Chandra dynasty

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The Chandra kingdom was a Kayastha kingdom, originating from the Indian subcontinent, which ruled the Samatata region of Bengal, as well as northern Arakan. Latet it was a neighbor to the Pala Empire to the north. Rulers of Chandra kingdom were followers of Sanatan dharma.The founder of Chandra Dynasty was king Mahataing Chandra in 327 AD.

The reign of the dynasty was-

  • Early or Ancient period from (750 BCE–200 CE)
  • Middle or Imperial period from (200–750 CE)
  • Later or Harikela dynasty from (900–1050 CE)


Ananda Chandra inscription (729 AD) mentions king Chandrodaya whom Sircar fixes the date of 202-229 AD. The inscription mentions kings prior to King Chandrodaya as "zealous in doing kindness to the world". The ye Dhamma inscriptions of Queen Niti Chandra are dated to early 6th century AD based on paleographic grounds.[1]

The Chandra kingdom was one of the last Buddhist strongholds in the Indian subcontinent. The kingdom flourished as a center of the Tantric schools of Buddhism. It played a role in the diffusion of Mahayana Buddhism to Southeast Asia.[2]

The dynasty was founded by King Mahataing Chandra in 327 AD in Wesali. KingSrichandra led invasions into Kamarupa. The Chandras played an important role in the regional politics and military history of erstwhile Bengal. The Chandras ruled in Arakan and Southeast bengal. But this dynasty was founded by king Mahataing Chandra.

The Chandras were eventually overthrown during an invasion of the South Indian Chola dynasty.[3] Following is the list of Kings from Chandra Dynasty.[4][5]

List of Chandra dynasty Rulers
# King Period Reign (CE)
- ?? 120 ??
- ?? 120 ??
- ?? 120 ??
- Bahubali 120 ??
- Raghupati 120 ??
- ?? 120 ??
1 Chandrodaya 27 202-229
2 Annaveta 5 229-234
3 ?? 77 234-311
4 Rimbhiappa 23 311-334
5 Kuverami (Queen) 7 334-341
6 Umavira (Queen) 20 341-361
7 Jugna 7 361-368
8 Lanki 2 368-370
9 Dvenchandra 55 370-425
10 Rajachandra 20 425-445
11 Kalachandra 9 445-454
12 Devachandra 22 454-476
13 Yajnachandra 7 476-483
14 Chandrabandu 6 483-489
15 Bhumichandra 7 489-496
16 Bhutichandra 24 496-520
17 Nitichandra (Queen) 55 520-575
18 Virachandra 3 575-578
19 Pritichandra (Queen) 12 578-90
20 Prithvichandra 7 590-597
21 Dhirtichandra 3 597-600
22 Mahavira 12 600-12
23 Virayajap 12 612-24
24 Sevinren 12 624-36
25 Dharmasura 13 636-49
26 Vajrashakti 16 649-65
27 Dharmavijaya 36 665-701
28 Narendravijaya 2 yr 9 months 701-703
29 Dharmachandra 16 703-720
30 Anandachandra 9+ 720-729+
Harikela Dynasty
1 Traillokyachandra 30 900–930
2 Srichandra 45 930–975
3 Kalyanachandra 25 975–1000
4 Ladahachandra 20 1000–1020
5 Govindachandra 30 1020–1050

Maritime relations[edit]

The coastal kingdom had trade networks with states in what is now Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam. 10th century shipwrecks around the coast of Java provide evidence of maritime links between southeastern Bengal and Southeast Asia. Bronze sculptures may have been imported by the Javanese from the Chandra kingdom in southeastern Bengal. Arab merchants also traded with the kingdom.[2]

King Anandachandra mentions mission he sent to Sinhalese King Silamegha (Aggabodhi IV) (727-766)


There are numerous inscriptions dating from the period of the Chandra dynasty. The three archaeological sites associated with the dynasty include Bikrampur and Mainamati in Bangladesh and Waithali in Rakhine State, Myanmar (Burma).


Chandrapur University in Shrihatta was as large as other religious institutions like Nalanda, Taxila, Mahasthangarh[6] or Odantapuri and was established before Oxford, and Cambridge universities or even the Jagaddala Vihara.[7][8][9] It was made by king Srichandra. Its exact location has not been found. Chandrapur university was unique in contrast with other universities and the viharas established by Buddhist kings in India. Its curriculum included almost all of the subjects from the Hindu Shastra except the grammar of Chandragomin who was Buddhist by religion. Moreover the students of this university were also Hindu Brahmins. The nine monasteries were overseen mainly by Hindu Brahmins.[6] This is because the Buddhist king, Srichandra, granted lands in Paschimbhag in the name of Buddha for nine Brahmin monasteries where the Chaturvedas were mainly taught. Kamalakanta Gupta referred to this grant as "unique among other Buddhist kings" since it implies Srichandra's favouritism towards Brahmins.

Land distribution among 25 classes of people, guests, and students indicates an efficient administration in the universities. According to Zafir Setu, this administrative arrangement is more consistent with the present-day university system.[8]


  1. ^ Manguin, Pierre-Yves; Mani, A.; Wade, Geoff (2011). Early Interactions Between South and Southeast Asia: Reflections on Cross-cultural Exchange. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. pp. 387–. ISBN 978-981-4345-10-1.
  2. ^ a b Ghosh, Suchandra (2013). "Locating South Eastern Bengal in the Buddhist Network of Bay of Bengal (C. 7th Century CE-13th Century CE)". Proceedings of the Indian History Congress. 74: 148–153. JSTOR 44158810.
  3. ^,_The
  4. ^ Wicks, Robert S. (31 May 2018). Money, Markets, and Trade in Early Southeast Asia: The Development of Indigenous Monetary Systems to AD 1400. Cornell University Press. p. 87. ISBN 978-1-5017-1947-9.
  5. ^ Johnston, E. H. (1944). "Some Sanskrit Inscriptions of Arakan". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 11 (2): 357–385. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00072529. ISSN 0041-977X. JSTOR 609320.
  6. ^ a b Islam, Mohammad Mazharul (17 August 2020). "প্রাচীন 'চন্দ্রপুর বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়'" (in Bengali). Samakal. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  7. ^ Shakil, Mahfouz (20 July 2020). "জুড়ীতে প্রাচীন বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়? অনুসন্ধানে যাচ্ছে প্রত্নতত্ত্বের দল" (in Bengali). Kulaura, Moulvibazar: Kaler Kantha. Retrieved 12 April 2021.
  8. ^ a b Choedhury, Dwoha (24 July 2020). "চন্দ্রপুর: যেখানে লুকিয়ে আছে দশম শতাব্দীর বিদ্যাপীঠ". The Daily Star (in Bengali). Sylhet. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  9. ^ Islam, Nurul (18 August 2020). "শুস্ক মৌসুমে খননকাজ: মৌলভীবাজারে প্রাচীন চন্দ্রপুর বিশ্ববিদ্যালয়ের সন্ধানে" (in Bengali). Moulvibazar: samakal. Retrieved 12 April 2021.