Bandhu Varma

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Bandhu Varma (बन्धु वर्मा) or Bandhuvarma (बन्धुवर्मा) (426 AD) was ruler of Mandsaur before Huna victory of Yashodharman.


At the time of Gupta rulers in Malwa there is mention of one more dynasty of rulers in Malwa. Sinhavarma was contemporary of Samudragupta (335-375 AD). Singhavarma had two sons namely Chandravarman and Naravarman. Chandravarma moved from Malwa and established kingdom in Marwar. Narvarma remained ruler in Malwa. Narvarma had two sons namely Bandhu Varma and Bhim Varma. Guptas had increased their powers in Malwa and Bandhuvarma accepted subjection of Gupta rulers. Bhimvarma became samant of Skandgupta Vikramaditya (455-467), son of Kumaragupta I. He was probably samant of Kaushambi.[1]

Bhangupta Baladitya became ruler of Malwa after 40 years period of Skandhagupta. Baladitya has been mentioned along with Jat ruler Yasodharman in defeating the Huns. If we add name of Vishnuvardhan after Bandhuvarma the chronology of these rulers becomes as under:

Bandhu Varma was contemporary of Kumargupta I and Samudragupta. He was ruler of Mandsaur before Huna victory of Yashodharman. There is a inscription about Bandhu Varma at Mandsaur. The silk workers had constructed Sun temple here which was repaired by Bandhu Varma in samvat 530 (473 AD). This indicates that he was present there till 473 AD. After Bandhuvarma the ruler of Mandsaur was Vishnuvardhan who erected a pillar of victory at Bayana due to which Bayana’s name became Vijaygarh. Vishnuvardhan and Yasodharman assumed the title of Samrat after they occupied the territories of Bandhuvarma. It is also mentioned that Vishnuvardha had assumed the title of ‘Maharajadhiraja’ or Emperor. [3]


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[4] ने लेख किया है ...गंगाधार (पश्चिम मालवा, म.प्र.) (AS, p.264): गंगाधर पश्चिमी मालवा, मध्य प्रदेश में स्थित ऐतिहासिक स्थान है। यह स्थान पुरातत्त्व के दृष्टिकोण से महत्त्वपूर्ण है। यहाँ से ऐतिहासिक महत्त्व की कई अमूल्य वस्तुएँ प्राप्त हुई हैं। इस स्थान से 480 मालव संवत (423-424 ई.) का एक अभिलेख प्राप्त हुआ है, जिसमें इस प्रदेश के तत्कालीन राजा विश्ववर्मन के मंत्री मयूराक्षक द्वारा एक भगवान विष्णु के मंदिर, एक मातृका या देवी का मंदिर तथा एक विशाल कूप के बनवाए जाने का उल्लेख है। यहाँ उल्लिखित नाम रहित संवत मालव-संवत ही जान पड़ता है, क्योंकि विश्ववर्मन के पुत्र बंधुवर्मन के प्रख्यात मंदसौर अभिलेख में 493 मालव-संवत का उल्लेख है। इस अभिलेख से सूचित होता है कि तांत्रिक उपासना भारत के इस भाग में 5वीं शती ई. में ही प्रचलित हो गई थी।

Susunia inscription of Chandravarman dated 4th century AD

The Indian Archaeology Blogspot[5] provides us following information about Susunia inscriptions of 4th Century A D From Ancient History of Bengal, vol. I, on Susunia inscriptions:

The Susunia Rock inscription,the earliest reference to the cult of Vaishnavism, is a short Sanskrit inscription in three lines engraved in Brahmi script on Susunia hill, recording the installation of an image of Vishnu during the reign of Chandravarman.

The first two lines of it incised below a big wheel (chakra) with flaming rib and hub, refer to it as the work of the illustrious Maharaja Chandravarman, the lord of Pushkarna....

The third line is incised to the right of the wheel, but its reading and consequently its meaning is not very clear. It certainly refers to the dedication (of the cave) to Chakrasvamin, which literally means the 'wielder of the discuss, i.e., Vishnu...It may be reasonably inferred that the excavated cave, on the wall of which the inscription was incised, was intended to be a temple of Vishnu. Suniti Chattapadhaya "holds that Puskarana mentioned in Susuniya inscription is the modern Pokarnya or Pakharna situated in Bankura District of which Candravarma was the king." (Prachin Vanger Puskarna-janapad - in Vangasri, 1339-40 B.S., 1932-33 A.D., pt. 1, p. 135-136).

On the rock face another script is visible, which is "Sankha Lipi (script)" from a period between 8th to 10th Century A.D. Till date this Sankha Lipi can not be deciphered. Many observe this not as script but symbols.

Radhakumud Mookerji[6] writes that Susunia Rock inscription describes Chandravarma as ruler of Pushakarana (village near Susunia hill in Bankura district). The Susunia inscription describes Chandravarma as son of Simhavarma. Mandsaur inscription of Malwa year 461 = AD 404 also mentions Simhavarma,son of Jayavarma and father of Naravarma. The Gangdhar inscription of Malwa year 480 = AD 423 mentions Vishvavarma as son of Naravarma. The Mandsaur inscription of Malwa year 493 = AD 436 and 529 = AD 472 refers to Gopta Nripa Vishvavarma and his son nripa Bandhuvarma as feudatories at Dashapur under Kumaragupta I. Thus these three inscriptions testify to the following line of Malwa Kings:

SimhavarmaNaravarma (AD 404) → Vishvavarma (AD 423) → Bandhuvarma (AD 426)

The Simhavarma of this list is counted by H P Sastri as identical with Simhavarma, with his son Chandravarma, as mentioned in the Susunia inscription, in which case Chandravarma becomes a brother of Naravarma.

Mandasor Inscription of Kumaragupta I and Bandhuvarman S.V. 493

  • Perfection has been attained! May that Sun protect you,-who is worshipped by the hosts of the gods for the sake of existence, and by the Siddhas who wish for supernatural powers, (and) by ascetics, entirely given over to abstract meditation (and) having worldly attractions well under control, who wish for the final liberation of the soul, and, with devotion, by saints, practising strict penances, (who wish to become) able to counteract curses; (and) who is the cause of the destruction and the commencing (again) of the universe! Reverence to that Sun,-whom (even) the Brâhmanical sages, though they knew the knowledge of the truth (and) exerted themselves, failed to comprehend; and who nourishes the whole of the three worlds with (his) rays diffused in all directions; who, when he is risen, is praised by Gandharvas, gods, Siddhas, Kinnaras, and Naras; and who grants (their) desires to those who worship (him)! May that Sun, decorated with glorious beams, protect you,-who shines, day after day, with the mass of (his) rays flowing down over the wide and lofty summit of the lordly mountain of dawn, (and) who is of a dark-red colour like the cheeks of intoxicated women!
  • (Line 3.)-From the district of Lâta, which is pleasing with choice trees that are bowed down by the weight of (their) flowers, and with temples and assembly-halls of the gods, and with vihâras, (and) the mountains of which are covered over with vegetation, to (this) city of Dashapura there came, full of respect,-first, in thought; and afterwards (in person) in a band, together; with (their) children and kinsmen,-men who were renowned in the world for (skill in their) craft (of silk-weaving), and who, being manifestly attracted by the virtues of the kings of the country, gave no thought to the continuous discomforts produced by the journey and its accompaniments. And in course (of time) this (city) became the forehead-decoration of the earth, which is adorned with a thousand mountains whose rocks are besprinkled with the drops of rut that trickle down from the sides of the temples of rutting elephants, (and) which has for (its) decorative ear-ornaments the trees weighed down with flowers. Here the lakes, crowded with kârandava-ducks, are beautiful,-having the waters close to (their) shores made variegated with the many flowers that fall down from the trees growing on the banks, (and) being adorned with full-blown waterlilies. The lakes are beautiful (in some places); with the swans that are encaged in the pollen that falls from the waterlilies shaken by the tremulous waves; and in other places with the waterlilies bent down by the great burden of their filaments. Here the woods are adorned with lordly trees, that are bowed down by the weight of their flowers and are full of the sounds of the flights of bees that hum loudly through intoxication (caused by the juices of the flowers that they suck), and with the women from the city who are perpetually singing. Here the houses have waving flags, (and) are full of tender women, (and) are very white (and) extremely lofty, resembling the peaks of white clouds lit up with forked lightning. And other long buildings on the roofs of the houses, with arbours in them, are beautiful,-being like the lofty summits of (the mountain) Kailâsa; being vocal with songs (like those) of the Gandharvas; having pictured representations arranged (in them); (and) being adorned with groves of waving plantaintrees. Here, cleaving asunder the earth, there rise up houses which are decorated with successions of storeys; which are like rows of aerial chariots; (and) which are as pure as the rays of the full-moon. This (city) is beautiful (through) being embraced by two charming rivers, with tremulous waves, as if it were the body of (the god) Smara (embraced) in secrecy by (his wives) Prîti and Rati, possessed of (heaving) breasts. Like the sky with the brilliant multitudes of planets, it shines with Brâhmans endowed with truth, patience, self-control, tranquillity, religious vows, purity, fortitude, private study, good conduct, refinement, and steadfastness, (and) abounding in learning and penances, and free from the excitement of surprise.
  • (L. 8.)-So assembling together, (and) day by day received into greater friendship by (their) constant associates, (and) honourably treated like sons by the kings, in joy and happiness they settled in (this) city. Some of them (became) excessively well acquainted with the science of archery, (in which the twanging of the bow is) pleasing to the ear; others, devoting themselves to hundreds of excellent achievements, (became) acquainted with wonderful tales; and others, unassuming in (their) modesty (and) devoted to discourses of the true religion, (became) able to say much that was free from harshness (and yet was) salutary. Some excelled in their own business (of silk-weaving); and by others possessed of high aims, the science of astrology was mastered; and even to-day others of them, valorous in battle, effect by force the destruction of (their) enemies. So also others, wise, possessed of charming wives, (and) belonging to a famous and mighty lineage, are decorated with achievements that befit (their) birth; and others, true to (their) promises (and) firm in friendship with the accompaniment of confidence, are skilled in conferring favours upon (their) intimates. (And so) the guild shines gloriously all around, through those who are of this sort, and through others who,-overcoming the attachment for worldly objects; being characterised by piety; (and) possessing most abundant goodness,-(are) very gods in an earthly habitation.
  • (L. 11.)-(Just as) a woman, though endowed with youth and beauty (and) adorned with the arrangement of golden necklaces and betel-leaves and flowers, goes not to meet (her) lover in a secret place, until she has put on a pair of coloured silken cloths,-(so) the whole of this region of the earth, is (almost superfluously) adorned through them, (as if) with a silken garment, agreeable to the touch, variegated with the arrangement of different colours, (and) pleasing to the eye.
  • (L. 12)- Having reflected that the world is very unsteady, being blown about by the wind life the charming ear-ornaments, (made of) sprigs, of the women of the Vidyâdharas (and similarly) the estate of man; and also accumulations of wealth large (though they may be),-they became possessed of a virtuous (and) stable understanding and then;-
  • (L. 13.)-While Kumâragupta was reigning over the (whole) earth, whose pendulous marriage-string is the verge of the four oceans; whose large breasts are (the mountains) Sumêru and Kailâsa; (and) whose laughter is the full-blown flowers showered forth from the borders of the woods;-
  • (L. 13.)-There was a ruler, king Vishvavarman, who was equal in intellect to Shukra and Brihaspati, who became the most eminent of princes on the earth; (and) whose deeds in war were equal to (those of) Pârtha;-who was very compassionate to the unhappy; who fulfilled his promises to the miserable and the distressed; who was excessively full of tenderness; (and) who was a very tree of plenty to (his) friends, and the giver of security to the frightened, and the friend of (his) country;-.
  • (L. 14.)-His son (was) king Bandhuvarman, possessed of firmness and statesmanship; beloved by (his) kinsmen; the relative, as it were, of (his) subjects; the remover of the afflictions of (his) connections; pre-eminently skilful in destroying the ranks of (his) proud enemies. Handsome, youthful, dexterous in war, and endowed with humility, king though he was, yet was he never carried away by passion, astonishment and other (evil sentiments); being the very incarnation of erotic passion, he resembled in beauty, even though he was not adorned with ornaments, a second (Kâmadêva) armed with the bow that is made of flowers. Even to-day, when the long-eyed lovely women of (his) enemies, pained with the fierce pangs of widowhood, think of him, they stagger about through fear, in such a way as to fatigue (their) firm and compact breasts.
  • (L. 16.)-While he, the noble Bandhuvarman, the best of kings, the strong-shouldered one, was governing this city of Dashapura, which had been brought to a state of great prosperity,-a noble (and) unequalled temple of the bright-rayed (Sun), was caused to be built by the silk-cloth weavers, as a guild, with the stores of wealth acquired by (the exercise of their) craft;-(a temple) which, having broad and lofty spires, (and) resembling a mountain, (and) white as the mass of the rays of the risen moon, shines, charming to the eye, having the similarity of (being) the lovely crest-jewel, fixed (in its proper place), of (this) city of the west.
  • (L. 17.)-In that season which unites men with (their) lovely mistresses; which is agreeable with the warmth of the fire of the rays of the sun (shining) in the glens; in which the fishes lie low down in the water; which (on account of the cold) is destitute of the enjoyment of the beams of the moon, and (sitting in the open air on) the flat roofs of houses, and sandal-wood perfumes, and palmleaf-fans, and necklaces;-in which the waterlilies are bitten by the frost; which is charming with the humming of the bees that are made happy by the juice of the full-blown flowers of the rôdhra and priyamguplants and the jasmine-creepers; in which the lavalî-trees and the solitary branches of the naganâ-bushes are made to dance with the force of the wind that is harsh and cold with particles of frost;-(and) in which (the cold induced by) the falling of frost and snow is derided by the close embraces of the large and beautiful and plump and bulky breasts and thighs of young men and (their) mistresses, completely under the influence of love;-when, by (the reckoning from) the tribal constitution of the Mâlavas, four centuries of years, increased by ninety-three, had elapsed; in that season when the low thunder of the muttering of clouds is to be welcomed (as indicating the approach of warmth again);-on the excellent thirteenth day of the bright fortnight of the month Sahasya,-this temple was established, with the ceremony of auspicious benediction.
  • (L. 19.)-And, in the course of a long time, under other kings, part of this temple fell into disrepair; so now, in order to increase their own fame, the whole of this most noble house of the Sun has been repaired again by the munificent corporation;-(this temple) which is very lofty (and) pure; which touches the sky, as it were, with (its) charming spires; (and) which is the resting-place of the spotless rays of the moon and the sun at (their) times of rising. Thus, when five centuries of years, increased by twenty, and nine years had elapsed; on the charming second lunar day of the bright fortnight of the month Tapasya;-in the season when (Kamadêva), whose body was destroyed by Hara, develops (his number of five) arrows by attaining unity with the fresh bursting-forth of the flowers of the ashôka and kêtaka and sinduvâra-a-trees, and the pendulous atimuktaka-creeper, and the wild-jasmine;-when the solitary large branches of the naganâ-bushes are full of the songs of the bees that are delighted by drinking the nectar; (and) when the beautiful and luxuriant rôdhra-trees swing to and fro with the fresh bursting forth of (their) flowers,-the whole of this noble city was decorated with (this) best of temples; just as the pure sky is decorated with the moon, and the breast of (the god) Shârngin with the kaustubha-jewel. As long as (the god) Îsha wears a mass of tawny matted locks, undulating with the spotless rays of the moon (on his forehead); and (as long as) (the god) Shârngin (carries) a garland of lovely waterlilies on his shoulder;-so long may this noble temple endure for ever!
  • (L. 23.)-By the command of the guild, and from devotion, (this) temple of the Sun was caused to be built; and this (eulogy) that precedes was, with particular care, composed by Vatsabhatti. Hail to the composer and the writer, and those who read or listen (to it)! Let there be success!
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 84-88.


  1. Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas (Hindi), Maharaja Suraj Mal Smarak Shiksha Sansthan, Delhi, 1934, p. 710
  2. Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas (Hindi), Maharaja Suraj Mal Smarak Shiksha Sansthan, Delhi, 1934, p. 710
  3. Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas (Hindi), Maharaja Suraj Mal Smarak Shiksha Sansthan, Delhi, 1934, p. 710
  4. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.264
  5. Indian Archaeology Blogspot
  6. The Gupta Empire,p.9

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