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King of Malwa
Reignc. 1210 – c. 1215 CE
Arjunavarman is located in Madhya Pradesh
Pipliya Nagar
Pipliya Nagar
Locations of Arjunavarman's inscriptions (map of Madhya Pradesh)

Arjunavarman (reigned c. 1210-1215 CE) was an Indian king from the Paramara dynasty, who ruled in the Malwa region of central India.

Military career[edit]

Arjuna succeeded his father Subhatavarman, and invaded the kingdom of the Chaulukyas of Gujarat. The 14th century writer Merutunga calls him the "destroyer of Gujarat". Arjuna defeated Jayanta-simha (or Jaya-simha), who had usurped the Solanki throne for a brief period. The 1211 CE Piplianagar grant of Arjuna refers to his victory over Jayanta, so Arjuna's Gujarat invasion must have happened before this time. An inscription from Bhopal indicates that he had reached Bharuch by 1213 CE. The Dhar prashasti inscription states that he defeated Jayasimha in the Parva mountain valley (possibly Pavagadh). It also states that Arjuna captured Jayanta's daughter Jayashri, and fell in love with her. According to Asoke Majumdar, this suggests that Jayanta made peace with the Paramaras through a marriage alliance.[1]

When the Yadava ruler Simhana invaded Lata (southern Gujarat), Arjuna's Chahamana general Salakhanasimha defeated him.[2] Later, the Yadava king sent another force led by his general Kholeshvara to Lata. This second invasion resulted in the Paramara feudatory's defeat.[3]

Arjunavarman married the Hoysala princess Sarvakala, who was probably a daughter of grand-daughter of the Hoysala king Ballala. Simhana's invasion of the Hoysala territory appears to have led a fresh conflict between the Paramaras and the Yadavas. Simhana invaded the Paramara kingdom in 1215, and according to the later Yadava court poet Hemadri, this invasion resulted in the defeat and death of Arjunavarman. The veracity of Hemadri's claim is doubtful, as the 1222 Bahal inscription mentions Arjunavarman's defeat, but not his death.[4] The Tiluvalli inscription also states that Simhana humbled the lord of Malwa.[5]

Other activities[edit]

Arjuna assumed the title Trividhivīracūḍāmaṇi. In his inscriptions, Arjunavarman claimed to be an reincarnation of his illustrious ancestor king Bhoja.[6] He was a patron of scholars, and himself an accomplished poet.[3] He is best known from a eulogistic inscription of his reign which takes the form of play called the Vijayaśrīnāṭikā, composed by Madana, the king's preceptor. In this work, which is not known from manuscript sources, Madana makes Arjunavarman the chief protagonist.[7]

Arjunavarman's 1211 CE inscription, found at Piplianagar near Shajapur, records the donation of a village.[8] A 1213 inscription, discovered at Sehore (and possibly originally found at Piplianagar) also records a village grant.[9] Another inscription from Sehore, dated 1215 CE, records a land grant to a Brahmin.[10]


  1. ^ Majumdar 1956, p. 148.
  2. ^ Jain 1972, p. 370.
  3. ^ a b Jain 1972, p. 371.
  4. ^ A. S. Altekar 1960, p. 534.
  5. ^ T. V. Mahalingam 1957, p. 145.
  6. ^ E. Hultzsch, ‘Dhar Prasasti of Arjunavarman: Parijatamanjari-Natika by Mandana’, Epigraphica Indica 8 (1905-06): 96-122. Available online in Zenodo.
  7. ^ S. K. Dikshit, ed., Pārijātamañjarī alias Vijayaśrī by Rāja-Guru Madana alias Bāla-Sarasvatī (Bhopal, 1968). Available online in Zenodo.
  8. ^ Trivedi 1991, pp. 162-163.
  9. ^ Trivedi 1991, pp. 166-167.
  10. ^ Trivedi 1991, pp. 168-169.


  • A. S. Altekar (1960). Ghulam Yazdani, ed. The Early History of the Deccan Parts. VIII: Yādavas of Seuṇadeśa. Oxford University Press. OCLC 59001459.
  • Jain, Kailash Chand (1972). Malwa Through the Ages, from the Earliest Times to 1305 A.D. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 978-81-208-0824-9.
  • Majumdar, Asoke Kumar (1956). Chaulukyas of Gujarat. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
  • Trivedi, Harihar Vitthal (1991). Inscriptions of the Paramāras, Chandēllas, Kachchapaghātas, and two minor dynasties. Archaeological Survey of India.
  • T. V. Mahalingam (1957). "The Seunas of Devagiri". In R. S. Sharma. A Comprehensive history of India: A.D. 985-1206. 4 (Part 1). Indian History Congress / People's Publishing House. ISBN 978-81-7007-121-1.