Essay on the Kingdom of ancient Kamarupa



The Upper Brahmaputra Valley or Assam propi was known in ancient days as Kamarupa and Pragjyotisha. Pushyavarman is usually regarded as the first historical king of Kamarupa which was a comparatively small kingdom owing allegiance to the Gupta emperor.

Nothing is known of its first six rulers beyond the names. The seventh, Narayanavarman, is said to have performed two ashvamedha sacrifices, which probably marked the formal renunciation of the yoke of the imperial Guptas. The eighth king Bhutivarman or Mahabhutavarman also performed an ashvamedha.

After the fall of the Later Guptas, Gauda becai very powerful kingdom under Shashanka who probably only a teudal chief initially a establishing an independent kingdom he Karnasuvarna his capital and rapidly extended kingdom he ruled over Magadha, conquiring Orissa and established his supremacy over Shailodbhava dynasty of Kongoda in Ganj district and later also over Vanga.

Shashanka invaded Kannauj after taking advantage of struggle between the kingdom of Malawa Rajyavardhana of Thanesar he was able to Rajyavardhana. Although a fight betwi Harshavardhana and Shashanka is conjecture! Is difficult to ascertain whether Harsha wj successful. Chinese pilgrim Hiuan-tsang referred to many acts of intolerance and oppressio against the Buddhists perpetrated by Shashanl who was a Shaiva.

He was the first historical rul of Bengal to establish an empire and carry hi victorious arms as far as Kannauj. He flnail liquidated the Maukharis and paved the way ft that political greatness of Bengal which read its maturity in the age of the Palas. Shashanl probably died in AD 637.

Sacrifice in AD 564 Bhutivarman was a powerful ruler who extended the boundaries of Kamarupa to Sylhet region. The next king Susthitavarman was defeated by the Later Gupta king Mahasenagupta on the bank of the Lauhitya. However, his son and successor Supratisthitavarman defeated the Gauda forces and reclaimed the fortunes.

He was succeeded by his younger brother Bhaskaravarman, a contemporary of Harshavardhana. He is the only king of Kamarupa who is known to have played some part in the north Indian politics. Bhaskaravarman sought and found alliance with Harshavardhana through his ambassador Hamsavega.

About the beginning of AD 643, when Hiuan- tsang was staying at Nalanda, Bhaskarvarman sent a messenger to Shilabhadra, the head of that great monastery, with a request to send the Chinese priest to him. Harshavardhana, greatly angered at this, sent a messenger to Bhaskaravarman to send the priest of China to him at once.

Though Bhaskaravarman first refused but relented at the threat. He, in person, took the pilgrim to Harsha's camp at Kajangala near Rajmahal. From this time onwards he assumed a very submissive attitude. Later he attended the great quinquennial assembly of Harsha at Prayaga. Bhaskaravarman probably died about AD 650 and the kingdom was occupied by a mlechchha ruler named Salasthamba.