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Author: Laxman Burdak IFS (R)
Shiva temple and Nandi at Harsh

Harsh (हर्ष) or Harasnath (हर्षनाथ) is village in Sikar tehsil in Sikar district in Rajasthan. It is an ancient historical and religious place. It is associated with the history of Ghasal, Burdak, Chauhan and later Shekhawat clans. The place is known for Harasnath temple at Mt. Harsha (c. mid-10th century). [1]



As of 2001 the population of the village is 6016, out of which 772 are SC and 58 are S T people. [2]Its geographical location: Latitude 27.52 Longitude 75.18.


Harsh in the ancestry of Burdaks.

Mention by Panini

Harsha (हर्ष) is mentioned by Panini in Ashtadhyayi. [3]


Location of Harsh in Sikar district

The Harshanath Inscription of 961 AD is the most authentic source about the chronology and history of Chauhan rulers.

As per records of the bards of Burdak[4] the village was founded by Burdak ancestors. Raja Ratansen begot son Biramrao. Biramrao came from Ajmer to Dadrewa and founded a fort here in samvat 1078 (1021 AD). He had 384 villages in his kingdom. Biramrao got married to Jasmadevi daughter of Virabhana Garhwal. Biramrao begot three sons namely,

  • 1. Sanwat Singh - Sanwat Singh begot son Mal Singh, who begot son Raja Dhandh who begot son Indra Chand who begot son Har Karan. Har Karan had son Harsh and daughter Jeen. Jeen became deity in samvat 990 (933 AD).
  • 2. Sabal Singh - Sabal Singh begot sons Alan Singh and Balan Singh. Sabal Singh won the Jaitaran fort on Ashwin Badi 938 (881 AD).
  • 3. Achal Singh

Alan Singh son of Sabal Singh got three sons: Rao Burdakdeo, Bagdeo and Biramdeo. Alan Singh constructed a temple at Mathura in samvat 979 (922 AD) and gifted a gold chhatra.

Rao Burdakdeo of Dadrewa begot three sons: Samudra Pal, Dar Pal and Vijay Pal. Rao Burdak Dev went to Lahore to help Raja Jai Pal. He died in war in 1057 (1000 AD) and his wife Tejal of gotra Shekwal became sati in Dadrewa . Her chhatri was built on the site of Dadrewa pond in samvat 1058 (1001 AD). The Jat Gotra Burdak started after Rao Burdak Dev.

Rao Burdakdeo’s elder son Samudra Pal begot two sons: Nar Pal and Kusum Pal. Smudra Pal went to Vaihind near Peshawar in Pakistan to help Raja Anand Pal and was killed there in war. Samudra Pal’s wife Punyani became sati in samvat 1067 (1010 AD) at Sambhar.

According to other sources it was capital of Ghasal Jats also.[5] There is a need to further research about the Ghasal Jats.


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[6] ने लेख किया है ...[p.1011]: हर्षनाथ प्राचीन नगर के अवशेष राजस्थान राज्य में सीकर के निकट स्थित हैं। स्थानीय अनुश्रुति के अनुसार यह स्थान पूर्वकाल में 36 मील के घेरे में बसा हुआ था। एक प्राचीन कहावत भी प्रचलित है-- जगमालपुरा हर्षनगरी, जीमै हाठ हजार मढ़ै गुदड़ी, [p.1012]: बमै तालाब बड़ी छतरी। वर्तमान में हर्षनाथ नामक ग्राम हर्षगिरि पहाड़ी की तलहटी में बसा हुआ है और सीकर से प्रायः आठ मील दक्षिण-पूर्व में हैं। हर्षगिरि ग्राम के पास हर्षगिरि नामक पहाड़ी है, जो 3,000 फुट ऊँची है और इस पर लगभग 900 वर्ष से अधिक प्राचीन मंदिरों के खण्डहर हैं। इन मंदिरों में एक काले पत्थर पर उत्कीर्ण लेख प्राप्त हुआ है, जो शिवस्तुति से प्रारम्भ होता है और जो पौराणिक कथा के रूप में लिखा गया है। लेख में हर्षगिरि और मन्दिर का वर्णन है और इसमें कहा गया है कि मन्दिर के निर्माण का कार्य आषाढ़ शुक्ल त्रयोदशी, सोमवार 1013 विक्रम सम्वत् (956 ई.) को प्रारम्भ होकर विग्रहराज चौहान के समय में आषाढ़ कृष्ण 15, 1030 विक्रम सम्वत (973 ई.) को पूरा हुआ था। यह लेख संस्कृत में है और इसे रामचन्द्र नामक कवि ने लेखबद्ध किया था। मंदिर के भग्नावशेषों में अनेक सुंदर कलापूर्ण मूर्तियाँ तथा स्तंभ आदि प्राप्त हुए हैं, जिनमें से अधिकांश सीकर के संग्रहालय में सुरक्षित हैं।


सिद्धसेनसूरी की वि. सं. 1123 (1066 ई.) में रचित सर्वतीर्थमाला में अपभ्रंश कथाग्रन्थ 'विलासवर्दूकहां' में झुंझुनू के साथ-साथ खण्डिल्ल, नराणा, हरसऊद (Harsh) और खट्टउसूस (खाटू) के नाम आये हैं। इससे इसकी उपस्थिति विक्रम की 12 वीं शती में भी ज्ञात होती है।[7]


Statues in Shiva temple Harsh

There is a popular belief which has come down to people through the centuries that in a village Ghanghu of Churu, King Ghangh loved and married an Apsara (nymph) on the condition that he would not visit her palace without prior information. King Ghangh got a son called Harsh and a daughter Jeen. Afterwards she again conceived but as chance would have it king Ghangh went to her palace without prior intimation and thus violated solemn vow he had made to the Apsara. Instantly she left the king and fled away with her son Harsha and daughter Jeen whom she abandoned at the place where presently the temple stands. The two children here practiced extreme asceticism. Later a Chauhan ruler built the temple at that place.[8]

Harshagiri Inscription of 961 AD

Main article: Harshagiri Inscription of 961 AD

Nandi Statue at Harshanatha

In a paper read before the Asiatic Society in 1835 Sergeant E. Dean delivered the inglorious epitaph to an extraordinary tenth-century Indian temple which he,along with Dr. G.E. Rankin had discovered previous year. This site is known as Harshagiri, near the village of Harasnath about 7 miles south of Sikar town. U.P. Shah in his article - "Some medieval Sculpture from Gujarat and Rajasthan" writes of the temple of Harshanatha, which was built in 956 AD and then of Sculpture from Harshagiri datable in c.961-973 AD and finally of the "Purana Mahadeva Temple at Harshagiri (c.961-973 AD). [9]

Statues in Shiva temple Harsh

Professor Kielhorn, writing in 1894, summarizes the inscription as under:

"The proper object of the poetical part of inscription, which consists of 48 verses, is to record the erection of Temple of Shiva, worshipped under the name of Harsha, on the Hill Harsha, by the Shaiva ascetic Bhawarakta (भावरक्त) or Allata (अल्लट)....the value of the inscription is enhanced by the fact that it yields the names of considerable number of districts and places, and contains several dates, for one of which the corresponding European date may be given with absolute certainty." [10]

The first twelve verses of the inscription are mainly devoted to the glorification of the God Shiva, styled here as Harshadeva, of his place of residence, the mountain Harsha, and of the temple erected to the God on that Hill. After that, the poet in verse 13-27, celebrates a line of princes belonging to Chahamana family who are said to have become illustrious through their devotion to God Harsha. [11]

The chronology of Harshanath Inscription of Chauhan rulers is supported by their Bijolia Inscription of v.s. 1226 (1169 AD). As per record of Bards the place of origin of Chauhans is Mahishmati on the banks of Narmada River.Ahichhatrapur and Shakambhari were their first and second capitals.Their state was known as Sapadalaksha which included one lakh villages. As per Ojha Sapadalaksha was the name of Nagaur. Shakambhari was the ancient name of Sambhar.[12]

Till the middle of 8th century Chauhans were the rulers of Sambhar. Guvaka I was probably the first independent ruler. Chauhans were Shaivas and Harshadeva was their kuladevata.[13] In other inscriptions of Chauhans we get information about a place named Purnatallakapura (पूर्णतल्लकपुर), a very well developed and rich city. Shakambhari inscription of s.v. 1155 which mentions terms like 'पूर्णतल्लकपुर: प्रथित: पृथ्वीव्याम्' & 'वेश्मजालै:'. It appears that Purnatallakapura, which has been identified with village Pulota or Pundlota near Degana, has been the capital of Chauhans. Probably the line of rulers starting from Vasudeva to the predecessor of Guvaka were rulers here in Pulota. Later when their state expanded Chauhans made Harsh as their capital or sub capital and Guvaka was the first ruler of Harsha. This is probably the reason for Harshanath inscription starts Chauhan line of rulers from Guvaka. [14]

The Sanskrit text of these verses from 13-30 is reproduced below for study of the history of the place and that of Chauhan dynasty.The chronology of the six Chauhan rulers as per this inscription is as under:

Sinharaja - Vatsaraja
Chandraraja - Govindaraja

The inscription tells us about genealogy of 6 princes of the same distinguished family whose head then held the neighbouring kingdom of Ajmer - the family of the Chauhan dynasty is continued from regularly from father to son starting from Guvaka and terminated in Sinharaja, in whose reign this work appears to have been commenced in AD 961. Then comes the seventh king, of a totally different family, being sprung from the solar race of Raghu. The successor of Sinharaja was Vigraharaja from a different lineage. The name of this descendant of Rama is Vigraha Raja; but in what character he appears as the successor of the former princes, whether as a conqueror or as a liberator from the power of other conquerors, — and in what manner, if at all, he allied himself to the former race which he is said to have restored, is not distinctly stated in the three verses (19, 20, 21), where the succession is recorded. We find only, that in his liberality to this temple of the god of Joy, he emulated and surpassed the donations of his apparently less fortunate predecessor Sinha Raja, and that in his time it was probably completed, twelve years after its commencement, in A.D. 973. From this list of monarchs, which is not without value as illustrating the discordant and divided state of India at this critical epoch of its history.[15]

Statues in Shiva temple Harsh

It is not clear how Vigraharaja deprived two sons of Sinharaja from their right on the state. Verse 21 mentions about widow queen of Sinharaja who asks - "Who will be my Lord now?. It appears that Vigraharaja probably killed Sinharaja, married with his widow queen and made her two sons as his followers. Vigraharaja continued the construction of Shiva temple and completed after twelve years i.e. in 973 AD. [16]

The Harsha inscription confirms that Harsha Nagari was central place for the later Chauhan rulers. Verse 16 reveals that a representative of Pratiharas named Tantrapala came to see Vakpati, who was present at Anantagochar. Dr Dasharath Sharma considers Anantagochar as the area around Harshagiri. The successor of Guvaka II was Chandana who was very illustrious. He killed a Tomar Raja named Rudrena. (verse-14). Chandana's son was Vakpatiraja, who was most illustrious among earlier Chauhan rulers, who defeated Tantrapala. His son was Lakshamana who founded Nadol branch of Chahans in Sirohi. [17]

The verse 19 of the inscription at Harshanath indicates that Singhraj Chauhan had killed one Tomar hero Salvan. [18]

The Harsh Inscription reveals that Chauhans considered themselves as Suryavanshi Khsatriyas till 10th century AD. The Hammir Mahakavya of 1400 AD also writes Chauhans as Suryavanshi Khsatriyas. [19]

It appears that Pulota,Harsh and later Sambhar and Ajmer had become power centres of Chauhans. Due to the importance of Sambhar lake they had been called 'Shakambharishwar'. [20]

Places mentioned in Harsha inscription

See at English translation of Harsha Inscription of 961 AD

Harshagiri Inscription of 961 AD in Sanskrit

See Harshagiri Inscription of 961 AD in Sanskrit

English translation of Harsha Inscription

See English translation of Harsha Inscription of 961 AD

Captain Webb on Harsha

Cover page of the book "Sikar Ki Kahani, Captain Webb Ki Jubani"

Captain A.W.T.Webb during his stay at Sikar as Administrator (1934-38 AD) had visited the place and had mentioned about the temple and other monuments in his report which has recently been translated in to Hindi by Prof. Bhagwan Singh Jhajharia, Edited by Archaeologist Ganesh Berwal and published in the form of a book titled Sikar Ki Kahani, Captain Webb Ki Jubani, 2009. Captain Webb had arranged to send these sculptures and other records to Sikar museum. Webb has mentioned about sculpture of Nandi made of marble and sculptures of Pandavas and Vakata (वाकाट) at the temple site. There were six huge statues of 7 feet each of pandavas and Kunti , which were sent to Sikar Museum. [21]

Efforts of Captain Webb in preserving sculptures and bringing on record of this historical place are appreciable. He has mentioned about visit Harshanatha in year 1834 by Sergeant E. Dean. Webb mentioned that during his visit in 1834 there were about 20 statues, of size one third larger than normal, at the site in good condition. Webb was shocked to see less than half of the statues after hundred years. Webb has also mentioned about a new Shiva temple near old one built by Rao Raja of Sikar Shri Shiva Singh. This new temple was built from remains of old temple about 200 years back. A path leads from old temple to a nearby small temple of Bhainruji. [22]

The Harshagiri Inscription is about the construction of temple of Shiva in the name Harshadeva. Harsha or Harshadeva is not one of the names of Shiva, it is quite different. This inscription connects the name Harsha with a Puranic story of destruction of Asura Tripura, who had displaced Indra and other gods from svarga. The displaced Gods were rehabilitated here eulogized Shiva here on this occasion and this may perhaps be the origin behind the name Harsha. [23]

Notes by Wiki editor

See also

Gallery of Images from Harsh Parvat

Gallery of Images about Harsh from Sikar Museum

सीकर में पुरातत्व विभाग का राजकीय संग्रहालय (दूर भाष 01572-257473) है. यहाँ पर सीकर जिले के पुरातत्व महत्व के स्थानों से सामग्री लाकर संगृहीत की गयी है. इस संग्रहालय में 1436 कला पुरासामग्री संगृहीत एवं प्रदर्शित है. ऐतिहासिक स्थान हर्ष (सीकर से 7 मील दूरी पर स्थित) से प्राप्त सामग्री की एक हर्षनाथ कलादीर्घा बनाई गयी है. इस दीर्घा में हर्षनाथ मंदिर से प्राप्त काले पत्थर पर उत्कीर्ण विक्रम संवत 1030 का शिलालेख है. इसमें चौहान शासकों की वंशावली दी गयी है. इसमें हर्षगिरी, हर्षनगरी तथा हर्षनाथ का विवरण दिया गया है. हर्षगिरी से प्राप्त मूर्ती-शिल्प में ईशान 10 वीं शदी, अग्नि 10 वीं शदी, त्रिमुखी विष्णु (वैकुण्ठ) 10 वीं शदी, द्वीबाहू नटेश शिव 10 वीं शदी, हरिहर-पितामह-मार्तंड 10 वीं शदी, सुरा-सुन्दरी 10 वीं शदी, द्वारशाखा पर प्रेमी युगल का अंकन, शेषशायी विष्णु, सपत्निक ब्रह्मा, नृसिंह वराह (वैकुण्ठ), विष्णु 10 वीं शदी, आदि प्रमुख हैं.

उत्खनन दीर्घा में गणेश्वर उत्खनन से प्राप्त 3000 ई.पू. की पुरासामग्री है. सैन्धव सभ्यता को ताम्बे की आपूर्ती यहीं से होती थी. गणेश्वर उत्खनन से प्राप्त पुरासामाग्री में बाणाग्र, मछली पकड़ने के कांटे, ताम्र-उपकरण, चूड़ियाँ, मनके, चक्री, ताम्र-कुलहाडी, आदि प्रदर्शित हैं. इसी के साथ अलंकृत मृदभांड भी हैं. झुंझुनू जिले के सुनारी पुरास्थल से प्राप्त प्रस्तर व मृणमय मनके, खेलने के मोहरे, अस्थि-उपकरण, खिलौना गाड़ी के पहिये, बौद्ध मांगलिक चिन्ह युक्त फलक, चूड़ियाँ, लौह-कुल्हाड़ी, कुबडदार बैल का खिलौना आदि हैं. यहाँ नीचे कुछ चित्र लेखक द्वारा लिए गए हैं जो अनुसंधान हेतु यहाँ दिए गए हैं.

External links


  1. Article in Britanica
  2. Delimitation Commission Report
  3. V. S. Agrawala: India as Known to Panini, 1953, p.168
  4. Badwa Shri Bhawani Singh Rao of village Maheswas, tahsil Phulera, district Jaipur, Rajasthan, Mob:09785459386
  5. Mansukh Ranwa, Amar Shahid Lothu Jat, Sikar, p. 12
  6. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.1011-12
  7. Dr. Raghavendra Singh Manohar:Rajasthan Ke Prachin Nagar Aur Kasbe, 2010,p. 219
  8. http://www.rajasthaninfoline.com/rinfo/jeenmata.htm
  9. Some Unpublished Sculpture from Harshagiri
  10. Some Unpublished Sculpture from Harshagiri
  11. Some Unpublished Sculpture from Harshagiri
  12. रतन लाल मिश्र:शेखावाटी का नवीन इतिहास, मंडावा, १९९८, पृ.36
  13. श्री हर्ष: कुलदेवोस्या तस्मादिव्यकुलक्रम:
  14. रतन लाल मिश्र:शेखावाटी का नवीन इतिहास, मंडावा, १९९८, पृ.37
  15. The Asiatic journal and monthly register for British and foreign India...,pp.170-171
  16. Sikar Ki Kahani, Captain Webb Ki Jubani, 2009, p. 21,79
  17. रतन लाल मिश्र:शेखावाटी का नवीन इतिहास, मंडावा, १९९८, पृ.38
  18. G.H. Ojha: Rajputane ka Itihasa (Part I), page 155
  19. रतन लाल मिश्र:शेखावाटी का नवीन इतिहास, मंडावा, १९९८, पृ.38
  20. रतन लाल मिश्र:शेखावाटी का नवीन इतिहास, मंडावा, १९९८, पृ.38
  21. Sikar Ki Kahani, Captain Webb Ki Jubani, 2009, p. 81
  22. Sikar Ki Kahani, Captain Webb Ki Jubani, 2009, pp. 18-19
  23. Sikar Ki Kahani, Captain Webb Ki Jubani, 2009, p. 76

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