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Mihira Bhoja

Mihira Bhoja
Mihira Bhoja
A 21st century statue of Mihira Bhoja in Delhi
6th Gurjara-Pratihara king
Reignc. 836 – c. 885 CE
SuccessorMahendrapala I
Narmada River
IssueMahendrapala I

Mihira Bhoja (836–885 CE) or Bhoja I was a ruler of the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty of India. He succeeded his father Ramabhadra. Bhoja was a devotee of Vishnu and adopted the title of Ādivarāha which is inscribed on some of his coins.[1] One of the outstanding political figures of India in ninth century, he ranks with Dhruva Dharavarsha and Dharmapala as a great general and empire builder.[2]

At its height, Bhoja's empire extended to Narmada River in the South, Sutlej River in the northwest, and up to Bengal in the east. It extended over a large area from the foot of the Himalayas up to the river Narmada and included the present district of Etawah in Uttar Pradesh.[3][4]


Sculptures near Teli ka Mandir, Gwalior Fort.
Gate of Teli ka Mandir, Gwalior Fort.
Teli ka Mandir is a Hindu Temple built by Mihira Bhoja.[5]

During his reign, the capital was in Kannauj (present-day Uttar Pradesh), during his period Kannauj was referred as Panchala.

He was a bitter enemy of the Arab invaders[2] who, according to an Arab chronicler, Sulaiman, maintained a large army and had a fine cavalry.[2]

He was succeeded by his son Mahendrapala I (c.836 - 910 CE).

Military career

When Mihira Bhoja started his career reverses and defeats suffered by his father Ramabhadra had considerably lowered the prestige of the Royal Gurjara Pratihara family. He invaded the Pala Empire of Bengal, but was defeated by Devapala.[2] He then launched a campaign to conquer the territories to the south of his empire and was successful. After Devapala's death, Bhoja defeated the Pala King Narayanapala and the Rashtrakuta ruler Krishna II.[6]:20–21 He gradually rebuilt the empire by conquest of territories in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The Chandelas of Bundelkhand acknowledged his suzerainty.[2] Besides being a conqueror, Bhoja was a great diplomat.[2]

Coins of Mihira Bhoja

Adivaraha Dramma coin, circa 836 - 885 CE

Mihira Bhoja's epithet was Srimad-Adivaraha (the fortunate primeval boar incarnation of Vishnu) and therefore there is a broad agreement amongst the scholars on the attribution of adivaraha dramma billon coins to him. These coins have a depiction of Adivaraha on the obverse.[7]


  1. ^ Satish Chandra, National Council of Educational Research and Training (India) (1978). Medieval India: a textbook for classes XI-XII, Part 1. National Council of Educational Research and Training. p. 9.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Radhey Shyam Chaurasia (2002). History of Ancient India: Earliest Times to 1000 A. D. Atlantic Publishers & Distributors. p. 207. ISBN 978-81-269-0027-5. He was undoubtedly one of the outstanding political figures of India in ninth century and ranks with Dhruva and Dharmapala as a great general and empire builder.
  3. ^ E-gazeteer-History of Etawah district
  4. ^ Digital South Asia Library
  5. ^ K. D. Bajpai (2006). History of Gopāchala. Bharatiya Jnanpith. p. 31. ISBN 978-81-263-1155-2.
  6. ^ Sen, S.N., 2013, A Textbook of Medieval Indian History, Delhi: Primus Books, ISBN 9789380607344
  7. ^ Deyell 1999, pp. 28–29


  • Deyell, John S. (1999), Living without Silver, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, ISBN 0-19-564983-4
Preceded by
Ramabhadra (833–836)
Gurjara-Pratihara Emperor
836–885 CE
Succeeded by
Mahendrapala I