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Kings & Queens, Lalitaditya

Indian History – The forgotten Kings & Queens #1

I came across an amazing Twitter thread a few days back that highlighted some of the forgotten Kings & Queens of India despite their having massive kingdoms and long reins. The thread is split into two blog posts by me because there are 16 Kings & Queens referenced. There are corrections made by the author, Dr. Kiran Kumar Karlapu, that I have inserted at the relevant portion.

I have also added Wikipedia links to King Lalitaditya and King Pulakeshin II. These are the only two Kings I had heard of before this thread.

Here is the link to the Twitter thread – https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1276866614252564480.html

There is much to Indian history than Akbar, Ashoka and Allauddin Khilji. Scores of Indian rulers have writ our history in the blood drawn from their swords. Most of them unknown outside their native states. Here is a tweet thread to list out some UNKNOWN Indian rulers.

1. Gautamiputra Satakarni

The Greatest of the Satavahanas, he ruled over an Empire in the Deccan. He defeated the invading Sakas, Pahlavas and Yavanas( Indo-Greeks). His victory over the Sakas in 78AD led to the establishing India’s national calendar, the Saka/Salivahana Samvat.

2. Kharavela of Kalinga.

The Greatest of the Mahameghavahana Emperors of Orissa of the 1st-2nd Century BCE. He is famous for having conquered/subjugated a large part of the subcontinent from Pandya kings of the South to the Magadha kings of Bihar. 

3. Menander/Milinda.

The Indo-Greek King who ruled the Northwestern part of India during the 1st Century BCE. His capital was Sakala (Sialkot). Converted to Buddhism, he features in “MilindaPanha” (The questions of Menander), a dialogue between him and Buddhist monk, Nagasena. 

4. Skandagupta.

The last of Great Gupta Emperors. The first saviour of India as he repulsed the Huna (Indo-Hepthalite invasions) in the 4th century CE. Thanks to his spirited defence, the invading Huns never crossed the Indus. (The Huns ravaged Europe and sacked Constantinople).

5. Lalitaditya Muktapida.

The Emperor of the Karkota Dynasty of Kashmir. Richly described in Kalhana’s “Rajatarangini”, legend has it that he conquered territories upto the Vindhyas. He commissioned the famous Sun Temple in Marthand, Kashmir. 

6. Immadi Pulakeshin/Pulakeshin II.

The Greatest of the Kalyani Chalukya Emperors, he expanded his empire to cover most of the Deccan in the 7th century CE. He is most famous for defeating Harshavardhana in the Battle of the Narmada in 618-619 CE. Note : This was mistakenly as the Kalyani Chalukyas. Pulakeshi was from the Badami Chalukya line. Error regretted.

7. Narasimhavarman I

The Pallava Ruler of Kanchipuram. He defeated Pulakeshin II and sacked the Chalukyan capital, Vatapi. He is known as MahaMalla (Great Wrestler) and known to have built the famous “Pancha Rathas” rock cut temples of Mahabalipuram. 

8. Yasodharman, the King of Malwa.

He finally defeated the Huna kings led by Mihirakula and put and end to the Huna invasions. The Mandsaur pillar inscription (i had the good fortune of visiting it), richly describes his victory over the Alchon Huns. 

9. Amoghavarsha, Greatest of the Rashtrakuta emperors.

His reign of 64 years is among the longest reigns in Indian history. The empire reached its zenith during his time. Wrote Kavirajamarga, earliest work in Kannada and known as “Ashoka of the South” for his religious tolerance. 

10. Suhal Dev, the legendary king of Shravasti.

He is famous for defeating the Ghaznavid General Ghazi Salar Saiyyad Masud at the Battle of Bahraich. 

There are many more rulers who have been forgotten by mainstream history. Madurai Tirumala Nayaka , Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath, Rani Rudramadevi, Raja Ram Jat and Churaman, Rudradaman, Hoysala Vishnvardhana, Lakshmikarna of the Kalachuris, Chandela King Dhanga. The list is endless.

Do read the second blogpost about the forgotten Kings & Queens which follows this post.

An earlier post of mine, related to this – Indian History – distorted and how !!

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