Champa (Cham: Campa; Vietnamese: Chăm Pa) was a collection of independent Cham polities that extended across the coast of what is today central and southern Vietnam from approximately the 2nd century AD before being absorbed and annexed by Vietnamese Emperor Minh Mạng in AD 1832. The kingdom was known variously as nagara Campa (Sanskrit: नगरः चम्पः; Khmer: ចាម្ប៉ា) in the Chamic and Cambodian inscriptions, Chăm Pa in Vietnamese (Chiêm Thành in Sino-Vietnamese vocabulary) and 占城 (Zhànchéng) in Chinese records.
The Chams of modern Vietnam and Cambodia are the remnants of this former kingdom. They speak Chamic languages, a subfamily of Malayo-Polynesian closely related to the Malayic and Bali–Sasak languages.
Champa was preceded in the region by a kingdom called Linyi (林邑, Lim Ip in Middle Chinese), or Lâm Ấp (Vietnamese), that was in existence since AD 192; although the historical relationship between Linyi and Champa is not clear. Champa reached its apogee in the 9th and 10th centuries AD. Thereafter, it began a gradual decline under pressure from Đại Việt, the Vietnamese polity centered in the region of modern Hanoi. In 1832, the Vietnamese emperor Minh Mạng annexed the remaining Cham territories.
Hinduism, adopted through conflicts and conquest of territory from neighboring Funan in the 4th century AD, shaped the art and culture of the Champa kingdom for centuries, as testified by the many Cham Hindu statues and red brick temples that dotted the landscape in Cham lands. Mỹ Sơn, a former religious center, and Hội An, one of Champa's main port cities, are now World Heritage Sites. Today, many Cham people adhere to Islam, a conversion which began in the 10th century, with the Royals having fully adopted the faith by the 17th century; they are called Bani Cham (from Arabic: Bani). There are, however, Balamon Cham (from Sanskrit: Brahman) who still retain and preserve their Hindu faith, rituals, and festivals. The Balamon Cham are one of only two surviving non-Indic indigenous Hindu peoples in the world, with a culture dating back thousands of years. The other is the Balinese Hinduism of the Balinese of Indonesia.
The name Champa derived from the Sanskrit word campaka (pronounced tʃaɱpaka), which refers to Magnolia champaca, a species of flowering tree known for its fragrant flowers.