Clever, ruthless, brave, just and physically disable queen of Kashmir, Didda Rani had an iron hold on her kingdom. The reign of this queen of Parvagupta dynasty represents the status and power of women in Kashmir during that time. In Rajatarangini, she is portrayed as immoral and evil ruler, but this literature source was documented after a century of her rule.
Didda Rani was a very intelligent and influential queen; she was also the most favoured wife of her husband king Kshemagupta Deva. Its evidence can be seen of the Bronze coins of Kshemagupta, in which legend in Sharada script reads ‘Didda Kshemagupta Deva’.
After her husband died, she acted as a regent queen for her son Abhimanyudeva. Queen Didda ruled Kashmir as a regent and sole ruler for nearly 22 years. When her son Abhimanyudeva died due to illness Didda Rani again became regent for her grandson Bhimagupta. But the political condition and fate turned the tide against her and her grandson died due to mysteries circumstance.
This devastating turning point made Queen Didda the sole ruler of Kashmir, she also issued coins in her name consist legend ‘Sri Didda’. The above-shown bronze coin was issued during her reign, it features go highly stylized King in the standing position facing the sacrificing at altar towards left. There is also legend on the right side in Sharada script, which reads ‘Devya’.
The reverse of this coin depicts Ardochsho (Lakshmi) in a seated position (lalitasana) holding a diadem in right hand and a lotus in the left hand with ‘Sri Didda’ legend inscribed in Sharada script on the right.
After a long reign, she died in 1004 CE, she was succeeded by her brother's son king Vigraharaja and a new dynasty started in Kashmir.
Image Courtesy: Amit Udeshi