Indian Cultural Influence in Cambodia

by Bijan Raj Chatterji

Publisher: University of Calcutta

Published: 1928

Pages: 323

Language : English

Tags: India, early Cambodia, epigraphy, sanskrit, Funan, Chenla, Indianization, Arab travelers, Java, Srivijaya, comparative history

What makes this study remarkable, in addition of the scope, is the diversity of historic sources explored by the author. While he is well-aware of the latest progress of Angkorian archaelogy and epigraphy at the time -- for instance mentioning ¨the latest discoveries by Mr. Goloubeff¨--, he explores other avenues, in particular the accounts from Arab travelers:

  • "Why Jayavarman VII of Kambuja was in Java or Çrivijaya at all we do not know. An Arab writer, Abu Zayd (916 A.D.) relates the story of a victorious expedition undertaken by the "Maharaja" (of Çrlvijaya) to Khmer. Possibly towards the end of the eighth century (which century is a blank in Kambuja history), Çrivijaya claimed some sort of suzerainty over Kambuja, and Jayavarman, a prince of the latter country, might have resided for some time at the court of his sovereign.¨(pp 249-250)
  • ¨Kambuja, Çrivijaya, etc., were so highly lndianised that Arab travellers of the tenth century included them in India without hesitation. Thus Ibn Rosteh, who lived for two years in the Khmer country, writes (908 A.D.) : ¨Khmer is a portion of India''~ ... " In the sea. of East India, the countries are those of India, Khmer, etc .... and the people belong to India." Ma'sudi says (948 A..D.): "A race of Indians (of the family of Cain) occupies tbe country of Khmer in India."

Another distinctive interest of this work is the Chronological Table of Events in early Cambodia, Champa and India.

About the Author

Bijan Raj Chatterji

Dr. Bijan Raj Chatterji (1904, Calcutta (Kolkhata), India - 1987) was an Indian scholar pioneer in the studies of Southeast Asian cultures.

After starting his higher education cursus in Punjab, he furthered his research in London and Paris, where he met leading Sanskritists and Khmerologists such as Sylvain Lévi and Jean Filliozat. His PhD thesis at Univeristy of London in 1926, Indian Cultural Influence in Cambodia, has been republished numerous times since 1928.

Dr. Chatterji is also known for his work on "Indianized states" and his research on historic relations between India and Java.