Kamboja Kings of Mahabharata

Kamboja Kings of Mahabharata

Yashovarman Kamboja

In the country of Kamboj there was a king named Yashovarman. He was a religious minded ruler, arid happiness prevailed in his kingdom. But the king had become old and had no children”


King Yashovarman Kamboj probably belonged to Pre-epic era: (1400/1300 BC).

The Kamboja and Gandhara kingdoms, being located in the extreme Uttarapatha of Madhyadesha or Aryanvarta, the Madhyadesha writers were not as familiar with these extreme kingdoms as they were with interior ones. Hence we have limited information on the ‘personal names’ of the Kamboja/Gandhara kings but especially about Kamboja kings as the Kamboja kingdoms were located at the extreme, in Central Asia, even beyond Gandhara. So the Kamboja kings has simply been addressed as ‘Kamboj’ (a tribal name) by the Aryavartan writers….as if this ‘Kamboj’ was their personal name. (Panini).

These were the Kamboja Kings mentioned in the Mahabharata:

Sudakshina Kamboja

Sudakshina Kamboja is the third king of the Kambojas referred to in the Mahabharata. And is also the most referenced of all the Kamboja kings in the whole Mahabharata and most illustrious warrior of the Kambojas of Epic Age.

Read complete article on Sudakshina Kamboja. click here

Chandravarma Kamboja

Chandravarma Kamboja is the first Kamboja king mentioned by name in the Mahabharata. He appears to have been an ancient and very powerful ruler of the Kambojas. He finds mention in the Adiparva section of the Epic poetry|epic where he is stated to be an Asura or a demonic ruler (See main entry candra in Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary) [https://students.washington.edu/prem/mw/c.html].

Mahabharata styles Chandravarma as an incarnation of Daitya Chandra, the foremost among the powerful sons of goddess Diti.

The Mahabharata reference also implies that this Chandravarma was extremely handsome and illustrious king of the Kambojas.

Saskritchandras.tu.ditija.zrestho.loke.taaraa.adhipa.upamah.|Candra.varmati vikhiyaatah Kambojanam.nra.dhipah. || 32 || – (MBH, 1/67/31-32 Vulgate, Gorakhpore)
Translation: "The foremost among the sons of Diti known by the name of Candra and handsome as the lord of the stars himself became on earth noted as Chandravarma, the king of the Kambojas" [https://www.ibiblio.org/sripedia/ebooks/mb/m01/m01068.htm].

In Brahmanical allegories, sons of Diti are called Maruts. They are all said to be great warriors. One Marut is stated to have even conquered the gods. Obviously, this Marut might have been the so-called Daitya Chandra, whom the epic styles as the foremost among the sons of Diti.

Since Chandravarma of Kambojas is described as an incarnation of this Daitya Chandra, it is also obvious that Kamboja Chandravarma may indeed have been an illustrious and mighty warrior.

The Kamboj/Kamboh community traditions claim one Chander Burman as a god, and the royal ancestor of the Kambojas. Kamboj traditions also claim that certain raja Sodakhsh was a descendent of god Chander Burman, and had sided with the The Kurus |Kauravas against the Pandavas, in the prolonged war of Kurukshetra |Kurukhetra. These facts were collected at the end of ninetieth century by one British ethnographer H. A Rose.

It is obvious that the Sodakhsh of the Kamboj traditions refers to great Sudakshina of Mahbharata fame (Glossary of Tribes, Vol I, pp 444-445, H. A. Rose)

The present Kamboj community claims to have descended from god Chander Burman.

God Chander Burman of the Kamboj traditions can easily be identified with Asura king Chandravarma, referenced in the Adiparava of Mahabharata.

This traditional evidence thus points at the Iranian affinities of the Kambojas.

Kamatha Kamboja

Sabhaparva section of Mahabharata refers to a king of the Kambojas called Kamatha Kamboja. He is the second prince of the Kambojas referenced in the great epic.

After the colonization of Khandavaprastha by the Pandavas, a magnificent palace was raised by Danava Maya, for the Pandava king Yudhishtra.

To celebtrate the occasion, Yudhishtra had sent invitations to all the principal Kshatriya princes, royal Achariyas and other salient personages of the time to grace the inauguration of the imperial palace.

In the list of salient royal Kshatriya (Kshatriya.shrestha) princes so referenced, is a reference to one: Kaamboja.rajah.Kamatha i.e Kamatha, the prince of the Kambojas.
tathaa.eva.kshatriya.shresthaa.dharma.raajam.upaasate. ||20 ||....................................................................................Kaksa.senah.ksiti.patih.ksemakaz.ca.aparajitah.| Kaamboja.rajah.kamatha.kampanaz.ca.mahaa.balah || 22 ||
– (MBH 2.4.20-22)

This king ‘Kamath Kamboj’ was contemporary of Yudhistra, and he graced Yudhishtra court during the inaugration ceremony of ‘Indraprastha city’ raised by Pandavas in Khandava-bana.(Ancient Kamboja, People & the Country, 1981, Dr J. L. kamboj, p 52)

It is believable that king Kamath Kamboj was the king of KASHMIR. with whom, Mahabali ‘Karana’ had to fight at Rajapura or Rajaori.

Karana Rajapuram Gatva Kamboja Nirjitastvaya– (MBH 7/4/6)

However, no further information on this prince is found at any place in the Mahabharata after this reference.

See the site below which also identifies this Kamboja King ‘KAMATH’ KAMBOJ:


"Kamat: a king of Kamboj and member of the court of Yudhisthira"

Parpakash Kamboja

The fourth prince of the Kambojas referenced in the Mahabharata is the younger brother of the illustrious prince Sudakshina Kamboja. In the Epic poetry|epic, this prince is simply addressed as Kamboja, but according to Pandit Bhagavadatta Sharma, the real name of the prince was Parpakash Kamboja (Bharata ka Itihaas, p 161).

Prince Kamboja had also participated in the destructive war of Kurukshetra, and had fought ferocious duels on Kaurava's behalf. Like a true Kshatriya, the Kamboja prince had fought for the The Kurus |Kurus with dedication, valor, honor, loyalty, sacrifice and in full compliance of the war ethics. After brave Sudakshina fell on fourteenth day of the war, the young prince had taken over the supreme command of Kamboja division (Some Kshatriya Tribes, p 246, Dr B. C. Law).

On 17th day of the war, prince Kamboja also fell a magnificent martyr to Kuru cause at the hands of great Arjuna (MBH 8/56/111-114)

Like his elder brother Sudakshina, the young prince is also portrayed as very tall and exceedigly handsome, having a face as beautiful as the full moon and eyes resembling lotus petals. As this Kamboja prince fell fighting, it appeared as if a tower of gold or a summit of the golden Meru |Sumeru had collapsed [https://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/m08/m08056.htm].

Sanskrit:hastyashvarathapattina.n vratannighnantamarjunam |sudakshinadavarajah sharavrishtyabhyavivrishat || 111 || asyasyato.ardhachandrabhya.n sa bahu parighopamau | purnachandrabhavaktra.n cha kshurenabhyahanachchhirah || 112 ||
sa papata tato vahatsvalohita parisravah | manahshila gireh shringa.n vajrenevavadaritam || 113 || sudakshinadavaraja.n Kambojam dadrishurhatam | pramshu.n kamalapatrakshamatyartham priyadarshanam | kanchana~stambhasa nkasham bhinna.n hemagirim yatha ||114 || :– (MBH 8.56.111-114)

The fact that the young prince had survived 16 days of destructive war shows him to have been an accomplished warrior.

Deepak Kamboj

Deepak Kamboj

Deepak Kamboj started and conceptualized the powerful interactive platform - KambojSociety.com in September 2002, which today is the biggest and most popular online community portal for Kambojas in the world. He was inspired by the social and community work carried out by his father Shri Nanak Chand Kamboj. He has done research on the history, social aspects, political growth and economical situation of the Kamboj community. Deepak Kamboj is an author of various articles about the history of Kamboj community and people.