Toramana also called Toramana Shahi Jauvla[3] (Gupta script: Gupta allahabad to.jpgGupta allahabad r.svgGupta allahabad maa2.jpgGupta allahabad nn.svg Toramāṇa,[4] ruled circa 493-515 CE) was a king of the Alchon Huns who ruled in northern India in the late 5th and the early 6th century CE.[5] Toramana consolidated the Hephthalite power in Punjab (present-day Pakistan and northwestern India), and conquered northern and central India including Eran in Madhya Pradesh. Toramana used the title "Great King of Kings" (Mahārājadhirāja Gupta allahabad m.svgGupta ashoka haa.jpgGupta allahabad raa.jpgGupta allahabad j.svgGupta allahabad dhi.jpgGupta allahabad raa.jpgGupta allahabad j.svg), equivalent to "Emperor",[6] in his inscriptions, such as the Eran boar inscription.[7]

Ruler of the Alchon Huns
Toramana portrait (as Sa Shri Tora).jpg
Portrait of Toramana on his coinage.[1]
Toramana is located in South Asia
Kausambi (Toramana seals)
(Toramana seals)
Alchon Huns
Find spots of epigraphic inscriptions indicating local control by Toramana.[2]

The Sanjeli inscription of Toramana speaks of his conquest and control over Malwa and Gujarat. His territory also included Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Kashmir.[8] He probably went as far as Kausambi, where one of his seals was discovered.

According to the Rīsthal inscription, discovered in 1983, the Aulikara king Prakashadharma of Malwa defeated him.[9][10]


Toramana is known from Rajatarangini, through coins and inscriptions.

Punjab inscriptionEdit

An inscription found at Kura in the Salt Range records the building of a Buddhist monastery by a person named Rotta Siddhavriddhi during the reign of the Huna ruler Toramana. The donor expresses the wish that the religious merit gained by his gift be shared by him with the king and his family members.[11] In the Khurā inscription (495-500, from the Salt Range in Punjab and now in Lahore), Toramana assumes the Indian regnal titles in addition to central Asian ones: Rājādhirāja Mahārāja Toramāṇa Shahi Jauvla.[3][12][13] Among which Shahi is considered to be his Title and Jauvla being an epithet or Biruda. This is a Buddhist record in hybrid Sanskrit, recording the gift of a monastery (vihāra) to members of the Mahīśāsaka school.[14][15]

The Kura inscription of Toramana. Starting "In the prosperous reign of the King of Kings, the Great King Toramana Shahi Jauhkha...".[16][17] "Toramana" (  Gupta script:      Toramāṇa, appears in the 1st line of the inscription

Gwalior inscription of MihirakulaEdit

Gwalior inscription of Mihirakula in which Toramana is eulogized.

In the Gwalior inscription of Mihirakula, from Gwalior in northern Madhya Pradesh, India, and written in Sanskrit, Toramana is described as:

"A ruler of [the earth], of great merit, who was renowned by the name of the glorious Tôramâna; by whom, through (his) heroism that was specially characterized by truthfulness, the earth was governed with justice."

Eran Boar inscriptionEdit

The Eran boar (left) on which an inscription relating to Toramana can be found.
The Eran boar inscription.

The Eran Boar inscription (in Eran, Malwa, 540 km south of New Delhi, state of Madhya Pradesh) of his first regnal year indicates that eastern Malwa was included in his dominion. The Eran Boar inscription was erected in honor of the deity Vishnu as his avatar, Varaha.

Om ! Victorious is the god (Vishnu), who has the form of a Boar; who, in the act of lifting up the earth {out of the waters}, caused the mountains to tremble with the blows of {his} hard snout ; {and) who is the pillar {for the support) of the great house which is the three worlds !

— Eran Boar Inscription

The statue is of the deity in form of a boar, with engravings display it protecting rishis and uphilding Dharma. Additionally, the statue contains Sanskrit inscriptions inscribed on the neck of the boar, in 8 lines of in Brahmi script. It also records the building of the temple in which the current Varaha image stands, by Dhanyavishnu, the younger brother of the deceased Maharaja Matrivishnu.[18] The first line of the inscription, made after 484/85 CE mentions the "Maharajadhiraja Toramana" ("The great king of king Toramana")[2] and reads:

"In year one of the reign of the King of Kings Sri-Toramana, who rules the world with splendor and radiance...."

— Eran Boar inscription.[19]

Sack of KausambiEdit

The presence of seals in the name of "Toramana" and "Hunaraja" in Kausambi, suggests that the city was probably sacked by the Alkhons under Toramana in 497-500.[2][20][21][22]


Coin of Toramana. The initials    "Tora" in Brahmi script appear in large letters on the reverse, under the solar wheel design.[23]
A rare gold coin of Toramana with Lakshmi on the reverse (circa 490-515), inspired from contemporary Gupta coins, such as those of Narasimhagupta Baladitya. The obverse legend reads "avanipati torama(no) vijitya vasudham divam jayati": "The lord of the earth, Toramana, having conquered the earth, wins Heaven".[24][25]
Inscription              Mahārājadhirāja Shrī Toramāṇa ("Great King of Kings, Lord Toramana"), in the Gupta script, in the Eran boar inscription.[7]
Silver coin of Toramana in Western Gupta Empire style, with the Gupta peacock and Brahmi legend on the reverse: vijitavaniravanipati sri toramana divam jayati. Similar to the silver coin type of Skandagupta for example, although Toramana faces to left whether Gupta rulers faced to the right, a possible symbol of antagonism.[26] On the obverse the date "52" is also inscribed.[27] A modern image: [1].

According to the Rishtal stone-slab inscription, discovered in 1983, the Aulikara king Prakashadharma of Malwa defeated him in 515 CE.[9][2]

Toramana may also have been defeated by the Indian Emperor Bhanugupta of the Gupta Empire in 510 A.D. according to the Eran inscription, although the "great battle" to which Bhanagupta participated is not explicited.[28][29][30]

A few silver coins of Toramana closely followed the Gupta silver coins. The only difference in the obverse is that the king's head is turned to the left. The reverse retains the fantailed peacock and the legend is almost similar, except the change of name to Toramana Deva.[31][32]

A Jaina work of the 8th century, the Kuvalayamala states that he lived in Pavvaiya on the bank of the Chandrabhaga and enjoyed the sovereignty of the world.[33]


Toramana was succeeded by his son Mihirakula.[34]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ ALRAM, MICHAEL (2003). "Three Hunnic Bullae from Northwest India" (PDF). Bulletin of the Asia Institute. 17: 180, Figure 11. ISSN 0890-4464.
  2. ^ a b c d Hans Bakker 24th Gonda lecture
  3. ^ a b Agrawal, Ashvini (1989). Rise and Fall of the Imperial Guptas. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. ISBN 978-81-208-0592-7.
  4. ^ Fleet, John Faithfull (1960). Inscriptions Of The Early Gupta Kings And Their Successors. p. 162.
  5. ^ Grousset, Rene (1970). The Empire of the Steppes. Rutgers University Press. pp. 70-71. ISBN 0-8135-1304-9.
  6. ^ "the Huna emperor Toramana" in Agrawal, Ashvini (1989). Rise and Fall of the Imperial Guptas. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 251. ISBN 9788120805927.
  7. ^ a b Fleet, John Faithfull (1960). Inscriptions Of The Early Gupta Kings And Their Successors. pp. 158–161.
  8. ^ Dani, Ahmad Hasan (1999). History of Civilizations of Central Asia: The crossroads of civilizations, A.D. 250 to 750. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 142. ISBN 8120815408. Retrieved 5 November 2012.
  9. ^ a b Ojha, N.K. (2001). The Aulikaras of Central India: History and Inscriptions, Chandigarh: Arun Publishing House, ISBN 81-85212-78-3, pp.48-50
  10. ^ Salomon, Richard (1989). "New Inscriptional Evidence For The History Of The Aulikaras of Mandasor". Indo-Iranian Journal. 32 (1): 27. doi:10.1163/000000089790082971. ISSN 0019-7246. JSTOR 24654606.
  11. ^ Upinder Singh (2017). Political Violence in Ancient India. Harvard University Press. p. 240. ISBN 9780674981287.
  12. ^ Katariya, Adesh (25 November 2007). Ancient History of Central Asia: Yuezhi origin Royal Peoples: Kushana, Huna, Gurjar and Khazar Kingdoms. Adesh Katariya.
  13. ^ Gupta, Parmanand (1977). Geographical Names in Ancient Indian Inscriptions. Concept Publishing Company.
  14. ^ "Siddham. The Asian Inscription Database | IN00101 Khura Inscription of Toramana". Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  15. ^ Burgess (1892). Epigraphia Indica Vol 1. Archaeological Society of India. pp. 238–245.
  16. ^ Balogh, Dániel. Hunnic Peoples in Central and South Asia: Sources for their Origin and History. Barkhuis. pp. 326–327. ISBN 978-94-93194-01-4.
  17. ^ Burgess, James (1898). Epigraphia Indica Vol.1. pp. 238–241.
  18. ^ Fleet (1888)
  19. ^ Coin Cabinet of the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
  20. ^ Indian History, Allied Publishers p.81
  21. ^ Dynastic History of Magadha, Cir. 450-1200 A.D., by Bindeshwari Prasad Sinha p.70
  22. ^ Geography from Ancient Indian Coins & Seals, by Parmanand Gupta p.175
  23. ^ Dani, Ahmad Hasan; Litvinsky, B. A. (1996). History of Civilizations of Central Asia: The crossroads of civilizations, A.D. 250 to 750. UNESCO. p. 175. ISBN 9789231032110.
  24. ^ CNG Coins
  25. ^ The Identity of Prakasaditya by Pankaj Tandon, Boston University
  26. ^ Tripathi, Rama S. (1989). History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 45 Note 1. ISBN 9788120804043.
  27. ^ Smith, Vincent Arthur; Edwardes, S. M. (Stephen Meredyth) (1924). The early history of India : from 600 B.C. to the Muhammadan conquest, including the invasion of Alexander the Great. Oxford : Clarendon Press. p. Plate 2.
  28. ^ Archaeological Excavations in Central India: Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, by Om Prakash Misra p.7
  29. ^ Encyclopaedia of Indian Events & Dates by S. B. Bhattacherje A15
  30. ^ The Classical Age by R.K. Pruthi p.262
  31. ^ Gupta, P.L. (2000). Coins, New Delhi: National Book Trust, ISBN 81-237-1887-X, p.78
  32. ^ The Identity of Prakasaditya by Pankaj Tandon p.661, with photograph
  33. ^ Mahajan V.D. (1960, reprint 2007). Ancient India, S.Chand & Company, New Delhi, ISBN 81-219-0887-6, p.519
  34. ^ "Gwalior Stone Inscription of Mihirakula" (PDF). Project South Asia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 August 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2009.
Preceded by
Khingila I
Tegin of the Alchon Huns Succeeded by