Chandravarman

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Chandravarman a king of southwest Bengal (c 4th cent AD), who appears to have been one of the very few known political personalities in Bengal prior to the conquest of the pundravardhana and the Radha regions by the Guptas. Harisena in his Allahabad Pillar Inscription mentions that the king was defeated by Samudragupta (336-376 AD) and that his territories were annexed to the Gupta empire. The author, however, does not explicitly mention the territory over which Chandravarman ruled.

Chandravarman's identification is a matter of scholarly debate. HP Sastri identified Chandravarman with the king Chandra, mentioned in the Meharauli Iron Pillar Inscription. DC Sircar identified him with Chandravarman of the Susunia Rock Inscription, who ruled at Puskarana after his father Singhavarmana, and probably founded fort Chandravarmana Kotakonah. Puskarana has been identified with a village named Pokharan (Pokharna) on the river Damodar in the Bankura district of West Bengal, about 25 miles northeast of Susunia Hill. So Chandravarman appears to have been a local ruler of southwest Bengal. The Susunia Rock Inscription is palaeographically assignable to the 4th cent AD. Hence Chandravarman is a probable contemporary of Samudragupta. It is conceivable that his rule might have begun even before that of Samudragupta. It may be noted that rulers with names ending in Varman established a kingdom in the Radha region of Bengal.

Chandravarman dedicated his work (Kriti), possibly the cave, as well as Dosagrama to Chakrasvami (Visnu). Thus Chandravarman's leaning to the Vaisnava religion is apparent. [Krishnendu Ray]

Bibliography DC Sircar, Select Inscriptions Bearing on Indian History and Civilisation, I, Calcutta, 1965, HC Raychaudhuri, Political History of Ancient India, Commentary by BN Mukherjee, Delhi, 1996.