Varendra rebellion

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Varendra rebellion
LocationVarendra, Dinajpur, Bengal (modern day Bangladesh)

Varendra became free for a few years

Varendra secedes from Pala Empire and becomes liberty for a while
  • Divya
  • Ruddak
  • Vima
  • Mahipala II
  • Rampala
  • The Varendra rebellion (also known as the Kaivarta revolt) means the revolt against King Mahipala II led by Divya.[1] It is known as not only the first successful rebellion of Bengal but also of Indian Subcontinent. The Kaivarta were able to capture Varendra by this rebellion. Later on, in 1082 CE, King Rampala was succeed to recapture his fatherland Varendra by defeating Vim with the assistance of neighboring vassals. Thus, the first revolt of rebellious Kaibarta came to an end.[2]


    The map of Pala dynasty during the reign of Dharmapal

    The Kaivartas were mainly aboriginal fishermen tribal communities. They earned their livelihood by fishing from their ancestor. But as the Pala emperors were non-violent in their religious believes, they were against of eating fish and meat. So, they always tried to discourage Kaivartas from catching fishes. As a result, the Kaivartas were abused by the Pala emperors. Besides, King Mahipala II arrested his two brothers Shurapala II and Rampala II in the time of ascending the throne. As a result, some vassals of the two arrested brothers also took part in the rebellion.[3]

    The Pala dynasty is known as golden age of Bengal. But after the golden age of Dharmapala and Devpala, the Pala emperors started to lose their glory.[4] Their rule became weak and disorganization broke out. The principal aim of the rebellion was to bring back the maintenance.


    It is said that the rebellion took place from 1075 - 1082 CE in the reign of Mahipala II and Rampala II.


    Pala employee Divya called for revolution. The Kaivartas responded on his call and the rebels were easily able to capture the Varendra. As the Kaivartas were very expert in boating, they capitalized on naval war. Mahipala II was killed by the rebels and the Pala armies were forced to fall back. As a result, Varendra was declared a separate state by Divya. After the death of Divya, first Divya's brother Ruddoka and then Ruddoka's son Vima were declared king of Varendra. Vima established himself as a successful and expert ruler. Vima made the war-torn Varendra prosper. The Kaivarta pillar is still standing in Dinajpur of Bangladesh as a sign of the dynasty.

    Recapture of Varendra[edit]

    Seeing the prosperity of Varendra and popularity of Vima, Rampala became worried after ascending the throne. He was afraid of losing more of Pala territory. Because of this, he managed the neighboring vassals with a lot of money and property for assistance in the war. It was difficult for Vima and the newly formed state Varendra to defend against the large combined army of Rampala. He was imprisoned at the north shore of the Ganges river while fighting. The Pala armies looted the countless treasures of Varendra.

    When Vima was imprisoned, his faithful worker Hari reorganized the army and attacked Rampala again. When Hari was on the verge of victory, Rampala enchanted him with wealth. Thus, the dream of the liberty of Varendra was spoiled and Varendra was again part of the Pala empire.

    Trial of Vima[edit]

    Kaivarta leaders were punished so that the Kaivartas could not dare again to revolt. Vima's family was killed in front of Vima and later on, Vima was assassinated.


    • Sharma, Ram Sharan (2003). Early medieval Indian society: a study in feudalisation. Orient Longman. ISBN 8125025235. OCLC 77538061.