the History chapter of Information Digest Vol: 1,
brief sketch of some of the famous rulers have been
given. We continue to give brief Information about
other famous rulers in this issue and the
mentions the name of Ashoka as a King of Kashmir.
Inspite of some discrepancy in his chronology, all
historians including Stein, are unanimous that the
Ashoka of Kashmir History is the emperor of Maghda,
whose dominion extended eastwards to Bengal and
westwards to Hindukush.
Buddhism became the state religion under Ashoka,
Kashmir was one of the first regions to receive his
attention for introduction of Buddhism. It could be
because Gautama Buddha is reported to have said that
Kashmir is the best place for meditation and leading
a religious life. So soon after the Buddhist council
at Patliputra, Ashoka introduced Buddhism in
Both Heun-Tsang and Ou-Kong conf.mp3 that Ashoka took with
him 5000 monks to Kashmir. He built numerous viharas
for them and when he finally returned to his
capital, he made a gift of the whole Valley to the
Sangha, considering it the fittest place for the
study and propagation of the Doctrine.
learned Pandits of Kashmir imbued with a spirit of
tolerance, received the canon with due respects and
after studying it, gave it a new interpretation
suiting the times and aspirations of the people.
says: a) Ashoka founded his capital Shri Nagri,
stretching from Harwan to Pandrethan, about 5 kms.
to the South of the present city. He is said to have
built 96000 dwelling houses. b) Ashoka built Viharas
and Stupas particularly in the vicinity of Suskletra
(Hukh Litr) and Vitastra (Vethavatru). The Stupa at
the latter place was so high that the eye could not
see the extent of its height. c) Ashoka was the
benefactor of the ancient shrine of Vijayeshwara at
Bijbehara. He built a stone wall around the temple
after dismantlling the stucco enclosure. He also
built two Shiva temples known as Ashkeshwara within
this enclosure. He is said to have worshipped Shiva
Bhutasea at the shrine of H.mp3ukhganga. These facts
amply show that he also respected religions other
died in about 232 B.C. after 40 years of rule. His
son, Jalauka appears to have become independent in
Kashmir after his father’s death. He was an ardent
devotee of Shiva, but friendly to the Buddhists.
is said to have improved the administrative
structure of Kashmir. He increased the number of
officers and entrusted them with specific
(Around 100 A.D.)
mentions names of three Turuska rulers, Huska, Juska
and Kanishka. He says that they ruled Kashmir
simultaneously. Kaniskapur (Kanispur, Baramulla),
Huskapur (Ushkur, Baramulla) and Juskapur were
founded by Kanishka, Hushka and Juska respectively.
The identity of Kanishka with the great Kushan or
Indo-Scythian ruler of North Western India is well
built a Vihara and a Stupa at Huskapur. Heun-Tsang
is said to have spent his first night after arrival
in the Valley, in this Vihara.
was the most famous of the Kushans. He ruled over
the north-west of India and central Asia. His
authority had its nucleus in Kashmir, but it
extended to both sides of the Himalayas from Yarkand
and Khotan to Agra and Sindh. At the beginning of
his reign, he was not a Buddhist. He adopted the
creed ‘perhaps due to the influence of Kashmirian
held the third Buddhist Conference in Kashmir. For
this purpose, he built residential monastries for
the brethren to reside. The Council met in Srinagar,
believed to have been held at Kundalvan. (Bamzai
suggests it could be at Kuntilum on the spur of
found and studied the records of its proceedings
maintained in different libraries. He states that
the Council was attended by nearly 500 selected
‘deserving monk scholars’ from outside Kashmir,
besides a large number of Kashmiri scholars.
Prominent scholars included Vasmitra, the President
of the Council, Asvagasha and Nagarjuna.
Council sat for six months and composed voluminous
and elaborate commentaries in 1,00,000 Sanskrit
stanzas. The proceedings were engraved on copper
plates. They were enclosed in stone boxes and buried
for the posterity. They are still to be found.
Council marks the beginning of a new epoch in the
history of Buddhism. Mahayana Doctrine (of Buddhism)
was born as a result of the deliberations at this
Council. Mahayanist doctrine was given a superior
status. This doctrine may rightly be said to be a
gift from the Kashmiri Brahmins to Buddhism.
result of this Council, there burst forth
enthusiastic missionary spirit among Kashmiris who
carried the religion to China and the intervening
tracts of central Asia. Kashmiri scholars of
Buddhism are credited to have carried the Doctrine
to the north and east (Tibet, Korea, Japan, Java
etc.) at different points of time.
successors : It is possible that Kanishka’s
sons Vaiska and Huviska acted as viceroys in
succession, but it appears that Vaiska pre-deceased
his father who was succeeded by Huviska, who died in
140 A.D. His son Vasudeva, also known as Jasuka
succeeded him. With his death in 178 A.D., Kushan
rule in Kashmir came to an end. The dynasty
continued to rule Kabul and the Punjab till Huns
defeated them in the 15th century.
the third son of the Karakota king Partapaditya II,
succeeded his brother Tarapida in 724 A.D. His
mother was the mistress of a rich merchant.
Attracted by her beauty , Partapaditya married her.
(Kalhana says the marriage was a result of their
mutual consent and the agreement of the merchant.)
Being the third son of an able ruler, he is expected
to have undergone a thorough schooling in the art of
statecraft. Known as a tireless warrior, he desired
to conquer the whole world. Undoubtedly, he asserted
his power far beyond Kashmir and the adjoining
an efficient, brave, dedicated and faithful .mp3y,
mostly recruited from the north. His
Commander-in-Chief Cankunya, was born and
trained in the north. According to Kalhana, he was
from Tukhara. His campaigns were:
Punjab and Kangra already under his control, he
marched against Kanauj, which was ruled by
Yesov.mp3an. He marched across the plains without any
resistance and brought Kanauj under his direct
control after dethroning Yesov.mp3an. From
Kanauj, he marched eastwards and reduced Jivatagupta,
the ruler of Bihar and Bengal, to his vassalage.
his march, he reached the coast of Orrisa. With
the assistance of a local princess, he crossed into
the Deccan, befriended Chalukas and overran
Rashtrakuta territory. On
his way back, he passed through Gujrat, Kathiawar,
Malwa and Mewar, without the slightest resistance.
subduing the kings of India, he led his .mp3y through
Dard Desha (Dardistan) to Tukara (Tukharistan)
country. He led an expedition against Tibet and
atleast subdued Ladakh and the western provinces of
Tibet. Lalitaditya returned home after 12 years
campaign by way of Tibet.
must be regarded as the founder of not only a short
lived empire but also of six centuries of Kashmir
art. He along with his queens, ministers including
his commander-in chief, Cankunya and high state
officials built numerous villages and towns to
commemorate his many victories. Most of them are not
traceable now. He is credited to have built
Parantosa (modern Poonch), Phalapora, a village near
Shadipora, Lalitapora (Latapora), Lokpuna (Lokbhawan
on Anantnaag-Verinaag road) and Parihaaspora near
Shadipur. Parihaspora was his capital.
built Martand temple (Sun temple), the most
important and the finest work of ancient Kashmir
architecture, and Parihaaspora temples. He built
four Vishnu temples and a Buddha Stupa / Vihara.
Kalhana gives their names as Parihaskeshava,
Muktakeshava, Mahavaraha, Govardhanadara and
Rajavihara. He installed silver images in the first
and fourth, a golden image in the second and an
image clad in golden .mp3our, in the third. He
installed a copper statue of Buddha in the fifth.
In Parihaspora, Lalitaditya erected a stone pillar 54
hands tall and put a representation of Garuda on its
top. He built Vishnu temples at Lalitapur (Latapur)
and Hushkapur (Ushkur). At Hushkapur, he also built
a Buddhist Vihara and a Stupa. The Chinese traveller
Ou-Kong stayed in this Vihara.
was a benevolent king and did not neglect works of
public good. The following are worth mention:-
fore-runner of Avantiv.mp3an, Lalitaditya got rocks
and silt removed from the river bed at Baramulla, to
increase the flow of river as an anti-flood measure.
reclaimed vast swamps, raised bunds round the low
lying land, to bring more land under cultivation.
five irrigation canals. He erected water wheels for
lifting water to Chakardara and other plateaus.
said to have builts a huge cauldron from which
1,00,000 people could be fed daily. He
established charitable institutions.
greatness is depicted by the following:-
showed extreme sense of toleration to the religious
beliefs of his subjects. He had profound respect for
both Hinduism and Buddhism. He patronised both. He
patronised scholars and men of learning. He brought
two famous poets Bhavabhuti and Vitapatiraja from
Kanauj after Yesov.mp3an’s defeat and gave them
seats of respect in his court. He accorded human
treatment to the vanquished people.
yearned for some more conquests and left for central
Asia. Kashmirians besought him to return. He refused
to come back, but sent them maxims of policy for the
guidance of his successors.
mentions two legends about Lalitaditya’s death.
One, he died in excessive snow in Aryanaka (modern
Afganistan) and second that he committed suicide to
escape being caught.
was the first king of the Utpala dynasty. He was
crowned in 855 A.D. The kingdom at that time was in
chaos and economic distress as a result of misrule
and internal troubles during the preceding reigns.
He therefore did not indulge in vain glorious
expeditions outside the Valley. He adopted and
followed a policy of peace and development. It
ushered in a period of consolidation and prosperity,
which in turn ensured rise of Kashmir in the realms
of philosophy, art and letters. He was guided by his
able and wise prime minister Sura. Some of his
contributions / achievements are :-
founded and built Avantipur on the right bank of
Vitasta, 27 kms. from Srinagar, where ruins of his
two temples (A Shiva temple and a Vishnu temple)
still exist. His minister Sura built a temple at
Surasvariksetra at Ishber, on the eastern bank of
the Dal Lake. Sura built a town near Shopian and his
wife and sons also followed his example. It shows
economic prosperity of the times. Avantiv.mp3an
liberally patronised scholars and poets. Bhatta
Kallata, Ravi Ratnakara and Anandavardhana are some
of the famous names. Their work in Sanskrit, on
philosophy, religion, poetic aesthetics etc. are
still existing. His reign was the glorious period of
Kashmirian art and culture. He
willingly encouraged and generously financed Suyya
Regulate course of the Vitasta
result of this, cultivation was increased and
recurring floods were controlled. The price of rice
is said to have fallen from Dinnars 200 to Dinnars
36 per Khirwar.
Accelrate flow of the river
Drain the Valley
Reclaim submerged land after draining the marshes
Raise embankments wherever needed
Construct a network of irrigation canals
praises Avantiv.mp3an for his constant concern
for his subjects, whom he helped learn various
arts and crafts. He is reputed to be caring for
human rights. During his reign, Kashmir enjoyed
respite from natural and man-made calamities.
Listening to the end, the recitation of the
Bhagvadgita, Avantiv.mp3an passed away in June
anecdote: Avantiv.mp3an was highly sensitive and
endowed with sharp common sense. He was a cultured
human being and a just ruler. Here is a story about
his way of working. Avantiv.mp3an had good relations
with his minister Sura, who knew his mind and was
very faithful to him. Sura had a friend, a Damra,
Dhanava by name. The latter, exploiting his
friendship with Sura, had forcibly taken over the
control of villages attached to the temple at
Bhutesa, reducing the priests to utter poverty. Once
Avantiv.mp3an went to worship at Bhutesa. Here, he
noticed some wild utpalashaka (Upalhak) at the base
of the god’s image. He was shocked at the humble
offering. When he learnt about the reasons of the
poverty and helplessness of the priests, he left the
worship, feigning indisposition, but without telling
anything to Sura. However, Sura smelt it, enquired
into the matter, summoned Dhanava, beheaded him and
restored the villages to the Shrine. He went to
enquire about the health of the king. Avantiv.mp3an
said that he was well and resumed his worship. He
did not make any complaint to his minister. A