The Lohara Dynasty (1003-1171 AD) came after Utpala Dynasty in the region of Kashmir. After the suicide of Utpala, Paravgupta (950-958 AD), the scheming clerk, he was designated the title of king for a year. He was succeeded by his son Kshemagupta, a lecherous person who married princess Didda of Lohara.
Rulers of Lohara Dynasty
- Queen Didda of Lohara (958-972 AD): She became queen in 980 AD after the death of her husband Kshemagupta (950-958 AD),to protect the rights of her son Abhimanyu. She was a good administrator with far sighted policies that made her the actual founder of the dynasty. She took strict actions by removing some high officials including her grandson to ensure the smooth working of the dynasty. Her alliance with the Empire of Hindu Sahis in Afghanistan and Punjab also gave her the support of local King Bhima Deva which made her throne stronger against Muslims. She died in 1003 AD and was succeed by Sangrama Raja.
- Sangrama Raja (1003-1028 AD): He was Queen Didda’s nephew aware of all the policies made by Didda in her last years. He supported Hindus against Muhammad Ghazni with an army under the Minister of Tunga. Kashmir was met with an attack two times and Sangrama had to defend it against Ghazni. Meanwhile supporting Hindu princes in their battles. He was succeeded by his son Ananta Deva (1028-1063 AD) & his grandson Kalasha (1063-1089 AD).
Civil war under King Harsha (1089 AD)
- Kalasha’s sons Utkarsha and Harsha were unable to get along due to their personal egoistic, self centred and hostile nature. But being the elder son Utkarsha was been made the king, however, Harsha was more capable and visionary than him.
- An unpleasant situation arose and the people stood against them. It was a critical civil war.
- As the result of people’s anger, queens were burned in the palace. Harsha who was successful in escaping with his troops, later on was killed on the run.
- During this time, a large number of Muslims joined the army and took over many administrative positions. However, it took them more than 200 years to become the rulers.
Downfall of Lohara Dynasty
- After Harsha‘s death the downfall started as no one could rule with the full power and authority.
- Later Uchchala (1001-11 AD), a descendant of Didda’s brother came to power.
- His Brother Sushala (1128 AD) and then his son (1155 AD) ruled Kashmir. But they were always led down by their relatives.
- In the last, Vijay Simha took over the charge; due to fight among selves the dynasty came to end in 1171 AD.
Lohara dynasty reigned over Kashmir from 1003 to 1171 AD. Although the throne had seen many kingships but Queen Didda, wife of Kshemagupta was termed as the founder of the Lohara dynasty. Her successor was King Sangrama; following the policies of his aunt he led the dynasty. But since they had a small kingdom much advancement wasn’t been made due to insecurity from other kingdoms and less finances. However, there was little advancement in the field of art and architecture. Many ‘wooden Hindu temples’ were build. Also Markula Devi shrine can be seen as a characteristic example of the interior of the temples.