Kashmir : The Karkota Dynasty

The Kashmir Valley was under Asoka during the Mauryan Empire. It remained under the Kushana dominion under Kanishka and Huvishka. Kashmir was not annexed by Harsha but there are evidences that the king of this region was compelled by Harsha to pay tributes. The authentic history of Kashmir begins with Karkota Dynasty which was founded by one Durlabhvardhana during the lifetime of Harshavardhana.

Durlabhvardhana had a long reign and so had his son named Durlabahaka. Grandson of Durlabahaka named Lalitaditya Muktapida (724-760 AD) of this Karkota dynasty was later able to create an empire based on Kashmir and covering most of Northern India and Central Asia including most parts of Pakistan.

Lalitaditya Muktapida was able to extend the power of Kashmir beyond the normal mountain limits and in about 740 AD inflicted a defeat upon Yasovarman, the King of Kannauj. Lalitaditya was able to vanquish the Turks, Tibetans, Bhutias, Kambojas and others.

  • The Martand complex of temples in the Anantnag district of Today’s Kashmir perpetuate the memory of King Lalitaditya.
  • These details are described in the Rajtanagini of Kalhana.

After Lalitaditya we know about two more important kings of Kashmir named Avanativarmana and Shankarvarman. But after death of Lalitaditya many territories declared their independence. The campaigns against these newly independent kings were stopped in Avantivarman’s time but again started by his son and successor Shankarvarman. He made Kashmir strong-politically and economically.

  • Kabul as well Kashmir was completely Hindu kingdoms during those times.

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