Ādivarāha Mihir Bhoj

Emperor Mihir Bhoja (c. 836–885 CE) or Bhoja I was the most renowned king of his lineage. The mighty Rajput king of the imperial Pratihara Dynasty of Kannauj succeeded his father Ramabhadra.

Bhoja was a devotee of Lord Vishnu and adopted the title of Ādivarāha which is inscribed on some of his coins.

Rajput Samrat Mihira Bhoja Pratihar

The Pratihar Rajput king made Kannauj his capital city and extended his empire from the foothills of the Himalayas to the river Narmada in the South and Bengal in the east. One of the outstanding political figures of India in ninth century, he ranks with Dhruva Dharavarsha and Dharmapala as a great general and empire builder.

Barah copper plate inscription Mihir Bhojdeva

The Barah copper plate inscription (836 CE) describes Mihir Bhojadeva of Imperial Pratihāras as- “परम् भगवती-भक्तो महाराजश्री भोजदेव” (Param Bhagavatī Bhakto Maharāja Śrī Bhojadeva)


In his Silsilat-ut-tawārikh, Sulaimān, who visited in 851 CE, refers to Bhoja in vivid terms – “Among them (kings of Hindostan) is the king of Jurz (Gurjratra). He maintains a large army and none has so fine a cavalry. He is unfriendly to Arabs.”


Military Career

Mihira Bhoja started his career by invading the Pala Empire of Bengal, but was defeated by Devapala.

Bhoja and Bengal

Mihira Bhoja recovered from initial setbacks and invaded the Pala kingdom of Bengal. He gains the support of the Chedi ruler of Gorakhpur and the Guhilots. Mihir Bhoja defeated the Pala ruler Narayanapala and captured the western part of his empire.

Bhoja and Rashtrakutas

He defeated the Rashtrakuta king Krishna II on the banks of river Narmada and occupied Malwa. From here Bhoja moved towards Gujarat. Later he maintained the supremacy over Kathiawar peninsula. Extended his dominion over Punjab. Kalachuris of Gorakhpur were his feudatories, chandelles of Bundelkhand also accepted his overlordship.

Mihir Bhoj and Arabs

Within a year of Bhoja’s accession, the Arabs again tried their luck to invade India from the western front. As we have mentioned above that the date of Bhoja’s accession might be somewhere in 836. It is strongly believed that during this time Irman ibn Musa became the governor of Sindh who had planned a grand invasion of Bhoja’s empire. But this attack resulted in a failure.

From 833 to 842 the Arabs were successfully driven out from Kachchha and the Caliphs lost control of Sindh in a few years. Only Multan and Mansurah remained under their hegemony.

The Arabs described that Bhoja’s empire was about 120 sq Parsangaes of Sindh.

Note: Each Parsangaes is equal to 8 miles.


What they said about the Pratihar Rajput King.

Bauura (Bhoja I) is the lord of the city of Kannauj and as one of the kings of Sindh. The king of Kannauj has four armies according to the four quarters of the wind.

Al Masudi / Baghdad

The Pratihara Rajputs, from the time Nagabhata I drove Arabs back when they attacked Ujjayini, effectually protected India against the marauding invaders.

K.M. Munshi

This king maintains numerous forces and no other Indian prince has so fine a cavalry. He is unfriendly to the Arabs. Among the princes of India, there is no greater foe of the Muhammadan faith than he. His territories form a tongue of land. He has got riches and his camels and horses are numerous. Exchanges are carried on in his states with silver in dust, and there are said to be mined in the country. There is no country in India that is safer from robbers.

Suleiman / Arab Traveller