Ballal Sena

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Ballal Sen
বল্লাল সেন
Reign 1160 – 1179
Predecessor Vijay Sen
Successor Lakshman Sen
Spouse Ramadevi
Issue Lakshman Sen
House Sen
Dynasty Sen
Father Vijay Sen

Ballal Sen (Bengali: বল্লাল সেন; reign: 1160–1179) was the second ruler of the Sen dynasty of Bengal.[1] He was the son and successor of Vijay Sen, and ended the Pala Empire by defeating Govindapala.[2] Ballal Sen married Ramadevi a princess of the Western Chalukya Empire which indicates that the Sen rulers maintained close social contact with south India.[3]

He is the best-known Sen 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, Ballalsen’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. Ballalsen 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 Adbhut Sagar, Ballalsen, along with his queen, retired in his old age to the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna leaving his son, Lakshman Sen, with the task of both maintaining his kingdom and completing his literary work.

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

See also[edit]

Preceded by
Vijay Sen
King of Sen Dynasty, Bengal
Succeeded by
Lakshman Sen


  1. ^ a b c Misra, Chitta Ranjan (2012). "Vallalasena". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. 
  2. ^ Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. pp. 35–36. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4. 
  3. ^ Land of Two Rivers: A History of Bengal from the Mahabharata to Mujib by Nitish K. Sengupta p.51
  4. ^ Chowdhury, AM (2012). "Sena Dynasty". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.