Dynasties and Kings in Rajatarangini

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Notes in parentheses refer to a book ("Taranga") and verse. Thus (IV.678) is Book IV verse 678.

Rajatarangini of Kalhana:Kings of Kashmira/Book I (p.1-25) There reigned 38 kings over a period of 1015 years 8 months and 9 days.
Nila Nila reigned over the Nagas ; his royal umbrella was the hood of Naga.
Gonanda I The Rajatarangini (I.59) lists Gonanda I as the first king of Kashmir, a relative of Jarasandha of Magadha.
Damodara I Gonanda I's death Damodara I ascended the throne of Kashmira.
Lost kings The names of thirty-five kings are lost in the sea of oblivion, as their history has not been written.
Lava He built the town of Lolora, he bestowed the village of Lovara in Ledari on Brahmanas before his death.
Kusheshaya He bestowed the village of Kuruhara on Brahmanas.
Khagendra He destroyed many of the Nagas, who were his enemies. He founded the villages of Khagikhuna and Musa.
Godhara Godhara, born of a different family, became king. He gave away the village of Hastishala to Brahmanas.
Suvarna Godhara's son Suvarna who reigned after him. His son Janaka built Vihāra and Jālara. His son Shachinara then ruled the kingdom ; he built Rajāgrahāra and Samāngāsāshanāra, He died childless.
Mauryas The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive and powerful political and military empire in ancient India, founded by Chandragupta Maurya in Magadha, in 322 BCE. His grandson Ashoka the Great (273-232 BCE) built many stupas in Kashmir, he built Srinagara. He also caused to be erected two palaces near the courtyard of that god, and named them Ashoka and Isvra. Ashoka was succeeded by his son Jaloka.
Damodara II Damodara II, then ascended the throne ; It does not appear, whether this prince was of Ashoka's line or of some other dynasty.
Kushanas After a Damodara ("of Ashoka's kula or another"), we have Hushka, Jushka and Kanishka (127–147 CE) of the Bactrian Kushan Empire. They built three cities and called these after their names, Jushka also caused a monastery to be built and another town named Jayasvamipura.

(Note the confusion of dates in this and the following sections. Kalhana appears to made little attempt to determine the actual sequence of rule of the kings and dynasties he recorded)

Abhimanyu Then reigned Abhimanyu in the kingdom, and bestowed the village of Kautakoutsa to Brahmanas. He caused an image of Shiva to be made on which his name was inscribed. He also built a city called Abhimanyupura after his name.
Gonandiya After an Abhimanyu, we come to the main Gonandiya dynasty, founded by Gonanda III. He was (I.191) the first of his race. Nothing is known about his origin. His family ruled for many generations.
Mihirakula Kalhana describes the rules of Toramana and Mihirakula (510-542 CE), but does not mention that these were Huna people: this is known from other sources.[1] Mihirakula set up the god Mihireshvara, named after him, in Shrinagara, and founded a great city called Mihirapura after his name. After his death the citizens raised his son Vaka to the throne. He founded a city named Lavauotsa. Then followed the kings: Kshitinanda, Vasunanda, Nara II, Aksha (He built a holy place called after his name Akshavala), Gokarna (set up a god Gokarna after his name), Khingkhila, Yudhishthira.
Rajatarangini of Kalhana:Kings of Kashmira/Book II (p.26-35) There reigned 6 kings over a period of 192 years.
Aryaraja and others Eventually a Pratapaditya, a relative of Vikramaditya (not the Shakari) became king (II.6). Then Jalauka, Tungjina ruled. After a couple of generations a Vijaya from another family took the throne (II.62). His son Jayendra ruled, who was followed by Samdhimati-Aryaraja (34 BCE-17 CE) who had the soul of Jayendra's minister Sandhimati.[2] Aryarajas were mostly Hindus. Kalhana says that Samdhimat Aryaraja used to spend “the most delightful Kashmir summer” in worshiping a lingam formed of snow/ice “in the regions above the forests” (II.138). This too appears to be a reference to the ice lingam at Amarnath.
Rajatarangini of Kalhana:Kings of Kashmira/Book III (p.36-60) There reigned 10 kings over a period of ... years.
Meghavahana After the resignation and retirement of the late king, the ministers who presided over the council of the people, went to Gandhara, and brought with them the renowned Meghavahana. He built a village named Meghavana and set up a monastery named Meghamatha.
Shreshtasena Meghavahana was succeeded by his son Shreshtasena who, was soon known as Pravarasena and also as Tungjina.
Hiranya Shreshtasena's had two sons, Hiranya became king, and Toramana assisted his brother in the administration of the kingdom.
Matrigupta Matrigupta was a poet in the court of Vikramaditya of Ujjain. Hiranya after a reign of thirty years and two months without leaving any issue. Vikramaditya appointed Matrigupta as King of Kashmira.
Pravarasena Pravarasena subdued many kings. He defeated the people of Saurashtra. Pratāpasila otherwise called Shiladitya, son of Vikramaditya, was expelled by his enemies from his father's territory. Pravarasena reinstated him, and brought back the throne of the kings of Kashmira from the capital of Vikramaditya. His son Yudhishthira II born of his queen Ratnaprabha then reigned for twenty one years and three months. He was succeeded by his son Narendraditya alias Lakshmana, born of his queen Padmavati. His younger brother Ranaditya otherwise called Tungjina then came to the throne.
Vikramaditya Ranaditya was succeeded by his son Vikramaditya. His younger brother Baladitya succeeded him. Baladitya subdued his enemies. After Baladitya Gonanda dynasty passed to Durlabhavardhana who was the illegitimate son of Naga Karkota.
Rajatarangini of Kalhana:Kings of Kashmira/Book IV (p.61-105):Karkota dynasty (625-1003 CE) (Taranga 4) There were 17 kings of the line of Karkota, who reigned over a period of 260 years, 5 months, and 20 days. (With his account of the Karkota dynasty, relatively recent at the time he wrote his chronicles, Kalhana's information becomes more consistent with other sources.)
Durlabhavardhana Durlabhavardhana : Gonandiya Baladitya made his officer in charge of fodder, Durlabhavardhana (III.489) his son-in-law because he was handsome. • Durlabhaka: His son Durlabhaka by queen Ananga then reigned. He assumed the name of Pratapaditya after the title of the dynasty of his maternal grandfather by whom he was adopted as his son. He had a rich minister named Oda, who built a village named Hanumata. He built a beautiful town named Pratapapura, where merchants from many places came and settled ; and among others Nona from Rohita. This Nona built Nonamatha. • His son Chandrapida, otherwise called Vajraditya, ascended the throne. • The fierce and angry Tārāpida after murdering his brother Chandrapida succeeded him.
Lalitaditya Muktapida (724-760 CE) Lalitaditya Muktapida (724-760 CE) of this dynasty created an empire based on Kashmir and covering most of North western India and Central Asia. Tarapira was succeeded by his youngest brother Lalitaditya. He conquered Gadhipura (Kanyakubja) where the women, were hunch-backed. Yashovarmma, the king of the place, wisely submitted. Kalhana relates that Lalitaditya Muktapida invaded the tribes of the north and after defeating the Kambojas , he immediately faced the Tusharas. The Tusharas did not give a fight but fled to the mountain ranges leaving their horses in the battle field. Then Lalitaditiya meets the Bhauttas in Baltistan in western Tibet north of Kashmir, then the Dardas in Karakoram/Himalaya, the Valukambudhi and then he encounters Strirajya, the Uttarakurus and the Pragjyotisha respectively (IV.165-175).
Kuvalayāpira Lalitaditya was succeeded by Kuvalayāpira born of queen Kamaladevi. •Vajraditya: Him succeeded his brother Vajraditya also called Vappiyaka or Lalitaditya, born of queen Chakramardika.• Prithivyapira: His son Prithivyapira by queen Mangjarikā, then came to the throne. • Sanggrāmāpira: He was dethroned by his step brother Sanggrāmāpira born of queen Massa.
Jayāpira After the death of Sanggrāmāpira, Jayāpira the youngest son of Vappiya or Lalitaditya, ascended the throne. Jayāpira went to Prayaga, he erected a monument there marked with his name, and an inscription to the effect. He entered the city of Paundravardhana, the possession of Jayanta, the king of Gaura. On his way he defeated the king of Kanyakubja. His brother-in-law Jajja usurped his throne but killed in war. After the death of Jajja, Jayapira reigned, and by his good works he attracted the hearts of the good. His queen Kalyanadevi founded a town named Kalyanapura on the field of her husband's victory. The king founded a city named Mahlānapura, and set up a large image of Keshava and Kamala also raised a city named Kamala after her name. He built a town like Dvaravati called Abhyantarajayapura. In this city, Jayadeva, built a monastery ; and A'cha, the son-in-law of Pramoda the king of Mathura, who was subject to the king of Kashmira, set up an image of Mahadeva named A'cheshvara. He captured the fort of Bhimasena, king of the East. He conquered Nepal, Strirajya. He discovered a copper ore in a hill at Krama.
Lalitapira Jayāpira was succeeded by his son Lalitapira by queen Durgi. He took back from Brahmanas the places named Suvarnapārshva, Falapura and Lochanotsa. • Sangrāmapira: He was succeeded by his step-brother Sangrāmapira, son of Jayapira, by queen Kalyana. He assumed the name of Prithivyipira, and reigned for seven years. • After him Chippatajayapira, otherwise called Vrihaspati, the infant son of Lalitapira, was made king. The maternal uncles of the present king named Padma, Utpalaka, Kalyana, Mamma and Dharmma ruled the kingdom during the king's infancy. After this a battle was fought between Mamma and Utpalaka.Yashovarmma, the son of Mamma, defeated his opponents. The victorious party then dethroned Ajitapira and crowned Anangapira son of Sangramapira. Unable to bear the ascendancy of Mamma Sukhavarmma, son of Utpala, began to aspire to the kingdom. After three years Utpala died, and Sukhavarmma raised Utpalapira son of Ajitapira, to the throne. The line of Karkota became almost extinct, and the family of Utpala began to thrive.
Rajatarangini of Kalhana:Kings of Kashmira/Book V: Utpala (p.106-140) There were 8 kings of the line of Kalpapala beside foundling, some female, and ministers, who reigned, altogether extending over a period of 83 years and 4 months.
Avantivarmma (r. 855-883 A.D.) In the Karkota family, Lalitapida had a concubine, a daughter of a Kalyapala (IV.678). Her son was Chippatajayapida. The young Chippatajayapida was advised by his maternal uncle Utpalaka or Utpala (IV.679). Eventually the Karkota dynasty ended and a grandson of Utpala became king. When Sukhavarmmā was on the point of becoming king, he was murdered by his envious friend Shushka. Shura the minister, then thought Avantivarmma son of Sukhavarmma, to be fit for the throne ; and in order to prevent disturbances among the people, he in the Kashmira era '31+ deposed the reigning king Utpalapua, and raised Avantivarmma, to the throne. Out of affection for his step-brother Suravarmma, Avantivarmma raised him to the dignity of heir-apparent. Suravarmma bestowed the villages of Khadhuya and Hastikarna to Brahmanas, and set up images of two gods named Suravarmmasvami and Gokula. He built a beautiful town named Shurapura. He built the town of Avantipura at Vishvoukasara. In this reign lived Shrikallata and other sages. Suyya was one of the sages. Suyya raised a stone embankment along the Vitasta and diverted the course of rivers. Avantivarmma died in the month of Ashara, on the 3rd day of the bright fortnight of the moon, in the year 59 of the era.
Shankaravarmma (A.D. 883 to 901) On Avantivarmma's death all the members of the family of Utpala aspired to the throne. But Ratnavardhana the Royal guard raised Shankaravarmma, son of the late king, to the throne. He made many foreign conquests which include Darvabhisara, Gurjjara, Trigarta, Lalliya Shahi etc. He built a town named after him in the province of Panchasattra. He built a town named Pattana. He died of accidentally by an arrow of a hunter, while on expedition to Urasha, on the 7th day of the dark fortnight of the moon in the month of Phalguua, in the year 77 of the Kashmirian era.
Gopalavarmma Gopalavarmma began to reign under the direction of his mother Sugandha as he was yet a boy. He reigned for two years. The dynasty of Shangkaravarmma being now extinct, the queen Sugandha at the request of the subjects began to reign herself. She built a town named Gopalapura, a temple Gopalamatha, and a god Gopalakeshava ; and another town named after her. Sugandha reigned for two years with the help of her Ekānggas.
Partha Partha, son of Nirjjitavarmma, a boy of ten years was made king and Sugandha was expelled out of the country and was afterwards murdered in a deserted Buddhist Vihara. Anarchy now prevailed, and life and property became insecure.
Chakravarmma Chakravarmma, spoiled of his glory, entered one night into the house of a headman of the Dāmara tribe, named Sangrāma, living at Shralhakka. He sought help of Sangrāma and could win his country back.
Unmattavanti (937 AD) Sharvata and other ministers raised Unmattavanti son of Partha to the throne. After the murder of Chakravarmma the Damaras plundered the country. The son of Partha guided by his servants had destroyed his own line, and Now the line of Utpala was extinct. Viradeva had a son named Kāmadeva in the village Pishachakapura. This Kamadeva bore a good character, and used to teach boys in the house of Meruvardhana. In time he became the treasurer, and his son Prabhakara soon became the treasurer of king Shangkaravarmma. Prabhakara who was the paramour of queen Sugandha died in tho subsequent revolution. His son Yashaskara was made king by theBrahmanas.
Rajatarangini of Kalhana:Kings of Kashmira/Book VI: Kaktaka dynasty (p.141-168) There were 10 kings during a period of 64 years and 23 days.
Yashaskara After the Utpala dynasty, a Yashaskara became king (V.469). He was a great-grandson of a Viradeva, a Kutumbi (V.469). Viradeva had a son named Kāmadeva in the village Pishachakapura. In time Kamadeva became the treasurer, and his son Prabhakara soon became the treasurer of king Shangkaravarmma. Prabhakara was the paramour of queen Sugandha and died in the subsequent revolution. His son was Yashaskara. After reigning for 9 years, the king died in the K.E.24 in the month of Bhadra, on the third dark lunar day.
Parvvagupta Parvvagupta, Bhubhata and four others set up the infant Sanggrama, as king, and making his father's mother guardian of the infant king, exercised great influence in the kingdom. But in course of time Parvvagupta murdered the king's grand-mother as well as his five colleagues, and gradually came to exercise the supreme powers both of the king and of the minister. In K.E.24, in the month of Falguna, on the tenth dark lunar day Parvvagupta seated himself on the throne. He was the son of Sangramagupta, son of Abhinava, the Divira, who inhabited the other side of the, hill of Vishoka. He died in K.E.26. His son Kshemagupta succeeded him. Kshemagupta married Didda, daughter of Simharaja of Lohara. After ruling indirectly and directly, Didda (980-1003 CE) placed Samgramaraja, son of her brother on the throne, starting the Lohara dynasty. Kshemagupta died in the bright lunar fortnight of the month of Pousha in the year thirty-four, after a reign of nine years.
Abhimanyu Kshemagupta's infant son Abhimanyu then ascended the throne under the guardianship of Didda. King Abhimanyu was attacked with consumption, although as he grow up, he became learned and wise. He died in the K. E. 48, in the mouth of Kartika, on the third bright lunar day. Didda's infant son Nandigupta became king.
Rajatarangini of Kalhana:Kings of Kashmira/Book VII (p.169-261) & Rajatarangini of Kalhana:Kings of Kashmira/Book VII (i) (p.262-303) Lohara dynasty (1003-1101) During 97 years, 11 months and 27 days, there reigned 6 kings of the line of Udayaraja.
Udayaraja The Lohara family was founded by a Nara of Darvabhisara (IV.712). He was a vyavahari (perhaps merchant) who along with others who owned villages like him had set up little kingdoms during the last days of Karkotas. The Loharas ruled for many generations. The author Kalhana was a son of a minister of Harsha of this family. Didda was a daughter of Simharāja, the king of Lohara, and a granddaughter of Bhima Shahi, one of the Hindu Shahi of Kabul. Didda (980-1003 CE) placed Samgramaraja, son of her brother Udayaraja on the throne, starting the Lohara dynasty. In the K. E. 89 in the month of Vādra, on the eighth bright lunar day, the queen Didda died, and the Samgramaraja became king. From this decision arose the Lohara dynasty of Kashmir.
Samgramaraja (r.1003-1028) The reign of Samgrāmarāja between 1003 and June or July 1028 was largely characterised by the actions of those in his court, who preyed on his subjects to satisfy their own greed, and by the role of the prime minister, Tunga.
Hariraja (r.1028) On the first of Ashara in the year four of the Kashmirian era the king died bequeathing his kingdom to his son Hariraja. Samgrāmarāja's son, Harirāja, succeeded him but reigned for only 22 days before dying and being succeeded in turn by another son, Ananta.
Anantadeva (r.1028-1063,d.1081) It was around this time that Vigraharaja attempted once more to take control of Kashmir, taking an army to do battle near to the capital at Srinagar and being killed in defeat. The period of rule by Ananta was characterised by royal profligacy; he accumulated debts so large that it necessitated the pawning of the royal diadem, although when his queen, Sūryamatī, intervened the situation was improved. She was able to settle the debts incurred by her husband by use of her own resources and she also oversaw the appointment of ministers with ability in order to stabilise the government. In 1063, she forced Ananta to abdicate in favour of their son, Kalasha. Anantadeva committed suicide in 1081.
Kalasha (r.1063-1089) Ananta's son Ranaditya, otherwise called Kalasha, in the Kashmirian era thirty-nine on the sixth of Sravana, bright moon was made king of Kashmir. Kalasha was king until 1089. He freed himself from the effective rule of his father in 1076, causing Ananta to leave the capital along with many loyal courtiers and then laying siege to them in their new abode at Vijayeshvara. On the verge of being pushed into exile, and faced with a wife who even at this stage doted on her son, Anantadeva committed suicide in 1081. It was after this that Kalasha reformed his licentious ways and began to govern responsibly, as well as operating a foreign policy that improved the influence which the dynasty held over surrounding hill tribes. Kalasha experienced difficulties with his eldest son, Harsha, who felt that the allowance granted by his father was insufficient for his extravagant tastes. Harsha plotted to kill Kalasha, was found out and eventually imprisoned. His position as heir to the throne was given instead to his younger brother, Utkarsha, who was already ruler of Lohara. Kshitirāja, who was the son and heir of Vigraharāja, had abdicated his rights in favour of Utkarsha, ignoring the claim of his son due to disagreements with him. Utkarsa was disliked and soon deposed, with a half-brother called Vijayamalla, Kalasha's son from Kayya, supporting Harsha and being at the forefront of the rebellion against the king. Utkarsa was in his turn imprisoned and he committed suicide.
Harsha of Kashmir (r.1089-1101) After an initial period during which the economic fortunes of the kingdom appear to have improved, as evidenced by the issue of gold and silver coinage, the situation deteriorated and even night soil was taxed, while temples were looted to further raise money to fund his failed military ventures and his indulgent lifestyle. In 1099, when his kingdom was ravaged by plague, flood and famine, as well as by lawlessness on a large scale, Harsha continued mercilessly to plunder the wealth of his subjects. He conducted campaigns in the east of the valley to wrest control of land back from feudatory landlords, who were known as Dāmaras, and in 1101 they murdered him.
Uchchala The Damaras became riotous, and Harsha ordered the lord of Mandala to massacre them. Uchchala and Sussala sons of Malla rose against Harsha. Harsha's son Bhojadeva died before the king in rebellion. Uchchala, who had been, to Hiranyapura, was coronated by Brahmanas there. Harsha spent his last days in great sorrow and was killed by Damaras.

Also see



  1. The White Huns - The Hephthalites
  2. Kalhana's Rajatarangini 2001 - Page 81 "... son Jayendra, consists merely of a fanciful legend spun out in great detail, relating how the pious and wise minister Samdhimati, whom the wicked king had cruelly put to death was miraculously restored to life by the power of witches... Samdhimati-Aryaraja who seems to have figured in Kashmir tradition as the beau ideal of a royal devotee, ...

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