Gauda Kingdom

Gauda Kingdom (Bengali: গৌড় রাজ্য Gāuṛ Rājya), was a Hindu power during the Late Classical period on the Indian subcontinent, which originated in the region of Bengal.[1][2]

Kingdom of Gauda

Bengali: গৌড় রাজ্য (Gāuṛ Rājya)
590 CE–626 CE
Royal Seal of Gauda Kingdom
Royal Seal
Gauda (in eastern India) and its contemporaries, c. 625 CE
Gauda (in eastern India) and its contemporaries, c. 625 CE
CapitalKarnasuvarna (present day West Bengal, India)
• 590–625
• 625–626
• Established
590 CE
• Disestablished
626 CE
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Later Gupta dynasty
Vardhana dynasty

Location and extent

Sasanka Deva king of Gauda circa 600-630
Coin of Sasanka, king of Gauda, circa 600-630.

King Shashanka (Bengali: শশাঙ্ক Shôshangko) is often attributed with creating the first separate political entity in a unified Bengal called Gauda. He reigned in 7th century, and some historians place his rule approximately between 590 and 625. His capital was at Karnasubarna, 9.6 kilometres (6.0 mi) south-west of Baharampur, headquarters of Murshidabad district.[1]

The Chinese monk, Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang) travelled from the country of Karnasubarna to a region in the present-day state of Orissa ruled by Shashanka.[2] There is mention of Pundravardhana being part of Gauda in certain ancient records.[3]

Evidence seems to be discrepant regarding links of Gauda with the Rarh region. While Krishna Mishra (11th or 12th century), in his Prabodha-chandrodaya, mentions that Gauda rashtra includes Rarh (or Rarhpuri) and Bhurishreshthika, identified with Bhurshut, in Hooghly and Howrah districts, but the Managoli inscription of the Yadava king Jaitugi I distinguishes Lala (Rarh) from Gaula (Gauda).[1]

According to Jain writers of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Gauda included Lakshmanavati in present-day Malda district.[1]

Following his death, Shashanka was succeeded by his son, Manava, who ruled the kingdom for eight months. However Gauda was soon divided amongst Harshavardhana and Bhaskarvarmana of Kamarupa, the latter even managing to conquer Karnasuvarna.

The Pala emperors were referred to as Vangapati (Lord of Vanga) and Gaudesvara (Lord of Gauda). Sena kings also called themselves Gaudesvara. From then Gauda and Vanga seem to be interchangeable names for the whole of Bengal.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Majumdar, Dr. R.C., History of Ancient Bengal, first published 1971, reprint 2005, pp. 5-6, Tulshi Prakashani, Kolkata, ISBN 81-89118-01-3.
  2. ^ a b Ghosh, Suchandra (2012). "Gauda, Janapada". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  3. ^ Bandopadhyay, Rakhaldas, Bangalar Itihas, (in Bengali), first published 1928, revised edition 1971, vol I, p 101, Nababharat Publishers, 72 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kolkata.

Coordinates: 24°11′N 88°16′E / 24.18°N 88.27°E

Adi Sura

For a genus of moths see AdisuraAdi Sura (also written as Adisura) is widely associated with the bringing in of five Brahmins, well versed in the Vedas, to Bengal from Kannauj, as there were supposedly none in Bengal who could perform certain Vedic sacrifices. Various dates from 8th century AD downwards and numerous family links have been assigned to Adi Sura by the genealogical texts or kulajis, belonging to the late medieval period.Historian Ramesh Chandra Majumdar, in his History of Ancient Bengal, says, “King Adisura is the pivot round which the genealogical accounts move. No positive evidence has yet been obtained of his existence, but we have undoubted reference to a Sura family ruling in Western Bengal in the eleventh century. Adisura may or may not be a historical person but it is wrong to assert dogmatically that he was a myth and to reject the whole testimony of the Kulajis on that ground alone.” Quoting various genealogical tables, an earlier historian Rakhaldas Bandopahyay, in his Banglar Itihas (History of Bengal), mentions that when the son-in-law of King Jayanta of Gauda Kingdom, ascended the throne he adopted the name of Adisura.


Baṅgamātā (Bengali: বঙ্গমাতা), Mother Bengal or simply বাংলা/ Bangla, a personification of Bengal, was created during the Bengali renaissance and later adopted by the Bengali nationalists. In Bangladeshi poetry, literature and patriotic song, she has become a symbol of Bangladesh, considered as a personification of the Republic. The Mother Bengal represents not only biological motherness but its attributed characteristics as well – protection, never ending love, consolation, care, the beginning and the end of life.

Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, an orthodox Brahmin writer, poet and journalist, composed an Ode to Mother Bengal called Vande Mataram around 1876 as an alternative to the British royal anthem.In Amar Sonar Bangla, the national anthem of Bangladesh, Rabindranath Tagore used the word "Maa" (Mother) numerous times to refer to the motherland, i.e. Bengal. Despite her popularity in patriotic songs and poems, her physical representations and images are rare.

Bengali Buddhists

Bengali Buddhists, (Bengali: বাঙালি বৌদ্ধ), are Buddhists of Bengali ethnic and linguistic identity. Bengali Buddhists constitute 0.4% of the population in Bangladesh.

Buddhism has a rich ancient heritage in the Bengal. The region was a bastion of the ancient Buddhist Mauryan and Palan empires, when the Mahayana and Vajrayana schools flourished. South-eastern Bengal was ruled by the medieval Buddhist Kingdom of Mrauk U during the 16th and 17th centuries. The British Raj influenced the emergence of modern community.

Today, Bengali Buddhists are followers of orthodox Therevada Buddhism.


Bikrampur ("City of Courage") was a pargana situated 12 miles (19 km) south of Dhaka, the modern capital city of Bangladesh. In the present day it is known as Munshiganj District of Bangladesh. It is a historic region in Bengal. It was a part of the Bhawal Estate.


Gauda may refer to:

Gauḍa (city), Bengal

Gauḍa (region), Bengal

Gauda Kingdom, a kingdom during the 5th to 7th century in Bengal (present-day Gauda city)

Gauda (king), ruler of Numidia during 1st century BC

Gauḍa brahmins, part of Pancha-Gauda, India

Gaudu, Nepal, a village in the Gandaki Zone

Gauḍa (region)

Gauda (Bengali: গৌড়), was a territory located in Bengal in ancient and medieval times, as part of the Gauda Kingdom.


Grahavarman was a king of Kannauj around the seventh-century CE. He came from the Maukhari dynasty and succeeded his father, Avantivarman. Grahavarman married Rajyashri, the daughter of the ruler of Thanesar, Prabhakar Vardhana. The marriage appears to have been an alliance of the two dynasties against the king of the Malavas.The tripartite struggle for power in the region became four-sided when Shashanka, ruler of the Gauda kingdom in Bengal, took an interest. There had been rivalry between the Maukharis and rulers in Bengal for around fifty years, and Shashanka was concerned about the strengthening of the Maukhari position through the marriage alliance. He allied with the Malavas and launched what was probably a surprise attack on the Maukhari capital at Kannauj, which was overwhelmed. He killed Grahavarman and imprisoned Rajyashri.

History of Bangladesh

Modern Bangladesh emerged as an independent nation in 1971 after breaking away and achieving independence from Pakistan in the Bangladesh Liberation War. The country's borders corresponded with the major portion of the ancient and historic region of Bengal in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, where civilization dates back over four millennia, to the Catholic. The history of the region is closely intertwined with the history of Bengal and the broader history of the Indian subcontinent.

The area's early history featured a succession of Indian empires, internal problems, between Hinduism and Buddhism for dominance. Islam became dominant gradually since the early 15th century when Sunni missionaries such as Shah Jalal arrived. Later, Muslim rulers initiated the preaching of Islam by building mosques. From the 15th century onward, the region was controlled by the Bengal Sultanate led by king Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah. Afterwards, the region came under the country of the Mughal Empire, as its wealthiest province. Bengal Subah( a division of Mughal Empire) generated 50% of the empire's GDP and 12% of the world's GDP, with the capital city Dhaka having a population exceeding a million people.

Following the decline of the Mughal Empire in the early 1700s, Bengal became a semi-independent state under the Nawabs of Bengal which is led by king Murshid Alam before it was conquered by the British East India Company at the Battle of Plassey in 1757, directly contributing to the Industrial Revolution in Britain and to deindustrialization in Bengal. The Bengali city of Calcutta served as the capital city of British India up until the early 20th century.

The borders of modern Bangladesh were established with the separation of Bengal and India in August 1947, when the region became East Pakistan as a part of the newly formed State of Pakistan following the Boundary Of Partition Of India. However, it was separated from West Pakistan by 1,600 km (994 mi) of Indian territory. The Bangladesh Liberation War (Bengali: মুক্তিযুদ্ধ Muktijuddho), also known as the Bangladesh War of Independence, or simply the Liberation War in Bangladesh, was a revolution and armed conflict sparked by the rise of the Bengali nationalist and self-determination movement in what was then East Pakistan during the 1971 Bangladesh genocide. It resulted in the independence of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. After independence, the new state endured famine, natural disasters, and widespread poverty, as well as political turmoil and military coups. The restoration of democracy in 1991 has been followed by relative calm and rapid economic progress. Bangladesh is today a major manufacturer in the global textile industry.

History of Bengal

The history of Bengal is intertwined with the history of the broader Indian subcontinent and the surrounding regions of South Asia and Southeast Asia. It includes modern-day Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura and Assam's Barak Valley, located in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, at the apex of the Bay of Bengal and dominated by the fertile Ganges delta. The advancement of civilisation in Bengal dates back four millennia. The region was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans as Gangaridai. The Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers act as a geographic marker of the region, but also connects the region to the broader Indian subcontinent. Bengal, at times, has played an important role in the history of the Indian subcontinent.

The area's early history featured a succession of Indian empires, internal squabbling, and a tussle between Hinduism and Buddhism for dominance. Ancient Bengal was the site of several major Janapadas (kingdoms), while the earliest cities date back to the Vedic period. A thalassocracy and an entrepôt of the historic Silk Road, Ancient Bengal established colonies on Indian Ocean islands and in Southeast Asia; had strong trade links with Persia, Arabia and the Mediterranean that focused on its lucrative cotton muslin textiles. The region was part of several ancient pan-Indian empires, including the Mauryans and Guptas. It was also a bastion of regional kingdoms. The citadel of Gauda served as capital of the Gauda Kingdom, the Buddhist Pala Empire (eighth to 11th century) and Hindu Sena Empire (11th–12th century). This era saw the development of Bengali language, script, literature, music, art and architecture.

The Muslim conquest of the Indian subcontinent absorbed Bengal into the medieval Islamic and Persianate worlds. Between the 1204 and 1352, Bengal was a province of the Delhi Sultanate. This era saw the introduction of the taka as monetary currency, which has endured into the modern era. An independent Bengal Sultanate was formed in 1352 and ruled the region for two centuries, during which a distinct form of Islam based on Sufism and the Bengali language emerged. The ruling elite also turned Bengal into the easternmost haven of Indo-Persian culture. The Sultans exerted influence in the Arakan region of Southeast Asia, where Buddhist kings copied the sultanate's governance, currency and fashion. A relationship with Ming China flourished under the sultanate.The Bengal Sultanate was notable for its Hindu aristocracy, including the rise of Raja Ganesha and his son Jalaluddin Muhammad Shah as usurpers. Hindus served in the royal administration as prime ministers and poets. Under the patronage of Sultans like Alauddin Hussain Shah, Bengali literature began replacing the strong influence of Sanskrit in the region. Hindu principalities included the Koch Kingdom, Kingdom of Mallabhum, Kingdom of Bhurshut and Kingdom of Tripura; and the realm of powerful Hindu Rajas such as Pratapaditya and Raja Sitaram Ray. In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Isa Khan, a Muslim Rajput chief, who led the Baro Bhuiyans (twelve landlords), dominated the Bengal delta. Following the decline of the sultanate, Bengal came under the suzerainty of the Mughal Empire, as its wealthiest province. Under the Mughals, Bengal Subah generated 50% of the empire's gross domestic product (GDP) and 12% of the world's GDP. According to economic historian Indrajit Ray, it was globally prominent in industries such as textile manufacturing and shipbuilding, with the capital Dhaka having a population exceeding a million people. The gradual decline of the Mughal Empire led to quasi-independent states under the Nawabs of Bengal, subsequent Maratha expeditions in Bengal, and finally the conquest by the British East India Company.

The British took control of the region from the late 18th century. The company consolidated their hold on the region following the Battle of Plassey in 1757 and Battle of Buxar in 1764 and by 1793 took complete control of the region. The plunder of Bengal directly contributed to the Industrial Revolution in Britain, with the capital amassed from Bengal used to invest in British industries such as textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution and greatly increase British wealth, while at the same time leading to deindustrialisation in Bengal. Kolkata (or Calcutta) served for many years as the capital of British controlled territories in India. The early and prolonged exposure to British administration resulted in the expansion of Western education, culminating in development of science, institutional education, and social reforms in the region, including what became known as the Bengali renaissance. A hotbed of the Indian independence movement through the early 20th century, Bengal was divided during India's independence in 1947 along religious lines into two separate entities: West Bengal—a state of India—and East Bengal—a part of the newly created Dominion of Pakistan that later became the independent nation of Bangladesh in 1971.

Hussain Shahi dynasty

The Hussain Shahi dynasty ruled from 1494-1538. Alauddin Husain Shah, considered as the greatest of all the sultans of Bengal for bringing a cultural renaissance during his reign. He conquered Kamarupa, Kamata, Jajnagar, and Orissa and extended the sultanate all the way to the port of Chittagong, which witnessed the arrival of the first Portuguese merchants. Nasiruddin Nasrat Shah gave refuge to the Afghan lords during the invasion of Babur though he remained neutral.The hindu people of bengal gave him the titles of Nripati Tilak and jagatbhusan. He was also known as Akbar of bengal. He encourage the translation of Sanskrit literature in Bengali. He built a famous mosque named chota sona masjid.

However, Nasrat Shah made a treaty with Babur and saved Bengal from a Mughal invasion. The last Sultan of the dynasty, who continued to rule from Sonargaon, had to contend with rising Afghan activity on his northwestern border. Eventually, the Afghans broke through and sacked the capital in 1538 where they remained for several decades until the arrival of Mughal dynasty.

Khadga dynasty

The Khadga dynasty was a dynasty which ruled the areas of Vanga and Samatata in Bengal from the mid 7th to early 8th Century CE. Chronologically, the dynasty emerged as a powerful kingdom between the fall of Gauda Kingdom and the rise of the Pala Empire. While they did not assume imperial titles, they retained sovereignty over the ancient kingdom of Vanga and later conquered Samatata.

Later Gupta dynasty

The Later Gupta dynasty ruled the Magadha region in eastern India between 6th and 7th centuries. The Later Guptas succeeded the imperial Guptas as the rulers of Magadha, but there is no evidence connecting the two dynasties; these appear to be two distinct families. The Later Guptas are so-called because the names of their rulers ended with the suffix "-gupta", which they might have adopted to portray themselves as the legitimate successors of the imperial Guptas.

List of rulers of Bengal

This is a list of rulers of Bengal. For much of its history, Bengal was split up into several independent kingdoms, completely unifying only several times. In ancient times, Bengal consisted of the kingdoms of Pundra, Magadha, Suhma, Anga, Vanga, Samatata and Harikela.

Under the Mauryas, much of Bengal was conquered except for the far eastern Bengali kingdoms which continued to exist as tributary states before succumbing to the Guptas. With the fall of the Gupta Empire, Bengal was united under a single local ruler, Shashanka, for the first time. With the collapse of his kingdom, Bengal split up into petty kingdoms once more.

With the rise of Gopala in 750 AD, Bengal was united once more under the Buddhist Pala Empire until the 12th century then being succeeded by the Hindu Chandra dynasty, Sena dynasty and deva dynasty. After them, Bengal was ruled by the Hindu Maharajas of kingdoms such as Chandradwip and Cooch Behar. 13th-16th centuries under the regional power of Bengal sultanate who appointed various local Muslim officials- followed by the British. The position of the Prime Minister of Bengal was established in 1937, and served as the provincial chief executive in the British Raj, until 1947, when Bengal was partitioned, making West Bengal part of India and the East Bengal part of Pakistan. East Bengal then became an independent country, Bangladesh, following the Bangladesh Liberation War.


Nabanna (Bengali: নবান্ন, Nabānna; lit: new Feast ) is a Bengali harvest celebration usually celebrated with food and dance and music in Bangladesh and in the Indian State of West Bengal. It is a festival of food; many local preparations of Bengali cuisine like pithe are cooked and offered.

Names of Bengal

Bengal is a region in South Asia, politically split between Bangladesh and India. Due to its long history and complicated political divisions, various names have been used to refer to the region and its subsections. The modern English name Bengal is an exonym derived from the Bengal Sultanate period. The name is used by both Bangladesh and West Bengal in international contexts. In the Bengali language, the two Bengals each use a different term to refer to the nominally identified nation: Bānglā (wiktionary: বাংলা) and Baṅga (wiktionary: বঙ্গ)


Rajyavardhana, also known as Rajya Vardhan, was the eldest son of Prabhakarvardhana and member of the Vardhana dynasty. He ascended the throne after his father's death and was succeeded by his younger brother, Harsha.

Contemporary information regarding the life of Rajyavardhana is limited in scope and utility. He is mentioned by Hiuen-Tsang, the Chinese traveller, and in Harshacharita, a seventh-century CE work by the poet and bard Banabhatta. Neither offer impartial accounts and they differ in substantive details. The military historian Kaushik Roy describes Harshacharita as "historical fiction" but with a factually correct foundation.Rajyavardhana was the elder of two sons of Prabhakarvardhana and his queen, Yasomati. The couple also had a daughter, Rajyashri, who married Grahavarman, a member of the Maukhari ruling family at Kannauj. Prabhakarvardana was the powerful ruler of the Thanesar region around 585-606 CE, although exact dates are uncertain. The historian Ramesh Chandra Majumdar says he died and was succeeded by Rajyavardhana in 604 CE but Kaushik Roy gives 606 CE as the year, and some sources say 605. Prabhakarvardhana had expanded his territory by defeating rulers in Gujarat, Gandhara and Sind, and he had also resisted the invasion of the Huna people. He died while his sons were fighting the Hunas.The marriage alliance of Grahavarman and Rajyashri had strengthened ties between the families to a point that Shashanka, the ruler of the Gauda kingdom in Bengal, found unacceptable. He retaliated by allying with the Malava kingdom and the forces appear to have launched a successful surprise attack on the Maukhari capital at Kannauj. Grahavarman was killed and Rajyashri captured at this time, which caused Rajyavardhana to retaliate in turn. He commanded a 10,000-strong cavalry force that was successful in defeating the Malava ruler, with the main army of infantry and war elephants supporting it under the charge of his younger brother, Harsha.Rajyavardhana's success was against an advance guard of his enemy. He died later in 606 as he made his way onwards to press an action at Kannauj itself. He was perhaps murdered by Shashanka, who may have invited him to a meeting with treachery in mind, although the only sources for this claim are Banabhatta and Hiuen-Tsang, who both had reasons to write unfavourably of Shashanka.Harsha succeeded Rajyavardhana as ruler of Thanesar and vowed to avenge his brother's death.


King Shashanka (Bengali: শশাঙ্ক, translit. Śaśāṃka) created the first separate political entity in the Bengal region of the Indian subcontinent, called the Gauda Kingdom and is a major figure in Bengali history. He reigned in 7th century AD, and some historians place his rule approximately between 590 AD and 625 AD. He is the contemporary of Harsha and of Bhaskaravarman of Kamarupa. His capital was at Karnasubarna, in present-day Murshidabad in West Bengal. The development of the Bengali calendar is often attributed to Shashanka because the starting date falls within his reign.

Six point movement

The six point movement was a movement in West Pakistan, spearheaded by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, which called for greater autonomy for East Pakistan. The movement's main agenda was to realize the six demands put forward by a coalition of Bengali nationalist political parties in 1966, to end the perceived exploitation of East Pakistan by the West Pakistani rulers. It is considered a milestone on the road to Bangladesh's independence.

West Bengal

West Bengal (; Bengali: Paschim Banga) is an Indian state, located in eastern region of the country on the Bay of Bengal. With over 91 million inhabitants (as of 2011), it is India's fourth-most populous state. It has an area of 88,752 km2 (34,267 sq mi). A part of the ethno-linguistic Bengal region of the Indian subcontinent, it borders Bangladesh in the east, and Nepal and Bhutan in the north. It also borders the Indian states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Sikkim, and Assam. The state capital is Kolkata (Calcutta), the seventh-largest city in India, and center of the third-largest metropolitan area in the country. As for geography, West Bengal includes the Darjeeling Himalayan hill region, the Ganges delta, the Rarh region, and the coastal Sundarbans. The main ethnic group are the Bengalis, with Bengali Hindus forming the demographic majority.

The area's early history featured a succession of Indian empires, internal squabbling, and a tussle between Hinduism and Buddhism for dominance. Ancient Bengal was the site of several major Janapadas (kingdoms), while the earliest cities date back to the Vedic period. The region was part of several ancient pan-Indian empires, including the Mauryans and Guptas. It was also a bastion of regional kingdoms. The citadel of Gauda served as the capital of the Gauda Kingdom, the Buddhist Pala Empire (eighth to 11th century) and Hindu Sena Empire (11th–12th century). From the 13th century onward, the region was ruled by several sultans, powerful Hindu states, and Baro-Bhuyan landlords, until the beginning of British rule in the 18th century. The British East India Company cemented their hold on the region following the Battle of Plassey in 1757, and Calcutta served for many years as the capital of British India. The early and prolonged exposure to British administration resulted in an expansion of Western education, culminating in developments in science, institutional education, and social reforms in the region, including what became known as the Bengali Renaissance. A hotbed of the Indian independence movement through the early 20th century, Bengal was divided during India's independence in 1947 along religious lines into two separate entities: West Bengal, a state of India, and East Bengal, a province of Pakistan which later became independent Bangladesh. Between 1977 and 2011 the state was administered by the world's longest elected Communist government.

The economy of West Bengal is the sixth-largest state economy in India with ₹13.14 lakh crore (US$180 billion) in gross domestic product and a per capita GDP of ₹108,000 (US$1,500). The state's cultural heritage, besides varied folk traditions, includes authors in literature, such as Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore. Kolkata is known as the "cultural capital of India". West Bengal is also known for its enthusiasm for the sport of association football, as well as cricket.

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