What Was Cambodia Called in Ancient Times?

Cambodia is a beautiful country located in Southeast Asia. It has a rich cultural history that dates back to ancient times.

However, many people might not know what Cambodia was called in ancient times. In this article, we will explore the various names that Cambodia was known as in ancient times.

Ancient Cambodian Kingdoms

Cambodia has a long and fascinating history that can be traced back to the 1st century AD. During this time, the Funan Kingdom emerged as the first major political power in the region. The Funan Kingdom was known for its strong maritime trade links and played a significant role in spreading Indian culture throughout Southeast Asia.

Chenla Kingdom

In the 6th century AD, the Chenla Kingdom emerged as a dominant power in Cambodia. The Chenla Kingdom was divided into two periods: Early Chenla and Late Chenla. During the Early Chenla period, the capital was located at Sambor Prei Kuk, while during the Late Chenla period, it shifted to Angkor.

Khmer Empire

The Khmer Empire is perhaps the most well-known ancient Cambodian kingdom. It emerged in the 9th century AD and lasted until the 15th century AD. The Khmer Empire is famous for its stunning architecture, including Angkor Wat – one of the most iconic temples in Southeast Asia.

What Was Cambodia Called?

Throughout history, Cambodia has been known by various names. In ancient times, Cambodia was known as “Kambuja” or “Kambujadesa”. These names were derived from Sanskrit and Pali languages and were used to refer to different parts of Southeast Asia.

During the Funan Kingdom period, Cambodia was known as “Funan”. This name was used to refer to both the kingdom and its capital city.

Similarly, during the Chenla Kingdom period, Cambodia was known as “Chenla”. However, during the Khmer Empire period, Cambodia was known as “Kambuja” or “Kampuchea”.


In conclusion, Cambodia has a rich history that dates back to ancient times. Throughout history, it has been known by various names such as Kambuja, Kampuchea, Funan, and Chenla.

These names reflect the cultural and political changes that have occurred in the region over time. Understanding the history of Cambodia and its various names is crucial to appreciate its culture and heritage.