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Far East Kingdoms

South East Asia


Panduranga (Cham) (Vietnam)
AD 1471 - 1832

Iron Age South-East Asia witnessed the arrival of the Austronesian Cham people between about 1000 BC and AD 200. Cham people emerged into history as part of the Sa Huỳnh culture of what is now central and southern Vietnam. They communicated in their own language group, with this being a division of the wider Malayo-Polynesian family.

Multiple Cham polities were formed for at least part of their millennium and-a-half of independent existence during the Iron Age and medieval period. Cham people of Xianglin county (near today's Huế in central Vietnam) revolted against Late Han overlordship in AD 100. Further rebellions followed until, in AD 192, the independent central Vietnamese kingdom of Lâm Ấp was founded in opposition to the 'Chinese Dominated Nam Viet'.

Lâm Ấp was struggling in the early eighth century AD for unknown, probably internal, reasons. This lead to a new seat of power and a new dynasty, and for seven hundred years the kingdom provided a southern counter to the Viet of the north.

It took centuries of effort before Dai Viet finally annexed Champa capital of Vijayal (later Binh Dinh) and territory to the north of Mui Deiu (which itself is a little to the south of Qui Nhon). Thousands were executed or taken away as prisoners and the region was turned into a Viet province, albeit one which appears to have been fairly loosely administered to begin with.

The southernmost remainder of Champa retained a degree of independent identity in the form of a sometimes-vassal, with two small states emerging from the destruction. The late king's brother, Ma-kha Trà-toại, held out here for a while, claiming the kingship until he was executed in 1474. The two minor vassal states in the south include Kauthera, but the most important territory was the long-lasting province of Panduranga.

Also referred to as Pangdarang, the state was located in today's Vietnam, to the north of the Mekong delta, with Kauthera between it and the Viet. It had existed as a province at least since the ninth century, during Champa's internal reorganisations, and it may even have been one of the power-brokers which was behind that reorganisation. By 1471 its rulers were largely Muslim, influenced by sea traders from the west.

Traditional House, Vietnam

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information from the John De Cleene Archive, from Vietnam: A New History, Christopher Goscha, from Early Mainland Southeast Asia, C Higham (River Books Co, 2014), from Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopaedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor, Keat Gin Ooi (ABC-Clio, 2004), from A History of the Vietnamese, Keith W Taylor (Cambridge University Press, 2013), and from External Links: Cultural elements of Cham Pa in Dai Viet capital and its vicinity, Nguyen Tien Dong (TiaSang.com), and Encyclopaedia Britannica, and Vietnam (Countrystudies), and Vietnam in the First State Foundation Period (Vietnam National Museum of History), and The Indianized States of Southeast Asia, George Coedès (Walter F Vella (Ed), Susan Brown Cowing (Trans), University of Hawaii Press, 1968, and available online via the Internet Archive).)

1471 - c.1478

Abu Wan A Umalauddin Azmatkhan

First vassal lord of Panduranga after Champa's fall.


Wan Abu Yusuf

Obscure ruler.


Wan Abdul Kadir Kou Lei

Obscure ruler.

c.1510 - 1530

Po Kabih

Obscure ruler.

1524 - 1526

The young Later Le ruler in the north, Lê Chiêu Tổng, is forced to flee his capital during a rebellion against governance under him and his regency council. General Mạc Đăng Dung restores order and replaces the emperor on his throne, but the general takes the opportunity to secure power for himself, leaving the young emperor a figurehead. Two years later the emperor is murdered by Mac supporters.

Two sides of a Later Le coin in Dai Viet
The coins of the Vietnamese kings imitated Chinese coins, although official issues were often heavier than the Chinese coins and with somewhat cruder calligraphy, with this example being issued during the reign of Lê Hiến Tổng

c.1530 - 1536

Po Karutdrak

Obscure ruler.


With the anti-Mac rebellion in full force the kingdom of Nam Viet fractures. The south quickly falls to the Nguyễn lords in the form of Nguyễn Kim and his son-in-law, Trịnh Kiểm, and neither family, Nguyễn or Trịnh, will easily relinquish their newfound power.

As rival emperor they install Lê Trang Tông, a son of Lê Chiêu Tổng, penultimate emperor of the deposed Later Le dynasty. That emperor's successor, Lê Cung Hoàng, is also sometimes claimed as the father. Either way, he leads the Revival Le dynasty.

Champa falls
The fall of the Champa kingdom in 1471 saw some of its regions survive as minor states for a few centuries, and initiated a Cham dispersal across South-East Asia, although the majority of Cham remained to form a substantial minority in today's Vietnam

c.1536 - 1541

Maha Sarak

Obscure ruler.

c.1541 - 1553

Po Kunarai

Obscure ruler.

c.1553 - 1578

Shafi'i Ibn Abu Khasim / Po At

Obscure ruler.

c.1579 - 1603

Po Klong Halau

Obscure ruler.

c.1603 - 1613

Po Nit

Obscure ruler.

c.1613 - 1618

Po Jai Paran

Obscure ruler.

c.1618 - 1622

Po Aih Khang / Ehklang

Hindu. Murdered by a noble, Po Klong.

c.1622 - 1627

Po Klong Mah Nai

Usurper. Muslim.

c.1627 - 1651

Sultan Abdul Hamid Shah / Po Rome

Former Churu chieftain. Died of combat wounds.


With the state in chaos as fighting takes place between Hindus and Muslims, a Churu chieftain by the name of Po Rome takes control. He assumes the Muslim reignal name of Sultan Abdul Hamid Shah and sets about settling disputes and reintegrating the state.

Champa My Son temple
The Mỹ Sơn Hindu temple was indicative of Champa's Early Modern religious inclinations, and also of its Indian influences, which were prevalent across much of South-East Asia

c.1651 - 1653

Sultan Ibrahim / Po Nraop

Eldest (half-)brother. Left the state in chaos.


By time time of his death, shortly after being defeated in battle, Po Nraop leaves his state in chaos once again. The Revival Le reassert their power over the region, installing their own appointees to control Panduranga.

c.1654 - 1657

Po Saktiraydapaghoh

Revival Le vassal appointment.

c.1657 - 1659

Wan Muhammad Amin / Po Jatamah

Revival Le vassal appointment.

c.1660 - 1692

Po Saut / Wan Daim

Son of Po Rome. Revolted against Revival Le and lost.

1673 - 1677

The Manchu invasion and conquest of Ming China climaxes in this decade. A savage struggle takes place in the south when three great provinces rise against the Manchu and their teenage emperor, Kangxi.

The brutal fight is known as the 'Revolt of the Three Feudatories', or the 'Rebellion of Wu Sangui'. The ill-advised Mac lord, Mac Kính Vũ, supports the three rebel provinces and while he is distracted he is dealt with by the Trịnh lord of the Revival Le. He is forced to flee to China and his lands are lost to an almost-fully reunited Dai Viet kingdom.

Qin dynasty courtly dress
While the Mac were refusing to give up dreams of ruling a united Viet country, their Ming overlords were being replaced by the intruding Manchu

1692 - 1695

Po Saut revolts against the Nguyễn lords of the north, but Panduranga is quickly conquered by the Viet general, Nguyễn Hữu Cảnh. Po Saut is captured and is subsequently transferred to Phú Xuân (today's Huế).

He is granted a royal pardon there, but dies in 1693. By 1695 his state has been granted to a vassal, but the name Panduranga has been exchanged for the Vietnamese Bình Thuận.

1695 - 1728

Po Saktirai da putih

Brother. First lord of Revival Le state, Bình Thuận.

1728 - 1730

Po Ganvuh da putih

Blood relative, but details obscure.

1731 - 1732

Po Thuttirai

Blood relative, but details obscure.

1732 - 1763

Po Rattirai

Blood relative, but details obscure.

1763 - 1765

Po Tathun da moh rai

Blood relative, but details obscure.

1765 - 1780

Po Tithuntirai da paguh

Relative. Possibly ruled only from 1768 following a hiatus.


The Tay Son uprising secures central Dai Viet, leaving the ousted Revival Le emperor and his supporters isolated in the south, primarily around Saigon. The three Tay Son brothers come from the village of the same name (they are not part of the Nguyễn clan despite their family name).

Tay Son soldier
The Tay Son dynasty was founded by three Nguyễn brothers (who were not connected to the lords of the same name) who rebelled against all of the major parties in Dai Viet's confused political situation, sweeping two of them away and almost destroying a third

1780 - 1781

Po Tithuntirai da parang

Descendant of Po Saktirai da putih. Lost throne.

1781 - 1783

The Tay Son uprising has split support for Viet leaders. Po Tithuntirai da parang lends his support to the Tay Son, which means that the Nguyễn lods view him as a traitor. They remove him and dispense with a local ruler for two years until they fix their own appointee in place.

1783 - 1786

Chei Krei Brei

Brother. Nguyễn vassal appointment. Removed.


Po Chongchan

Nguyễn vassal appointment.

1786 - 1793

Po Tithun da parang

Restored as rebel ruler following 1781 loss of power.

1787 - 1789

The Tay Son eliminate the Trịnh in 1787 so, in the following year, Nguyễn Phuc Anh of the Nguyễn-dominated south declares the Revival Le dynasty to be extinct. He himself assumes the title of emperor of Dai Viet and continues to oppose the Tay Son who remove the last legitimate Revival Le emperor from the throne in 1789.

Viet Emperor Gia Long
Emperor Gia Long was aided in the winning of his kingdom by French mercenaries and other western soldiers of fortune, but he never fully trusted Europeans or their motives

These two main powers face off against each other until the Nguyễn are able to force the Tay Son collapse, largely thanks to their own internal purge of leading figures and loss of support, and create a united empire of Dai Viet.

1793 - 1799

Po Lathun da paguh

Cham court official. Nguyễn vassal appt. Died.

1799 - 1822

Po Saong Nyung Ceng

Nguyễn vassal appointment. Died.

1822 - 1828

Po Klan Thu

Nguyễn vassal appointment. Died.

1828 - 1832

Po Phaok The

Son of Po Saong. Captured, held hostage. State terminated.


The Cham rump state of Panduranga has been paying its tribute to the southern viceroy rather than directly to the Dai Nam emperor. Despite warnings and imperial insistence that this be changed, the orders have been ignored. Now, upon the death of the friendly viceroy of Saigon, Emperor Minh Mang annexes the state and holds as a royal hostage its last king.

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