Bhainsrorgarh

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Location of Rawatbhata in Chittorgarh District

Bhainsrorgarh is a village in Rawatbhata tahsil of district Chittorgarh in Rajasthan. Bhainsrorgarh Fort or Bhainsror Fort is an ancient fort.

Location

It is located in North-East corner of the district just above Rana Pratap Sagar near border of Bundi District.

Bhainsrorgarh is 7 km from Rawatbhata.

Founders


History

Bhainsrorgarh is an impregnable fort, inhabited from at least the 2nd century BC. It is dramatically positioned between two rivers, the Chambal and Bamani. It had passed through the hands of several clans before becoming the seat of a premier noble of Mewar, the large region around Udaipur and Princely State of the Sisodia clan. It contains five tanks, temples to Devi Bhim Chauri, Shiva, and Ganesh and a palace that is for rent. The present fort is around 260 years old and was built in the 1740s.

The fort at Bhainsror in Southern Rajasthan is supposed to have come up in the 2nd century B.C. and the Kagarol (Kaga Ror)[1] ruins near present-day Agra have also pointed to a similar time-line for another branch of Rors who ruled from there. The coins found in the Agra circle by Sir Alexander Cunningham [2] seem to indicate a close relationship between the Ror rulers of the area and the rulers of Hastinapur and Indraprastha. A few coins found close to the site have been dated to the 3rd century CE by Cunningham as a result of the general style of the coins and the type of Sanskrit used.[3]

Chastana, was a ruler of the Saka Western Satraps in northwestern India around 130 CE. He was satrap of Ujjain during that period. A statue found in Mathura together with statues of the Kushan king Kanishka and Vima Taktu, and bearing the name "Shastana" is often attributed to Castana himself. Chastana is called Tisman by the bards.

Chastana was mentioned by Ptolemy as "Tiasthenes" or "Testenes", ruling a large area of Western India into the 2nd century CE, especially the area of Ujjain ("Ozene"), during the reign of the Satavahana king Vasisthiputra Sri Pulamavi.[4] Ptolemy in his "Geographia", where he qualifies the Western Satraps as "Indo-Scythians", describes Chastana's territory as starting from Patalene in the West, to his capital Ujjain in the east ("Ozena-Regia Tiastani", "Ozene, capital of king Chastana"), and beyond Barigaza in the south:

Moreover the region which is next to the western part of India, is called Indoscythia. A part of this region around the (Indus) river mouth is Patalena, above which is Abiria. That which is about the mouth of the Indus and the Canthicolpus bay is called Syrastrena. (...) In the island formed by this river are the cities Pantala, Barbaria. (...) The Larica region of Indoscythia is located eastward from the swamp near the sea, in which on the west of the Narmada river is the interior city of Barygaza emporium. On the east side of the river (...) Ozena-Regia Tiastani (...) Minagara". [5]

Bhim Singh Dahiya writes that The great Satraps, Chaṣṭan and Rudradaman belonged to the Sahrawat clan of the Jats. [6]


Presence of village names Tilasman in north of this fort, located in Bijolia Bhilwara, hints that the fort was constructed by Chastana.

Antiquities and inscriptions of Bhynsror

Villages around Rawatbhata, Chittorgarh

James Tod[7] visited Bhainsrorgarh on 19 February 1820 and has provided us following information:

The castle of Bhynsror is most romantically situated upon the extreme point of a ridge, on an almost isolated rib of the Pathar, from which we have descended. To the east, its abrupt cliff overhangs the placid expanse of the Chambal, its height above which is about two hundred feet : the level of the river in the monsoon is marked at full thirty feet above its present elevation. The Bamani bounds Bhynsror on the west, and by the rapidity of its fall has completely scarped the rock, even to the angle of confluence within which is placed the castle, to whose security is smaller intermediate stream not


[p.597]: a little contributes. On the north alone is it accessible, and there the hill is scarped ; but this scarp, which is about three hundred yards distant, forms a good cover, and a few shells thence played upon the castle would soon (compel it to surrender. The rock is a soft, loose, blue schistose slate, which would not retard the miner. The approach from the river, here about five hundred yards wide, would be destruction. It is never fordable, and its translucent sea-green waters are now full forty feet in depth. When in the periodical rains it accumulates at its source, and is fed during its passage by many minor streams from the Vindhya and this oberland, its velocity is overwhelming ; it rises above the opposing bank and laying the whole tract to the base of the table-land of Harouti under water, sweeps away in its irresistible course even the rocks. Speculation might here be exhausted in vain attempts to explain how nature could overcome this formidable obstacle to her operations, and how the stream could effect its passage through this adamantine barrier. The channel cut in the rock is as clean as if performed by the chisel, and standing on the summit of the cliff, which is from three hundred to seven hundred feet in height, one discerns in imagination the marks of union : to use the words of our last great bard, on the Rhone,

" Heights which appear as lovers who have parted
"In hate, whose mining depths so intervene,
" That they can meet no more, though broken-hearted."

I shall by and bye, I trust, obtain a more correct knowledge of the comparative elevation of this plateau, and the crest of the Vindhya whence issues the Chambal ; but although this stream is, of course, much below the level of its source, yet there is little doubt that the summit of this chasm (Oopermal) is, as its name indicates, the ' highest land' of Malwa I say this after making myself acquainted with the general depression of Malwa to this point, in which we are aided by the course of the stream. Under Bhynsror, the current is never very gentle ; but both above and below there are rapids, if not falls, of thirty to fifty feet in descent. That above the stream is termed the Chooli, because full of whirlpools and eddies, which have given a sacred character to it, like the Nerbudda, at ' the whirlpools of the great god,' Chooli Maheswar, A multitude of the round stones taken out of these vortices, when they have been rounded by attrition into a perfectly orbicular form, only require consecration and a little red paint to be converted into the representatives of Bhiroo, the god of war, very properly styled the elder born of Siva, the destroyer. This is about two miles up the stream ; there is another at Kotrah, about three miles down, with several successive rapids. There is a fall in the vicinity of Rampoora, and another about five coss north of it, at Choraitagurh, where the river first penetrates the plateau. There, I understand, it is not above seventy yards in breadth, confined between cliffs perfectly perpendicular. There is also said to be another fall or rapid intermediate between Rampoora and its source in the peak of Janapa, in the neighbourhood of Oneil,


[p.598]: If these are all the falls, though only amounting to rapids, we may form a tolerable idea of the difference of level between the base of the Oopermal and the highland of the Vindhyaa whence the Chambal issues ; and still we snail see that there are points where the perpendicular cliffs must be some hundred feet above the peak of Janapa ; if so, this chasm was never formed by water.

Mewar still extends east of the river, and the greater part of. the estate of Bhynsror is on the opposite side. A small stream, called the Kurb-ca-Khal, divides the lands of the Haras from those of the Seesodias, and there is a beejuk-marka, or land-mark inscription, at the Shesa tallao, put up centuries ago. To this line, and between it and the Chambal, is the putta of Koondal ; and farther south, towards Rampoora, is that of Puchail, both containing twenty-four villages attached to Bhynsror. All that tract farther inland in Upper Malwa, termed Malki-des, in which are the towns of Chychut and Sukeit, was in old times included geographically in Mewar ; it is yet possessed by the Suktawuts, though subject to Kotah.

The etymology of Bhynsror: Tradition has preserved the etymology of Bhynsror, and dates its erection from the second century of the era of Vicrama, though others make it antecedent even to him. Be that as it may, it adds a fact of some importance, viz., that the Charuns, or bards, were then, as now, the privileged carriers of Rajwarra, and that this was one of their great lines of communication. Bhynsror, therefore, instead of being the work of some mighty conqueror, owes its existence to the joint efforts of Bhynsa Sah, the merchant, and Rora, a Charun and Bunjarri, to protect their tandas (caravans) from the lawless mountaineers, when compelled to make a long halt during the periodical rains.

How many lines of heroes possessed it before the Haras established themselves among its ruins is unknown, though the "universal Pramar" is mentioned. Its subsequent change of masters, and their names and history, are matters of less doubt ; since the altars of the Dodeah, the Pramar, the Rahtore, the Suktawut, the Chondawut,

"— who sought and found, by dangerous roads,
" A path to perpetuity of fame ;"

are still visible. Of the Dodeah name we have already preserved one wreck, though whether the ' rocket of the moon' was of the family who dwelt upon the whirlpools of the Chambal, we must leave to conjecture. Not so of his successor, the Rahtore, who was a scion of the house of Mehwo, on the Salt River of the desert, from which, though he was but a vassal of Mundore, the Rana scorned not to take a wife boasting the pure blood of the kings of Canouj. A younger brother accompanied her to the court of Cheetore. Soon after, the Rawal of Jaisalmer dared to put an affront upon the Rana, the acknowledged head of the Rajpoot race ! The chivalry of Mewar was assembled, and the beera of vengeance held up, which the stripling heir of Mehwo, darting forward, obtained. Although but fifteen years of age, entreaties


[p.599] (part): The Pramar {vulg. Puar) succeeded the Rahtore in the fief of Bhynsror. How long the former held it is uncertain.


[p.603] (part): Before, however, we altogether quit the wilds of the Chumbul, we must record that Bhynsror had been visited by another man of blood, the renowned Alla-o-din, in whose epithets of khooni or 'the sanguinary ;' and Secunder Sani, or 'the second Alexander,' by which history has given him perpetuity of infamy, we recognize the devastating and ferocious Ghilji king, who assailed every Hindu prince in India. Obedient to the letter of the law, he had determined to leave not one stone upon another of the temples or palaces of Bhynsror. Everywhere we searched for memorials of the Hoon, whose name is also connected with the foundation of Bhynsror ; of the Pramar, or the Dodeah ; but in vain. The vestiges of these ages had disappeared, or been built up in the more modern fortifications. Two such inscriptions we indeed discovered, reversed and applied as


[p.604]: common building materials in the walls around the town :

One was dated S. 1179 (A.D. 1123), but being in the old ornamented Jain character, would have required time and labour to decipher.

The other is also anterior to Alia, and the ornaments in this are decidedly Jain ; its purport is as given in the box.

Text
" on the purb (full moon) of Seoratri (the birth-day of Siva), Maha Rae'an Derae Rae Sing Deo bestowed in the name of Rameswar, the village of Tuttagurh in poon (religious gift). Those who maintain the grant will enjoy the fruits resulting therefrom :" or, in the words of the original :
" Jissa jissa jidhu bhomi,
" Tissa, tissa tidhu phullung"
" Samvat 1302 (A.D. 1246)."
Bhainsrorgarh Inscription of S. 1302 (A.D. 1246) [8]

This form of sasun, or religious charity, is peculiar, and styled sasun Udyadit, which proves that the Pramar, of whom this is a memorial, was a feudatory of the prince of Dhar, whose era has been fixed. These discoveries stimulated our research, and my revered friend and guru, who is now deeply embued with antiquarian enthusiasm, vainly offered a large reward for permission to dig for the image of Parswdnat'h, his great pontiff, of whose shrine he has no doubt the first inscription is a memorial. When about to leave this place (indeed our baggage had gone on), we were informed of some celebrated temples across the river at a place called Barolli, anciently Dholpoor. The shrine is dedicated to Guteswara Mahadeva, with a lingam revolving in the yoni, the wonder of those who venture amongst its almost impervious and unfrequented woods to worship. As I could not go myself, I despatched the guru to hunt for inscriptions and bring me an account of it.

Jat gotras

Population

Notable persons

External links

References

  1. The ancient fort buried under this place (village Khangar Ror or Kaga Ror) was founded by a Ror Raja, son of Raja Khangar", Pages 210-212, Archaeological Survey of India, Report for the year 1871-72, Volume IV, Agra circle covered by A.C.L. Carlleyle, Under the supervision of Alexander Cunningham
  2. Junagadh Rock Inscription of Rudradaman
  3. Page 96, Archaeological Survey of India, Report for the year 1871-72, Volume IV, Agra circle covered by A.C.L. Carlleyle, Under the supervision of Alexander Cunningham
  4. "According to Ptolemy, Siristolemaios (Sri Pulumayi), son of Gautamiputra Satakarni, continued to reign at Paithan (Pratisthana), while Ozene (Ujjain) fell into the hands of Tiasthenes (Chastana)." Alain Danielou, A Brief History of India (Inner Traditions, 2003), mentioned here
  5. Ptolemy Geographia, Book Seven, Chapter
  6. Bhim Singh Dahiya: Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study),p.74
  7. James Todd Annals/Personal Narrative, Vol.II,p.597-604
  8. James Todd Annals/Personal Narrative, Vol.II,p.604

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