Sena Dynasty


Sena Dynasty

▪ Indian dynasty
      Indian dynasty ruling in Bengal in the 11th and 12th centuries. Their ancestors came from the south and established themselves as chieftains in southwestern Bengal early in the 11th century. Hemantasena, the founder of the dynasty, was originally a tributary of the Pāla Dynasty. In the mid-11th century he declared his independence and set himself up as king. His successor, Vijayasena (reigned c. 1095–1158), built an empire on the ruins of that of the Pālas, gaining control of all Bengal and northern Bihār.

      Sena rule in Bengal brought about a marked revival of orthodox Hinduism. The caste system, which had become lax because of the Buddhist influence of the Pālas, was reestablished, and the Bengali system of hypergamy, the socially upward marriage of women, was reputedly founded by the Sena king Vallalāsena. The last important Sena king, Lakṣmaṇasena (c. 1178–c. 1205), became a great patron of literature; the poets Jayadeva and Dhoyi wrote at his court at Nādia. In 1202 Lakṣmaṇasena was expelled from Nādia by the Turkish chief Muḥammad Bakhtyār Khaljī and died about three years later. Sena kings continued to rule in eastern Bengal for some decades, but the main political power in Bengal passed to the Muslims.

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Universalium. 2010.

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