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Kingdom of Gauda
Bengali: গৌড় রাজ্য (Gāuṛ Rājya)
|590 CE–626 CE|
Gauda (in eastern India) and its contemporaries, c. 625 CE
|Capital||Karnasuvarna (present day West Bengal, India)|
Part of a series on the
|History of Bengal|
King Shashanka (Bengali: শশাঙ্ক Shôshangko) is often attributed with creating the first separate political entity in a unified Bengal called Gauda. He reigned in 7th century, and some historians place his rule approximately between 590 and 625. His capital was at Karnasubarna, 9.6 kilometres (6.0 mi) south-west of Baharampur, headquarters of Murshidabad district.
The Chinese monk, Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang) travelled from the country of Karnasubarna to a region in the present-day state of Orissa ruled by Shashanka. There is mention of Pundravardhana being part of Gauda in certain ancient records.
Evidence seems to be discrepant regarding links of Gauda with the Rarh region. While Krishna Mishra (11th or 12th century), in his Prabodha-chandrodaya, mentions that Gauda rashtra includes Rarh (or Rarhpuri) and Bhurishreshthika, identified with Bhurshut, in Hooghly and Howrah districts, but the Managoli inscription of the Yadava king Jaitugi I distinguishes Lala (Rarh) from Gaula (Gauda).
Following his death, Shashanka was succeeded by his son, Manava, who ruled the kingdom for eight months. However Gauda was soon divided amongst Harshavardhana and Bhaskarvarmana of Kamarupa, the latter even managing to conquer Karnasuvarna.
The Pala emperors were referred to as Vangapati (Lord of Vanga) and Gaudesvara (Lord of Gauda). Sena kings also called themselves Gaudesvara. From then Gauda and Vanga seem to be interchangeable names for the whole of Bengal.