Jats the Ancient Rulers (A clan study)/Harsha Vardhana : Linkage and Identity
First Edition 1980
Publisher: Sterling Publishers Pvt Ltd, AB/9 Safdarjang Enclave, New Delhi-110064
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- 1 Lineage and Identity
- 2 Page 201
- 3 Page 202
- 4 Page 203
- 5 Page 204
- 6 Page 205
- 7 Page 206
- 8 Page 207
- 9 Page 208
- 10 Page 209
- 11 Page 210
- 12 Page 211
- 13 Page 212
- 14 Conclusion
- 15 Sindh at the time of Arab Conquest
- 16 Page 213
- 17 Entry of Chach the Brahman
- 18 Page 214
- 19 Page 215
- 20 Page 216
- 21 Page 217
- 22 Page 218
- 23 Page 219
- 24 Page 220
- 25 Page 221
- 26 Laliya Sahi Jat of Kabul
- 27 Page 222
- 28 Their wars with the Arabs
- 29 Page 223
- 30 The name of the dynasty after 871 AD
- 31 Page 224
- 32 Page 225
- 33 Their defence of India between 871 and 1027 A.D.
- 34 Page 226
- 35 Page 227
- 36 Page 228
- 37 References
Lineage and Identity
Harsha Vardhana, the last emperor of North India, came to the throne of Thanesar and Kannauj in 606 A.D., when he is known to have founded a new era after his own name. 1 There is no dearth of historical records about his reign. Hiuen Tsang, and Bana Bhatta, his court poet, have left extensive records of his time but nowhere has a concrete genealogy been given. Harsha Charita (hereinafter abbreviated to HC) mentions that "there was a monarch named Puspabhuti in the country of Sthanvisvara. He was the founder of a mighty line of kings." 2 "From this Puspabhuti they issued a line of kings... in which line were born kings ... thronging the regions with their armies ... strong to support the world. The line so proceeding, there was born, in course of time, a king of kings named Prabhakara Vardhana."3 Thus, Bana simply gives the name of Prabhakara Vardhana, Harsha's father and the name of a mythical ancestor, Puspabhuti. In his various inscriptions and records, Harsha himself does not refer to any Puspabhuti. The Sonepat Copper Seal inscriptions of Harsha Vardhana 4 mentions the following pedigree of Harsha Vardhana :-
Rajyavardhana = Mahadevi
Adityavardhana = Mahasenagupta
Prabhakarvardbana = Yashomati
Rajya, Harsha & Rajayashree
1. IHQ, XXIX, 191 ff, 72 ff, and XXVII, 321 ff.
2. D. Devahuti, Harsha: a political study, p. 57.
3. ibid., p. 59.
4. No. 52, CII, Vol. III, p.231 ff.
The Madhuban inscriptions 5 and Banskhera inscriptions 6 mention yet another ancestor Naravardhana, who married Vajrini Devi, from whom Rajyavardhana I was born. The name of the queen of Rajyavardhana-I, as per these inscriptions, is mentioned as Apsaro Devi as against Mahadevi of the Sonepat Copper Seal inscriptions. Thus we have inscriptions recording the names of four ancestors of Harsha and the name of Puspabhuti does not appear in these records. Possibly, Puspabhuti is an invention of Bana himself. This is further indicated by the fact that Puspaabhuti is shown as performing a Saiva sacrifice.7 During this sacrifice, there is mention of a clash with a Naga king, "who is made to appear a supernatural being."8 It is more than likely, that like the Naga kings, Puspabhuti himself was a "supernatural being". We know it for a fact from the Sonepat Seal inscriptions of Harsha himself, that all the three immediate ancestors of Harsha were sun-worshippers and were not followers of Siva. The inference is obvious, viz., that the still earlier ancestors too were sunworshippers and followers of Maga priests of Manda Empire at Ecbatana. We shall come to these points subsequently in this chapter. Here it must be observed that this clash of a Naga king with Puspabhuti may represent the defeat of Naga rulers of Mathura and the adjoining areas, at the hands of ancestors of Harsha. We know of a long tradition of the Naga worshippers, Tank rulers, of these areas, right from the pre-Gupta period.9 In our view this story is a reflection of the penetration of Mathura area, by the Vardhanas, in a northward direction, from Jhansi-Malwa area in Central India.
In this connection we have a very important piece of inscription in the form of Bijaygadh Stone Pillar inscription of Vishnuvardhana of Varika clan.10 This inscription found near Bayana in the former Bharatpur state, was first discovered by A.C.L. Carlleyle and published in ASIY.11 As per Fleet, it was removed to the find spot by a Yogi in 951/52 A.D., as per record on this inscription.
6. EI, Vol. IV, p. 208.
7. Harsha Charita, p. 109 ff.
8. Devahuti, op. cit., p. 58.
9. B.C. Law, Historical Geography of India, p. 109.
10. No. 59, CII, Vol. III, p. 252 ff.
11. Vol VI, p. 59 ff.
Thus the Pillar was placed at the find spot afterward but it is reasonable to assume that it must have been removed from a nearby place. Possibly it was-rerected in 951 A.D. after it had fallen. This is supported by the fact that the Pillar had a capital on its top which must have broken away at the time of its fall. The iron pegs are still embedded in the Pillar top. It should be noted that the Stone Pillars with capitals (lions etc.) are a typical feature of Ecbatana-Achaemenian-Hellenistic architecture. This was introduced in India by the Mauryas (of Pataliputra), and was there in the Kushana period too.12 This pillar with capital, at Bijaygadh, was therefore in line with the Maurya and Kushana art.
The inscription is dated in the year 428 which Fleet supposed to refer to the Vikram era, of course, without any evidence. It is admitted that the characters are of the Gupta period and "include the Indo-Scythic form of M". This also indicates that this inscription was of the Indo-Scythian people and we have proved this fact in the name of a king who is expressly mentioned as belonging to the Varika tribe (the present Varik or Virk Jats). The normal assumption should be that these Indo-Scythic people used the Saka era as is supported by numerous instances. This possibility came to the mind of Fleet who mentioned, "if we refer the date to the Saka era, the result 506/7 A.D. might perhaps be used to identify this Vishnuvardhan with the king of the same name, mentioned in the Mandsor inscription of SY, 598, i.e. 532-33 A.D." The only ground of hesitation against this identification, was that the Mandsor Vishnuvardhana was a Rajadhiraja whereas this Varika king did not seem to be that powerful,13 But we must remember that this inscription is dated 506 A.D. whereas the Mandsor inscription is dated in 532 A.D. and there is a difference of a quarter century. The Mandsor inscriptions make it clear that Vishnuvardhana was a recently-become-powerful emperor and he became so by his own prowess. It is quite probable that during this interval, the Vishnuvardhana of Varika clan, conquered the nearby areas and became the paramount ruler.
12. Kushana Studies in USSR, p. 173.
13. ibid., p. 253, Note I.
that Yashodharmana or Yashovardhana was the same as Vishnuvardhana is not based on solid facts. Obviously, the former was the predecessor of Vishnuvardhana of Mandsor inscriptions. Yashoovardhana and Vishnuvardhana are not one but two persons. The possibility of two kings of the same name, in the same period, in the same area, having similar names of their immediate ancestors, is very very remote indeed, even under the law of permutation and combination.
It is important to note that we do not hear of the Mandsor Vishnuvardhana after 532-33 A.D. nor do we hear of any of his successors. The various connections and conjectures in this respect are without any support or evidence. During those days of troubled political situation, it is quite possible that he was subsequently defeated and subdued by the remnant power of the Guptas or their former subordinates. Hence the need for moving northwards. It is not without significance to note that many Jats in the Punjab area claim to be originally from Central India and other parts south of the Punjab. This backward movement must have been initiated after the fall of Dharan Gupta empire. We find the Tanks in Orissa and Bengal being overthrown in 592 A.D. by Kesari kings and the fact that the Jats are not found in the southern and eastern parts of India, has to be explained on the basis that many of them, who refused to be formally converted, came over to their stronghold towards the west of Jamuna area. Those who remained were formally converted and became the Rajputs and Kshatriyas of the later period.
Let us see now if the date of 506 A.D. for Vishnuvardhana, the Varika, connects itself with the other known dynasties. By taking about 25 years for a generation, we get the following periods for the four ancestors of Vishnuvardhana Varika :
- Vyaghrarata ... 420 A.D.
- Yasorata ... 455 A.D.
- Yasovardhana ... 480 A.D.
- Vishnuvardhana ... 506 A.D.
Here we must note that apart from other evidence, the first two names ending with 'Rata', are not Indian but definitely of Central Asian origin, only partly Indianised. We must also note that the pillar inscriptions under discussion was erected for the
purposes of recording the sacrifice of Pundrika type. This sacrifice was performed for the birth of a son. Evidently Vishnuvardhana had no son up to 506 A.D. His wish was fulfilled and a son, Naravardhana, was born in 507 A.D. Hence the expansion of this race from Himalayas to the Mahendragiri and from Lohltya to the Arabian sea. In the Bijaygadh Pillar inscription, the Varik king prays "let there be success! let there be increase! let there be tranquility! let there be the condition of (his) having a son, who shall live! let there be attainment of desires that arc wished for !". 14
It seems, all his desires were fulfilled. .
Now let us quote from Devahuti. "Workmg from the date of Harsha's accession in A.D. 606, and assigning an average rule of 25 years to each king, we may ascribe Naravardhana's reign to some period between A.D. 505 to 530, perhaps towards the latter half of this reign ... his son Rajyavardhana I, may have ruled from AD 530 to 555 while the latter's son, Adityavardhana ... may have wielded power from A.D. 555 to 580. Here the coincidence of the dates as well as the names of these rulers is most striking indeed and can not be merely accidental. Both the dynasties have 'Vardhana' ending names and the last known king of the Varika dynasty dated in 506 A.D., becomes the immediate ancestor of the first king of Harsha dynasty, namelyNaravardhana, dated in the period AD 505 to 53. This chronology also tallies with the known dates of Harsha's birth in 590 A.D. Thus we see that all the pieces of known evidence fall in a clear chronological pattern. We have to conclude that the ancestors of Harsha, were the Varika rulers of north western Malwa-Jhansi area. Here we must also remember that a king Vyaghra Raja is mentioned in the Allahabad and other inscriptions. 15 Their chronology too is still a matter of dispute.
The Vyaghrarata of our discussion lived before the 420 A.D.
- (i) All these discussions go to indicate that the Vardhana dynasty of Thanesar, sprang from the Vardhana kings of the Varika clan, formerly from Mandsor.
- (ii) In this respect we get further support from the Sonepat Copper Seal inscriptions, which mention that the three ancestors of Harsha, were devout worshipers of the sun.
14. Fleet, ibid.
15. S.R. Goyal, op. cit., p. 164, note 4.
This family tradition of sun-worship in the Harsha family in itself is not conclusive, because many native Indian people were also worshippers of the sun. But as we have shown elsewhere in this study, the difference lies in the method and manner of worship as well as the forms and images of the sun-god. Regarding this manner of sun-worship in the Harsha's family, we get very important piece of information from Bana. Like his predecessor Vishnuvardhana Varika, Prabhakarvardhana too, "solemnly at dawn, at midday, and at eve-muttered a prayer to the sun-god for offsprining". 16 The significant fact, however, is that Prabhakarvardhana, bathed himself at sunrise, "arrayed himself in white silk, wrapped his head in white cloth, and kneeling eastwards upon the ground", he prayed to the sun-god of the ancient Massagetae.17 Devahuti, like many other authors, must have been struck by this method of sun-worship and is forced to remark, that "the latter part of the discussion seems to betray foreign, probably Persian influence." 18 She is right that the influence was foreign and possibly Persian but the natural conclusion is that Prabhakarvardhana himself was a foreigner from Central Asia, whose ancestors must have come during or prior to the Kushana period. They had still continued the sun-worship of their ancestors from Central Asia and that is why their manners of sun-worship was not at all Indian. The white piece of cloth wrapped on the head, with another white piece wrapped round the body and the kneeling posture while praying on bare earth is typically northern Iranian, which was also the mode of Muslim prayer in later period. This single fact conclusively show that the family of Harsha was originally from Central Asia and belonged to the Jat race. It was not native to India.
- (iii) Yet another significant fact pointing in the same direction is given by Bana himself. Describing the birth of Harsha, he mentions that Prabhakarvardhana consulted the astro-
16. He Text, p. 125; Devahuti, op. cit., p. 64.
loger about the future of the newborn Harsha. The astrologer who was called in, was not an Indian Brahhman but he was a Magian priest from Central Asian origin. We have to answer the question as to why a sun-worshipper Prabhakarvardhana called in the Maga astrologer for forecasting the future of Harsha. The answer is obvious. This was so because it was the tradition in his race from times immemorial and Prabhakarvardha, was simply following his ancient custom. They had yet to have faith in the Indian Brahmans. Was it this fact which was responsible for the assassination attempt on Harsha's life instigated by the Brahmans ? We know, that Harsha himself later on became a follower of Buddha. Naturally he must have considered and rejected the Brahmanical orthodoxy with its myriads of low, lower, high, higher strata of humanity.
- (iv) Yet another significant evidence is support of our thory in general, comes from the famous but controversial, Aulikara' crest or symbol. This symbol of the crescent moon is found in the Mandsor Yashodharaman family as well as on the coins of Harsha and the Maukharis. The history of crescent also goes back to Central Asia. The Kushana coins as well as Gupta coins have it. This crescent symbol isS also available on the forehead of god Siva another favorite with these Central Asian people. And of course, the crescent moon, is the religious symbol of the Muslims from Arabia. This symbol, if not helping in the proposed identification, goes to discard the reverse possibility.19
- (v) Apart from the accession of the younger brother, Harsha,and the circumstances relating to this matter, prior to the death of Rajyavardhana 20, the elder brother, we have the evidence of Hiuen Tsang who mentions that Harsha was from Vaishya class. As in the case of Guptas, this Vaishya represents the Vaisya profession, i.e., agriculture, which was the traditional profession of the Jats, when not
19. For details see Devahuti, op. cit., p. 241.
20. ibid., p. 70 ff.
fighting. The Chinese text simply states that Harsha was of Fei-she (vashya) extraction. This was taken by Cunninngham as a reference to the 'Bais' or 'Bains' Rajputs. There is no such connection between the two, although Bais/Bains are an important clan of the Jats and many of them later became the Rajputs. As is made clear in the chapter on Guptas, Vaishya here only denotes the profession of agriculturists to which these people were mainly devoted. As mentioned by Devahuti, they were Kshatriyas by vocation although she does not go beyond this point and she rejects Cunningham's theory. 2l
- (vi) Certain coins, showing the figure of a horseman on the obverse, with the legend 'Haraha Deva' and on the reverse, the figure of a goddess seated on a throne with a cornucopia in her left hand have been found.22 A.F.R. Hoernle, considers the horseman with the lance as "the mark of early Rajputs" which Harsha was.23 He is right to this extent because most of the Rajputs are but Jats and Gujars and at that time they were not called Rajputs which is a word of later coinage. But the significant fact is the goddess seated on a throne with a cornucopia in her hand. The goddess, of course, is Central Asia Ardoxo particularly Iranian goddess and the ancient horn of plenty, the cornucopia, is decidedly un-Indian. In India the corresponding symbols are the Kalpa tree and the Kamdhenu cow, which fulfill all the wishes. The ancient iranian or Scythian counterpart of the wishgiving Indian tree is the cornucopia, the horn of plety, which rightly finds a place on Harsha's coins.
- (vii) Lastly, we note down the marriage of this family. Mahasenagupta was married to Adityavardhana and we have shown that the so-called Guptas were Jats of the Dharan clan. Kalhan informs us that Harsha's chief queen, Vasantalekha, belonged to the Shahi dynasty of Kabul, and Shahis are a Jat clan, Yashomati the chief queen of
21. ibid., pp. 72, 109,238.
22. A. Cunningham, Coins of Medieval India, Plate No.5, No. 21, pp. 36-47 and 46.
23. JRAS, 1903, p. 547.
- Prabhakarvardhana, is not identified from her parent side but Yashomati's brother's son Bhandi, is mentioned by some writers as a foreigner. Hiuen Tsang records his name as Poni. "Some historians take Poni to be identical with Bhandi, while others take him to be a different person. Taken by itself, Poni suggests the Poniya clan of the Jats.
- Vyaghra rāṭa ... 420 A.D.
- Yashorāṭa ... 453 A.D.
- Yashovardhana ... 480 A.D.
- Vishnu Vardhana ... 506 A.D.
- Naravardhana = Vajrini Devi ... (507-530 A.D.)
- Rajyavardhana I = Mahadevi/Apsaro Devi ... (530-555 A.D.)
- Adityavardhana = Mahasenagupta ... (555-580 A.D.)
- Prabhakaravardhana= Yashomati ... (580-605 A.D.)
- Rajya, Harsha Rajyashree, (born 586, 590 & 592 respectively)
- (viii) We know that an important minister of Harsha is named Bhandi who is also said to be a cousin of Harshavardhana. "The name Bhandi itself is Hunic rather than a sanskrit name". 25 Hoernle also stated that Bhandi, meaning buffoon, was a strange name for a prince. 26 The mistake of Hoernle is that he took Bhandi to be a sanskrit or an Indian name. It is in fact a Central Asian name, It is similar to Sanghila, the Ashvapati of Gupta period inscriptions.27 This Sanghila had his name Indianised as Sankara and Ashvapati (owner of horses) was a title. This Sanghila was born in the region of North, 'the best of countries, which resembles the land of Uttarakurus". We know from Mahabharata that Uttarakurus was in the North of Meruparvata (Pamir mountains).28
24. BRWW, Vol. I, p. 210.
25. R.K. Mukerji, He, p. 61,
26. JRAS, 1903, p. 560.
27. CII, Vol. III, p, 258.
28. Bhisma Parva, 7/2.
- (ix) Thus it is abundantly clear that Harsha belonged to the immigrants from Central Asia. The only point for consideration is, whether he belonged to the Bains clan or the Varika clan. Harsha is associated with Shrimalpur, a village on Jullundur-Hoshiarpur border. This village is supposed to be the birth place of Vardhanas of Thanesar. This village, even today, belongs to the Bains Jats. Therefore, if this identification with Shrimalpur is correct, then the family of Harsha belonged to the Bains clan, the fei-she of Huen-Tsang. On the other hand if Harsha is to be identified as a descendant of the Vardhana family of Mandsor, then the clan of Harsha will have to be Varika. As already shown, the name Varika in its plural form is also called Varkan. Mahabhashya mentions the Varika or Varkaṇya. The Mandsor king Vishnuvardhana, son of Yasodharman or Yashovarmana also belong to the same clan. The Mandsor Inscription of 532-33 A. D. contains a phrase to this effect. The phrase in question is Vīryā Varkanna Rājnah (वीर्या वरकन्न राज्ञ:).
It means the king of the Varkanna or Varikas. The Bijaygadh Pillar inscription of Vishnuvardhana also mentions the king as belonging to Varika clan. According to Itihas Guru Khalsa, Guru Gobind Singh stayed in the village of Dina in Malwa in 1761 A.D. Even at that time, a part of Malwa, was being ruled by the Varikas. Mahabhashya of Patanjali and Panini, and Kashika, show that the Varikas had 12 main forts which included Sakala, i.e. Sialkot, Varikagarh and Daspura, i.e., Mandsor. Thus it is absolutely clear that the Vishnuvardhana of "Bijaygarh and Mandsor was the same and he belonged to Varika clan of tne Jats.
29. U. Thakur, op. cit., p. 203.
30. ASI, 1871-73, Vol. VI, p. 60,
This is not correct. He has also translated the Bijaygadh phrase to mean "may his sons live". This inscription phrase was translated by Fleet as, "may he get a son, who shall live". In case the former's translation is correct, this would show that Vishnuvardhana had a number of sons in 506 A D and Naravardhana may be one of them. This goes in favour of our pedigree mentioned above.
- (xi) We have seen that Vyaghra Rata was an ancestor of Varika kings of Mandsor. This Vyaghradeva is the an author of a donation of temple, etc. 31 At that time he was subordinate to Prithvisena of Vakataka dynasty and this inscription is found in the same region of Bundellkhand. Samudragupta is reported to have conquered a Vyaghraraja of Mahākāntāra and he is identified with the Vyaghradeva of Bundelkhand.32 Just as the so called Guptas were having ministers and generals with foreign name (Amrakardava, son of Undana,33 Sanakanika Maharaja-Dhala, son of Chhaglasa 34, similarly Yasovardhana/Yashovarmana/Yasodharmana of Mandsor, granddson of Vyaghrarata/Vyagharaja, employed foreigners like Malada, whose father is called Margapati, lord of the north (Udichipati) and Pritita-Tikin (distinguished Tegin). All these are non-Indian, Central Asian names and titles.35 When ministers and generals are forelgners, the sovereign is also likely to be of foreign origin.
- (xii) Harsha Charita of Bana describes that on Prabhakara Varrdhana's death, a stone or brick platform was raised over his remains. This system is typical of Central Asian Jats, and is mentioned by Megasthenes in connection with the Malloi (Malli Jats). These grave mounds of the ancestors are called Jathera and are still worshipped even today (see infra under Malli clan).
31. CII, Vol. III, S. No. 54.
32. ABORI, 1924, Vol. V, pp. 31-34.
33. CII, Vol. III, NO.5.
34. ibid., No.2.
35, EI Vol. XX, p. 37 ff,
Thus we can conclude that the family of Harshavardhana was not originally Indian. It came from Central Asia as is proved by the manner of sun-worship of at least three ancestors of Harshavardhana and other evidence already mentioned. This is also clear from the crescent motif on the coins of Harsa because this motif is Central Asian and it appears on the coins of Chastana (चसटना) the Mahakshatrap (महाक्षत्रप) .36 It is significant that all the dynasties, on which this motif appears have been found to be of Jat clans. Even the Maukharis may be a Jat clan and they are now cal1ed Mokhar/Mochal (Mokhali of Asoka). An Important village in Rohtak district is named Mokhra (मोखरा) and is, it seems, associated with the Maukharis. Our conclusion, therefore, is that Harshavardhana was from the Varika clan and not from Bains clan as Cunningham and Carlleyle make out.
Sindh at the time of Arab Conquest
We have already briefly referred to this period of Indian history and have mentioned how the ruling family of Sindh was finished by treachery and deceit. We are now going to elaborate upon the incidents of this period to show how it all happened, how the kingdom of various Jat clans fought against Chach and later on against the Arabs, how the loyalties of these people were alienated by the inhuman treatment meted out to various Jat clans. all the fol1owing details we are taking from Elliot and Dowson, the History of India as told by its Own Historians (HIOH). The first king of Sindh mentioned in the Chachnama as well as Tarikh-i-Sindh, is Diwaij. His son was Rai Siharas, and Siharas's son was Rai Sahasi. They were the kings of Rai dynasty and as is well known Rai is one of the Jat clans and the name of the dynasty is based on a title, viz., Rai meaning king. They are also given the title of Shahi by the Muslim historians. Rai clan was also prominent in Persia according to Percy Sykes.37
36. Majumdar & Pusalkar, op. cit. p. 183.
37. A History of Persia, Vol. I, p. 226 note.
HIs son was Rai Siharas who followed in the footsteps of his father and maintained his position during a long reign. His son was Rai Sahasi who followed the institutions of his ancestors and accomplished all his desires. His son was Rai Siharas II during whose reign king Nimroz of Persia attacked Sindh. Siharas II bravely fought and died as a martyr. The army of Siharas II assembled in a body and seated his son Sahasi II, upon the throne. He was the most important king of his dynasty. Within a short period he settled the war-torn country and for the purpose of defence, he remitted the taxes of his subjects on the condition that they would raise and repair the earthwork of six forts.38 His justice was diffused over the earth and the generosity was renowned in the world. The whole country was thus safely secured and the people lived happily under his just and equitable rule.39 The forts of his kingdom are mentioned as Debal, Nirun, Lohana, Lakha and Samma. The last three are obviously based on the clan names.
Entry of Chach the Brahman
Thus the Rai family had ruled Sindh for 137 years when Chach son Silaij goes to the chamberlain Ram, and seeks protection and employment. It is duly given in consultation with king Sahasi Rai II. The first victim of Chach's intrigues was this Ram himself because the office of chamberlain was taken over by Chach. This was the start of series of deceits, frauds and double crossings. Thereafter Chach seduces the queen, Rani Subhan Devi and disposing of Sahasi Rai, marries the widow and becomes king in the capital of Alor.40 This was too much to be tolerated by other chiefs and governors of forts and one after another they rose in revolt. Chatera, the Governor of Pabiya,41 the famous capital of Toramana, was killed by an agent sent by Chach for this purpose. Next was the turn of Sikka and Multan whose
38. ibid., p. 405-406.
39. ibid., p. 139.
40. See Note I at the end of this section.
41. See Note II at the end of this section.
chief Bajhra was a relation of Sahasi Rai. After camping over three months on the Bias river, Chach crossed over and fought a battle at Sikka. Suhewal retreated to the fort of Multan and Sikka was taken over by Chach. Bajhra wrote letters to the ruler of Kashmir seeking help against Chach, the Brahman, but due to local difficulties in Kashmir, no help Came and ultimately he retired with his army and people to the mountains of Kashmir and thus Chach became ruler over Multan also. Next to be attacked was Matta, the chief of Siwistan who was forced to flee to the Bhatti king. The chief of Brahmanabad was Akham Lohan. He had earlier tried to help Matta unsuccessfully. Chach sent a letter to Akham Lohan saying, "you from your power and pomp, and family descent, consider yourself the ruler of the time ... although you think you have possessed yourself of all this power and circumstance by your courage and audacity, promptitude and glory, you shall surely loose it, and to take your life is lawful." 42 The battle was fought, and after a great slaughter of warriors of both sides, the army of Akham took refuse in the fort which was invested by Chach for one year, resulting in a peace treaty. Under this treaty, Chach gave Dharsiya Bai, daughter of his nephew, to the son of Akham. Thus by marriage alliance he secured his position at Brahmanabad also. Even this marriage alliance was not honoured and during the time of Chandar, brother of Chach, Brahmanabad was taken over by his son, Raj.
In order to further consolidate his position, Dhar-Simha son of Chach sought a marriage alliance with the Bhatti king, Ramal and he sent his sister Bai to Dahir, his younger brother, for being married to Ramal Bhatti. It is stated that Dahir was told by an astrologer that the husband of Bai shall be a great ruler and therefore Dahir married his own sister. This is something unheard of, at least in Indian history, but the truth of this incidence is open to doubt if only because Dahir was a Brahman. Still, he had already married his relation to Sarband, the Son of Akham Lohan, a Jat of Lohan clan and he was considering the marriage of his sister to a Bhatti, another Jat ruler.
42. IHOH, Vol. I, p.46
He put the following other conditions that they should not wear undergarments of shawl, velvet or silk. The outer garments were to be of particular colours, namely, red or black. They should put no saddles on their horses and were forbidden to wear their head dress and even shoes. They were also directed to carry firewood for the kitchen of the Brahman rulers and to take their dogs with them whenever they went out. They were also to furnish guides and spies whenever required.
This was the state of affairs when the chiefs of Ramal Bhatti, unable to bear these insults, attacked Budhiya 43 and Rawar and conquered these forts and then passed on that of Alor, 44 the capital. The Arabs under Mohammad Allafi sided with Dahir and the invasion was thrown back. The main Arab invasion came , under the heels of this incidence and therefore, it is not at all surprising that the Jats, at least of the western side, sided with the Arabs against Dahi. The Buddhist rulers of Siwistan made peace with Mohd. Bin Kasim. Their ruler at that time was Kaka, son of Kotal and the grandson of Bhandargu Bhangu, a jat of Bhangu Clan. Kasim then asked Kaka, "Oh, chief of Hind, what is your mode of bestowing honour ?" Kaka replied, "Granting a seat, and investing with a garment of silk, and tying a turban round the head. It is the custom of our ancestors, the Jat Samams". (Here the word Samani stands for the Buddhists, showing thereby that the Jats were Buddhists at that time). Another Jat, Banana son of Hanzala also came to the side of Kasim and the Takkar Jats under Moka, son of Bisaya were also brought before Mohd. Kasim who treated them with kindness and respect. A grand umbrella surmounted by a Peacock a chair and a robe of honour were bestowed upon him. All his Takkars were favoured with robes saddled horses. Historians relate that the first umbrella of Ranagi (राणगी) , or chiefship, which he gave, was this Moka." 45 Here it should be noted that like theRai, Rana is also a title meaning chief. It should also be noted that these Takkar Jats were honourably given saddled horses by Mohd. Bin Kasim. This was to remove the insult perpetrated by the Brahman rulers in complete disregard .
43. See Note III at the end of this section.
44. See Note I at the end of this section.
45. HIOH, Vol. I, p. 165.
of human nature and sentiments as well as their duties as kings according to Indian scriptures.
Then followed the defeat after defeat of Dahir and his relations in spite or the brave fights given by his army consisting mostly of the Jats and Mers. Some of the Mers had also gone over to the side of Kasim and it were these Mers who were later on called Rajputs. Jai Sing son of Dahir became a Muslim. Even this conversion did not save him from universal end. Ladi, queen of Dahir was taken prisoner along with his two daughters. Queen Ladi was betrayed by 1,000 Brahmans who came with shaven heads and beards before Mohd. Bin Kasim.
It must be mentioned that Mobd. Bin Kasim was a true Arab, fired with the missionary zeal of his race and was a dashing young man of courage coupled with human feelings. No religious places were destroyed by him. It was directed by him that those who made submissions and agreed to pay taxes, cannot be asked to pay anything more. "They have been taken under our protection, and we cannot in any way stretch out our hands upon their lives or properties. Permission is given to them to worship their gods. Nobody must be forbidden or prevented from following his own religion. They may live in their houses in whatever manner they like 46 As regards the taxes, Mohd. Bin Kasim directed his officers to, "fix the revenue according to the ability to pay. Be in concord amongst yourself, and oppose not each other, so that the country may not be distressed".
Here are the true reflections of the duties of a ruler. Had the rulers of Chach dynasty followed these ideal rules, duly sanctiified by Hindu scriptures, perhaps the history of India might have been different. In about 636 A.D. ( 15 or 16 A.H.) India was attacked through sea under Mughaira but he was defeated and killed, as per Chachnama 47 After this defeat Khaliph Umar gave orders not to attack India by any means and he had a particular horror of naval expeditions. Another expedition in 46 A.H. (667 A.D.) sent against Kaikanis or Kakans, was similarly defeated and the Arab army returned to Makran. These Kaikans are also mentioned as Turks and Jats, the two terms have to be taken as synonymous because Tur or Turk were a clan of the Jats. A few years later,
46. ibid., Vo!. I, p. 186.
47. Vol. I, p. 416.
another attack was made on the Meds or Mers. The Arab army was under Rashid Bin Amru who was killed by the Mers in the battle.48 Rashid was succeeded by Sinan, the Arab Governor, who also advanced towards Kaikans. He too was put to death at Budha.49 In the first decade of the 8th century, under Khaliph Walid I (705-715 A.D.) there were two attack on Sindh. The first attack under Ubaidulla Bin Nabhan was against Debal where he was defeated and killed. The second attack was under Budail assisted by Mohd. Harun and others. In the battle, Budail after fighting gallantly, was thrown from his horse. Surrounded by the enemy he was killed and many Musalmans were taken prisoners. 50
After these successive defeats came the campaigns of Mohd.Bin Kasim who succeeded where others had failed and in his success the share of the local population of Buddhist Jats and Mers was significant. Too much oppression breeds revolt and disloyalty.
However, after the conquerors' first acquisition, we find that the Arabs were also indiflerent about retaining the goodwill of their allies. They imposed the same conditions upon the Jats as were imposed by the earlier Brahmana rulers. 51 The result was the same. When these insults also crossed the limits of tolerance, the Sumra or Samra clan of the Jats overthrown the Muslims and re-established their kingdoms. These Samra are still existing and according to Ain-i-Akbari 52 36 kings of Sumra clan ruled for 500 years when they were superseded by another Jat clan, the Sammas. Another authority mentions the period as 550 years.53 At first they were nominal tributaries to the Abbasid Khaliphs and enjoyed full independence in internal affairs. In 1351 A.D. the Sammas obtained power, thus ending the rule of Sumras. But in 1521 A.D. the Sammas were themselves driven out from power. The Sammas used to take the title of Jam and in later period many Sammas as well as Sumras became Muslims and their genealogy was concocted (in the manner of Rajput genealogy), connecting them with Hazrat Mohd. and others from Arabia. But Tarikh-i-Tahiri expressly mentions them as Hindus.
49. See Note III at the end of this section.
50. ibid., Vol. I, p. 432.
51. ibid., p. 435.
52. ibid., Vol. II, p. 120.
53. ibid., p. 485.
Some controversy has been created about the identity of these Sumras. Because many of them became Muslims in later period, they are sometimes stated to be of Arab descent. But this is patently absurd. Most of their names are decidedly Hindu and one of their famous kings was Dalu Rai or Deva Rai. After the death of Duda in 694 A.H. two brothers are named as contenders for the throne and their names are Kheer Mal and Uruk Mal. Elphinstone thought that they were Rajputs but the name Rajput had not appeared till then. The Sumras later on, did claim the status of Rajput but many of them remained as Jats what they were originally. Even today they are living in the deserts of Jaisalmer and the upper Dhat country of Sindh. Many Sumras are now Sikhs and it is well known that practically no Rajput became a Sikh.
As regards the Sammas, they are expressly called as a branch of the Lohans alongwith the Lakha.54 The Lohans are even today a Jat clan and the Lakha are still existing as Lakhanwal Jats in Bijnore (U.P.) . In fact when the Muslims came into Sindh, only two main races are mentioned as inhabiting that area, namely, the Jats including the Lohans and other clans and the Mand.55 Forgetting that Mand are even today existing as a Jat clan and that their history goes back earlier than 700 B.C. when they had their Mand empire before Cyrus the Great of Persia, Elliot and Dowson have equated the Mand with the Med. Wherever the word Mand comes, the word Med is put immediately behind it, in bracket. This is the same confusion under which the earlier Mand empire was called a Median empire. But here the people were Mand as well as Mer and not Med. These Mers or Mairs are even today existing as Rajputs and because they too originally came from Central Asia, their clan people who went to Europe are called Meirs or Meyers. When these people separated in Central Asia, one branch coming to India and other branch going to Europe, they were Meir, Gots, or Jats. The word RajPut had not been coined at that time. It is a later phenomenon when Hinduism was revived after the eclipse of Buddhism and the Brahmans felt the necessity of a Kshatriya caste. Many people who formally accepted Brahmanism, were given the hononfic name
54. ibid., Vol. 1, p. 187.
55. ibid., p. 79.
of Rajput. In the same manner Elliot and Dowson take the Takkars to be Thakurs.56 This psycho pathetic search for any clues of the Rajputs has to be understood in the context of the Mughal history of which these Europeans had full knowledge. They knew that the Mughal empire stood on the foundations of the Rajputs' cooperation and therefore, they tried to find the Rajputs even when they were not existing .. Actually, before the seventh century at least, all these tribes were called Jats and not Rajputs. That is why, perhaps, the author of Mujmalut Tawarikh memtions that the Jats and Mers or Meds are descendants of Ham, son of Noah. There does not seem to be any truth in this pedigree except that they belong to the same race but different clans. 57 In the words of General Cunningham, in his report for 1863-1864, "the Meds or Mands are almost certainly the representatives of the Mandrueni, who lived on the Mandrus river, to the south of the Oxus; and as their name is found in the Punja from the beginnning of Christian era downwards and in none before that time, I conclude that they must have accompanied their neighbours, Iatii or Jats; on their forced migration to Ariana and India. In the classical writers, the name is found as Medi and Mandueni, and in the Mohammedan writers, as Med and Mand 58 Ibin Haukal describes them as Mands in his time in about 977 A.D. as occupying the banks of Indus from Multan to the sea and to the desert between Makran and Famhal. Masudi, who visited India in 915-16 A.D. calls them Mind and states that they were a race of Sindh.59
Ibin Haukal mentions that, "the infidels who inhabit Sindh are called Budh and Mand. 60 Here Budha or Bodha are an existing Jat Rajput tribe and Mand are an existing purely Jat tribe. Their immigrant nature is further proved by their dress of coats, pants and boots. The same authority, viz., Ibin Haukal mentions, "the dress of the sovereigns of the country resembles the trousers and tunic that is also worn by the kings of Hind. 61
56. ibid., p. 164 footnote.
57. See also pp. 523 and 526, Vol. I.
58. ibid., p. 528.
59. ibid., p. 529.
60. ibid., p. 38.
61. ibid., p. 35.
As regards other tribes, the Wairsi (Waraich) and Bhattis and Sodha are even now existing. The Wairsi are a purely Jat clan whereas the Bhattis are a Jat as well as Rajput clan and the Sodhas are a purely Rajput clan. Of course, there are conversion to Islam from all the three.62
This capital city of Alor is also called Alror. This capital city is named after the Arodas, the Alrodians of Persia and Iraq before Herodotus. It is significant that this Khatri tribe when it came to India, built their city after their own name and it was called Alroda/Aloor. The modern Aroras, who are prominently mentioned in the history of Sindh as a trading and warlike community, are their descendants. They are ancient Aratta of Indian literature.
Pahiya was the capital of one of four Satrapies or divisions of Sindh kingdom. It was supposed to be the capital of Med when Jayadratha and Dassal ruled in Sindh. Mohd. Bin Kasim broke up his camp at Pabiya.63 Earlier than this period, it was the capital of the Johl emperor, Toramana. It was known that Sialkot was the capital of Mihiragula but historians did not know about the capital of Toramana himself. It was from the work of " the Jain author, Udyotana Suri, styled Kuvalayamala compiled in 777-78 A.D, that we know the name of the capital of Toramana. This capital city is named as Pavvaiya on the bank of river Chenab. This Pavvaiya or Pabiya, is the city of Pefato or Polafato of the Chinese traveller Hiuen-Tsang. Upendra Thakur who has mentioned the authority of the Jain work, mentions, "even now we are not in a position to identify this ancient place
</small> 62. For other details about the heroic defence of North West India from 636 to 1206 A.D. see Dr. A.L. Srivastva's article in JIB, Vol. XLIII, Aug. 65 pp. 349-368, criticism by Dr. AX. Majumdar, JIH, Vol. XLIV, p. 475 If and rejoinder by Dr. Srivastava in JIH, (1967, Vol. XLV. p. 181 If) Irfan Habid, "Jatts of Punjab & Sindh" in "Essays in Honour of Dr Ganda Singh" (1976), p. 92 If.
63. BWH, Vol. I, pp. 366, 138, 140. </small>
name with its exact counter-part in the Punjab. It was most probably somewhere near Sakala".64
Laliya Sahi Jat of Kabul
This important dynasty under Kabul and Gandhara was founded in 477 A.D. under king Hephthal II, of Balkh. His coins have been found and show that Balkh was his capital, because the legend on the reverse of his coins, in Tokhri script, mention the name of Balkh city. In 456 A.D. the Iranian emperor Yezdegird II was still fighting with the Jats when the latter sent an embassy to the Chinese Court of Emperor Wei. This is further proof of the fact that Hephthal II was a sovereign ruler. In 457 A.D. the Jats crushed the power of Sassanid emperors and Yezdegird II was killed. It was during this period that one of their clans, the 'Jaula' occupied Gazni and adjoining areas. They conquered Gandhara in 477 A.D.; Kashmir was taken in 478 A.D.; and in 479 A.D. they occupied Sogdiana and before 500 A.D. they had taken over Turfan and Qarashahr.
This date of occupation of Gandhara in 477 A.D. is further proved by the Chinese pilgrim, Sung-Yun, who stated in 520 A.D. that the Yetha had conquered Ye-Po-Lo, about two generations ago. Here the Ye-Po-Lo of the Chinese stands for Jauval/Jabul and the Yetha, of course, stands for the Jats; the Chinese Ye, giving the sound of 'J'. It is interesting to note that Hephthal III, who defeated and killed the next Iranian emperor Peroz, in a decisive battle in 484 A.D., is called Ye-ta-i-li-to meaning (Jaṭlāṭa) the king of the Jats. 65 As shown above the Yetha/Yeta is the Chinese transliteration of the word Jat, and Lāṭa or Rāṭa is a
64. U. Thakur, The Hunas in India, pp. 109-110.
65. See Note I at the end of this section.
Scythian word for king. Buddha Prakash says that it is a manifestly non-Indian name, Rata being a suffix of foreign names.66
The Chinese sources further say that one, Laelih was made ruler of Gandhara by the Yetha. Now the name Laelih has not come down in coins or other literary works. However, the coins of a king named, Ramanila have been found and these coins are related to this very period. We know that the paramount ruling clan was the Jaula, the 'gotra' of Toramana and Mihiragula. It is also known that the ruler of Gandhara was a Tegin meaning Governor- a subordinate title. From these facts it is easy to conclude that paramount rulers had appointed Ramanila, a Jat of Lalli clan (Laelih of the Chinese) as Governor of Gandhara. Thus we find that 'Sung-yun was correct in naming the ruler of Gandhara but, as often, he gave the clan name and not the personal name of the ruler, the latter being Ramanila of the coins. This however, does not mean that Gandhara, Kabul and Gazni were not under the Jats earlier. We know that up to the first century B.C. it was continuously ruled by them and the Jaulas had only replaced the Kasvan Jats, the so-called later Kushana/Kidarites.67
However, It seems that when after Mihiragula and his son/ successor Ajitanjaya, their Indian empire was disintegrating the Jaula secured Jabulistan for themselves. As shown earlier, the word is Jauvlistan, the land of the Jauvlas, written as Jabulistan by the Arabs. 68 On this basis, its king was mentioned simply as Janbil by the Arabs. However, when Hiuen- Tsang visited this area in 644-45 A.D. he found that the king of Jabulistan had succeeded a long line of kings and he was a follower of the sun-god.69 Coins of a king of this dynasty, named Vakbha, have been found and the legends on these coins show that they had become markedly Indianised by this time.70
Their wars with the Arabs
The first war that these Jats had to fight with the rising power of Islam was in 654/655 A.D. only ten years after the visit of Hiuen-
66. SIH&C, p. 140.
67. See Note II at the end of this section.
68. Sec Note III at the end of this section.
69. BRWW, Vol. II, p. 285/86.
70. R. Ghirshman, La Chionites-Hephthalites, p. 45.
Tsang. It was beaten back. Another war and defeat of the invaders is noted from Kholau-Sul-ul-Akbar.71 Obaidullah, Governor of Seistan, was ordered by his superior, Hejauge, ruler of Khorasan, to invade Kabul. The ruler of Kabul is named as Retpeil (Ratha Pal ?). The war was fought in 697 A.D. and Rath Pal, "artfully retiring, drew the Mohammedan army into the defiles, and blocking up the rear, cut off their retreat, and Obaidullah was compelled to purchase his liberation by the payment of seven hundred thousand dirhams". The repeated attacks of the Arabs were fought back; and when it became necessary to solicit help, they found that their traditional and nearest helper, viz., Iran, was already under the Arabs and therefore any help from these quarters was out of question. The only other source was Chinese and it is to the Chinese that the Jats sent repeated embassies up to the year 755 A.D. But no help came and they had to fight with their own resources. The Indian nation shall be indebted to these Jats for stopping the Arabs from entering Kabul from 654 to 870 A.D. In 870/71 A.D. the Arab General, Yaqubb-in-Laith overthrew this kingdom of Kabul by treachery. The Persian work, Jama-al-hikayat-wa-lawama-al-Rawayat. of 1232 A.D., states that when Yaqub found that his army was no match for that of the Jats of Jabulistan, and could not defeat them in a field of battle, Yaqub invited the latter to meet him as a friend. At the meeting however, Yaqub resorted to Taqia and treacherously killed the king. Thus Kabul was lost by 871 A.D. Gandhara and Peshawar area, however, still remained with them till 1021 A.D. It does not mean that heroic efforts were not made to take back Kabul and Ghazni. Babar, relates a story of an attack on Ghazni by "The Rai of Hind" at the time of Subaktegin, when the latter put dead flesh (obviously cows) and impurities into their water supply and the "Rai" withdrew.72
The name of the dynasty after 871 AD
The name of this dynasty is called Shahi or Turki Shahi to distinguish it from the so-called Hindu or brahmanical Shahi of Lalliya. Shahi is of course a title by which all the Jats were called and even now they are called Shahi and in particular the
71. Col. Tad, op., cit. Vol. II, p. 244.
72. ibid., p. 244 note.
Dahiyas are called Baadshaha. This title is of Central Asian origin. The next designation, the Brahman Lalliya Shahi, deserves further attention. It was Alberuni who is responsible for this misrepresentation of history. He mentioned in his India that the last king of that race was Laga Turman whose Brahman Vazir called Kallar, usurped the throne and started the so-called Hindu Shahi dynasty.73 It is on account of this evidence that Indian historians started calling this dynasty as of the Brahmans.74 This is however, a complete travesty of facts. The first king of this dynasty, is called Kallar by Alberuni and Lalliya by others. The name of the son and successor of Lalliya was Toramana. Another king was called Kamluka or Kalla. All these names are non-Indian. Lalliya is a clan name of the Jats even today and Toramana was title name of the well known Huna emperor of India. It is unthinkable that an Indian and that too, a Brahman, shall call his dynasty as Lalliya and name his son as Toramana, Kamaluka, etc. It was a Jat dynasty of Lalli clan which had superseded the Jaula can. All their relations and marriages were in Jat families. The Lohar of Kashmir are nowadays called Lohariya Jats and they are now found near Mathura. Alberuni himself mentions various Jat clans whom he styled as Turkish tribes. The Bolor (Bhullar, the Bhatta (Bhatti of today), etc., are mentioned by Alberuni. 75 A mountain peak is named after the Kullars. In the Rajatarangini we find a district named as Bring.76 Aila (Ailavats of today) and Bana are also mentioned as protectors of the gates (dvaars). The very name, jatta is also found as the name of minister of Dārvābhisāra. Inscriptional evidence has been found of a Potala Deva Shahi. All these are clan names of the Jats. Rajatarangini also says that after defeating Yashovarman of Kannauj, king Lalitaditya Muktapiḍa of Kashmir created five new high offices of treasury, etc., and these offices were given to Shahi princes.77 Shahi is again a Jat clan. Even Daṇehaka (the present Dhanchak Jats) is mentioned as Commander-in-Chief of Army.78
73. AIS, p. 13.
74. R.C. Majumdar, Ancient India (Hindi Ed. 1962), p. 285.
75. AIS, p. 207.
76. op. cit., IV/l93.
77. ibid., IV/142, 143.
78. ibid., VIII/I77.
Another Jat, named Chankuna (चणकुण), of Tokhara clan, was chief minister of Lalitaditya 79. Why all these Jats were holding predominant positions unless the rulers themselves were Jats of Lohar and other clans?
This discussion shows that Alberuni's remarks were not based on facts. It is worth mentioning that he has committed similar blunders elsewhere also. For example, when he writes about Krishna's parents and states, "they were a Jatt family, cattle owners, low Sudra people." 80 Similarly about the great Kurus of Mahabharata, he writes that Kuru was a peasant, a pious, holy man, wno worked miracles by divine power.81 These two instances should be sufficient to discard Alberuni's theories of the so-called Brahman dynasty as baseless and factually wrong.
On the other hand Kalhana, the writer of Rajatarangini was himself a Brahman and if the dynasty of Gandhara had belonged to the Brahmans, Kalhana would certainly have mentioned the fact. We, however, find that he expressly states them to be Kshatriyas. The high praise bestowed upon the Shahis by Kalhana has already been mentioned. He has further mentioned that the descendants of these Shahis were known as Shahi Rajputra, even outside Kashmir in the twelfth century A.D. Thus we find that the Lalliya Shahi dynasty was of the Jats; the clan name, the names Of the kings, and the evidence of Rajatarangini all go to prove this fact.
Their defence of India between 871 and 1027 A.D.
We know from Chinese sources that they had their summer capital at Kabul and during winter they had their capital at Udbhaṇḍa (modern Und near Attock). After the loss of Kabul the latter became their permanent capital. This capital they defended against repeated Arab attacks. Although Sindh was conquered by the Arabs in712 A.D., and Multan was taken shortly thereafter, the upper Punjab, Kashmir and Gandhara were the last to be conquered. The kings of Gandhara, were related to then co-brothers of Kashmir through marriages. That is why, when the Arabs pressure was too much, these kings used Kashmir as
79. ibid., IV/2 1-25.
80. AIS, p. 401.
81. ibid., Vol. IT. 47.
their hinterland. Without repeating the regular history, we give below the details of two attacks on Loharkot from an article by S.R. Sharma.82 This account is based on Zainul Akhbār of Girdizi written in 1092 A.D., almost contemporary with Mahmud Ghazni's attack on India.
- (i) In the year 404 A.H. (1014 A.D.) Mahmud decided to take Nanda (?) when Bara Jaipal, king of India, learnt about it; he sent tried veterans to the fort in order to guard it and himself left for the passes in Kashmir...... He was followed there, but he retreated further inside Kashmir. Mahmud ordered "the Hindus to be converted to Islam by men appointed for the purpose".
- (ii) When the year 407 A.H. (1016 A.D.) began, Mahmud decided to attack Kashmir. From Ghazni he set out for Kashmir. When he reached the pass, winter had set in. Beyond the pass was the fort of Lohkot (Loharin) strong as of iron. It was invested. When the siege was turning to be successful, the severity of winter and the snow helped the garrison which was reinforced by the arrival of fresh troops from Kashmir. Mahmud sought safety in retirement. He returned to Ghazni in spring"83
- (iii) When the year 412 A.H. (1021 A.D.) began, Mahmud decided to attack Kashmir. The fort of Loharkot was invested. A month was spent here. As the fort was very strong, it could not be taken. When it was not taken, Mahmud came out of the great pass and went towards Lahore and Takeshar and spread his armies. When the spring came, Mahmud went back to Ghazni.84
- (iv) After the sack of Somnath in (1022/23 A.D.), "Mahmud now returned, for Parm Dev, Badshah of the Hindus, stood in his way disputing the path. Mahmud decided therefore to leave the right road back to Ghazni for fear lest his great victory should turn into defeat. He left by
82. IHQ, 1933, IX, p. 934.
83. GiriJizi, op. cit, pp. 12-13.
84. ibid., p. 39.
way of Mansura towards Multan. His soldiers suffered many hardships partly on account of want of water and partly on account of the Jats of Sindh. Many soldiers of Islam lost their lives in the way. At last Multan was sighted and from there Mahmud reached Ghazni." 85
Thus we see that the Jats in Kashmir and even Sindh and Punjab were putting up stiff resistance to Mahmud Ghazni. Their guerrilla attacks on the army of Mahmud were so fierce that a major part of the booty taken from Somnath, etc. was recaptured by the Jats. The Arab historians write that after this guerrilla warfare, Mahmud was very much perturbed. He could not sleep during night and had no peace during the day. He ordered special preparation for finishing the Jat menace. In 1027 A.D., therefore, he reached Multan with a large and fine army and prepared 1,400 boats to punish the Jats. Every boat was fitted with long stee1 spikes emerging on all sides of their boats. The Jats prepared to fight in the open and they had 800 boats (4,000 according to some writers). The Jats placed their families and children on an island in the Indus river. The battle was grimly fought but the long steel spikes of the Muslim boats, did not allow the Jats to board them. They were heavily defeated and thousands of them were killed or taken prisoners.
Thus we see that the Shahi Jats defended the Indian gates for centuries. Kashmir, defended by their relations was taken over much later, than other parts of India. Trilochan Pal Shahi died in 1021 A.D. and his son Bhim died in 1027 A.D. About these Lalliya Shahi Jats, Alberuni gave this certificate:
- "We must say that in all their grandeur they never slackened in the ardent desire of doing that which is right, that they were men of noble sentiments and noble bearings". 86
Note I - In fact, the Chinese used two words for the purpose, viz., Yetalito and Yue-che wang. The first is a transliteration of jatrat, and the second is a sort of translation of the same word, i.e. Guti-wang or Guti king or Jat king.
85. ibid., pp. 84, 85.
86. AIS, Vol. II, p. 13.
Of tremendous historical importance is the search for the proceedings of the fourth Buddhist Council believed to have been engraved on copper plates, by Kaniska, the Kushana emperor, and buried in steel boxes, somewhere in Kashmir. If found, these documents will certainly revolutionise the Indian and Central Asian history! Reporting about the excavation work done near Pahalgam (Kashmir), the Hindustan Times (New Delhi) of 26/27.7.1978, mentions about some of the findings:
- "The arc shaped tiles recovered near Hoi-Nar village of Pahalgam depict hunting scenes in two panels, showing a deer being struck with a spear by a hunter clad in Kushan-type dress. The hunter with hands raised skyward is a picture of joy.
- The right corner of some tiles depicts the eight-spoked Chakra (wheel) of law common to the Buddhists. According to a director of the department, Mr F.M. Hassnain, the Kharoshti numerals on the tiles and their motifs take Kashmir's history back to the period when the valley formed part of the Kushan empire, and had close cultural and political relations with regions now forming Central Asia."
Vincent Smith implies that the word, Jaula, was a Huna title.87 But Hoernle says, correctly, that it was the name of a tribe. 88 Ibbetson does not admit the existence of any Jaula tribe, 89 obviously because he had not heard about the Jaula or Johla Jats in the Punjab. As Jaulistan is mentioned on the coins of Vasudeva,90 they, the Jaulas, must have come to India,
87. JRAS, 1909, p. 268.
88. JRAS, 1905, p. 3.
89. Tribes and Castes, p. 40.
9O. ibid., p. 40,
alongwith the Kushanas (Kasvan Jats) in the first century AD. "Cunningham's identification of Jaulistan with Jabultstan is incontrovertible, and Bhandarkar takes that to be Zabulistan-an equation which appears hardly open to dispute." 91