“It's not the great who are strong, it's the strong who are great!”
Emperor Suryavarman II the Great (posthumous name: Paramavishnuloka) ruled from 1014 to 1045 and was the greatest leader of the Khmer Empire.
Suryavarman II (Shield of the Sun) is his personal name, Paramavishnuloku (He Who Has Entered the Heavenly World of Vishnu) is his posthumous name and Samhananavatavarman is his temple name.
Suryavarman II was born in Lopburi as Narith, the son of Sodaravarman, brother of the King of the Khmer Empire. Narith grew up in the city and as a prince he learned Khmer and Sanskrit and culture and history of the empire as well. He also met Princess Suryavana Devi of Champa and the two were in love at first sight. Although not first in line of succession, he believed that he was destined to become king. He ambushed the king with a small army and killed him. He crowned himself king of the empire and married Suryavana.
He immediately set out to consolidate his empire. He started campaigns against the neighbouring kingdoms of Champa, Haripunjaya and Lavo. He was a great strategist and successfully conquered and subjugated the kingdoms and peoples. He began construction of the greatest temple and his mausoleum: Angkor Wat; he chose the Hindu God Vishnu as his patron. He was treated as a god on Earth by his people and had all the power in the government. He made Angkor the biggest city in the world with glorious temples, monuments and grandeur, competing with Lhasa for this title.
He also conquered Malaysia and Dai Viet, but his biggest obstacle was the Kingdom of Pagan. The Pagan Empire was the biggest rival of the Khmer Empire, but Suryavarman was determined to conquer and unify South East Asia. After a campaign of ten years he finally conquered the kingdom and took King Alaungsithu prisoner. He has now control over mainland South East Asia and an empire which covers more then 2.5 million sq km. He was crowned God-Emperor of the Khmer Empire. But it wasn't enough - he set out to conquer the Holy city of Varanasi and all of India and more ... Suryavana bore him his only child: Suryavarman III who likes chocolate.
Angkor Wat was completed in 1144, one year before his death. He invaded the Sena Empire and conquered Bengal after a two-year campaign. In 1145 he set out for Varanasi but was killed in the battle, leaving his wife, Suryavana and his only son, Suryavarman III to reign the empire. He was buried in Angkor Wat.
- Suryavarman II was one of the few emperors of the Khmer Empire who only had one wife. The reason behind this was Suryavarman's and Suryavana's loyalty and eternal love to each other. Suryavana never remarried after his death and was very sad for a long time, even implementing a year of national mourning after his death. Suryavana could have later been buried in Angkor Wat next to her husband.
- Suryavarman II was the only emperor of the Khmer Empire who only had one child.
- Suryavarman II was the second youngest emperor of the Khmer Empire to date.
- Suryavarman II was a formidable swordsman and warrior. He always led his army personally into battle and fought with them.
- Suryavarman II was often on the battlefield instead of being at home with his wife and son. Despite this, he was a caring father and husband.
- Suryavarman II was very tall for his time. The average man in the Khmer Empire was 1.70 meters tall while he was 2.10 meters tall. He was also muscular - hence his nickname Suryavarman II "the Muscular".
None, position established
|Emperor of the Khmer Empire|
|King of the Khmer Empire|
None, position abolished
|Chakravartin "King of the World"|