Prince Mahakala
Senapati of the Adaman and Nicobar Islands
Prince of the Ganga Dynasty

Senapati of the Adaman and Nicobar Islands
Reign 717-743
Predecessor Title created
Successor Khanchana
Main Treasurer of the Ganga Dynasty
Time in Office 700-716
Predecessor Jagadevra
Successor  ???
Raja Khadaga II
Spouse Vasumati Dandavarman
Full name
Mahakala Ganga
Dynasty Ganga Dynasty
Father Palaka I
Born 683
Bhubaneswar, Ganga Dynasty
Died 743
Adaman and Nicobar Islands, Chenla Kingdom
Religion Hinduism

Mahakala was a prince of the Ganga Dynasty, the second son of Palaka I and the younger brother of Khadaga II, under who he served as Main Treasurer. He is remembered as an important political figure of the beginning 8th century in the Ganga Dynasty as well as the leader and founder of the Nila Faction, which opposed the Grina Faction of his uncles.

Mahakala was always smarter and more diplomatic than his brother, and tried many time to advice his brother on political issues, with little to no success. He was opposed to the Buddhist persecution, and tried to stop it diplomatically. He is also responsible for keeping good relation between the Chenla Kingdom and the Ganga Dynasty, even with the Buddhist persecution.

Early Life

Mahakala is the second son of Palaka I and the first of his children born after the First Great War of India. His older brother, the Yuvraj Khadaga, was 13 years older than hie was, and was raised in Sri Lanka as the Yuvraj. The young boy rapidly became close with the third member of the family, his sister Chamekamba. He was a good student, and was praised and liked his father and great-uncle (the admiral Somesvara), who saw in him a little Khanchana I. In his personal journal, Mahakala once wrote that the comparaison between him and Khanchana the Glorious was too much for his young shoulders, felling like he must follow in the great Raja's path.

Mahakala first met older brother when he was 4, as Khadaga came to the capital in hope of gaining some high office in their father's administration. The first impression wasn't great, Mahakala calling his older brother "a brute" and Kahadaga seeing in his younger sibling the favorite child of Palaka I, which piss him a lot. Mahakala would however become loyal to his brother as he grew up, hoping he would one day help him to build a even greater Ganga.

He was aged of 12 when the new of his father's death came to Bhubaneswar. He rapidly realized that the relation his father's recently built with the Chenla Kingdom could easily crumble. With some allies, he secretly sent his sister to the Chenla Kingdom, hoping it would save the marriage with Prince Thepaman. The marriage did happen in 700, and both brothers went to the ceremony in the Chenla Kingdom. There, Mahakala met for the first time his bastard brother, born from his fahter's adventure. Being 11 years older, he felt like Khadaga when they first met. Mahakala was kind with his bastard brother, hoping that one day the young boy would help forge better relation between the two kingdoms. He also made diplomatic actions to reaffirm the relation between the Ganga Dynasty and the Chenla Kingdom, even if his brother never allowed him to negotiate.

Nila Faction and Ganga Buddhist Crisis

Nila Faction Flag

Flag of the Nila Faction

After their return from the Chenla Kingdom, the relation between Mahakala and his brother was difficult. Khadaga II was angry about is brother's actions in Chenla. But he still decided to continue the tradition of giving high offices to relatives, and even aknowledged the talents of Mahakala. He named him the Main Treasurer of the Ganga Dynasty, an office occupied by their uncle Jagadevra so far. This would lead many members of the nobility who opposed the power of Chandrajara, Jagadevra and their allied (later known as the Grina Faction) to support Mahakala, who was the only person with some chances to influence the Raja among them. Mahakala and the nobles that stood with him became known as the Nila Faction, and fought against the Grina Faction for power in the realm.

In 702, the old regent of Khadaga II, Vishara Dindavaran, was searching ofr a candidate to marry his daughter, Vasumati. Khadaga II saw in this a way of repaying the old man for all the years he served and helped him when he was Yuvraj, and forced Mahakala to marry Vasumati. At first reticent, he rapidly realized that this alliance could help him a lot, especially since one of the main figures of the Nila Faction was Kahamala Dandavaran, Vasumati brother's. The marriage resulted two years later in their first child, a daughter named after the mother.

Mahakala was opposed to the Buddhist persecution, and tried to convince his brother to stop this and negotiate with the Buddhists instead, with little to no success. Although he wasn't able to stop the Ganga Buddhist Crisis from happening, he was still able with the help of the Nila Faction to finally relaunch the economy (which was stagnant and corrupted since the time of Jagadevra as main treasurer).

When the Indian Empire began to mobilize its troops on the frontier, only Mahakala understood the reason of their presence. He tried to warn his brother, but Khadaga couldn't believed the Indians would betray them and break the Treaty of Pataliputra. Finally, Khadaga II was able to convince someone of the menace in 712, his nephew Palaka, the actual Yuvraj and son of the Raja. In contrast to his father, he listened to Mahakala, as he understood he was more intelligent and good willing than Jagadevra and Chandrajara, and was close to the Nila Faction. However, the young Yuvraj, too eager to prove himself, assembled an army and charged the indian troops on the frontier instead of trying to convince his father. Out of options, he tried to contact his uncle Chandrajara to warn him of Palaka's plan and of the Indian armies, but the letters never arrived to their destination.

Second Great War of India

In the end, Palaka died on the battlefield, which resulted in even more problems in the realm. Although Mahakala became the presumptive heir for his brother, Khadaga II refused to give him Sri Lanka, accusing Mahakal of causing the death of his son. In 716, he forced Mahakala to abandon his offices in the capital and go the Adaman and Nicobar Islands. While staying their, he would easily gain the trust of the local officers, gaining control of the islands.

The following year, he heard of his brother's death. At first willing to become Raja, he realized that he would never have enough forces and supports to win against the Indian Empire. However, he refused to see those truce-breaker Indians conquer the Ganga Dynasty. His decision surprised everyone. He abandoned his rights over the crown in favor of his brother-in-law Prince Thepaman. As the lord of the Adaman and Nicobar Islands, he pledged loyalty to the Chenla Kingdom, and urged them to save the people of Ganga, as the Indian wouldn't be able to protect them. But they would not listen, instead claiming that the Ganga Dynasty should go to the Gupta Dynasty.

Later Life

Mahakala would remain vassal of the Chenla Kingdom as Senapati of the Adaman and Nicobar Islands. He would eventually be given administrative tasks in the region, as his works for the Ganga economy were known in the region. he would however be pushed out of office and politics in 735, when many local nobles became jealous of this foreigner.

In 737, his son Andarkara died during a sailing accident in a similar fashion Palaka I died. This was an\ heartbreaking moment for Mahakala, who believed the gods were taking away every he wanted, or that he was cursed and that nobody in his relatives could die of an easy death.

In 739, his cousin Khadaga III, the last ruler of the Ganga Dynasty, decided to come live in exile with Mahakala. The Senapati welcomed the former Raja and his family with welcome arms, as he missed the frequenting of Indian people. When Khadaga III died the following year, Mahakala made the promise to take care of his family. Mahakala would join his cousin into death three years later, aged of 60 years old.


  • Vasumati (F): 704-765
  • Khanchana (M): 707-756
  • Jinamali (F): 709-761
  • Andarkara (M): 711-737

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