Khadaga II
Raja of the Ganga Dynasty

Khadaga II.jpg
Raja of the Ganga Dynasty
Reign 695-717
Coronation 695
Predecessor Palaka I
Successor Chandrajara I
Regent His uncles Jagadevra and Chandrajara (700)
Yuvraj of Sri Lanka
Reign 679-695
Predecessor Palaka I
Successor Palaka
Regent Vishara Dandavaran (679-686)
Full name
Khadaga Ganga
Dynasty Ganga Dynasty
Father Palaka I
Born 670
Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Died 717
Religion Hinduism
Khadaga II was Raja of the Ganga Dynasty from 695 to 717. He was the first son of Palaka I, to who he succeeded after Palaka died in suspicious circumstances.

Early Life

Khadaga is the first son of Palaka I and was named after Palaka's grandfather, Khadaga I. His birth came shortly before his father's sailed for the northern part of the kingdom in order to fight in the First Great War of India. Because of this, he passed the first twelves years of his life in Sri Lanka without even knowing his father.

His uncle Chandrajara was asked by Khanchana I to go to Sri Lanka and help for the sending of supplies on the front. Although angered to be refused a place on the front, Chandrajara was able to pass time with his nephew, becoming the father figure Palaka was never able to be. Chandrajara help to the education of his nephew, which would lead to Khadaga developing a disdain for Buddhist.

He became Yuvraj and lord of Sri Lanka at the age of 9. During the following years, he got help from his mother and local nobles to rule the region, and Vishara Dindavaran became the regent until Khadaga's majority. After his father became the new Raja, his mother went to the capital to live with her husband. There, she gave birth to two other children, Mahakala and Chamekamba.

During his father's reign, Khadaga would pass most of his time in Bhubaneswar, leaving the rule of Sri Lanka to his private council, only rarely participating in decisions. His father was no pleased by his lack of interest in Sri Lanka, and tried to push his son to return there by only giving him a minor post in the administration, making him captain of the palace guards, a title which never held any real power over politic (captains were only charged of protecting the palace). This angered Khadaga, who hoped for a title like general of the northern armies. During those years, he became closer with his uncles, and was introduce to what Jagadevra called "Court Life".

Start of the reign and Buddhist persecution

When he came to the throne, Khadaga II was heavily influenced by his uncles Jagadevra and Chandrajara. He named Jagadevra his main treasurer and tax collector, and Chandrajara generals of the northern armies. This lead to even more corruption and oppulence in the court of Bhubaneswar, which Khadaga II never seemed to notice.

He fallowed Chandrajara suggestions and began to persecute Buddhists around the kingdom, especially in the north, where they were the main faith. He also tolerated every brutal excess that Chandrajara inflicted to the Buddhists. Those years would lead to the rise of his uncles's power and of their allies, and the trust of Khadaga II in them grew even further.

In 700, he went with his brother Mahakala to the Chenla Kingdom for the marriage of his sister Chamekamba. He later stated that he regretted going to the marriage, as it was full of "weak minded Buddhists". Short tempered, he didn't like ether the fact that his brother used the marriage to negotiate in his name without asking him. He always found his younger brother too subtle and secretive, which angered him.

However, he still gave his brother a place in his council, Mahakala replacing his uncle Jagadevra as main treasurer of the kingdom. This helped to the escalate of tensions between the lords of the realm, split between the Grina and Nila Factions, tensions to which Khadaga II was oblivious. Even with his brother's presence, it didn't stop his uncles to influence him. In 701, he passed a special tax for the Buddhists, and in 703 even forbid Buddhists to enter the capital of Bhubaneswar. In 704, following Chandrajara's advice, he passed a law making Buddhism illegal. This would spark the Ganga Buddhist Crisis.

Ganga Buddhist Crisis And Second Great War of India

Almost always staying in the capital during the conflict with the Buddhists, he left the command of the armies to his uncle Chandrajara, who committed numerous atrocities in the north, killing innocent Buddhists without any regrets. Those actions were sadly approved by Khadaga II, who saw in the Buddhist population a bunch of rebels and anarchists.

He never saw the signs of the Indian Empire future invasion. For him, the Indian Empire was his ally, and would never invade him, especially since the non-aggression pact of the Treaty of Pataliputra was still active. He thought that the Indian were there to help him dealing with the Buddhist crisis that he faced. Around 710, Mahakala tried to warn him of the Indian intentions, but he refused to listen, but at the very least let his brother go to negotiate with the Maharaja of the Indian Empire (but Mahakala was never received by the Indians).

When his son and heir Palaka died after charging the Indian armies, Khadaga II was in rage. He accused his brother Mahakala, who was the one to inform Palaka of the Indian Invasion, to be responsible for the Yuvraj death so he could become the heir. He forced his brother to abandon his offices in the capital and affected him to the Adaman and Nicobar Islands, but forbid him to help during the war. This exile,would considerably weaken the Nila faction, who lost their leader in the mainland.

Khadaga than began to reorganize his troops, and forced his uncle to return from the north in order to face the Indian invaders, leaving the Buddhist problem for later. He made serious decision to make good defences against the arriving Indians, but they were mostly ineffective. He then plans his armies for what he called in his plans "his Grand Battle", which was suppose to be a massive battle were he would send half of his army from the south and the other half from the north, with a small contingent going behind the line to kill the Maharaja.

However, many believed his plan would fail, and lead to the death of thousands of person in the Ganga Dynasty. Among those were his uncle Jagadevra. Unwilling to risk his life for his nephew, he formed a conspiracy to dispose of Khadaga II before the application of his military plan. Over the excuse of calling a meeting, Jagadevra invited Khadaga II alone to an small room. There, many members of the Grina Faction jumped on their Raja and immobilized him. Before Khadaga II could get out of it, Jagadevra stabbed him many time in the back of the head, leaving him death, ending his reign. His death would spark a massive civil war in the Ganga Dynasty, and the end of the dynasty.


Khadaga II isn't remembered in a great way by historians, at best as a naive man manipulated by corrupted uncles, at worst as an brutal idiot blinded by his own arrogance. His reign is considered as the downfall of the Ganga Dynasty, which contrast to his father's reign, which was the high of it. The influence of his uncles over him make it difficult for historian to really know how much power Khadaga II really had during his reign, although he still seems to be the head of the state, and to act like it. Some more goodwill historians state that should he had live, his military plan would probably have succeeded, and this war would have opened his eyes to the situation of his kingdom. but his death at a crucial moment only sparked more chaos in the kingdom.


  • Vijnanavadi (F): 688-734
  • Kuladevi (F): 689-729
  • Vasumati (F): 691-750
  • Yuvraj Palaka (M): 693-713
  • Lilavati (F): 695-745
  • Andravati (F): 697-740
  • Vasayuli (F): 698-752
  • Maharati (F): 702-734
  • Jahavani (F): 703-760

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