Norodom Sihamoni has had an interesting childhood, from studying in Czechoslovakia to joining a film school in North Korea, to moving to China after the fall of Pol Pot. A skilled choreographer who had his own dance troupe in Paris, he later rather reluctantly became the king of Cambodia.
The ruler of the Khmer Empire, Suryavarman II is known to be the founder of the famed Angkor Wat in Cambodia. His rule extended from Thailand to Vietnam. He is believed to have died while on a military campaign against Champa,following which, Angkor was taken over by the Chams.
Khmer king Jayavarman VII, who embraced Buddhism, is best known for his initiatives in improving the infrastructure of Cambodia. Apart from building hospitals, he also built rest houses and highways but is best remembered for developing the temple at Bayon and the city of Angkor Thom.
Khmer Ruler Jayavarman II is remembered for establishing the Devaraja cult as the official religion of his kingdom. He also expanded his kingdom to include Chenla. His origins were in Java, where he was to succeed as Java’s vassal in about 800, but he proclaimed Khmer independence soon after.
Norodom Suramarit reigned as the King of Cambodia from 1955 until his demise in 1960. He ascended the throne on his 60th birthday after his son King Norodom Sihanouk abdicated the throne in favor of his father. The current King Norodom Sihamoni is Suramarit's grandson.
Cambodian ruler Norodom, the eldest son of King Ang Duong, was trained in the concepts of Buddhism from an early age. His initial goals included strengthening ties between Siam (Thailand) and Cambodia. A treaty he signed with France handed over Cambodia’s foreign relations to the French.
Ang Duong served as the King of Cambodia between 1840 and 1860. He is credited with establishing the basis for the united state of Cambodia as he made an attempt to form an alliance with colonial France, which also led to the French protectorate of Cambodia. He is credited with founding the two main houses of Cambodia, Sisowath and Norodom.
Cambodian king Sisowath is remembered as a titular head of the French colonial administration in Cambodia. He even went to France in 1906, to visit the Colonial Exhibition. He is said to have had 20 wives and 29 children, including Sisowath Monivong, who succeeded him.
Suryavarman I served as the king of the famous Khmer Empire between 1006 and 1050. An astute ruler, Suryavarman I maintained diplomatic relations with powerful kings like Rajendra Chola I, which helped him successfully defend his kingdom for about 40 years.
It is largely believed that Khmer ruler Indravarman I had snatched the throne away from his cousin, Jayavarman III. His reign saw the construction of a large reservoir, which later became the chief source of water for irrigation and other purposes in the Angkor region. He also built a temple at Bakong.
Ang Chan I was the King of Cambodia who reigned from 1516 until his death in 1566. He was coronated twice during his reign. Counted among the most distinguished kings of the post-Angkor era, Ang Chan I was one of the first Cambodian kings to use cannons and firearms in wars.
The son of Cambodian king Ang Eng, Ang Chan II, also known as Udaraja III, was recognized as a king by the Thais. He maintained good relations with both Vietnam and Siam, so that peace could be maintained in Cambodia. Following his death, both Vietnam and Siam took over control of Cambodia.
Isanavarman I served as the King of Chenla from 616 to 637 AD. The kingdom of Chenla went on to become the powerful Khmer Empire. King Isanavarman I is credited with founding the temples at Sambor Prei Kuk.
Photisarath reigned as the king of Lan Xang from 1520 to 1548. Counted among the most pious of the Lao kings, Photisarath played a key role in promoting Buddhism by destroying spirit shrines that enabled spirit worship. He banned spirit worship and animism and built Buddhist temples on the sites of spirit shrines.