|350 CE–655 CE|
|Official languages||Sanskrit, Kamarupi Prakrit|
|Religion||Hinduism, Tribal religion|
• c. 350 – c. 374
• c. 518 – c. 542
• c. 600 – c. 650
|Historical era||Classical India|
|Part of a series on the|
|History of Assam|
The Varman dynasty (350–650) was the first historical dynasty of the Kamarupa kingdom. It was established by Pushyavarman, a contemporary of Samudragupta. The earlier Varmans were subordinates of the Gupta Empire, but as the power of the Guptas waned, Mahendravarman (470–494) performed two horse sacrifices and the status of Kamarupa as an independent state remained unimpaired. As per the Apsad Inscription of Adityasen, Susthivarman was defeated by Mahasengupta on the bank of Lauhitya. The first of the three Kamarupa dynasties, the Varmans were followed by the Mlechchha and then the Pala dynasties.
The first king in this dynasty was Pushyavarman, possibly a contemporary of Samudragupta (c. 335/350-375 CE). The kingdom which he established with much effort, grew in the periphery of the Gupta Empire, adopted the north Indian political model, and its kings took on names and titles of the Gupta kings and queens. Nothing much is known directly about the initial kings till the sixth king, Mahendravarman, who established a rock temple and assumed the title of Maharajadhiraja (king-of-kings) in the last quarter of the fifth century. The dynastic line from Pushyavarman first appear in the 7th century, in Dubi and Nidhanpur copperplate inscriptions issued by Bhaskaravarman and in the Harshacharita and not earlier in any inscription from his ancestors. In these inscriptions Bhaskaravarman claims that he was a descendant of Narakasur, Bhagadatta and Vajradatta. Modern scholars consider this claim to be a fabrication, jae-eun shin suggests that this genealogy was created in the context of Bharkarvarman's alliance with Harshavardhana, to help legitimise his sovereignty. The use of Naraka/Bhagadatta lineage to establish sovereignty continued under the Mlechchha and the Pala dynasties, a practice which is in keeping with the trend in the post-Gupta period in India.
She-Kia-Fang-Che claiming him to be a kshatriya whose ancestors came from China. Though some modern scholars have opined that the Varman dynasty is probably of Indo-Aryan descent, it is now believed that the Varmans were originally non-Indo-Aryans. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee calls Bhaskaravarman a Hinduised Mlechcha king of Indo-Mongoloid origin. Hugh B. Urban also infers that the Varmans descended from non-Aryan tribes.
The capital was moved at least once, the last time by Sthitavarman (566-590) with the older city not named but presumed to be Pragjyotishpura, located at the south-eastern slope of the Narakasur hill near Dispur. The new capital was possibly some location in Guwahati. Though the claim is not supported by any archaeological findings.
The Varman's modeled themselves after the Gupta's and named themselves after the Gupta kings and queens.
The dynastic line, as given in the Dubi and Nidhanpur copperplate inscriptions:
|2||374-398||Samudravarman||son of Pushyavarman||Dattadevi|
|3||398-422||Balavarman||son of Samudravarman||Ratnavati|
|4||422-446||Kalyanavarman||son of Balavarman||Gandharavati|
|5||446-470||Ganapativarman||son of Kalyanavarman||Yajnavati|
|6||470-494||Mahendravarman||son of Ganapativarman||Suvrata|
|7||494-518||Narayanavarman||son of Mahendravarman||Devavati|
|8||518-542||Bhutivarman||son of Narayanavarman||Vijnayavati|
|9||542-566||Chandramukhavarman||son of Bhutivarman||Bhogavati|
|10||566-590||Sthitavarman||son of Chandramukhavarman||Nayanadevi|
|11||590-595||Susthitavarman||son of Sthitavarman||Syamadevi|
|12||595-600||Supratisthitavarman||son of Susthitavarman||(Bachelor)|
|13||600-650||Bhaskaravarman||brother of Supratisthitavarman||(Bachelor)|
The status of Kamarupa remained unimpaired as the grandson of Bhutivarman also performed two Asvamedha sacrifices
Again the Apsad Inscription of Adityasen refer to his grandfather Mahasengupta's defeat of Susthivarmand on the bank of Lauhitya. Susthivarman was the King of Kamarupa