The decline and fall of Sriwijaya Kingdom

The kings who succeeded Balaputra were probably not wise enough in carrying out the country’s foreign policy, so it inflicted a loss on the neighboring countries. As a result, the countries which were harmed by Sriwijaya opposed Sriwijaya’s control over the lines of international trade and navigation.

At the beginning of the 12th century, Sriwijaya still controlled Palembang, Malacca Strait, Sunda Strait, and was recorded as having some control over Sailan. In the early 11th century, tension developed with the Cola Kingdom in Southern India. Cola Kingdom which was located on the coast of Bengal Bay felt annoyed by Sriwijaya.

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In 1024 AD, the troops of Cola launched a sudden attack at the center of Sriwijaya. The attack was not meant to take over occupy Sriwijaya, it was just to reprimand Sriwijaya not to disturb the authority of Cola. After the sudden attack, Cola troops pulled back but continued to eliminate Sriwijaya’s control over the waters of southern India. In 1265 AD, the island of Sailan was taken over by Cola from Sriwijaya.

In the end of the 13th century, a conflict with the Singasari Kingdom in East Java arose. In 1275, an expedition of Singasari troops entered the territory of Sriwijaya in Melayu, Jambi. The expedition was called Pamalayu, and after that Melayu became a territory of Singasari. From Melayu, Sriwijaya was pushed back farther, so its territory only covered the area of Palembang.

In 1300 AD, Tanah Genting Kra took over by the Siam Kingdom. While the power of Sriwijaya was declining, its occupied territories in North Sumatra freed themselves. So some small kingdoms emerged, such as Samudera, Perlak, Paseh. and Lamuri.

These coastal kingdoms took advantage of the trade-in Malacca Strait. Through Indian merchants who had become Muslims, Islam was spread in North Sumatra. This region became the first Islamic region in Indonesia.

The role of Sriwijaya in international trade and navigation had become insignificant. In 1365 AD, Sriwijaya was occupied by Majapahit. In 1377, Sriwijaya tried to rebel against Majapahit, but the rebellion was successfully suppressed.

Read also: Development of Buddhism in the Sriwijaya Kingdom

After that, the region became chaotic and was abandoned by Majapahit troops. Finally, the former territory of Sriwijaya around Palembang turned into a home of pirates. That is the tragic end of Sriwijaya in approximately 1400 AD after it stood for seven centuries.

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