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Maukhari (मौखरी) Mokhari (मोखरी)[1] [2] Mokhar (मोखर)[3] is gotra of Jats in Uttar Pradesh. [4]

Maukhari Dynasty

The Maukhari Dynasty, classically called the Megar Dynasty, ruled a large region of North India for over six generations. The game of chess (then called Chaturanga, meaning "army") was invented during their rule in the 6th century. They earlier served as vassals of the Guptas. They were related to Harsha and his short-lived Vardhan dynasty. The Maukharis were an old family as we find references to them in Patanjali's work and in other early documents. The Maukharis held sway over modem Uttar Pradesh and parts of Magadha. However, the innumerable wars which they lost and won kept changing their boundaries.

Origin of Maukharis

Adi Parva, Mahabharata/Mahabharata Book I Chapter 35 gives us Names of Chief Nagas. Mukhara (मुखर) king is mentioned in shloka 14.

विरजाश च सुबाहुश च शालिपिण्डश च वीर्यवान
हस्तिभद्रः पिठरकॊ मुखरः कॊण वासनः Mahabharata (I.31.14), (I.35),

Ashtadhyayi of Panini mentions a person named Mokharia (मोखरिया) , who is probably originator of this clan. This is indicated by Haraha stone Inscription of Isanavarman also. Maukhari word is used in Badwa Yup Inscription of pre Christian era. They are also mentioned in Gaya Seals, as samantas of Gupta rulers in Barabar and Nagarjuni Konda cave inscriptions. Kaumudimahotsava also mentions them. These records show their presence in Badwa, Mathura, and south Inia regions. Banabhata mentions them as Kshtriyas in Harshacharita. "सोम सूर्य वंश इव पुष्यभूति मुखर वंशौ". [5]


Megasthenes has described about this clan in Indica as Megari. He writes, Then next to these towards the Indus come, in an order which is easy to follow The Amatae (Antal), Bolingae (Balyan), Gallitalutae (Gahlot), Dimuri (Dahiya), Megari (Maukhari), Ordabae (Buria), Mese (Matsya). (See -Jat_clans_as_described_by_Megasthenes)

The Maukharis must have started gaining political power towards the end of 5th century A.D. as the Harsha inscription of 554 A.D. mentions the rise of Yajnavarman from Gaya during this period. We also get the names of three Maukhari kings mentioned in the Barabar and Nagarjuni inscriptions who ruled in Gaya, about 150 years earlier then their successors at Kannauj.

The first three Maukhari kings are:

Some of these kings held simply the title of Samanta which indicates that they were acting as kings under the over-lordship of the Guptas.

From the Asirgarh Copper seal of Sarvavarman we get the names of Maukhari rulers as under:

The first three kings had the title of Maharaja whereas Isanavarman is called Maharajadhiraja. It was perhaps Isanavarman who set up an independent kingdom. The early Maukhari kings had established family ties with the later Guptas. However. Isanavarman's declaration of his independence must have spoilt the relations between the later Guptas and the Maukharis for the Aphsad inscription tells us of the victory of Kumaragupta III the fourth king of the Later Gupta family of Magadha, over Isanavarman. But the dynasty seems to have continued its rule.

Sarvavarman, the second son of Isanavarman, was successful in retrieving the lost prestige of the Maukharis by defeating Damodaragupta of the Later Gupta dynasty. The last of the Maukhari kings was Grahavarman who was married to Rajyasri, the daughter of Prabhakaravardhan of Thaneshwar and sister of the famous ruler Harshavardhana. The Malwa king Devagupta attacked Kanauj and killed Grahavarman bringing the Maukhari kingdom to an end.

Chronology of the Maukhari rulers

Badwa Yup inscription of Maukhari rulers of 238 AD

मौखरी शासक का बड़वा यूप अभिलेख

स्थान: बड़वा राजस्थान

भाषा: संस्कृत

लिपि: ब्राह्मी उत्तरी

काल: ६ वीं शती

विषय: प्रारम्भिक मौखरियों की स्थिति


१ सिद्धं(द्धं) (।) क्रितेहि1 २०० (+) ९० (+) ५ फ़(।)ल्गुण-शुक्लस्य2पञ्चे3 दि. श्रि-महासेनापते: मोखरे:बल-पुत्रस्य बलवर्द्धनस्य यूप: (।) त्रिरात्रसंमितस्य दक्षिण्यं4 गवां सहस्त्रं[१०००]5 (।)


२ सिद्धं (।) क्रितेहि6 २०० (+) ९० (+) ५ फ़(।)ल्गुण-शुक्लस्य पञ्चमे7 दि. श्री-माहसेनापते: मोखरे: बल-पुत्रस्य सोमदेवस्य यूप: (।) त्रिरात्रसंमितस्य दक्षिण्यं [गव](।ं) [सह]स्त्रं[१०००] (।)

३ क्रितेहि २०० (+) ९० (+) ५ फ़(।)ल्गुण-शुक्लस्य पञ्चमे [ ि] द. श्री-महासेनापते[:] [मो]खरे-

४ बलि-पुत्रस्य बलसिंहास्य यूप: (।) त्रिरात्रसंमितस्य दक्षिण्यं गवां सहस्त्रं[१०००] (।)

1.पढें : कृते. इसका अभिप्राय है कि कृत युग के २९५ वर्श व्यतीत होने पर


3.पढें : पञ्चमे, दि. दिवसे

4.दक्षिणा त्रिरात्रसम्मित से अभिप्राय यज्ञ से है.

5.अल्तेकर: सहष्रुं (स्त्रं). १००० का एक चिन्ह यहां बना है.एक उर्ध्वाकार रेखा पर त्रिकोण.

6.पढें :कृते

7.पढें :फ़ाल्गुन शुक्लस्य पञ्चमे

ऐतिहासिक महत्व

मौखरी राजाओं का यह सबसे पुराना और पहला अभिलेख है.यह एक यूप पर खुदा है. यूप एक प्रकार का स्तम्भ है. इस अभिलेख में कृत सम्वत का उल्लेख किया गया है तथा इससे मौखरियों की एक नई शाखा का पता लगता है. बडवा यूप मौखरी वन्श से सम्बन्धित है. मौखरी राजाओं की कई शाखायें थी. बडवा यूप का प्रमुख व्यक्ति बल था, जो अन्य शाखाओं से अधिक पुरानी शाखा से सम्बन्ध रखता है. उसकी उपाधी महासेनापति होने से अर्थ निकलता है कि वह बहुत बलशाली था. यह प्रतीत होता है कि ये शक-क्षत्रपों के अधीन रहे होन्गे. [6]

Haraha stone Inscription of Isanavarman 554 AD

The Harahā stone Inscription of Isanavarman found at place Haraha (हरहा) in Barabanki district in Uttar Pradesh is dated vikrama 611 (=AD 554) is one of the earliest and mosti mportant epigraphic record of Maukharis. This inscription of Isanavarman is different from other maukhari inscriptions. This mentions the deeds of Isanavarman, who is mentioned here as Maharajadhiraja.It writes Isanavarman's sons name as Sooryavarman, the name not found in other records. It aims to renovate temple of god Shankara, known here as Kshemeshwara by Suryavarman. This gives ancestry of Maukhari rulers upto Isanavarman.

Note on Haraha stone Inscription of Isanavarman

Note - This note is from Indian Antiquary June 1917:Nanigopal Majumdar, p.125

IN December 1915, Mr. R. D. Banerji, of the Archaeological Survey of India, made over to me two excellent inked estampages of a Maukhari inscription which had not been published before. It consists of 22 lines. The inscription is incised on a slab of stone. Excepting the engraver's name at the end of the inscription, it is entirely in verse. The language is Sanskrit and represents a highly artificial and complex style of composition. The incision is nicely executed and no letters have peeled off. They belong to the northern class of the later Gupta alphabets, such as were prevalent in the fifth and sixth centuries A. D.

The object of the inscription is to record the reconstruction of a dilapidated temple of Siva by Suryavarman, son of Isanavarman, the reigning king of tho Maukhari dynasty.

Before the discovery of this inscription, five other n cords of the Maukhari dynasty were already known :

  • (2) A third inscription of king Anantavarman, incised above the door-way of a cave on the Barabar Hill.

(4) A Copper-seal inscription of king Sarvavarman, discovered at Asirgadh, in the Nimar District (now Bhurhanpur district), in the Central Provinces.

The above inscriptions are all undated ; so scholars were forced to rely mainly upon palaeographical grounds, in order to assign them to a particular period of Indian history. The great importance of the Haraha inscription lies in its being dated. The date is expressed in a chronogram which runs thus :

Ekadasatirikteshu shatsu satitavidvishi
Sateshu saradam patyau bhuvah srisana Varmani. (verse-21)

The above verse gives the year 611 (600+11) of a particular era, the name of which is not mentioned. But there is little doubt that it must be assigned to the Vikrama era, which makes it equivalent to A.D. 554. The reasons in support of this, are simple. King Madhavagupta, we know from the Aphsad inscription, was a contemporary of king Harshadeva, or Harshavardhana, who reigned approximately from A.D. 606 to 647. So Madhavagupta must have lived in the first half of the seventh century A. D. The Maukhari king Isanavarman to whose reign this inscription belongs, was a contemporary[7] of king Kumaragupta, the great-grandfather of Madhavagupta, as the Aphsad inscription represents him to have fought with the former. So it stands to reason that the date of Isanavarman must be placed earlier than the first half of the seventh century. Now, in order to get a date that would be earlier than the first half of the seventh century, we are constrained to refer the year 611 to the Vikrama era. No other era can give us a date slightly earlier than the time of Harshavardhana. Our conclusion is also not opposed to the palaeographioal considerations.

The Asirgadh seal gives a genealogy of the Maukhari princes down to Sarvavarman. The present inscription adds one more name to the Maukhari list. This is Suryavarman, another son of Isanavarman. But it omits the name of Sarvavarman. The inscription opens with two laudatory verses in honour of the god Siva. Then follows the usual genealogy beginning with Harivarman, the first king of the dynasty (v. 4). From him was born Adityavarman. He was a pious man, and frequently performed sacrifices (vs. 6-7). Isvaravarman was his son (vs. 8-10). From him was born Isanavarman, who was, as it were, the beaming moon in the firmament of subordinate kings (rajanrajaka-mandalamvarasati: v. 11). The 13th sloka, which gives a description of the conquests of Isanavarman, is very important. It runs as follows :

jitv=Āndhr=ādhipatim sahasra-gaṇita-tredhā-ksharad=vāraṇam
vyāvalgan=niyut-āti-sankhya-turgān bhaṅktvā Śulikān
kṛitvā ch=āyati-mau(mo)chita-sthala-bhuvo Gauḍān samudr-āśrayā
n-adhyāsishṭa nata-kshitīśa-charaṇah siṅghā(mhā)sanam yo jitī[8]

From the above it follows that Isanavarman defeated in battle the king of the Andhras, and the Sulikas and the Gaudas who were all compelled to accept his sovereignty. When he was ruling the earth, his son Suryavarman was born. One day when the prince was out on-hunting, he lighted upon an old temple of Siva, which he caused to be reconstructed (v. 20). The building was finished in the rainy season of the year 600 exceeded by 11, when Isanavarman was the lord of the earth (v. 22). The poet of the inscription is Ravismti, son of Kumarasamti, an inhabitant of Garggarākaṭa (v. 23). The name of the engraver then follows. It was incised by Mihiravarman.

The most interesting point of the foregoing summary is Isanavarman's victory over the Andhra king, the Sulikas and the Gaudas. The old Andhra empire had now perished; so it is not quite certain what is signified here by the mention of an Andhra king. Who the Sulikas were, is also not known. According to Fleet, they are identifiable with the Mulikas, mentioned in the Brihat-saihhita (XIV, 48, 23). Fleet places them in the north-western frontier. The tribe or country mulaka, mentioned in the Nasik cave-inscription of Balasri, mother of the Andhra king Sri Satakarni Gotamiputra, is identified with Mtilika by Prof. Rapson. In former times the letters Sa and Ma were often interchangeable. So it might be that the Sulika stands here for the Mulika or Mulaka, The defeat of the Andhras is also mentioned in a mutilated inscription of the Maukhari king Isvaravarman, father of Isanavarman. The portion in which the name of the man who defeated them was mentioned, is broken. But it is probable that the allusion is to their defeat by the armies of king Isvaravarman. This is clear from the Haraha inscription. It is apparent from the verse quoted above that Isanavarman's glorious undertakings preceded his sitting on his father's throne i.e. they took place when his father was still ruling. This creates a strong presumption in favour of what is stated above, that probably the defeat of the Andhra king, mentioned in the mutilated Jaunpur inscription, is to be assigned to the reign of Isvaravarman. It is interesting to note that the name Gauda occurs for the first time in the new inscription from Haraha. We do not as yet know what local dynasty was ruling in Bengal in the sixth century A. D. But the conquest of the province by the Maukharis undoubtedly signalises the extinction of Gupta rule in Bengal.

I think, it is necessary here to point out that the discovery of this dated inscription of the Maukharis settles the chronology of the several undated Maukhari inscriptions hitherto discovered. The Jaunpur inscription, as it belongs to the reign of Isvaravarman father of Isanavarman, must be put earlier than tho year A.D. 554 the only known date at which Isanavarman was ruling. It may be safely placed in the last quarter of the fifth or the first quarter of the sixth csntury. For the three other undated inscriptions which arc on the Barabar and Nagarjuni Hills, an unusually late period is suggested by Mr. C. V. Vaidva. According to him the Maukhari princes mentioned in them are to be assigned to a date later than that of Harsha. But the letters of the inscriptions of Anantavarman are older in form even than those of the Haraha inscription. The tripartite ya which is a characteristic of tho Kushan and the Early Gupta alphabets," is used promiscuously along with its later developed form, in the Haraha inscription. But in the inscriptions of Anantavarman only the tripartite form of ya is to be met with. This is a clear indication that they are of considerably earlier date. [9]

Asirgarh Copper Seal Inscription of Sarvavarman Maukhari

  • (There was) the illustrious Mahârâja Harivarman, whose fame stretched out beyond the four oceans; who had other kings brought into subjection by (his) prowess and by affection (for him); who was like (the god) Chakradhara, in employing (his) sovereignty for regulating the different castes and stages of religious life; (and) who was the remover of the afflictions of (his) subjects. His son, who meditated on his feet, (was) the illustrious Mahârâja Âdityavarman, begotten on the Bhattârikâ and Dêvî Jayasvâminî. His son, who meditated on his feet, (was) the illustrious Mahârâja Îshvâravarman, begotten on the Bhattârikâ and Dêvî Harshaguptâ. His son, who meditated on his feet, (was) the Mahârâjâhirâja, the glorious Îshânavarman, begotten on the Bhattârikâ and Dêvî Upaguptâ. His son, who meditates on his feet, (is) the most devout worshipper of (the god) Mahêshvara, the Mahârâjâhirâja Sharvavarman, the Maukhari, begotten on the Bhattârikâ and Mahâdêvi Lakshmîvatî.
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 221.

Barabar Hill Cave Inscription of Anantavarman Maukhari

  • Ôm! He, Anantavarman, who was the excellent son, captivating the hearts of mankind, of the illustrious Shârdûla, (and) who, possessed of very great virtues, adorned by his own (high) birth the family of the Maukhari kings,-he, of unsullied fame, with joy caused to be made, as if it were his own fame represented in bodily form in the world, this beautiful image, placed in (this) cave of the mountain Pravaragiri, of (the god) Krishna.
  • (Line 3.)-The illustrious Shârdûla, of firmly established fame, the best among chieftains, became the ruler of the earth;-he who was a very Death to hostile kings; who was a tree, the fruits of which were the (fulfilled) wishes of (his) favourites; who was the torch of the family of the warrior caste, that is glorious through waging many battles; (and) who, charming the thoughts of lovely women, resembled (the god) Smara.
  • (L. 5.)-On whatsoever enemy the illustrious king Shârdûla casts in anger his scowling eye, the expanded and tremulous and clear and beloved pupil of which is red at the corners between the up-lifted brows,-on him there falls the death-dealing arrow, discharged from the bowstrings drawn up to (his) ear, of his son, the giver of endless pleasure, who has the name of Anantavarman.
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 223.

Nagarjuni Hill Cave Inscription of Anantavarman (I)

  • Ôm ! There was a glorious king, the illustrious Yajñavarman,-who, as if he were Anu, instructed all rulers of the earth in the duty of those who belong to the warrior caste;-whose gait was like the play of a rutting elephant;-(and) through whose sacrifices (the goddess) Paulômî, always emaciated by separation from (the god Indra) who has a thousand eyes, invoked (by this king so constantly as to be perpetually absent from her), has had the beauty of (her) cheeks for a long time sullied by the falling of tears.
  • (Line 3.)-He, the son of the illustrious king Shârdûla, who has the name of Anantavarman; who is reputed in the world to be benevolent to others, (and) to be possessed of fortune and manliness, (and) to be full of virtues that are as spotless as the rays of the moon,-by him was caused to be made this wondrous image, placed in (this) cave, of (the god) Bhûtapati and (the goddess) Dêvî, which is possessed of excellencies (of workmanship) some of them (previously) beheld (in other images) but others not so; (and) which confers boons upon the maker (of it). May it protect the world!
  • (L. 5.)-Having the surface of the full-moon that is (his) face made grey through being scattered over with spots that are (his) frowns displayed at the ends of the bent arc, glistening with (its) string pulled tight and fitted with an arrow, of the bow drawn up to the extremities of (his) shoulders, Anantavarman, whose body is like (that of) (the god) Smara,-having stood, gazed upon for a very long time by the does, indifferent to life, whose moist and tender eyes omit to blink (through the intentness with which they regard him);-(lives only) for (the purpose of dealing out) death. The far-reaching (and) powerful arrow, scattering the elephants and driving horses wild with fear, of him who has the name of Ananta, impelled with speed (and) skilfully discharged from the machine of (his) bow, fitted with a well-stretched string, that is drawn very tight (and) rivals the screams of an osprey (with the noise of its twanging),-teaches to the wives of (his) enemies the condition of the sorrows (of widowhood).
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 225-226.

Nagarjuni Hill Cave Inscription of Anantavarman (II)

Ôm! May the foot of (the goddess) Dêvî, fringed with the rays of (its) pure nails, point out the way to fortune, endowing with a (suitable) reward your state of supplication which is such as befits the expression of firm devotion;-(that foot) which, surpassing in radiance all the beauty of a full-blown waterlily, was disdainfully placed, with its tinkling anklet, on the head of the demon Mahishâsura !

  • (Line 3.)-There was a king, the illustrious Yajñavarman, possessed of greatness by celebrating copious sacrifices; renowned; possessed of, fame as pure as the spotless moon; the abode of (all) the dignity of one of the warrior caste;-who, though he was the foremost of all kings in respect of wisdom, (high) descent, liberality, and prowess, yet, through modesty, was (like) an ocean which adheres to the natural state (of tranquillity), (and) the calmness of which is never to be disturbed.
  • (L. 5.)-His son (was) the king Shârdûlavarman, who stretched out over the faces of the points of the compass, (as) an emblem of sovereignty, the renown that he had acquired in the occupation of war resembling (in its extensiveness) the great swollen ocean; who conquered (the stains of) this present age with (his) fame; who was illustrious; (and) who acquired, as it were, the glory of the kalpa-tree, by satisfying with rewards the wishes of (his) relatives and friends.
  • (L. 7.)-Of him, who was always possessed of infinite fame and renown, the son (is) he, pure of soul, (and) possessed of intellect animated with innate piety, who is known by the appellation of Varman commencing with Ananta;-by whom, desiring a shrine of religious merit that should endure as long as the sun, the earth, the moon, and the stars, this (image of) (the goddess) Kâtyâyanî has been placed in (this) wonderful cave of the Vindhya mountains.
  • (L. 9.)-He has given to (the goddess) Bhavânî, to be enjoyed up to the time of the destruction of all things, the charming village of . . . . . . . . , possessed of a great wealth of enjoyment,-the sin, impurity, mud, and blemishes of which are washed away by the pure waters of a great river;-which is filled with perfume by the breezes that agitate the priyamgu and vakula-trees in (its) groves;-(and) from which the radiance of the sun is screened off by (this) lofty mountain.
  • From: Fleet, John F. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum: Inscriptions of the Early Guptas. Vol. III. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publications Branch, 1888, 227-228.

Maukharis and relation with other Jat rulers

Maukhari (मौखरी) Mokhari (मोखरी) is gotra of Jats in India. Jat historians consider these people who came from Maukal (मौकल) country and hence were called Maukhari. There is a village named Maukhara (मौखरा) which is also believed to be the origin of Maukhari clan.[10] Mokhara (मोखरा) or Mokhra (मोखरा) is a prominent village of Maham-Chaubissi, in Rohtak district of Haryana.

Nagarjuni Hill Cave Inscription of Anantavarman (I) tell us about the Maukhari king -Yajñavarman,-who, as if he were Anu, instructed all rulers of the earth in the duty of those who belong to the warrior caste. Badwa Yup inscription of Maukhari rulers mentions a Mahasenapati named Bala. Both Maukhari and Bal are ancient Jat clans.

Baluchies (of Baluchistan) are the descendant of Anu.[11]

Thakurela Jats were the rulers of Nepal, who had relations with Maukhari Jats. Harshavardhana was ruler of Thanesar and he was Jat. The Maukhari, Thakuri and Harshavardhana clans had marital relations. Harshavardhana had established matrimonial relations with the Maukharis by marrying his sister Rajyasri with Maukhari king Grahavarman. Harshavardhana was Virk or Bains gotra Jat. [12]According to the historians Bhim Singh Dahiya[13] and Thakur Deshraj[14]Harsha’s clan was Virk, but Dilip Singh Ahlawat, Carlyle and Alexander Cunningham say that he belonged to the Bains clan of Jats. The Virk clan is linked to the Virks of Mandsaur, Central India, and Bains to the Punjab. Both Bains and Virk are clans of the Jats.

Distribution in Punjab

Villages in Jalandhar district


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