(Last Updated on : 02/02/2009)
The Hunas lived in central Asia on the border of china and were band of nomad savages. They used to live a barbaric and cruel life. They were uncivilized, cruel and lovers of war. They maintained a big army for plundering the enemies and also for the sake of their security. It was their daily business to kill and plunder the enemies. The defeated the Yuch-chi and drove them away from the western china. But on account of growing population and the difficulties in their livelihood, they were compelled to leave their original place. The Hunas advanced towards the west and were divided into two sections. The one section went towards Volga while the other came towards Oxusr. The Hunas, who advanced towards Europe, were called black Hunas whereas those came to Persia and India were called white. In 487, their king Akschounwar increased their prestige by killing the last king of Persia called Firoz, and till the end of sixth century they ruled over the vast empire of Persia. After establishment their base in Persia, the Hunas started the invasion of India.
The Hunas had attacked India for the first time in 455 A.D. but were badly defeated. But afterwards they set up a reign, i.e. Prince or a member of royal family was placed there. After making their base at Gandhara they again invaded India. This time the Hunas were led by Tormana. `Kuvalaya mala` and `Kur` inscriptions indicate that they captured Pubala and by attacking Malava compelled Dhanyavishnu to accept their suzerainty.
However, the reign of Tormana did not last for long in Malava. Another inscription of Eran indicates that Bhanugupta forgo a hard and terrible war with the Hunas. In this war Bhanu Gupta was helped by a Samanta name Goparaja. Dr. Majumdar and Dr. Ray Chaudhry are of the opinion that though the Samanta Goparaja was killed, yet Bhanu gupta won the battle. The inscription of 510 to 528 A.D. refer that Parivarajaka dynasty was under the control of Guptas. This indicates that the rule of Tormana did not last for a long time in central India.
It is believed that Tormana died near about 515 A.D.
Mihirkula succeeded Tormana as a king in 515 A.D. According to Hieun Tsang Sakala was his capital. Hieun Tsang has also written that Mihirlcula had captured this city and ruled over India. He had conquered all his neighbouring states. In beginning he had his leanings towards the Buddhism, but later on ordered that all the Buddhist should be killed and nothing should be left of the Buddhist religion. According to a Chinese scholar, he was a staunch enemy of Buddhism. He was a follower of Shaiva religion and experienced great enjoyment and satisfaction in the persecution of the Buddhist.
Mihirkula was a man of a very violent disposition. He ruled Kashmir and Gandhara. It is said that he also conquered Ceylon and the southern India. But it cannot be said as to how far it is correct. An inscription of 530 A.D. indicates that his sovereign extended up to Gwalior. It is said that his authority extended and was acknowledged even beyond that. Cosmas has described him as lord of `India`. However, Mandasur inscription indicates that Mihirkula was soon defeated. Mandasur inscription of Yasodharman states that "Respect was paid to his feet by even that kind Mihirklua whose head had never been brought to the humility of obeisance of any other save or the god i.e. sthanu or siva, and embraced by whose arms the mountain of snow i.e., himalayas falsely prides itself on being styled as inaccessible fortress."
Defeat of Mihirkula
There are two versions of the defeat of Mihirkula. According to Hiuen Tsang, Gupta king Baladitya had defeated him. But Mandasur inscription indicates that he had been defeated by Yashodharman.
Attack on Ceylon
It is also said that Mihirkula had led an expedition against the king of Ceylon. It is stated that "His queen was wearing the king of Ceylon. With the print of the Cey- king oi Ceylon made cross let on her bosom lonese king`s feet. Mihirkula took it as an insult and invaded Ceylon and destroyed it." But it cannot be ascertained as how far this is correct.
Death of Mihirkula
No definite date is available regarding the death of Mihirkula.. Some writers are of the view that he died in 540 while other writers fix the date of his death to 547 A.D. According to Hieun Tsang, "Thunder and hail and a thick darkness and the earth shook a mighty tempest regard."
Religion of Mihirkula
There is nothing definite that known about the religion of Mihirkula. He had persecuted the Buddhists and had committed great atrocities on them. His coins have the figure of Nandi which indicate that he was worshipper of Siva.. Gwalior inscription indicates that he was also worshipper of Sun. and because of his inclination towards sun he built a sun temple.
Fall of Hunas
The whole empire of Hunas declined immediately after the death of Mihirkula. In between 563 and 567 A.D they were devastated by the Turks and Iranians at the bank of river Oxus. Thus their power came to an end in the central Asia. In India Rajputs destroyed their power. For some time after the death of Mihirkula small chiefs of the Hunas continued to rule over Punjab and western India but they were completely eclipsed culturally. Thus the power of the Hunas came to an end in India.