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Shunga masculine figurine (moulded plate). 2nd–1st century BCE.
|Reign||c. 110 BCE|
Bhagabhadra was one of the kings of the Indian Shunga dynasty. He ruled in north, central, and eastern India around 110 BCE. Although the capital of the Shungas was at Pataliputra, he was also known to have held court at Vidisha. It is thought that name Bhagabhadra also appears in the regnal lists of the Shungas in the Puranic records, under the name Bhadraka, fifth Shunga ruler of the Shungas.
He is best known from an inscription at the site of Vidisha in central India, the Heliodorus pillar, in which contacts with an embassy from the Indo-Greek king Antialcidas is recorded, and where he is named "Kasiputra Bhagabhadra, the Saviour, son of the princess from Benares":
- "Devadevasa Va [sude]vasa Garudadhvajo ayam
- karito i[a] Heliodorena bhaga-
- vatena Diyasa putrena Takhasilakena
- Yonadatena agatena maharajasa
- Amtalikitasa upa[m]ta samkasam-rano
- Kasiput[r]asa [Bh]agabhadrasa tratarasa
- vasena [chatu]dasena rajena vadhamanasa"
- "This Garuda-standard of Vasudeva (Krishna or Vishnu), the God of Gods
- was erected here by the devotee Heliodoros,
- the son of Dion, a man of Taxila,
- sent by the Great Greek (Yona) King
- Antialkidas, as ambassador to
- King Kasiputra Bhagabhadra, the Savior
- son of the princess from Benares, in the fourteenth year of his reign."
- (Archaeological Survey of India, Annual Report (1908-1909))
This inscription is important in that in tends to validate that the Shungas ruled in the area of Vidisa around 100 BCE. This is also corroborated by some artistic realization on the nearby Sanchi stupa thought to belong to the period of the Shungas. Altogether, three Shunga pillars have also been found in the area.
- Photo of the pillar with Brahmi inscription
- Heliodorus pillar at Vidisha
- Text of the inscriptions on Heliodorus pillar
- Vedic archeology
circa 110 BCE
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