Khadaga III
Raja of the Ganga Dynasty

Coin Khadaga III.jpg
Raja of the Ganga Dynasty
Reign 723-725
Coronation 723
Predecessor Chandrajara I
Successor The Kingdom was conquered by the Indian Empire.
General of the Northern Armies
Time in Office 719-723
Predecessor Chandrajara I
Successor  ???
Full name
Khadaga Ganga
Dynasty Ganga Dynasty
Father Chandrajara I
Born 682
Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka, Ganga Dynasty
Died 740
Adaman and Nicobar Islands, Chenla Kingdom
Religion Hinduism
Khadaga III was the son of Chandrajara I and Raja of the Ganga Dynasty. He is remembered for being the last member of the Ganga Dynasty to rule the kingdom of the same name. Never interested in power, he succeeded to his father in horrible conditions, his reign being contested by numerous pretenders and his lands attacked by Indian invaders. However, he still managed to keep his lands livable. For this reason and many others, he is considered a better king than both his father Chandrajara I and his cousin Khadaga II. The palace he built in Dhanbad is considered as a piece of art by architect of his time, and was preserved by the rulers that succeeded him. A particular fact of his legacy is that the main source of informations for his life is a historical Indian play from the 14th century named Sukha aura Khadaga III kē saṅkaṭa (Joys and Woes of Khadaga III).

Early Life

Khadaga was born during his father's time in Sri Lanka, while Palaka I was negotiating with the Gupta Dynasty and newly formed Indian Empire at Pataliputra. Since a young age, Khadaga was a calm and silent young boy, who preferred books to military tactics. Because of this, he received few attention from his father, who preferred him his cousin, the Yuvraj Khadaga, who was more like Chandrajara. He however became close with his sister Marapati, as both were calm and respectful children, a perfect contrast to their rash and brutal father. 

After the Treaty of Pataliputra and the official end of the First Great War of India, Khadaga and his family returned to Bhubaneswar for the coronation of Palaka I. During his time in the capital, he had good relations with his cousin Prince Mahakala, but was never able to get close to him because of his father's intervention to keep them separated. Joys and Woes of Khadaga III want that he also felt in love with his cousin Princess Chamekamba, and that the news of her betrothal to Prince Thapaman of the Chenla Kingdom devastated him, to the point he wasn't able to see her without crying (modern historian now believe that the last part was exaggerated). 

Although Chandrajara was disappointed by his son, he still wanted him to follow in his footsteps and become a military leader. As such, he stayed with his father during most of his time as General of the Northern Armies. He also joined him in the Grina Faction, although he was never found of the faction ideology, only joining it to please his father. Once called by Mahakala “The Grina Faction's Voice of Reason”, he wasn't anti-Buddhist or corrupted like many Grina Faction members, and was sometimes closer to the Nila Faction's ideals. Somes say should he have been more charismatic and courageous, he could have made peace possible between the two factions and reunify the Ganga Dynasty. 

Ganga Buddhist Crisis

Khadaga never had any hatred for the buddhists in particular, and was never a spiritual man to start with. He respected the beliefs of others, and thus was sometimes amazed by his father's hatred. He followed him in this conflict, but only because he knew that the Kingdom needed to stay strong in front of enemies, even if it was peoples fighting for their rights. 

One part of Joy and Woes of Khadaga III tell how Khadaga once met with Guru Susarman on the battlefield. In the story, Khadaga was charged by his father to attack a village supposedly hiding dangerous rebels. Thinking it would only be populated by innocents, he decided to go alone by himself to rapidly check and say he dealt with the rebels himself aftermath. But he found Guru Susarman hiding there, tho his grand surprise. He knew that the man was in a way fighting for a right cause, but capturing him could stop many future battles. The question weighted hard on his mind. When he returned to his soldiers, he said he dealt with normal rebels in the village, thus affirming to the public he let Guru Susarman escaped. Still today, historian debate whenever or not this really happened, as many historians find it hard to believe, and others state it correspond to Khada

ga III personality.

Second Great War of India

Like everyone, Khadaga only realized what was happening after the death of the Yuvraj Palaka. Desiring to return to the capital in order to help the administration in this situation of crisis, his father forced him to stay with him and fight the Indian invaders. Khadaga eventually complied, and even leaded some forces in person against the Indian, with moderate success. 

The successive news of the Raja's murder, Mahakala renunciation of his claims and Jagadevra deal with the Raja of the Gupta Dynasty came like bombs to Khadaga and his father. In the turmoil, his father decided he was the only one that had any claim left on the throne, and decided to become Raja of the Ganga Dynasty.

Chandrajara decided to take the city of Dhanbad as his new capital, and asked to be opened the gates. The officer leading the garrison refused however, as he was an old member of the Nila Faction. Enraged, Chandrajara tried to siege the city, but was repelled by the defenders. It was in the end Khadaga who gained the city, convincing the officer he would received an important office in his father's administration after the coronation (the man, named Dharapatta Skanda, would indeed be named General of the Southern Armies). His father was crowned two days later, and thus began the reign of Chandrajara I.

Thinking he could fix the economy of the falling realm, he asked his father to be made Main Treasurer of the Ganga Dynasty. But Chandrajara wanted his son to follow his footsteps, and instead promoted him General of the Northern Armies. He was able to secure some lands up north and to organized competent garrison on the new frontier. But even his efforts didn't stopped the Indian Empire for continuing his invasion. 

He was left by his father to deal with the capital when Chandrajara I was going for war against the Indian Empire. This allowed Khadaga to rebuild the city. Not only did he fortify it, but he also to help the local population to flourish in these hard times. 

In 724, he decided he realized he would eventually lost to the Indian Empire, and tried to surrender his crown to the Gupta Dynasty. But before he could end up the negotiations, the Indian Empire conquered the rest of his lands, leaving him to flee to the Gupta Dynasty, and ending the Second Great War of India. 

After the Ganga Dynasty

Khadaga III would live in exile in the Gupta Dynasty. There, he met his uncle Jagadevra for the first time for the last twenty years, and their relations proved to be difficult until the death of Jagadevra in 733 at the advanced age of 77 years old.

Khadaga III would try to warn the Raja Ravivarma II of the Gupta Dynasty about the Indian Empire, believing he should not trust them. The militarisation on the Indian-Gupta frontier was a clear proof of this. But in the following year, he decided to officially renounce to any pretense over the Ganga Dynasty in order to stop both India to use his presence as an excuse for invasion and Gupta to use him as an excuse to conquer the old Ganga lands.

In 739, he quit the Gupta Dynasty and went to live in exile in the Adaman and Nicobar Islands, ruled by his cousin Mahakala, where he and his family were well received. He lived a peaceful family life with Mahakala for the following year, when he finally died, aged of 58.


  • Chandrajara (M), his heir: 703-750
  • Khamekala (M): 707-747
  • Palaka (M): 713-764
  • Khamakamba (M): 721-758

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