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Pravarasena is mentioned as King of Kashmir by Kalhana in Rajatarangini. Shreshtasena alias Pravarasena I alias Tungjina II ruled in Kashmir from 59 AD - 89 AD. [1] Pravarasena II ruled in Kashmir from 125 AD - 185 AD. [2]


Bhim Singh Dahiya writes that Kalhana mentions Pravarasena II, the son of Toramana, was born of a lady from Ikshavaku family.[3]

जनरल कनिंघम के मत से, काश्मीर के प्रवरसेन का समय 423 ई. है।1 प्रवरसेन यशोधर्मा का समकालीन था, क्योंकि उसने यशोधर्मा के पुत्र शिलादित्य को काश्मीर ले जाकर गद्दी पर बिठाया था। यदि इस मत को सही मान लिया जाए तो ब्रजेन्द्र-वंश भास्कर में दिए हुए विषणुवर्द्धन के यज्ञ संवत् 428 अर्थात् सन् 371 को मानने में कोई आपत्ति नहीं रहती। किन्तु इतिहासवेत्ताओं का एक बड़ा दल इसी मत का पोषक है कि यशोधर्मा ने हूणों को 529 ई. के लगभग हराया। इस तरह विष्णुवर्द्धन के जय (यज्ञ) स्तंभ का समय संवत् 528 के आसपास का मानना ही ठीक है।[4]

Mention by Kalhana

Rajatarangini[5] tells us that Pravarasena subdued many kings, and his fame spread far and wide like that of Agastya muni, and his army reached the sea in their march of conquest ; and the perspiration of his elephants made the waters of the Ganges look like the confluence of that river -with the Yamuna. He defeated the people of Saurashtra and upset the administration of the kingdom. His mind was so bent on the acquisition of fame, that he was indifferent to all earthly things, having no attachment towards any object. 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. Pratapasila for seven times refused to acknowledge the supremacy of the king of Kashmira, and the latter had to subdue him seven times. On the eighth occasion, Pravarasena called Pratapasila a brute and intended to take his life. The latter, however, saved himself by self-humiliation, and suggested that if he was a beast, his life was too insignificant to be destroyed. Pratipasila also amused the Kashmirian king by dancing before his court like a peacock, and imitating tho voice of that bird;. whereupon Pravarasena not only took him under his protection, but also bestowed riches on him. After conquering the world, he lived in the city raised by his grand-father, but felt a desire to found a city in his

[p.53]: own name.* In the village of Sharitaka Pravarasena proposed to build a city. But before he did so, he wished to set up Pravareshvara Shiva, and he employed artisans for the purpose. Bat an image of Shiva sprung up from the ground from among the instruments of the workmen, and it was named Jayasvami from Jaya the name of one of the sculptors. The god Vinayaka Bhimasvami who faced towards the west, without any human agency turned himself and faced towards the east, for the welfare of the intended town. The king further set up images of five goddesses Sadbhavashri and others, each having shri after her name. He caused to be built a large bridge of boats on the Vitasta, and from that time the bridge of boats became known to the world. His maternal uncle Jayendra built a large Buddhist vihara named Jayendra-vihira after his name. And his minister Moraka, who ruled Ceylon, built a beautiful house named Morakabhavana. The new city which was enlarged by Vishvakarmma and Soma, was raised on the southern, bank of the Vitasta, and contained thirty six lacs of houses, it contained several market places, and its high houses touched the clouds, from whose tops, in the rainy season the earth could be seen drenched with rain; and in chaitra sprinkled with flowers. In this city alone the rows of the houses of amusements were built just on the river, and the hill of recreation was in the centre of the town,from whose top the whole city could be seen. In

* See Appendix F|.

[p.54]: the hot season tho inhabitants of tho city could get the cool waters of the Vitasta at their doors. And the royal gifts to the gods of the city were so rich, that they could buy the world a thousand times. The forehead of the king was marked with the sign of sula over which his white hairs flowed like the Gauges on the head of Shiva. Thus reigned Pravarasena for sixty years.

Kasmir visit of Xuanzang in 631 AD

Alexander Cunningham[6] writes that Srinagari, the old capital of Kashmir prior to the erection of Pravarasenapura, is stated to have been founded by the great Asoka, [7] who reigned from B.C. 263 to 226. It stood on the site of the present Pandrethan, and is said to have extended along the bank of the river from the foot of the Takht-i-Suliman to Pantasok, a distance of more than three miles. The oldest temple in Kashmir, on the top of the Takht-i-Suliman, is identified by the unanimous consent of all the Brahmans of the valley with the temple of Jyeshta Rudra, which was built by Jaloka, the son of Asoka, in Srinagari.[8] This identification is based on the fact that the hill was originally called Jyeshteswara. The old bridge abutments at the village of Pantasok are

[p.96]: also attributed to Asoka ; and the other ruins at the same place are said to be the remains of the two Asokeswara temples which are noted in the native chronicle of Kashmir. Srinagari was still the capital of the valley in the reign of Pravarasena I., towards the end of the fifth century, when the King erected a famous symbol of the god Siva, named after himself Pravareswara. This city still existed in A.D. 631, when the Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang arrived in Kashmir, although it was no longer the capital of the valley. Xuanzang speaks of the capital of his time as the " new city," and states that the " old city " was situated to the south-east of it, at a distance of ten li, or nearly two miles, and to the south of a high mountain. This account describes the relative positions of Pandrethan and the present capital with the lofty hill of Takht-i-Suliman so exactly, that there can be no hesitation in accepting them as the representatives of the ancient places. The old city was still inhabited between A.D. 913 and 921, when Meru, the minister of Raja Partha, erected in Puranadhisthana, that is in the " old capital," a temple named after himself Meru-Varddhana-swami. This building I have identified with the existing temple of Pandrethan, as Kalhan Pandit relates[9] that, when Raja Abhimanyu set fire to his capital, all the noble buildings "from the temple of Varddhana Swami, as far as Bhikshukiparaka, (or the asylum of mendicants) were destroyed. I attribute the escape of the limestone temple to its fortunate situation in the midst of a tank of water. To this catastrophe I would assign the final desertion of the old capital, as the humble dwellings of the people could not possibly have escaped the destructive

[p.97]: fire which consumed all the " noble edifices " of the city.

Pravarasenapura, or the new capital, was built by Raja Pravarasena II. in the beginning of the sixth century. Its site, as already noted, was that of the present capital of Srinagar. This is determined beyond all possibility of doubt by the very clear and distinct data furnished by the Chinese pilgrim Hwen Thsang, and by the Hindu historian Kalhan Pandit. The statements of the first have already been quoted in my account of the old capital ; but I may add that Hwen Thsang resided for two whole years in Kashmir, in the Jayendra Vihara[10] or Buddhist monastery, built by Jayendra, the maternal uncle of Pravarasena. The Hindu author describes the city as situated at the confluence of two rivers, and with a hill in the midst of it. This is an exact description of the present Srinagar, in the midst of which stands the hill of Hari Parbat, and through which flows the river Hara, or Ara, to join the Behat at the northern end of the city.[11]

See also


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