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Tha Shashanka Dynasty India

  • Shashanka created the first ever separate political unit in a united Bengal named Gauda. He ruled from 590 AD to 625 AD. His capital was called Karnasuvarna and is located in Murshidabad.

Extent of kingdom

  • By the end of his rule, his kingdom domain stretched from Vanga to Bhuvanesha while in the east, his kingdom bordered Kamarupa. Before Shashanka, Bengal was divided into 3 regions, Gauda, Samatata and Banga and it was ruled by a weak ruler Mahasengupta, who belonged to the later Gupta dynasty. Shashanka was one of his chiefs who rose to power by taking advantage of the weak ruler. Following the death of Mahasengupta, Shashanka defeated the later Guptas and other prominent nobles and established his own kingdom Gauda.

Contemporary sources

  • There are many contemporary sources of information on his life, including coins minted in his reign, the accounts of the Chinese monk Xuanzang, copperplates of his enemies Harshavardhana and Bhaskaravarman and copperplates from his vassal Madhavavarma.

War with Harsha-Vardhana

  • Shashanka fought a major war with the then Emperor of Thanesar, Harshavardhana. Shashanka had to withdraw from Kannauj. He continued to rule Gauda and bravely faced frequent attacks from Harsha.


  • After his death, his son, Manava succeeded him. He ruled the kingdom for only 8 months. However Gauda was soon divided among Bhaskarvarmana and Harshavardhana of Kamroop.