History of Champa

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The history of Champa begins in prehistory with the migration of the ancestors of the Cham people to mainland Southeast Asia and the founding of their Indianized maritime kingdom based in what is now central Vietnam in the early centuries AD, and ends when the final vestiges of the kingdom were annexed and absorbed by Vietnam in 1832.


One theory holds that the people of Champa were descended from settlers who reached the Southeast Asian mainland from Borneo about the time of the Sa Huỳnh culture, though genetic evidence points to exchanges with India.[1]:317 Sa Huỳnh sites are rich in iron artifacts, by contrast with the Đông Sơn culture sites found in northern Vietnam and elsewhere in mainland Southeast Asia, where bronze artifacts are dominant. The Cham language is part of the Austronesian family. According to one study, Cham is related most closely to modern Acehnese.[2]

Founding legend[edit]

Cham tradition claims that the founder of the Cham state was Lady Po Nagar. She originated from Khánh Hòa Province, in a peasant family in the mountains of Dai An. Spirits assisted her when she sailed on a drift piece of sandalwood to China, where she married a Chinese crown prince, the son of the Emperor of China, with whom she had two children. She then became Queen of Champa.[3] When she returned to Champa to visit her family, the Prince refused to let her go, but she flung the sandalwood into the ocean, disappeared with her children and reappeared at Nha Trang to her family. When the Chinese prince tried to follow her back to Nha Trang, she was furious and turned him and his fleet into stone.[4][5][6]

The Sa Huỳnh culture[edit]

The Sa Huỳnh culture was a late prehistoric metal age society on the central coast of Viet Nam. In 1909, urns containing cremated remains and grave goods were discovered at Thanh Duc, near Sa Huỳnh, a coastal village located south of Da Nang. Since then, many more burials have been found, from Huế to the Đồng Nai river delta. The jar burials contain bronze mirrors, coins, bells, bracelets, axes and spearheads, iron spearheads, knives and sickles, and beads made of gold, glass, carnelian, agate and nephrite. Radiocarbon dating of the Sa Huỳnh culture remains range from 400 BC to the first or second century AD. The Sa Huỳnh exchanged items along maritime trade routes with Taiwan and the Philippines. "At present, the consensus of all evidence points to a relatively late intrusive settlement of this region by sea from Borneo, a move which stimulated the rise Sa Huỳnh, and then the development of the Cham states." [1]:211–217

Lâm Ấp[edit]

To the Chinese, the country of Champa was known as 林邑 Linyi[7] in Mandarin and Lam Yap in Cantonese and to the Vietnamese, Lâm Ấp (which is the Sino-Vietnamese pronunciation of 林邑). It had been founded in 192 AD[8][9] in the region of modern Huế by Khu Liên, a local leader rebelling against the Han dynasty.[1]:323 Over the next several centuries, Han forces made repeated unsuccessful attempts to retake the region.[10]

From its neighbor Funan to the west, Lâm Ấp soon came under the influence of Indian civilization.[11] Scholars locate the historical beginnings of Champa in the 4th century, when the process of Indianization was well underway. It was in this period that the Cham people began to create stone inscriptions in both Sanskrit and in their own language, for which they created a unique script.[12]

The towers of Po Sa Nu (Pho Hai) near Phan Thiết may be the oldest extant Cham buildings. In style, they exhibit the influence of pre-Angkorian Cambodia.

The Book of Jin has some records about Lam Ap during the 3rd to 5th centuries. Fan Wen (范文) became the king in 336. He attacked and annexed Daqijie, Xiaoqijie, Ship, Xulang, Qudu, Ganlu, and Fudan. Fan Wen sent a message and paid tribute to the Chinese Emperor, and the message was "written in barbarian characters".[1]:323–324 Lam Ap sometimes maintained the tributary status and sometimes was hostile to the Jin dynasty, and the Commandery of Rinan (日南, Chinese:Rinan, Vietnamese:Nhật Nam) was frequently under attack from Lam Ap.[13]

The first king acknowledged in the inscriptions is Bhadravarman,[14][15] who reigned from 380 to 413. At Mỹ Sơn, King Bhadravarman established a linga called Bhadresvara,[1]:324 whose name was a combination of the king's own name and that of the Hindu god of gods Shiva.[16] The worship of the original god-king under the name Bhadresvara and other names continued through the centuries that followed.[17]

The capital of Lâm Ấp at the time of Bhadravarman was the citadel of Simhapura ("Lion City", not to be confused with Singapore, which shares similar pronunciation and etymology), located along two rivers and had a wall eight miles in circumference. A Chinese writer described the people of Lâm Ấp as both warlike and musical, with "deep eyes, a high straight nose, and curly black hair."[18][19]:49–50

According to Chinese records, Sambhuvarman (Fan Fan Tche) was crowned king of Lâm Ấp in 529. Inscriptions credit him with rehabilitating the temple to Bhadresvara after a fire. Sambhuvarman also sent delegations and tribute to China and unsuccessfully invaded what is now northern Vietnam.[20] George Cœdès states that this was actually Rudravarman, followed by his son Sambhuvarman; their combined reigns extended from 529 to 629.[1]:325[19]:70–72 The Chinese sent General Pham Tu to pacify the Chams after they raided Vietnam, which was part of China, in 543; the Chams were defeated.[21]

In 605, a general Liu Fang (劉方)[1]:325–326 of the Chinese Sui dynasty invaded Lâm Ấp, won a battle by luring the enemy war-elephants into an area booby-trapped with camouflaged pits, massacred the defeated troops, and captured the capital.[22][23][24] Sambhuvarman rebuilt the capital and the Bhadravarman temple at Mỹ Sơn, then received Chenla King Mahendravarman's ambassador.[1]:326 In the 620s, the kings of Lâm Ấp sent delegations to the court of the recently established Tang dynasty and asked to become vassals of the Chinese court.[25]

Chinese records report the death of the last king of Lâm Ấp in 756.[1]:325 Thereafter for a time, the Chinese referred to Champa as "Hoan Vuong" or "Huanwang".[26] The earliest Chinese records using a name related to "Champa" are dated 877; however, such names had been in use by the Cham themselves since at least 629, and by the Khmer since at least 657.[27]

Srivijaya attacks on Champa and Jiaozhi

Champa at its peak[edit]

Asia in 800 AD, showing the Champa city-states and their neighbors

From the 7th to the 10th centuries, the Cham controlled the trade in spices and silk between China, India, the Indonesian islands, and the Abbasid empire in Baghdad. They supplemented their income from the trade routes not only by exporting ivory and aloe, but also by engaging in piracy and raiding.[28]

Religious foundations at Mỹ Sơn[edit]

By the second half of the 7th century, royal temples were beginning to appear at Mỹ Sơn. The dominant religious cult was that of the Hindu god Shiva, but temples were also dedicated to Vishnu. Scholars have called the architectural style of this period Mỹ Sơn E1, in reference to a particular edifice at Mỹ Sơn that is regarded as emblematic of the style. Important surviving works of art in this style include a pedestal for a linga that has come to be known as the Mỹ Sơn E1 Pedestal and a pediment depicting the birth of Brahma from a lotus issuing from the navel of the sleeping Vishnu.[29]

Stone pedestal of a temple with an Apsara dancer and a Gandharva musician (Trà Kiệu style)

In an important stone inscription dated 657, found at Mỹ Sơn, King Prakasadharma, who took on the name Vikrantavarman I at his coronation, claimed to be descended through his mother from the Brahman Kaundinya and the serpent princess Soma, the legendary ancestors of the Khmer of Cambodia. This inscription underlines the ethnic and cultural connection of Champa with the Khmer Empire, its perennial rival to the west. It also commemorates the king's dedication of a monument, probably a linga, to Shiva.[30] Another inscription documents the king's almost mystical devotion to Shiva, "who is the source of the supreme end of life, difficult to attain; whose true nature is beyond the domain of thought and speech, yet whose image, identical with the universe, is manifested by his forms."[31]

Temporary preeminence of Kauthara[edit]

In the 8th century, during the time when the Chinese knew the country as "Huanwang", the political center of Champa shifted temporarily from Mỹ Sơn southward to the regions of Panduranga and Kauthara,[19]:94–95 centered around the temple complex of Po Nagar near modern Nha Trang that was dedicated to the indigenous Earth goddess Yan Po Nagar.[32]:47–48 In 774, raiders from Java disembarked in Kauthara, burned the temple of Po Nagar, and carried off the image of Shiva. The Cham king Satyavarman pursued the raiders and defeated them in a naval battle. In 781, Satyavarman erected a stele at Po Nagar, declaring that he had regained control of the area and had restored the temple. In 787, Javanese raiders destroyed a temple dedicated to Shiva near Panduranga.[19]:91[33]

The 787, 774 assaults on Champa and 767 assault on Vietnam (under Chinese rule) was performed by the Sailendras of Java.[34] Champa was assaulted by Srivijaya Sailendras in 767 and 774 over commerce with China. The Majapahit and their predecessors the Javanese Mataram had ties with Champa.[35] Champa was assaulted by Javanese in 787 and 774.[36] In 787, 774, 758 Kunlun from Java assaulted Champa and Tonkin.[37] In 767 Tongking was hit, and in 787 and 774 Champa was hit by ferocious, pitiless, dark-skinned sea raiders according to Cham records which modern historians believed to by Javanese. Java had commercial and cultural links to Champa.[38] In 787, 774, and 767 Champa was assaulted by Javanese from Java.[39] It was mentioned the armies of Java, having come in vessels of the 787 assault, and of the previous assault, that Satyavarman, the King of Champa vanquished them as they were followed by good ships and beaten at sea and they were men living on food more horrible than cadavers, frightful, completely black and gaunt, dreadful and evil as death, came in ships in the Nha-trang Po Nagar epigraph in Sanskrit, which called hem men born in other countries in 774. Around Son-tay they were vanquished at the hands of Chang Po-i the governor, after the Kunlun and Java (Shepo) assaulted Tongking in 767.[40] In Phan-rang the Bhadradhipatisvara was ruined in 787 when Indravarman was in power at the hands of the Javanese. The 774 assault by the Javanese happened in the rule of Isvaraloka (Satyavarman).[41] Java imposed vassalge on the water Chenla in 800 and in 787 and 774 Champa was assaulted by the Sailendra Javanese while in 767 Jiaozhi was assaulted by the Sailendra Javanese.[42] Historians identify Javanese with the perpetrators of the Tongking assaults, and the 787 and 774 Champa assaults.[43] The ruin of the temple at Panduranga in 787 came at the hands of the assaulters while the Kauthara Nha Trang temple of Po Nagar was ruined when ferocious, pitiless, dark-skinned men born in other countries, whose food was more horrible than corpses, and who were vicious and furious, came in ships . . . took away the [temple linga], and set fire to the temple in 774 according to the Nha Trang epigraph in Sanskrit by the Chams. Champa was an important link between China Srivijaya commerce.[44] Attacks in 787 and 774 were mentioned by Champa epigraphs and an attack was mentioned in a 767 epigraph in Tongking which are assumed to by Srivijaya Javakas.[45][46] In 787, 774, 767 Kunlun and Javas assaulted Champa and Tonking.[47] In 787 and 774 Java assaulted Indochina.[48] seaborne Java soldiers destroyed around Virapura a Shaivite temple called Yang Tikuh which was mentioned in an epigraph by the Cham in 767 man eaters, born in foreign lands, living on a diet even more horrible than human corpses mentioned in the Nha-trang Po Nagar epigraph in modern South Vietnam assaulted the area, originally from Java while the foundation of the Huan wang Kingdom of the Cham occurred in 774. Around modern day Hanoi the capital of Tonkin (Annam) was assaulted by Java (Daba) and Kunlun in 767.[49][50] The 787 epigraph was in Yang Tikuh while the 774 epigraph was Po-nagar.[51][52] Phan rang (Panra) was assaulted by Indo-Malayans in 787 while Champa was assaulted in Nha Trang at the Po Nagar temple in 774. A North Java originated expedition of Javanese and Srivijayans most likely led the Tonkin assault.[53] Champa was hit in 787 and foreigners, sea-farers, eaters of inferior food, of frightful appearance, extraordinarily black and thin people destroyed a temple of Cham in 774 while Tonkin was assaulted by Malay archipelago originated invaders in 764.[54] warriors from Java borne over in ships assaulted Champa in 787 and men born in other lands, living on other foods, frightful to look at, unnaturally dark and lean, cruel as death, passing over the sea in ships assaulted in 774.[55] The Phan-rang shrine was demolished in 787 by Sailendra and the Nha-trang shrine of Po Nagar was demolished in 774 when Cham was assaulted by the Sailendra.[56] And assault was initiated on Cambodia. Champa was assaulted in 787 and 774 by Java "Malays". Tongking was assaulted by JAva "Malays" via the Pulo Condor islands. Malaya, Sumatra or Java all could have been the origin of the assaulters.[57] men born in other countries extremely black and thin, terrible as death, who came on board ships. in Kauthara province assaulted the Siva-linga in 774 when it was demolished according to a Champa epigraph while in 787 the Sri Bhadradhipatlsvara temple was arsoned by seaborne Java troops.[58] Ligor was defeated by Java while Champa's south was assaulted in 787, 774 and 764 by the Java Sailendras.[59] In 787 an assault was launched on Phang-rang while in 774 an assault was launched on Po-Nagar in Nha-trang where the pirates demolished temples.[60] In Panduranga a temple got arsoned at the hands of the armies of Java, having come in vessels in 787 after a first attack by men born in other countries, living on food more horrible than cadavers, frightful, completely black and gaunt, dreadful and evil as death, came in ships in 774 according to a Nha-Trang temple to Po Nagar which contained an inscription in Sanskrit. The straits of Bangka and Malacca fell under the dominance of Srivijaya.[61] Phan Rang (Virapura)'s temple of Bhadradhipatisvara was demolished by Javanese in 787 while Champa was assaulted by Java in 774.[62] In 787 an assault was launched by Java people according to the Yang Tikuh and in 774 Champa 's temple of Po Nagar was assaulted.[63] In 787, 774, and 767 Champa's seaboard region was assaulted by Javabala-sanghair-nāvāgataiḥ (Java armadas) which are recorded in Champa epigraphs.[64] Champa was assaulted in 787 and 774 while North Vietnam (Tonkin) was assaulted in 767.[65]

Sanskrit and Indic civilizations were used by Srivijaya. In 671 Srivijaya was visited by Yixing. The capital and monarch of Srivijaya fell to the Indian Cholas in 1025.[66] Buddhism was dominant in Srivijaya instead of like in Funan and Champa were Hinduism was dominant.[67][68] A crushing blow was dealt to Srivijaya by the Indian Chola in 1025. Palembang was the capital.[69] Parts of Thailand, Malaysia and Sumatra were under Srivijaya rule.[70] Srivijaya was a resting point for a China bound group of ships from Persia on which Vajrabodhi hitched a ride.[71] Sri Vijaya and Sri Lanka were crushed by the Chola Hindus.[72] The straits of Sunda and Malacca, Borneo, Java, Sumatra, and Malaya were part of Srivijaya while Palembang was its capital.[73] Chinese and Malays engaged in commerce with Sirivjaya. Palembang was its capital.[74] A thalassocracy was built by Srivijaya.[75]

The Java-based Sailendras claimed that the Funan monarchs were their ancestors. Cambodia was taken control of after a sojourn in Java by Jayavarman II.[59] [76][77] Srivijaya absorbed Kedah.[78]

The Buddhist dynasty at Indrapura[edit]

In 875, King Indravarman II founded a new northern dynasty at Indrapura[19]:123 (Dong Duong near Da Nang in modern Vietnam). Eager to claim an ancient lineage, Indravarman declared himself the descendant of Bhrigu, the venerable sage whose exploits are detailed in the Mahabharata, and asserted that Indrapura had been founded by the same Bhrigu in ancient times.[79] From 877 onward, the Chinese knew Champa as "Cheng-cheng", discontinuing their use of the term "Huan-wang."[32]:47 Indravarman II repulsed an invasion by the Khmer King Yasovarman I.[32]:54

13th century sculpture in the Thap Mam style, depicting Garuda devouring a serpent

Indravarman was the first Cham monarch to adopt Mahayana Buddhism as an official religion. At the center of Indrapura, he constructed a Buddhist monastery (vihara) dedicated to the bodhisattva Lokesvara.[19]:123 The foundation, regrettably, was devastated during the Vietnam War. Thankfully, some photographs and sketches survive from the prewar period. In addition, some stone sculptures from the monastery are preserved in Vietnamese museums. Scholars have called the artistic style typical of the Indrapura the Dong Duong Style. The style is characterized by its dynamism and ethnic realism in the depiction of the Cham people. Surviving masterpieces of the style include several tall sculptures of fierce dvarapalas or temple guardians that were once positioned around the monastery. The period in which Buddhism reigned as the principal religion of Champa came to an end in approximately 925, at which time the Dong Duong Style also began to give way to subsequent artistic styles linked with the restoration of Shaivism as the national religion.[80]

Kings belonging to the dynasty of Indrapura built a number of temples at Mỹ Sơn in the 9th and 10th centuries. Their temples at Mỹ Sơn came to define a new architectural and artistic style, called by scholars the Mỹ Sơn A1 Style, again in reference to a particular foundation at Mỹ Sơn regarded emblematic for the style. With the religious shift from Buddhism back to Shaivism around the beginning of the 10th century, the center of Cham religion also shifted from Dong Duong back to Mỹ Sơn.[81]

Attrition through conflict with the Việt and the Khmer[edit]

Interesting parallels may be observed between the history of northern Champa (Indrapura and Vijaya) and that of its neighbor and rival to the west, the Khmer civilization of Angkor, located just to the north of the great lake Tonlé Sap in what is now Cambodia. The foundation of the Cham dynasty at Indrapura in 875 was followed by the foundation of the Khmer empire at Roluos in 877 by King Indravarman I, who united two previously independent regions of Cambodia. The parallels continued as the two peoples flourished from the 10th through 12th centuries, then went into gradual decline, suffering their ultimate defeat in the 15th century. In 1238, the Khmer lost control of their western possessions around Sukhothai as the result of a Thai revolt. The successful revolt not only ushered in the era of Thai independence but also foreshadowed the eventual abandonment of Angkor in 1431, following its sack by Thai invaders from the kingdom of Ayutthaya, which had absorbed Sukhothai in 1376. The decline of Champa was roughly contemporaneous with that of Angkor and was precipitated by pressure from the Đại Việt of what is now northern Vietnam, culminating in the conquest and obliteration of Vijaya in 1471.[19]:249–251


According to the Daoyi Zhilue documents, around the 11th century Chinese merchants who went to Cham ports in Champa married Cham women, to whom they regularly returned after trading voyages.[82] A Chinese merchant from Quanzhou, Wang Yuanmao, traded extensively with Champa and married a Cham princess.[83]

Khmer invasions of Kauthara[edit]

In 944 and 945, Khmer troops from Cambodia invaded the region of Kauthara.[84] Around 950, the Khmer under Rajendravarman II pillaged the temple of Po Nagar and carried off the statue of the goddess.[19]:124 In 960, the Cham King Jaya Indravaman I sent a delegation with tribute to the first king of the Chinese Song dynasty, which had been established in Kaifeng around 960. In 965, the king restored the temple at Po Nagar and reconstructed the statue of the goddess to replace the one stolen by the Khmer.[19]:124[32]:56[85]

War with Đại Việt and the abandonment of Indrapura[edit]

In the latter half of the 10th century, the kings of Indrapura waged war against the Đại Việt of what is now northern Vietnam. The Viet had spent the better part of the century securing their independence from Chinese rule. Following the defeat of the Chinese fleet by Ngô Quyền in the Battle of Bạch Đằng in 938, the country had gone through a period of internal turmoil until its final reunification by the Đinh dynasty in 968 under the name Đại Cồ Việt, and the establishment of a capital at Hoa Lư near modern Hanoi.[86]

Closeup of the inscription in Cham script on the Po Nagar stele, 965 CE. The stele describes feats by the Champa kings.

In 979, the Cham King Parameshvaravarman I (Phê Mi Thuê to the Viet) sent a fleet to attack Hoa Lư in support of Ngô Nhut-khanh following the Anarchy of the 12 Warlords. However, the ill-fated expedition was scuttled by a tempest.[32]:56 In 982, King Lê Hoàn of the Đại Việt sent an ambassador to Indrapura. When the ambassador was detained, Lê Hoàn decided to go on the offensive. Viet troops sacked Indrapura and killed Parameshvararman.[19]:124 They carried off women from the king's entourage, gold, silver, and other precious objects.[32]:57 As a result of these setbacks, the Cham abandoned Indrapura around 1000. The center of Champa was relocated south to Vijaya in modern Bình Định.[19]:125[87]

Several Chinese accounts record Cham arriving on Hainan. When the Cham capital fell in 982 to Vietnam, several Cham fled to Hainan during the Song dynasty.[19]:125[32]:57[88] After the fall of the capital Indrapura, some Cham fled to Guangzhou as well. They became ancestors of the modern day Utsuls on Hainan, who are Muslims and still speak a Cham language.[89]

While declaring himself an independent ruler to his own people, the Vietnamese leader Dinh Bo Linh requested only officially the status of his domain as neifu from the Chinese, which was not an independent state but of an autonomous suboordinate region of China. After this, Champa also demanded this status, to be officially part of China, sending large amounts of tribute to the Chinese. When Vietnam sent Cham prisoners to China, the Chinese sent them back to Champa in 992.[19]:125[90]

Champa rice was introduced from Champa to China during the reign of Emperor Zhenzong of Song.

Sack of Vijaya by the Việt[edit]

Conflict between Champa and Đại Việt did not end, however, with the abandonment of Indrapura. Champa suffered further Viet attacks in 1021 and 1026.[19]:139 In 1044, a catastrophic battle resulted in the death of the Cham King Sa Dau and the sack of Vijaya by the Đại Việt under Lý Thái Tông. The invaders captured elephants and musicians and even the Cham queen Mi E, who preserved her honor by throwing herself into the waves as her captors attempted to transport her to their country.[91] Thirty thousand Cham were killed.[32]:60[92] Champa began to pay tribute to the Viet kings, including a white rhinoceros in 1065 and a white elephant in 1068 sent to Lý Thánh Tông.[32]:185 In 1068, however, the King of Vijaya Rudravarman III (Che Cu) attacked Đại Việt in order to reverse the setbacks of 1044. Again the Cham were defeated, and again the Đại Việt captured and burned Vijaya. These events were repeated in 1069 when Lý Thánh Tông took a fleet to Champa, torched Vijaya, and captured Rudravarman III.[32]:62 The Champa king eventually purchased his freedom in exchange for three northern districts of his realm.[19]:140–141[32]:62[93][94] Taking advantage of the debacle, a leader in southern Champa rebelled and established an independent kingdom. The northern kings were not able to reunite the country until 1084.[32]:73[95]

Khmer invasions of northern Champa[edit]

In 1074, King Harivarman IV took the throne, restoring the temples at Mỹ Sơn and ushering in a period of relative prosperity. Harivarman made peace with the Đại Việt but provoked war with the Khmer of Angkor.[19]:152,154[32]:72 In 1080, a Khmer army attacked Vijaya and other centers in northern Champa. Temples and monasteries were sacked and cultural treasures were carried off. After much misery, Cham troops under King Harivarman were able to defeat the invaders and restored the capital and temples.[96]

Around 1080, a new dynasty from the Korat Plateau in modern Thailand occupied the throne of Angkor in Cambodia. Soon enough, the kings of the new dynasty embarked on a program of empire-building. Rebuffed in their attempts to conquer Đại Việt in the 1128, 1132, and 1138,[19]:160 they turned their attention to Champa. In 1145, a Khmer army under King Suryavarman II, the founder of Angkor Wat, occupied Vijaya, ending the reign of Jaya Indravarman III, and destroying the temples at Mỹ Sơn.[32]:75–76 The Khmer king then attempted the conquest of all of northern Champa. In 1149, however, the ruler of the southern principality of Panduranga, King Jaya Harivarman I, defeated the invaders and had himself consecrated king of kings in Vijaya.[32]:76 He spent the rest of his reign putting down rebellions in Amaravati and Panduranga.[19]:164–165[97]

Sack of Angkor by the Cham[edit]

This bas relief at the late 12th-century Angkorian temple called the Bayon depicts Cham mariners in action against the Khmer.

In 1167, King Jaya Indravarman IV ascended to the throne in Champa. An inscription characterized him as brave, well-versed in weapons, and knowledgeable of philosophy, Mahayana theories, and the Dharmasutra.[19]:165[98] After securing peace with the Đại Việt in 1170, Jaya Indravarman invaded Cambodia with inconclusive results. In 1177, however, his troops launched a surprise attack against the Khmer capital of Yasodharapura from warships piloted up the Mekong River to the great lake Tonlé Sap in Cambodia. The invaders sacked the capital in 1177,[32]:78–79 killed the Khmer king Tribhuvanaditya,[19]:164,166 and made off with much booty.[99]

China transferred crossbow technology to Champa.[100] When the Chams sacked Angkor they used the Chinese siege crossbow.[101][102] Crossbows were given to the Chams by China.[103] Crossbows and archery while mounted were instructed to the Cham by a Chinese in 1171.[104]

Conquest of Vijaya by the Khmer[edit]

The Khmer were rallied by a new king, Jayavarman VII, who drove the Cham from Cambodia in 1181. When Jaya Indravarman IV launched another attack against Cambodia in 1190, Jayavarman VII appointed a Cham prince named Vidyanandana to lead the Khmer army. Vidyanandana defeated the invaders and proceeded to occupy Vijaya and to capture Jaya Indravarman IV, whom he sent back to Angkor as a prisoner.[19]:170–171[32]:79

Adopting the title of Shri Suryavarmadeva (or Suryavarman), Vidyanandana made himself king of Panduranga. He made Prince In, a brother-in-law of Jayavarman VII, "King Suryajayavarmadeva in the Nagara of Vijaya" (or Suryajayavarman). In 1191 a revolt at Viajaya drove Suryajayavarman back to Cambodia and enthroned Jaya Indravarman V. Vidyanandana occupied Viajaya, killed both Jaya Indravarman IV and Jaya Indravarman V, then "reigned without opposition over the Kingdom of Champa,"[32]:79 but he declared his independence from Cambodia.[105] Khmer troops attempted unsuccessfully to regain control over Champa throughout the 1190s. In 1203, finally, Jayavarman VII's general Yuvaraja Mnagahna On Dhanapati Grama defeated Suryavarman, sending him into exile.[32]:79–80 Champa effectively became a province of Angkor, not to regain its independence until 1220.[19]:171[106] Jaya Paramesvaravarman II was crowned in 1226 and built his palace in Shri Vijaya, restoring the Champas to power. Trần Thái Tông sent a punitive expedition against Champa for its continued piracy of the Đại Việt coast, bringing back the Champa Queen Bo-da-la and the king's concubines as prisoners in 1252. Indravarman V was crowned in 1266,[19]:192 in time to become subject to the Mongols as "Imperial Prince of the second rank".[32]:81–82

Invasion of the Mongols[edit]

When the Chinese Song dynasty fell to the Mongols, its loyalists fled to Champa where they plotted the reconquest of China.[107] In the 1270s, Kublai Khan had established his capital and dynasty at Beijing and had toppled the southern Chinese Song dynasty. By 1280, he would turn his attention to the Cham and Viet kingdoms located in the territory of modern Vietnam.

In 1283, Mongol troops of the Yuan dynasty under General Sogetu (Sagatou, So Tou, So To, or Sodu) invaded Champa and occupied Vijaya after capturing the citadel of Mou-cheng. However, Indravarman V fled into the mountains. Despite dispersion the Champa troops on a number of occasions, the Mongols were not "progressing one step into a country where they suffered from the heat, illness, and a lack of supplies." Trần Thánh Tông and then Trần Nhân Tông, just like Indravarman V, "obstinately refused" to present themselves to the Mongol Court or make any "act of vassalage", and refused the Mongols passage through Annam.[32]:82–86

Thus the invasion of Champa had little lasting effect. Then, in 1285, the Mongol commander Togan was defeated and Sogetu was killed in a botched invasion of Đại Việt. By then, the Mongols "had lost a great number of men and officers...without having obtained any sizeable advantage."[32]:86[108] However, Indravarman V did send an ambassador to Kublai on 6 Oct. 1285.[19]:192–193

Chế Mân[edit]

In 1307, the Cham King Jaya Simhavarman III (Chế Mân), the founder of the still extant temple of Po Klong Garai in Panduranga, ceded two northern districts to the Đại Việt in exchange for the hand in marriage of a Viet princess, Huyền Trân.[19]:217 Not long after the nuptials, the king died, and the princess returned to her northern home in order to avoid a Cham custom that would have required her to join her husband in death.[32]:86–87 However, the lands that Chế Mân had rashly ceded were not returned. In order to regain these lands, and encouraged by the decline of Đại Việt in the course of the 14th century, the troops of Champa began to make regular incursions into the territory of their neighbor to the north.[109]

Chế Chi and Chế Anan[edit]

Chế Mân's son, Chế Chi, was captured in 1312 by Trần Anh Tông and died a prisoner in Gia-lam Palace. Champa thus became an Annamese province. Chế Anan was able to win back its independence in 1326.[32]:89–91

The Franciscan friar Odoric of Pordenone visited Champa in the 1320s.

Chế Bồng Nga — the Red King[edit]

The last strong king of the Cham was Chế Bồng Nga, or Che Bunga, who ruled from 1360 until 1390.[19]:237–238 In Vietnamese stories he is called The Red King. Chế Bồng Nga apparently managed to unite the Cham lands under his rule, and by 1372 he was strong enough to attack and almost conquer Đại Việt from the sea.

Cham forces sacked Thăng Long, the capital city of Đại Việt (located at the site of modern Hanoi), in 1371 and then again in 1377. This second attack was soon after Trần Duệ Tông died attacking Vijaya.[32]:93–94 Champa attacks in 1380, 1382, and 1383 were checked by the Vietnamese General Hồ Quý Ly, future founder of the Hồ dynasty. Chế Bồng Nga was finally stopped in 1390 during another assault on the Vietnamese capital, when his royal barge received a musketry salvo.[32]:107–109

This was the last serious offensive by the Cham against Đại Việt, but it helped spell the end of the Trần dynasty, which had forged its reputation in the wars against the Mongols a century earlier, but which now revealed itself as weak and ineffective in the face of the Cham invasions.[110]

Defeat and destruction of Vijaya by the Đại Việt[edit]

During the reign of the Hongwu Emperor in Ming China, Champa sent tribute to China to garner Chinese help in the wars with Vietnam. The Hongwu Emperor was dead set against military actions in the region of Southeast Asia, merely rebuking the Vietnamese for their offensive.[111] In 1401 and 1402, Hồ Quý Ly sent expeditions against Champa, forcing Jaya Simhavarman V to relinquish half of his territory. Jaya Simhavarman V was able to regain his territory when the Yongli Emperor captured Hồ Quý Ly and Hồ Hán Thương during the Ming–Hồ War of 1407. Jaya Simhavarman V and his son Nauk Glaun Vijaya then engaged in raiding the Khmer's under Ponhea Yat.[19]:238[32]:111–114 China was asked to deal with Vietnam by Champa.[112] Hostilities against Champa were initiated by the new Vietnamese dynasty.[113]

Following raids by Maha Vijaya into Hoa-chau in 1444 and 1445, the Đại Việt Emperor Lê Nhân Tông, under the leadership of Trịnh Khả, launched an invasion of Champa in 1446. The attack was successful, Vijaya fell to the invaders, and "Maha Vijaya" was taken prisoner. Maha Qui-lai was then made Emperor of Champa.[32]:115

After the Champa king P'an-Lo T'ou-Ts'iuan, Tra-Toan, attacked Hoa-chau in 1469, the Đại Việt emperor Lê Thánh Tông led a retaliatory invasion the following year with a vanguard fleet of 100,000 men, followed by 150,000 more ten days later. Vijaya was captured in 1471, along with Tra-Toan and 30,000 other Cham, while 60,000 Cham were killed. Tra-Toan "fell ill and died near Nghe-an aboard the junk that was taking him away."[32]:116–118

According to linguistic study Acehnese people of northern Sumatra and Cham are related through the Aceh–Chamic languages. At least 60,000 Cham people were killed and 30,000 were taken as slaves by the Vietnamese army. The capital of Vijaya was obliterated. As a result of the victory, Lê Thánh Tông annexed the principalities of Amaravati and Vijaya. This defeat caused the first major Cham emigration, particularly to Cambodia and Malacca.[114]

The trade in Vietnamese ceramics was damaged due to the plummet in trade by Cham merchants after the invasion.[115]

The Chinese scholar 吳樸 Wu Pu recommended that to help stop the Vietnamese, China should help resuscitate the Champa Kingdom.[116]

Later history of Champa[edit]

What remained of historical Champa was the southern principality of Panduranga, where the Cham general Bo Tri-tri proclaimed himself king, and offered vassalage to Lê Thánh Tông.[32]:118 Under the protection of Dai-Viet, it preserved some of its independence. This was the starting point of the modern Cham Lords in the principality of Panduranga (Phan Rang, Phan Ri and Phan Thiết).

The Portuguese attacked on Malacca was resisted by the Johor Sultanate along with an expeditionary force from Champa in 1594. Cambodia was the refuge of Chams who fled along with Po Chien after Champa lost more lands in 1720 to the Vietnamese.[117]

When the Ming dynasty in China fell, Chinese refugees fled south and extensively settled on Cham lands and in Cambodia.[118] Most of these Chinese were young men, and they took Cham women as wives. Their children identified more with Chinese culture. This migration occurred in the 17th and 18th centuries.[119]

The Vietnamese subjugated Phú Yên in 1578, Cam Ranh in 1653, and Tran Thuan Than in 1692. Cham provinces were seized by the Nguyễn Lords.[120] An anti-Vietnamese rebellion by the Cham occurred in 1728 after the passing away of their ruler Po Saktiraydaputih.[121] Panduranga, the last remnant of the Cham Kingdom, fell in 1832 to the Emperor Minh Mạng.[122]:158[123]

The Cham Muslim leader Katip Suma was educated in Kelantan and came back to Champa to declare a Jihad against the Vietnamese after Emperor Minh Mạng's annexation of Champa.[124][125][126][127] The Vietnamese coercively fed lizard and pig meat to Cham Muslims and cow meat to Cham Hindus against their will to punish them and assimilate them to Vietnamese culture.[128]

Modern remnants[edit]

The Vietnamese government fears that evidence of Champa's influence over the disputed area in the South China Sea would bring attention to human rights violations and killings of ethnic minorities in Vietnam such as in the 2001 and 2004 uprisings, and lead to the issue of Cham autonomy being brought into the dispute, since the Vietnamese conquered Cham people in a war in 1832, and the Vietnamese continue to destroy evidence of Cham culture and artifacts left behind, plundering or building on top of Cham temples, building farms over them, banning Cham religious practices, and omitting references to the destroyed Cham capital of Song Luy in the 1832 invasion in history books and tourist guides. The situation of Cham compared to ethnic Vietnamese is substandard, lacking water and electricity and living in houses made out of mud.[129]

The Cham in Vietnam are only recognized as a minority, and not as an indigenous people by the Vietnamese government despite being indigenous to the region.[130] Cham Muslims in the Mekong Delta have also been economically marginalized and pushed into poverty by Vietnamese policies, with ethnic Vietnamese Kinh settling on majority Cham land with state support, and religious practices of minorities have been targeted for elimination by the Vietnamese government.[131]


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