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Naravarman PP.jpg
Pillar in the Bijamaṇḍal, Vidisha with an inscription of Naravarman
King of Malwa
Reignc. 1094 – c. 1130 CE
Coin of Naravarman. Goddess Lakshmi seated facing / Devanagari legend.[1]

Naravarman (reigned c. 1094-1133 CE), also known as Naravarma-deva, was an Indian king from the Paramara dynasty, who ruled in the Malwa region of central India. The Paramara power greatly declined during his reign, as a result of multiple military defeats.

Early life[edit]

Naravarman succeeded his elder brother Lakshmadeva as the Paramara king.[2] His inscriptions have been found at Amera near Udaipur (1093-1095 CE), Dewas (1094 CE), Bhojpur (1100-1101 CE), Nagpur (1104-05 CE), and Vidisha (undated). One more inscription was issued at Kadambapadraka (1110 CE), and was found in the possession of a resident of Bombay. H. V. Trivedi identifies Kadambapadraka with present-day Kamlikhedi (or Kamalyakhedi) village near Ujjain.[3]

Military career[edit]

Naravarman lost some of his eastern territories to the Chandelas of Jejakabhukti. He also suffered a defeat against the Chahamanas of Shakambhari. The Chahamana king Ajaya II captured his general Sollana. Ajaya also killed three noted warriors named Chachiga, Sindhula and Yashoraja, who appear to have been Naravarman's subordinates.[4][5] The Ingnoda inscription of 1133-34 CE indicates that there was an independent kingdom north-east of Ujjain. Its ruler Vijayapala bore the title Maharajadhiraja-Paramesvara. This indicates that the Paramaras had lost control of this area by the end of Naravarman's reign.[6]

Jayasimha Siddharaja, the Chaulukya king of Gujarat, also defeated Naravarman. In this campaign, Siddharaja was supported by his feudatories, the Chahamanas of Naddula.[5] According to the Chaulukya chronicles written by Someshvara, Jinamandanagani and Jayasimha Suri, Naravarman was imprisoned by the Chaulukya king. However, other chroniclers such as Hemachandra, Arisimha, and Merutunga state that the prisoner was Naravarman's successor Yashovarman.[7] The Chaulukya-Paramara war probably began during the reign of Naravarman, and ended during Yashovarman's reign.[8]

Naravarman adopted the title "Nirvana-Narayana". An undated fragmentary inscription from the Malwa claims that a king called Nirvana-Narayana conquered territories as far as Himalayas in the north, Malayachala in the south and Dvarika in the west. However, this seems to be a conventional poetic description, and has no historical basis.[9]

Cultural activities[edit]

Naravarman was a poet, and composed hymns to various deities and eulogies of his ancestors. The Nagpur Prashasti may have been composed by him.[10] He restored the Mahakala temple of Ujjain, and composed a hymn in the deity's honour.[11] Gold (5.2 g), silver (2.9 g) and copper coins issued by Naravarman have been found in Indore.[12][13]

According to the Rajatarangini, Naravarman gave asylum to the Kashmiri prince Bhikshachara, who had escaped a revolt. He brought up Bhikshachara like his own son, and trained him in use of arms and sciences.[14]


  1. ^ CNG Coins [1]
  2. ^ Jain 1972, p. 359.
  3. ^ Trivedi 1991, pp. 114-120.
  4. ^ Dasharatha Sharma 1959, p. 39.
  5. ^ a b Jain 1972, p. 357-358.
  6. ^ Bhatia 1970, p. 115.
  7. ^ Bhatia 1970, p. 122.
  8. ^ Asoke Kumar Majumdar 1956, p. 75.
  9. ^ Jain 1972, p. 360.
  10. ^ Pollock 2003, p. 178.
  11. ^ Pollock 2003, p. 177.
  12. ^ Misra 2003, p. 21.
  13. ^ Roy 1980, p. 66.
  14. ^ Stein 1989, p. 20.