Dhruva Dharavarsha
Dhruva Dharavarsha
Fragment of Old Kannada inscription (780 CE) from Naregal of Rashtrakuta emperor Dhruva Dharavarsha
4th Rashtrakuta Emperor
Reignc. 780 – c. 793 CE (13 years)
PredecessorGovinda II
SuccessorGovinda III
Died793 CE
SpouseSila Mahadevi of the Eastern Chalukyas
IssueKarka Suvarnavarsha
Govinda III
Indra, Governor of Lata
FatherKrishna I

Dhruva (r. 780 – 793 CE) was one of the most notable rulers of the Rashtrakuta Empire. He ascended the imperial throne after replacing his elder brother Govinda II. Govinda II had become unpopular among his subjects on account of his various misconducts as a monarch, including excessive indulgence in sensual pleasures. This according to the historian Kamath is evident from the Karhad plates of Krishna III.[1] The Dhulia grant of 779 and Garugadahalli inscription of 782 proclaim Dhruva the emperor. Though some historians claim that Dhruva revolted and grabbed the throne,[2] other historians feel the transition of the throne from Govinda II to Dhruva was peaceful and may have happened willingly.[3] He earned titles like Kalivallabha, Srivallabha, Dharavarsha, Maharajadhiraja and Parameshvara.

Success in north and east

See also: The Kannauj Triangle wars

Dhruva Dharavarsha had a high political aspiration and he actively pursued the goal of expanding the frontiers of Rashtrakuta dominion. In Northern India, he subjugated the rulers of Kanyakubja. In central India, he defeated Vatsaraja of the Gurjara Prathihara Empire,[4] and Dharmapala of the Pala Empire (who was eager to rule Kanyakubja) in a battle in the Ganges - Yamuna doab. However, these great victories brought him no permanent land gains but only a lot of material gain and fame.[5] However another historian has claimed that Dhruva's empire stretched from Ayodhya in the north to Rameshvaram in the south.[2]

Victories in the Deccan and the South

He humbled Vishnuvardhana IV, an Eastern or Vengi Chalukya king in 784 and forged an alliance by marrying his daughter named Silabhattarika as per the Jetvai grant of 786. Thereafter, he defeated Shivamara II, the Western Ganga Dynasty ruler of Gangavadi, and imprisoned him and appointed his own son, the Prince Kambarasa as the governor. He also forced the Pallava monarch Nandivarman II to accept the suzerainty of the Rashtrakutas who paid him handsomely with many elephants. He undertook campaigns to Kanchi in 785 and again against the Western Ganga Dynasty in 788.[1]

Pan-Indian power

During his reign, the Rashtrakutas emerged as a true pan-Indian power, controlling large regions across the Indian subcontinent.[6] He was succeeded by his third son, Govinda III whose reign was also marked by brilliant military success and exploits.


  1. ^ a b Kamath (2001), p75
  2. ^ a b Reu (1933), p62
  3. ^ Dr. P. B. Desai and K. V. Subrahmanya Aiyar in Kamath (2001), p75
  4. ^ Sen, Sailendra Nath (2013). Textbook of medieval Indian history. Primus Books. p. 20. ISBN 9789380607344.
  5. ^ A.S. Altekar in Kamath (2001), p75
  6. ^ A. S. Altekar in Kamath 92001), p76


Preceded byGovinda II Rashtrakuta Emperor 780–793 Succeeded byGovinda III