Bhagabhadra was one of the kings of the Indian Shunga dynasty. He ruled in north, central, and eastern India around 110 BCE. Although the capital of the Shungas was at Pataliputra, he was also known to have held court at Vidisha. It is thought that the name Bhagabhadra also appears in the regnal lists of the Shungas in the Puranic records, under the name Bhadraka, fifth ruler of the Shungas.

Shunga Emperor
Shunga masculine figurine (moulded plate). 2nd–1st century BCE.
Reignc. 110 BCE

Heliodorus inscriptionEdit

He is best known from an inscription at the site of Vidisha in central India, the Heliodorus pillar, in which contacts with an embassy from the Indo-Greek king Antialcidas is recorded, and where he is named "Kasiputra Bhagabhadra, the Saviour, son of the princess from Benares":

The Indo-Greek king Antialcidas was the one who sent an embassy to Bhagabhadra.
"Devadevasa Va [sude]vasa Garudadhvajo ayam
karito i[a] Heliodorena bhaga-
vatena Diyasa putrena Takhasilakena
Yonadatena agatena maharajasa
Amtalikitasa upa[m]ta samkasam-rano
Kasiput[r]asa [Bh]agabhadrasa tratarasa
vasena [chatu]dasena rajena vadhamanasa"
"This Garuda-standard of Vasudeva (Krishna or Vishnu), the God of Gods
was erected here by the devotee Heliodoros,
the son of Dion, a man of Taxila,
sent by the Great Greek (Yona) King
Antialkidas, as ambassador to
King Kasiputra Bhagabhadra, the Savior
son of the princess from Benares, in the fourteenth year of his reign."
(Archaeological Survey of India, Annual Report (1908-1909))
Some of the expansion work at the Great Stupa at Sanchi may have been sponsored by Bhagabhadra.

This inscription is important in that it tends to validate that the Shungas ruled in the area of Vidisa around 100 BCE. This is also corroborated by some artistic realization on the nearby Sanchi stupa thought to belong to the period of the Shungas. Altogether, three Shunga pillars have also been found in the area.[1]


  1. ^ Stadtner, Donald (1975). "A Sunga Capital from Vidisa". Artibus Asiae. 37 (1/2): 101–104. doi:10.2307/3250214. JSTOR 3250214. (Subscription required (help)).

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Preceded by
Shunga Ruler
circa 110 BCE
Succeeded by