Mihirakula, son of Vasukula ruled Kashmir between 704-634 BCE and belonged to Gonanda Dynasty.
Indian historians have wrongly identified him as Huna (Mongol) king and son of Toramana.
Infact, Toramana was twin brother of Hiranya, who ruled Kashmir between 16 BCE – 14 CE. Both brothers ruled alternate years before Hiranya got Toramana arrested. Toramana’s son was Pravarasena-II, who ruled between 19-79 CE.
Mihirakula was only son of Vasukula and he developed a passion for war, physical training since childhood.
Vasukula understood intentions of his son, kept himself under house arrest for 10 days and starved to death. During these 10 days, Mihirakula slowly took over the administration in 704 BCE.
After death of his father, he tried to coronate himself as king, but Kashmir Pandits objected to this, saying that only a married man has rights to get coronated as king.
Mihirakula continued to rule without official coronation ceremony and launched invasions on neighbouring kingdoms.
During one of his attacks, he sent a message to Gandhara King (modern day Kandahar in Afghanistan) to chose between surrender or war.
One night, Gandhara princess Kalyanavati, dressed as a male soldier, came to Mihirakula and offered her hand in marriage as a compromise.
Mihirakula married her and got officially coronated as king of Kashmir.
Attack on Sinhala King (Sri Lanka)
After marriage, Mihirakula reduced violence and remained in his capital for some time.
One day, he saw his wife Kalyanavati wearing an upper cloth made of a silk.
The cloth was a special type of weave (similar to Barleycorn weave, in sanskrit : Yamusha Deva) with golden foot prints on it.
King noticed that those gold foot prints were embroidered on breasts part of the blouse.
He enquired about origin of this cloth and understood that they were weaved in Sinhala Kingdom (Sri Lanka) and sold in other kingdoms. Those foot prints were of Sinhala King.
Silent Mihirakula turned violent and launched an attack on Sinhala.
Huge army travelled south and reached Rameswaram. From there, thousands of ships, boats were used to reach Sinhala (Lanka) Island.
Sinhala army had no time to understand that they were under an attack and before they could know the reason, Mihirakula killed all soldiers guarding the gates.
He smashed open the doors of fort and captured Sinhala King.
He bought his wife’s blouse with those footprints and upon confirming that they belonged to Sinhala King, he killed him by squeezing his neck.
Mihirakula stayed in Sinhala for one month and coronated one of the dead king’s descendant.
He installed Kala Bhairava idol in sinhala capital and every day offered garland made of 108 skulls, which belonged to sinhala soldiers.
Buddhism established in Lanka by Asoka (Asoka Vardhana 1472 – 1436 BCE) was followed by many during this attack. Mihirakula killed large number of them.
Meanwhile, Chola (Tamil), Karnataka, Chera (Kerala) kings sent their armies to help Sinhala King.
Their boats were turned upside down in sea by kashmir army.
Mihirakula brought all the Yamusha Deva cloth with foot prints from entire Sinhala and burnt it.
Later he took the remaining cloth which had no footprints with him back to Kashmir.
During his return journey, he attacked and defeated those kings who tried to help Sinhala king.
His army burnt villages, killed uncountable men and women. Wells were dried of water but filled with blood.
He captured lakhs of soldiers and reached Kashmir along with tonnes of Yamusha Deva cloth and dead body of Sinhala King.
By that time, Kalyanavati delivered a male child. He was later named Baka.
(Mihirakula’s brother-in-law, who was Gandhara king’s adopted son, used to call him Bakasura for his violent nature of killing multiple people each day. To remember this nick name, Mihirakula named his son as Baka, but he turned out to be a soft natured person after growing up.)
Mihirakula said “O Queen, today i will show you Ravana. Kings of Bharata could not understand the insult of this person’s footprints being on breasts of their wives. But, similar to Sri Rama, who attacked Lanka to avenge his wife’s kidnap, i too attacked Sinhala and brought this king’s dead body to show you.
Saying this, he threw that foot printed blouse on sinhala king’s mummified dead body and burnt him.
He distributed all the Yamusha Deva cloth among his men and asked it to be sent to all kingdoms in Bharata Varsha.
Distorted Sri Lankan history has never mentioned this incident as historians followed already distorted Indian history and tried to match dates.
Sadistic nature of Mihirakula
The king enforced law and order by strict punishments.
Every evening he used to visit the jail where prisoners are kept and punishments were like, smashing joint bones with sharp iron rods and then piercing those bleeding joints, peeling off the skin or removing organs while keeping the prisoner alive.
King used to gain pleasure by listening to their screams. He felt more happier while women screamed with pain.
His father-in-law had no sons, so he got involved and killed all those who revolted and convinced Gandhara king to adopt one of his relative’s son Neelanka.
During this process, he captured lakhs of men who revolted against king. He also captured those who helped Mlecchas from neighbouring countries.
Women who committed adultery with Mlecchas were also captured and brought to Kashmir, where they were cruelly punished.
He used to worship Betala, Yama but never felt satisfied with all the mass murders.
One night, his deity appeared in dream and said that he will get to know source for more satisfaction by next morning.
Mihirakula woke up in morning by hearing a big scream that came from nearby mountains.
Upon enquiry, he gets to know that an elephant from army, slipped along with mountain cliff rock during routine military exercise and died.
While slipping off the cliff, the elephant screamed along with Mahout (elephant trainer) and king realized the source of his satisfaction.
King ordered that the cliff rock which fell along with elephant, should be pulled up and reinstated on mountain.
It took one full day to achieve it and in this process many soldiers died.
From next morning, king ordered that every morning before sunrise, Mahouts will take elephants onto the cliff and slip off.
Every morning king used to wake up with sounds of elephants screaming with fear of death.
Those dead bodies were recovered and cremated each day.
Every day, mountain cliff was replaced at its original position and elephant along with Mahout was forced to slip off.
King’s routine was to wake up with screaming sounds of elephants while falling off the cliff.
There were Mahouts who revolted against this processs, but they were thrown off the mountain peak.
This elephant killing process went on for 150 days and ultimately Mihirakula felt satisfied and stopped it.
Mihirkula murdered 20 Million Women
While he was diverting the river Chandrakulya, a rock in midstream which was impossible to remove, caused obstruction.
Then to the king who had practised penance, his deity spoke in a dream that, a mighty Yaksa who is a Brahmachari resides here in the rock.
Only a chaste woman (Pativrata, who never committed adultery in her life), should touch the rock and can move it.
The following day, king ordered every married woman in nearby village to touch the rock.
Women kept coming but failed to move it.
Atlast king asked his wife Kalyanavati to touch it. She too tried but failed. Upon witnessing failure of queen, other women did not dare to attempt.
Atlast, a washerwoman named Chandravati came forward and moved with rock.
She was offered 10000 gold coins and many gifts.
10 days later, King ordered mass murders of all the village women who failed to move the rock.
All those women were made to stand on the river bank and soldiers chopped theirs heads off. Those who tried to run away were caught and killed.
The entire place was filled with dead bodies of women. About 2 crore women were beheaded in this process.
Queen came to know about this and objected.
Remaining women were sent off with their husbands.
Next day she asked king to fight with her but king, who already coronated his son Baka, jumped into a fire pit and committed suicide. He felt guilty for killing other women, except his wife.
Kalyanavati too committed suicide by stabbing herself immediately.
Historians have wrongly written that Huna king Mihirakula was defeated by Malwa king Yasodharman in 528 CE. The Mihirakula of Gwalior inscription was not Kashmir king.
Reference : Rajatarangini by Kalhana