Sunday, May 17, 2009

BENGAL DYNASTIES: A CHRONOLOGY ( Part 2)





Islamic Dynasties of Bengal

Islam was introduced in Bengal by the Arab traders and the Sufi missionaries.The first invasion of Bengal took place under Bakhtiyar Khilji , the General of Qutubuddin Aibak the Sultan of Delhi. This took place sometime in 1205. His Khilji dynasty ruled Bengal uptil 1227. The last ruler of the Khiljis , Ghiyasuddin fell out with the Sultan of Delhi, Iltutmish, and the Slave dynasty (Mameluk) of Delhi took charge of Bengal and ruled it for fifty four years (1227-1281). In between there was the Balban dynasty (1281-1328) , followed by the Ilyas Shahi dynasty (beginning from 1342) ruling in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The rule of Ilyas shahi dynasty was interrupted for a brief period by the Ganesha dynasty. The first ruler being a Hindu viz. Raja Ganesha. But his son converted to Islam and ruled as Jalaluddin Muhammed Shah (1418-1431).After the end of the rule of his son Shamsuddin, Ilyas Shahi was restored and it continued for the next fourty years(upto 1486). Then there were the Habshi rulers (1486-1494) followed by the Hussain shahi dynasty(1494-1538). Bengal then came under the Afghans rule (1532-1545) led by Sher Shah Suri. There was again the Muhammed Shahi dynasty (1545-1564) and the Karrani dynasty (1564-1576). Bengal then came under the Mughal rule , who appointed their own Governors (1565 onwards) and later the semi independent Nawabs who ruled Bengal from 1703 till 1770.The last Nawabs were merely pawns in the hands of the British, as by then the British East India company was firmly in power .
Khilji Malik dynasty
Ikhtiyar Uddin Muhammed Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji :
(1204-1206 )was one of the generals of Qutubuddin Aibak, the Turkic sultan (of the Mamluk or Slave dynasty) of Delhi. After conquering Bihar (where his armies ransacked and destroyed the famous Nalanda University), his armies invaded Bengal. He captured the capital city ,Gaud, sending the then ruler Lakshmansena fleeing to Bikrampur in the East (1205). But soon, Khilji led a disasterous campaign to Tibet in 1206, where he met his end.
Muhammed Shiran Khilji : (1206-1208 )After the unexpected death of Bakhtiar Khilji, the other Khilji noblemen appointed Muhammed Shiran Khilji as the successor to Bakhtiar. Apparently this move didn’t go well with one Ali Mardan Khilji, who rebelled against Shiran. But Shiran attacked and routed Ali Mardans army. Ali Mardan then fled to Delhi and instigated the Sultan of Delhi against Shiran. The Sultan then dispatched Kayemaj Roumi the Governor of Oudh to assist Ali Mardan against Muhammed Shiran. The army dethroned Muhammed Shiran, who fled to Dinajpur, where he died.
Hussamuddin Iwaj Khilji : (1208-1210) became the next ruler from the Khilji clan.He ruled for two years , until he was dethroned by Ali Mardan in 1210.
Ali Mardan Khilji : (1210-1212). Became the ruler of Bengal after dethroning Hussamuddin Iwaj Khilji. But he was highly unpopular and was soon murdered by his own courtiers.
Ghiyasuddin Iwaj Khilji: (1212-1227). After the death of Ali Mardan, the previous ruler Hussamuddin Iwaj Khilji, once again regained the throne of Bengal. He assumed the name Ghiyasuddin Iwaj Khilji. He transferred the capital from Devkot to Gaur, and resumed his rule from there. This time he consolidated his position and brought about the much desired peace in Bengal. He ruled for fifteen years. In the process he built a powerfull navy and took on Vanga (eastern Bengal), kamrupa (Assam),Utkala (northern Orissa) and Tirhut (northern Bihar). The conquest of Bihar irked the Shamsuddin Iltumish, the Sultan of Delhi. He attacked Bengal in 1224 and forced a treaty on Ghiyasuddin Iwaj Khilji, whereby he was forced to cede eighty lakh Takas and thirty eight elephants to the Sultan and was also forced to reiterate his vassalage to him.
But after, the Sultans withdrawal, Ghiyasuddin once again declared himself independent and attacked eastern Bengal. Sultan Iltumish was forced to attack Ghiyasuddin in 1226, whence, Ghiyasuddin was killed and his army routed.
Bengal was declared an province of the Delhi Sultanate, ushering in the Mamluk or Slave dynasty of Delhi.
Note: Mamluk dynasty of Delhi :
The founder of the dynasty, Qutub uddin Aibak, was a Turkic ex-slave(Mamluk) of the Aybak tribe who rose to command the armies and administer the territory of Muhammed Ghori(the Afghan invader) in India.
Muhammad Ghori died in 1206 without an heir. Qut-bud-din after a battle of succession, took possession of Muhammad Ghori's Indian empire. He established his capital first at Lahore, and later at Delhi. After Qutubbuddins death in 1210, another slave Iltumish took over the Delhi sultanate. He married Qutubbuddins daughter and continued the Mamluk line.Even his daughter Razia Sultana reigned for four years. There was another slave Balban (though not from Iltumishs family), who ruled Delhi. His line continued till his great grandson, untill they were overthrown by Jalaluddin khilji, who established the Khilji sultanate in Delhi.

Mameluk Dynasty of Bengal
Nasiruddin Mahmud:
(1227-1229) was the son of Sultan Iltumish, who after dethroning Ghiyasuddin Iwaj Khilji, was made the Governor of Bengal.He ruled only for a year and a half until his death in 1229.
Malik Balkha Khilji or Daulat Shah Bin Maudud: (1229-1232)was the son of Ghiyasuddin Khilji.Finding the throne vacant after the death of Prince Nasiruddin Mahmud, Malik crowned himself the king. He ruled for three years untill he was deposed By Sultan Shamsuddin Iltumish.
Allauddin Jani: (1232-1233) a Turk, was made the next Governor by Sultan Iltumish. But he was soon replaced in a years time.
Saifuddin Aibak : (1233-1236) replaced Allauddin Jani. He ruled for three years , until he was murdered by a courtier Awar Khan Aibak.
Awar Khan Aibak : (1236)He assassinated Saifuddin and assumed the position of Governor of Bengal, only to be overthrown by the Governor of Bihar, Tughral Tughan Khan.
Tughral Tughan Khan : (1236-1246) assumed the governorship of Bengal after removing Awar Aibak. He was also a Turkish ex slave of Sultan Iltumish, who rose to become the governor of Bihar. When the Orissa king Narsinghadev invaded southern Bengal, he tried to counter the Oriya army. Although successful initially, the Oriyan army struck back and Tughral found himself cornered. He sought the help of Delhi. The then reigning Sultan Allauddin Masud Shah asked the Governor of Oudh,Tughlaq Tamar Khan, to go to the rescue of Tughral. But after having repulsed the Oriyan attack, Tughlaq himself assumed the governorship of Bengal, forcing Tughral to flee to Delhi. The Sultan then made Tughral the Governor of Oudh.
Tughlaq Tamar Khan: (1246-1247) after ousting Tughral could only rule for a year or so years. He died in 1247.
Jalaluddin Masud Jani : (1247-1251) was a Turk. He succeeded Tughlaq Tamar Khan as the Governor of Bengal. Masud Jani ruled Bengal for four years and later was removed in 1251.
Malik Ikhtiyaruddin Iuzbak: (1251-1257) was the Governor of Oudh before he was appointed the governor of Bengal.Earlier , Iuzbak removed the Oriyan ruler from the possesion of south-western Bengal . After this victory Iuzbak styled himself as an independent ruler. He adopted the title "Sultan Mughisuddin Abul Mujaffar Iuzbak".The ambitious, Iuzbak then made the mistake of taking on the Sultan of Delhi, when he attacked and occupied Bihar. Buyoyed by his success, he invaded Kamarupa (Assam) next.But it proved disasterous and Iuzbak was killed in battle.
Ijjauddin Balban-e-Iuzbaki: (1257-1259) was an interim governor of Bengal on an earlier occasion. After the death of Mughisuddin Iuzbak, the Sultan of Delhi appointed Ijjauddin as the next governor. Ijjauddin ruled Bengal for 2 years until he was defeated by Tatar Khan, the governor of Oudh.
Tatar Khan: (1259-1268) After seating himself on the throne of Bengal, Tatar Khan declared himself a independent king. His reign saw the change of rule from Nasiruddin of the Mamluks to Ghiyasuddin Balban. Balban acknowledged Tatar Khans independence, (after Tatar promised Balban his support in future battles) , though Tatar died within a couple of years after Balbans ascension.
Sher Khan: (1268-1272) was appointed as the governor of Bengal by Sultan Ghiyasuddin Balban after the death of Tatar Khan.Sher Khan ruled Bengal for four years.
Mughisuddin Tughral : (1272 -1281 ) was the same Tughral Tughan Khan who ruled Bengal from 1236-46. He was initially made the sub governor of Bengal, but he deposed the erstwhile governor Amin Khan and declared himself the independent ruler of Bengal and assumed the name Mughisuddin Tughral . He later defeated Vishwarup Sena in eastern Bengal. He constructed a fort called Narikella in Sonargaon. Later, Tughral ransacked Jajnagar in Orissa and recovered a large loot.
Sultan Balban then sent a huge army led by Malik Turmati, the ruler of Oudh to repress the rebel, Tughral.But the Delhi army was defeated. Not to be outdone, Balban sent another stronger army against Tughral.But this time again Balban's army was defeated by Tughral.
This time, Balban himself led an attack against Tughral in 1980. Tughral then fled to Jajnagar.But Balban pursued Tughral and killed him in the battle.

Balban Dynasty
Mahmud Shah also known as Naseeruddin Bughra Khan : (1281-1291) was the son of Sultan Ghiyasuddin Balban. He was made the Governor of Bengal after the death of Tughral. After the death of Balban in 1287, Mahmud Shah declared his independence from Delhi. But what followed in Delhi was a period of chaos. Balban was to be succeeded by Mahmud Shahs nephew(Kaikhusru), but instead Mahmud Shahs son Kaiqubadh was made the Sultan. But the real power rested in the hands of his Wazir, Nizammuddin. Mahmud Shah wanted to be the Sultan of Delhi himself. So he marched towards Delhi with a large army. His son Kaikobad was forced by his Wazir to face his father in battle. But when the two armies actually faced each other, what followed was an understanding between father and son. Mahmud Shah was to be declared as the accepted as the sultan of Bengal while his son, Kaikobad was to remain the Sultan of Delhi . Also Kaiqubadh was advised by his father to oust his Wazir, which he did shortly. But Kaiqubadh was soon murdered as a result of palace intrigues, by his own general Jalaluddin Khilji, who founded his own Khilji dynasty in Delhi. In the following year itself, Mahmud Shah probably out of shock and grief abdicated the throne of Bengal for his other son Rukkunuddin Kaikos .
Rukunuddin Kaikos : (1291-1300) Rukunuddin Kaikaus ruled Bengal for nine years untill his death in 1300. He divided his kingdom into Bihar and Lakhnautia and appointed two able lieutenants to administer them. Ikhtiyaruddin Firoz Itgin was appointed governor of Bihar while Shahabuddin Zafar Khan Bahram Itgin was made the governor of Lakhnauti ( Devkot to Satgaon
). Rukunuddin died childless in 1300.
Shamsuddin Firoz : ( 1300-1322) succeeded his brother Rukunuddin. (But there are doubts raised by historians whether Shamsuddin was indeed the brother of Rukunnuddin). Firoz Shah began the expansion of his kingdom. The Sonargaon area (southeast Bengal) was annexed by him. He also resisted the onslaughts of Delhi during his reign. Shamsuddin died in 1322.
Ghiyasuddin Bahadur Shah I: (1322-1324-1328) succeeded his father Sultan Shamsuddin Firoz Shah in 1322. Ghiyasuddin Bahadur Shah remained on the throne of Bengal upto 1324, untill, Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq , the Sultan of Delhi, attacked Bengal and took Ghiyasuddin as a prisoner to Delhi. Bengal was now turned into a province of the Delhi Sultnate. Sultan Muhammed Bin Tughlaq (son and successor of Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq) released Ghiyasuddin from prison and made him a governor of Sonargaon. However, the discontented Ghiyasuddin, declared himself independent in 1328 . Ghiyasuddin Bahadur Shah in his lifetime even constructed a new city, naming it Ghiyaspur (near Mymensingh) . The infuriated Tughlaq then ordered his General Bahram Khan to attack Ghiyasuddin . Bahram defeated and killed Ghiyasuddin. Bahram Khan was then made the next Governor of Sonargaon.
Tughlaqs Governors:
Bahram Khan :(
1328-1338)ruled from 1328-1338,
Fakruddin Mubarak Shah : (1338-1349)After his death, his armour-bearer Fakr-ud-din Mubarak Shah proclaimed himself independent king of Bengal. Mubarak Shah killed Kader Khan, the Governor of Lakhnauti and established himself as an independent king of Sonargaon.There was a struggle between him an Allauddin Ali Shah the ruler of Lakhnauti. Mubarak Shah was later defeated and killed by Ali Shah.
Allauddin Ali Shah : (1339-1342)Shortly afterwards Ala-ud-din Ali Shah set up as independent king of Western Bengal(Lakhnauti). He transferred his capital from Lakhnauti to Pandua . He was overthrown by Ilyas Shah.
Ilyas Shah Dynasty
Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah : (1342–1358) was the servant of Kader Khan , the ex governor of Lakhnauti. He overthrew Alauddin Ali shah and declared himself the independent ruler of Lakhnauti. He soon ransacked Nepal (advancing right upto Kathmandu) and returned with a huge booty. He then attacked Orissa during the reign of the Ganga king, Bhanudeva looting the region on the way. He then attacked Ikhtiyaruddin Ghazi Shah the king of Sonargaon, and also Kamrupa (Assam). In between 1353-1355, Sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq attacked Bengal, but after his departure, Ilyas Shah resumed command.
Sikandar Shah (1358–1390) was the son and successor of Ilyas Shah. The name of Sikandar Shah will always be famous as the builder of the great Adina mosque at Pandua, to which his own tomb is attached.He was also a capable ruler. Sikandar Shah was eventually killed in battle with his son, Ghiyasuddin Azim Shah. This prince was driven out from the Court by the machinations of his step-mother, and set up the standard of rebellion in Sonargaon. When the two armies met at Goalpara near Pandua,Sikandar Shah was slain by inadvertence, though his son had issued special orders that he was not to be injured.
Ghiyasuddin Azam Shah : (1390-1411) was the third Sultan of the first Ilyas Shahi dynasty of Bengal. Inspite of the ill-omened commencement of his reign,he ruled the province for nearly eleven years,and was succeeded by his son, Saifuddin Hamza Shah .
Saifuddin Hamza Shah (1410-1412) was the fourth Sultan of the Ilyas Shah dynasty of Bengal.
Shihabuddin Bayazid Shah (1413-1414) ascended the throne of Bengal after having assassinating his master , Saifuddin Hamza Shah, Sultan of Bengal and the fourth ruler of the Ilyas dynasty. He was in turn killed by Raja Ganesha , a powerfull zamindar (landlord) of Bhatturiah and Dinajpur.
Raja Ganesha Dynasty
Raja Ganesha
: 1415-1418 (Kans as per Muhammedan historians) was a landlord of Bhaturia and Dinajpur in the northern Bengal. He became quite powerfull during the rule of the latter rulers of Ilyas Shahi dynasty in Pandua. The Riyazussalatin(an 18th century Muhammedan chronicle) says that he killed Shihab-ud-Din and seized the throne.
The Riyazussalatin says, he oppressed his Muslim subjects. So, a Muslim saint Nur Qutb-ul-Alam wrote a letter to the Jaunpur Sultan Ibrahim Shah Sharqi with an appeal to invade Bengal. When Ibrahim Shah reached Bengal with his army, Ganesha asked saint Nur Qutb-ul-Alam for his forgiveness and protetion. The saint agreed and Jadu, the twelve year old son of Ganesha was converted to Islam by him and renamed Jala-ud-Din. He was placed on the throne under the title Jalaluddin Muhammed Shah. When Sultan Ibrahim Shah returned back to Jaunpur, Ganesha re-ascended the throne and converted his son back to Hinduism. But Ganesha was later killed by some muslim servants of his son, who placed his son back on the throne, after reconverting him back to Islam.
Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah: (1415-1433) was the son and successor of Raja Ganesha. He ruled Bengal , first between 1415 to 1416 (then his father reinstated himself on the throne) and then 1418 to 1433(after the death of his father).
Shamsuddin Ahmad Shah: (1433-1436) was the son and successor of Sultan Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah. His reign was said to be very cruel by the Muhammedan chroniclers. He was assassinated by his muslim slaves.
Ilyas Shah Dynasty Restored
Nasiruddin Mahmud Shah (
14351459), sultan of Bengal , was a descendant of Sultan Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah. He restored the House of Ilyas Shah to the throne of Bengal after a gap of about twenty three years.
Rukunuddin Barbak Shah: (1459-1474) was the son and successor of Sultan Nasuruddin Mahmud Shah. Barbak Shah had been appointed the governor of the Shatgaon region during the reign of his father.During his reign, the King of Orissa had captured Fort Mandaran, which Rukunuddin recovered back through his general Shah Ismail Ghazi. Ismail Ghazi later fought with Kameshwar, the King of Kamrupa (Assam) and even managed to convert him to Islam. But due to a misunderstanding with his Sultan, Rukunuddin, Shah Ismail Ghazi was killed. Rukunuddin Barbak Shah even annexed Mithila or northern Bihar to his kingdom.
Shamsuddin Yousuf Shah: (1474-1481) was the son and successor of sultan Rukunuddin Barbak Shah. He ruled Bengal for seven years from 1474 to 1481untill his death.
Sikander Shah II : (1481) According to Riyaz-us-Salatin, he was a son of Sultan Shamsuddin Yousuf Shah. Sikander Shah II was a sultan of Bengal only for two months and was deposed by his nobles.
Jalaluddin Fateh Shah : (1481-1487) was the brother of Sultan Shamsuddin Yousuf Shah. During his reign the Habshis (Abyssinians) became very powerfull and later assasinated Jalaluddin in 1487.
Habshi Rule
Shahzada Barbak II: (1486-1487) Jalaluddin Fateh Shah was murdered by his eunuch palace guard Shahzada. He assumed the name Shahzada Barbak II and became the Sultan.
Saifuddin Firuz Shah: (1487-1489) another Abyssinian former commander of Jalaluddin Fateh Shah. He was a loyalist of Jalaluddin. He replaced Shazada and declared himself the next ruler. He ruled for two years.
Mahmud Shah II : (1489-1490) was the infant king placed on the throne by another Habshi, Habsh Khan. But both of them were killed by another Abysinian Siddi Badr who assumed throne under the name of Shamsuddin Muzzaffar Shah.
Shamsuddin Muzzaffar Shah: (1490-1493) was said to be a cruel tyrant and was deposed after a rule of three years.

Hussain Shahi Dynasty
Alauddin Hussain Shah: (reign 1494-1519) founded the Hussain Shahi dynasty, after assassinating the Habshi Sultan Shamsuddin Muzzaffar Shah and becoming the next Sultan of Bengal. He had earlier served as the Wazir of Shamsuddin the last Habshi sultan. After his death in 1519 his son Nusrat succeeded him.
Nasiruddin Nusrat Shah: (1519- 1532) was the son and successor of Sultan Alauddin Hussain Shah
. During his time there were Mughal incursions in his territory and he also faced a defeat at the hands of the Ahoms (Assam).
Alauddin Firuz Shah (1533)was the son and successor of sultan Nasiruddin Nasrat Shah.He was assassinated by his uncle Ghiyasuddin Mahmud Shah.
Ghiyasuddin Mahmud Shah (1533-38) was the last sultan of the Hussain Shahi dynasty
. He was weak and hedonistic. There were many rebellions against him, including one by Khuda Bakhsh Khan, his general and governor of the Chittagong area, and also another by Makhdum Alam, the governor of Hajipur. He had allowed the Portuguese to set up factories in Chittagong and Hughli. They fought together against the Afghans led by Sher Shah Suri, untill the latter defeated him. Thus the Afghans under Sher Shah Suri established his rule in Bengal.


Afghan Suri dynasty 
Sher Shah Suri: (ruler of Bengal:1532-1538; ruler of Delhi1539-1545) was an Afghani Pashto, previously known as Farid Khan . He was born in Sasaram, Bihar. He had managed to drive out Humayun the mughal emperor. He was one of many sons of Hasan Khan Sur, a horse breeder. Farid rebelled against his father and left home to enlist as a soldier in the service of Jamal Khan, the governor of Jaunpur ( U.P). Later he worked for the province ruler of Bihar, Bahar Khan, who rewarded him for bravery with the title Sher Khan (Sher means Tiger) when he killed a tiger as a young man. Before he came back to Bihar he was working for the royal court of Mughals where he learnt Arabic and Persian. Later he rebelled and conquered Bihar and then Bengal (1532). Afterwards, he defeated Humayun the mughal emperor in the Battle of Chausa on June 26, 1539 and assumed the royal title of Farud-din Sher Shah. Humayun later had to abdicate his capital Delhi due to his own political contradictions and internal conflicts, something which Sher Shah took advantage of , and forced Humayun out of India (Humayun could return back much later after the death of Sher Shah). He later conquered Malwa,Raisen,Sindh and Multan. Sher Shah Suri was an enlightened despot. He was famous as an efficient administrator. He built an efficient army and a civil infrastructure, He minted his own coins, organised a tax infrastructure, built roads, traveller inns,hospitals, postal services etc. Sher shah is known for constructing the Grand Trunk Road connecting Sonargaon, Delhi to Peshawar (presently in Paksitan). He maintained a strong empire until his death (in a freak gun powder explosion accident) in 1545 at Kalinjar.

Khidr Khan: (1538- 1541) was appointed the governor of Bengal when Sher Shah Suri ascended the throne of Delhi. Sher Shah Suri removed Khidr Khan from power (after he tried to declare his independence) and appointed Qazi Fazilat the governor of Bengal.
Qazi Fazilat: (1541-1545) was the governor of Bengal upto 1545.
Muhammad Khan Sur (1545- 1555) was appointed the governor of Bengal by Sultan Islam Shah(son of Sher Shah Suri) of Delhi. After the death of Islam Shah, Muhammad declared himself independent and ruled Bengal as Shamsuddin Muhammed Shah.Later Muhammad Shah conquered Arakan (in Burma). He competed for power with Islam Shah's successor, Muhammed Shah Adil but was defeated and killed in the battle by Adils general Hemu. Muhammad Shah Adil then appointed Shahbaj Khan as ruler of Bengal.
Ghiyasuddin Bahadur Shah II: (1555-1561) was son of Muhammed Khan Sur. He deposed Shahbaj Khan and became ruler of Bengal. He later killed the advancing Sultan Muhammed Shah Adil. Ghiyas-ud-din tried to capture Jaunpur in U.P, but was defeated by the Mughals.
Ghiyasuddin Jalal Shah: (1661-1563) was the brother and successor of Sultan Ghiyasuddin Bahaddur Shah. He died in 1563. The Afghan Karrani dynasty captured large tracts of south-east Bihar and west Bengal. His son (name unknown) succeeded Ghiasuddin, but was assasinated within a few months and
Ghiasuddin III took over, but within a year was assasinated by Taj Khan Karrani who started the Karrani dynasty.
Karrani Dynasty
Taj Khan Karrani : (1564-1566)was an employee of Sher Shah, and conquered parts of modern Uttar Pradesh from Muhammed Shah Adil. He was, however, defeated by Muhammad Shah Adil, and later by Hemu, Adil's general, when he started gathering power in Tanda along with his brothers Imad, Sulaiman, and Iliyas. After that, Taj Khan and Sulaiman went to Bengal, captured large parts and finally killed sultan Ghiyasuddin in 1564. He moved his capital to Tanda and ruled till 1566.
Suleiman Khan Karrani: ( 1566-1572) was the brother and successor of Taj Khan. He accepted the suzerainty of Akbar ,the Mughal emperor. Sulaiman Khan sent his son Bayazid Khan Karrani and the famous general Kala Pahada (an Oriyan Bramhin converted to Islam) against the last Orissan king Mukunda Deva Gajapati. They brought Orissa under their sway.
Sulaiman Khan Karrani then sent Kala Pahada against the Kamata(later Cooch Behar under the Moghuls) Vishwa Singha. He defeated and captured the Kamata general Shukladhwaja, also the third son of Vishwa Singha. After ruling for seven years Sulaiman Karrani died in 1572, leaving his empire to his son, Bayazid Khan Karrani.
Bayazid Karrani (1572) ascended the throne after the death of his father Suleiman Karrani. After assuming power he declared his independence from the Mughals.But he was killed by his own nephew and son-in-law Hansu, who himself was captured and killed.
Daoud Shah Karrani : ( 1572- 1576 ) was the youngest son of Suleiman Khan Karrani. He assumed the throne after the death of his brother Bayazid. He declared himself independent of Akbar. In 1574, the Mughals defeated the Daud Khan, captured the capital Tanda, and next year annexed Bengal and moved the provincial capital to Gaur. Daud Khan revolted again in 1576, but Akbar's governor Khan-i-Jahan Quli Beg defeated him.
Thus Bengal came under Mughal rule.

Mughal Subahdars of Bengal
DURING THE REIGN OF AKBAR
Khan Jahan 1565-1576
Ismail Quli 1578
Mujaffar Khan Turbati 1579-1580
Mirza Haqim 1580-1582
Mirza Aziz Koka 1582-1583
Shahbaz Khan 1583-1585
Sadiq Khan 1585-1586
Wazir Khan 1586-1587
Syed Khan 1587-1594
Mansingh 1594-1605 was the Kachawa raja of Amber and Akbars most trusted General . He defeated the Raja of Jessore (presently in Bangladesh)
DURING THE REIGN OF JAHANGIR
Mansingh 1605-1606
Qutubuddin Koka 1606-1607
Jahangir Quli Khan 1607-1608
Sheikh Islam Khan Chishti 1608-1613
Qasim Khan Chishti 1613-1617
Ibrahin Khan 1614-1624
Muhabbat Khan 1625
Muqarram Khan 1626-1627
Fidai Khan 1627-1628
During the reign of Shahjahan
Qasim Khan Juvayni 1628-1632
Azim Khan 1632-1635
Islam Khan II 1635-1639
Prince Shah Shuja 1639-1647 again 1652-1660
During the reign of Aurangzeb
Mir Jumla 1660-1663 was an enterprising ex employee of Golkunda who switched sides to the mughals.he was made the Governor of Bengal, where he did a commendable job. He expanded the territory to include Kamrup(Assam) and Cooch Behar.
Shaista Khan 1664-1678 again 1680-1688 was Aurangzebs maternal uncle. He returned after a forgetable stint in the Deccan to once again become the Governor of Bengal, where he did a good job. Streangthened the Mughal navy .
Khan Jahan Bahadur 1688-1689
Ibrahim Khan II 1689-1697
SUBAHDARS OF BENGAL AFTER AURANGZEB
Prince Ajim-us-Shan 1697-1712
Khan Jahan 1712-1713
Farkundashiyar 1713-1717
NAWABS OF BENGAL

Murshid Quli Khan (1703-1727) was grandson of famous Mohammed Quli Khan (formerly Netaji Palkar, the Maratha General of Shivaji, who was captured and was converted to Islam, and performed a stint for the Mughals in Kandahar, Afghanistan). Murshid Quli Khan, was appointed by Alamgir as Nawab of Bihar,Bengal & Orissa,He was given a title Kartalab Khan by Aurangzeb meaning ‘the seeker of challenges’ in Persian. He moved the capital of Bengal, from Dhaka to what became Murshidabad. Murshid Quli Khan was killed by the Hindu Jats of Mathura.



Shuja-ud-Din Muhammad Khan (1727-1740) was the son in law and successor of Murshid Quli Khan. In 1733, he merged Bihar with Bengal and divided the merged territory into four divisions for administrative purposes. He was succeeded by his son Sarfaraz Khan.


Sarfraz Khan (1739-1740) was the was the son and successor of Shuja uddin Muhammed Khan. He was deposed by Alivardi Khan.


Alivardi Khan (1740-1756) was an employee of Shujauddin. He deposed his successor Sarfaraz Khan and even got himself recognized as the new Nawab from the emperor of Delhi Muhammed Shah. During his reign ,Bengal was twice attacked by the Maratha Sardar Raghoji Bhosale of Nagpur and Alivardi Khan had to cede him Cuttack (in Orissa).He was succeeded by his grandson Sirajuddaullah.


Siraj ud Daullah (1756-1757) was the grandson and successor of Alivardi Khan. His rise to power caused jealousy amongst his courtiers like Mir Jaffar. Siraj after his accession, replaced Mir Jaffar as Paymaster of his army with a trusted Mir Mardan. He resented the British East India companys presence in Bengal after the company's alleged involvement in a conspiracy to oust him. They had also strengthened the fortification around their Fort William without any intimation or prior approval of the Nawab.They were also accused of defaulting in payment of their customs .Also the company had given refuge to some of his fugitives like Krishnadas, son of Rajballav, who fled Dhaka after misappropriating government funds. Hence Siraj-Ud-Daulah attacked and captured Kolkatta(shortly renamed Alinagar) from the British in June 1756. During this time, he is alleged to have put 146 British subjects in a 20 by 20 foot chamber, known as the infamous Black Hole of Calcutta, only 23 were said to have survived the overnight ordeal. Later with the help of his minister Mir Jaffar (who betrayed his master by surrendering his army without a fight), the East India Company attacked Sirajuddaullah , and defeated him at the famous Battle of Plassey, which is considered a turning point in the history of India. Siraj ud Daullah was later arrested and executed by the East India Company, and replaced with Mir Jaffar.





Mir Jaffar ( 1757-1765 ) was made the Nawab of Bengal after supporting the East India Company against his master Sirajuddaullah. He remained a puppet in the hands of the British. Fed up, he rebelled against the British and was promptly replaced with his son in law Mir Qassim. But Mir Qasim proved to be independent minded and was found difficult to handle by the company, so Mir Qassim was again replaced with the now pliant Mir Jaffar (1763). He held on to the position of the Nawab untill his death in 1765.
Mir Jaffar was succeeded by his many sons viz.Najimuddin Ali Khan (1765-1766) ,Saif ud Daullah Najabut Ali Khan (1766-1770), Sayyid Ashraf Ali Khan (1770) and Mubarak Ali Khan, all puppets under the British East India Company.











































Saturday, May 16, 2009

DECCAN SULTANATES (Post Bahamanis) : A KINGS LIST





THIS IS A KINGS LIST OF THE DECCAN SULTANATES OF BERAR, BIDAR,BIJAPUR,GOLKUNDA ( THE AHMEDNAGAR SULTANATE IS GIVEN IN A SEPARATE ARTICLE ).



BERAR SULTANATE
BERAR ( VIDHARBA) consisted of present day districts of Akola, Buldhana, Amravati, Yavatmal,most of the Parbhani district and parts of Nanded and Aurangabad districts.
BARRID SHAHI DYNASTY

Fathullah Imad Ul Mulk: (1490-1510) Founder of Imad Shahi dynasty in Berar. He was previously Sarlashkarof Berar province 1473 (later Governor) under the Bahmani sultanate. In 1490 AD declared independence after the Bahmani sultan plotted his assassination . 1510 AD he died in Elickpur.

Allauddin Imad Shah: (1510- 1529) was son and successor of Fathullah. Gave refuge to the Abyssinians who fled to Berar after a failed coup to oust Burhan Nizam Shah. Attacked Ahmednagar sultanate , but was driven back.
Fought along with Yusuf Adil of Bijapur against the Bidar Sultanate and Amir Ali Barid the prime minister of Bidar. Later gave refuge to Sultan Mahmud Shah Bahmani of Bidar after his minister Amir Barid usurped power. He fought along with him against the combined power of Amir Barid and Ahmednagar Sultanate (but retreated in disgust and retired to Berar after Sultan Mahmud Shah fled from battle).In 1518, Fought and lost Pathri to Ahmednagar sultanate.
In 1525, regained Pathri for a short while (with help from Golkunda sultanate) but lost it to the combined force of Ahmednagar and Bidar. Later Ahmednagar and Bidar wrested away Mahur from Berar and forced Alauddin to flee to Khandesh.
Invited help from Bahadur Shah of Gujrat against Ahmednagar.
Alauddin died in 1529.

Darya Imad Shah: (1529-1561) was son and successor of Allauddin Imad Shah. Fought along with Bijapur against Ahmednagar and Bidar. Darya Imad Shah died in 1561.

Burhan Imad Shah: ( 1561-1574) son and successor of Darya Imad Shah.Affairs managed by Tufal Khan,minster, for the minor Burhan. In 1574 Murtuza Nizam Shah of Ahmednagar attacked, defeated and imprisoned both Tufal Khan and Burhan Imad Shah. Later poisoned them in prison.

Berar was annexed to Ahmednagar Sultanate.




BIDAR SULTANATE
BIDAR presently in Karnataka state.Near the border of Maharashtara and Karnataka.
BARID SHAHI DYNASTY

Qasim Barid I 1489 - 1504 was a Georgian Turk, He became prime minister of the Bahmani sultanate.during the reign of Mhmud Shah Bahmani, he became the regent.
Amir Barid I 1504 - 1542 succeeded his father as prime minister and regent of the Bahmanis.
Ali Barid Shah 1504 - 1580 Declared himself Sultan of Bidar. Fought against the Vijaynagar kingdom along with the combined power of the sultanates of Bijapur,Golkunda and Ahmednagar (Berar had remained neutral).
Ibrahim Barid Shah 1580 - 1587 son and successor of Ali Barid
Qasim Barid Shah II 1587 - 1591 younger brother and successor of Ibrahim.
Ali Barid Shah II 1591 infant son and successsor of Qasim. Throne usurped by his relative Amir Barid Shah II.
Amir Barid Shah II 1591 - 1601
Mirza Ali Barid Shah 1601 - 1609 relative of Amir Barid Shah II.
Amir Barid Shah III 1609 - 1619 relative of Mirza. Fought alongside Ahmedngar sultanate against Mughals. In 1619, he was defeated by the Bijapur sultan Ibrahim Adilshah. Bidar was annexed to Bijapur sultanate. Amir Barid Shah and his sons imprisoned.
BIDAR THEN BECAME PART OF BIJAPUR SULTANATE.

BIJAPUR
Bijapur is in present day state of Karnataka

ADILSHAHI DYNASTY


Yusuf Adil Shah (1490-1510) was the Bahamani Governor (was of Iranian descent) of Bijapur.he declared himself an independent ruler.

Ismail Adil Shah (1510-1534) was son and successor of Yusuf. As a infant his ministerKamal Khan became the regent and tried to become the sultan himself, but was soon replaced by Ismails mother Punji Khatun. During his time there was enimity with Ahmednagar over the city of Solapur. Nizam Shah was unhappy because he was promised the fort of Solapur as dowry when he married Ismail's sister Mariam, which was never handed over. Nizam Shah later tried to take Solapur by force. However was defeated by Ismail Shah.
Mallu Adil Shah (1534) Mallu Adil Shah succeeded his father Ismail Adilshah's death. He was incompetent and was soon replaced by Punji Khatun, Mallu Adil Shah's paternal grand mother with the help of General Asad Khan .His younger brother Ibrahim Adilshah I as the king.



Ibrahim Adil Shah I (1534-1558) was the younger brother and successor of Mallu. He conquered Bidar, but lost Solapur and Kalyani to Ahmadnagar. Extended Bijapur territory to south of Goa. Humbled Golkunda in battle.

Ali Adil Shah I (1558-1580)was son and successor of Ibrahim Adilshah I. He was part of the confederacy of the Deccan sultanates against Vijaynagar. Extended his territory from port of Honavar on the west coast and southern boundary to the line of Varada and Tungabhadra rivers. Was husband of the famous warrior princess of Ahmednagar, Chand Bibi.

Ibrahim Adil Shah II (1580-1627) was the nephew and successor of Ali Adilshah. He was a liberal person and patronised art,poetry and litreture. He was a multilinguist.




Mohammed Adil Shah (1627-1657) was son and successor of Ibrahim Adilshah II. Muhammad Adil Shah extended his territory westwards to Konkan, Pune, Dhabol (presently near Mumbai), southwards into Mysore(Karnataka), and eastern regions of Karnataka, parts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Made peace with the Mughals and ensured extinction of the Ahmednagar kingdom .But Muhammad’s reign witnessed revolt of Shahaji (the maratha noble of Ahmednagar, who later rejoined his service) and then, the rise of Shahajis son, Shivaji who later carved out an independent Maratha State from the Bijapur Kingdom. Was buried at the famous tomb Gol Gumbaz.


Ali Adil Shah II (1657-1672) was the adopted son and the young successor of Mohammad adil Shah, whose wife Bari Begum acted as the regent. Shivaji the Maratha king ate into a lot of Bijapur territory during his reign. He faced many revolts during his tenure. Died in his early thirties.




Pic:Sikandar adilshah,source:golgumbad.com

Sikandar Adil Shah (1672-1686) was son and successor of Ali Adilshah II. It was during his reign, that Aurangzeb the Mughal emperor, attacked and annexed Bijapur.
Adilshahi dynasty came to an end in 1686 and Bijapur became a Mughal province.
GOLKUNDA
Golkunda is presently in the state of Andhra Pradesh

Qutub Shahi dynsaty

Sultan Quli Qutb-ul-Mulk 1518 - 1543 He conquered Golconda and became the Governor of Telangana in 1518. After the disintegration of the Bahmani Sultanate into the five Deccan sultanates, he declared independence and took title Qutb Shah, and established Qutb Shahi dynasty of Golconda.Later extended his kingdom conquering Warangal, Kondapalli, Eluru, ,Khammam, and Machalipatnam. Finally defeated by Timmarusu, minister of Krishnadevraya, king of Vijaynagar. Assasinated by his own son, Jamsheed and became the next Sultan of Golkunda.Patronised arts,poetry and literature.
Jamsheed Quli Qutb Shah 1543 - 1550 son and succesor of Quli Qutub Shah.
Subhan Quli Qutb Shah 1550 infant son of Jamsheed.Ruled hardly for a year.
Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah 1550 - 1580 brother of Jamsheed. Had earlier fled to Vijaynagar kingdom when his brother assasinated their father Quli qutub Shah. Became king after the death of his brother Jamsheed and his nephew Subhan. Patronised art and poetry,repaired and fortified Golconda Fort and developed the Hussain Sagar lake and Ibrahim Bagh. Alligned with Bijapur, Ahmednagar and Bidar for the destruction of the Vijaynagar kingdom.


Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah 1580 - 1611 was son and successor of Ibrahim Quli Qutub Shah. He founded the city of Hyderabad ,and built, the Charminar monument.He was a poet and patronised Arts and literature.
Sultan Muhammad Qutb Shah 1611 - 1626 He was the nephew and son-in-law of Muhammed Quli Qutub Shah. The first Qutb Shahi history was compiled during his reign.
Abdullah Qutb Shah 1626 - 1672 was a multilinguist, poet and patronised arts. During his time Aurangzeb, son of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor captured Hyderabad. Golkunda became a vassal state of the Mughals.

Abul Hasan Qutb Shah 1672 – 1687 was the son in law and successor of Abdullah. Known as Tana Shah or the’ benevolent king.’ He was penalised by Aurangzeb for refusing Mughal suzerainty.In 1687, he was attacked and defeated by Aurangzeb the Mughal emperor. Died in prison.
In 1687, the Qutub Shahi dynasty came to an end and Golkunda became a Mughal province.














































































Thursday, May 7, 2009

THE BENGAL DYNASTIES: A CHRONOLOGY




The Hindu Kings of Bengal (Part 1)


Bengal in the ancient times consisted of regions of the various Mahajanpadas (great kingdoms) viz. Magadha, Pundra (west Bengal state in india),Vanga(east banga- present day country Bangladesh), Anga(parts of Bengal and present central Bihar state),Suhma(comprising of regions of both east and west Bengal).
The neighbouring present day state of Orissa were called Kalinga,Videha being parts of Nepal country,present day Assam(Ahom) was known as Pragjyotisha in Mahabharata and Kamarupa in the first millenium, present state of Tripura was known as Kirat pradesh(Twipra).

In the ancient times the first recorded king of Anga was Karna the half brother of the Pandavas who fought on the side of the Kauravas in the great war of Kurukshetra.
Other two rulers of Vanga mentioned are Samudrasena ,Chadrasena and Tamralipta. Also, Paundraka Vasudeva, an ally of Jarasandha and enemy of Lord Vasudeva Krishna is mentioned as king of Pundra and the Kiratas.
Probably all these rulers owned parts of Vanga. All of them were mentioned as ruling the neighbouring kingdoms of Vanga, in other passages in Mahabharata. Bhagadatta was the ruler of Pragjyotisha Kingdom to the north of Vanga. Paundraka Vasudeva ruledPundra kingdom to the east of Vanga and Karna ruled Anga kingdom to the west of Vanga.
Note: As per the Mahabharata , the regions of Anga, Vanga, Suhma, Pundra and Kalinga were named after their founding fathers, who were all the sons of a King Vali and his Queen Sudeshna, after the blessings of Sage Gautama Dirghatamas.

The origins of the Magadha empire dwell into mythology. The earlist known dynasty of Magadha was (As in Vayu Purana and Matsya Purana ) the Brihadrata dynasty(1700-799 BC approximated hypothesis), followed by the Pradyota dynasty(799-684BC approx.),
Then the historical recorded dynasties start. With the earliest being the Shishunagas (684-424 BC),then the Nandas(424-321 BC), followed by the Mauryas(324-184 BC, Note: the Greek envoy Megasthenes refers to Bengal as Gangaridai in his book Indica, mainly because it was structured on the banks of river Ganga ), later by the Sungas(185-73 BC),and subsequently by the Kanavas(73-26 BC).
The Anno Domini period was dominated by the Gupta dynasty (240-550 AD).

Note: The Magadhan kings need not be discussed here in detail, as Bengal was just a part of the grand Magadhan empire. The Magadhans will be covered elaborately in a separate feature.
After the Guptas, the dominion of Bengal gained its independence and was known as the Gauda kingdom.
The first historically recorded king of Gauda (as per inscriptions found in Midnapore and Egra near Kharagpur, Harshavardhana's Banskhera and Madhuvan copper plates and the Nidhanpur copper plate of the Kamarupa king Bhaskaravarmana, besides the seal-matrix of Shri Mahasamanta Shashanka from Rohtasgarh and the contemporary literary accounts of Banabhatta and the Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang and the Buddhist text Aryamanjushrimulakalpa are important sources of information.) was said to be Shashanka, who ruled around 600-625 AD. He was said to be a contemporary and adversary of King Harshavardhana of Thaneshwar. The kingdom of Bengal was then known as Gauda ( territory between the river Padma and the region of Bardhaman).
Karnasuvarna was the capital of Shashanka and the famous metropolis was situated near Chiruti railway station close to rajbadidanga (i.e the site of Raktamrttika-mahavihara or modern Rangamati) in the Murshidabad district, West Bengal.
Note: The various regions of Bengal were known by different names as under:
Pundra Vardhana (northern Bangladesh), Gauda (parts of West Bengal and Bangladesh), Dandabhukti (southern West Bengal), Karna Subarna (part of West Bengal), Varendra (northern Bangladesh), Rarh (southern areas of West Bengal), Summha Desa (south-western West Bengal), Vanga (central Bangladesh), Vangala (southern Bangladesh), Harikela (North-East Bangladesh), Chandradwipa (Southern Bangladesh), Subarnabithi (central Bangladesh), Navyabakashika (central and southern Bangladesh), Lukhnauti (North Bengal and Bihar) and Samatata (Eastern Bangladesh) .
Accounts of Banabhatta and Hsiun Tsang allude to the fact that Shashanka was responsible for the murder of Rajyavardhana the King of Thaneshwar and the elder brother of Harshavardhan.
Soon after Shashanka's demise, his kingdom fell apart, and was captured by Harshavardhana and his ally Bhaskarvarmana.
After an turbulent hiatus, the second half of the seventh century AD ,Bengal saw the emergence of two new lines of kings: the later Guptas in Gauda and Magadha (western Bengal and southern Bihar) and the Khadagas(refer note below) in Vanga and Samatata (southern and southeastern Bengal). In the eighth century there was a Buddhist dynasty called the Devas (refer note below) that ruled in south eastern part of Samatata. they may have been contemporaries of the early Palas.
Neither of these dynasties, however, appears to have succeeded in establishing a strong rule in Bengal.
Next to come in prominence in Bengal was the famous dynasty of the Palas (details follow below) . They lasted for a long time and proved a formidable dynasty not just in Bengal but in the surrounding areas as well.In the 9th century AD southeastern Bengal saw the emergence of the kingdom of Harikela, which may have embraced the area from Chittagong to Comilla. The Chandras (refer note below) followed the Harikela rulers and from the beginning of the 10th century AD five generations of Chandra rulers .
In the last quarter of the eleventh century AD the Varman Dynasty(refer note below), taking advantage of the Kaivarta rebellion in the Pala empire, established their independent rule in southeastern Bengal. Five generations of the Varmans ruled for less than a century (c 1080- 1150 AD) before they were toppled by the Senas(details follow below). The Varmans were Hindus (just like the Senas) and their capital was also at Vikramapur.The latter Senas in turn were toppled by the Hindu Deva dynasty (different from the Buddhist Deva dynasty).
The Hindu Deva dynasty may have been the last important dynasty of Bengal.
Note: There is also a evidence of local kingdom existing in the region that is now Bangladesh.
viz.Vainyagupta or Guptas ruling in the Bengal regions (6th century), the Faridpur kings (6th century), the Bhadra dynasty (circa 600-650 A D. Khalimpur copper plate suggests the Palas were descendents of the Bhadras.However the poet Baribhadra an contemporary of king Dharma Pala states that the Palas were related to King Rajabhata of the Buddhist Khadaga dynasty), Khadaga dynasty (circa 650-700 AD), Natha and Rata dynasty (750-800 A D ), the rulers of Harikela (circa 800-900), Chandra dynasty (circa 900-1045 A D), Varman dynasty (circa 1080-1150 A D), and Pattikera dynasty (circa 1000-1100 A D).[extract].
Note: Deva Dynasty (Buddhist) ruled in Samatata region (eastern part of Bengal) with Devaparvata as their capital. The dynasty is now known in greater details from the Mainamati excavations (8th - 9th centuries AD), after coins (gold,silver,copper), terracotta clay sealings and copper plates were discovered in large quantities.The Devas are known for their three great Buddhist establishments viz. Shalvan vihara, Ananda vihara and the Bhoja vihara.
Deva dynasty (Buddhist) :
1.Shri Shantideva
2.Shri Viradeva , son
3. Shree Anandadeva ,the latters son by wife Somadevi.
4. Shri Bhavadeva, the last known king of that dynasty.
This Deva dynasty in all probability was different from the Deva dynasty of the 13 th century.
Note: Harikela was a kingdom situated near Samatata in eastern Bengal. It finds mention in sources such as I-Tsing the 7 th century Chinese traveler, Karpuramanjuri the 9 th century literary work, Abhidhanachintamani the work of the 12 th century Lexicographer Hemachandra, the Manjushrimulakalpa, some manuscripts in Dhaka University library . The incomplete copper-plate inscription of Kantideva (9th century AD) discovered in an old temple in the Nasirabad area of Chittagong states that Maharajadhiraja Kantideva was the ruler of Harikela. [source: M Harunar Rashid]
Note: Samatata was an ancient region in South eastern Bengal. Its earliest reference is found in the Allahabad Prashasti, where it is mentioned as an eastern frontier state along with Davaka, Kamarupa , Nepala and Karttrapura. The Brihatasanghita (6th century AD) refers to Samatata and Vanga as separate states. Hiuen Tsang, the 7th century Chinese traveller, relates that he reached Samatata. He has described a Buddhist cultural centre in its capital. Further evidence for the location of Samatata is provided by I Tsing, who mentions that the Chinese priest Sheng-chi (second half of the 7th century AD) found Rajabhata (of the Khadaga dynasty which ruled from the capital Jayaskandharva, of Kamanta vasaka identified with Badakanta near Comilla) ruling over Samatata. On the basis of the evidence provided by a large number of epigraphical records, the Chinese writings, and the archaeological discoveries in the Lalmai-Mainamati area, it can now be stated with certainty that Samatata was formed of the trans-Meghna territories of the Comilla-Noakhali plains and the adjacent parts of hilly Tripura (the Atabi-Khanda division of Samatata) in the east and the Channel Islands in the south. The land stretches from the hills of the Sylhet border in the north to the Bay of Bengal in the south. Its boundaries are well defined by the mountains of Tripura and Arakan in the east and the Meghna (combined waters of the Padma-Meghna-Brahmaputra) in the west. [Source: AM Chowdhury]

Note: Khadga Dynasty ruled the Vanga and Samatata ,areas of ancient Bengal in c 7th-8th century AD. Information about the dynasty comes from two copper-plates discovered at Ashrafpur (near Dhaka), coins, and the Chinese accounts of Sheng-che (c 7th cent AD) etc. The first known ruler of the dynasty is Khadgodyama (c 625-640 AD. Khadgodyama was succeeded by his son Jatakhadga (c 640-658 AD). He was further succeeded by his son Devakhadga (c 658-673 AD) and later his grandson Rajabhata (c 673-690 AD). Rajabhata was probably succeeded by his brother Balabhata (c 690-705 AD). The second Ashrafpur grant refers to an Udirnakhadga. The last part of his name may indicate that he too probably belonged to the Khadga dynasty, but the period of his reign is yet to be determined.The Khadga kings were local rulers. The extent of their territory is difficult to ascertain. In one of the Ashrafpur plates there are references to Talapataka and Dattakataka, identified respectively with Talpara and Datgaon villages under Raipura upazila in Narsingdi.From the Ashrafpur plates (issued from the Jayaskandhavara of Jayakarmantavasaka, indentified with Barkanta (Badkamta) in Comilla, in the 13th regnal year (c 671 AD) of Devakhadga.) it appears that Devakhadga had extended his power from Vanga to Samatata after dislodging the Rata king Sridharana Rata (c 660 - 670 AD). The Khadaga kings were Buddhists.[Source: Krishnendu Ray]

Note: Rata Dynasty of Samatata is known from a single record, the Kailan copperplate(discovered sometime before 1945 at Kailan ,a large village about 29 km southwest of Comilla) inscription of Shridharana Rata. The founder of the dynasty was one Jivadharna Rata. Shridharana Rata,was the second ruler of the dynasty.His son was Yuvaraja Baladharana Rata, and the king's mother Bandhudevi. Both the Rata kings are styled as Samatateshvaras (lords of Samatata)· Jivadharana Rata, the founder of the dynasty, appears to have started his career as a feudatory chief. His overlord is widely regarded to be a contemporary Khadga ruler.The Rata dynasty's rule in Samatata is now placed in the later half of the 7th century AD, after the decline of Khadga rule. When or how the rule of the Khadgas ended in Samatata and when or how the Rata dynasty took over, is not known.[ source: M Harunur Rashid]



Pala dynasty
Gopala(AD750-770)
Dharmapala(AD 770-810)
Devapala(AD 810-850)
Shurapala/Mahendrapala(AD 850 - 854)
Vigrahapala(AD 854 - 855)
Narayanapala(AD 855 - 908)
Rajyapala(AD 908 - 940)
Gopala II(AD 940-960)
Vigrahapala II(AD 960 - 988)
Mahipala(AD 988 - 1038)
Nayapala(AD 1038 - 1055)
VigrahapalaIII(AD 1055 - 1070)
Mahipala II(AD 1070 - 1075)
Shurapala II(AD 1075 - 1077)
Ramapala(AD 1077 - 1130)
Kumarapala(AD 1130 - 1140)
Gopala III(AD 1140 - 1144)
Madanapala(AD 1144 - 1162)
Govindapala(AD 1162 - 1174)


Gopala I: (AD 750-770) was the first Buddhist king of Bengal. He was elected to office to create a semblance of normalcy, amidst a long period of anarchy. He was an established military commander and was elected as a king by the various chieftains of the region.
Dharmapala: (AD 770-810) was the son and successor of Gopala. Dharmapala defeated the Pratihara king Indraraja or Indrayudha of Kannauj and deposed him, and placed Chakrayudha on the throne of Kannauj.
Later, however, Dharmapala was defeated by Vatsaraja of the Pratihara dynasty, to whom he lost even his base, Gauda. But Vatsaraja himself was in turn defeated by King Dhruva of the Rashtrakutas (dynasty from western India) who later also clashed with Dharmapala and defeated him but Dhruva soon left for Deccan and thus Dharmapala did not lose much in this quick chain of events, but these events had left the Pratiharas weakened and this indirectly helped Dharmapala.
Dharmapala soon deposed the Pratiharas to establish his hegemony over northern India.
Later, Nagabhatta II of Pratihara had deposed Chakrayudha of Kanauj, a protégé of Dharmapala, which event brought Dhrampala into military conflict with Nagabhata at Monghyr. Dharmapala suffered a defeat but curiously enough, history repeated itself and Pratihara invader Nagabhata himself was soon subdued by Govinda III of the Rashtrakuta dynasty.
But this did not lessen Dharmapalas control over northern India in anyway. He remained the undisputed ruler of Bengal and Bihar. The kingdoms of Kanauj,Madra,Gandhara,Nepal,Rajputana ,Malwa remained his feudatories.
Devapala : (AD 810-850) was the son and successor of Dharmapala. He was several military conquests to his credit, and ruled a large territory in India. He subdued Pragjyotisha (Assam) where the king submitted without giving a fight and the Utkalas whose king fled from his capital city. He routed the Hunas located in south-east Punjab in Uttarapatha. His military encounter with Kamboja ( North-West Frontier /Trans-Indus territory) is also mentioned though not the result. Thereafter, Devapala defeated king Ramabhadra of the Pratiharas and later the Bhojas. Devapala also vanquished the Rashtrakuta ruler Amoghavarsha.. It is further claimed that he humbled the rulers Dravida (southern India) too.
Mahendrapala: (850 - 854) Was the son of Devapala. He succeeded his father to the throne and ruled for four years.
Vigrahapala: (854 - 855) was the successor to the Pala king Mahendrapala, and fifth ruler of the Pala line reigning for just one year. Vigrahapala was the son of Jayapala and grandson of Dharmapala's brother Vakpala.
Narayanapala: (855-908) He succeeded Vigrahapala. He ruled almost for 53 years.
Rajyahapala: (908 - 940) was the successor to Narayanpala, and seventh ruler of the Pala line reigning for 32 years.
Gopala II : (940-960) was the successor to the Rajyapala , and eighth ruler of the Pala line reigning for 20 years.
Vigrahapala II : (960 - 988) was the successor to the Gopala II, and ninth ruler of the Pala line reigning for 22 years.
Mahipala: (AD 988 - 1038) was another famous king in the Pala line. During the reigns of Gopala II and Vigrahapala , the two immediate predecessors of Mahipala, Bengal had to face repeated invasions of the Chandellas and the Kalachuris, the new powers that arose out of the ruins of the Pratihara empire in northern India. Mahipala checked a passible disintegration of the Pala line and possibly revived the dynasty.
After his ascension to the throne, the Pala kingdom had been reduced to south Bihar only. He successfully wrested northern and western Bengal back from the Kambojas. He later regained north Bihar also. He also resisted a attack from Rajendra Chola of the south.
Nayapala : (1038 - 1055) is the name of eleventh ruler of the Pala dynasty.
Vigrahapala III: (1055 - 1070) was the successor to the Nayapala, and twelfth ruler of the Pala line reigning for 15 years.
Mahipala II: (1070 - 1075) was the successor to the Vigrahapala III, and thirteenth ruler of the Pala line reigning for 5 years.
Shurapala II : (1075 - 1077) was a ruler of thePala empire in northeast India. He was the successor to the Pala king Mahipala II and fourteenth ruler of the Pala line, reigning for two years.
Ramapala: (AD 1077 - 1130) was the successor to the Shurapala, and fifteenth ruler of the Pala line reigning for 53 years. He is recognised as the last great ruler of the dynasty. He restored much of the past glory of the Pala lineage. He crushed the Varendra rebellion and extended his empire farther to Kamarupa (Assam), Orissa and Northern India. He was succeeded by Kumarapala.
Kumarapala: (1130 - 1140) was the successor to the Ramapala, and sixteenth ruler of the Pala line reigning for 10 years.
Gopala III : (1140 - 1144) was the successor to the Kumarapala, and seventeenth ruler of the Pala line reigning for 4 years.
Madanapala: (1144 - 1162) was the successor to the Gopala III , and eighteenth ruler of Pala lineage reigning for 18 years. Madanapala, lost north Bengal to the Senas sometime after his 8th regnal year and his rule towards the closing years of his reign was confined to parts of Bihar only. Govindapala: (AD 1162 - 1174) and Palapala were reduced to small principalities. Govindapala is said to be the last ruler of the Pala dynasty. He was defeated probably by Ballala sena of the Sena dynasty.



Note: Kamboja Dynasty was a Kshatriya tribe of Iron Age India, frequently mentioned in Sanskrit and Pali literature, making their first appearance as Kambojas in the Mahabharata and contemporary Vedanga literature . They entered India in alliance with the Sakas .They ruled in Bengal and Bihar .The records of Kambojas can be found in:The Dinajpur Pillar Inscription and also in the Irda Copper plate .As per Dr B. C. Law:"In 9th c AD, the Kambojas are said to have been defeated by Devapala, the great king of the Pala dynasty of Bengal. But during latter part of 10th century, the tables were turned and the rule of Palas kings was interrupted by the Kambojas, who had set up one of their chiefs as a king, in a certain place called Vanagarh in Dinajpore. A mention is made of a certain king of Gauda, born in Kamboja .It is probable that during the reign of Devapaladeva, the Kambojas first attempted to conquer Gauda.Dr. R. R. Chanda supposes that in the middle of 10th century AD, the Kambojas of Himalayas again attacked North-Bengal and took away north-east Bengal from them. The Kamboja rule in Bengal was terminated by Mahapala I, the 9th king of Pala line, who is known to have been reigning in AD 1026 and may be assumed to have regained his ancestral throne from Kambojas at about 980 AD" .


Note: Chandra Dynasty: They ruled in south-eastern Bengal (Vanga and Samatata) for about a century and a half from the beginning of the 10th century AD. Purnachandra and Suvarnachandra, were landlords in Rohitagiri (possibly Lalmai region) and vassals of the Harikela rulers. It was Trailokyachandra (c 900 - 930 AD), son of Suvarnachandra, who was the first independent ruler of the dynasty. He established the sovereign rule of the Chandras in Samatata area with Devaparvata as their capital . He gradually spread his territory over Chandradwipa and parts of Vanga (from the verses of Ladahachandra's Mainamati plate records), and assumed the title of ‘Maharajadhiraja’. The ascendancy of Trailokyachandra in Samatata was in all probability during the same time as the rise of the Kambojas in western and northern Bengal within the Pala empire. It was during the rule of his son and successor, Srichandra (c 930 - 975 AD), the administrative centre of the Chandra kingdom was established at Vikramapura in Vanga. Srichandra is credited to have spread his empire over the entire Vanga region and ventured out into the Kamarupa area in the north-east. Only one copperplate of Srichandra's son and successor Kalyanachandra (c 975-1000 AD) has so far been discovered. The copperplates of Kalyanachandra's successors mention that he made his power felt in Gauda and Kamarupa. He may have given a final blow to the Kamboja power in northern and western Bengal and thereby paved the way for the revival of Pala power under Mahipala I. His two successors were Ladahachandra (c 1000-1020 AD) and Govindachandra, son and grandson of Kalyanachandra respectively, who could maintain the glory of the dynasty and are praised for their liberal policies.Govindachandra is the last known king of the dynasty. It was during his rule that Vangaladesha witnessed a Chola invasion (between 1021 - 1024 AD). Govindachandra or his successor may have suffered under an attack by Kalachuri king Karna (some time before 1048-49 AD) and this was possibly responsible for the fall of the Chandras. The Chandras were Buddhists but they followed a policy of religious toleration. Srichandra is found to have patronised Brahmanical religion in the Sylhet area and the last two Chandra rulers showed very strong Vaisnava leanings. [source : AM Chowdhury]



Note: Varman Dynasty ruled in south-eastern Bengal towards the end of the 11th and first half of the 12th century AD. The founder of this dynasty was Vajravarman. His son Jatavarman was responsible for getting this dynasty into prominence (The account of Jatavarman's military conquests, was given in the Belava plate of Bhojavarman, his grandson). The Varmans seized power from the Chandra dynasty.Harivarman succeeded him and was followed by his brother Samalavarman . Bhojavarman, son of Samalavarman, was the last known king of the dynasty .The history of the Varmans is known from three copperplates and the Bhuvanesvara inscription of Bhatta Bhavadeva. The Varman kings claimed their descent from the Yadava dynasty ruling over Simhapura, which has been identified with modern Singapuram in Kalinga (northern Orissa) between Chicacole and Narasannapeta. [source : A M Chowdhary]





Sena dynasty

The Senas started a feudatories (Radha region) of the Palas, but soon usurped power to start their own royal dynasty. The founder of the dynasty was Hemantasena.
During the rein of Mahipala II, Vijayasena , successor of Hemantasena ,took advantage of a regional samanta revolt in the Varendra region ( presently in Bangladesh). He gradually consolidated his position (through a matrimonial alliance with the daughter of the king of Orissa) in Western Bengal and ultimately assumed an independent position during the reign of Madanapala.
One important aspect of Sena rule in Bengal is that the whole of Bengal was brought under a single rule for the first time in its history.
The Senas originally belonged to the Karnata country (Karnatadeshatagata) in South India, the Kannada or Kanarese speaking region in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh of India, and they were Brahma-Kshatriyas (those who were Brahmanas first and became Kshatriyas afterwards).

The Sena dynasty:
Hemanta Sena (1070 AD)
Vijaya Sena (1096-1159 AD)
Ballala Sena (1159 - 1179 AD)
Lakshamana Sena (1179 - 1206 AD)
Vishvarupa Sena (1206 - 1225 AD)
Keshava Sena (1225-1230 AD)

Vijaya sena : declared independence from the Palas after defeating Madanapala (1152-53). Vijaysena established his own supremacy in the north and north western regions of Bengal. Vijaysena then extended his hold over Bihar and Vanga (south east Bengal) in the east.
By the middle of the 12 th century AD, Vijaysena had surmounted the Varmans and succeeded in establishing rule over entire Bengal. He had a long reign of 62 years (1096-1159 AD).
Ballala sena : succeeded his father Vijayasena. He struck the final blow to the Palas when he defeated Govindapala the last ruler of the Pala dynasty. Also in the lifetime of his father Ballalsena had conquered Mithila. Ballalasena was also a great scholar and credited with the work ‘Danasagara’. He ruled for almost 20 years (1159 - 1179 AD).
Lakshmana sena: had defeated the kings of Gauda and Varanasi, and led expeditions in Kamarupa(Assam) and Kalinga (Orissa), while he was still the prince. He ascended the throne at a fairly latter age.
His reign was famous for many litrerary works. He completed’Adbhusagara’, the work left incomplete by his father. He also penned several poems in Sanskrit. His court was the assembly for several poets of his time like Jyadeva and Sridhardasa. His chief minister and chief justice Halayudha Mishra wrote the work, ‘Brahmanasarvasva’. Another courtier, Umapatidhara wrote the Deopara Prashasti and also wrote many poems.
Unlike his predecessors who were Shaivaites, Lakshamanasena was a Vaishnavaite.
In 1203-1204 AD, the Turkish general Muhmd. Bakhtiyar Khilji attacked Nabadweep. Though he defeated Lakshman Sen, he failed to conquer Bengal.
Lakshamanasena died in 1206.
He was succeeded by his sons Vishwarupsena (1206 - 1225 AD)
and Keshavasena (1225-1230 AD) one after the other, before the dynasty faded into history.

Deva dynasty

The Deva dynasty that followed, and possibly gave the final coup de grace to the Sena dynasty, consisted of Purushottam, who rose from the position of a village headman (gramani). His son, Madhusudan, took the title of king (nripati). Other subsequent rulers were Vasudev and Damodar who might have destroyed the Pattikera rule, and Danuja Madhav Dasaratha Deve, who claimed to have wrested Gaur through the grace of god Naryana and who issued an inscription from Bikrampur. He entered into a treaty with Balban, the Sultan of Delhi, in AD 1293 on equal terms. The meeting between Balban and Danuj Rai at Sonargaon is vividly described in Tarih-I-Mubarak Shahi. [extract].

Note: This Deva dynasty was in all probability, different from the Deva dynasty of the (7th /9th century). While that dynasy was Buddhist , this Deva dynasty of the 13th century was Vaishnavite Hindu.This dynasty faded by the mid fourteen century after a fall out with the Muslim.

Ikhtiar ud din Muhammed Bin Bakhtiyar led the first Turkic invasion into India. He defeated the Sena king Lakshamana sena at his capital, Nabadweep in 1203 or 1204, but wasn’t able to surmount entire Bengal.
The Turkics and the Pashtuns ruled Bengal one after another until finally paving way for the Mughals (except for a period when Bengal was ruled by the Pashtun king Sher Shah Suri and his dynasty). Later, Bengal once again became a Mughal dominion and remained so, untill the advent of the Europeans.

To follow:
Islamic Kings of Bengal.
European Rule in Bengal.


To be concluded……..