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1220 – 1243/1270*
Emperor of Angkor
1243/1270* – 1295
1295 – 1308
Terrace of the Leper King (expanded)
Preah Pithu Temple Group
East Top Temple (1295)
|Relatives:||Son of Indravarman II (reign 1220 – 1243/1270 CE)
Father-in-law to Indravarman III (reign 1295 – 1308 CE)
Jayavarman VIII (Khmer: ជ័យវរ្ម័នទី៨) was a Shaivite, reverting the Angkor empire to Hinduism from his father's religion of Buddhism, and patronised Hinduism throughout his reign.
He is often said to be responsible for initiating an iconoclastic campaign, during which most of Angkor’s Buddha images were defaced or destroyed, but I am not so sure – for my thoughts on this matter see The Hindu Reaction.
During his reign, the Mongol troops of Kublai Khan threatened the capital in 1283. Jayavarman VIII did not wage war with the Mongols, wisely choosing to pay tribute, thereby preserving the empire. Chinese annals record that in 1291, "the king of Lohu" [Cambodia] sent a mission who presented “the usual tribute of gold, elephant ivory and other things”.
Jayavarman VIII also suffered a devastating war against the Sukhothai Kingdom.
In 1295, Jayavarman VIII dedicated the Hindu shrine East Top Temple (Mangalartha), the last dated temple to be built in Angkor.
He was overthrown by his son-in-law Indravarman III (Srindravarman), a Theravada Buddhist.
Jayavarman VIII was given the posthumous name Paramesvarapada.
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