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Kalapahad or Kala Pahar was a Muslim General of Gour Sultanate, who is mentioned in the Mughal Empire records as the one who attacked Jagannath Puri with his army to tear down the Konark temple.[1][2][3] However, the general Kalapahad and his army may not have been entirely responsible. Other texts state that the temple was sacked several times by Muslim armies between the 15th and 17th centuries.[4][5] Islamic texts describing the raids of Kalapahar mention his army's first attempt to destroy the temple in 1565, but they failed. They inflicted only minor damage and carried away the copper kalasa.[5]

Military Campaigns[edit]

According to Durga Prasad Patnaik, the Hindu king Mukunda was an ally of the Mughal emperor Akbar and a foe of the Sultan of Bengal. Gajapati and the Sultan had two wars, the first he won, the second he lost. The general of the Bengal Sultanate army was Kalapahad, who after the second war sacked major towns and religious places of the kingdom in 1568, which form the contemporaneous Indian state of Odisha.[6] According to Shamsuddin Ahmed in the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh, Sultan Sulaiman sent his army into Odisha to expand his Sultanate under the command of his son "Bayazid and general Kalapahar alias Raju". They defeated and killed the king Mukund-Dev. The general Kalapahar led a contingent deep into the kingdom to subjugate it.[7]

Konark Sun Temple[edit]

Kalapahad has been linked to repeated attacks and the damage of the Konark Sun Temple. He was the general of Bengal Sultan Sulaiman Khan Karrani. According to Afsanah-i-Shahan of Shaikh Kabir Batini, he was a Batini Afghan.[8][verification needed] According to the history of Odisha, Kalapahad invaded Odisha in 1568. He damaged the Konark Sun Temple, as well as a number of Hindu temples in Odisha. The Madala Panji of Puri Jagannath temple describes how Kalapahad attacked Odisha in 1568.[citation needed]

Other campaigns[edit]

Kalapahad led the Sultanate army in other wars. According to Shamsuddin Ahmed, he fought the Cooch Behar army after the Koch king had attacked the Sultanate. He overwhelmed Sukladhwaja, held him prisoner and then besieged the capital of Cooch Behar, states Ahmed.[7] However, fearing an attack from the Mughal armies, the Sultan Sulaiman Karrani ordered Kalapahad to withdraw from Cooch Behar and then restored the Sukladhwaja back to power in Cooch Behar.[7]

In 1575, the Sultan's son Bayazid was treacherously murdered. The Afghan leaders like "Junaid, Qutlu Khan and Kalapahar", states Ahmed, rallied around Daud Karrani who ascended to the throne of the Bengal Sultanate.[9] Daud and his supporters were defeated at Rajmahal in July 1576.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mahendra Narayan Behera (2003). Brownstudy on Heathenland: A Book on Indology. University Press of America. pp. 146–147. ISBN 978-0-7618-2652-1.
  2. ^ Thomas Donaldson (2005). Konark. Oxford University Press. pp. 16–26. ISBN 978-0-19-567591-7.
  3. ^ "Konarak, Conservation". Archaeological Survey of India. Retrieved 27 July 2013.
  4. ^ Konark: India, Encyclopaedia Britannica
  5. ^ a b N. S. Ramaswami (1971). Indian Monuments. Abhinav. pp. 161–163. ISBN 978-0-89684-091-1.
  6. ^ Pathak, Durga Prashad (1989). Palm leaf etchings of Orissa. Abhinav Publications. p. 4. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  7. ^ a b c Ahmed, ABM Shamsuddin (2012). "Sulaiman Karrani". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  8. ^ K.S. Behera, "Gloom and Bloom: The Case of Jagannatha Temples in Midnapore District"
  9. ^ a b Ahmed, ABM Shamsuddin (2012). "Daud Khan Karrani". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.

External links[edit]