If Cambodia had a father Jayavarman VII would be Cambodia’s father. Not for his reign of power within most of the Southeast Asian region but for his compassion with people. As a Mahayana Buddhist, Jayavarman VII’s declared aim was to alleviate the suffering of his people. One inscription read, “He suffered from the illnesses of his subjects more than from his own; the pain that affected men’s bodies was for him a spiritual pain, and thus more piercing.”
Jayavarman VII reigned from 1181-1218 and brought the Khmer Empire to it’s zenith expanding Cambodia as far north as China, as far south as Malaysia and as far west as Burma. Jayavarman VII lead a massive construction program of public works that focused on useful constructions notably his famous 102 hospitals, rest houses along the roads and reservoirs.
He constructed the temple of Ta Prohm in honor of his mother and the temple of Preah Khan in honor of his father. The temple of Bayon at Angkor Thom was later built to honor him.
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