Rajput Period Was Dark Age Of India
Rise of rajputs
- After the death of Harshavardhana, the process of decentralization in North India accelerated. In the absence of any powerful central power, small independent states were established.
- The rulers of those established states were called ‘Rajputs‘ in the seventh-eighth centuries. His influence in the politics of North India continued till the twelfth century.
- In Indian history, this period is known as ‘Rajput period’. Some historians also call it the pre-medieval period of the treaty, because it serves to establish the link between the ancient period and the medieval period.
- The word ‘Rajput’ is a reference to Sanskrit Rajput. Probably in ancient times the term was not used as a caste but for members of the royal family, but after the death of Harsha the word Rajputra started being used as a caste.
- There are different views regarding the origin of these Rajputs. Some scholars consider it to be a caste living in India, while others consider it as a child of foreigners.
- Some scholars consider the Rajputs to have originated from the fire pit of Maharishi Vashishta on Mount Abu.
- Pratiharas, Chalukyas, Chauhans and Parmar Rajputs are believed to be born from this.
- Scholars like Colonel Tod consider Rajputs to be children of foreign castes like Shakas, Kushans and Huns.
- Scholars like Dr. Ishwari Prasad and Bhandarkar also consider Rajputs as foreigners.
- GN Ojha And P.C. Vaidya and many other historians believe that Rajputs are the children of ancient Kshatriyas.
- Smith believes that Rajputs were descendants of ancient primitive castes – Gonds, Kharwars, Bhars, etc.
- During this period, the principal dynasties of Rajputs in North India – Chauhan, Parmar, Gurjar, Pratihar, Pal, Chandel, Gahadwal etc. established their kingdoms.
- The most important of the Rajputs of Agnikul was of Pratihara dynasty. Those who are also known as Gurjara-Pratihara due to their association with Gurjars.
- According to tradition, Harivansh is considered to be the founder of the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty, but the real founder of this dynasty is believed to be Nagabhatta I.
- The primary information of the Pratihara dynasty is obtained from the Aihole inscription of Pulakeshin II, the Harshacharita of Baan and the description of Hieun Tsang.
- The kingdom of Pratiharas was spread over a wide area of North India. It was spread over the areas of Ganga-Yamuna, Doab, Western Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab.
- Nagabhatta I (730–756 AD) protected western India from the Arab rulers of Sindh. In the Gwalior commendation, it has been called the ‘destroyer of the Mlechchas (Arab rulers of Sindh)’.
- Vatsaraja (780–805 AD) was the powerful ruler of this dynasty. After Vatsaraja his son Nagabhatta II (800-833 AD) ascended the throne. He captured Kannauj and made him the capital of the Pratihara Empire.
- Mihirbhoj’s son defeated Malakya, the Rashtrakuta ruler, obtained Malwa and held titles like Adivarah and Prabhas.
Famous scholar Rajasekhar resided in the court of Mahendrapal I, son of Mihirbhoja.
- Rajasekhar composed famous Jain texts such as Karpoor Manjari, Kavyamimansa, Vidashalamanjika, Balabharata, Balramayana, Bhuvanakosh and Harvilas.
- Mahipal was a vicious and powerful ruler of this dynasty. Al-Masoodi (915-916 AD), a resident of Baghdad, came to Gujarat during his reign.
- During the reign of Mahipal, the disintegration of the Gurjara-Pratihara empire began. Subsequently weak rulers like Mahenderpal II, Devpal, Vinayak Pal and Vijayapala ruled.
- Hiuen Tsang has called the Gujjar state the second largest state in Western India.
- Vasudeva is considered the founder of this dynasty. It established its capital at Shakambhari near Ajmer.
- The Chauhan rulers were feudatories of Gurjara Pratiharas. In the early tenth century, Vakpatiraja I declared himself independent of the Pratiharas.
- The first son of Prithviraj, Ajayaraja (12th century), established Ajmer city and made it the capital of his kingdom.
- Vigrahaja IV Bisaldev was the most powerful ruler of this dynasty. It defeated the Tomar kings and took possession of Delhi.
- Along with being the winner, he was also a poet and scholar. It produced a Sanskrit play called ‘Herikeli’ salt. Somdev, the creator of Lalitvigraharaj lived in its court.
- The most notable ruler of this dynasty and ruler of historical importance was Prithaviraj III, who is also discussed in folk tales.
- Prithviraj III became the ruler of the Chauhan dynasty in 1178 AD. It is also called ‘Raipithaura’.
- In 1191 AD, in the Battle of Tarain, Muhammad Ghori defeated Prithviraj and paved the way for Muslim power in India.
- In the court of Prithviraj, scholars like Bhavya Bhatt, Vidyapati Gaur, Prithvi Bhatt, Bagishwar and Chandrabardai resided.
- The history and traditions of the Chauhan dynasty are found in the Hammir epic.
- Chanderbardai, the poet of Prithviraj III, composed the eponymous epic called Prithviraj Raso and Jayanaka composed the Sanskrit poem ‘Prithviraj Vijay’.
- The Delhi article shows that the rulers of this dynasty had collected taxes from the region from the Himalayas to the Vindhya Mountains. The empire of this dynasty extended to Delhi, Jhansi, Punjab, Rajputana and western Uttar Pradesh.
- In the dynasties that emerged on the ruins of the Pratihara Empire, the ruler of the Gahadwal dynasty was the chief.
- Chandradev’s Varanasi Donation, Madanpal’s Vashi Records and Kumar Devi’s Sarnath Records provide information about the Gahadwal dynasty.
- Chandradev is considered the founder of the Gahadwal dynasty. It made Kannauj its capital.
- Govind was the most powerful ruler of this dynasty. It restored the ancient glory of Kannauj by subjugating modern West Bihar and parts of western Uttar Pradesh. It levied a tax called ‘Turushkand’ to make annual payments to Muslims.
- Govind Chandra was a learned ruler. Prithviraj learns about Raso’s relationship with him and Chauhan ruler Prithviraj III.
- According to reports, Prithviraj kidnapped Jayachand’s daughter Sanyogita.
- Renowned Kashmiri scholar Shri Harsh Niwas lived in Jaichand’s court, who composed ‘Naishcharcharit’ and ‘Khandan Food’.
- Jaichand supported Muhammad Ghori against Prithviraj III in the war of Tarawadi and made Benares (present Varanasi) his second capital.
Parmar Dynasty of Malwa
- The Paramara rulers of Malwa were formerly feudatories of the Rashtrakuta rulers.
- The founder of this dynasty is believed to be Upendra. This made Dharanagri its capital.
- Seyak II is considered the de facto founder of this dynasty as it declared independence, challenging the Rashtrakutas.
- The rise of power of Paramaras in Malwa began at the time of Pratapatimunj (972-994 AD). It defeated Kalchuri and Chalukya Naresh Tailap II of Tripuri.
- Sentapatimunj was a great patron of art and literature. In its court, great scholars like Padmagupta, Dhananjaya, Dhanik and Halayuth resided.
- The Munjasagar lake built by it is preserved till date.
- After Munj’s death, his younger brother Sindhuraj became the ruler, his life story is described in the ‘Navasahasank Charitam’ composed by Padmagupta.
- Bhoja (1011–1066 AD) was the son of Sindhuraj and the most important ruler of the Parmar dynasty. The details of its political achievements come from the Udaipur Commendation.
- Bhoja defeated his contemporary kings, such as the Chalukyas of Kalyani and the Chalukyas of Anhilwad, but was defeated by Vidyadhar, the Chandela ruler.
- Bhoj was famous with the title Kaviraj due to his scholarship. It is said that he composed more than 20 texts on various subjects – medicine, astronomy, religion, grammar, architecture, etc.
- Bhoja was a great patron of education and culture. He built a Saraswati temple and a Sanskrit college in the stream. It established a city called Bhojpur.
- On the death of Bhoja, the proverb became popular that “Adyadhara Niradhara Niralamba Saraswati” means both academics and scholars became destitute.
Chalukya dynasty of Gujarat
- The Chalukya or Solanki dynasty of Gujarat is considered to be one of the Rajputs born of Agnikund. The ruler of this dynasty was the patron and protector of Jainism.
- The history of this dynasty comes mainly from the texts of Jain writers. In these texts Hemchandra’s Dvashrayakavya, Merutungkrit Prabandha Chintamani, Someshwaritra Kirtikoumudi etc. can be mentioned.
- Mulraj I was the founder of the Chalukya dynasty of Gujarat. It made Anhilwad its capital by conquering a large part of Gujarat.
- Bhima I (1022–1064 AD) was the most powerful ruler of this dynasty. During its rule, Mahmud Ghaznavi (1025 AD) attacked Gujarat and looted the Somnath temple.
- It got the Somnath temple rebuilt and its feudal Vimal constructed the temple of Dilwara on the Mount Abu.
- The ruler of this dynasty, Jai Singh ‘Siddharaj’, defeated the Paramara ruler Yashovarman of Malwa in the war and assumed the title of Avantinath. Jaisingh was a Shaivite follower. Famous Jain Acharya Hemchandra Suri resided in his court.
- Kumarapala (1153–1171 AD) was an ambitious ruler of this dynasty. Hemachandra initiated it in Jainism.
- According to Jain tradition, Kumarapal had banned animal slaughter, drinking and gambling in his entire empire.
- Moolraj II (1176–1178 AD) defeated Muhammad Ghori in 1178 AD near Mount Abu.
- Bhima II-II (1178–1238 AD) was the last ruler of the Chalukya dynasty. It restored Chalukya power and prestige.
- The state boundaries of the Chalukya rulers extended to Kathiawar and Gujarat in the west, Bhilasa (Madhya Pradesh) in the east, Bali and Sambhar in the south.
Chandel of Bundelkhand
- The early Chandels were feudatories of Pratiharas. The Chandelas are said to be the descendants of Atatri’s son Chandatreya.
- The first ruler of this dynasty was Nannuk, in the name of his grandson Jai Singh or Geja, the region became known as Jejakabhukti.
- Harsha (900-925 AD) was the son of Rahid. It declared its independence from Pratiharas. In the Khajuraho inscription it has been called Param Bhattarak, which reveals his independent status.
- Yashovarman (930–950 AD) was an important ruler of this dynasty. It expanded its empire by invading Malwa and Cheri.
- The Khajuraho inscription describes the victories and might of Yashovarman.
- Yashovarman built the Chaturbhuj temple dedicated to Vishnu at Khajuraho. Yashovarman’s son Dhang (950-1008 AD) was the famous ruler of this dynasty. This made Kalinjar his capital. Vijay of Gwalior was the most important success of Dhang.
- According to the angel, Dhang joined the union made against Subuktagin by Jaipal, the ruler of the royal dynasty of Bhatinda, who was defeated by Subuktagin.
- Dhang was a great temple builder. It built many magnificent temples, among which Jijnath, Vishwanath, Vaidyanath etc. are notable.
- It was a glorious ruler. This not only successfully resisted Mahmud Ghaznavi, but also forced him to make a treaty.
- Among the Chandel rulers of Bundelkhand, Paramardeva or Parimal was the last powerful ruler. Famous warriors Alha and Udal Chandel were in the royalty of the ruler Parimal.
- Alha and Udal emitted their lives while protecting Mahoba from Prithviraj Chauhan.
- The rulers of the Chedi dynasty are also known as the Kalachuri dynasty of Tripuri.
- Kokkal I was the first ruler of this dynasty. It defeated the Pratihara ruler Mihirbhoja of Kannauj.
- Chedi ruler Lakshmanaraja won Bengal, Orissa and Kaushal, and the Gujjars, Lat rulers and the rich in the west.
- The power of the Kulchuris was restored during the reign of Kokkal II. It defeated the Chalukya dynasty ruler Chamundaraja of Gujarat.
- Ganga Dev (1019-1041 AD) assumed the title of Vikramaditya. He captured Anga, Utkal, Prayag and snatched Kashi from the Pala rulers.
- Vijay Singh was the last ruler of this dynasty. In the early thirteenth century, Chandel ruler Traylokya Varman defeated it and took possession of Tripuri.
Pal and Sen Dynasty of Bengal
- The Pala dynasty was founded by a general named Gopal (750–770 AD).
- After Gopal, his son Dharmapala (770-810 AD) ascended the throne of the Pala dynasty.
- Dharmapala was a Buddhist religious ruler. It established Vikramshila University and Udantpur University.
- The Gujarati work Soddhal associated Dharmapala with the title of master of Uttarapath. In Dharmapala’s writings, he has been called ‘Param Saugat’.
- Devpal (810-850 AD) was imperialist like his father Dharmapala. Arab traveler Suleman has described Devpal as more powerful than Pratihara, Pratihara, Rashtrakuta rulers.
- Mahipal I (988-1038 AD) proved his ability by reviving the power and prestige of the Pala dynasty.
- In the book ‘Rampalcharit’ composed by Sandhyakar Nandi, Nayak Rampal (1077–1120 AD) is considered the last ruler of this dynasty.
- It was during the reign of Rampal that there was a ‘rebellion of Kaivartas’, which is described in Rampalcharit.
- The empire of the Pala rulers extended to the whole of Bengal, Bihar and Kannauj. Their rule extended from the Bay of Bengal to Delhi and from Jalandhar to Vindhya Mountain.
- After the decline of the Pala dynasty, the rulers of the Sena dynasty consolidated their positions in Bengal and Bihar.
- Their capital was Lakhnauti.
- The rulers of the Sena dynasty were originally residents of Karnataka (Karnataka), who settled in Bengal.
- The rulers of this dynasty had established victory pillars at Puri, Kashi and Prayag, indicating that the Sena rulers expanded their empire by snatching Kashi and Prayag from contemporary rulers.
- The ruler of this dynasty was Samanta Sen, who has been called a Brahmin Kshatriya. Vijay Sen (1095–1158 AD) was the most powerful ruler. It established Vijaypuri and Vikrampur.
- After Vijayasen’s death, Ballalasen became the ruler of Bengal. It is credited with organizing caste system and aristocratic practice in Bengal.
- Ballalssen was a learned ruler. It composed two texts ‘Dasnagar’ and ‘Amazing Sea’.
- Laxman Sen was a conqueror and imperialist ruler. It defeated the Gahadwal ruler Jayachandra.
- Many famous scholars and writers resided in the court of Lakshmanasen. Among them, the names of Jayadeva, Dhoyi and Halayudha are notable.
- The Chandel ruler Dhang ended his life by drowning in the confluence of the latter in his last time.
- In the Rajput period, women were respected. But the practice of Jauhar and Sati was also prevalent.
- Brahmin and Jainism were more popular in the Rajput period. The Jain temple of Dilwara has a statue of Jain Tirthankara Adinath.
- Rajputs originated from foreign origin – in support of this view, scholars have called the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty as the offspring of a caste called ‘Khanjar’, who came to India with the Huns.
- The famous Chauhan ruler of history, Prithviraj III was the son of Someshwar.
- The Khilampur article shows that to liberate the Bengal Matsyaniya rule, the people made Gopal salt general a king.
Dharmapala had organized a large court in Kannauj, in which Bhoj, Matsya, Madra, Kuru, Yudu, Yavan, Avanti, Gandhar and Kiir etc. took part.
- Bakhtiyar Khilji attacked Lakhnauti during the time of Sena dynasty ruler Laxman Sen, in which Laxman Sen had to escape after saving his life.
- In the 12th century, there was a struggle between the Chandels, the Gahadwalas and the Chauhans to establish dominance in North India, known as the ‘Tripartite Conflict’.
- The followers of the Digambara Jain religious sect were considered untouchables.
- Bisaldev constructed the lake of Anasagar and a pond called Bisalasagar.