Senapati Hirapal Yadava
Senapati of Chatra

Buddhist revolt.jpg
Map of the Ganga Dynasty at the start of the Ganga Buddhist Crisis, with Hirapal's lands in dark red/brown.
Senapati of Chatra
Reign 698-737
Predecessor Damajadasri Yadava
Successor Rudrasimha Yadava
Full name
Hirapal Yadava
House Yadava
Father Damajadasri Yadava
Born 682
Chatra, Ganga Dynasty
Died 737
Chatra, Indian Empire
Religion Hinduism (682-704)

Buddhism (704-717)
Hinduism (717- )

Hirapal Yadava was an important political figure of the beginning 8th century. He was always seen as an opportunist who rose could change side depending of the way things were going, only caring about gaining power for himself. He also a good administrator and a competent commander, skills that helped his goals of power.

Early Life

Hirapal is born one day after the Treaty of Pataliputra and the end of the First Great War of India. His father (Damajadasri Yadava) was a weak lord that served under the Gupta Dynasty since his birth. However, Damajadasri easily adapted to Ganga occupation of the region, and acclaimed the Ganga victory, many seeing the Ganga Dynasty the new Gupta Dynasty (which was a powerful nation since the 6th century).

Hirapal was raised with the idea that following the strong was the thing to do, even if it mean betraying others. However, this idea of loyalty to the strong somehow displeased him, as he saw his personal possessions as more important than the power of his lord. Still, this idea of following the strong would lead his actions many times in the future.

When he was younger, his father brought him to Bhubaneswar, using a convocation from the Raja to show his son the capital. Hirapal was amazed by the beauty of the capital, and all the magnificent arts that he saw there. The defences of the city also impressed the young boy, who only knew the simplistic palace of his father. After seeing this, he promised himself he would one day own a city just like Bhubaneswar.

His father died when Hirapal was 16. His inherited of Chatra when the Grina Faction was unchallenged and at his highest. Hirapal rapidly understood that the Raja's uncles were the one holding the true power, and in order to gain some of it, joined the Grina Faction. He even got close of Jagadevra during a time, which helped him gain documents and money to buy domains around his palace, owning by 703 a good among of lands.

Ganga Buddhist Crisis and Second Great War of India

However, by this time, the realm was already tearing itself apart. The Grina and Nila Factions were fighting each other for power and influence, and Hirapal knew he wouldn't be able to gain much out of it for him. The Buddhists were on the brink of revolt, which Hirapal thought would be a major movement that would spread throughout the entire country. So when Guru Susarman called for arms, Hirapal converted to Buddhism, and with supposedly repentant goals joined the Buddhist rebellion.

However, the number of Buddhists that joined Guru Susarman was far less than what Hirapal expected. What should have been a civil war turned into a massacre, and Buddhists died by the thousands. Luckily for him, Chandrajara never came to Chatra, which left him the time to recruit mercenaries from Tibet and re-enforce his palace in order to hold a potential siege.

When the Indian Empire invaded, Hirapal first thought the Ganga Dynasty would vanquish the invaders, coming out of it weaken. This would have been the perfect moment for the Buddhists too strike. But in 717, Khadaga II was murdered, and the realm fell into chaos. Realizing he would win much more by joining switching side, he reconverted to Hinduism and pledged allegiance to the Indian Empire, opening them the road for northern Ganga.

Post War and Death

He gained some importance in the new Indian administration, and even had a honorific role of governor in his region. When the Muharaja created the Kingdom of Orissa, he tried to convince his ruler to give him the crown, but was utterly refused. He would died some years later, happy with the fortune and power he gained, but still unsatisfied.


  • Rudrasimha (M): 707-741
  • Damasena (M): 710-750
  • Vijayasena (M): 712-763
  • Rudrasena (M): 715-746
  • Jivadaman (M): 718-761

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