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Haihayas (हैहय) were an ancient confederacy of five ganas (clans), who claimed their common ancestry from Yadu.


Hahaj by Al Masudi

Al Masudi[1] writes that .... The king of Kandahár, who is one of the kings of Sind and its mountains, is called Hahaj; this name is common to all sovereigns of that country. From his dominions comes the river Raíd, one of the five rivers which form the Mihrán of Sind. Kandahár is called the country of the Rahbút. Another river of the five is called Bahátil, it comes also from the mountains of Sind, and runs through

[p.23]: the country of the Rahbút, which is the country of Kandahár: the fourth river comes from the country of Kábul, and its mountains on the frontier of Sind towards Bust, Ghaznin, Zara'ún, ar-Rukhaj, and the country of Dáwar, which is the frontier of Sijistán. The last of the five rivers comes from the country of Kashmir. The king of Kashmír has the name of Ráí, which is a general title for all the kings. Kashmír forms part of Sind.

ठाकुर देशराज

ठाकुर देशराज[2] ने लिखा है....वैसोरा - यह लोग 10 वीं सदी के अंतिम चरण में थानेश्वर में राज करते थे। राजा हर्ष इनमें से प्रसिद्ध बौद्ध नरेश हुआ है। अलमसऊदी नामक अरबी यात्री ने जो कि 953 ई. में भारत में आया था, इस वंश का जिक्र किया है। उसने राजा हर्ष कोरेश लिखा है। शायद कुरुक्षेत्र का अधिपति होने के कारण उसने ऐसा लिखा होगा। यह भी हो सकता है वैसोरा

[पृ.125]: लोग कुरु लोगों की ही एक शाख हों। अलमसऊदी ने वैसोरा शब्द को बाऊरा लिखा है। श्री सीवी वैद्य ने अपनी अटकल से बावरा को परिहार लिखा है, जो बिल्कुल असंगत है। दिल्ली राजपूताने में हजारों की संख्या में वैसोरा जाट हैं।

सीवी वैद्य को एक और भी भ्रम हुआ है। मसूदी ने कन्दहार में हाहज लोगों का राज बताया है, जिसको आप उपाधि मानते हैं। वास्तव में वे हैहय क्षत्रिय थे।

Haihaya and Jats

James Tod[3] writes that the tribes here alluded to are the Haihaya or Aswa, the Takshak, and the Jat or Getae; the similitude of whose theogony, names in their early genealogies, and many other points, with the Chinese, Tatar, Mogul, Hindu, and Scythic races, would appear to warrant the assertion of one common origin.

Kalika Ranjan Qanungo[4] writes that if the phonetic difficulty alone stands in the way of recognising the Yadava origin of the Jats, there cannot be any objection in identifying the Jats with the Jatas or Sujatas, a branch of the great Haihaya Yadavas. Of the hundred sons of Kartavirya, the five principal were Sura, Surasena, Vrishana, Madhu and Jayadhwaja. From the last sprang up the five great divisions of the Haihaya tribe, the Talajanghas, Vitihotras, Avantyas, Tundikeras, and Jatas also called Sujatas from the prolific number (Wilson's Vishnu Puran pp. 417-418). Wilson seems to entertain a doubt whether the Haihayas are not the Huna and Saka tribes engrafted upon the great genealogical tree of the Aryans by the clever Puranic ethnologists. The Jats were known by the name of Sus, Abars, and many other names, as Beames says.


They have originated from ancestral person in line of Yayati.


Jat Gotras

Jat Gotras originated from Haihayas are:

  • Hinia - They are descendants of people of Haihaya (हैहय) country. [5]

In epics

According to the Harivamsha Purana (34.1898) Haihaya was the great grandson of Yadu and grandson of Sahasrajit.[6] In the Vishnu Purana (IV.11), all the five Haihaya clans are mentioned together as the Talajanghas.[7] The five Haihaya clans were Vitihotra, Sharyata (mentioned elsewhere in the Puranas as the descendants of Sharyati, a son of Vaivasvata Manu), Bhoja, Avanti and Tundikera.[8] The Haihayas migrated from the west to the present-day Malwa region of Western Madhya Pradesh). The Puranas style the Haihayas as the first ruling dynasty of Avanti.[9]

Foundation of Mahishmati

In the Harivamsha (33.1847), the honour of founding their future capital city of Mahishmati (present-day Maheshwar) was attributed to the Haihaya king Mahishmant, son of Sahanja. But according to the Padma Purana (VI.115), the city was actually founded by a certain Mahisha.[10]

Arjuna Kartavirya and his successors

According to the Mahabharata and the Puranas, the most celebrated Haihaya king was Arjuna Kartavirya.[11] His epithet was Sahasrabahu. He was called a Samrat and Chakravartin. His name is found in the Rig Veda (VIII.45.26).[12] He ultimately conquered Mahishmati city from Karkotaka Naga, a Naga chief and made it his fortress-capital.[13]

According to the Vayu Purana, he invaded Lanka and took Ravana prisoner.[14] Arjuna propitiated Dattatreya and was fovoured by him.[15] Arjuna's sons killed sage Jamadagni. Jamadagni's son Parashurama in revenge killed Arjuna. Arjuna had a number of sons. His son Jayadhvaja succeeded him to the throne. Jayadhvaja was succeeded by his son Talajangha.[16]

The Vitihotras

Later, the Haihayas were mostly known by the name of the dominant clan amongst them - the Vitihotras (or Vitahotras or Vitahvyas). According to the Puranas, Vitihotra was the great-grandson of Arjuna Kartavirya and the eldest son of Talajangha. The Puranas also mention the names of two Vitihotra rulers: Ananta, son of Vitihotra and Durjaya Amitrakarshana, son of Ananta[17] The northward expansion of the Haihaya territory to the mid-Ganges valley by the Vitihotra rulers was stopped by the Ikshvaku king Sagara.[18] The Mahagovindasuttanta of the Dighanikaya mentions about an Avanti king Vessabhu (Vishvabhu) and his capital Mahissati (Mahishmati). Probably he was a Vitihotra ruler.[19] Probably, during the rule of the later Vitihotras, the whole Avanti region developed into two realms, divided by the Vindhyas, having principal cities at Mahishmati and Ujjayini (present day Ujjain). According to the Matsya Purana (5.37), Pulika, one of the ministers of Ripunjaya, the last Vitihotra king of Ujjayini killed his master and made his son Pradyota new king.[20]

Chaura Inscription at Mandava Mahal of Ramachandra of Phani or Nagavansha

(In situ)
Genealogical table of Kawardha Nagavanshi rulers

Chaura is a village about 11 miles from Kawardha. In a temple known as Mandava Mahal (मंडवा महल) there is a long inscription on a slab containing 37 lines, which records the construction of a Siva temple by king Ramachandra, born of the Phani or Nagavansha, and married to Ambikadevi of the Haihaya lineage. It gives the legend of the origin of the Nagavansha, somewhat resembling that of the Haihaya-vansha, who claim a serpent and a mare to be their original ancestors. Our record relates that a serpent got enamoured of Mithila, the beautiful daughter of the sage Jatukarna (जाटुकर्ण).

He therefore assumed human form and had intercourse with her. Their issue was Ahiraja, who, having conquered the neighbouring chiefs, set himself up as a king. The kings who followed him are shown in the genealogical table in the picture. Family tree is as under:

1. Ahiraja → 2. Rajalla → 3. Dharnidhara → 4. Mahimadeva → 5. Sarvavandana (Saktichandra ?) → 6. Gopaladeva → 7. Naladeva → 8. Bhuvanapala → 9. Kirtipala 10. Jayatrapala → 11. Mahipala → 12. Vishamapala → 13. Ja(nhu) → 14. Janapala or Vijanapala (or Juvapala ?) → 15. Yasoraja → 16. Kanhadadeva ? (Vallabhadeva ?) → 17. (La)kshmavarma → 18. Khadgadeva → 19. Bhuvanaikamalla → 20. Arjuna → 21. -Bhima → 22. Bhoja

17. (La)kshmavarma → Chandana → Vijjana → Malugideva → 23 Lakshrtiana → 24. Ramachandra → (Arjuna + Haripala)


  1. The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians/III. Al Mas'údí ,p.22-23
  2. Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihas (Utpatti Aur Gaurav Khand)/Shashtham Parichhed, p.124-125
  3. Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume I,, James Todd Annals/Chapter 6 Genealogical history of the Rajput tribes subsequent to Vikramaditya,p. 68
  4. History of the Jats:Dr Kanungo/Origin and Early History,p.11
  5. Mahendra Singh Arya et al: Adhunik Jat Itihas, p. 286
  6. Pargiter, F.E. (1972) [1922]. Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p.87.
  7. Pargiter, F.E. (1972) [1922]. Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p.102
  8. Pargiter, F.E. (1972) [1922]. Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p.102
  9. Raychaudhuri, H.C. (1972) Political History of Ancient India, Calcutta: University of Calcutta, pp.130-1.
  10. Pargiter, F.E. (1972) [1922]. Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, pp.263,263fn3.
  11. Pargiter, F.E. (1972) [1922]. Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p.265-7
  12. Misra, V.S. (2007). Ancient Indian Dynasties, Mumbai: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, ISBN 81-7276-413-8, pp.157-8
  13. Pargiter, F.E. (1972) [1922]. Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p.265-7
  14. Dowson, John (1984). A Classical Dictionary of Hindu Mythology, and Religion, Geography, History. Calcutta: Rupa & Co. p. 152.
  15. Pargiter, F.E. (1972) [1922]. Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p.229.
  16. Pargiter, F.E. (1972) [1922]. Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p.265-7
  17. Pargiter, F.E. (1972) [1922]. Ancient Indian Historical Tradition, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p.102.
  18. Thapar, Romila (1996). Ancient Indian Social History Some Interpretations, New Delhi: Orient Longman, ISBN 81-250-0808-X, p.299
  19. Bhattacharyya, P. K. (1977). Historical Geography of Madhya Pradesh from Early Records. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 118–9. ISBN 978-81-208-3394-4. ISBN 0-8426-909-1
  20. Raizada, Ajit (1992). Ujjayini (in Hindi), Bhopal: Directorate of Archaeology & Museums, Government of Madhya Pradesh, p.21

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