Rudrasena II

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Rudrasena II (256-278 CE) was Vakataka King. On the death of Vakataka King Rudrasena II, his queen Prabhavatigupta, the daughter of Chandragupta II (376-413 AD),ruled her husband's kingdom for at least about 13 years, even though she is known to have three sons. Prabhavatigupta issued the Poona copper plate inscription in the 13th year of her rule as the mother of the Yuvaraja Divakarasena. In her Rithpur copper plate inscription issued in the 19th regnal year of her son Pravarasena II, Prabhavati is represented as the mother of Maharaja Damodarasena and Pravarasena II. [1]

In this context we must note that Prabhavatigupta, the daughter of Chandragupta II and chief queen of the Vakataka king Rudrasena II describes herself as belonging to the Dharana gotra in her Poona and Rithpur copper plate inscriptions. Dharana is clearly the gotra of her father, as the gotra of her husband is specifically mentioned as 'Visnuvrddha' in the Chammak copper plate inscription of Pravarasena II. [2][3]

The Kshatrapa dynasty seems to have reached a high level of prosperity under the rule of Rudrasena II (256-278), 19th ruler of Kshatrapa.

The last Kshatrapa ruler of the Chastana family was Visvasena (Vishwasen), brother and successor to Bhratadarman and son of Rudrasena II. A new family took over, started by the rule of Rudrasimha II, son of Lord (Svami) Jivadaman.

Defeat by the Guptas (c. 400 CE)

A new family took control under Rudrasimha III. A fragment from the Natya-darpana mentions the Gupta king Ramagupta, the elder brother of Chandragupta II, decided to expand his kingdom by attacking the Western Satraps in Gujarat.

The campaign soon took a turn for the worse and the Gupta army was trapped. The Saka king, Rudrasimha III, demanded that Ramagupta hand over his wife Dhruvadevi in exchange for peace. To avoid the ignominy the Guptas decide to send Madhavasena, a courtesan and a beloved of Chandragupta, disguised as the queen. However, Chandragupta changes the plan and himself goes to the Saka King disguised as the queen. He then kills Rudrasimha and later his own brother, Ramagupta. Dhruvadevi is then married to Chandragupta.

The Western Satraps were eventually conquered by emperor Chandragupta II. This brought and end to the rule of the Shakas on the subcontinent.


  1. Studies in the Political and Administrative Systems in Ancient and Medieval, by By D.C. Sircar, p.33
  2. Tej Ram Sharma:Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions, p. 17
  3. D.C. Sircar, Select Inscriptions, pp. 436-37, f.n. 9 : The queen refers to her paternal gotra rather than that of her husband's family