Govinda III
Prabhutavarsha, Jagattunga, Anupama, Kirthinarayana, Prithvivallabha, Shrivallabha, Vimaladitya, Atishayadhavala, Tribhuvanadhavala
Govinda III
Old Kannada inscription (800 CE) of Rashtrakuta Emperor Govinda III at Veerabhadra temple at Mavali.
5th Rashtrakuta Emperor
Reignc. 793 – c. 814 CE (21 years)
PredecessorDhruva Dharavarsha
SuccessorAmoghavarsha I
Died814 CE
IssueAmoghavarsha I
FatherDhruva Dharavarsha

Govinda III (reign 793 – 814 CE) was greatest Rashtrakuta monarch who succeeded his illustrious father Dhruva Dharavarsha. He was militarily the most successful emperor of the dynasty with successful conquests from Kanyakumari in the south to Kanyakubja in the north, from Banaras in the east to Bharuch in the west. From the Someshvara inscription of 804, it is known that 'Gamundabbe' was his chief queen.

Govinda III held such titles as Prabhutavarsha, Jagattunga, Anupama, Kirthinarayana, Prithvivallabha, Shrivallabha, Vimaladitya, Atishayadhavala and Tribhuvanadhavala. He was undoubtebly the ablest of the Rashtrakuta emperors, unrivalled in courage, generalship, statesmanship, and martial exploits.The Rashtrakutas would reach their absolute peak under his rule.

Early life

War of Succession

Though Govinda III became the emperor it was not before having to face some internal family feuds. Govinda III ascended the throne in 793 CE and as was expected, his accession did not go unchallenged. For a time his elder brother Stambha kept quiet, but when he was assured of the support of a number of feudatories and neighbours, he broke out in open revolt against his brother. Govinda, however, quelled the rebellion of “twelve kings headed by Stambha” and took his brother prisoner. Govinda, however, treated him leniently and, being convinced of his loyalty in future, Govinda took the magnanimous step of reinstating him to the Ganga viceroyalty. Throughout the rest of his life, Stambha remained loyal to his plighted word, ending the war of succession.[1]

Military career

Conquest of Northern and Eastern India

Capture of Kannauj

See also: Tripartite Struggle

From his capital Mayurakhandi in present-day Bidar district, Govinda III conducted his northern campaign in 800 CE. He successfully obtained the submission of Gurjara-Pratihara emperor Nagabhata II, Pala emperor Dharmapala and the incumbent puppet ruler of Kanyakubja, Chakrayudha.

The Sanjan plates of Govinda III mention that the horse of Govinda III drank the icy liquid bubbling in the Himalayan stream and his war elephants tasted the holy waters of the Ganges.[2] The rulers of Magadha and Bengal also submitted to him. An inscription of 813 CE states the Govinda III conquered Lata (southern and central Gujarat) and made his brother Indra the ruler of the territory. This in effect became a branch of the Rashtrakuta Empire.[3] After the conquest of Malwa, Govinda III ensured the Paramara dynasty would rule as vassals of the Rashtrakutas in 800 CE.[4]

However, Govinda III had control over the regions between Vindhyas and Malwa in the north to Kanchi in the south, while the heart of his empire extended from the Narmada to Tungabhadra rivers.[3]

Conquest of Tamilakam and Sri Lanka

He obtained the submission of the King of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) without even going to battle. The King of Ceylon is said to have sent him two statues, one of himself and another of his minister as an act of submission.[5] The Nasari record states that now all the kingdoms of the Tamil country, the Cholas, Pandyas and the Keralas paid their tribute to Govinda III.[5]

Never had the Rashtrakuta Empire reach such levels of military success and zenith of glory.[6] Govinda III died in 814.[7] His brother Indra during this time founded the Gujarat (Lata) branch. Govinda III was succeeded by his son Amoghavarsha I.

See also


  1. ^ Kannauj, Age of Imperial. "The Age Of Imperial Kanauj". Retrieved 1 October 2015.
  2. ^ Kamath (2001), p76
  3. ^ a b Reu (1933), p66
  4. ^ A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th century by Upinder Singh p.569
  5. ^ a b Kamath (2001), p77
  6. ^ A.S. Altekar in (Kamath 2001, p77)
  7. ^ Sen, Sailendra Nath (2013). Textbook of medieval Indian history. Primus Books. p. 20. ISBN 9789380607344.


Preceded byDhruva Dharavarsha Rashtrakuta Emperor 793–814 Succeeded byAmoghavarsha