Srivijaya- The Kingdom of Trade

Essay by diver.101Junior High, 9th gradeA, February 2007

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The kingdom of Srivijaya, from the 3rd till 14th century, had one of the strongest economies in the world at the time, due to its control and immense power in the trading routes of South East Asia. Although it did not extend these trading routes across the world, Srivijaya still managed to stay a prominent figure for 11 centuries. Covering most of Sumatra and Java, Srivijaya was also influenced by its group of neighbouring countries and trading partners in the area of religion. Although a stronghold of Vajrayana Buddhism, the people of Srivijaya still continued to vary in religion. The kingdom of Srivijaya did come to an end, however with the loss of this enormous kingdom, came the loss of one of the most advance and knowledgeable trading ports of the time.

The kingdom of Srivijaya was formed by Dapunta Hyang Çri Yacanaca, who led 20,000 troops into Palembang, Jambi, and Bengkulu from Minanga Tamwan (located on the western front of Sumatra).

Although commonly referred to as Indonesia's first discovered state ("A political entity with defined boundaries, a central government with clear authority over the territory enclosed within those boundaries and to which the citizenry owned allegiance" A Short History Of Indonesia), Srivijaya was more of a confederacy, in that it was centred around the capital with vassal states surrounding it. Srivijaya underwent multiple raids throughout its time which ultimately crushed the kingdom. The first of these attacks came in the year 1025 when Rajendra Chola, king of Coromandel in South India, conquered Kedah, a state located south west of Thailand. The raids of Chola on mainland Sumatra continued for the next twenty years, however ultimately, these attacks were unsuccessful. Nevertheless, these attacks greatly weakened the Srivijaya kingdom, with the introduction of new, lesser regional kingdoms based on intensive...