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Toramana was a ruler of the Hephthalite Empire who ruled its Indian region in the late 5th and the early 6th century.


Ram Sarup Joon[1] writes that ...Abdul Malik Mashirmal, author of Gujar History writes that according to General Sir A Cunningham, the author of Gujar and Rajputs history, the rulers of Kanauj were Gujars (History of Gujars P-213 to 218). Their Gotra was Pratihar and they are the Descendants of Hun Chief Torman.

Ram Sarup Joon[2] writes that ...The Pehwa edict describes the rule of three Pratihar kings. It is mentioned that they were the descendants of 'Jabala', the Hun who had ruled there before them- the third edict narrates the rule of Jabla Toraman.

There is an old saying in Rohilkhand that the Chief Toraman Kachwaha attacked Iran in 943 A.D. He conquered the territory from Iran to Bhopal. He constructed a fort at Gwalior. The descendants of Bhur Sen came to be called Kachhwaha in 945 A.D., and ruled Gwalior till 933 A.D., when Pratihars seized power. Therefore, if we accept this the Kachwaha Rajputs are the descendants of Torman, Jabla Gujars.

Charak Rai (the Bhat] who lived during the reign of Emperor Shah Jehan writes that the king of Iran was Torman. Shri Bhanderkar and General Cunningham and Mr. Smith all prove that Torman, Kachwaha and Pratihars are all descendants of Jabla Gujars. One of the edicts of Hun Chief Jabla was excavated in Malwa, at Mandsor, and is said to have been inscribed in 533 A.D.

According to this edict King Meharkul was the son of Torman, who was defeated and driven out by Yashodharaman.

Toramana consolidated the Hephthalite power in Punjab (present-day Pakistan and northwestern India), and conquered northern and central India including Eran in Madhya Pradesh. His territory also included Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kashmir.[3]

He was defeated by the Indian Emperor Bhanugupta of the Gupta Empire in 510 A.D.[4][5]

Toramana is known from Rajatarangini, coins and inscriptions. Toramana is mentioned. In the Gwalior inscription, written in Sanskrit.

In the Kura inscription, his name is mentioned as Rajadhiraja Maharaja Toramana Shahi Jaula.

The Eran Boar Image inscription of his first regnal year indicates that eastern Malwa was included in his dominion.

A Jaina work of the 8th century, the Kuvalayamala states that he lived in Pavvaiya on the bank of the Chandrabhaga (Chenab river) and enjoyed the sovereignty of the world.[6] The silver coins of Toramana closely followed the Gupta silver coins. The only difference in the obverse is that the king's head is turned to the left. The reverse retains the fantailed peacock and the legend is almost similar, except the change of name to Toramana Deva.[7]

According to the Risthal stone-slab inscription, discovered in 1983, the Aulikara king Prakashadharma of Malwa defeated him.[8]

Clan of Toramana

Tej Ram Sharma[9] writes - We know of Toramana from his Eran Boar Inscription [10] and of Mihirakula from his Gwalior Inscription. [11] These two are generally taken to have been Huna chiefs. There is another inscription found at Kura (Salt range in the Punjab) referring to Rajadhiraja Maharaja Toramana-Sahi-Jau (bla), whom some scholars identify with king Toramana mentioned in the Eran Inscription,[12] but others regard the two as quite different.[13] Here it must be pointed out, none of these inscriptions describes any of these kings as Hunas nor contains any reference to the Hunas.

We find an interesting account of Toramana in the Jain work, Kuvalayamala, composed to 700 Saka (A.D.778).[14] Here Toramana is stated to have lived on the bank of the Chandrabhaga (Chenab river). His guru Hari-gupta, who himself was a scion of the Gupta family, also lived there.[15]

Both Toramana and Mihirakula are referred to in the Rajatarangini, but there is no mention of their being the Hunas.

It is doubtful whether Toramana and Mihirakula were Hunas or Kushanas. Sir Aurel Stein, KP Jayaswal [16] and Fleet [17] held that Toramana was a Kushana. But Sten Konow [18] holds that Tora- mana was, in all probability, a Huna, as is generally assumed, and not a Kushana. It is not unlikely that the Hunas and the Kushanas were ethnically allied and were later merged into a new nation, which came to be known as Huna in India.[19]

Bhim Singh Dahiya on Toramana

Bhim Singh Dahiya[20] writes that J.F. Fleet, referring to the inscriptions on the top of a lid of the steatite casket found in stupa No.2 at Andheri, near Sanchi,[21] says that it should be, plainly read.

Sapurisasa Gotiputasa Kakanada-Pabhasanasa Kodina-Gotasa.

This has been translated by Fleet as,

"The relics of the virtuous Prabhasana of Kakanada, the Gotiputra, of the Kaundinya gotra".

Here no explanation has been given for the word 'Gotiputra'. It is similar to the word 'Rajaputra' occurring in the Kura inscriptions of Toramana, and it can only mean the son of a Jat. The gotra itself which Fleet changes into Kaundinya, may well be Kadin, the modern Kadian. [22]

Bhim Singh Dahiya on Jaula clan of Toramana

Bhim Singh Dahiya [23] writes:

The Word 'Jauvla' and Jauhla Jats - The greatest controversy among the historians is about the word Jauvla. This word was corrupted into Jaubul or Jabul by the Arabians and hence their territory was called Jabulistan-the land of the Jauvlas. As we shall show, the inscriptions and the coins of Toramana and Mihirkula (Mihirgula) have given the correct pronunciation of this word as Jauvla. This word has been taken as a title by some historians which is not correct at all. Other historians take it as a feudatory or a subordinate title, corresponding to the word Yavuga. But they find it difficult to explain why the subordinate title was continuously used, not only by Toramana, who became an independent emperor but also by Mihirkula, his son, who was admittedly a sovereign emperor. The difficulty arises in not appreciating the fact that the word Jauvla, is the name of their clan and it is not a title or even a dynastic name. This was and is the name of yet another Jat clan, now written as Jauhla or Johla. The people of this clan are still existing in the India (Punjab) area and the famous fort near Peshawar which is comparable with the Red Fort of Delhi-is named after this clan of the Jats and even today it is called the Jauhla Fort. It was these Jauhla/Johl Jats who were the defenders of Khyber Pass from the Kabul side for many centuries against the Arabs, while the brave Jats of Kikan or Kikanan, were defending the Bolan Pass.138 As early as 682 A.D., these Jats of Kikanan, resisted and repulsed the Arabs, and at the time of Calliph A-Mehdi (786-809 A.D.), his armies had to measure swords with these hardy Jats of Bolan Pass.139 Jauvla is the word which was mainly used by Toramana and Mihirkula. According to Buhler, the word Toraman, is neither Sanskrit nor Prakrit but is of Turkish origin and means a rebel or insurgent. 140 The title accordingly, should be connected with Jauvla 'falcon'. As stated earlier the origin is not Turkish but Saka, influenced by old Pehlavi as were all the names of these people. Buhler further states that Sahi is a title or a surname and Jauvla epithet may be a tribal name or a Biruda. Here Buhler has hit upon the nail because Jauhla is in fact the name of their clan. Cunningham identifies Toraman Jauhla, with the prince called the Jabuin in the "Chachnama"-a history of Sindh, whih states that this prince had built the famous temple of the sun at Multan. The foundation of this excellent sun temple were laid

138. R.C. Mazumdar, History and Culture of Indian People, Vol, III, p. 174,
139. ibid., Vol. IV, p. 127.
140. EI, Vol. I, p. 239,

Page 50: in 505 A.D. J.J. Modi on the authority of Firadausi's Shahnama, suggests that Jau is really Jaugan or Jaugani, which is another variant of Chagani. He holds that the Huna King was called Jaugan as the Hunas were primarily and emotionally connected with Jaugan-their favourite place, which they were eager, at all cost, to retain in their hands. Now it is correct that they wanted to retain Chagan area in their hands, this being their ancestral place, but it is certainly not correct to derive Jaugan from Jau........, and J.J. Modi is completely off the mark here.

According to KP Jayaswal, the word Jauvla of the Kura inscription should be read as Jauvṇa 141 but this is also not correct although Rapson reads the same name on some coins.142 This reading of Jauvna on coins may be correct but it certainly is not identical with Jauvla. We have another Jat clan name Jauṇa/Juṇa and it is possible that the coins may belong to the kings of this Jauṇa clan. Heirfeld 143 and Junker144 read the word as "Zobolo" on some coins. Henning, takes it to be a title. It is also stated that the title Sahi, used by the Kusanas was followed by the Hephhthalites or White Hunas and similarly, Jauvla/Zowolo was also borrowed from somewhere. Both the assertions are wrong. Neither the title Sahi was borrowed nor the clan name Jauvla was borrowed. The title Sahi has been used by them since at least the seventh century B.C. and it is absurd to suggest that a person can borrow his clan name which is invariably the name of one of their ancestors. Upendra Thakur gives the adjective, "the-so-called-tribal- Viruda" to Jauvla and says that it stands for a section of the Hunas who on their way to India first settled in a land called Zabulistan to the south of the Hindukush (i.e., Afghanistan).145 Thus far, he is correct. Later on at page 100 he gives a definite opinion to say that the word Jauvla is a title and not a name. Here he is wrong. Bivar also suggests that it was the official title of the dynasty. He had found two stone inscriptions at Uruzgan (in Afghanistan) where the words Saho Zovolo has been read by him.146 All these ideas, sometimes reached the truth

141. JBORS, Vol. XVIII, p. 201 ff.
142. ICR, p. 29.
143. MASI, No. 38, p. 19.
144. Span, 1930, p. 650.
145. The Hunas in India, p. 98,
146. JRAS, 1954, p. 115,

Page 51: but not the complete truth. The word Sahi is of course the same as the Persian Sahi meaning 'royal' whereas Jauvla is the name of the clan to which the white Hunas under Toraman belonged; and as mentioned above, this clan still exists and at present they write the name as Jauhla and also Johl. This name again appears in an inscription of Mahendra Paul (893/912 A.D.). Referring to a Tomar chief, the inscription also mentioned a person called Jauvla. This is the same name of the clan to which Toraman belonged. "In this way the links of Pratihars, Gurjars, and Hunas continued to exist."147 We hope this will clear the picture.

The word Jabulistan therefore is the Arabic version of the original Jauvlistan/Jaullasthan and it comprised the area of Kabul-Gazni and adjoining parts. Hiuen Tsang, the Chinese traveller noted in the seventh century A.D. that the king of Jabulistan had succeeded a long line of kings and he was a follower of the cult of sun or Ksun.148 According to Ghirshman, one of the kings of this dynasty was called Vakbha, whose coins have been found which show a marked degree of Indianisation. One of the later kings was called Napki Maika. His coins were restruck by the later Turks, the Sahi Tegin.149 It is significant that when the Arabs invaded Jabulistan in 654-55 A.D., a decade after the visit of the Chinese traveller, they mentioned only Zunbil as the title of the king and they do not associate him with the Turks. This word Zunbil is again a derivative of Jabul/Jauvla, which was the name of the ruling clan.

Kura inscriptions of Toramana

To add


Toramana was succeeded by his son Mihirakula.[24]


  1. Ram Sarup Joon: History of the Jats/ChapterVIII,p. 137
  2. Ram Sarup Joon: History of the Jats/ChapterVIII,p. 138
  3. Dani, Ahmad Hasan (1999). History of Civilizations of Central Asia: The crossroads of civilizations, A.D. 250 to 750. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 142. ISBN 8120815408.
  4. Encyclopaedia of Indian Events & Dates by S. B. Bhattacherje A15
  5. The Classical Age by R.K. Pruthi p.262
  6. Mahajan V.D. (1960, reprint 2007). Ancient India, S.Chand & Company, New Delhi, ISBN 81-219-0887-6, p.519
  7. Gupta, P.L. (2000). Coins, New Delhi: National Book Trust, ISBN 81-237-1887-X, p.78
  8. Ojha, N.K. (2001). The Aulikaras of Central India: History and Inscriptions, Chandigarh: Arun Publishing House, ISBN 81-85212-78-3, pp.48-50
  9. Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions/Tribes,pp.132-136
  10. Corpus Inscripionum Indicarum, Vol. III by John Faithful Fleet , p. 158.
  11. Ibid., p. 161.
  12. Journal and Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta. LXIII. 186; JJ. XII, 531.
  13. The Periplus of the Erythraen Sea by W. H. Schoff I. 239.
  14. Journal of Bihar and Orissa Research Society, Patna. XIV, 28ff.
  15. R.C. Majumdar, The Vakatka-Gupta Age by R. C. Majumdar and A.S. Altekar. p. 136.
  16. Journal of Bihar and Orissa Research Society, Patna. XVIII, 203.
  17. Indian Antiquary, Bombay. XV, 245.
  18. Journal of the Numismatic Society of India, Varanasi. XII, 532.
  19. The Classical Age. p. 59.
  20. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/The Empire of the Dharan Jats, Misnamed Guptas,p.187
  21. Bhilsa Tope, p. 347; and Plate XXIX, No.7
  22. CII, Vol. III, p. 31.
  23. Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/The Jats, pp 48-51
  24. Gwalior Stone Inscription of Mihirakula.