Srivijaya empire

(fl. 7th–13th centuries) Maritime and commercial kingdom in the Malay Archipelago.

It originated on the island of Sumatra and soon came to control the Strait of Malacca. Its power was based on its control of international sea trade; it had relations with other island states and with China and India. It was also a centre for Mahayana Buddhism and a stopping place for Chinese pilgrims traveling to India. It was overcome by forces of the Cola dynasty in 1025 and lost power gradually thereafter.

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▪ ancient kingdom, Indonesia
      maritime and commercial kingdom that flourished between the 7th and the 13th century in the Malay Archipelago. The kingdom, which originated in Palembang on Sumatra, soon extended its influence and controlled the Strait of Malacca. The kingdom's power was based on its control of international sea trade. It established trade relations not only with the states in the archipelago but also with China and India.

      Śrivijaya was also a religious centre in the region. It adhered to Mahāyāna Buddhism and soon became the stopping point for Chinese Buddhist pilgrims on their way to India. The kings of Śrivijaya even founded monasteries at Negapatam in India.

      Śrivijaya continued to grow; by the year 1000 it controlled most of Java but soon lost it to Cōḷa (Chola dynasty), an Indian maritime and commercial kingdom, which found Śrivijaya an obstacle on the sea route between South and East Asia. In 1025 Cōḷa seized Palembang, captured the King, and carried off his treasures and also attacked other parts of the kingdom. By the end of the 12th century, Śrivijaya had been reduced to a small kingdom and its dominant role in Sumatra was taken by Malayu (based in Jambi), a vassal of Java. A Javanese kingdom, Majapahit, soon began to dominate the Indonesian political scene.

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Universalium. 2010.

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