| Prince of the Ganga Dynasty
|Regent of the Ganga Dynasty|
|Time of Regency|| 690-695 (Palaka I)
700 (Khadaga II)
|Tax Collector of the Ganga Dynasty|
|Main Treasurer of the Ganga Dynasty|
|Raja||Palaka I, Khadaga II|
|Born|| 656 |
Bhubaneswar, Ganga Dynasty
|Died|| 733 |
Bogra, Gupta Dynasty
|Occupation||Court Life, gambling, drinking, partying|
Jagadevra was the son of Khanchana I and a important political figure of the late 7th beginning 8th centuries in the Ganga Dynasty. Many historians credit him for single-handedly corrupting the entire economic system of the Ganga Dynasty, which resulted in problems all around the realm. Along with his brother Chandrajara, he was a prominent figure of the Grina Faction, and had a terrible influence on his nephew Khadaga II. However, some recent studies tend to prove that the man was extremely cunning and deceptive, using corruption and manipulation to get what he wanted, controlling the political scene from the shadows, an image that differ from the traditional image of a fat incompetent who lived in luxury.
Jagadevra is the third son of Khanchana I, and the second son born from his second wife, the first one being Palaka I. He was already a spoiled brat at a young age. Her mother lost her first son Palaka, who was forced to go live in Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka as the Yuvraj, a new tradition installed by Khanchana I at the birth of his son.
After losing her son, the queen became emotionally unstable, and the her second son became the subject of all her attention. Whenever he wanted something, he could have it, leading to the beginning of a long life of luxury and decadence. Khancahan, who was occupied by his plans for the Ganga Dynasty, wasn't able to participate much in the education of his son.
Jagadevra was soon joined by two other brothers: Chandrajara in 656 and Ramapala in 659. Although he was never particularly found of both, he became close to them for political use, knowing they would all play for their brother Palaka the same role their uncles were playing for their father. But he had numerous problems with Ramapala, who was too good and loyal to their father's principles. Happily for Jagadevra, the young boy died in 667 from a disease (even if some historian supposed that he assassinated him).
As he grew up, Jagadevra became a seductive man, and it is said that no woman could resist his smile. In look and appearance, he easily overshadowed his brothers. For this reason and for his royal statute, many nobles wanted him to marry their daughter. In the end, Khanchana I forced him to marry an ugly woman in order to secure an important alliance. Jagadevra resented his father for this, and as a vengeance never consumed the marriage. He also had many adventure while married, and felt in love with many women over the time. His great look would however fade away as he gained fat with the time, but by this time he was already in a position of power, and women slept with him for this single reason.
Under Palaka I
The reign of Palaka I started during the First Great War of India, a war that Jagadevra passed feasting in Bhubaneswar (which made him the only son of Khanchana I to be present for the Raja's final moments). Many historians supposed that he thought of usurping the throne, as he was to last one to talk with Khanchana I (making it easier to make up a story about his father designing him as the heir) and that Palaka was on the front line fighting the Gupta Dynasty. Would he had really thought of it or not, in the end he never made a move, and continued his normal life in the capital.
When his brother returned from Pataliputra victorious, Jagadevra welcomed his new ruler at the front gate with a cunning smile, and congratulate him for his victory. The coronation, which was planned by Jagadevra, had to be reported for a month because of the absence of Chandrajara, who was still at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka with the Yuvraj Khadaga. The coronation was fastidious and grandiose, more than anything ever prepared before. Jagadevra wanted it to be the most grandiose event he would ever assist, and in his journal affirmed he succeeded to the task.
As part of the tradition, siblings of the Raja were to occupy important offices in the administration. Palaka, who at the time believed his brothers were like his uncles, named Jagadevra as Main Treasurer of the Ganga Dynasty. This would be the beginning of the corruption in the Ganga Dynasty, as Jagadevra and his friends would use corruption to obtain whatever they wanted, and somehow hide it from the Raja.
In 690, Palaka I went on a journey with their uncle Somesvara to the Chenla Kingdom, Jagadevra and Chandrajara were left behind as regent, Palaka I believing they would do a good job. Jagadevra would, however, use the occasion to corrupt more and more officials, and to favorised his friends for the new posts and offices that opened during the five years regency. During this period, he became closer with Chandrajara, hoping that their alliance would help to solidify both at the top. Jagadevra left his little brother do whatever he wanted to Buddhists, as he never cared about what happened out of Bhubaneswar.
During these days, he also introduced his nephew the Yuvraj Khadaga to the court life and the pleasure that came from it, gaining a certain control on him at the same time. Another thing that happened to him around the same time was the death of his wife, which was a moment of joy for him. He remarried shortly after her death to a beautiful young women, who would give birth to his only legitimate child, a daughter named Chadavari.
Stories from the time say that when news arrived that Palaka I was returning to punish them, Jagadevra was so afraid he refused to come out of his room for many days. However, some political opponents of Jagadevra stated that he used this time to plan the assassination of Palaka I, so he would never return. Whatever is true, Palaka I never made it back, and his son Khadaga would become the new Raja.
Under Khadaga II
When his nephew came to the throne, Jagadevra and CHandrajara were already in position of power. Their nephew, who had a big respect of them (especially of Chandrajara) was very suggestive to their advice, which help them to gain even more power. Khadaga II reaffirm Jagadevra position as Main Treasurer adding to it the function of Tax Collector of the Ganga Dynasty. Jagadevra was now the man in control of the kingdom's economy, and he used it to advantage himself and his friends and allies.
When he was named once again regent with Chandrajara in 700, when Khadaga II went to the Chenla Kingdom for the marriage of his sister, Jagadevra thought he would stay at the top forever. But it was a thought wake up call that came when in 701 he was stripped of his position as Main Treasurer in favor of Khadaga II's brother, Mahakala. This decision would start a political war between the allies of Jagadevra and Chandrajara (known as the Grina Faction) and the supporters of Mahakala (known as the Nila Faction) for power and influence over the Raja. However, the Grina Faction was able to remain dominant for most of Khadaga II reign.
When Chandrajara began his persecution of the Buddhists, supported by Khadaga II, Jagadevra chose to follow them, although he saw the Buddhists more as scapegoats for the difficult economy than really enemies. He supported persecution, and even created a special tax for Buddhists on his nephew's orders. He would thus be one of the main causes of the Ganga Buddhist Crisis, a conflict he never really cared about, thinking his brother would deal with it in two years at most. He continued his decadent lifestyle for most of the conflict, and never even heard of the Indian Empire amassing his troops on the frontier before it was too late.
The Second Great War of India
Jagadevra was clearly concerned by the Second Great War of India, and believed it would lead to the violent defeat of the Ganga Dynasty. Although the forced exile of Mahakala would leave Jagadevra with even more power, he was still uneasy with the Indian invasion. He also realized that should Khadaga II died during the war, the armies would coronate Mahakala as the new Raja, since Khadaga II's son Palaka died in the first year of the war.
Knowing all of those things, and fearing more and more for his life, he elaborated a plan with some of his closest allies. He invited his nephew in a false meeting, and then murdered him brutally by stabbing him multiple times at the back of his head, leading the Raja death. With his co-conspirators, he then escaped the city by night, so nobody could find them when the body would be discovered. Leaving the city to fall into chaos, he went hiding in the Gupta Dynasty, were he was able to find a place in the capital's court, and was allowed by Raja Ravivarma II to stay.
He later discovered that Mahakala did not became Raja, in fact abandoning his right over the crown for his brother-in-law Prince Thepaman of the Chenla Kingdom. Realizing he should now be the official Raja of the Ganga Dynasty, he approached Raja Ravivarma II and he proposed him to marry his daughter, thus making Ravivarma II the Yuvraj of the Ganga Dynasty. With this as a claim, the Raja of the Gupta Dynasty could take revenge for the First Great War of India, and even claim the Ganga Dynasty as his own (although Jagadevra only wanted him to get it after his death). He also remembered him that the Indian Empire broke the Treaty of Pataliputra, giving Gupta every right to replicate.
His plan would however be refused by the Gupta Raja, leaving him without any chance of political success. He would later meet his nephew Khadaga III, the son of Chandrajara, who was forced in exile in 725 after the Indian Empire conquered the Ganga Dynasty. Their difficult relationship was hard to live for Jagadevra, who began to feel guilt for what he did. He finally died full of regrets in 733 at the age of 77 years old.
- Chadavari (F): 697-743
- Many bastards