The emergence of the Rajputs was the outcomes of the death of Harshavardhana and the breakup of Pratihara Empire. They dominated the Indian political scene nearly 500 years of the 7th century. As per sacred scriptures like Puranas, Mahabharata and the Ramayana, there are three basic lineages (vanshas or vamshas) of Rajput such as-the Suryavanshi; the Chandravanshi or Somavanshies (the clans of the lunar dynasty); and the Agniculas (the clans of the fire dynasty).
The Rajput States
There was an expansion of aggressive and expansionist Turk tribesmen in the North-western India whose main mode of warfare was rapid advance and retreat. The disintegration of Gurjara-Pratiharas in North-Western India led to a time of political uncertainty.
- Mahmud (998-1030) ascended the throne of Ghazni
- Firdausi was a court-poet of Ghazni. His famous work “Shah Namah” was a watershed in Iranian renaissance
- Mahmud was a plunderer and destroyer of temples. In 1025, he raided and plundered the Somnath temple in Gujarat. He undertook 17 raids in India and constantly fought against the Hindushahi rulers
- Seljuk Empire was established with the death of Mahmud
The Rajput States
- The break-up of the Pratiharas empire led to the formation of Rajputana states.
- Few important of these were-
(a) Gahadavalas of Kannauj
(b) Paramaras of Malva
(c) Chauhans of Ajmer
- Few other significant states were Kalachuris near Jabalpur, Chandellas in Bundelkhand, Chalukyas of Gujarat, Tomars of Delhi etc.
- Rajputs patronized Hinduism and Jainism to a certain extent.
- They also upheld the Varna system and the Privileges of Brahmanas
- While the Rajputs put a stout defence against the Turkish tribesmen, they allowed Muslim traders which enhanced trade and commerce.
- The Seljuk empire was replaced by Khwarizmi empire in Iran and Ghurid empire in Ghur.
- Muizzudin Muhammed ascended the throne at Ghazni while Chauhan’s powers were also constantly rising. With the capture of Delhi, the Chauhans and Ghurids were in the direct contest.
- 1st Battle of Tarain (1191) Muhammed Ghori Vs. Prithviraj Chauhan – Ghurids lost the battle
- 2nd Battle of Tarain(1192) Muhammed Ghori Vs. Prithviraj Chauhan – Prithviraj Chauhan lost the battle. This led to Delhi and Eastern Rajasthan passing under the Turkish rule.
- Muhammad Ghori entrusted the positions under Qutbuddin Aibak, who later found the Slave dynasty and led to the foundations of Delhi Sultanate. Bakthiyar Khalji has entrusted the positions east of Benares.
The Chauhans of Ajmer
- The Chauhans were the feudatories of Gurjara-Pratiharas
- Ajayaraj Chauhan, king of Sakhambari established a city called Ajayameru which was later known as Ajmer
- His successor Vigraharaj captured Dhillika from Tomar Kings
- After the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan, the dynasty was weakened.
- Qutbuddin Aibak dealt the final blow by defeating the dynasty in 1197 AD.
The Tomars of Delhi
- The Tomars were the feudatories of the Pratiharas.
- They founded the city of Delhi in 736 A.D. During 9th-12th century, the Tomars of Delhi ruled parts of the present-day Delhi and Haryana.
- Mahipala Tomar captured Thaneshwar, Hansi and Nagarkot in 1043 A.D.
- Chauhans captured Delhi in middle of the 12th century and the Tomars became their feudatories.
- Mewar is a region of south-central Rajasthan state in western India.
- It includes the present-day districts of Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Udaipur, Pirawa Tehsil of Jhalawar District of Rajasthan, Neemuch and Mandsaur of Madhya Pradesh and some parts of Gujarat.
- The region was a part of the Rajput-ruled Mewar Kingdom or the Udaipur Kingdom. In 1568, Akbar captured Chittorgarh, the capital of Mewar.
Maha Rana Sanga (1508 – 1528)
- Rana Sanga of Mewar belonged to the Sisodiya clan who was a contemporary to Ibrahim Lodhi and Babur.
- The Battle of Khanwa, 1527 took place between Babur and Rana Sanga in which Babur won and established the Mughal’s rule firmly in North India.
Maha Rana Pratap (1572 – 1597)
- Rana Pratap of Mewar belonged to the Sisodiya Rajputs as was Rana Sanga.
- He was a contemporary of Akbar.
- When Akbar sent a number of envoys in making Rana Pratap as a vassal and submitting to Akbar, Rana refused and the Battle of Haldighati was fought on 1576 between Raja Man Singh I of Amber and Maha Rana Pratap in which Maha Rana Pratap was defeated by the Mughals.
- In 1194, Mahmud of Ghori defeated Jaichand of Kannauj.
- His descendant, Sheoji, established themselves at Mandore city in Marwar.
- The Jodhpur state was founded in the 13th century by the Rathore clan of Rajputs, who claim descent from the Gahadvala kings of Kannauj.
- The Rathore rulers of the Indian princely state of Jodhpur were of an ancient dynasty established in the 8th century.
- However, the dynasty’s fortunes were made by Rao Jodha, first of the rulers of the Rathore dynasty in Jodhpur in 1459.
The Chandelas of Bundelkhand
- Established them in the 9th century. Harshadeva was the founder of this dynasty.
- Bundelkhand was also known as Jejakabhukti
- Mahoba was the capital of Chandela during the period of Chief Yasovarman
- Kalinjar was their important fort.
- The Chandelas built the most famous Kandariya Mahadeva Temple in 1050 A.D. and a number of beautiful temples at Khajuraho. Vidyadhara is noted for having commissioned the Kandariya Mahadeva Temple.
- Paramal the last Chandela ruler was defeated by Qutb-ud-din Aibak in 1203 A.D.
The Paramaras of Malwa
- They were a part of Agnivanshi Rajput dynasty. Established in 9-10th Century, they were vassals of Rashtrakutas
- They made Dhar as their capital. Bhoja was an important ruler in their period.
- The later Paramara rulers moved their capital to Mandu after Dhar was sacked multiple times by their enemies.
- Mahalakadeva, the last known Paramara king, was defeated and killed by the forces of Alauddin Khalji of Delhi in 1305 CE
The Chalukyas of Gujarat
- The Chalukya dynasty ruled parts of what is now Gujarat and Rajasthan in north-western India, between c. 940 CE and c. 1244 CE. Their capital was located at Anahilavada (modern Patan).
- Mularaja was the founder of the dynasty. During the rule of Bhima I, Mahmud of Ghazni plundered Somnath temple.
- Mularaja is said to have built Mulavasatika temple for Digambara Jains and the Mulanatha-Jinadeva temple for the Svetambara Jains.
- The Dilwara Temples and the Modhera Sun Temple have constructed during the reign of Bhima I.
- Rani-ki-Vav was commissioned by Queen Udayamati
The Kalachuris of Tripuri
- The Kalachuris of Chedi, ruled parts of central India during 7th to 13th centuries from their capital Tripuri near Jabalpur.
- The kingdom reached its zenith during the reign of Lakshmikarna, who assumed the title Chakravartin after military campaigns against several neighbouring kingdoms
- The Karan temple at Amarkantak was built by Lakshmikarna (1041 – 1173 CE)
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