Lalitaditya Muktapida

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Lalitaditya Muktapida
Reign r. 724 CE–760 CE
Predecessor Durlabhaka-Pratapaditya II
Dynasty Karkoṭa
Father Durlabhaka-Pratapaditya II
Religion Hinduism

Lalitāditya Muktapīḍa (r. 724 CE–760 CE) was the most powerful ruler of the Karkoṭa Empire of Kashmir region in the Indian Subcontinent. The dynasty exercised influence in northwestern India from 625 CE until 1003. Kalhana's Rajatarangini credits him with extensive conquests and miraculous powers, although historians consider these as exaggerations.


Lalitaditya Muktapida was the son of his predecessor Durlabhaka-Pratapaditya II.[1] Muktapida moved his capital from Srinagar to Parihaspur (a small town near Srinagar in Kashmir Valley). Kalhana mentions the construction of the city in his Book 4 cantos 194-204. Lalitaditya according to Kalhana built his residence and four temples in this area. The temples included one for Vishnu (Muktakeshva) where according to Kalhana the emperor used 84,000 tolas of gold to make the image of Vishnu. In another temple he used as many Palas of silver for the image of Parihaskesana. He also had made a statue of Buddha in copper that according to Kalhana “reached up to the sky.” The main temple was larger than the famous temple that Lalitaditya built in Martand.[2][3] Parihaspur lost its status as a capital after Lalitaditya’s death. His son moved the royal residence.

Military campaigns[edit]

Kalhana in his Rajatarangini credits king Lalitaditya with leading an aggressive military campaigns in Northern India and Central Asia. He broke into the Uttarapatha and defeated the rebellious tribes of the Kambojas, Tukharas (Turks in Turkmenistan and Tocharians in Badakhshan), Bhautas (Tibetans in Baltistan and Tibet) and Daradas (Dards). His campaign then led him to subjugate the kingdoms of Pragjyotisha, Strirajya and the Uttarakurus.[4][5][6] According to historians, Kalhana highly exaggerated the conquests of Lalitaditya.[7][8]

Extent of the Karkota Empire during the reign of Lalitaditya Muktapida, according to Kalhana's Rajatarangini. Note that Kalhana highly exaggerated the conquests of Lalitaditya.[7][8] 
Martand Sun Temple Central shrine, dedicated to the Sun-God Surya. Built by Lalitaditya Muktapida, it is one of the largest temple complex on the Indian Subcontinent. 
Restored impression of temple by J. Duguid, 1870-73 


  1. ^ Tarangini 4 of Rajatarangini by Kalhan
  2. ^ M.A. Stein. Kalhana's Rajtarangini A chronicle Of The Kings Of Kas`mir (Reprint 1979), Motilal Banarsidass 41-U.A, Bungalow Road, Delhi 110 007.
  3. ^ For online version of Kalhana's Rajatarangini
  4. ^ Kalhana (1147-1149); Rajatarangini.
  5. ^ Sheldon Pollock (2006). The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India, pp. 241-242.
  6. ^ Sunil Fotedar (June 1984). The Kashmir Series: Glimpses of Kashmiri Culture - Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari (p. 57).
  7. ^ a b Chadurah & 1991 45.
  8. ^ a b Hasan 1959, pp. 54.


See also[edit]