Thursday, May 7, 2009


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
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……..

1 comment:

Madhu Nimkar said...

Well-presented article!!!