Chamundaraja (Chaulukya dynasty)

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King of Gurjara
Reignc. 996–1008 CE
IssueVallabharaja and Durlabharaja
dynastyChaulukya (Solanki)

Chamundaraja (IAST: Cāmuṇḍarāja, r. c. 996–1008 CE) was an Indian king who ruled parts of present-day Gujarat from his capital at Anahilapataka (modern Patan). He was a member of the Chaulukya (also called Chalukya or Solanki) dynasty.

Early life[edit]

Chamundaraja was the son of the Chaulukya king Mularaja. Inscriptions recording grants made by him as a prince are dated as early as 976 CE, although he ascended the throne much later, sometime during 996-997 CE.[1]

Military career[edit]

The Vastupala-Tejapala prashasti includes conventional praise for Chamundaraja, boasting that he decorated the earth with the heads of his enemies, but does not name any specific enemies. According to the 12th century Jain author Hemachandra, Chamundaraja defeated the Lata Chalukya chief Barapa, although other chroniclers attribute this victory to his father Mularaja. Therefore, it appears that Chamundaraja participated in the war against Barappa as a prince.[1]

According to the 12th century Vadnagar prashasti inscription, a king named Sindhuraja fled with his elephant forces when he saw Chamundaraja's army at a distance, thus losing his well-established fame; this king can be identified with Sindhuraja, the Paramara king of Gujarat's neighbour Malwa. According to Sindhuraja's court poet Padmagupta, the Paramara king defeated the rulers of Vagada and Lata, which bordered Chamundaraja's kingdom, it is possible that the ruler of Lata was a vassal of Chamundaraja at this time. Accordingly, Chamundaraja came to the rescue of his vassal, forcing Sindhuraja to retreat; the 14th century Jain chronicler Jayasimha Suri claims that Chamundaraja killed Sindhuraja in a battle. However, this claim doesn't appear in the earlier sources, and therefore, cannot be taken literally.[2]

The Chalukyas of Kalyani captured the Lata region during Chamundaraja's reign; the 1007 CE Lakkundi inscription mentions that the Kalyani Chalukya ruler Satyashraya had returned from a successful campaign in the Gurjara country. The Kalyani Chalukya poet Ranna also states that Satyashraya defeated the Gurjaras with an elephant force. One theory is that the "Gurjara" ruler defeated by Satyashraya in this particular campaign was Chamundaraja. However, there is no direct evidence to support this identification, it is possible that the ruler defeated by Satyashraya was the Lata Chalukya ruler Barapa or an obscure descendant of the Gurjaras of Nandipuri.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Hemachandra states that Chamundaraja had three sons: Durlabha-raja, Naga-raja, and Vallabha-raja. Abhayatilaka Gani, who wrote a commentary on Hemachandra's work in the 13th century, states that Chamundaraja became licentious, because of which his sister Vachinidevi placed his son Vallabha on the throne,[4] it is not clear how Vachinidevi became powerful enough to replace a ruling king with another.[5]

According to Hemachandra, Chamundaraja left for a pilgrimage to Varanasi after his retirement. During this journey, his royal umbrella was confiscated (presumably, by the ruler of a kingdom lying on the way; identified as Malwa by some later chroniclers); as a result, he returned to Gujarat, and asked Vallabha to avenge this insult. However, Vallabha died of smallpox during a march, and Durlabha became the new Chaulukya king. Chamundaraja then retired to Shuklatirtha (modern Shuklatirth) on the banks of Narmada, where he died.[6]


Chamundaraja built Chandanatha and Vachineshwra temples in Anahilapataka (now Patan); the Vachineshwara temple was probably built for merit of his sister Vachinidevi.[7]

Other extant temples attributed to the first quarter of 11th century include original Bhadreshwar Jain Temple (now completely rebulit following 2001 Gujarat earthquake); Vishnu Temple at Sander village in Patan district; Akhada Mahadeva temple at Vasai and Vishnu Temple at Khandosan, both in Vijapur Taluka of Mehsana district in Gujarat. Two pieces of parshwadevatas, of Uma-Maheshwara and Ganesha, from old Brahminical temple at Jhinjhuwada is recovered dated circa 1000 CE.[7]


  1. ^ a b Asoke Kumar Majumdar 1956, p. 34.
  2. ^ Asoke Kumar Majumdar 1956, pp. 34-35.
  3. ^ Asoke Kumar Majumdar 1956, p. 35.
  4. ^ S. B. Rajyagor & Pran Nath Chopra 1982, p. 111.
  5. ^ Asoke Kumar Majumdar 1956, p. 36.
  6. ^ Asoke Kumar Majumdar 1956, pp. 36-39.
  7. ^ a b Dhaky, Madhusudan A. (1961). Deva, Krishna (ed.). "The Chronology of the Solanki Temples of Gujarat". Journal of the Madhya Pradesh Itihas Parishad. Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Itihas Parishad. 3: 23–24.