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Khen dynasty

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Title: Khen dynasty  
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Subject: Kamata Kingdom, Timeline of history of Assam, Cooch Behar
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Khen dynasty

Khen Kingdom
Khen dynasty

Capital Kamarupanagara
Languages Assamese
Religion Hinduism
Government Monarchy
 •  c. 1185 - c. 1228 Prithu
 •  c. 1350 – c. 1365 Indra Narayan
 •  c. 1480– c. 1498 Nilambar
Historical era Classical India
 •  Established 1185
 •  Disestablished 1498

The Khen dynasty of Assam replaced the Pala dynasty in the 12th century. Their accession marks the end of the Kamarupa kingdom, and the beginning of the Kamata kingdom.

According to the Gosani Mangala (1823), the Khen rulers had a humble origin, implying that they were probably local non-Aryan chieftains that rose to power after the fall of the Palas. Ethnically, they are possibly related to the Kheng people of nearby Bhutan. They worshipped Kamatashwari (also called Chandi or Bhavani), thus providing a break from the earlier dynasties that drew their lineage from Narakasura, the son of Vishnu. Along with the change in the deity, the Khen rulers moved the capital from Kamarupanagara to Kamatapura further west on the banks of the Dharla River. Under the patronage of Kamata rulers (e.g. Durlabh Narayan), some of the first examples of Assamese literature were composed.

The kingdom of Kamatapura finally fell to Alauddin Husain Shah in 1498. But Hussein Shah could not rule the kingdom— Bhuyan chiefs of the region, with the help of the Ahom king, Suhungmung, defeated the invaders in 1505. Soon control of the Kamata kingdom passed into the hands of the Koch dynasty.


The first king Prithu is known from the Kanai Varasiboa rock inscription in which a reference is made of the destruction of Bakhtiyar Khilji's army in 1205. This was followed by the defeat of Giasuddin in 1227, but in 1228, Prithu was defeated by Mahmud Shah, the son of Iltutmish, and the Turkic army reached the Nagaon area. After Nassiruddin's death, Prithu's successor, Sandhya, removed the Turkic influence.


  • Prithu (1185-1228)
  • Sandhya (1228–1260)
  • Sindhu Rai (1260–1285)
  • Rup Narayan (1285–1300)
  • Singhadhwaj (1300–1305)
  • Pratapdhwaj (1305–1325)
  • Dharma Narayan (1325–1330)
  • Durlabh Narayan (1330–1350)
  • Indra Narayan (1350–1365)
  • Sasanka (Arimatta) (1365–1385)
  • Gajanka (1385–1400)
  • Sukranka (1400–1415)
  • Mriganka (1415–1440)
  • Niladhwaj (1440–1460)
  • Chakradhwaj (1460–1480)
  • Nilambar (1480–1498)


  • Acharyya, N. N. The History of Medieval Assam (From the 13th to the 17th century), Guwahati, 1966.
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