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Three Kingdoms of India (535-615)
The Ganga Dynasty was one of the many dynasty of India in 535. At the time, six kingdoms stood in India, including the Hephthalite Empire in the West. The Empire would however begin to expand, invading neighbour's kingdoms.
At the same time, the Gupta dynasty expanded east more and more, becoming a powerful nation owning a large portion of coast in the Indian Sea. They would later invade a kindgom inside India, making the
m the main rival of the Hephthalite Empire.
In around the end of the 6th century, their was only three nations left in India: The Hephthalite Empire West, the Gupta Dynasty East and the weak Ganga Dynasty South. In those years, the Gupta Dynasty became allied to the Hephthalite Empire, securing their positions in India.
To survive during those years, the Ganga Dynasty had to play diplomatically and remain on the good side of both nations, and to somewhat remain independent from both influences. And they somehow did it.
Tibetan Kingdom and Khadaga I (615-645)
When the Tibetan kingdom was founded, many people in the Ganga Dynasty's lands feared it would break the peaceful situation that rose in India. But a new Raja rose in those times of need. Khadaga I succeeded to his father, and decided to continue his policies of peace and neutrality.
He sent numerous diplomats to the new kingdom, andn was able to assure their neutrality for a while, thus preserving peace in the region.
Change of Politics (645-665)
Under Khanchana I, the son of Khadaga I, the Ganga Dynasty began to militarized itself in order to impose it's presence in the region instead of just peacefully staying in their region. He also improved the relationships between the Ganga Dynasty and the Hephthalite Empire, resulting into an alliance with them.
He would then expand South, gaining lands on the coast and colonizing the island of Sri Lanka. Khanchana I would then turned the island into his heir personal domain, starting the tradition of giving Sri Lanka to the Yuvraj to learn the bases of power.
The militarization of the Ganga Dynasty, including the creation of an astonishing navy, along with the Hephthalites troops on the Gupta borders, helped create tensions that would lead to the First Great War of India.
First Great War of India (665-682)
The war is detailed on this page.
Times of prosperity (682-695)
After the Treaty of Pataliputra, the Ganga Dynasty began a new age of prosperity. Under Palaka I, each religion were respected, and new laws were passed to help the new citizens of the Ganga nation to feel home.
Even if he only stayed in Bhubaneswar for two years of his reign, he still helped the economy and development of his country. He passed many years in the newly acquired islands of Andaman and Nicobar, were he helped the creation of a massive fleet.
In 690, the Raja went on a journey to the Chenla Kingdom, an eastern realm situated in modern Thailand. He stayed there for five years, leavin his brothers into power while he left. During those years, he was able to plan a marriage between members of the two kingdom and a commercial agreement. However, those years were tarnish by his brothers actions in his absence, and corruption began to appear in the administration. The Raja was on his way back when he died.
The Buddhist Crisis (695-713)
The new Raja, Khadaga II, was heavily influenced by his uncles, especially by Chandrajara. Corruption began to appear, and under his uncles advices he began persecuting Buddhists. Buddhist temples were looted, special Buddhist taxes were put in place, and they were even refused the access to the capital.
During those years, the nobility divided in two faction: the Grina (green) Faction, lead by the uncles of the Raja (although it was evident that Chandrajara was the real leader of the two), and the Nila (blue) Faction, lead by Mahakala and seconded by Kahamala Dandavaran, his brother in law. Those two factions fought on the political scene to gain influence over the Raja.
In 704, the law making Buddhism illegal sparked a rebellion led by the Guru Susarman Visayapati of the Bengal region and a northern noble named Hirapal Yadava who recently converted to Buddhism, hopping to gain power and influence by supporting Buddhist, who he believed would come out of the rebellion victorious. This conflict would be known as the Ganga Buddhist Crisis.
However, the crisis turned into a massacre when many Buddhists refused to take arms against the Ganga Dynasty. This would lead to the bloody death of hundreds, if not thousands, Buddhists at the hands of Chandrajara and his followers.
India, seeing their neighbor weaken, decided to mass their troops on the Ganga frontier. This move, only noticed by Mahakala, would lead to the final conflict of the Ganga Dynasty.
The Second Great War of India (713-725)
In the 4 first years of the war, things went from bad to chaotic for the Ganga Dynasty. First, the Yuvraj Palaka died in the first year of the war in an attempt to repel the Indian Empire before they could attack. Then, Khadaga II refused to give his brother Mahakala the Sri Lanka (even if Mahakala was now his heir), and by 716 sent him in exile to the Adaman and Nicobar Islands. He then tried to make plans for a massive battle that would supposedly end the war. But believing the Ganga Dynasty would loose such battle, Jagadevra assassinated Khadaga I before it could happen, which sent the capital into a massive revolt, especially since Jagadevra had escaped for the Gupta Dynasty. When discovered, both Chandrajara and Mahakala wanted to get him for his betrayal.
With the death of Khadaga II, things went out of hands. Mahakala, who was supposed to inherit the title of Raja, decided to refuse to crown in favor of his brother-in-law Prince Thapaman of the Chenla Kingdom, adn pledge loyalty to them. Hearing of this, Jagadevra tried to convince Raja Ravivarma II of the Gupta Dynasty to marry his daughter and push their own claim on the Ganga Dynasty. Seeing this as a betrayal, Chandrajara conquered the city of Dhanbad and coronated himself Raja of the Ganga Dynasty in 719.
The plan of Mahakala failed, but not the one of Jagadevra. The Chenla Kingdom even supported the Gupta claim over the Ganga Dynasty. But even so, the Gupta Dynasty was slow to act, which leaved Chandrajara I the time to fight the Indian Empire with numerous tactics of war.He even tried to push into the Indian borders.
But in the end, Chandrajara I died in 723 of old age, leaving his crumbling realm to his son Khadaga III. Khadaga III never wanted power, and was less extreme than his father. Instead of pushing offensive against the Indian Empire, he decided to place garrison on what was left of the frontier, and focus on improving the life in Dhanbad. He made the life livable for his subjects, and even left behind a palace that would remain famous even after his death. But in 724, he realized that the Indians were gonna win anyway. So he did the only thing he could do to stop the Indian expansion: he surrendered his crown to the Gupta Dynasty. This move, which was made to give the Indian a powerful enemy, However, the Indian Empire was faster, and invaded what was left of the Ganga Dynasty in 725, thus ending it.
Gouvernment and Administrations
The monarchy in the Ganga Dynasty is hightly centralized, as the base of power is the ruling dynasty, and not the state itself. Some say that the royal family is the state, as they even gave it their name. Nobility out of the capital of Bhubaneswar as little to no power over the state's decisions, and their power over their lands are limited. In the capital, the nobles fight for the favors of the Raja and his relatives.
No democracy system of any sorts exist in the Ganga Dynasty of India. The Raja technically have total control over the state, and can decide whatever he want. However, he still have a council of numerous nobles helping him in his reign, but every decision they wanna take must have the Raja's approval first.
Place of family members in the power structure
Since the family is the representation of the State, relatives of the Raja always gained prestigious and important offices in the kingdom. Traditionally, the Raja's brothers hold the biggest offices in the realm (usually military offices), and thus are the most powerful individuals in the realm after the Raja's himself.
This way of choosing family over skill has a double edge. On one side, it can push the members of the Ganga Dynasty to train and study in order to be ready for such offices, just like Khanchana I's brothers (Somesvara and Chandravarman) were. But on the other side, it could end up with powerful officials abusing their power or being unfit for the office, like Palaka I's brothers (Jagadevra and Chandrejara).
The island of Sri Lanka has a particular position in the Ganga Dynasty. Instead of being directly rule by the Raja, instead being ruled by the Yuvraj (crown prince). This new administrative decision was put into motion by Khanchana I, who wanted his son to learn the basics of ruling before taking the throne, so he would be prepared. During his time in the island, the Yuvraj live in Anuradhapura, which is his personal capital during his time there.
Sri Lanka have a great deal of independence toward the main administration, as the Yuvraj can pass his own laws. However, the laws passed by the Raja are superiors to the law passed by the Yuvraj, thus suppressing them if necessary. This way, Sri Lanka is still somewhat ruled by the Raja, even under the control of his heir. Since most of the dynasty members reside in Bhubaneswar, the Yuvraj's councellors are chosen among local nobles and religious gurus, and skill became somewhat more important than being part of the ruler's relatives, since none of them is present.
The Grina Faction is the name given to one of the two political factions that rose during Khadaga II's reign, lead by the Raja's uncles Jagadevra and Chandrajara (although the later held most of the power). It promoted an anti-Buddhism stance and more military actions from the Raja. The majority of the Grina Faction is centered around the capital of Bhubaneswar.
The influence of the Grina Faction began when Khadaga II succeeded to his father. The Raja was incline to listen to his uncles, and their allies would rapidly take control of the government. This would lead to corruption and favoritism in the capital.
The Grina Faction, through the influence of their leader Chandrajara, was responsible for the Buddhist persecution, which resulted in the Ganga Buddhist Crisis. The noblemen that fled the Bengal, fearing the rebels, joined the Grina Faction to push Khadaga II to military action in order to regain their lands.
When part of the Grina Faction murdered Khadaga II, many members were shocked and chose to distance themselves from the Grina Faction. Others joined with the Indian invaders, hoping to keep what they had left. The few that remained with the Faction served Chandrajara in his atempt to reform the Ganga Dynasty, and helped him during his reign.
The Nila Faction is the name given to one of the two political factions that rose during Khadaga II's reign, lead his brother Mahakala. Fierce opponents of the Grina Faction, the Nila Faction was partisan of diplomacy and of faith tolerance, and to limit the power held by the Raja's uncles.
The Nila faction organized itself in the first years of the 8th century, when Prince Mahakala came to age. Those who were frustrated by the Grina Faction's power decided to stand behind Mahakala in order to gain more power. Many of them were regional lords who were frustrated of the capital corruption and power. Mahakala rapidly became first treasurer of the Ganga Dynasty, an office held by Jagadevra so far. This started new sparks between the two factions, who fought for supremacy in the Ganga Dynasty.
During the Ganga Buddhist Crisis, the Nila Faction was opposed to military action, and Mahakala tried to persuade his brother Khadaga II to negotiate with the rebels, without success. When the Yuvraj Palaka came to age in 709, he became affiliated with the Nila Faction, giving them more influence.
In 716, Mahakala was sent in exile, and many members of the Nila Faction followed him. Without their leaders, the Nila Faction ended up dissolving itself in the following years, unable to face the actual crisis alone. However, some lords still had hatred for members of the Grina Faction, and refused to help former enemies.
The main religion of the Ganga Dynasty and his population, it is also the oldest Indian religion. The Rajas of the Ganga Dynasty always remained loyal to this religion, but tolerate other Indian faiths in their lands.
Centuries ago, Jainism was founded in what is now the Ganga Dynasty's lands. Many rulers that preceded the Ganga Dynasty were supporters, or even believers, of the Jainist faith. During the course of the last centuries, however, Hinduism was able to convert masses in the region, and regained his place as first religion. Even so, Jainism remain a large faith in the Ganga Dynasty.
Because of the control of Jainism in the region. Buddhism always had difficulty in their attempt to enter those lands. However, with the decline of Jainism during the last centuries, Buddhist monks were able to enter the region and convert populations to their believes.
Under the recent reign of Khadaga II, life for the Ganga Buddhists became harder, as they were targeted and controlled. During those years, many Buddhists converted to Jainism in order to avoid persecution. By 701, a special tax for Buddhists was in place, and by 703 they weren't allowed to enter the capital. In 704, Buddhism was proclaimed illegal, which led to the Ganga Buddhist Crisis.
Known Rulers of the Ganga Dynasty
|Image||Name of the Raja||reign||birth||death||
|Khadaga I||615 - 644||???||644, hunting accident|
|Khanchana I||644 - 679||625||679, illness||First son of Khadaga I|
|Palaka I||679 - 695||653||695, sea accident||Second son of Khanchana I|
|Khadaga II||695 - 717||670||
717, murdered by his uncle Jagadevra
|First son of Palaka I|
723, of old age
|Fourth son of Khanchana I|
740, of old age
|First son of Chandrajara I|