Annals of Mewar

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James Tod: Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume I,
Publisher: Humphrey Milford Oxford University Press 1920
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Vol I:Annals of Mewar

Book IV
Chapter 1

Abstract of Chapter 1: Origin of the Guhilot princes of Mewar — Authorities — Kanaksen the founder of the present dynasty — His descent from Rama — He emigrates to SaurashtraValabhipura — Its sack and destruction by the Huns or Parthians.

[p.247]: We now proceed to the history of the States of Rajputana, and shall commence with the Annals of Mewar, and its princes.

Origin of the Guhilot princes of Mewar

Titles of Mewar Chiefs : descent from the Sun: These are styled Ranas, and are the elder branch of the Suryavansi, or ' children of the sun.' Another patronymic is Raghuvansi, derived from a predecessor of Rama, the focal point of each scion of the solar race. To him, the conqueror of Lanka,1 the genealogists endeavour to trace the solar lines. The titles of many of these claimants are disputed ; but the Hindu tribes yield unanimous suffrage to the prince of Mewar as the legitimate heir to the throne of Rama, and style him Hindua Suraj, or ' Sun of the Hindus.'2 He is universally allowed to be the first of the ' thirty-six royal tribes ' ; nor has a doubt ever been raised respecting his purity of descent. Many of these tribes3 have been swept away by time ; and the genealogist, who abhors a vacuum in his mystic page, fills up their place with others, mere scions of some ancient but forgotten stem.

Stability of Mewar State: With the exception of Jaisalmer, Mewar is the only dynasty of these races3 which has outlived eight centuries of foreign domination, in the same lands where

1 Said to be Ceylon ; an idea scouted by the Hindus, who transfer Lanka to a very distant region. [The latter is certainly not the common belief.]

2 This descendant of one hundred kings shows himself in cloudy weather from the surya-gaukhra, or ' balcony of the sun.'

3 See History of the Tribes.

[p.248]: [212] conquest placed them. The Rana still possesses nearly the same extent of territory which his ancestors held when the conueror from Ghazni first crossed the 'blue waters'1 of the Indus to invade India ; while the other families now ruling in the north- west of Rajasthan are the relics of ancient dynasties driven from their pristine seats of power, or their junior branches, who have erected their own fortunes. This circumstance adds to the dignity of the Ranas, and is the cause of the general homage which they receive, notwithstanding the diminution of their power. Though we cannot give the princes of Mewar an ancestor in the Persian Nushirwan, nor assert so confidently as Sir Thomas Roe his claims to descent from the celebrated Porus,2 the opponent of Alexander, we can carry him into the regions of antiquity more remote than the Persian, and which would satisfy the most fastidious in respect to ancestry.

Origin of the Rajputs: In every age and clime we observe the same eager desire after distinguished pedigree, proceeding from a feeling which, though often derided, is extremely natural. The Rajaputras are, however, scarcely satisfied with discriminating their ancestors from the herd of mankind. Some plume them- selves on a celestial origin, whilst others are content to be demi-celestial ; and those who cannot advance such lofty claims, rather than acknowledge the race to have originated in the ordinary course of nature, make their primeval parent of demoniac extraction ; accordingly, several of the dynasties who cannot obtain a niche amongst the children of the sun or moon, or trace their descent from some royal saint, are satisfied to be considered the offspring of some Titan (Dailya). These puerilities are of modern fabrication, in cases where family documents have been lost, or emigration has severed branches from the parent stock ;' who, increasing in power, but ignorant of their birth, have had recourse to fable to supply the void. Various authors, borrowing from the same source, have assigned the seat of Porus to the Rana's

1. Nilab from nil, ' blue,' and ah, ' water ' ; hence the name of the Nile in Egypt and in India [?]. Sind, or Sindhu, appears to be a Scythian word :sin in the Tatar, t sin in Chinese, ' river.' [It is Sanskrit, meaning ' divider.'] Hence the inhabitants of its higher course termed it aba sin, ' parent stream ' ; and thus, very probably, Abyssinia was formed by"" the Arabians ; ' the country on the Nile,' or aba sin. [Abyssinia is ' land of the Habashi, or negroes.']

2. See p. 47 above.

[p.249]: family ; and coincidence of name has been the cause of the family being alternately elevated and depressed. Thus the incidental circumstance of the word Rhamnae being found in Ptolemy's geography, in countries bordering on Mewar, furnishes our ablest geographers1 with a reason [213] for planting the family there in the second century ; while the commentators2 on the geography of the Arabian travellers of the ninth and tenth centuries ' discover sufficient evidence in " the kingdom of Rahmi, always at war with the Balhara sovereign," to consider him (not- withstanding Rahmi is expressly stated " not to be much considered for his birth or the antiquity of his kingdom ") as the prince of Chitor, celebrated in both these points.

The translator of the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, following D'Anville,4 makes Ozene (Ujjain) the capital of a Porus,5 who sent an embassy to Augustus to regulate their commercial intercourse, and whom he asserts to be the ancestor of the Rana. But to show how guarded we should be in admitting verbal resemblance to decide such points, the title of Rana is of modern adoption, even so late as the twelfth century ; and was assumed in consequence of the victorious issue of a contest with the Parihara prince of Mandor, who bore the title of Rana, and who surrendered it with his life and capital to the prince of Mewar. The latter substituted it for the more ancient appellation of Rawal ;6 but it was not till the thirteenth century that the novel distinction was generally recognized by neighbouring powers. Although we

1. D'Anville and Rennell. [The Rhamnae have been identified with the Brahui of Baluchistan (McCrindle, Ptolemy, 159). Lassen places them on the Nerbudda.]

2. Maurice and others.

3. Relations anciennes des voyageurs, par Renaudot.

4. D'Anville {Antiquites de l'Inde) quotes Nicolas of Damascus as his authority, who says the letter written by Porus, prince of Ozene, was in the Greek character.

5. This Porus is a corruption of Puar, once the most powerful and conspicuous tribe in India ; classically written Pramara, the dynasty which ruled at Ujjain for ages. [This is not certain (Smith, EHI, 60, note).]

6. Rawal, or Raul, is yet borne as a princely title by the Aharya prince of Dungarpur, and the Yadu prince of Jaisalmer, whose ancestors long ruled in the heart of Scythia. Raoul seems to have been titular to the Scandinavian chiefs of Scythic origin. The invader of Normandy was Raoul, corrupted to Rollon or Rollo. [The words, of course, have no connexion : Rawal, Skt. rajakula, ' royal family.']

[p.250]: cannot for a moment admit the Rahmi, or even the Rhamnae of Ozene, to be connected with this family, yet Ptolemy appears to have given the real ancestor in his Baleokouroi, the Balhara monarchs of the Arabian travellers, the Valabhiraes of Saurashtra, who were the ancestors of the princes of Mewar.1

Before we proceed, it is necessary to specify the sources whence materials were obtained for the Annals of Mewar, and to give some idea of the character they merit as historical data [214].

Sources of the History

For many years previous to sojourning at the court of Udaipur, sketches were obtained of the genealogy of the family from the rolls of the bards. To these was added a chronological sketch, drawn up under the eye of Raja Jai Singh of Amber, with comments of some value by him, and which served as a ground-work. Free access was also granted to the Rana's library, and permission obtained to make copies of such MSS. as related to his history. The most important of these was the Khuman Raesa,2 which is evidently a modern work founded upon ancient materials, tracing the genealogy to Rama, and halting at conspicuous beacons in this long line of crowned heads, particularly about the period of the Muhammadan irruption in the tenth century, the sack of Chitor by Alau-d-din in the thirteenth century, and the wars of Rana Partap with Akbar, during whose reign the work appears to have been recast.

The next in importance were the Rajvilas, in the Vraj Bhakha, by Man Kabeswara ;3 and the Rajratnakar,4 by Sudasheo Bhat : both written in the reign of Rana Raj Singh, the opponent of Aurangzeb : also the Jaivilas, written in the reign of Jai Singh, son of Raj Singh. They all commence with the genealogies of the

1. The Balhara kings, and their capital Nahrwala, or Anhilwara Patan, have given rise to much conjecture amongst the learned. We shall, before this work is closed, endeavour to condense what has been said by ancient and modern authorities on the subject ; and from manuscripts, ancient inscriptions, and the result of a personal visit to this ancient domain, to set the matter completely at rest. [See p. 122 above.] [" Hippokoura, the royal seat of Baleo Kouros " {Periplus, viii. 83). Baleo Kouros has been identified with Vilivāyakura, a name found on coins of the Andhra dynasty (BG, i. Part ii. 158 ; McCrindle, Ptolemy, 179).]

2. Khuman is an ancient title of the earlier princes, and still used. It was borne by the son of Bappa, the founder, who retired to Transoxiana, and there ruled and died : the very country of the ancient Scythic Khomani.

3. Lord of rhyme.

4. Sea of gems.

[p.251]: family, introductory to the military exploits of the princes whose names they bear.

The Mamadevi Prasistha is a copy of the inscriptions 1 in the temple of ' the Mother of the Gods ' at Kumbhalmer. Genealogical rolls of some antiquity were obtained from the widow of an ancient family bard, who had left neither children nor kindred to follow his profession. Another roll was procured from a priest of the Jains residing in Sandrai, in Marwar, whose ancestry had enjoyed from time immemorial the title of Guru, which they held at the period of the sack of Valabhipura in the fifth century, whence they emigrated simultaneously with the Rana's ancestors. Others were obtained from Jain priests at Jawad in Malwa. Historical documents possessed by several chiefs were readily furnished, and extracts were made from works, both Sanskrit and Persian, which incidentally mention the family. To these were added traditions or biographical anecdotes furnished in conversation by the Rana, or men of intellect amongst his chiefs [215], ministers, or bards, and inscriptions calculated to reconcile dates ; in short, every corroborating circumstance was treasured up which could be obtained by incessant research during sixteen years. The Commentaries of Babur and Jahangir, the Institutes of Akbar, original grants, public and autograph letters of the emperors of Delhi and their ministers, were made to contribute more or less ; yet, numerous as are the authorities cited, the result may afford but little gratification to the general reader, partly owing to the unpopularity of the subject, partly to the in-artificial mode of treating it.

Kanaksen the founder of the present dynasty

At least ten genealogical lists, derived from the most opposite sources, agree in making Kanaksen the founder of this dynasty ; and assign his emigration from the most northern of the provinces of India to the peninsula of Saurashtra in S. 201, or A.D. 145. We shall, therefore, make this the point of outset ; though it may be premised that Jai Singh, the royal historian and astronomer of Amber, connects the line with Sumitra (the fifty-sixth descendant from the deified Rama), who appears to have been the contemporary of Vikramaditya, a.c. 56.

The country of which Ayodhya (now Oudh) was the capital, and Rama monarch, is termed, in the geographical writings of the Hindus, Kosala ; doubtless from the mother of Rama, whose

1. These inscriptions will be described in the Personal Narrative.

[p.252]: name was Kausalya.1 The first royal emigrant from tlie north is styled, in the Rana's archives, Kosala-putra, ' son of Kosala.'

Titles of the Chiefs.Rama had two sons, Lava and Kusa : from the former the Rana's family claim descent. He is stated to have built Lahore, the ancient Lohkot ; 2 and the branch from which the princes of Mewar are descended resided there until Kanaksen emigrated to Dwarka. The difficulty of tracing these races through a long period of years is greatly increased by the custom of changing the appellation of the tribe, from conquest, locality, or personal celebrity. Sen3 seems to have been the martial termination for many generations : this was followed by Dit, or Aditya, a term for the ' sun.' The first change in the name of the tribe was on their expulsion from Saurashtra, when for the generic term of Suryavansi was substituted the particular appellation of Guhilot. This name was maintained till another event dispersed the family, and when they settled in [216] Ahar,4 Aharya became the appellative of the branch. This continued till loss of territory and new acquisitions once more transferred the dynasty to Sesoda,5 a temporary capital in the western mountains. The title of Ranawat, borne by all descendants of the blood royal since the eventful change which removed the seat of government from Chitor to Udaipur, might in time have superseded that of Sesodia, if continued warfare had not checked the increase of population ; but the Guhilot branch of the Suryavansi still retain the name of Sesodia.

Having premised thus much, we must retrograde to the darker ages, through which we shall endeavour to conduct this celebrated dynasty, though the clue sometimes nearly escapes from our hands in these labyrinths of antiquity.6 When it is recollected

1 [It is the other way : Kausalya took her name from Kosala.]

2 [See p. 116 above.]

3 Sen, 'army'; kanak, 'gold.' [Kanaksen is entirely mythical. It has been suggested that the name is a reminiscence of the connexion of the great Kushan Emperor, Kanishka, with Gujarat and Kathiawar {BG, i. Part i. 101).]

4 Ahar, or Ar, is in the valley of the present capital, Udaipur.

5 The origin of this name is from the trivial occurrence of the expelled prince of Chitor having erected a town to commemorate the spot, where after an extraordinarily hard chase he killed a hare (sasu).

6 The wila fable which envelops or adorns the cradle of every illustrious family is not easily disentangled. The bards weave the web with skill, and it clings like ivy round each modern branch, obscuring the aged stem, in the time-worn branches of which monsters and demi-gods are perched, whose claims of affinity are held in high estimation by these ' children of the sun,' who would deem it criminal to doubt that the loin-robe (dhoti) of their great founder, Bapa Rawal, was less than five hundred cubits in circumference, that his two-edged sword (khanda), the gift of the Hindu Proserpine, weighed an ounce less than sixty-four pounds, or that he was an inch under twenty feet in height.


to what violence this family has been subjected during the last eight centuries, often dispossessed of all but their native hills and compelled to live on their spontaneous produce, we could scarcely expect that historical records should be preserved. Chitor was thrice sacked and destroyed, and the existing records are formed from fragments, registers of births and marriages, or from the oral relations of the bards.

Kanaksen emigrates to Saurashtra

By what route Kanaksen, the first emigrant of the solar race, found his way into Saurashtra from Lohkot, is uncertain : he, however, wrested dominion from a prince of the Pramara race, and founded Birnagara in the second century (A.D. 144). Four generations afterwards, Vijayasen, whom the prince of Amber calls Nushirwan, founded Vijayapur, supposed to be where Dholka now stands, at the head of the Saurashtra peninsula.1 Vidarba was also founded by him, the name of which was afterwards changed to Sihor. But the most celebrated was the capital, Valabhipura, which for years baffled all search, till it was revealed in its now humbled condition as Walai, ten miles west [217] of Bhaunagar. The existence of this city was confirmed by a celebrated Jain work, the Satrunjaya Mahatma.2 The want of satisfactory proof of the Rana's emigration from thence was obviated by the most unexpected discovery of an inscription of the twelfth century, in a ruined temple on the tableland forming the eastern boundary of the Rana's present territory, which appeals to the ' walls of Valabhi ' for the truth of the action it records. And a work written to commemorate the reign of Rana Raj Singh opens with these words : "In the west is Sorathdes,3 a country well known : the barbarians invaded it, and conquered Bal-ka-nath ;4 all fell in the sack of Valabhipura, except the daughter of the Pramara." And the Sandrai

1 Vijayapur has been doubtfully identified with Bijapur in the Ahmadabad district (BG, i. Part i. 110).

2 Presented to the Royal Asiatic Society of London.

3 Sorath or Saurashtra. *

4 The ' lord of Bal.'

[p.254]: roll thus commences : " When the city of Valabhi was sacked, the inhabitants fled and founded Bali, Sandrai, and Nadol in Mordar des." 1 These are towns yet of consequence, and in all the Jain religion is still maintained, which was the chief worship of Valabhipura when sacked by the ' barbarian.' The records preserved by the Jains give s.b. 205 (A.D. 524) as the date of this event.2

The tract about Valabhipura and northward is termed Bal, probably from the tribe of Bala, which might have been the designation of the Rana's tribe prior to that of Grahilot ; and most probably Multan, and all these regions of the Kathi, Bala, etc., were dependent on Lohkot, whence emigrated Kanaksen ; thus strengthening the surmise of the Scythic descent of the Ranas, though now installed in the seat of Rama. The sun was the deity of this northern tribe, as of the Rana's ancestry, and the remains of numerous temples to this grand object of Scythic homage are still to be found scattered over the peninsula ; whence its name, Saurashtra, the coutry of the Sauras, or Sun-worshippers ; the Surastrene or Syrastrene of ancient geographers ; its inhabitants, the Suros of Strabo.3

Besides these cities, the MSS. give Gayni 4 as the last refuge

1 Marwar.

2 [The date of the fall of Valabhi is very uncertain (Smith, EH I, 315, note). It is said to have been destroyed in the reign of Siladitya VI., the last of the dynasty, about A.D. 776 (Duff, Chronology of India, 31, 67, 308).]

3 [There is possibly a confusion with the Soras of Aehan (xv. 8) which has been identified by Caldwell {Dravidian Grammar, 17) with the greek....? of Ptolemy, and with the Chola kingdom of Southern India. Surashtra or Saurashtra, ' land of the Sus,' was afterwards Sanskritized into ' goodly country ' (Monier Williams, Skt. Diet. s.v. ; BG, i. Part i. 6).]

4 Gaini, or Gajni, is one of the ancient names of Cambay (the port of Valabhipura), the ruins of which are about three miles from the modern city. Other sources indicate that these princes held possessions in the southern continent of India, as well as in the Saurashtra peninsula. Talatalpur Patau, on the Godavari, is mentioned, which tradition asserts to be the city of Deogir ; but which, after many years' research, I discovered in Saurashtra, it being one of the ancient names of Kandala. In after times, when succeeding dynasties held the title of Balakarae, though the capital was removed inland to Anhilwara Patan, they still held possession of the western shore, and Cambay continued the chief port. [For the identification of Gajni with Cambay see I A, iv. 147 ; BG, vi. 213 note. The site of Devagiri has been identified with Daulatabad (BG, i. Part ii. 136 ; Beal, Buddhist Records of the Western World, ii. 255, note).]

[p.255]: of the family [218] when expelled Saurashtra. One of the poetic chronicles thus commences : " The barbarians had captured Gajni. The house of Siladitya was left desolate. In its defence his heroes fell ; of his seed but the name remained."

Scythic Invaders of Saurashtra

These invaders were Scythic, and in all probability a colony from the Parthian kingdom, which was established in sovereignty on the Indus in the second century, having their capital at Saminagara, where the ancient Yadu ruled for ages : the Minnagara1 of Arrian, and the Mankir of the Arabian geographers. It was by this route, through the eastern portion of the valley of the Indus, that the various hordes of Getae or Jats, Huns, Kamari, Kathi, Makwahana, Bala and Aswaria, had peopled this peninsula, leaving traces still visible. The period is also remarkable when these and other Scythic hordes were simultaneously abandoning higher Asia for the cold regions

1 The position of Minnagara has occupied the attention of geographers from D'Anville to Pottinger. Sind being conquered by Omar, general of the caliph Al-Mansur (Abbasi), the name of Minagara was changed to Mansura, " une ville celcbre sur le rivage droit du Sind ou Mehran." " Ptolemee fait aussi mention de cette ville ; mais en la depla9ant," etc. D'Anville places it about 26°, but not so high as Ulug Beg, whose tables make it 26° 40'. I have said elsewhere that I had little doubt that Minnagara, handed down to us by the author of the Periplus as the (....) (greek), was the Saminagara of the Yadu Jarejas, whose chronicles claim Seistan as their ancient possession, and in all probability was the stronghold (nagara) of Sambos, the opponent of Alexander. On every consideration, I am inclined to place it on the site of Sehwa. The learned Vincent, in his translation of the Periplus, enters fully and with great judgment upon this point, citing every authority, Arrian, Ptolemy, Al-Biruni, Edrisi, D'Anville, and De la Rochette. He has a note (26, p. 386, vol. i.) which is conclusive, could he have applied it : " Al-Birun [equi-distant] between Debeil and Mansura." D'Anville also says : " de Mansora a la ville nommee Birun, la distance est indiquee de quinze parasanges dans Abulfeda," who fixes it, on the authority of Abu-Rehan (surnamed Al-Biruni from his birthplace), at 26° 40'. The ancient name of Haidarabad, the present capital of Sind, was Nerun (...arabic) or Nirun, and is almost equi-distant, as Abulfeda says, between Debal (Dewal or Tatta) and Mansura, Sehwan, or Minnagara, the latitude of which, according to my construction, is 26° 11'. Those who wish to pursue this may examine the Eclaircisfiemens sur la Carle de Vlnde, p. 37 et seq., and Dr. Vincent's estimable translation, p. 386. [The site of Minnagara, like those of all the cities in the delta of the Indus, owing to changes in the course of the river, is very uncertain. Jhajhpur or Mungrapur has been suggested (McCrindle, Ptolemy, 72, Periplus, 1086 f.). Nirun has been identified with Helai, a little below Jarak, on the high road from Tatta to Haidarabad (Elliot-Dowson i. 400).]

[p.256]: of Europe and the warm plains of Hindustan. From the first to the sixth century of the Christian era, various records exist of these irruptions from the north. Gibbon, quoting De Guignes, mentions one in the second century, which fixed permanently in the Saurashtra peninsula ; and the latter, from original authorities, describes another of the Getae or Jats, styled by the Chinese Yueh-chi, in the north of India.1 But the authority directly in point is that of Cosmas, surnamed Indikopleustes, who was in India during the reign of Justinian, and that of the first monarch of the Chinese dynasty of Leam.2 Cosmas [219] had visited Kalyan, included in the Balhara kingdom ; and he mentions the Ephthalites, or White Huns, under their king Golas, as being established on the Indus at the very period of the invasion of Valabhipura.3

Arrian, who resided in the second century at Barugaza (Broach), describes a Parthian sovereignty as extending from the Indus to the Nerbudda.4 Their capital has already been mentioned, Minnagara. Whether these, the Abtelites5 of Cosmas, were the Parthian dynasty of Arrian, or whether the Parthians were supplanted by the Huns, we must remain in ignorance, but to one or the other we must attribute the sack of Valabhipura.

1 See History of the Tribes, p. 107, and translation of Inscription No. I. Vide Appendix.

2 Considerable intercourse was carried on between the princes of India and China from the earliest periods ; but particularly during the dynasties of Sum, Leam and Tarn, from the fourth to the eventh centuries, when the princes from Bengal and Malabar to the Panjab sent embassies to the Chinese monarchs. The dominions of these Hindu princes may yet be identified. [Cosmas flourished in the sixth century a.d., and never reached India proper {EB, vii. 214).]

3 [Gollas was Mihiragula (Smith, EHI, 317).]

4 [Ibid. 230 f.]

5 D'Herbelot (vol. i. p. 179) calls them the Haiathelah or Indoscythae, and says that they were apparently from Thibet, between India and China. De Guignes (tome i. p. 325) is offended with this explanation, and says : " Cette conjecture ne pent avoir lieu, les Euthehtes n'ayant jamais demeure dans le Thibet." A branch of the Huns, however, did most assuredly dwell in that quarter, though we will not positively assert that they were the Abtelites. The Haihaya was a great branch of the Lunar race of Yayati, and appears early to have left India for the northern regions, and would afford a more plausible etymology for the Haiathelah than the Te-le, who dwelt on the waters (ab) of the Oxus. This branch of the Hunnish race has also been termed Nephthalite, and fancied one of the lost tribes of Israel [?].

[p.257]: The legend of this event affords scope for speculation, both as regards the conquerors and the conquered, and gives at least a colour of truth to the reputed Persian ancestry of the Rana : a subject which will be distinctly considered. The solar orb, and its type, fire, were the chief objects of adoration of Siladitya of Valabhipura. Whether to these was added that of the lingam, the symbol of Balnath (the sun), the primary object of worship with his descendants, may be doubted. It was certainly confined to these, and the adoption of ' strange gods ' by the Suryavansi Guhilot is comparatively of modern invention.1

The Fountain of the Sun: There was a fountain [Surya-kunda) ' sacred to the sun ' at Valabhipura, from which arose, at the summons of Siladitya (according to the legend) the seven-headed horse Saptasva, which draws the car of Surya, to bear him to battle. With such an auxiliary no foe could prevail ; but a wicked minister revealed to the enemy the secret of annulling this aid, by polluting the sacred fountain with blood. This accomplished, in vain did the prince call on Saptasva to save him from the strange and barbarous foe : the charm was broken, and with it sunk the dynasty of Valabhi. Who the ' barbarian ' was that defiled with blood of kine [220] the fountain of the sun,2 whether Getae, Parthian, or Hun, we are left to conjecture. The Persian, though he venerated the bull, yet sacrificed him on the

1 Ferishta, in the early part of his history [i. Introd. Ixviii f.], observes that, some centuries prior to Vikramaditya, the Hindus abandoned the simple religion of their ancestors, made idols, and worshipped the host of heaven, which faith they had from Kashmir, the foundry of magic superstition.

2 Divested of allegory, it means simply that the supply of water was rendered impure, and consequently useless to the Hindus, which compelled them to abandon their defences and meet death in the open field. [[Alau-d- din]] practised the same ruse against the celebrated Achal, the Khichi prince of Gagraun, which caused the surrender of this impregnable fortress. " It matters not," observes an historian whose name I do not recollect, " whether such things are true, it is sufficient that they were behoved. We may smile at the mention of the ghost, the evil genius of Brutus, appearing to him before the battle of Pharsala ; yet it never would have been stated, had it not assimilated with the opinions and prejudices of the age." And we may deduce a simple moral from " the parent orb refusing the aid of his steed to his terrestrial offspring," viz. that he was deserted by the deity. Fountains sacred to the sun and other deities were common to the Persians, Scythians, and Hindus, and both the last offered steeds to him in sacrifice. Vide History of the Tribes, article ' Aswamedha,' p. 91.

[p.258]: altar of Mithras ; 1 and though the ancient Guebre purifies with the urine2 of the cow, he will not refuse to eat beef ; and the iniquity of Cambyses, who thrust his lance into the flank of the Egyptian Apis, is a proof that the bull was abstractedly no object of worship. It would be indulging a legitimate curiosity, could we by any means discover how these ' strange ' tribes obtained a footing amongst the Hindu races ; for so late as seven centuries ago we find Getae, Huns, Kathi, Ariaspas, Dahae, definitively settled, and enumerated amongst the Chhattis rajkula. How much earlier the admission, no authority states ; but mention is made of several of them aiding in the defence of Chitor, on the first appearance of the faith of Islam upwards of eleven hundred years ago.

Chapter 2

Abstract of Chapter 2: Birth of Goha — He acquires Idar — Derivation of the term "Guhilot " — Birth of Bappa — Early religion of the Guhilots — Bappa's history — Oghana Panarwa — Bappa's initiation into the worship of Siva — He gains possession of Chitor — Remarkable end of Bappa — Four epochs established, from the second to the eleventh century.

Birth of Goha

The Refugee Queen: Of the prince's family, the queen Pushpavati alone escaped the sack of Valabhi, as well as the funeral pyre, upon which, on the death of Siladitya, his other wives were sacrificed. She was a daughter of the Pramara prince of Chandravati [221], and had visited the shrine of the universal mother, Amba-Bhavani, in her native land, to deposit upon the altar of the goddess a votive offering consequent to her expectation of offspring. She was on her return, when the intelligence arrived which blasted all her future hopes, by depriving her of her lord, and robbing him, whom the goddess had just granted to her prayers, of a crown. Excessive grief closed her pilgrimage. Taking refuge in a cave in the mountains of Malia, she was delivered of a son. Having confided the infant to a Brahmani of Birnagar named Kamlavati, enjoining her to educate the young prince as a Brahman, but to marry him to a Rajputni,3 she

1 The Baldan, or sacrifice of the bull to Balnath, is on record, though now discontinued amongst the Hindus. [Baldan = balidana, ' a general offering to the gods.']

2 Pinkerton, who is most happy to strengthen his aversion for the Celt, seizes on a passage in Strabo, who describes him as having recourse to the same mode of purification as the Guebre. Unconscious that it may have had a religious origin, he adduces it as a strong proof of the ncleanliness of their habits.

3 [This corroborates Bhandarkar's theory that the Guhilots sprang from Nagar Brahmans.]

[p. 259]: mounted the funeral pile to join her lord. Kamlavati, the daughter of the priest of the temple, was herself a mother, and she performed the tender offices of one to the orphan prince, whom she designated Goha, or ' cave-born.'1 The child was a source of perpetual uneasiness to its protectors : he associated with Rajput children, killing birds, hunting wild animals, and at the age of eleven was totally unmanageable : to use the words of the legend, " How should they hide the ray of the sun ? "

Guha acquires Idar

The Legend Of Goha: At this period Idar was governed by a chief of the savage race of Bhil ; his name, Mandalika.2 The young Goha frequented the forests in company with the Bhils, whose habits better assimilated with his daring nature than those of the Brahmans. He became a favourite with the Vanaputras, or ' children of the forest,' who resigned to him Idar with its woods and mountains. The fact is mentioned by Abu-l Fazl,3 and is still repeated by the bards, with a characteristic version of the incident, of which doubtless there were many. The Bhils having determined in sport to elect a king, the choice fell on Goha ; and one of the young savages, cutting his finger, applied the blood as the tika of sovereignty to his forehead. What was done in sport was confirmed by the old forest chief. The sequel fixes on Goha the stain of ingratitude, for he slew his benefactor, and no motive is assigned in the legend for the deed. Goha's name became the patronymic of his descendants, who were styled Guhilot, classically Grahilot, in time softened to Gehlot.

Birth of Bappa

We know very little concerning these early princes but that they dwelt in this mountainous region for eight generations ; when the Bhils, tired of a foreign rule, assailed Nagaditya, the eighth prince, while hunting, and deprived him of life and Idar. The descendants of Kamlavati (the Birnagar Brahmani), who retained the office of priest in the family, Avere again the preservers of the line of Valabhi. The infant Bappa, son of Nagaditya [222], then only three years old, was conveyed to the fortress of Bhander,4 where he was protected by a Bhil of Yadu descent.

1 [This is a folk-etymology to explain the name Guhilot, probably derived from Guha or Guhasena (A.D. 559-67), the fourth and apparently the first great Valabhi monarch {BG. i. Part i. 85).]

2 [Mandalika seems to mean ' ruler of a district ' (mandal), (Bayley, Dynasties of Gujarat, 183).]

3 [Ain, ii. 268.]

4 Fifteen miles south-west of Jharol, in the wildest region in India. [In Gwalior State, IGI, viii. 72.]

[p.260]: Thence he was removed for greater security to the wilds of Parasar. Within its impervious recesses rose the three-peaked (trikuta) mountain, at whose base was the town of Nagindra,1 the abode of Brahmans, who performed the rites of the ' great god.' In this retreat passed the early years of Bappa, wandering through these Alpine valleys, amidst the groves of Bal and the shrines of the brazen calf.

Early religion of the Guhilots

The most antique temples are to be seen in these spots — within the dark gorge of the mountain, or on its rugged summit — in the depths of the forest, and at the sources of streams, where sites of seclusion, beauty, and sublimity alternately exalt the mind's devotion. In these regions the creative power appears to have been the earliest, and at one time the sole, object of adoration, whose symbols, the serpent-wreathed phallus (lingam), and its companion, the bull, were held sacred even by the ' children of the forest.' In these silent retreats Mahadeva continued to rule triumphant, and the most brilliant festivities of Udaipur were those where his rites are celebrated in the nine days sacred to him, when the Jains and Vaishnavas mix with the most zealous of his votaries ; but the strange gods from the plains of the Yamuna and Ganges have withdrawn a portion of the zeal of the Guhilots from their patron divinity Eklinga, whose diwan," or viceregent, is the Rana. The temple of Eklinga, situated in one of the narrow defiles leading to the capital, is an immense structure, though more sumptuous than elegant. It is built entirely of white marble, most elaborately carved and embellished ; but lying in the route of a bigoted foe, it has undergone many dilapidations. The brazen bull, placed under his own dome, facing the sanctuary of the phallus, is nearly of the natural size, in a recumbent posture. It is cast (hollow) of good shape, highly polished and without flaw, except where the hammer of the Tatar had opened a passage in the hollow flank in search of treasure3 [223].

1 Or Nagda, still a place of religious resort, about ten miles north of Udaipur. Here I found several very old inscriptions relative to the family, which preserve the ancient denomination Gohil instead of Gehlot. One of these is about nine centuries old. [The ancient name was Nagahrida (Erskine ii. A. 106).]

2 Ekling-ka-Diwan is the common title of the Rana.

3 Amongst the many temples where the brazen calf forms part of the establishment of Balkesar, there is one sacred to Nandi alone, at Nain in the valley. This lordly bull has his shrine attended as devoutly as was that of Apis at Memphis ; nor will Eklinga yield to his brother Serapis. The changes of position of the Apis at Nain are received as indications of the fruitfulness of the seasons, though it is not apparent how such are contrived.

Bappa's history

[p.261] The Marriage of Bappa: Tradition has preserved numerous details of Bappa's1 infancy, which resembles the adventures of every hero or founder of a race. The young prince attended the sacred kine, an occupation which was honourable even to the ' children of the sun,' and which they still pursue : possibly a remnant of their primitive Scythic habits. The pranks of the royal shepherd are the theme of many a tale.

On the Jhal Jhulni, when swinging is the amusement of the youth of both sexes, the daughter of the Solanki chief of Nagda and the village maidens had gone to the groves to enjoy this festivity, but they were unprovided with ropes. Bappa happened to be at hand, and was called by the Rajput damsels to forward their sport. He promised to procure a rope if they would first have a game at marriage. One frolic was as good as another, and the scarf of the Solankini was united to the garment of Bappa, the whole of the village lasses joining hands with his as the connecting link ; and thus they performed the mystical number of revolutions round an aged tree. This frolic caused his flight from Nagda, and originated his greatness, but at the same time burthened him with all these damsels ; and hence a heterogeneous issue, whose descendants still ascribe their origin to the prank of Bappa round the old mango-tree of Nagda. A suitable offer being shortly after made for the young Solankini's hand, the family priests of the bridegroom, whose duty it was, by his knowledge of palmistry, to investigate the fortunes of the bride, discovered that she was already married : intelligence which threw the family into the 'greatest consternation.2 Though Bappa's power over his brother shepherds was too strong to create any dread of disclosure as to his being the principal in this affair, yet was it too much to expect that a secret, in which no less than six hundred of the daughters of Eve were concerned, could long remain such ? Bappa's mode of swearing his companions to secrecy is preserved. Digging a small pit, and taking a pebble in his hand, " Swear," cried he,

1 Bappa is not a proper name, it signifies merely a ' child.' [This is wrong : it is the old Prakrit form of bap, ' father ' (I A, xv. 275 f. ; BG, i. Part i. 84).] He is frequently styled Saila, and in inscriptions Sailadisa, ' the mountain lord.'

2 [The legend implies that Bapa, from association with Bhils, was regarded to be of doubtful origin.]

[p.262]: " secrecy and obedience to me in good and in evil ; that you will reveal to me all that you hear, and failing, desire that the good deeds of your forefathers may, like this pebble (dropping it into the pit) fall into the Washerman's well." 1 They took the oath. The Solanki chief, however, heard that [224] Bappa was the offender, who, receiving from his faithful scouts intimation of his danger, sought refuge in one of the retreats which abound in these mountains, and which in after-times proved the preservation of his race. The companions of his flight were two Bhils : one of Undri, in the valley of the present capital ; the other of Solanki descent, from Oghna- Panarwa, in the western wilds. Their names, Baleo and Dewa, have been handed down with Bappa's ; and the former had the honour of drawing the tika of sovereignty with his own blood on the forehead of the prince, on the occasion of his taking the crown from the Mori.2 It is pleasing to trace, through a series of ages, the knowledge of a custom still ' honoured in the observance.' The descendants of Baleo of Oghna and the Undri Bhil still claim the privilege of performing the tika on the inauguration of the descendants of Bappa.

Oghna- Panarwa. — Oghna- Panarwa is the sole spot in India which enjoys a state of natural freedom. Attached to no State, having no foreign communications, living under its own patriarchal head, its chief, with the title of Rana, whom one thousand hamlets scattered over the forest-crowned valleys obey, can, if requisite, appear at ' the head of five thousand bows.' He is a Bhumia Bhil of mixed blood, from the Solanki Rajput, on the old stock of pure (ujla) Bhils, the autochthones (if such there be of any country) of Mewar. Besides making the tika of blood from an incision in the thumb, the Oghna chief takes the prince by the arm and seats him on the throne, while the Undri Bhil holds the salver of spices and sacred grains of rice 3 used in making the tika.

1 Deemed in the East the most impure of all receptacles. These wells are dug at the sides of streams, and give a supply of pure water filtering through the sand.

2 [The right is said to have been enjoyed by the Bhils till the time of Rana Hamir Singh, who died a.d. 1364, and it was recognised in Dungarpur till fairly recent times (Erskine ii. A. 228). The Jats have the same right in Bikaner (Rose, Glossary, ii. 301) : Mers in Porbandar (Wilberforce-Bell, Hist. of Kathiawad, 53 : Kandhs in Kalahandi (Russell, Tribes and Castes Central Provinces, iii. 405, and cf. ii. 280).]

3 Hencc, perhaps, the name khushka for tika. [Khuskka, khushk, ' dry,'


But the solemnity of being seated on the throne of Mewar is so expensive, that many of these rites have fallen into disuse. Jagat Singh was the last prince whose coronation was conducted with the ancient magnificence of this princely house. It cost the sum of ninety lakhs of rupees (£1,125,000), nearly one entire year's revenue of the State in the days of its prosperity, and which, taking into consideration the comparative value of money, would amount to upwards of four millions sterling1 [225].

To resume the narrative : though the flight of Bappa and its cause are perfectly natural, we have another episode ; when the bard assuming a higher strain has recourse to celestial machinery for the denouement of this simple incident : but " an illustrious race must always be crowned with its proper mythology." Bappa who was the founder of a line of a ' hundred kings,' feared as a monarch, adored as more than mortal, and, according to the legend, ' still living ' (charanjiva), deserves to have the source of his pre-eminent fortune disclosed, which, in Mewar, it were sacrilege to doubt. While he pastured the sacred kine in the valleys of Nagindra, the princely shepherd was suspected of appropriating the milk of a favourite cow to his own use. He was distrusted and watched, and although indignant, the youth admitted that they had reason to suspect him, from the habitual dryness of the brown cow when she entered the pens at even.2 He watched, and traced her to a narrow dell, when he beheld the udder spontaneously pouring its stores amidst the shrubs. Under a thicket

is plain boiled rice without seasoning.] Grains of ground rice in curds is the material of the primitive tika, which the author has had applied to him by a lady in Gujargarh, one of the most savage spots in India, amidst the levee en masse, assembled hostilely against him, but separated amicably.

1 Such the pride of these small kingdoms in days of yore, and such their resources, till reduced by constant oppression ! But their public works speak what they could do, and have done ; witness the stupendous work of marble, and its adjacent causeway, which dams the lake of Rajsamand at Kankrauli, and which cost upwards of a million. When the spectator views this expanse of water, this ' royal sea ' (rajsamand) on the borders of the plain ; the pillar of victory towering over the plains of Malwa, erected on the summit of Chitor by Rana Mokal ; their palaces and temples in this ancient abode ; the regal residence erected by the princes when ejected, must fill the observer with astonishment at the resources of the State. They are such as to explain the metaphor of my ancient friend Zahm Singh, who knew better than we the value of this country : " Every pinch of the soil of Mewar contains gold."

2 Godhuli, the dust raised at the time when the cows come home.

[p.264]: of cane a hermit was reposing in a state of abstraction, from which the impetuosity of the shepherd soon roused him. The mystery was revealed in the phallic symbol of the ' great God,' which daily received the lacteal shower, and raised such doubts of the veracity of Bappa.

Bappa's initiation into the worship of Siva

No eye had hitherto penetrated into this natural sanctuary of the rites of the Hindu Creator, except the sages and hermits of ancient days (of whom this was the celebrated Harita),1 whom this bounteous cow also fed.

Bappa related to the sage all he knew of himself, received his blessing, and retired ; but he went daily to visit him, to wash his feet, carry milk to him, and gather such wild flowers as were acceptable offerings to the deity. In return he received lessons of morality, and was initiated into the mysterious rites of Siva : and at length he was invested with the triple cordon of faith (tin parwa zunnar)2 by the hands of the sage, who became his spiritual guide, and bestowed on his pupil the title of [226] ' Regent (Diwan) of Eklinga.' Bappa had proofs that his attentions to the saint and his devotions to Eklinga were acceptable, by a visit from his consort, ' the lion-born goddess.' From her hand he received the panoply of celestial fabrication, the work of Viswakarma (the Vulcan of Eastern mythology), which outvies all the arms ever forged for Greek or Trojan. The lance, bow, quiver, and arrows ; a shield and sword (more famed than Balisarda)3 which the goddess girded on him with her own hand : the oath of fidelity and devotion was the ' relief ' of this celestial investiture. Thus initiated into the mysteries of ' the first ' (adi), admitted under the banners of Bhavani, Harita resolved to leave his pupil to his fortunes, and to quit the worship of the symbol for the presence of the deity in the mansions above. He informed Bappa of his design, and commanded him to be at the sacred spot early on the following morn ; but Bappa showed his materiality by oversleeping himself, and on reaching the spot the sage had already made some progress in his car, borne by the

1 On this spot the celebrated temple of Eklinga was erected, and the present high priest traces sixty-six descents from Harita to himself. To him (through the Rana) I was indebted for the copy of the Sheo (Siva) Purana presented to the Royal Asiatic Society.

2 [Zunnar is an Arabic word, the Hindi janeo.]

3 [The sword stolen from Orlando by Brunello, given to Rogero (Ariosto, Orlando Fvrioso).]


Apsaras, or celestial messengers. He cheeked his aerial ascent to give a last token of affection to his pupil ; and desiring him to reach up to receive his blessing, Bappa's stature was extended to twenty cubits ; but as he did not reach the car, he was commanded to open his mouth, when the sage did what was recorded as performed, about the same period, by Muhammad, who spat into the mouth of his favourite nephew, Husain, the son of Ali.

Bappa gains possession of Chitor

Bappa showed his disgust and aversion by blinking, and the projected blessing fell on his foot, by which squeamishness he obtained only invulnerability by weapons instead of immortality. The saint was soon lost in the cerulean space. Thus marked as the favourite of heaven, and having learned from his mother that he was nephew to the Mori prince of Chitor, he ' disdained a shepherd's slothful life,' and with some companions from these wilds quitted his retreat, and for the first time emerged into the plains. But, as if the brand of Bhavani was insufficient, he met with another hermit in the forest of the Tiger Mount,1 the famed Gorakhnath, who presented to him the double-edged sword,2 which, with the proper incantation, could ' sever rocks.' With this he opened the road to fortune leading to the throne of Chitor [227].

Chitor was at this period held by the Mori prince of the Pramar race, the ancient lords of Malwa, then paramount sovereigns of Hindustan : but whether this city was then the chief seat of power is not known. Various public works, reservoirs, and bastions, yet retain the name of this race.

Bappa's connexion with the Mori3 obtained him a good recep-

1 The Nahra Magra, seven miles from the eastern pass leading to the capital, where the prince has a hunting seat surrounded by several others belonging to the nobles, but all going to decay. The tiger and wild boar now prowl unmolested, as none of the ' uulicensed ' dare shoot in these royal preserves.

2 They surmise that this is the individual blade which is yet annually worshipped by the sovereign and chiefs on its appropriate day, one of the nine sacred to the god of war ; a rite completely Scythic. I had this relation from the chief genealogists of the family, who gravely repeated the incantation : " By the preceptor, Gorakhnath and the great god, Eklinga ; by Takshka the serpent, and the sage Harita ; by Bhavani (Pallas) strike ! "

3 Bappa's mother was a Pramar, probably from Abu or Chandravati, near to Idar; and consequently Bappa was nephew to every Pramar in existence. [The Morya or Maurya sub-clan of the Pramars still exists (Census Report, Rajputana, 1911, i. 255. For traces of the Mauryas in W. India see BG, i. Part ii. 284, note.]


tion ; he was enrolled amongst the sawants or leaders, and a suitable estate conferred upon him. The inscription of the Mori prince's reign, so often alluded to, affords a good idea of his power, and of the feudal manners of his court. He was surrounded by a numerous nobility, holding estates on the tenure of military service, but whom he had disgusted by his neglect, and whose jealousy he had provoked by the superior regard shown to Bappa. A foreign foe appearing at this time, instead of obeying the summons to attend, they threw up their grants, and tauntingly desired him to call on his favourite.1

Bappa undertook the conduct of the war, and the chiefs, though dispossessed of their estates, accompanied him from a feeling of shame. The foe was defeated and driven out of the coutry ; but instead of returning to Chitor, Bappa continued his course to the ancient seat of his family, Gajni, expelled the ' barbarian ' called Salim, placed on the throne a chief of the Chaura tribe,2 and returned with the discontented nobles. Bappa, on this occasion, is said to have married the daughter of his enemy. The nobles quitted Chitor, leaving their defiance with their prince. In vain were the spiritual preceptor (Guru) and foster-brother (Dhabhai) sent as ambassadors : their only reply was, that as they had ' eaten his salt,' they would forbear their vengeance for twelve months. The noble deportment of Bappa won their esteem, and they transferred to him their service and homage. With the temptation of a crown, the gratitude of the Grahilot was given to the winds. On return they assaulted and carried Chitor, and, in the words of the chronicle, " Bappa took Chitor from the Mori and became himself the mor (crown) of the land " : he obtained by universal consent the title of ' sun of the Hindus (Hindua suraj), preceptor of princes (Raj Guru), and universal lord (Chakravartin) ' [228].

He had a numerous progeny, some of whom returned to their ancient seats in Saurashtra, whose descendants were powerful chieftains in that tract so late as Akbar's reign.3 Five sons went to Marwar, and the ancient Gohils ' of the land of Kher,' expelled

1 We are furnished with a catalogue of the tribes which served the Mori prince, which is extremely valuable, from its acquainting us with the names of tribes no longer existing.

2 [See p. 121, above.]

3 See Ain, ii. 247, which speaks of fifty thousand [8000] Guhilots in Sorath.


and driven to Gohilwal1 have lost sight of their ancestry, and by a singular fatality are in possession of the wreck of Valabhipura, ignorant of its history and their connexion with it, mixing with Arabs and following marine and mercantile pursuits ; and the office of the bard having fallen into disrepute, they cannot trace their forefathers beyond Kherdhar.2

The close of Bappa's career is the strangest part of the legend, and which it might be expected they would be solicitous to suppress. Advanced in years, he abandoned his children and his country, carried his arms west to Khorasan, and there established himself, and married new wives from among the ' barbarians,' by whom he had a numerous offspring.2

Death of Bappa

Bappa had reached the patriarchal age of one hundred when he died. An old volume of historical anecdotes, belonging to the chief of Delwara, states that he became an ascetic at the foot of Meru, where he was buried alive after having overcome all the kings of the west, as in Ispahan, Kandahar, Kashmir, Irak, Iran, Turan, and Kafiristan ; all of whose daughters he married, and by whom he had one hundred and thirty sons, called the Nausshahra Pathans. Each of these founded a tribe, bearing the name of the mother. His Hindu children were ninety-eight in number, and were called Agni-upasi Suryavansi, or ' sunborn fire-worshippers.' The chronicles also record that (in like manner as did the subjects of the Bactrian king Menander, though from a different motive) the subjects of Bappa quarrelled for the disposal of his remains. The Hindu wished the fire to consume them ; the ' barbarian ' to commit them to earth; ; but on raising the pall while the dispute was raging, uinumerable flowers of the lotus were found in the place of the remains of mortality : these were conveyed and planted in the lake. This is precisely what is related of the end of the Persian Nushirwan 4 [229].

1 Pepara Guhilots.

2 The ' land of Kher,' on the south-west frontier of Marwar, near the Luni river.

3 The reigning prince told the author that there was no doubt of Bappa having ended his days among ' the Turks ' : a term now applied to all Muhammadans by the Hindu, but at that time confined to the inhabitants of Turkistan, the Turushka of the Puranas, and the Takshak of early inscriptions.

4 [Recent inquiries identify Bappa, whose name is merely a title, with either Mahendraji ii. or Kalbhoja, early chiefs of Mewar (Erskine ii. B. 8). It has been suggested that his legend is mixed up with that of Bappa or Saila of Valabhi, the story of his retreat to Iran representing the latter being carried as a captive to Mansura on the fall of Valabhi or Gandhar {BG, i. Part i. 94, note 2). In any case, the whole story is mere legend, a tale like that of the mysterious disappearance of Romulus and other kings (Sir J. Frazer, Lectures on the Early History of the Kingship, 269 ff.)- A similar tale is told of Rana Uda in later Mewar history.]

The Question of Dates

[p.268]: Having thus briefly sketched the history of the founder of the Guhilot dynasty in Mewar, we must now endeavour to establish the epoch of this important event in its annals. Although Bappa Rawal was nine generations after the sack of Valabhipura, the domestic annals give S. 191 (A.D. 135) for his birth ; which the bards implicitly following, have vitiated the whole chronology.

An important inscription1 in a character little known, establishes the fact of the Mori dynasty being in possession of Chitor in S. 770 (A.D. 714). Now the annals of the Rana's house expressly state Bappa Rawal to be the nephew of the Mori prince of Chitor ; that at the age of fifteen he was enrolled amongst the chieftains of his uncle, and that the vassals (before alluded to), in revenge for the resumption of their grants by the Mori, dethroned him and elevated as their sovereign the youthful Bappa. Notwithstanding this apparently irreconcilable anachronism, the family traditions accord with the inscription, except in date. Amidst such contradictions the development of the truth seemed impossible.

Another valuable inscription of S. 1024 (A.D. 968), though giving the genealogy from Bappa to Sakti Kumar and corroborating that, from Chitor, and which furnished convincing evidence, was not sanctioned by the prince or his chroniclers, who would admit nothing as valid that militated against their established era 191 for the birth of their founder. After six years' residence and unremitting search amid ruins, archives, inscriptions, traditions, and whatever could throw light upon this point, the author quitted Udaipur with all these doubts in his mind, for Saurashtra, to prosecute his inquiries in the pristine abodes of the race.

Then it was that he was rewarded, beyond his most sanguine expectations, by the discovery of an inscription which reconciled these conflicting authorities and removed every difficulty. This marble, found in the celebrated temple of Somnath,2 made mention of a distinct era, viz. the

1 Vide Appendix, Translation, No. II. 2 See Translation, No. III.

[p.269]: Valabhi Samvat, as being used in Saurashtra ; which era was three hundred and seventy-five years subsequent to Vikramaditya.1

On the sack of Valabhi thirty thousand families abandoned this ' city of a hundred temples,' and led by their priests found a retreat for themselves and their faith [230] in Mordardes (Marwar), where they erected the towns of Sandrai and Bali, in which latter we recognise the name of the city whence they were expelled. The religion of Valabhi, and consequently of the colonists, was the Jain ; and it was by a priest descended from the survivors of this catastrophe, and still with their descendants inhabiting those towns, that these most important documents were furnished to the author. The Sandrai roll assigns the year 305 (Valabhi era) for the destruction of Valabhi : another, also from Jain authority, gives 205 ; and as there were but nine princes from Vijayasen, the founder, to its fall, we can readily believe the first a numerical error. Therefore 205 + 375 = 580 S. Vikrama (A.D. 524), for the invasion of Saurashtra by ' the barbarians from the north,' and sack of Valabhipura.

Now if from 770, the date of the Mori tablet, we deduct 580, there remains 190 ; justifying the pertinacity with which the chroniclers of Mewar adhered to the date given in their annals for the birth of Bappa, viz. 191 : though they were ignorant that this period was dated from the flight from Valabhipura.

Bappa, when he succeeded to the Mori prince, is said to have been fifteen years old ; and his birth being one year anterior to the Mori inscription of 770+14 = S.V. 784 (A.D. 728),2 is the period for the foundation of the Guhilot dynasty in Mewar : since which, during a space of eleven hundred years, fifty-nine princes lineally descended from Bappa have sat on the throne of Chitor.

Though the bards and chroniclers will never forgive the temerity which thus curtails the antiquity of their founder, he is yet placed in the dawn of chivalry, when the Carlovingian dynasty

1 [The Valabhi era begins in a.d. 318-19.]

2 This will make Bappa's attainment of Chitor fifteen years posterior to Muhammad bin Kasim's invasion. I have observed generally a discrepancy of ten years between the Samvat and Hegira ; the Hegira reckoned from the sixteenth year of Muhammad's mission, and would if employed reconcile this difficulty. [The traditional dates are untrustworthy, being based on a confused reminiscence of Valabhi history (IA, xv. 275). A list of the chiefs of Mewar, with the dates as far as can be ascertained, is given by Erskine (ii. B. 8 ff.).]

[p.270]: was established in the west, and when Walid, whose bands planted ' the green standard ' on the Ebro, was ' commander of the" faithful.'

From the deserted and now forgotten ' city of the sun,' Aitpur, the abode of wild beasts and savage Bhils. another memorial1 of the princes of Mewar was obtained. It relates to the prince Sakti Kumar. Its date is S. 1024 (A.D. 968), and it contains the names of fourteen of his ancestors in regular succession. Amongst these is Bappa, or Saila. When compared with the chronicles and [231] family archives, it was highly gratifying to find that, with the exception of one superfluous name and the transposition of others, they v/ere in perfect accordance.

Hume says, " Poets, though they disfigure the most certain history by their fictions, and use strange liberties with truth, when they are the sole historians, as among the Britons, have commonly some foundation for their wildest exaggerations." The remark is applicable here ; for the names which had been mouldering for nine centuries, far from the abode of man, are the same they had worked into their poetical legends. It was at this exact epoch that the arms of Islam, for the first time, crossed the Indus. In the ninety-fifth year of the Hegira,2 Muhammad bin Kasim, the general of the Caliph Walid, conquered Sind, and penetrated (according to early Arabian authors) to the Ganges ; and although Elmacin mentions only Sind, yet other Hindu States were at this period convulsed from the same cause : witness the overthrow of Manikrae of Ajmer, in the middle of the eighth century, by a foe ' coming in ships,' Anjar specified as the point where they landed. If any doubt existed that it was Kasim who advanced to Chitor3 and was defeated by Bappa, it was set at rest by finding at this time in Chitor ' Dahir,4 the prince of Debil.'

1 See Translation of Inscription, No. IV.

2 A.D. 713, or S. 769 : the Inscription 770 of Man Mori, against whom came the ' barbarian.'

3 I was informed by a friend, who had seen the papers of Captain Macmurdo, that he had a notice of Kasim's having penetrated to Dungarpur. Had this gentleman lived, he would have thrown much light on these Western antiquities. (Muhammad bin Kasim does not seem to have attacked Ajmer : the place was not founded till A.D. 1000 (Watson, Gazetteer, i. A. 9).]

4 By an orthographical error, the modern Hindu, ignorant of Debal, has written Delhi. But there was no lord of Delhi at this time : he is styled Dahir, Despat (lord) of Debal, from des, ' a country,' and pat, ' the head.'


Abu-l Fazl1 records, from Arabian authorities, that Dahir was lord of Sind, and resided at his capital, Debal, the first place captured by Kasim in 95. His miserable end, and the destruction of his house, are mentioned by the historian, and account for the son being found with the Mori prince of Chitor.

Nine princes intervened between Bappa and Sakti Kumar, in two centuries (twenty-two years to each reign) : just the time which should elapse from the founder, who ' abandoned his country for Iran,' in S. 820, or A.D. 764. Having thus established four epochs in the earlier history of the family, viz. — 1 Kanaksen, A.D. 144 ; 2, Siladitya, and sack of Valabhi, A.D. 524 ; 3, Establishment in Chitor and Mewar, A.D. 720 ; 4, Sakti Kumar, A.D. 1068 ; 2 we may endeavour to relieve this narrative by the notices which regard their Persian descent [232].

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