Radda (b. ? - r.1111 AD) (रड़्ड़) alias Shankharaja of Lohara family was the King of Kashmir in 1111 AD for a very short period. Uchchala was killed by a revolt of servants and in their presence. Raḍḍa alias Shankharaja became king for a short time. He was killed by Garga, and Salhana step brother of Radda became king.
The downfall of Uchchala came in December 1111 as a result a conspiracy, and after a prior attempt by Sussala to overthrow him. Sussala was not in the vicinity at the time that Uccala was murdered but within days had attempted a hazardous winter crossing over the mountains to Srinagar. Foiled by the winter weather on this occasion, he was able a few months later to venture once more and he proceeded to take control of Kashmir from a half-brother, Salhana. Salhana had himself taken the throne after the briefest of reigns by Radda, one of the leaders of the conspiracy against Uccala, whose rule lasted a single day. It was Gargacandra who organised the defeat of the conspirators and it was he who installed Salhana, using him as a puppet for the violent four months until the arrival of Sussala, a period which Kalhana described as a "long evil dream".
Murder of the King Uchchala
Rajatarangini tells ....Once when the king Sussala was at Kramarajya he went to the mountainous village of Varhanachakra in order to see the fire that lights of itself. When he was passing by the road of the village of Kamvaleshvara some armed Chandala robbers who lived there, surrounded him. Though they were intent on striking, and though the king's soldiers were few, yet being struck with panic they could not use their arms and so they did not strike. The king lost his way and wandered about with a few followers, and spent a night in a deep cavern. Soon on the morning this bad news reached the camp. From
[p.23]: camp the news slowly reached the capital. The Superintendent of the city was Chhudda of the family of the hero Kamadeva and brother of Radda. He quelled the disturbance in the city by arms, and then entered the palace with his brothers in order to determine what to do. When deliberations were going on as to who should be made king, Sadda a wicked Kayastha wishing to benefit his own caste people thus addressed him : — " You with your many friends, kinsmen and servants are unconquerable, rule this kingdom without opposition." When thus addressed the wicked man wished to enjoy the kingdom and soon tried to get on the throne. Whoever was conscious of his descent from the line of Shriyashaskara felt a desire to rule the kingdom. It appears that the wish that was inherent in them was inflamed by the words of an evil friend. They were not inclined to follow the right path, or why should they think of Sadda's evil counsel ? The low Sadda was born of the family of Lavata, the porter. Kshemadeva's son who held a small appointment behaved harshly like a very desperate and brave man. He stole a golden vase from the palace, and though ho was suspected yet, being a grave man, he was not discovered. He kept a small sword, was without a turban, laughed at all and prided himself, and like a prince despised the world. He always moved his fingers, and his notions of Government were cruel. By the words of this man and by their own evil desire, Chhudda and others aspired to the kingdom, but their de-
[p.24]: From that time the desire of being king was neither rooted out from their minds, nor was asleep, nor did it find an outlet. The king whose regard for them became unsettled gradually removed them from Government offices, and reduced them to an humble state. The king who was naturally rude in his speech now told them heart-piercing words. In the reign of king Harsha, they lived in the house of their young widow-mother after their father's death. Their neighbour an youthful friend and soldier named Madyasattaka was suspected with having formed an intrigue with their mother, and they killed him. But the king judged that they had not punished their unchaste mother and cut off her nose, and published this news behind their back ; and enquired after them as sons of the " Nose-cut." The king who was like death towards the Kayasthas had made Sadda the treasurer of the great treasury &c., and prevented him from doing mischief. But oppressed by Sadda's harshness his own accountant told the king that Sadda used to defalcate money from the treasury. The king in anger took away from him his post of Praveshabhagika and he again drove Radda and Chhudda to adopt their former plan.
Intent on killing the king, they sought for an opportunity and joined the wicked minded Hamsaratha, &c. They had stolen much wealth, they intended to kill the king, but found no opportunity for four or five years. With many men and in many ways and for a long time did they plan, but their counsels were not discovered
[p.25]: through the sins of men. They reported to one another that the king hart used hard words, and thus they worked themselves to enmity against the king. With the intention of killing the king they followed him with- out intermission ; secretly covering their breast, sides, back with, iron mail.
The king, who could not bear to be separated from Jayamati, and like a common man did every thing in his power to please her, had now for two years withdrawn his affection from her. Such change of character portends approaching death. Some say, that this was owing to the protection which the queen gave to Bhikshachara, others say, that love, like lightning, is fleeting. The king married Vichchala, daughter of the king of Vartula, and she became his favourite.
At this time king Sangramapala died and his son Somapala inherited his father's kingdom. The elder who should have got the throne was imprisoned by some conspirators who coronated this prince. This enraged the king of Kashmira against Rajapuri. Nevertheless he married his daughter who was like the picture of the meek goddess of fortune, to the great king of Rajapuri who was beloved of all his people and was tho chief of kings. This was the last festival given by this rich and subject-loving king [of Kashmira.] When his son- in-law had gone, he favored the Tantris but being on some account angry with them, he drove away those who had intended to rebel against him. At this time also he was angry with Bhogasena and dismissed him
[p.26]: from the post he held at Dvara and thus made him his enemy. Bhogasena was a very powerful man; he had subjugated all the Damaras. He now marched towards Lohara with a view to overcome Sussala. The king's enmity towards Bhogasena was tempered with love, he opposed his march and then blamed him for his conduct at which Bhogasena was angry.
The hero Bhogasena who was formerly the king's friend, when thus insulted, brought again Rudda, Kadda and others to on appointed place from which the king did not drive them back. Thus they who were insulted, dismissed from their posts and were evil-minded now met together. The wily Sadda disapproved the confidence which the rebels reposed on Bhogasena, because Bhogasena was a hero and a simple-hearted man. Sadda advised that the king should be killed that very day as otherwise the simple minded Bhogasena would betray them. Sadda was not wrong in what he said of Bhogasena, for the latter had intended to betray and would have told the king of the existence of a treason, but the king insulted him by proposing to bestow on him the Southern Dvara, and thus made him adhere to the party of the rebels, When a man's end approaches, he is displeased even with those who instruct him, just as one is displeased with those who awake him from his sleep in winter even when it is day.
The Tantris who were sentinels now retired to their posts, and the rebels joined their own soldiers in the capital. They gave signal to the Chandalas saying "kill
[p.27]: him whom we shall strike in the night" and led them into an open building. When they were there, the king had token his meal, and the rebels frightened away the king's servants telling them that the king was very angry. The king urged by love was going to the house of Vijjalā and his way was lighted by a lamp. When he, attended by a few followers, had reached a house in the midway, Sadda surrounded the house behind him, and there killed sonic men. Others stopped all the doors in the front and surrounded the king with a view to kill him. One of the party, through pride, advanced towards the king and pulled him by the hair. The king was a powerful man and pierced him with his weapon. Then the daggers fell on his golden chain as serpents fall on the peak of Sumeru. The king then cried out " treason," " treason," and by the help of his small weapon undid the hold which they had on his hair, and with his teeth unloosed the stick from their hands. Sujanakāra, the servant, who was bearing the king's dagger fled on being struck by the enemies. The king therefore snatched a light knife worthy of a boy and planted the little weapon between the knees of his opponent, and with its help came out with difficulty from his grasp. He retired to a little distance and bound his loosened hair. The king did not lose his spirit and showed much valor that his foes, Struck at vital parts, fell on the ground. The king pierced Radda who had struck him from behind, and yelling like a lion he turned round and pierced Vyaḍḍa. The king brought down another
[p.28]:soldier who was clad in armour, and he died within a short time and after suffering some agony. Availing him-self of this opportunity he ran towards the house in order to gain admission into it, but the gate-keeper did not know him as the king, and closed the door. He then made for another door when Chhuḍḍa opposed him saying , "where do you go" and struck him with his sword. The king then saw Bhogasena standing at the end of the door with his back turned and scratching the wall with a piece of wood. The king addressed him and said, " I have forgiven Bhogasena why are you then hero." He replied, abashed to the fleeing king something indistinctly. Rayyāvaṭṭa, the torch-bearer, who was without weapon, went into the fight with his iron lamp and fell wounded by the rebels. Somapala, a Rajpoot, son of Champa, was wounded and fell covered with the blows he received. His behaviour was not censurable Majjaka, a Rajpoot, son of Shurapala, fled hiding his weapon, like a dog hiding his tail. The king ran towards a wooden fence intending to scale it, but the Chandalas cut him in the knee and he fell on the ground. One Shringara, a Kayastha, who was not a rebel, threw himself over the king's body, was severely beaten and was prevented from , protecting the king.
The king intended to rise again, but all his enemies struck him with their weapons, and his garland of blue lotus was torn away by kālī.* The low Sadda cut
* A sort of weapon.
[p.29]: him in his neck suspecting that the king was yet alive though he seemed dead. " I am he whom you dismissed from his post," he said, as he cut the king's fingers and snatched the jewel rings. The long-armed king was seen sleeping on the ground, his shoo in one foot, his garland fallen from his head and his face covered. The king's cruelty towards men was atoned by his great valor in his last moments. Shuraja, a royal servant, came out and cried aloud " treason," but he was killed by the angry Bhogasena.
Thus the king perished by the kāli on his way to the appartments of his queen. Kings become restless with enjoyments in their kingdoms as black bees become restless with the pollen of flowers in gardens. Alas! They are then struck by fate, as bees are felled by the wind, and disappear from the sight. Ravana who conquered the three worlds was at last defeated by monkey's, and Duryyodhana who was superior to innumerable kings received a kick on his hcrid. Thus after enjoying great glory they were insulted like ordinary men. After musing on these things who can say that he is great?
The umbrella-bearers of the king brought tho naked body of their master, as of a helpless man, to be burnt. One took upon his shoulder, tho hands of the king, another took up in his hands, his legs,his neck broken, his hair hanging, his body besmeared with blood and wounded and uncovered like that of a helpless man.
[p.30]: They soon burnt him on an island in the great river Vitasta. No one saw him die, no one saw him burnt, as if he fled of wings and disappeared. At the time of his death he had completed the age of forty-one. It was in the year 87, in the month of Pausha, on the sixth day of the bright moon.
Radda steps in to the throne
Rajatarangini mentions: [p.30]: Raḍḍa clad in armour and holding the sword and besmeared in blood stepped towards the throne as an evil spirit steps on the stones of the burning ground. When he ascended the throne, his powerful and warlike friends and servants prepared themselves for battle. His friends Batta, Patta the Tantris fought for a longtime and fell at the principal gate of the palace ; the warriors Katta Suryya &c, also fell there. The king Radda with sword and shield killed many of his enemies in fight within the palace. At times his opponents despaired of victory; but Radda fell in battle after a long struggle and after killing many of his foes. After the minder of his late master Uchchala, Gagga disclaimed wealth and punished Radda, though dead, as befitted a rebel.
Near Diddamatha Vyadda's face was submerged in a drain and he was killed by the citizens who threw stones and ashes on him. In several places the rebels were dragged by ropes tied to their ankles and the citizens spat on them as they deserved. Sadda, Hansaratha and others fled, to suffer an agony worse than death. The news of Radda's defeat and the death of his brothers came on Bhogasena like a deluge. He
[p.31]: returned intending to oppose, but seeing the soldiers flee, He was struck with fear and fled to sonic place, accompanied with a few kindred men. Thus Gargachandra by his own valor either killed or routed the principal men of the rebel party. No where in history have I heard of feats of courage like those of the valorous Garga. One prahara of night and one of day did the rebel Radda reign and he obtained the title of Shankharaja. He got the punishment due to the wicked. The rebels proved that they were born of the line of Yashaskara for they reigned for a short time like Varnatadeva. Hunters kill lions &c., by fire and trap ; they are themselves killed by the sudden fall of fragments of stone. All go the same way, the way to death, so it is useless to distinguish the murderers from the murdered. Those who hear with pleasure the voice of women proclaiming their happiness at their marriage, listen not long after to their lamentations and voices of wail. He who feels happy at having averted a danger finds other sources of unhappiness not long after. Ignorance is blinding. The rebels thought of violence in the evening, at night the thought was matured into action, and on the next day it brought on misery.
When the work was finished, Garga left the scene of action, his anger was appeased, and he came near the throne and wept long for his master. At this time the citizens had shaken off then- fear and found an opportunity to weep for their beloved king. The insincere-
[p.32]: Jayamati wishing to excite pity and in the hope of still living after her husband's death gave wealth to Garga and said, "0 brother tell me what I should do." Garga knew her intention and gave her assurance of safety. There is crookedness in the tresses of women, restlessness in their eyes, hardness in their heaving breasts, and no one can fothom their hearts. Women who live in vice, and who even kill their husbands easily enter the fire. No confidence can be placed in women. While she was riding in a conveyance, and loitering in the way, Vichchla came out first, by that time and entered the funeral fire. As she was going up the pile, the people robbed her of her ornaments and thereby hurt her person. The people wept to see the late king's umbrella and chamara burning and felt as if their eyes were being consumed.
Though all asked Garga to ascend the throne, he did not do so, and thus he held his duty sacred. He intended to set up the infant son of Uchchala to the throne, and enquired after the boy. The people now wondered at the work of those whom they at first had thought unfit even to beg. Mallaraja had by queen Shveta three sons, Sahlana, &c, of whom the second had died before. Shamkharaja (Radda) had sought to kill the surviving Sahlana and Lothana and they fled in fear to the Navamatha. Learning that the rebels were dead, the shameless Tantri , and cavalry officers consulted together and brought them back. Garga did not free any one else fitted for the kingdom and he anointed Sahlana,
[p.33]: the elder of them. O! that within four praharas of day and night there were three kings. The wicked servants of the king who at evening served Uchchala, and Radda the next morning, came to Sahlana at noon.
Rajatarangini mentions that ....The king then for a short time made enquiries on subjects both of great and little importance, and then went to the inner apartments of queen Raḍḍā, with Bhoja of Kashmir. Bhoja saw her beaming with courtesy, and he bowed to her and acknowledged that the king was the Pārijāta tree attended by Kalpalatā. (p.299-300)
Gulhana made king of Lohara
Rajatarangini tells.... The king (Jayasimha) then anointed Gulhana, the eldest of the sons of Raḍḍādevī, as king of the prosperous kingdom of Lohara. That prince was aged six or seven years, and he surpassed older kings, as a young mango tree surpasses worn out trees. As the queen Raḍḍā went to anoint her son, the feudatory kings bowed to her, and reddened her feet by the rays of the rubies on their heads, as if by red paint. When the prince was anointed, the clouds, as if in compliance with, the wishes of the queen, drenched the earth which had been dried up by a fearful drought. (p.306)
Rajatarangini tells.... After the king of Lohara (Gulhana), queen Radda's four sons, clever and eminent on account of their virtues, became kings. As Lakshmana bore inseparable love towards Rama, so Gulhana is loved by Aparāditya, and lives in prosperity in Lohara. As Shatrughna was brought up by Bharata, even so Jayapida lives under the fostering care of Lalitaditya. King Ahaskara was renowned on account of humility and was the fifth virtuous king, and rose like the young sun. He was restless on account of his young age, graceful on account of his reverence and power, and although like the beautiful sun, he softened men. His fair face with eyes lined with collyrium, and his lower lip red as copper, appeared like a golden lotus on which the rays of the newly risen sun were reflected. Though
[p.314]: young, his conversation was clear and full of magnanimity, and was as grateful to men as the source of the nectar, (the moon), churned out of the ocean. " He is horn of a great family, and the graceful dignity of his infancy indicates future expansion.
Four daughters, — Menila, Rajalakshmi, Padmashri and Kamala, — all bent on good deeds, were born to the king of Kashmira.
King and the queen: Always surrounded by beautiful children in the pleasure garden made for enjoyment? the unblemished king and queen look graceful like two gardens in the rainy season. By the reduction of the expenditure of the kingdom, hallowed by holy temples, the riches of queen Radda were augmented. The queen was followed by the king and petty chiefs and ministers in her pilgrimage to shrines of gods, and she beamed like the goddess of Royal Fortune. When she bathed, her companions in pilgrimage touched the person of that chaste lady and instantly abandoned their desire to touch the image of Sati. When she marched, the rain clouds in the sky always followed her, in order to see her, as they follow the rainy season ; no doubt, because, when she bathed in the shrines of this world, the shrines of heaven bathed her too, out of jealousy, in the guise of rain clouds. In her eagerness to go to shrines, the queen with her tender limbs does not think even the cloud-touching hills and the bank-breaking rivers in her way to be insurmountable. By setting up many images and repairing worn out temples, the wise and clever queen surpassed the
[p.315]: " Idle " (Nirjjitavarmma) and Didda. She set up a beautiful image of Rudra named Rudreshvara, made of white stone grateful as the source of the nectar, (the moon), and beauteous as the melting sea of cream. It shines to the day and destroys hunger, thirst, poverty and all disturbances. Set with pure gold, it is the graceful ornament of Kashmira, the essence of all beautiful things in the world. She also repaired the building named Shāntāvasāda.
Influence of the queen over the king: When the king is ruffled with anger, as the sea is by the sub-marine fire, the queen is the shelter of the servants, as the Ganges is of aquatic creatures. When the king is in even temper, punishments or favors on [subordinate] kings were awarded at her desire. She favored king Bhupala, son of Somapala, by marriage with the honorable Meniladevi. The dignity inherited from noble birth is easily discerned, and is, never, completely lost. The fiery sun has the power to destroy darkness, and the disk (moon) receives the power from the sun, and so destroys darkness. This kingdom, wonderful among all kingdoms on earth, and purified and full of jewels, displays in a befitting manner the virtues of the king. After Meniladevi was married, her father sincerely forgot his former displeasure against the bridegroom and bestowed on him a kingdom.
The king had, by his vigour, killed king Prājidhara and other enemies in battle. The powerful Ghatotkacha, younger brother of Prajidhara now tried to heal up his enmity with the king. He took shelter of Radda and
[p.316]: obtained a beautiful kingdom, and enjoyed a kingly fortune. Panchavata, helped by the ministers of the king, caused the kingdom of Angada including Prajji to he taken away from its owner who behaved with hostility towards his brother. His [ Panchavata's] prowess was as great as that of the Sohāradānā river, when full of water ; but by crossing it, he (Ghatotkacha) eluded that river as well as Panchavata's black sword flashing before enemies. The latter [ Panchavata ] created a bad name for the king, and by the prowess of the gods, took possession of Atyugrapura full of combatants. Under the beams of the white umbrella, beautiful is the moon, many joyful leaders of armies thus attained fame.
In this year 25 (=1149 AD), twenty-two years have now passed since the king obtained the kingdom. Owing to the .... of the subjects, the happiness attained by this king in the end was not equalled in any other place for many years and cycles. Water which naturally fows is, by n certain plant, consolidated, and it becomes like stone. Solid stone (sun-jewel) melts at the rising of the sun, and flows. Whose work can shine unchanged against the irresistible power of time, as long as such resistible power endures? Such is the power of Fate !
- Kings of Kashmira Vol 2 (Rajatarangini of Kalhana)/Book VIII (ii),p.319
- Stein (1900), Vol. 2, p. 295.
- Stein, (1900), Vol. 1, p. 15
- Kings of Kashmira Vol 2 (Rajatarangini of Kalhana)/Book VIII,p.22-24
- Kings of Kashmira Vol 2 (Rajatarangini of Kalhana)/Book VIII,pp.30-33
- Kings of Kashmira Vol 2 (Rajatarangini of Kalhana)/Book VIII (ii), p.299-300
- Kings of Kashmira Vol 2 (Rajatarangini of Kalhana)/Book VIII (ii),p.306
- Kings of Kashmira Vol 2 (Rajatarangini of Kalhana)/Book VIII (ii),p.313-316