Sena Dynasty & Late Classical Bengal

Sena Dynasty (1097-1230)

  • Sena dynasty ruled from Bengal through the 11th and 12th centuries.
  • The empire at its peak covered much of the north-eastern region of the Indian subcontinent.
  • The rulers of the Sena Dynasty traced their origin to the south Indian region of Karnataka.
  • Nabadwip was the capital of the Sena dynasty.
  • Sena rulers were Brahmin by caste and Kshatriya by profession.
  • They consolidated the caste system in Bengal.
Sena Dynasty
Hindu deity Vishnu




  • Hemantasena held the position of a feudatory chief in the Pala empire.
  • He is also described as rajaraksasudaksah (protector of king) in Barrackpur plate of Vijayasena.

Vijaya Sena (1097-1160)

  • Vijaya Sena was a subordinate ruler in Rarh under the Palas.
  • Middle of 12th century, he defeated Palas and founded the independent rule of Senas dynasty.
  • He conquered Kamarupa and Kalinga.
  • Vijaya Sena has two capitals, Vijayapuri in West Bengal and Vikramapura in Bangladesh.
  • His Barrackpur copper plate was issued from Vikramapura.
  • Vijaya Sena had a very long reign of about 62 years.
  • He assumed the imperial titles’ of Paramamaheshvara, Paramabhattaraka, Maharajadhiraja.
  • Vijaya-prashasti was written by the famous poet Sriharsa.

Ballala Sena (1160-78)

  • Ballala Sena ended the Pala Empire by defeating Govindapala.
  • He conquered Magadha and Mithila.
  • Ballala Sena married Ramadevi a princess of Western Chalukya Empire.
  • Two epigraphs of the time of Vallalasena, the Naihati copper plate, and the Sanokhar Image Inscription.
  • Ballala Sena introduced the practice of Kulinism in Bengal.
  • He wrote the Danasagara in 1168 and started writing the Adbhutasagara in 1169 but could not complete it.
  • Vallalachairta was composed by Anandabhatta in 1510.

Lakshmana Sena (1179 – 1206)

  • Lakshmana Sena assumes the title of Gaudeshvara.
  • He completed the Adbhuta Sagara, an incomplete book of his father.
  • Lakshmana Sena was devout to Vaishnava.
  • His court was an assembly of several renowned poets
    • Jayadeva, the author of Gitagovinda
    • Dhoyi, the composer of Pavanduta
    • Govardhana the author of Arya-saptasati
    • Shridharadasa, compiled the Saduktikarnamrta, an anthology of the Sanskrit verses during his reign.
    • His Chief Minister and Chief Judge was Halayudha Mishra, who wrote the Brahmanasarvasva.
    • Umapatidhara, the author of the Deopara Prashasti
  • Minhaj-us-Siraj, the author of the Tabaqat-i-Nasiri, designated him as a ‘great Rae’ of Bengal and compared him with Sultan Qutbuddin.
  • In 1203, Bakhtiyar Khalji attacked Nabadwip and defeated Lakshman Sen.
  • He captured northwest Bengal and eastern Bengal remained under Sena control.

Later Rulers (1206-30)

  • Vishvarupa Sena and Keshava Sena were the last two rulers of the Sena dynasty.


Deva Kingdom

  • The Deva Kingdom was a Hindu dynasty of medieval Bengal
  • Deva Kingdom ruled over eastern Bengal after the collapse of the Sena Empire.
  • Their capital was Vikrampur in present-day Munshiganj District, Bangladesh.
  • Madhava Dasharatha-Deva extended his kingdom to cover much of East Bengal.


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