequently shifted between the two major cities during that period.

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Additionally, Zhao Rugua said that Srivijaya "was still a great power at the beginning of the thirteenth century" with 15 colonies: Pong-fong, Tong-ya-nong, Ling-ya-si-kia, Kilan-tan, Fo-lo-an, Ji-lo-t'ing, Ts'ien-mai, Pa-t'a, Tan-ma-ling, Kia-lo-hi, Pa-lin-fong, Sin-t'o, Lan-wu-li, Kien-pi and Si-lan .

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Srivijaya remained a formidable sea power until the 13th century.

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Srivijaya was recognised as ruler over Temasek by an envoy of the Chinese Emperor sometime around 1366.

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Srivijaya was succeeded by his son Paduka Sri Pekerma Wira Diraja and grandson, Paduka Seri Rana Wira Kerma .

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Srivijaya later headed north and founded the Sultanate of Malacca in 1402.

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Port of Srivijaya served as an important entrepot in which valuable commodities from the region and beyond are collected, traded and shipped.

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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.

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Some periods, Srivijaya controlled the transoceanic trade in its central passage in the Strait of Malacca, as part of the Maritime Silk Road.

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Srivijaya benefited from the lucrative maritime trade between China and India as well as trading in products such as Maluku spices within the Malay Archipelago.

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The Buddhist art and architecture of Srivijaya was influenced by the Indian art of the Gupta Empire and Pala Empire.

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Stronghold of Vajrayana Buddhism, Srivijaya attracted pilgrims and scholars from other parts of Asia.

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Srivijaya is given credit for translating Buddhist text which has the most instructions on the discipline of the religion.

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The language diction of many inscriptions found near where Srivijaya once reigned incorporated Indian Tantric conceptions.

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One thing researchers have found Srivijaya to be lacking is an emphasis in art and architecture.

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Srivijaya helped spread the Malay culture throughout Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, and western Borneo.

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Srivijaya was then in frequent conflict with, and ultimately subjugated by, the Javanese kingdoms of Singhasari and, later, Majapahit.

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Srivijaya maintained close relations with the Pala Empire in Bengal.

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That shows that even in the 15th century, the prestige of Srivijaya still remained and was used as a source for political legitimacy in the region.

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Srivijaya has become the focus of national pride and regional identity, especially for the people of Palembang, South Sumatra province as a whole.

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In Indonesia, Srivijaya is a street name in many cities and has become synonymous with Palembang and South Sumatra.

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Srivijaya University, established in 1960 in Palembang, was named after Srivijaya.

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In popular culture, Srivijaya has become the sources on inspiration for numbers of fictional feature films, novels and comic books.

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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.

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