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Adivaraha @vajrayudha11
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1) India Extra Gangem.... India beyond Ganga as Greeco Romans used to call it...

Brief thread about the earliest Indianized kingdoms of Indochinese peninsula which ignited eternal flame of dharma in the direction of Agni (South East Asia).
2) Once upon a time Indians carried eternal flame of Dharma & Sanskriti to the far shore of South East Asia. Prosperous Hindu/Buddhist kingdoms flourished there which left behind the legacy as rich as any other kingdoms/empires of India.
3) As it is impossible to fully appreciate the legacy of our ancestors without studying thier history, this thread gives introduction about some of the earliest Indianized kingdoms that appeared on the canvas of Indochinese peninsula/ mainland south east asia.
4) Take a look at the map in opening thread to get idea about geographical extant of the kingdoms mentioned below in this thread. Especially note how entire map of ancient south east asia is covered with Sanskrit names!
5) FU-NAN : Established around 1st century AD Fu-nan is earliest known Indianized kingdom of the history of SEA (South east Asia).

According to Chinese sources it was established by the Brahmin named Kaundinya who migrated there from India & married to local Naga princess Soma.
6) The legend still survives in popular memory of Cambodian people.

Later on a king of the same dynasty known as Fan Shih-man in Chinese sources conquered much of Indochinese and Malay Peninsula and brought it under control of Kaundinya kings of Fu-nan.
7) Vo-canh inscription - This ~1700 years old inscription is the oldest Sanskrit inscription in SEA.

It mentions about the king named Sri Mara who was well versed in four vedas among other things. It has been suggested that Fan Shih-man of Chinese sources was the same king.
8) Capital city of Funan was named Vyadha pura & kings were followers of Orthodox Hinduism.

For eg this inscription composed in Sanskrit in Gantha script of Pallavas mentions about Gunavarman - ruler of the Kaundinya dynasty who established temple of Chakratirthasvamin/ Vishnu.
9) Interestingly same inscription also mentions how Guna varman's efforts brought swampy land under cultivation. Introducing advanced agricultural techniques into the region is indeed one of the main legacy of Sanskritization of south East Asia.
10) Strong presence of Hinduism in Fu-nan can be inferred from the murtis of Hindu gods found from the later sites of Fu-Nan such as this murtis of 1) Durga 2)Shivalinga 3)Surya and 4) Harihara.

Observe how they follow the strict Hindu iconographic conventions!
11) Fu-nan would eventually disappear around 6th-7th century but its legacy of Kaundinya would survive and would be taken to the new heights by the Khmer kingdom which will rose into Cambodia ultimately culminating into largest Hindu temple of ancient world!
12) CHAMPA - located in southern Vietnam its name is reminiscent of Champa - famed capital of Anga desh & one of the largest city of ancient India. The original inhabitants of Champa were & are known as Cham people.
13) As Chinese sources are only available sources for early history of Champa, not much is known about Indianized cultural penetration into early history of Champa.

But Indian influence is already apparent in early art of Champa such as this Murti of Buddha from Dong duong
14) Bhadavarman is earliest known king of Champa with Indianized name. C. 4th century he established the first Shiva temple in My-Son & initiated worship of Shiva as Shiva Bhadreshwara. From that point onward Shiva remained the most revered deity of Cham people.
15) Throughout the history of Champa, Shiva in his various forms remained the most popular theme of the artistic endeavors of Cham people. This elaborate ~1200-1300 years old Murtis from Tra-Kieu (ancient Simhapura) first capital of Champa bears ample testimony to it.
16) Nearby My-Son itself became a sacred tirtha for the Champa and many temples dedicated to Shiva were established there. Area came to be known as Amaravati.

Unfortunately temples of My-Son were partially destructed in American bombing during Vietnam war.
17) Although it wasn't only Shiva that they embraced with Indianization. Other gods of Hindu pantheon received equal devotion of the people of Champa.

Strong Indian influence would help Champa to withstood Sinicization for a very long period of time.
18) DVARAVATI - Loated in the area comprised by modern day Thailand its name is reminiscent of the Famed Dwarika of India. Located in the valley of Menam river it was established by the Mon people
19) This elaborately carved Dhamrachakras (symbolizing Buddha's first sermon at Sarnath) were one of the popular motif of the art of Dvaravati. . And Indeed wheel of dharma set in motion by mon people of Dvarvati is still moving in modern day Thailand!
20) Unlike Fu-nan and Champa where Hinduism was prevalent , it was Buddhism which was flourishing in the land of Dvaravati. None the less presence of Hinduism is also indicated by many such Shivlingas found from Dvaravati
21) SUDHAMMAVATI - another state established by the Indianized Mon people in the delta of Irrawady river. Not much information is available about it.

In popular legend it has been associated with Budhhaghosa - famous commentator on Buddhist scriptures.
22) SHRI KSHETRA - Derived its name from the ancient name of the famous city of Puri. this kingdom established by the Pyu people was located in middle Irrawady region.
23) Srikshetra became popular Buddhist pilgrimage center especially for the Chinese pilgrims.

while no reliable information is available it is possible that Indian civ arrived in the valley of Irrawady during the time of Ashoka only who sent missionaries to Suvannabhumi
24) Being the earliest harbingers of Indian civ. in far away shores these kingdoms and their history deserves special mention in our history books. But well...when our own history is struggling to find honorable place in history book...🙄
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