Ballala Sena

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Ballala Sena
বল্লাল সেন
Reign1160 – 1179
PredecessorVijaya Sena
SuccessorLakshmana Sena
IssueRoopsundari & Kamaladevi
FatherVijaya Sena

Vallalasena or Ballala Sena (Bengali: বল্লাল সেন; reign: 1160–1179), also known as Ballal Sen in vernacular literature, was the second ruler of the Sena dynasty of Bengal region of the Indian subcontinent.[1] He was the son and successor of Vijaya Sena, and ended the Pala Empire by defeating Govindapala.[2]

Ballala Sena married Ramadevi a princess of the Western Chalukya Empire which indicates that the Sena rulers maintained close social contact with south India.[3]

He is the best-known Sena ruler and consolidated the kingdom. He might have completed the conquest of North Bengal and also conquered Magadha and Mithila. According to a tradition in Bengal, Ballala Sena's kingdom consisted of five provinces, viz., Banga, Barendra, Rar, Bagri (possibly a portion of lower Bengal) and Mithila. But neither the two inscriptions that survive from this region, nor the two great literary works, which were attributed to him, viz., Dan Sagar and Adbhut Sagar, allude to his military victories. On the other hand, these refer to his scholastic activities and social reforms. Ballala Sena is associated with the revival of orthodox Hindu practices in Bengal, in particular with the establishment of the reactionary tradition of Kulinism among Brahmins and Kayasthas. The Brahmins were classified into Kulin, Śrotriya, Vamsaja and Saptasati; the Kayasthas were classified into Kulin and Maulik, but there is no historical authenticity. His marriage to Ramadevi, the Chalukya princess also indicates that the Sens maintained the kingdom inherited from his father, which included the present day Bangladesh, the whole of West Bengal and Mithila, i.e., portions of North Bihar. According to a cryptic passage in Adbhuta Sagara, Ballala Sena, along with his queen, retired in his old age to the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna leaving his son, Lakshmana Sena, with the task of both maintaining his kingdom and completing his literary work.

According to a Sena epigraph, Ballala was an author. He wrote Danasagara in 1168.[4] And in 1169, he started but did not finish writing Adbhutasagara.[1] In Adbhutasagara, it was mentioned that Ballala Sena conquered Mithila while Vijaya Sena was still alive.[5] Besides he introduced the practice of Kulinism.[1]

See also[edit]

Preceded by
Vijaya Sena
King of Sena Dynasty, Bengal
Succeeded by
Lakshmana Sena


  1. ^ a b c Misra, Chitta Ranjan (2012). "Vallalasena". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  2. ^ Sen, Sailendra Nath (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 35–36. ISBN 978-93-80607-34-4.
  3. ^ Land of Two Rivers: A History of Bengal from the Mahabharata to Mujib by Nitish K. Sengupta p.51
  4. ^ [ PHYLLIS GRANOFF, MY RITUALS AND MY GODS: RITUAL EXCLUSIVENESS IN MEDIEVAL INDIA, Journal of Indian Philosophy, Vol. 29, No. 1/2, Special issue: Ingalls Festschrift (April 2001), pp. 109-134]
  5. ^ Chowdhury, AM (2012). "Sena Dynasty". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.