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Jaichand (r.1173-1193) (जयचंद राठौर) (Jayachandra) was a ruler of the Kannauj kingdom. At his time, the kingdom stretched from Benaras to Gaya and Patna, in the fertile area between the Yamuna and Ganges rivers. He belonged to the Gaharwar dynasty, subsequently known as the Rathore dynasty.[1] He was the father of Sanyogita, Prithviraj Chauhan's wife. He was defeated and killed by Muhammad Ghori at the Battle of Chandawar in 1193-94.


Jaichand is mentioned in Prithviraj Raso, a semi-historical legend on the life of Prithviraj Chauhan; a similar account occurs in Ain-i-Akbari (16th century). Other sources include inscriptions and other accounts of the Battle of Tarain. His court poet Bhatta Kedar wrote a eulogy titled Jaichand Prakash (c. 1168) on his life, but the work is now lost. Another lost eulogy on his life is the poet Madhukar's Jaya Mayank Jas Chandrika.[2]

The most popular account of Jaichand's life occurs in Prithviraj Raso and its several recensions, but the historicity of this legend is disputed by many historians. According to this legend, after becoming one of the most powerful rulers in North India, Jaichand decided to conduct a symbolic sacrifice (Ashvamedha yajna) to declare his supremacy. Prithviraj, a rival king, did not accept his suzerainty. Jaichand was a cousin of Prithviraj: their mothers were sisters belonging to the Tomar clan.[3]

Jaichand found out that his daughter Samyogita and Prithviraj were in love. So Jaichand insulted Prithviraj by erecting a statue that depicted him as a doorkeeper of his palace. Jaichand also decided to hold Swayamvara (a ritual for a woman to choose her husband) for his daughter. But during Swayamvara, his daughter placed garland on Prithviraj's statue. Subsequently, An angry Prithviraj raided Jaichand's palace, and later eloped with his daughter Samyogita against his wishes. Thus, Prithviraj and Jaichand became sworn enemies. When Muhammad Ghori (also known as Sultan Shahabuddin) invaded India, Jaichand allied with Ghori, and helped defeat Prithviraj. However, Ghori later deceived Jaichand and defeated him at the Battle of Chandawar. Another version that is accepted is that Jaichand did not aid his forces against the invader along with Prithviraj Chauhan and was confronted later by Ghori and defeated.

Death and legacy

According to one account, Jaichand was killed in the Battle of Chandawar. According to another account, he was taken as a prisoner to Ghazni, where he was killed after attempting to assassinate Muhammad Ghori with an arrow.[4] Jaichand's son Harish Chandra ruled Kannauj as a subordinate of Muhammad Ghori until 1225 CE, when Iltutmish ended his reign.[5] Another version is that Jaichand survived the battle and escaped into the Kurnaon Hills with his entourage, where his descendants established a new kingdom.

Because he allegedly helped a foreign invader defeat the Indian king Prithviraj, Jaichand became a symbol of treachery in the Indian folklore.[6]


विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[7] ने लेख किया है ...चंदावर (AS, p.314): चंदावर इटावा ज़िला, उत्तर प्रदेश में यमुना नदी के तट पर स्थित एक मध्ययुगीन क़स्बा है। मुहम्मद ग़ोरी ने पृथ्वीराज चौहान को हराने के पश्चात् 1194 ई. में भारत पर पुन: आक्रमण किया था। बाद के आक्रमण में ग़ोरी ने पृथ्वीराज के प्रबल प्रतिद्वंदी जयचंद राठौर को चंदावर में पराजित किया। जयचंद कन्नौज का राजा था और कहा जाता है कि उसने पृथ्वीराज के ऊपर चढ़ाई करने के लिए ग़ोरी को निमंत्रण दिया था। चंदावर के युद्ध में जयचंद मारा गया था।


  1. Vincent A. Smith (1 January 1999). The Early History of India. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. pp. 385–. ISBN 978-81-7156-618-1.
  2. K. B. Jindal (1955). A history of Hindi literature. Kitab Mahal.
  3. M. L. Bhagi (1965). Medieval India: Culture and Thought. Indian Publications.
  4. Abū al-Faz̤l ibn Mubārak (1891). The Ain-i-Akbari. Asiatic Society of Bengal. pp. 301–302.
  5. Radhey Shyam Chaurasia (1 January 2002). History Of Ancient IndiaEarliest Times To 1000 A.d.. Atlantic Publishers. pp. 213–. ISBN 978-81-269-0027-5.
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:BookSources/978-81-85880-26-6
  7. Aitihasik Sthanavali by Vijayendra Kumar Mathur, p.314