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Lalitaditya Muktapida

Posted by Kashmir Portal on June 11, 2009

Lalita ditya Muktapida was the emperor of Kashmir from 724 to 760 under the Karkota dynasty. During his reign, he conquered most of Northern India and Central Asia.

According to the historian Mazumdar, Lalitaditya concentrated his attention on the areas in the north after important victories in the south. His empire reached the remote corner of the Karakoram mountain range.

In the beginning of the 8th century, the Arab invasion had started knocking at the door of the Kabul valley. During this period, the Muslim power in Sindh was trying to march towards the north.

While the empires of Kabul and Gandhar were occupied by these invasions, Lalitaditya used the opportunity to establish his foothold in the north, moving with his victorious army from Dardistan to Turkey. The entire area was rich in Kashmiri traditions and education, due to the efforts of monks and Kashmiri people in towns of Central Asia. Lalitaditya achieved an easy victory in this region.

After the end of Teng reign, those states that had come under the Chinese rule had disintegrated because of civil wars.

Kashmir, at that time, was the most powerful state. During the time of Lalitaditya, its boundaries covered an area from Tibet in the east to Iran and Turkey in the west and from Central Asia in the north to Orissa and the seashores of Dwarka in the south.

Lalitaditya expressed interest in other areas besides his army life. Art and trade gained importance during his reign, religious festivals were held, and special facilities and encouragement were provided to support painters and sculptors. He was a successful writer and a Veena player. Bamzai wrote that Lalitaditya’s war victories have received special place among different accounts of his reign. He was later made a hero of Kashmiris. Lalitaditya is considered to be the greatest ruler of Kashmir due to his encouragement of art, great work in human welfare, love of education, protection of scholars, and kindness.

Military campaigns

Kalhana in his Rajatarangini credits king Lalitaditya with leading an aggressive military campaigns in Northern India and Central Asia. He conquered most of Aryavarta, while defeating Yasovarman of Kanyakubja and conquering Bengal, Kalinga, Karnataka, the Kaveri Valley, Mount Malaya, the Konkan, Dvaraka, Avanti and Gaudas. He then broke into the Uttarapatha and defeated the rebellious tribes of the Kambojas, Tukharas (Turks in Turkmenistan and Tocharians in Badakhshan), Bhautas (Tibetans in Baltistan and Tibet) and Daradas (Dards). His campaign then led him to subjugate the kingdoms of Pragjyotisha, Strirajya and the Uttarakurus.[1][2][3]


1. ^ Kalhana (1147-1149). Rajatarangini.
2. ^ Sheldon Pollock (2006). The Language of the Gods in the World of Men: Sanskrit, Culture, and Power in Premodern India (p. 241-242).
3. ^ Sunil Fotedar (June 1984). The Kashmir Series: Glimpses of Kashmiri Culture – Vivekananda Kendra, Kanyakumari (p. 57).

* R.C. Mazumdar, Ancient India, Page 383.


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