|Author of this article is Laxman Burdak लक्ष्मण बुरड़क|
Parihar (परिहार)/ Pratihar (प्रतिहार)  Parhar (पड़हार) Padhiyar (पढियार) Parhiyar (पढियार) Padiyar (पडियार) Padiyal (पडियाल) is gotra of Jats found in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat in India and in Pakistan. They are called Padhiyar in Gujarat, Parhiyar in Sindh, Pakistan. Pratihara (प्रतिहार) are Agnivanshi Jats.  They are also found in Gujars and Rajputs. Pari clan is found in Afghanistan. James Tod places it in the list of Thirty Six Royal Races.
- 1 Origin
- 2 In Mahabharata period
- 3 Gotrachara and Genealogy
- 4 Early history
- 5 Earliest mention
- 6 Jat History
- 7 History
- 8 Pratiharas of Jodhpur
- 9 Confederacy of clans under the Bhattis
- 10 Pratihara kingdom in Ujjain
- 11 Pratiharas of Kannauj
- 12 Emperor Mahendrapala (885-912 AD)
- 13 Mahipaladeva (912-931 AD)
- 14 Decline and downfall of the Pratihara empire
- 15 Later kings of the Pratihara dynasty
- 16 Ghatiyala Inscriptions of Kakkua S.V. 918 (861 AD)
- 17 Brief description of Pratihara Rulers
- 18 In Rajatarangini
- 19 Jat Gotras common with Parihars
- 20 Villages founded by Parihar clan
- 21 Distribution in Uttar Pradesh
- 22 Distribution in Rajasthan
- 23 Distribution in Gujarat
- 24 Distribution in Pakistan
- 25 Notable persons
- 26 See also
- 27 External links
- 28 References
The Sanskrit equivalent of Parihar is Pratihar (प्रतिहार). The word "Pratihara" means keeper or protector, and was used by the Gurjara-Pratihara rulers as self-designation. The Pratihara rulers claim descent from the Hindu mythological character Lakshmana, who had performed the duty of a door-keeper (pratihara) for his elder brother Rama.
A 1966 book published by the Directorate of Public Relations Government of Rajasthan mentions that the kings of this dynasty came to be known as the Pratiharas, because they guarded the north-western borders of the Indian subcontinent against foreign invasions.
The Pratiharas spread from Mandor in Rajasthan. One of its branched moved to Bhinmal (Jalor) under leadership of Nagabhatta I (730-756 AD). Since their place of origin was Gurjaratra hence in Jalor they were called Gurjaras on the basis of their place of Origin. When they came to Kanauj they were known as Gurjara-Pratiharas. After the fall of Pratiharas Chalukyas came into power and the worder Gurjar continued to be in use for next three centuries. Slowly word Gurjar was used for the entire territory ruled by Chalukyas. Gurjaratra in Prakrat form was Gujarat. 
According to D.R. Bhandarkar Gurjaratra comprised the districts of Didwana and Parbatsar of the princely Jodhpur State, now in Nagaur district in Rajasthan. Gurjaratra can be considered to be a sandhi of Gur + Jarta = Gurjarata = Gurjaratra. Gur means great and Jarta is identified with Jats by many historians. It means 'Great Jats' same as Massagetae of Herodotus.
R.C. Majumdar in the "The Gurjara Pratiharas" mentions verse 18 of Jodhpur Inscription of Bauka dated 837 which tells us that he fixed the perpetual boundary of the provinces of Travani and Valla. Now these two provinces, along with a few others are said to have been included in the territories of Kakkuka, the 14th king of the dynasty. It may be held, therefore, that there was some disturbance in the kingdom. That some danger had befallen it is also implied in the next verse wherein we are told that the protector of Vallamandala gained the confederacy of the Bhattis by overthrowing Devaraja. 
Here the, Bhattis seem to be the name of the sab-clan to which the rulers belonged, for in verse 26 of inscription No. I, Padmini the queen of Kakka, is said to be the purifier of the Bhatti clan. Bhati is a Jat clan. Travani (त्रवणी) is the same as Tivari (तिवरी), a Village in Osian tahsil of Jodhpur district in Rajasthan. Jat history tells us that Tawal (तावल) gotra of Jats originated from this place. 
Vallamandala ( वल्लमण्डल) is mentioned in V.19 of Jodhpur Inscription of Bauka dated 837 and also in verse-3 of Ghatiyala Inscriptions of Kakkua dated 861 AD. Here Valla is sanskritized form of Ball (बल्ल) or Bal (बल). Thus this represents the 'Bal Division' (बलमण्डल) mentioned in Jat history. We know that Ball (बल्ल) or Bal (बल) or Balhara (बलहारा) are all Jat clans. Balhara needs a special mention here. In Sanskrit, "Bal" means "strength" and "hara" means "the possessor". Balhara means "the possessor of strength". About the origin of Balhara, the early Arab Geographers are unanimous in their spelling of the title "Balhará." The merchant Sulaimán says it is a title and not a proper name. Ibn Khurdádba says that it signifies "King of Kings." Balhara Jats were the rulers in Sindh and Rajasthan from 8th to 10th century. Balharas ruled the area, which can be remembered as 'Bal Division' (बलमण्डल) . 
It is a well known fact that the Arabs had established themselves in Sindh at the beginning of the eighth century A.D. and used to send military expeditions into the interior from time to time. The Nausari plates of the Gujarat Chalukya Pulakesiraja, dated in 738 A.D., refers to an expedition of the Arabs in course of which they are said to have defeated the kings of the Saindhavas 1, the Kachchhellas 2, Saurashtra 3, the Chavotakas 4, the Mauryas 5and the Gurjaras 6. It seems very likely that the Arab invasion referred to in the grant was that undertaken by the officers of Junaid, the general of Kalif Hasham (724-743 AD).
It is interesting to nate that 1. Sindhu (सिंधु), 2. Kachela (काचेला), 3. Sorout (सोरोत), 4. Chapotkat (चपोत्कट)/ Chapu (चापू), 5. Maurya (मौर्य) / Mor (मोर), 6. Gurjara (गूर्जर) mentioned above are all in the list of Jat clans. Thakur Deshraj tells us that a group of Jats around Kandahar was known as Gujar.
These facts in view of the Arab raids indicate that a confederacy of existing clans was formed to fight with Arab invaders. This led to the rise of a new ruling dynasty among the Pratiharas.
In Mahabharata period
In Mahabharata epic we find mention of Dwarapala tribe which is synonymous with Pratihara, who are dwelling in the neighbourhood of Ramathas. Thus the search of Ramatha from various Parvas we can find Pratihara Kshatriyas located on the western borders of India in Mahabharata period.
- ". ....and the whole of the country called after the five rivers Panchanada, and the mountains called Amara , and the country called Uttarajyoti and the city of Divyakutta and the tribe called Dwarapala. And the son of Pandu, by sheer force, reduced to subjection the Ramathas, the Harahunas, and various kings of the west..."
- कृत्स्नं पञ्चनदं चैव तदैवापरपर्यटम
- उत्तरज्यॊतिकं चैव तदा वृण्डाटकं पुरम
- द्वारपालं च तरसा वशे चक्रे महाथ्युतिः (Mahabharata, 2.29.10)
- रमठान हारहूणांश च परतीच्याश चैव ये नृपाः
- तान सर्वान स वशे चक्रे शासनाथ एव पाण्डवः (Mahabharata, 2.29.10)
Vana Parva, Mahabharata/Book III Chapter 48 mentions chiefs of many islands and countries on the sea-board as also of frontier states who attended Rajasuya sacrifice of Yudhisthira:
- ...all the kings of the West by hundreds, and all the chiefs of the sea-coast, and the kings of the Pahlavas and the Daradas and the various tribes of the Kiratas and Yavanas and Sakras and the Harahunas and Chinas and Tukharas and the Sindhavas and the Jagudas and the Ramathas and the Mundas and the inhabitants of the kingdom of women and the Tanganas...
- पश्चिमानि च राज्यानि शतशः सागरान्तिकान
- पह्लवान दरदान सर्वान किरातान यवनाञ शकान (Mahabharata,3.48.20)
- हारहूणांश च चीनांश च तुखारान सैन्धवांस तदा
- जागुडान रमठान मुण्डान सत्री राज्यान अद तङ्गणान (Mahabharata,3.48.21)
Karna Parva/Mahabharata Book VIII Chapter 51 describes terrible massacre on seventeenth day of Mahabharata War and gives the list of Kshatriyas, who have been nearly exterminated in the van of battle. This includes Ramathas also. Thismay be reason of absence of this clan in present times.
- ..."the Tusharas, the Yavanas, the Khasas, the Darvabhisaras, the Daradas, the Sakas, the Kamathas, the Ramathas, the Tanganas the Andhrakas,...."
- उग्राश च करूरकर्माणस तुखारा यवनाः खशाः
- दार्वाभिसारा दरदा: शका रमठ तङ्गणाः (Mahabharata, 3.51.18)
Hukum Singh Panwar (Pauria) gives us Tribal and Geographical Identifications based on India in Greece by E. Pococke, Indian Reprint, Oriental Publishers, Delhi-6. He gives at S. No. 69. Arcas/Ramatha who migrated from Afghanistan to Babylonia, where they were known as Arkas (Greece).
The conquests of Mahipala Pratihara (912-931 AD) are described in a grandiloquent verse by the poet Rajasekhara in the Introduction to his Play Balabharata or Prachanda Pandava, where Mahipala is said to be very axe to the Kuntalas ; and who by violence has appropriated the fortunes of the Ramathas. (See page-63 below) Thus both Mahabharata and Rajasekhara point out Ramathas in their neighbourhood.
We find very interesting information about Ramtha from Wikipedia at J. Z. Knight. Ramtha (the name is claimed to be derived from Ram and to mean "the God" in Ramtha's language) is an entity whom Knight claims to channel. According to Ramtha, he was a Lemurian warrior who fought the Atlanteans over 35,000 years ago. Ramtha speaks of leading an army over 2.5 million strong (more than twice the estimated world population at about 30,000 BC) for 63 years, and conquering three fourths of the known world (which was going through cataclysmic geological changes). According to Ramtha, he led the army for ten years until he was betrayed and almost killed.
Gotrachara and Genealogy
The Parihar gotra is found among the Rajputs, Jats and Gujars. They were the main Kshatriyas out of four Agnikula kshtriyas created in Mount Abu. Rajeshwara writes them Raghuvanshi on the basis of elder son Raghudeva of their ancestral king Nahara Deva (Nahadadeva I). The symbols of this dynasty are:
- Gotra - Kaushika,
- Pravara - Vishvamitra, Kashaypa, Madhudandasa
- Mantra - Gayatri
- Veda - Yajurveda
- Upaveda - Dhanurveda
- Shakha - Vajasnehi
- Sooksha - Paraskara Griha Sooksha
- Kuladeva - Ramachandra
- Kuladevi - Pitambara/Chamundadevi
- Nadi - Sarasvati
- Teertha - Chitrakuta
- Nishana - Sun marked Red flag
- Pakshi - Garuda
- Vriksha - Shirisha (Pipal)
Pratiharas consider them Suryavanshi. First kingdom of Parihara vansha was Karapatha, which was handed over to Angada by Rama. Angada's descendants ruled for thousand years and rulers were: 1. Suchita, 2. Suchita, 3. Bharata, 4. Devajita, 5. Brahma, 6. Indradhruma, 7. Indrabhagna, 8. Parameshthi, 9. Sudhanva etc. In their 64th generation was Raghu. The descends of Ragu were 64. Raghu, 65. Aja, 66. Dasharatha, 67. Rama, 68. Lavakusha, Angada, Chitraketu, Pushkara, Subahu and Surasena 69. Atithi, 70. Nishadha, 71 Nala, 72. Nabha, 73. Pundarika, 74. Kshemadhandha, 75. Devanika, 76. Ahinagu, 77. Rupa, 78. Rura, 79. Paripatra, 80. Dala, 81. Chhala, 82. Ukatha, 83. Suvarga, 84. Kumutrijita, 85. Brahmadaja, 86. Dhami, 87. Kritanjaya, 88. Rananjaya, 89. Sanjaya, 90. Shakya, 91. Suddhodana, 92. Ratula, 93. Prasenajita, 94. Kshudra, 95. Kundaka, 96. Suratha, 97. Sumitra etc.
Starting from Angada to Chandraketu and Harichandra there was a period of thousands of years. Chronological ancestry is not available. After Mahabharata we get history of Parihara Rajavansha of Dhanyadesha.
The King Ajarana founded kingdom named Gurjartra on the banks of River Narmada and founded the city Nagaur. His son Nahada Rao repaired the Pushkara Tirtha and installed chaturmukhi Brahma Statue. Hence spread the rule of Pratiharas.  
D R Bhandarkar provides us from Basantgarh Inscription of Varmalata of V.S. 682 (625 AD) - The second name is Pratihara Botaka, the first of which words I think signifies the race. Botaka was thus a Pratihara, i.e. Padiyar, and this is the earliest instance of the denomination Pratihara occurring in an inscription.
Ram Swarup Joon writes about Parihar, Prathihar, and Panwar: According to many writers they belong to the Gujar dynasty and their ancestors are said to have been associated with the Mauryan Jatti clan .
After the Agnikula ceremony they decided to forget their original roots in order to rise in status.
The history section is mainly based on Reference - R.C.Majumdar: "The Gurjara Pratiharas", Journal of the Department of Letters Vol.X, Calcutta University Press, 1923 The page numbers given in the text are from this book.
Pratiharas of Jodhpur
Our knowledge of this dynasty is based upon six inscriptions, viz.
- (I) Mandor (Jodhpur) inscription of Bauka of V.894 (837 AD) - It was published in J.R.A.S., 1894, p. 1 ff. The inscription is dated, but the portion containing the date has been variously interpreted. Thus Munsi Deviprasad, Dr. Kielhorn and Professor D. R. Bhandarkar read the date respectively as Samvat 940, 4, and 894.  We have accepted Prof. Bhandarkar's interpretation of the date as the correct one. The topic will be fully discussed in Ep. Ind.
- (II- VI) The five Ghantiyala inscriptions of Kakkuka S.V. 918 (861 AD). One of these was published in J.R.A.S., 1895, p. 513 ff. and the remaining four, in Ep. Ind., Vol. IX, p. 277 ff. Three of these five inscriptions bear the date Samvat 918. The other two have no dates.
We have following more inscriptions about Pratihara dynasty:
- Buchkala Inscription of Nagabhatta of V. S. 872 (815 AD)
- Sambhal Copper-Plate of Nagabhata II of V.S. 885 (828 AD) ==
- Daulatpura copper plate of Partihar Bhojadeva of V.S. 900 (943 AD
- Siyadoni Inscription of Devapala of V.S. 1005 (948 AD)
The inscriptions supply us with the following genealogy of a line of kings belonging to the Pratihara dynasty.
All the above names except that of Kakkuka occur in inscription of No. I Mandor. In the Ghantiyala inscriptions of the Pratihara Kakkuka dated in V.S. 918 some names are slightly modified, such as Silluka for Siluka and Bhilluka for Bhilladitya. As they trace only the line of descent, they omit the names of the three brothers of Rajjila and the brother of Tata. They add a new name to the dynastic list, viz., that of Kakkuka, the step-brother of Bauka. The inscriptions thus furnish us with a line of kings extending over twelve generations. Taking twenty-five years as an average for each generation, the total reign period of the dynasty would be about 300 years. As the known date of Kakkuka is Samvat 918 (861 A.D.), and that of his step-brother Bauka, Samvat 894 (837 A.D.),
[Page-8] the founder of the dynasty Harichandra may be placed at about 550 A.D.
The verse 9 of inscription No. I tells us that the four sons of Harichandra built a large rampart round the fort of Mandavyapura which was gained by their own prowess (nija-bhujarjjite). Mandavyapura must be the same as Mandor whence the stone bearing the inscription was probably brought to Jodhpur five miles to the south. It is thus proved that the Pratihara clan of had advanced as far south as Mandor in the heart of Rajputana shortly after the middle of the sixth century A.D. This part of Rajputana is referred to in inscriptions of the ninth century A.D. as Gurjaratra, and must therefore be looked upon as a stronghold of the Gurjara power. It is permissible to hold, then, that the historic origin of the name is to be traced to the Pratihara clan of the Gurjaras which strongly established itself in the locality and ruled there for three hundred years up to the middle of the ninth century A.D. It is further legitimate to identify it with the Gurjara power to which various references are made in the records of the seventh century A.D. Let us discuss these one by one.
1) [Page-9] The Chinese traveller Hiuen Tsang visited a Gurjara kingdom which was about three hundred miles north of Valabhi. The direction and the distance lead us to the territory round Jodhpur over which Harichandra's dynasty was ruling at the time of the pilgrim's visit. There can be scarcely any doubt, therefore, that the Gurjara kingdom visited by Hiuen Tsang was the principality ruled over by the Pratihara line under consideration. Nay, I believe that we are even able to identify the king whose court was visited by the pilgrim. " The king' says he, " is of the Kshatriya caste. He is just twenty years old. He is distinguished for wisdom and he is courageous. He is a deep believer in the law of Buddha and highly honours men of distinguished ability." (Beal, Vol. II, p, 270) Now, as the pilgrim visited the kingdom about 100 years after the foundation of the dynasty we may reasonably expect four generations of kings to have passed away during that period, and the young king may be looked upon as belonging to the fifth. On referring to the dynastic list we find king Tata occupying this position. The verses 14-15 of the inscription No. I inform us that the king Tata, considering life to be evanescent as lightening, abdicated in favour of his younger brother, and himself retired to a hermitage, practising there the rites of true religion. The curious confirmation about the religious fervour of the king who may be held on other grounds to have been a contemporary of the pilgrim gives rise to a strong presumption about the correctness of our identification.
It has been urged by Buhler and V. A. Smith that the kingdom visited by Hiuen Tsang was that of king Vyaghramukha, who belonged to the Chapa (चाप) dynasty1.
[Page-10] The theory rests upon the fact that Brahmagupta, the astronomer, who wrote his astronomical work Brahma-sphuta-siddhanta under the patronage of king Vyaghramukha of the Chapa dynasty, was known as Bhillamalavakacharya. It has been contended that Bhillamala which is thus proved to be the capital of Vyaghramukha, is identical with Pi-lo-mo-lo, the name given by Hiuen Tsang to the capital of the Gurjara kingdom visited by him and that the latter is therefore the principality ruled over by Vyaghramukha. Professor Bhandarkar has pointed out several drawbacks in this explanation. It will suffice here to point out that the identification of Pi-lo-mo-lo with Bhillamala is far from satisfactory in view of its distance from Valabhi as given by Hiuen Tsang. Besides, the Chavotakas1, who are looked upon as identical with the Chapas 2, are clearly distinguished from the Gurjaras in the Nausari Grant of the Gujarat Chalukya Pulakesiraja, and the Chapa kingdom cannot therefore be identified with the Gurjara kingdom visited by Hiuen Tsang.
(2) The feudatory Gurjara chiefs of Broach claim descent from a race of Gurjara kings (Garjara-nripa-vamsa). Now the earliest known date of the third of these chiefs is 629 A.D.. Allowing fifty years for the two generations that preceded him we get the date 580 A.D., for the feudatory (samanta) Dadda who founded the line. This date corresponds so very well with that of Dadda, the youngest son of Harichandra, that the identity
[Page-11] of the two may be at once presumed. It has been already suggested, on general grounds, that the Broach line was feudatory to the main line of the Gurjaras further north, and the proposed identification shows that the main Gurjara power in the north was the Pratihara line under consideration. An important piece of evidence in support of this has recently been brought to light by Mr. A. Venkata Subbiah. We learn from the colophon and the opening stanzas of the commentary known as Laghuvritti on Udbhata's Kavyalamkarasamgraha, that it was written by Induraja, who was a Pratihara and an inhabitant of Konkana. This goes a great way towards proving that the Gurjara rulers of Broach belonged to the Pratihara clan.
(3) It is recorded in the Aihole inscription (EI, VI,p.1) that the Latas, Malavas and the Gurjaras submitted to the Chalukya hero Pulakesi II. The Gurjaras must here be taken to refer to the Pratihara dynasty under consideration, for it cannot denote the feudatory line founded by Dadda as it is included under the Latas. The mention of the Gurjaras along with the Malavas and the Latas clearly show that they occupied a territory contiguous to these two provinces, and the kingdom of the Pratihara line under consideration exactly corresponds to this.
(4) Banabhatta refers to Prabhakaravardhana's successful wars against the Gurjaras. Prof. D. R. Bhandarkar has shown, on general grounds, that the Gurjaras in this passage must refer to those in Rajputana. This conclusion is supported by another consideration. The feudatory Dadda II of Broach is said to have protected a lord of Valabhi against the Kanauj emperor. Surprise has
[Page-12] justly been expressed how a small state like Broach could withstand the force of the mighty emperor. Everything however appears quite clear if we admit Broach to have been a feudatory state of the dynasty of Harichandra and remember its hereditary enmity with the royal house of Thaneswar. That the Gurjaras were not worsted in their struggles with Thaneswar kings appears quite clearly from the fact that they retained their independence, as Hiuen Tsang informs us, till at least a late period in the reign of Harshavardhana. The struggle between Dadda II and the rulers of Kanauj, incidentally referred to in inscriptions, may thus be looked upon as an episode in the long-drawn battle between the two powers. The various inferences to the Gurjaras in the records of the seventh century A. D. may thus be held to apply to the Pratihara line under consideration. It may of course be argued, in the absence of pompous and high- sounding titles in the inscriptions of this line of rulers, that they were only small feudatory chiefs; but the contention can hardly be maintained in view of the fact that in this respect our inscription No. I bears a close resemblance to the Gwalior inscription of the emperor Bhoja. Inscription No. I applies the term rajni to Bhadra, the queen of Harichandra, and to Jajjikadevi, the queen of Nagabhata, and the term maharajni to Padmini, the queen of Kakka. It refers to the rajadhani of Nagabhata and the rajya of Tata, Jhota and Bhilladitya.
[Page-13] The sons of Harichandra are called Bhudharanakshama (भूधरणक्षम), Kakka is styled bhupati, and Bauka is called nripisimha. The Gwalior inscription gives no royal epithet to Nagabhata, the first chief, calls the second and fourth chiefs respectively as kshhabhridisha and kshmapala, while Nagabhata II and Bhoja, the greatest kings of the dynasty are introduced without any royal epithet. Whatever might be the reasons, the close parallel between these two contemporary records would preclude any conclusion regarding the subordinate rank of the chiefs under consideration on the ground of the absence of high sounding royal epithets. It may also be observed in this connection that the inscriptions do not assign any such subordinate titles to these rulers as are used by the feudatory Gurjara chiefs, and this contrast between the two lines of rulers undoubtedly testify to the fact that the Pratihara rulers under consideration were independent and not subordinate. Having discussed these preliminary points we are now in a position to reconstruct the history of the Pratihara rulers of Rajputana. It would appear that towards the middle of the sixth century A.D., the Gurjaras advanced from their settlements in the Punjab towards the heart of India. The period was indeed a suitable one for their conquering expeditions. After the downfall of the short-lived empires of Yasodharman and Mihirakula, Northern India must have presented a favourable field for the struggle of nations, and the Gurjaras thus found a favourable opportunity to press forward. It may be readily imagined that their advance towards the east was checked by the rising power of the ruling house of Thaneswar, and
[Page-14] that was probably the origin of the hostility between the two powers. In the south, however, there was no great power to oppose any successful resistance to them, and hence they were able to make rapid advances in this direction. Harichandra must have been the leader or at least one of the principal leaders of this advanced section of the Gurjaras ; in any case his family emerged as the most powerful of the clan and established itself in the territory now roughly represented by the Jodhpur State.
Wives of Harichandra: We possess some information about this Harichandra from inscription No. I. He was a brahmana, versed in the Vedas and other Shastras and is described as a preceptor like Prajapati. It is interesting to note that he married two wives, one from a Brahmana and the other from a Kshatriya family. The sons, " born of the brahmana wife, became Pratihara Brahmanas," "while those born of the Kshatriya, the queen Bhadra," became the founders of the royal line of the Pratiharas. A word of explanation is given in inscription No. I as regards the origin of the name Pratihara. This, added to what we learn from the Gwalior inscription of Bhoja, informs us that the clan claimed descent from the epic hero Lakshmana, and the fact that he served as a door-keeper (pratihara) to his brother Rama on a memorable occasion, gave rise to the epithet assumed by it. All these serve to
[[Page-15] show the great extent to which the Gurjaras had imbibed the culture of the land in their settlements in the Punjab. Then, again, it is significant that the Kshatriya wife of Harickandra is called a queen, while no such royal epithet is added to his Brahmana wife. The fact possibly was, that Harichandra, versed in the Sastras, began his life as a preceptor in one of the peaceful settlements of the Gurjaras in the Punjab; but when the tribes once more resumed their military campaign, his racial instincts triumphed over the veneer of his borrowed culture and he changed the Sastra for the Shastra. He proved to be the most successful military leader among the Gurjaras and established a royal line that kept alive his name and fame for generations to come. The onward rush of the Gurjaras was not stopped with the death of Harichandra. The verse 9 of inscription No. 1 informs us that his sons conquered Mandavyapura (Mandor) and built a fortress there, to keep the enemies in check. (Cf. Verse 9 of the Jodhpur inscription of Pratihara Bauka.) Again, we are told in verse 12 of inscription No. 1 that Nagabhata, the fourth king, fixed his capital at the large city of Medantaka (Cf. verse 12 of the Jodhpur inscription. J.R.A.S., 1894, p. 3.), which has been identified by Munshi Deviprasad with Merta, 120 miles north-east of Mandor. The territory round Mandor is almost due south from the Gujarat and Gujranwala districts of the Punjab. It may be held, therefore, that the Gurjaras proceeded, generally speaking, towards the south from these strong- holds. Their gradual advance in this direction ultimately led them across the Nerbudda as far as the river Kim, and possibly even beyond it. Our knowledge about the
[[Page-16] different stages of this extensive conquest is as yet imperfect, but some main facts may be brought out by a study of the contemporary records. As has already been noted above, these southern territories were ruled in the seventh century A.D. by a feudatory line of Gurjara chiefs who traced their descent from Samanta Dadda. This person I have already identified with Dadda, the son of Harichandra. It is legitimate to infer, that, adopting a practice afterwards followed by both tho Chalukyas and the Rashtrakutas, Rajjila created a feudatory principality in the south under his younger brother Dadda, evidently as a check against the rising power of the Valabhis and the Chalukyas. Altogether six rulers of this line are known to us, viz., Dadda I, Vitaraga- Jayabhata I, Prasan-taraga-Dadda II, Jayabhata II, Bahusahaya-Dadda III, and Jayabhata III, each of these being the son of his predecessor. The earliest records of the family, dated 629 A.D. and 641 A.D., belong to the time of Dadda II, and we possess also several grants of the last king Jayabhata III dated 706 and 736 A.D. The identification of the villages mentioned in these grants enables us to form an estimate of the extent of the feudatory Gurjara principality. As Dr. Fleet remarks, " these records cover the country from the north bank of the river Kim to the south bank of the Mahi, and so show the extent of the Gurjara territory in the neighbourhood of the coast; inland it doubtless extended to the Ghats." Now, it is a noticeable fact that all these territories belonged to the Katachchuris or Kalachuris. The Sankheda (संखेडा) Grant of Shantilla (शांतिल्ल)(EI, II, p.21) shows that the territory round Dabhoi were ruled by Nirihullaka, a feudatory of Sankaragana.
[Page-19] There can be scarcely any doubt that the Gurjaras in Lata were able to hold their own against the royal houses of Thaneswar, Valabhi and Badami simply because they were backed by the main power of the Pratihara ruling family at Medantaka. For, otherwise it is difficult to explain how such a small principality could manage to maintain its independent existence against such powerful foes. We have already referred above to the first four kings of this main dynasty.
Confederacy of clans under the Bhattis
Verses 13-17 of inscription No. I describe the next four kings, of whom, however, nothing of particular importance is known. The next king Shiluka is described in verses 18-20. The verse 18 tells us that he fixed the perpetual boundary of the provinces of Travani and Valla. Now these two provinces, along with a few others are said to have been included in the territories of Kakkuka, the 14th king
[Page-20] of the dynasty. It may be held, therefore, that there was some disturbance in the kingdom. That some danger had befallen it is also implied in the next verse wherein we are told that the protector of Vallamandala gained the confederacy of the Bhattis by overthrowing Devaraja. (भट्टिकं देवराजं यो वल्लमण्डल-पालक: | नि(पा)त्य तत्ख(?)नम् भूमन प्राप्तवान-च्छत्र-चिह्नक: || V.19 Jodhpur Inscription)
These verses which occur in the Ghantiyala inscriptions of Kakkuka seem undoubtedly to imply that Kakkuka ruled over the countries mentioned therein. Prof. D. B. Bhandarkar holds the same view in J. Bo. Br. R. A., S., Vol. XXI, p. 414. For the identification of the countries see Ep. Ind , Vol. IX, p. 278.
Here the, Bhattis seem to be the name of the sab-clan to which the rulers belonged, for in verse 26 of inscription No. I, Padmini the queen of Kakka, is said to be the purifier of the Bhatti clan. These facts, by themselves alone, are not easy to understand, but when taken along with other known facts, they yield interesting information. These facts are :
(1) The Arab raids.
(2) The rise of a new ruling dynasty among the Pratiharas.
(I) It is a well known fact that the Arabs had established themselves in Sindh at the beginning of the eighth century A.D. and used to send military expeditions into the interior from time to time. The Nausari plates of the Gujarat Chalukya Pulakesiraja, dated in 738 A.D., refers to an expedition of the Arabs in course of which they are said to have defeated the kings of the Saindhavas 1, the Kachchhellas 2, Saurashtra 3, the Chavotakas 4, the Mauryas 5and the Gurjaras 6. It seems very likely that the Arab invasion referred to in the grant was that undertaken by the officers of Junaid, the general of Kalif
[Page-21] Hasham (724-743 A.D.). Biladuri gives a short account of these expeditions, and mentions, among other things, that Junaid sent his officers to Marmad, Mandal, Barus and other places, and conquered Bailaman and Jurz. (Elliot, History of India, Vol. I, p. 126) There can be no doubt that Marmad is the same as Maru-Mara which is referred to in the Ghatiyala inscription No. II above, and includes Jaisalmer and part of Jodhpur State. (Ep. Ind., Vol. IX, p. 278) Barus is undoubtedly Broach, and Mandal probably denotes Mandor. It is now a well known fact that Jurz was the Arabic corruption of Gurjara. Bailaman probably refers to the circle of states referred to in inscription No. I, as Valla-Mandala. It would thus appear that the Arabian army under Junaid conquered the main Gurjara states in the north as well as the feudatory state of Broach in the south. This catastrophe must have taken place about the beginning of the second quarter of the eighth century A. D. According to Biladuri, the Arab expeditions were arranged by Junaid during the Caliphate of Hasham who ruled from 724 to 743 A.D. According to Elliot Junaid was succeeded by Tamim about 726 A.D. (Elliot, History of India, Vol. I, p. 442) Evidently this last date is far from being definitely known and we may therefore conclude that the expeditions were undertaken shortly after 724 A.D. The Nausari plates show, however, that the expeditions referred to in them took place between 731 A. D. and 738 A. D. For, according to the Balsar plates, Avanijanashraya Pulakesiraja did not come to the throne till the year 731 A. D. and as he himself takes the credit of having repelled the Arabs from Nausari the event must be dated after that year. Now Biladuri tells us that besides the Gurjara territories
[Page-22] noted above Junaid sent officers against Ujjain, and against the country of Maliba (evidently meaning the eastern and western Malwa), but Junaid's successor was feeble and in his days the Musulmans retired from several parts of India, and left some of their possessions. (Elliot, History of India, Vol. I, p. 126) If we consider together the information supplied by the Indian inscriptions and the Arab historians, we may safely conclude that the Arab expeditions which began shortly after 724 A. D. lasted for a period of about ten years. During the first part of this period, under the direction of Junaid, the Arabs achieved great successes and overran the neighbouring provinces as far as Ujjain in the east and Lata in the south. But the force of the first onward rush was soon spent up, and under Tamim, the feeble successor of Junaid, they had to retire from their newly conquered territories. In the south they were defeated by the Gujarat Chalukyas under Avanijanashraya Pulakesiraja, while in the east they met with a new power which not only checked their present aggressions but was destined to prove one of the strongest bulwarks against the advance of the Islamic power in future. This was the Pratihara dynasty of Avanti, of which we next proceed to give some detailed account.
(2) It has been already noticed above that the Gurjaras advanced southwards from the Punjab till they settled in and about Mandor in Rajputana, and that from this place they not only continued to advance towards the south but also moved towards the east. The available evidence shows that they settled in various parts of the country in both these directions. Thus Dr. V. A. Smith has
[Page-23] shown that there are consistent traditions, current in different parts of Bundelkhand, to the effect, that the Pariharas settled there about the eighth century A. D. Towards the south their occupation of Lata has already been referred to and it is not impossible that they proceeded even further south ; for Mr. A. Venkatasubbiah has traced the existence of Pratihara chiefs even in the Kanara country.
Pratihara kingdom in Ujjain
But by far the most important settlement in this direction was that of Avanti, or western Malwa, for the Pratihara chiefs of this place were the founders of the great imperial family at Kanauj. This fact, so far as I know, has not been recognised by any historian, but it seems to me to rest on unimpeachable grounds. I shall therefore deal with the question in some detail. Mr. K. B. Pathak brought to light a passage in Jaina Harivamsa of Jinasena which gives the precise date of its composition. The passage was subsequently noticed by Peterson and Fleet (Ep, Ind., Vol. VI, pp, 195.6) and the following remarks of the last named scholar may be taken to fairly represent the views of all the three regarding its interpretation. " A passage in Jaina Harivamsa of Jinasena tells us that the work was finished
[Page-24] in Saka-Samvat 705 (expired), = A. D. 783-784, when there were reigning, in various directions determined with reference to a town named Vardhamanapura (वर्धमानपुर), which is to be identified with the modern Wadhwan (वढवाण) in the Jhalawar division of Kathiawar, in the north, Indrayudha ; in the south Srivallabha ; in the east, Vatsaraja, king of Avanti (Ujjain); and, in the west, Varaha or Jayavaraha, in the territory of the Sauryas."
This seems to have been the accepted view till 1902 when Prof. D. R. Bhandarkar gave a somewhat different interpretation of the passage. " The second half of the stanza," said he, " beginning with sakeshv-abda-sateshu, etc., does not appear to me to have been properly translated. The word nrpipa in my opinion, shows that Avanti-bhubhriti is to be connected with purvam and Vatsadiraje with aparam. The translation would then be as follows : " in the east, the illustrious king of Avanti ; in the west king Vatsaraja (and) in the territory of the Sauryas, the victorious and brave Varaha."
Dr. V. A. Smith writing in 1909, accepted the interpretation of Prof. Bhandarkar with the prefatory remark " that the translation has been the subject of dispute." Later on Mr. R. Chanda, Mr. R. D. Banerji and Sten Konow accepted the translation given by Prof. Bhandarkar, which may thus be said to have held the field till now. In my humble opinion, however, the views of Fleet and Pathak seem to be preferable. For, in the first place, the author evidently seeks to describe the four kings in the four directions; but according to Prof. Bhandarkar's view, apart from grammatical difficulties, there being no object of the verb avati, -we
[Page-25] get a fifth province and there remains no name for the king of the east, the only exception of the kind. Secondly, as the writer was indicating these directions with reference to Vardhamanapura, modern Wadhwan, in the Jhalawar division of Kathiawar, " the west " can only refer to Saurashtra and cannot be taken to apply to a country like Gurjaratra or even to any part of Rajputana where Vatsaraja is supposed to have been ruling. According to the interpretation of Dr. Fleet, Vatsaraja, the king of Avanti, would be the king of the east, and king of Saurya or Sauramandala, evidently Saurashtra, the king of the west, referred to by the author. It will be observed that this is fully in keeping with the geographical position of Wadhwan, where the author wrote his book. Quite recently, Prof. D. R. Bhandarkar has drawn my attention to a passage in an unpublished copper plate grant in his possession, which runs as follows:
- Hiranyagarbham rajanyaih Ujjayinyam yada==sitam |
- Pratihari(h) kritam yena Gurjjares = adi rajakam ||
This points to a Gurjara Pratihara kingdom in Ujjain, for the word Pratihara, apart from its usual meaning, is evidently an allusion to the name of the clan. Professor Bhandarkar admits that this finally settles the point, in regard to the interpretation of the passage in Harivamsa, in favour of Pathak, Peterson and Fleet. Now, an account of the Pratihara dynasty to which this Vatsaraja, King of Avanti, belonged, has been
[Page-26] preserved in the Gwalior inscription of Bhoja. It tells us that, Nagabhata, the founder of the family, defeated the powerful forces of a Mlechchha king. (Gwalior inscription, verse 4). The manner in which this solitary fact is mentioned with regard to the founder of the royal line seems to show that it was looked upon as of great importance in the history of the family. Now the locality of Nagabhata's kingdom and the period when he flourished, may be gathered from the passage in the Jaina Harivamsa referred to above. It has been unanimously held by scholars that the Vatsaraja, referred to in the above passage, is the Pratihara king of the same name, the grand-nephew of Nagabhata. As Vatsaraja was ruling in 783-784 A. D., Nagabhata may be taken to have flourished about 725 A.D. Again Avanti must be looked upon as the home territory of the dynasty, for although Vatsaraja ruled over an extensive kingdom, he is called the ruler of Avanti in the above passage. It may be held therefore, that Nagabhata was ruling over Avanti about 725 A. D. As we have seen above this was the period when the great Arab raid took plans, and Biladuri clearly mentions Uzain as being attacked by the Arabs. Uzain is no doubt the same as Ujjain, the capital of Avanti and there can scarcely be any doubt, therefore, that the Gwalior inscription, like the Nausari plates, refers to the Arab expedition described by Biladuri. According to tho Gwalior inscription of Bhoja, the Arab forces were defeated by Nagabhata and this is fully
[Page-27] in keeping with the account of Biladuri, who observes : " They (i.e., the Arabs) made incursions against Uzain, and they attacked Baharimand and burnt its suburbs. Junaid conquered Al Bailaman and Jurz " Thus whereas other places were conquered, the Arabs merely sent incursions against Ujjain, and if we remember that this is from the pen of an Arab historian, it must be looked upon as a tacit admission that the Arabs failed in their expedition against Ujjain. It is also significant that the Nausari plates do not include the king of Avanti among the list of those that were defeated by the Arabs. We are now in a position to follow intelligently the account of the Pratihara dynasty of Jodhpur. It is possible that from the very beginning their kingdom consisted of a number of feudatory principalities which together composed a Mandala. At least the expression Vallamandalapalaka, applied to one of the kings in verse 19 of inscription No. I, seems to show that they were looked upon as the head of the confederacy. The disruption of this confederacy must have been one of the disastrous consequences of the Arab expeditions by which the whole country was overrun. In any case the outlying principality of Lata does not seem to have been retained long, for 736 A.D. is the latest date obtained for the Gurjaras in this quarter. Siluka who occupied the throne in the second quarter of the eighth century A. D. seems to have been able to avert a total wreck of his empire, and preserved the provinces of Travani and Valla to his family. Fortunately for him the fury of the Arab invasions passed away in a few years ; but a new danger was ahead. The rival Pratihara line of Avanti had acquired prestige and renown by hurling back the
[Page-28] Islamic hordes from their frontier, and it was inevitable that they should seek to wrest the supreme power from the Jodhpur Pratiharas, whose power must have been considerably weakened by the recent reverses. As noticed above, the verse 19 of inscription No. I informs us that " Siluka, possessed of the sign of umbrella, gained the confederacy of the Bhattis by having defeated Devaraja." It appears to me that this Devaraja is identical with the king of the same name in the Avanti family, who was the nephew of Nagabhata. This assumption rests upon three grounds :
- (1) The contemporaneity of Siluka and Devaraja, both having lived about 750 A. D.
- (2) This Devaraja is described in the Gwalior inscription of Bhoja as having laid the foundation of the future greatness of his family by defeating other kings.
- (3) Vatsaraja, the successor of Devaraja, is said in the same inscription to have wrested the empire from the famous Bhandi clan. (Cf. verse 7 in the Gwalior inscription of Bhoja) It seems to me very likely that this famous Bhandi clan is no other than the Bhatti clan to which the Jodhpur Pratiharas belonged.
The whole history of the period may then be construed as follows with the help of the data referred to above. As we have seen, shortly after the beginning of the eighth century A. D., a Pratihara dynasty was ruling in Avanti or western Malwa. That this dynasty was closely allied to the ruling dynasty of Jodhpur admits of no doubt, for both possessed the common tradition of being
[Page-29] descended from Lakshmana the brother of Rama; both traced the common name Pratihara to the fact that the hero once served as a doorkeeper to his elder brother Rama ; and the two families contained such common names of kings as Kakkuka, Nagabhata and Bhoja, the first two of which are not to be met with anywhere else. It is not definitely known in what relation the new dynasty stood to the old one, and when it advanced as far as Western Malwa. It is not of course impossible that the same wave of conquest which brought the Gurjaras as far as Lata in the south also established another branch in Avanti, a little to the east of it. This supposition is strengthened by the consideration that both these territories belonged to the Katachchuris just when the Gurjaras were advancing from Rajputana. That the Katachchuris had to give way before the advanced hordes of the Gurjaras appears quite clearly from the occupation of Lata by the latter some time before 629 A.D., as has been already noticed above. It is quite probable that the conflict between the Gurjaras and the Katachchuris continued even after the occupation of Lata by the latter, till they had also wrested Western Malwa from their enemies. In the century, 625-725 A. D., then, the Gurjaras held sway over an extensive territory, and so far as is known to us at present, there was something like a confederacy of states over which the Pratihara family of Jodhpur ruled as suzerains. But then came the disastrous Arab invasions when the mighty Gurjara power lay prostrate before the vanguards of Islam. One of the Gurjara principalities, however, successfully withstood this terrible shock. The natural defences, as well as its remoteness might have contributed towards the result, but in any case the Gurjara-Pratihara ruler of Avanti hurled back the forces of Islam and probably also caused the ultimate retreat of the marauders not long afterwards. This triumphant
[Page-30] success of one of the Gurjara principalities must have sadly contrasted with the serious reverses sustained by others and in particular by the ruling family which had hitherto exercised the suzerain power. It was inevitable that the successful power should make a bold bid for the supreme position, and it was natural that the Gurjara states should favourably entertain this claim of one who had proved to be their true saviour. That explains the struggle between Devaraja of the new family, and Siluka, who possessed the sign of umbrella, i.e., hitherto held the supreme position. Devaraja was however defeated and Siluka regained, or rather retained his suzerainty over at least a part of the Gurjara states. The rising Pratihara power of Avanti was not, however, to be checked by a single reverse. Vatsaraja, the son and successor of Devaraja, continued the struggle, and at length "wrested the empire from the famous Bhandi clan." Thus passed away the glories of the family of Harichandra, after it had successfully ruled as suzerain power for about two hundred years. The altered condition of the family is faithfully reflected in inscription No. I. After describing the military exploits of Siluka, the poet tells us that " his son Jhota proceeded to the Bhagirathi " and his grandson Bhilladitya " possessed of satva qualities and disposed to austerities bestowed the kingdom on his son and proceeded to Gangadvara" (vv. 21-22). This seems to indicate that the Pratihara family of Jodhpur was politically insignificant during the latter part of the eighth century A. D. The history of the Gurjaras henceforth centred round the rulers of the Avanti line, and we shall therefore proceed with their history, touching only incidentally upon that of the older family. The early kings of this dynasty, their relation to one another and the known dates we possess
[Page-31] of them may be represented by the table as pictured.
The third king Devaraja is also known as Devasakti, and the seventh king is referred to under four different names such as, Mihira, Adivaraha, Prabhasa and Bhoja. Mahendrapala is called Mahendrayudha and Nirbhaya Narendra by his court poet Rajasekhara. The fifth verse of the Gwalior inscription may be taken to imply that the second king Kakkuka was also known as Kakustha.
We have already seen that Nagabhata, the founder of the family flourished about 725 A. D. and established its greatness by his triumphant success over the Arabs. The Hansot plates of the Chahamana feudatory Bhartrivaddha II (Ep Ind. Vol. XII, p. 197) records a grant that was made at Broach, in the increasing reign of victory of the glorious Nagavaloka, in the year 756 A.D. Prof. D. R. Bhandarkar upheld the view that this Nagavaloka is no other than Nagabhata I (Ind. ant., 1911, p. 240) and Dr. Sten Konow has accepted it. (Ep. Ind., Vol. XII, p 200) It
[Page-32] would then follow that he re-established the Pratihara suzerainty over Broach which the family of Jodhpur must have lost during the Arab expeditions. A reminiscence of Nagabhata's struggle with the neighbouring powers seems to have been preserved in the Ragholi plates of Jayavardhana II, a king of the Shaila (शैल) dynasty1 ruling over part of Central Provinces. We are told that Prithuvardhaua, a previous king of the family, conquered the Gurjara country. (EI,IX,p.41)
Practically nothing is known of the second king Kakkuka. The third king Devaraja is described in the Gwalior inscription as a very powerful ruler, wielding sovereignty over a number of chiefs. But, as noted above, he failed in his attempt to establish his suzerainty by defeating the Jodhpur Pratiharas. The cause of this failure is not far to seek. Almost at the same time when Nagabhata was laying the foundations of the future greatness of his family, a new power arose in the south. This was the Rashtrakuta dynasty of Malkhed. The Sanjan plates of Amoghavarsha informs us that king Dantidurga, the founder of the new power, conquered Avanti and performed a sacrifice in which a Gurjara king served as the Pratihari or door-keeper. (See the verse quoted above on p. 25.) This event possibly took place some time after 754 A.D., as it is not mentioned in the Samangad plates of Dantidurga, dated in that year. It is likely, therefore, that the Gurjara-Pratihara king who suffered defeat in the hands of the Rashtrakutas was Devaraja. Thus began that hereditary struggle between the two powers which lasted for about two hundred years. For the present, it must have considerably weakened the newly risen power. But
Note - 1. Shail (शैल) is a Jat clan
[Page-33] fortunately, confusion shortly broke out in the Rashtrakuta affairs, and a palace revolution placed Krishna I on the throne. Vatsaraja, the son and successor of Devaraja, was thus in a more favourable position than his father, and successfully accomplished the task left unfulfilled by the latter. He was undoubtedly one of the greatest heroes of the family and his reign constitutes a definite landmark in its history. The passage in Jaina Harivamsa, quoted above, definitely locates him at Avanti in the year 783-784 A.D., but, as a matter of fact, his power extended beyond its limits. The Gwalior inscription informs us that he took the empire from the Bhandis. As I have already indicated above this probably refers to his suzerainty over the Gurjara states in Rajputana. In any case, the Osia stone a inscription and the Daulatpura copper plate (Ep. Ind., Vol. V, p. 208.) clearly show that he exercised sway in Gurjaratra, in central Rajputana. We gather some important information about Vatsaraja from the Rashtrakuta records. The eighth verse
[Page-34] in the Radhanpur plates of Govinda III, which is also repeated in the Wani (वणी) grant of the same monarch refers to the defeat inflicted upon him by the Rashtrakuta king Dhruva in the following words :
- " By his matchless armies having quickly driven into the trackless desert Vatsaraja, who boasted of having with ease appropriated the fortune of the royalty of the Gauda, he in a moment took away from him, not merely the Gauda's two umbrellas of state, white like the rays of the autumn moon, but his own fame also that had spread to the confines of the regions." (Ep. lnd. t VI, 248.)
This passage certainly proves that Vatsaraja had defeated the King of Gauda, before he was himself defeated by Dhruva. It has been generally concluded that Vatsaraja invaded Gauda and must have of course conquered the intermediate states. This view, however, has probably to be given up in view of a verse in the Sanjan copper plate of Amoghavarsha I. It tells us with reference
to Dhruva, that 'he took away the white umbrellas of the King of Gauda (who was) destroyed between the Ganges and the Jumna.' This verse seems to refer to an encounter between Dhruva and the King of Gauda somewhere between the Ganges and the Jamuna. That the Rashtrakuta king had actually proceeded so far in his career of conquest is also proved by a verse in the Baroda plates of Karkaraja. The important points established by these references may be summarised as follows :
- I. That the kingdom of Gauda stretched as far at least as Allahabad in those days.
- II. That Vatsaraja defeated the King of Gauda.
- III. That, probably not long afterwards, Vatsaraja as well as the King of Gauda were defeated by Dhruva.
It appears that while Vatsaraja was laying the foundations of the future greatness of his family in the west, the Palas had established a strong monarchy in Bengal in the east. The former gradually expanded his kingdom towards the east while the latter did the same in the opposite direction. Under the circumstances it was inevitable that there would be a trial of strength between the two. In the first encounter the lord of Gauda was defeated; but while the rivals were thus fighting with
[Page-36] each other, a common enemy appeared from the south, involved both of them in a common ruin and pushed as far as the Ganges and the Jamuna. Thus began that tripartite struggle between the Gurjaras, the Palas and the Rashtrakutas which may be looked upon as the most important factor in the political history of India during the next century. The key-note of this struggle seems to have been the possession of the Ganges and the Jamuna, or more properly speaking, Kanauj, for which each of these tried and succeeded in his own turn. In order that the account of this struggle might be intelligently followed we arrange below, in a tabular form, the list of kings of the three rival dynasties, so far as we are concerned with them here.
|Devaraja||Dantidurga (753 AD)||Gopala (770-780 AD)|
|Vatsaraja (783-784 AD)||Dhruva (779-794 AD)||Dharmapala (780-815 AD)|
|Nagabhata (815 AD)||Govinda III (794-814 AD)||...|
|Ramabhadra||Amoghavarsha (811-877 AD)||Devapala (C. 815-850 AD)|
|Bhoja (843-890 AD)||...||Vigrahapala (850-860 AD)|
|Mahendrapala (890-910 AD)||Krishna II (902 A.D.)||Nyarayapapala (860-915 AD)|
|Mahipaladeva (914-931 AD)|
It will appear from the above scheme that the first encounter took place between the Rashtrakuta king Dhruva, the Gurjara king Vatsaraja, and the Pala king Dharmapala But the death of Dhruva, sometime
[Page-37] before 794 A.D., ushered in a period of confusion in the Rashtrakuta kingdom. A confederacy of twelve kings in the south was formed against the new king Govinda III, and he had, besides, to cope with the treacherous hostility of the Ganga king. While his own hands were busy in the south the northern possessions seem to have been left in charge of his younger brother Indraraja. To the northern kings this was a good respite and they were not slow to take advantage of it. Dharmapala who was probably less affected by the Rashtrakuta blow, seems to have entered the field first and made his suzerainty acknowledged by almost all the important states in northern India including the Gurjara kingdom of Avanti. In particular, he conquered Kanauj by defeating Indraraja and others, and thus reached what seems to have been the goal of royal ambition in those days. The ever-shifting political combination of the time, however, made it difficult, if not impossible, for any king to enjoy undisturbed a long and prosperous reign. The Gurjara power was merely stunned by the Rashtrakuta
[Page-38] blow, not killed, and Nagabhata II, the son and successor of Vatsaraja, set himself to the task of retrieving the fortunes of his family. His achievements are described in four eloquent verses in the Gwalior inscription. By a careful examination of these as well as the data supplied by the Baroda plates of Karkaraja it is possible to form a fair idea of the history of his reign. It appears in the first place that Nagabhata II succeeded in allying himself with several other states. This follows from the statement in the Baroda plates that " by him (i.e., Indraraja, the Rashtrakuta ruler of Lata) alone, the leader of the lords of the Gurjaras, who prepared himself to give battle, bravely lifting up his neck, was quickly caused, as if he were a deer, to take to the (distant) regions ; and the array of the Mahasamantas of the region of the south, terrified and not holding together and having their possessions in course of being taken away from them by Shriballabha, through (shewing) respect obtained protection from him. (Ind. Ant., Vol. XII, p. 163) The same conclusion also follows from verse 8 of the Gwalior inscription." (V-8: Adyalj puman puna-rapi sphuta-kirttir asmaāj-jātas-sa eva kila Nāgabhatas-taākhyap, | Yattr-Andhra-Saindhava-Vidarbha-Kalivga-bhupaih kaannara-dhumni patanga-samair=apati ||) The poet tells us that kings of Sindhu, Andhra, Vidarbha and Kalinga succumbed to the power of Nagabhata as moths do unto fire. Now, moths are attracted by the glare of the fire and approach it of their own accord, although it leads to their ultimate destruction. The force of this simile is preserved if we suppose that the kings of the four countries were not conquered by Nagabhata but joined him of their own accord in the first instance although ultimately they lost their power thereby. The position of these four countries confirms this view. Joined to Avanti and the Gurjara states of Rajputana
[[Page-39] they form a central belt right across the country bounded in the north by the empire of the Palas, and on the south by that of the Rashtrakutas. It appears, therefore, to be quite likely that they formed a confederacy against the two great powers that pressed them from two sides, although, as so often happens, the most powerful member of the confederacy ultimately reduced the others to a state of absolute dependence. At the head of the confederacy thus successfully launched by him, Nagabhata tried his strength with both the rival powers. It is likely that he at first attempted to secure his position in the north by defeating the imperial schemes of the rival lord of Bengal, and like Dharmapala, he too first turned his attention towards Kanauj; for we are told in the Gwalior inscription of Bhoja that Nagabhata defeated "Chakrāyudha, whose lowly demeanour was manifest from his dependence on others." (Jitv-parshrayakrita-sphuta-nicha.bhāvam Chakrāyudham vinaya-i.amra-vapur = vyarājat V.9) As we know from the Bhagalpur plate of Narayanapala that Dharmapala placed one Chakrayudha on the throne of Kanyakubja after having conquered the place, it may be held as certain that the Chakrayudha, defeated by Nagabhata, was this very ruler of Kanyakubja who owed his throne to the favour of the Pala emperor. According to this point of view, Nagabhata's war against Chakrayudha was but a challenge to the emperor himself. The war between Nagabhata and the lord of Bengal is described in the tenth verse of the Gwalior inscription. Nagabhata is said to have achieved the victory, but the way in which the poet describes the array of the mighty hosts of the lord of Bengal (Durvvāra vari-vārana-vāji-vāra-yān-augha-samghatana-ghorā-ghan-andha kāram | Nirjitya Vangapatim.āvirabhud-vivasvān-ndyan-niva ttrijagadeka-Vikasako- yah ||) contrasts strangely with the " easy capture of the Gauda sovereignty " by Vatsaraja, and may be looked
[Page-40] upon as an index of the change that had come over Bengal in the intervening period. The battle probably took place at Monghyr, for the Jodhpur inscription of Bauka informs us that his father Kakka " gained renown by fighting with the Gaudas at Monghyr (Mudgagiri)." As Prof. D.R. Bhandarkar has shown, the inscription of Bauka is dated in 837 A.D.(Cf. verse 24, Jodhpur inscription of Pratihara Bauka). Kakka may be thus looked upon as a contemporary of Nagabhata, and as it does not appear likely that Kakka could lead an expedition up to Monghyr on his own account, it may bo assumed that he accompanied his Gurjara overlord in his Bengal campaign. Another chief that probably accompanied Nagabhata on the same occasion was Vāhukadhavala, the feudatory chief of Surashtra. For we learn from an inscription of his great-grandson Avanivarman II (Ep. Ind., Vol. IX, pp.2 ff.) , a feudatory of Mahendrapaladeva, that he defeated king Dharma in battle, and as Kielhorn observes, this king Dharma may be identified with the Pala emperor of the same name. Kielhorn held that Vahukadhavala lived in the middle of the 9th century A.D., and was a feudatory of Bhoja (ibid p, 3). Dr. V. A. Smith (J.R.A.S., 1909, p. 266) and Mr. B. Chanda (Gauda-raja-mala p, 28) have supported this view. But as his great-grand-son was a feudatory of "Mahendrapala at the end of the ninth century A.D., it is more reasonable to hold, as Mr. R. D. Banerji has done (Banglar itihasa, p. 167) that Vahukadhavala was a feudatory of Nagabhata II at the beginning of the ninth century A.D. We can still trace a third chief who joined Nagabhata in his expedition against Bengal. This is Samkaragana, the Guhilot prince, referred to in the Chatsu inscription of Baladitya. (Ep. Ind., Vol. XV, pp. 10 ff.) It contains the following verse with reference to Samkaragana : Pratijnām prākkritro.dbhata-karighatā-samkata-rane bhatam jitvā Ganda- hshitipam = avanim samgara-hritām, | Balād-dāsim chakre (pra) bhu-charanayor=yah pranayimm tato-bhupah so-bhuj-jita-bahu-ranah Samkaraganah,|| (V.4.) Prof. D. R. Bhaadarkar who edited this inscription concluded from the above that Samkaragana conquered Bhata, the king of the Gauda country, and made a present of this kingdom to bis overlord. He farther suggested that this Bhata might be the same as Surapala. I beg to differ from these views of the learned scholar. The verse seems to me to mean that Samkaragana defeated the king of Gauda, a great warrior (Bhata), and made the whole world, gained by warfare, subservient to his overlord. Secondly, Samkaragana was the great-grand-son of Dhanika one of whose known dates is 725 A.D. (ibid, p. 11). Samkaragana, should, therefore, be taken as a contemporary of Nagabhata II and Dharmapala at the beginning of the ninth century A.D. The verse thus shows that Samkaragana helped his overlord Nagabhata to wrest the empire from Dharmapala by defeating the latter.
[Page-41] These scattered notices are sufficient to indicate the extensive preparations of Nagabhata against his adversary, and the very fact that he could advance as far as Monghyr seems to indicate that the ruler of Bengal was worsted in the fight. The simile by which the poet of the Gwalior inscription describes the triumph of Nagabhata seems to be a significant one. We are told that after defeating the dark dense array of the lord of Vanga, Nagabhata revealed himself, even as the rising Sun reveals himself by dispelling the dense darkness. This means, in plain language, that the rise of Nagabhata was possible only if he could defeat the king of Vanga and that explains why he first turned his attention in this direction. The Sun of Gurjara glory had set in with Vatsaraja, and the fortunes of his family, crushed by the lord of Vanga, lay enveloped in the darkness of night as it were, till a defeat inflicted by Nagabhata upon his enemy ushered in a new dawn for the Gurjaras. Soon the dawn passed away and the Sun reached its noonday height, for the next verse informs us that Nagabhata captured the strongholds of Anartta, Malava, Kirata, Turushka, Vatsa and Matsya countries. (Gwalior inscription of Bhoja I, verse 11. For the identification of the localities see J. R. A. S., 1909, pp. 257-8.) The poet leaves his hero at the height of his glory but it is quite clear from other records that the Sun had reclined tolhe west, and dusk set in, even in the lifetime of Nagabhata.
[Page-42] It has been already remarked above that the Rashtrakuta king Govinda III had been busy with turmoils in the south from the commencement of his reign, and it is undoubtedly to this fortunate accident that Nagabhata owed the respite which enabled him to carry on his brilliant military expeditions in the north. But the inevitable war between the two hereditary enemies broke out at last and we can gather some account of it from contemporary records. According to the Baroda plates of Karkaraja, Govinda III appointed Indraraja as the Governor of Latesvara-Mandala, which in my opinion denotes the whole of the northern possession of the Rashtrakutas. A passage in this inscription, already quoted above refers to a defeat inflicted upon the lord of the Gurjaras by Indraraja (alone). The lord of the Gurjaras seems undoubtedly to refer to Nagabhata, but the inscription of Avanivarman II, referred to above, puts up a claim on behalf of Vahukadhavala, a feudatory of the Gurjara king, that he defeated a Karnata army, meaning apparently the Rashtrakutas. (EI, IX, p. 3.) A comparison of these two statements leads to the inference, that even while Govinda III was engaged in the south, his governor of Lata had to feel the brunt of the Gurjara invasion under Nagabhata after the latter had strengthend himself by extensive conquests in tlie north. In the struggle which thus ensued each party claimed the victory, and there was probably no decisive result on either side. The situation was however completely changed when Govinda III, no doubt after settling his affairs in the south, hastened to the rescue of his brother. Once more
[Page-43] there was a trial of strength between the Gurjaras and the Rashtrakutas, but fortune was no more favourable to Nagabhata II than to his father. The result of this struggle is known from different sources. The Radhanpur plates of Govinda III inform us that when the Rashtrakuta monarch advanced towards the Gurjara king, the latter " in fear vanished nobody knew whither, so that even in a dream he might not see battle." (Ep. Ind., Vol. VI, p. 250.) Again, we learn from verse 22 of the Sanjan copper plate that Govinda III "destroyed the valour of Nagabhata and Chandragupta while he uprooted many other kings and again re-instated them." (Sa Nagabhata Candragupta-nripayor = yashauryam rane Svaharyyam = apaharyya dhairyyavikalan = ath = onmulayat. Sanjan plate, verse 22) According to the Pathari pillar inscription (Ep. Ind., Vol. IX, p. 248.) the Rashtrakuta chief Karkaraja defeated one Nagavaloka, and Prof. D. R. Bhandarkar perhaps rightly identifies this Nagavaloka with Nagabhata II and concludes that Karkaraja accompanied Govinda III in his expedition against the Pratihara king. (Ind. Ant., 1911, p. 239.) It would thus appear that Nagabhata II could not stand against the Rashtrakuta forces, although it is likely that he made good his retreat. But as verse 23 of the Sanjan copper plates imply, Govinda III overran his territory, and proceeded up to the Himalaya mountains. The Nilgund inscription (Ep. Ind. Vol. VI, p. 102.) informs us that Govinda III also fettered the Gaudas, and this is easily explained if we recall to mind how Dharmapala had provoked his hostility by attacking Indraraja, his younger brother, and governor in the north. The Sanjan plates, which contain much useful historical information not to be found anywhere else, are, however, much more explicit on the point. ---
[Page-44] We learn from these that Govinda III had proceeded up to Himalayas, and Dharmapala and Chakrayudha waited upon, or humbled themselves, of their own accord, to him. If we remember that both of them were defeated by Nagabhata II not long ago, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that they had made up their differences with the Rashtrakuta monarch by acknowledging his suzerainty in order to make a common cause against their more dangerous rival, viz., Nagabhata. This satisfactorily explains the advance of the Rastrakuta army up to the Himalayas although Nagabhata had not yet been worsted in an open battle. The date of this struggle admits of being more or less definitely settled by a comparison of the Want and the Radhanpur grants of Govinda III. The latter practically contains the same verses as the former with only a few additions and alterations ; and as the Gurjara conquest occurs in the additional part it may be assumed to have taken place between the dates of these two grants. Now, the Radhanpur grant is dated on the 27th July, 808 A D and the date of the Wani grant, although irregular, cannot be placed earlier than the 25th of April, 807 A. D. Thus Nagabhata II was defeated by Govinda III some time between 807 and 808 A D. The victory of the Rashtrakutas, although by no means final and "decisive, was no doubt disastrous to the Gurjaras. One of their late conquests, viz., the province of Malwa, passed into the hands of the Rashtrakutas and Andhra, Vidarbha and Kalinga also probably shared the same fate.
[Page-45] Pratiharas, however, did not cease to give trouble to the Rashtrakutas, for we are told in the inscription of the feudatory Karkaraja of Gujarat, that the Rashtrakuta king had " caused his arm to become an excellent door bar of the country of the lord of the Gurjaras. But the political situation changed. The Rashtrakutas themselves were torn asunder by internal dissensions. Karkaraja, the son and successor of Indraraja of Lata, was expelled by his younger brother in 812 A. D., and what was worse still, the revolutionary movement thus set on foot afterwards developed into an attempt to prevent the accession of Amoghavarsha I. This unexpected embroglio in the Rashtrakuta affairs left the Palas and the Gurjaras free to fight among themselves. It is difficult to follow in detail the course of this struggle which continued for more than a century, but a few prominent landmarks may be ascertained by a comparison of the records of the contending powers. The Bhagalpur copper plate of Narayanapala refers to Jayapala, the nephew of Dharmapala, in terms which seem to show that he defeated the enemies of Dharmapala in battles and made Devapala the supreme ruler of earth. Again the Monghyr copper plate of Devapala refers to his warlike expeditions up to the Vindhya mountains. This is fully supported by the Garuda pillar inscription of Badal according to which Devapala made the whole of northern India from Himalaya to Vindhya, and from the eastern to the western ocean tributary to him.
Pratiharas of Kannauj
This branch had the ancestry as under:
Harichandra (550 AD) → Nagabhata I (730–756) → Yashovarddhana → Vatsraja (775–805) → Nagabhata II (805–833) → Mihir Bhoja (Bhojadeva I) (836–886 AD) → Mahendrapala (885-912 AD) → Mahipaladeva (912-931 AD) → Vinayakapala I (931-943) → Mahendrapala II (943-948) → Devapala (948-959 AD) → Vijayapala (959-984) → Rajyapala → Trilochanpala (1019 AD) → Jasapala (1036 AD)
[Page-46] As regards the Gurjara Pratihara power, we learn from a Jaina book, Parbhavaka Charita, that king Nagavaloka of Kanyakubja, the grandfather of Bhoja died in 890 V. S., and this Nagavaloka has been rightly identified with Nagabhata II. (Ep. Ind., Vol. XIV, p, 179, fn. 3.) The Harsha stone inscription of Vigraharaja refers to him in terms which show that he was a very powerful king, and Guvaka I, the founder of the Chahamana dynasty was his vassal. (Ind. Ant. 1911, p. 239; Ep. Ind., Vol. II, p, 12.) Of Ramabhadra, the son and successor of Nagabhata II, we know very little, but that the Gurjara power declined during his reign is quite evident from the scattered notices we possess about him. Thus the Gwalior inscription of Vaillabhatta informs us that he had been the chief of boundaries in the service of Ramabhadra, and that his son occupied the office after him and was appointed to the guardianship of the fort of Gwalior by Bhoja. (Ep. Ind, Vol. I, pp. 154 ff.) This shows that during the reign of Ramabhadra and the early part of the reign of Bhoja Gwalior was the boundary of the Pratiharas. Again the twelfth verse of the Gwalior inscription of Bhoja (Ann. Rep. Arch. Sur t 1903-4, pp. 277ff.) seems to imply that Ramabhadra freed his country from the yoke of foreign soldiers who were notorious for their cruel deeds. It seems likely that ' the band of foreign soldiers by driving whom Ramabhadra got back the fame that was lost, even as Ramachandra recovered his Sita,' belonged to the Palas, for the other rival power, viz., the Rashtrakutas are not known to have advanced as far as the Gurjara kingdom at this period. The Daulatpura plates (Ep. Ind., Vol. V, p, 208,) also lead to the same conclusion. It renews the grant of a piece of land in Gurjaratra which was originally made by Vatsaraja and continued by Nagabhata II but had fallen into abeyance in the reign of Bhoja. This seems to indicate that the province was held by Vatsaraja
[Page-47] and Nagabhata II but lost by Ramabhadra and regained by Bhoja, sometime before 843 A. D., the date of the inscription. With the available evidence referred to above we are justified in tracing the course of the history of this period somewhat on the following lines. About 808 A. D. the Gurjara Pratihara power suffered a severe blow in the hands of the Rashtrakutas. Their rivals, the Palas, took advantage of this to establish their supremacy in northern India. Nagabhata retained his hold upon Kanauj which he had conquered from Chakrayudha, transferred his capital there and probably succeeded in offering an effective resistance to the Palas till his death in 833-34 AD. His successor Ramabhadra was a weak monarch and so the Pala emperor Devapala established his unquestioned suzerainty over northern India. His army advanced up to the Vindhyas and it was enough for Ramabhadra to have saved his own dominions. After a short and unsuccessful reign, the latter was succeeded by Bhoja about 840 A.D. Bhoja seems to have inherited the ambition of Vatsaraja and Nagabhata, and founded an empire for which his illustrious predecessors had tried in vain. A reminiscence of the struggles by which Bhoja thus regained his power in the north has been preserved in the Chatsu inscription of Baladitya. The Guhilot prince Harsharaja, the son of that amkaragana who accompanied Nagabhata II in his expedition against Bengal, is said to have conquered the kings in the north and presented horses to Bhoja, who has no doubt been rightly identified with the great Pratihara emperor Bhoja by Prof. D. R. Bhaudarkar. (Ep. Ind., Vol. XII, p. 12.) As Shankaragana was a contemporary of Nagabhata II, Harsharaja must have lived in the earlier years of Bhoja. It is therefore legitimate
[Page-48] to hold that the wars of Harsharaja were fought on behalf of the overlord Bhoja in the early years of the latter and enabled him to make extensive conquests in the north. Among others, as the Daulatpura copper plates seem to indicate, Gurjaratra was reconquered before 843 A. D. There are, however, good grounds for the belief that inspite of these early successes Bhoja's aspirations were at first doomed to failure. The Ghatiyala inscriptions of Kakkuka refer to the province of Gurjratra as being held by that king of the earlier Pratihara dynasty of Jodhpur. As this inscription is dated in 861 A. D. Bhoja must have lost the province between 843 and this date. It has been shown above that the province was held by Vatsaraja and Nagabhata, but lost by Ramabhadra, and regained by Bhoja before 843 A. D. This view entirely agrees with the condition of the Gurjara kingdom sketched out above as well as with the inscriptions of the Jodhpur Pratiharas. We have seen that there was a great decline of the Gurjara Pratihara power of Avanti after the defeat of Nagabhata II in the hands of the Rashtrakutas. Their difficulty must have offered the requisite opportunity to the Jodhpur Pratiharas to regain the power that they had lost. We have sketched their history up to the end of Shiluka's reign when the suzerain power was taken from them by Vatsaraja. We have also noted that the two successors of Shiluka are described as practising austerities an unmistakable proof of their political and military inanity. King Kakka, the third king after Siluka is however described as a great fighter and his queen consort is called a mahtirajni. (VV 24-26 of Jodhpur Inscription, J. R. A. S., 1894, pp. 1 ff.) Their son Bauka was also a great hero and his military exploits are described at great length in the Jodhpur inscription dated 837 A. D. Bauka was succeeded by
[Page-49] his step-brother Kakkuka two of whose inscriptions, dated 861 A. D., besides referring to his great power in general, make specific reference to Gurjaratra and other provinces as forming part of his dominions. It would thus follow that after the Gurjara power under Nagabhata II had sustained serious reverses, the dynasty of Harichandra had regained some of its lost territories including Gurjaratra, and that with the revival of the Pratihara power under Bhoja it was reconquered by him before 843 A. D., as is clearly proved by the Daulatpura plate. But the inscriptions of Kakkuka show that Bhoja had lost it again, and even so far late as 861 A. D., the disputed territory was in the possession of the Pratihara family of Jodhpur. This necessarily points out to a decline of the power of Bhoja after some preliminary successes. The cause of this decline is not far to seek. We learn from the Garuda pillar inscription of Badal (Ep. Ind., Vol. II, p. 160 ff.) that the policy of the minister Darbhapani enabled his master Devapala to make the whole of Northern India bounded by the Himalaya and the Vindhya, and the eastern and the western ocean tributary to him. We are further told that the king of Gauda, meaning apparently Devapala, had curbed the pride of the Gurjara chief by following the advice of his minister Kedara Misra, the grandson of Darbhapani, while no glorious exploits are set down to thp credit of the second minister, Someshvara, the son of the first and the father of the second. This seems to indicate that Devapala's unquestioned supremacy over northern India was established during the first part of his reign but that the Gurjaras had raised their head and were put down by him during the last years of his reign. Now as Devapala ruled between 815 and 850 A. D., the deductions made from the Garuda pillar inscription must be held to be in remarkable agreement with the
[Page-50] inferences we have already drawn from the Daulatpura plate and the inscriptions of the Jodhpur Pratiharas, viz., that the Gurjaras under Ramabhadra were shorn of their outlying possessions and were confined to their own dominions, that some time before 843 A. D. they had commenced an aggressive campaign under Bhoja with some initial success, but that they had met with serious reverses and their power declined some time before 861 A. D. In other words it appears that Bhoja was defeated by Devapala some time between 843 and 850 A. D., and thus the pride of the Gurjara chief caused by his initial successes was sufficiently curbed. But the early activities of Bhoja were not confined to the north and east alone ; he also tried his strength with the other rival power, viz, the Rashtrakutas. As has been noticed above, ever since the northern expedition of Govinda III, the Rashtrakutas were torn asunder by internal dissensions, and there were rival parties within the kingdom. Bhoja seems to have allied himself with one of these parties and attacked Dhruvaraja II, the Rashtrakuta chief of Gujarat. But here, too, he met with reverses. The Bagumra plates of Dhruvaraja II which narrate his victory over Bhoja, are dated in 867 A. D., (Ind. Ant., Vol., XII, p. 181.) and as we have got the date 835 A. D. (Ind. Ant, Vol. XIV, p. 199) for his grandfather Dhruvaraja I, and the date 867 A. D. for his successor, (Ep. Ind. y Vol. VI, p, 287.) the defeat of Bhoja in the hands of the Rashtrakuta chief may be placed between 850 and 860 A.D. The early attempts of Bhoja I to re-establish the glory of his family thus proved a failure. He did not, however, give up all hopes, for as the Gwalior inscription of the year 876 A. D., informs us, he was once more bent
[Page-51] upon " conquering the three worlds," (Ep. Ind., Vol. I, p. 156, v. 22.) apparently some time in the third quarter of the ninth century A. D. It is probable that he first turned his attention towards Bengal, and so far as we can see at present, his renewed attempts towards an aggressive campaign must have been, to a great extent, inspired by the political change that had come over that kingdom. The change was due to the death of his mighty rival Devapala. The sudden change in the royal line of the Palas, and the boast of Amoghavarsha, that the rulers of Anga, Vanga and Magadha worshipped him, seem to point out to an internal dissension in the Pala kingdom followed by the disintegration of the Pala empire, not long after the death of Devapala. But whether this conjecture be true or not, with Devapala was removed a powerful rival leaving the mighty empire to a succession of unworthy monarchs that inherited the throne, but not the blood, of Dharmapala and Devapala. Vigrahapala, the successor of Devapala is expressly said to have adopted the life of an ascetic, a sure sign, as we have noted above, of military inanity. His son and successor Narayanapala too resembled his father rather than his grand-uncle, for the contemporary records do not, even once, refer to his military achievements. These weaklings inflicted their unfortunate rule upon Bengal for more than half a century and the Gurjaras reaped a full harvest at this golden opportunity.
[Page-52] In his expedition against Bengal Bhoja was assisted by one or probably two rulers of the Chedi family that was gradually rising into prominence. These were Gunambhodhi-deva and Kokalladeva. As regards the first, we learn from the Kalha plates of Sodhadeva (EI, VII, p. 85) that Gunambhodhi-deva, who flourished during the latter half of the ninth century A. D., and obtained some territories from Bhojadeva, snatched away the sovereignty of the Gaudas. As to the second we learn from the Bilhari and Benares inscriptions (Ep. Ind., Vol. I, p. 251 ; Ep. Ind., Vol. II, p. 297) that he supported Bhojadeva. Now as Kokalla is also described as supporting the Rashtrakuta king Krishna II and entered into a marriage alliance with him, it is not likely that he gave Bhoja any assistance against his southern enemies. A fair presumption therefore arises that his alliance was sought for by Bhoja against the Pala king, and this gains
[Page-53] additional strength when we remember that Kokalla1 was in alliance with one Samkaragana who was probably the father of Gunambhodhi-deva. On the whole the available evidence seems to be in favour of the view that Bhoja was assisted by the two Chedi ruling families in his expedition agains Vanga. Another chief that probably accompanied Bhoja on the same occasion was the Guhilot king Guhila II. He was the son of that Harsharaja who joined the campaigns of Bhoja in the early part of his reign and claimed to have conquered the kings of the north. He is said to have defeated the Gauda king and levied tribute from princes in the east. (V. 23 of the Chatsu inscription ; Ep. Ind., Vol. XII, p. 15)
Assisted by these powerful chiefs, Bhoja had probably no great difficulty in inflicting a crushing defeat upon the unwarlike king that sat upon the throne of Dharmapala and Devapala. Nothing succeeds like success, and so the circumstances were gradually turning in favour of Bhoja. In the south the Rashtrakuta king Krishrta II was involved in a life and death struggle with the eastern Chalukya prince Gunaka-Vijayaditya III who occupied and burnt the capital city of the Rashtrakutas. Krishna II had to beg for the support of Kokalla 2 in order to drive away the mighty foe and re-occupy his capital. (Ep. Ind., Vol. VII, p. 29.) Bhoja was thus freed from any fear in this
[Page-54] quarter, and with the two powerful rival kingdoms thus laid low, he had an ample opportunity of satisfying his imperial ambitions. The Peheva inscriptions (Ep. Ind. Vol., I, p. 186.) show that the Karnal district was included within his dominion, and a verse in Rajatarangini probably points to a further advance in the same direction. The Una grants of Balavarman and Avanivarman (EI, IX, p. 1 ff) seem to show that the Saurashtra-mandala or the modern peninsula of Kathiawar also was in the possession of Bhoja. In the west his empire seems to have touched upon the borders of the Mahomedan territory of Sind. (Ind Ant. Vol. XV, p. 112) The Dighwa-Dubaali plates of Mahendrapala show that Sravasti-vishaya was included in his dominion and it is likely that it was already added to the Gurjara empire during the time of Bhoja. For the Kalha plates of Sodhadeva refer to a Chedi dynasty in Oudh, one of whose kings, Gunambhodhideva, as noticed above, received territory from Bhojadeva. The Chandellas too, must be supposed to have been a feudatory power under Bhoja, for even as late as 954 A.D. the name of Vinayakapala, as the suzerain king, appears in their copperplate charters. It is impossible to determine whether the kingdom of the Chedis acknowledged his suzerainty ; but with the exception of this as well as of the kingdoms of Sindh, Kashmir and
[Page-55] Magadha, Bhojadeva's empire seems to have included the whole of Northern India. With the imperial city of Kanauj as his capital the great emperor seems to have enjoyed the undisturbed possession of these extensive territories at his old age, till he died at about 890 A.D., leaving a consolidated empire, for which Vatsaraja and Nagabhata had fought in vain, to his son and successor Mahendrapaladeva. Under Mahendrapaladeva the Pratihara empire reached its greatest extent.
The verse 151 of the fifth book of Rajatarangini informs us that Samkaravarman "caused the sovereign power, which the superior king Bhoja had seized, to be given up to the scion of the Thakkiya1 family who had become his servant in the office of the Chamberlain." (Rajatarangini, translated by Stein, p. 206) Now this passage is a difficult one and has been commented upon by various scholars. In the present state of our knowledge there will probably be no hesitation in identifying the superior king Bhoja in the above passage with the great emperor of Kanauj. We learn, then, from the above verse that something was taken by Bhoja, and this was afterwards restored to the Thakkiyakas by Samkaravarman. The question is, what is this thing. According to the different interpretations of Buhler, (Ep. Ind. Vol I, p. 186) Fleet (Ind. Ant., Vol. XV, p.110, fn. 31) and Stein it was respectively, " the universal sovereignty," " the dominion taken from the Thakkiyaka family," or " the sovereign power." Now the first seems to be out of question altogether ; for, in the first place, as Samakaravarman's conquest did not extend beyond the Punjab, he could hardly speak of universal sovereignty as being in his power to give, and secondly, even if possible, it would be hardly bestowed upon a family which was admittedly
[Page-56] subordinate to the Kashmir king. This latter argument also precludes the third view if it means any independent sovereign power, and on the whole, the only possible interpretation seems to be that of Fleet, according to which some dominions of the Punjab which were taken by Bhoja were reconquered by Samkaravarman. Whether this took place during the lifetime of Bhoja or after his death, we cannot possibly determine with any degree of certainty, for the verse admits of both the interpretations. (Ep. Ind , Vol. I, p. 186). The probability, however, is, that the event took place in the reign of Mahendrapaladeva. For Samkaravarman ascended the throne in 883 A. D. and had to fight " numerous battles " with the other rival candidates to the throne, before he could consolidate his position at home and set out on foreign expeditions.
Besides the Peheva inscription of Mahendrapala (Ep. Ind., Vol. I, p. 244) shows that the Karnal district was a part of the Gurjara empire even under that monarch, and if this was the territory taken away by Samkaravarman, the event must be placed in the reign of Mahendrapaladeva. But although Mahendrapaladeva might have been less successful in the west, he was more fortunate than his father in his eastern conquests. The Guneriya (गुणेरिया) and the Ramagaya (रामगया) inscriptions, dated respectively in the years 8 and 9 of Mahendrapala, seem undoubtedly to point out, as Mr. R. D. Banerji contended, that the province of Magadha had at last passed into the hands of the Pratiharas. Thus the victory over the eastern rival was complete after a struggle of more than a century, and the
[Page-57] Pratihara empire reached its high watermark of success and glory. We are fortunate in possessing short but interesting accounts of this empire from the pen of contemporary Arab writers. The account written by the merchant Sulaiman about 851 A. D. contains the following note about the king of Jurz, who is of course to be identified with the Gurjara Pratihara king Bhoja :
- " This king maintains numerous forces, and no other Indian prince has so fine a cavalry. He is unfriendly to the Arabs, still he acknowledges that the king of Arabs is the greatest of kings. Among the princes of India there is no greater foe of the Muhammadan faith than he. His territories form a tongue of land. He has great riches, and his camels and horses are numerous. Exchanges are carried on in his states with silver (and gold) in dust, and there are said to be mines (of these metals) in the country. There is no country in India more safe from robbers." (Elliot, History of India, Vol. I, p. 4, )
It will appear from the above extract that the Gurjara Pratihara empire of Kanauj was rich in resources and for a long time stood as a bulwark against the Arab hordes. Their hereditary enemies, the Rashtrakutas in the south, seem to have allied themselves with the Islamic power of Sind against them, but they successfully resisted further encroachments of the power in the mainland of India, and it is to them, therefore, that the country owes its immunity from the Moslem invasions for well nigh two hundred years. This part of Indian history still remains to be written, but when sufficient materials are available for the purpose, it will probably
[Page-58] be found that the empire founded by Bhoja and Mahendrapala conferred inestimable boon upon the whole of India. At the beginning of the tenth century, then, the Pratihara king Mahendrapala ruled over an empire that, to quote the phraseology of the court poet of Devapala, stretched from the source of the Ganges to that of the Reva, and almost from the Eastern to the Western ocean, the abode of Varuna and Lakshmi. The struggle for empire between the three great rival powers of the ninth century A. D. had thus had its logical end. Dhruva and Govinda III, Dharmapala and Devapala, Bhojadeva and Mahendrapaladeva, each played in turn the imperial role and satisfied to the fullest extent the imperial ambitions of the respective powers. Their empires, however, like waves in sea, rose to the highest point only to break down. So it had proved to be with the Rashtrakutas and the Palas, and so it was destined to be in the case of the Pratiharas.
Emperor Mahendrapala (885-912 AD)
For the later history of the dynasty is but the history of the decline and downfall of the mighty empire. The emperor Mahendrapala had several queens and several sons were born of them. We learn from a copper-plate grant (Ind. Ant., Vol. XV, p. 138) that his queen Dehanaga Devi had a son called Bhojadeva (II) while the son of another queen Mahidevi Devi (Ep. Ind., Vol. XIV, p. 176. ) was named Vinayakapala Deva. Another grant (Ind. Ant., Vol. XVI, p. 174) mentions Mahipala Deva as having meditated on the feet of Mahendrapala Deva, and a careful consideration of some isolated passages in the writings of poet Rajasekhara leaves no doubt that Mahipala was a son of Mahendrapala. (Ep. Ind. Vol. I, pp. 170-71.)
[Page-59] It has been usually held by scholars that Mahipala was but another name of Vinayakapala. This assumption was first made by Dr. Kielhorn on the strength of two passages of Siyadoni inscriptions (Ibid, pp. 170, 177.) and the Khajuraho inscription of the Chandella king Yasovarman. (Ibid, p. 124) In the former, king Devapala (948-9 A. D.) is said to have meditated on the feet of king Kshitipala, while, in the latter, king Yasovarman is said to have been a contemporary of king Devapala, son of Herambapala. Assuming the identity of the two kings called Devapala, he had no difficulty in identifying their predecessors, Kshitipala and Herambapala. As Kshiti and Mahi mean the same thing he held Kshitipala, Mahipala and Herambapala to have been the names of one and the same king. Prof. D. R. Bhandarkar who first correctly interpreted the date of the grant of Vinayakapala naturally strengthened the theory of Dr. Kielhorn by pointing out that Vinayaka was synonymous with Heramba, and the result has been that all the four names are generally looked upon as having been borne by one and the same king. Quite recently Pandit Gaurisankar Hirachaud Ojha has objected to this theory. (Ep.Ind.,Vol. XIV, p. 180) He accepts the identity of Mahipala and Kshitipala, as both words are synonymous, but demurs to the further identification of this king with Vinayakapala alias Herambapala. His grounds may be shortly summed up as follows :
- (1) The king Devapala mentioned in the Khajuraho inscription is called Hayapnti, and as this has never been known to be an appellation of the Pratihara kings of Kanauj, he cannot be identified with the Kanauj king of that name.
- (2) [Page-60] The dates of kings Mahipala and Vinayakapala do not overlap, and there are no reasons to justify their identification. I admit the force of these arguments and hope to be able to adduce other reasons in support of them. As regards the first point nobody seems to have yet considered one small detail in connection with the Khajuraho inscription of Yasovarman. The concluding portion of that grant runs as follows :
- " While the illustrious Vinayaka (?) Pala Deva is protecting the earth, the earth is not taken possession of by the enemies who have been annihilated. Adoration to the holy Vasudeva. Adoration to the sun."
Although Dr. Kielhorn, the editor of the inscription, put a query after Vinayaka, indicating that the reading is not certain, the fac-simile printed along with his paper will probably convince everybody that very little doubt can be entertained on the point. Even Dr. Kielhorn seems to have been of the same opinion, for in his prefatory remarks he observes :
- " Finally in the last line the inscription appears to mention a prince Vinayakapala Deva regarding whose relation to the Chandella princes I am unable at present to offer my conjecture." (Ep. Ind., Vol. I, p. 124.)
The way in which the name of Vinayakapala is mentioned almost inevitably leads to the conclusion,, that his name was invoked as that of the paramount sovereign to whom the Chandella kings owed allegiance, however nominal that might be. It is otherwise difficult to explain why the name of a king who certainly did not belong to the family, and had apparently nothing to do with the subject-matter of the inscription, should be mentioned at the end of a Chandella inscription, and the proud epithet of having successfully ruled over the whole world bestowed upon him. Chronological considerations seem indeed to
[Page-61] be against this supposition, for the Chandella inscription is dated in 954 A. D. while Vinayakapala must have ceased to rule before 916 A. D., the date of the Pratabgarh inscription of his son and successor Mahendrapala II. But Dr. Kielhorn has rightly pointed out that although the inscription really belongs to the reign of Yasovarman it was actually set up after his death, during the reign of his son and successor Dhanga. For the main portion of the inscription refers to Yasovarman as the ruling king, while three verses are added at the end to describe the martial exploits of his son Dhanga1. The date 954 A. D. no doubt denotes the time when the record was actually set up in the reign of Dhanga, and, as extensive conquests of this king are mentioned therein, its actual composition in Yasovarman's reign may not impossibly be placed ten to fifteen years before that date. As Dhanga is known to have ruled till at least 999 A. D. it may appear objectionable to push back his accession still further, but as we are expressly told that he lived for more than hundred years (Verse 55 of the Khajuraho Ins., No, V, Ep.Ind, Vol. I, p. 146.) a reign of sixty years may not be looked upon as improbable. It may be readily imagined in these circumstances that the name of the suzerain king Vinayakapala occurred in the original record and was re- tained in its subsequent modification in the time of Dhangadeva. Now, if we assume that the name of Vinayakapala occurred in the original record of Yashovarman, it is impossible to identify the Hayapati Devapala mentioned therein with the Kanauj king of that name, and there thus remains no ground for the identification proposed by Dr, Kielhorn.
Mahipaladeva (912-931 AD)
As regards the second point it is certainly remarkable that all the earlier references give the name of the king as Mahipala while those of a later period refer to Vinayakapala. Thus two inscriptions of 914 and 917
[Page-62] A.D. (Ind. Ant., Vol. XII, p. 193; Ind. Ant. t Vol. XVI, p. 174) refer to Mahipala, while an inscription dated 931 A.D. refers to Vinayakapala. (Ind, Ant., Vol. XV, p. 140,) The poet Rajasekhara, who lived in the court of Mahendrapala and was his guru mentions Mahipala, the son and successor of the latter, as his disciple. Again, the contemporary of the Rashtrakuta king Indra III, who must have died between 916 and 918 A.D., is also called Mahipala as will be seen later on. It can hardly be looked upon as accidental that if the son and successor of Mahendrapala really possessed two such different names as Mahipala and Vinayakapala he should have been systematically mentioned by one of these names alone in the earlier period. It is therefore probable that Mahipala and Vinayakapala were the names of different kings, but on the other hand there is one important consideration against this supposition. In the Asiatic Society's grant of Vinayakapala the king is said to have meditated on the feet of his father and elder step-brother Bhoja II. It is noteworthy that no reference is made to Mahipala. It is no doubt true that there are many records in which no mention is made of the royal brothers intervening between the reigning king and his father. But as the grant expressly mentions one such brother, and adopts a somewhat unusual phraseology to indicate the two predecessors of the king whose feet he meditated upon, it is difficult to explain the omission of Mahipala's name if he had really been a separate king. It may of course be argued that there was internal dissension among the brothers, that Mahipala and Vinayakapala were rival claimants to the throne, and that the latter looked upon the former merely as an usurper and therefore did not include his name in the line of succession. Such a theory is not at all improbable and satisfactorily explains the sudden and complete
[Page-63] collapse of the Pratlhara empire in less than a decade after the death of Mahendrapala. But there are as yet no positive data in support of this, and although the question cannot be finally decided at present, it is better to accept the identity of Mahipala and Vinayakapala. The identity of Mahipala and Kshitipala we may accept with less hesitation as the two words are synonymous. The emperor Mahendrapala had thus at least two sons, Bhoja II and Mahipala, alias Kshitipala, alias Vinayakapala. Bhoja II succeeded him probably not long after 908 A.D., the last known date of his father. We know practically nothing about this king who ceased to reign sometime before 914 A.D. This date is furnished by the Haddala grant of the Chapa Mahasamantadhipati Dharanivaraha who styles himself a feudatory of the Rajadhiraja Mahipaladeva. It is thus clear that Mahipala ascended the throne in less than six years after the death of his father and that eastern Kathiawar over which Dharanivaraha ruled was still included within the empire.
The conquests of Mahipala are described in a grandiloquent verse by the poet Rajasekhara in the Introduction to his Play Balabharata or Prachanda Pandava.
- " And in that (lineage of Raghu) there was born the glorious Mahipaladeva, who has bowed down the locks of hair (Jata ?) on the tops of the heads of the Muralas;'who has caused the Mekalas to suppurate ; who has driven the Kalingas before him in war ; who has spoilt the pastime of (the king who is) the moon of the Keralas ; who has conquered the Kulutas ; who is very axe to the Kuntalas ; and who by violence has appropriated the fortunes of the Ramathas."
[Page-64] placed along with the Panchanadas ia the Western Division in the Brihat Samhita, and with the Kulindas in the Northern Division in Vayu Parana. Kalinga is of course the Orissa coast probably as far south as Vizagapatam, and the Mekalas inhabited the Mekala hills in the north and west of Chhattisgarh district. (J. A. S. B., 1897, pp. 99, 110.). Kuntala was the ancient name of the western part of the Deccan and the Keralas lived to the south of the Kuntalas. I am unable to identify Murala, but in Raghavamsa, IV. 55, reference is made to a river Marala 1, in or near Kerala country. Murala in the above passage might therefore mean a country adjacent to Kerala. Whatever we may think of the victories claimed for Mahipala in the above passage it may not be unreasonably held that the countries mentioned therein bordered on his empire. It would thus cover the greater part of northern India from the upper valley of the Bias in the north-west almost to the northern ranges of the Eastern Ghats in the south- east. The southern boundary was formed by the Kuntala kingdom at first, but was possibly pushed up to the Kerala territory at a later period.
Mahipala is further described by Rajasekhara as the pearl-jewel of the lineage of Raghu " and the " Maharajadhiraja of Aryavarta." Taking everything into consideration and making due allowance for the usual exaggeration of the court poets, it may be safely laid down that the Pratihara empire remained intact and probably its boundaries were extended in Mahipala's time. This conclusion is fully supported by the account of Al Mas'udi, a native of Bagdad, who visited India in the year 303-4 A.H. (915-16 A.D.), i.e., in the early part of Mahipala's reign. (Elliot's History of India, Vol. I, pp. 21 ff. for his date, r/. ibid, p. 464) After describing the kingdom of the Rashtrakutas he remarks : " One of the neighbouring kings of India who is far from the sea is the Bauura,
[Page-66] who is lord of the city of Kanauj. This is the title given to all the sovereigns of that kingdom." There can be no question that the reference here is to the Pratihara kingdom under Mahipala and I think Bauura 1 was but an Arabic corruption of the word Pratihara or its Prakrit form Padihara 2. According to Al Mas'udi, then, the boundaries of the Kanauj empire extended up to the Rashtrakuta kingdom in the south. Again Al Mas'udi tells us that " the Mihran of Sind comes from well-known sources in the highlands of Sind, from the country belonging to Kanauj in the kingdom of Bauura and from Kashmir, etc." This shows that the Pratihara empire must have included portions of the Punjab. Further the king of Kanauj is referred to by Al Mas'udi as one of the kings of Sind, by which term the Arab writer probably means the western and south-western parts of India including the Punjab, Kashmir and Sind. We are also told 'that the king of Kanauj maintains an army in the north to fight with the prince of Multan and with the Mussulmans, his subjects on the frontier.' Thus the Pratihara empire probably included a part of Sind and its south-western boundary was formed by the principality of Multan. Several remarks of Al Mas'udi, scattered in his account, refer to the power and prestige of the Kanauj kingdom. Thus he says 'that the king has four armies according to ths four quarters of the world. Each of them numbers 700,000 or 900,000 men.' Again, we are told that the 'king of Juzr is rich in horses and camels and has a large army.'
Regarding the political relations of the king of Kanauj we are told by Al Mas'udi that of the four armies maintained by him that of the north wars against the prince of Multan, and that of the south fights against Balhara3, i.e., the Rashtrakuta king, while the other two armies march in every direction. Among the other enemies is mentioned
Notes - 1. Baura is a village in Ludhiana East tahsil in Ludhiana district in the Indian state of Punjab. 2. Padihara or Parihara (पड़िहारा) is a town in Ratangarh tahsil in Churu district, Rajasthan. 3. Balhara is a Jat clan and not the Rashtrakuta king
[Page-66] the Rahma king whose " dominions border on those of the Gurjara and the Rashtrakuta kings with both of whom he is frequently at war." We have seen above that the poet Rajasekhara has also referred to the conquests of Mahipala over Kuntala. Thus it is clear that at the beginning of Mahlpala's reign he was at war with the Rashtrakutas. We learn the same thing from the records of the Rashtrakutas themselves. (Ep. Ind., Vol. VII, p. 26) The Cambay plates of Govinda IV refer to the victory of Indra III over the Gurjara Pratiharas. We are told that Indra III "crossed the Jumna and devastated the city of Mahodaya." Another passage indicates that he had conquered Ujjayini on his way to the Jumna. We further learn from the Kanarese poet Pampa that Mahipala was pursued by the Rashtrakuta army as far as the junction of the Ganges and the Jumna. (Ep. Ind., Vol. IX, p. 28) It would thus appear that the Rashtrakuta king Indra III had a complete victory over the Pratiharas and the empire of Bhoja and Mahendrapala lay prostrate at the feet of their southern rivals. The Mahodaya-sri was ruthlessly destroyed and king Mahipala fled from his capital, hotly pursued by his enemies. The date of this catastrophe is not difficult to determine. The records of Indra III dated 915 A.D. contain no reference to his northern conquests unless as some scholars maintain the word Meru occurring therein is to be Understood to refer to Mahodaya. This does not however seem very likely and it is therefore probable that the northern conquests were effected after that year. Same conclusions follow from the accounts of the Arab writers quoted above. As Indra III must have died sometime before 918 A.D., the earliest date of his successor, his northern expedition
[Page-67] probably took place sometime between the years 916 and 917 A. D. The Pratihara empire, however, survived the shock. Their restoration to power must have been greatly facilitated by the confusion that almost immediately set in in the Rashtrakuta kingdom. Govinda IV usurped the throne of his elder brother by directly or indirectly causing his death (Ep. Ind , Vol. VII p. 34) and the vices of the king and their consequences are thus described in the Rashtrakuta records.
- " He, too, with his intelligence caught in the noose of the eyes of women, displeased all beings by taking to vicious courses; his limbs becoming enfeebled as his constitution was deranged on account of the aggravation of the maladies, and the constituents of the (political) body becoming non-coherent as the subjects were discontented on account of the aggravation of vices and his innate strength and power becoming neutralised, he met with destruction.....
- "Then king Amoghavarsha .....being entreated by the feudatory chiefs to maintain the greatness of the sovereignty of the Rattas 1 ascended the throne." (Ep. Ind., Vol. IV, p. 288)
The above description of king Govinda IV, who ascended the throne in or before 918 A.D., hardly leaves any doubt that, almost immediately after the brilliant conquests of Indra III, internal circumstances proved extremely unfavourable for their maintenance. The Pratiharas must have seized this opportunity, and in their endeavour to regain in some degree the prestige and glory they had lost, they seem to have been loyally supported by their feudatory chiefs. We learn from a Khajuraho inscription that the Chandella king Harsha placed Kshitipala on the throne. If, as it seems likely,
[Page-68] Kshitipala was but another name of Mahipala, we can, without much difficulty, interpret the action of Harsha as loyally assisting the imperial ruler to re-establish his authority over the shattered kingdom. Another feudatory chief of the Gurjara empire that must have substantially contributed to the success of the campaign was the Guhilot chief Bhatta. He was the grandson of Harsharaja who, as we have seen above, assisted his suzerain, the great Pratihara king Bhoja, in times of need, and may thus be looked upon as the contemporary of Mahipala. The passage in which his heroic deeds are extolled is unfortunately mutilated, but enough remains to show that in a time of great danger, when the kingdom was invaded by foreign soldiers and everything was in confusion, he defeated in battle the kings of the south at the command of his paramount lord. (ibid, Vol. XII, p. 16, Verse 2 of the Chatsu inscription of Baladitya) There seems to be but little doubt that the kings of the south were no other than the chiefs of the Rashtrakuta army by defeating whom king Mahipala regained his territories. Whether Mahlipala was able to recover all the territories he had lost it is difficult to determine. But there can be no question that the prestige of the Pratiharas suffered a severe blow from which they never completely recovered.
Decline and downfall of the Pratihara empire
As is usual in these circumstances, subordinate chiefs began to assert independence and new dynasties rose to power within the empire. Thus set in the decline and downfall of the great Pratihara empire and the process of disintegration presents a historic parallel to that which overtook the Moghul empire in the eighteenth century. The new political outlook is nowhere better displayed than in the changed attitude of the Chandellas. Yashovarman, the son of that Harshadeva who had assisted Mahipala in regaining his throne is described in
[Page-69] a Khajuraho inscription (Ep. Ind., Vol. I, p. 122) as a scorching fire to the Gurjaras. Whatever truth this poetical description might contain there can be hardly any doubt that he hurled defiance to the imperial power. The Pratihara ruler was indeed still invoked as the suzerain power (See p. 60 above) in official documents, probably very much in the same way as the rulers of Oudh found it convenient to pay a nominal allegiance to the emperors at Delhi, but Yasovarman carved out a principality which was independent for all practical purposes.
Mahipala or Vinayakapala was the last great ruler of the imperial dynasty. His last recorded date is 931 AD. (Ind. Ant., Vol. XV, p. 140) So far as epigraphical evidence goes, the Pratihara kingdom at the time stretched as far as Benares in the east. The Ganges, the Jumna, the Betwa and the Dasan rivers seem to have formed its boundaries on the south-east while to the south it probably reached the Vindhyas. Thus, on the whole, Mahipala must be credited with having restored to a great degree the fallen fortunes of his family.
Vinayakapala was succeeded by his three sons. The eldest was Mahendrapala II whose existence has recently been brought to light by the discovery of the Pratabgarh inscription dated 946 A.D. (Ep. Ind., Vol. XIV, p. 176) After him came Devapala who is referred to in a Siyadoni inscription as ruling in 948-949 A.D. (Ibid, Vol. I, p. 177) He was succeeded by Vijayapala who is mentioned a the suzerain power in the Rajorgarh inscription of Mathanadeva, dated 960 A.D. (Ibid, Vol. III, p. 266) During the reign of these three monarchs the disintegration of the empire was all but complete.
[Page-70] The Chandella power rapidly advanced and an inscription discovered at Mhow tells us that Dhanga, the son and successor of Yasovarman obtained the empire after defeating the Kanyakubja king. (A. S. R. X., Vol. XII, p. 359) This bold claim is fully supported by the verse 45 of the Khajuraho inscription of the year 951 A.D. Dhanga's kingdom is therein said to have extended from the river Jumna in the north to the frontiers of the Chedi kingdom in the south and from Kalinjara in the east or north-east to Gopadri, the modern Gwalior in the north-west. (Ep. Ind , Vol. I, pp. 124, 129) The occupation of Gwalior must have been a severe blow to the power and prestige of the Pratiharas as their powerful rival thereby obtained a secure footing in the very heart of the kingdom. In course of his long reign extending over the latter half of the tenth century A. D. Dhanga made further encroachments upon the territory of the Pratiharas and seems to have extended his power as far as Benares. (Ind. Ant., Vol. XVI, p. 202) The success of the Chandellas was a signal for the disruption of the empire. About the middle of the tenth century A.D. Chaulukya Mularaja established the independent kingdom of Anhilwara in Gujarat which included parts of southern Rajputana. (Ep. Ind., Vol. X, p. 76) Between the Chaulukyas and the Chandellas flourished the Chedis. The Chedi king Lakshmanaraja who flourished about the middle of the tenth century A. D. is said to have defeated Vanga, Lata, Pandya, Gurjara and Kashmira. (Ep. Ind, Vol. 1, p 142) This shows that a troublesome period ensued after the downfall of the Pratihara empire, in course of which the Chedis established a supreme position. Nearer home the Kachchhapaghatas had established themselves in the territory round Gwalior. This fort, as
[Page-71] we have just seen, was conquered by the Chandella king Dhanga sometime before 951 A.D., but must have passed into the hands of the Kachchhapaghatas before 977 A.D., and king Vajradaman of this dynasty is said to have inflicted a crushing defeat upon the ruler of Kanauj. (Ind. Ant. t Vol. XV, p. 36) In the west the kingdom of Bhatinda gradually aggrandised itself at the expense of the Pratiharas and ultimately extended as far as the Hakra, the lost river of the Indian desert. Other powers also arose on the ruins of the empire, the two most prominent of them being the Paramaras of Malwa (Ep. Ind., Vol. I, p, 222) and the Chahamanas of Sakambhari. (Ep. Ind., Vol. II, p. 127) Thus when Rajyapala, the son of Vijayapala ascended the throne of Kanauj in the last quarter of the tenth century A.D., India presented the same political features as inevitably followed the disruption of a mighty empire. The Pratihara power was confined to the kingdom of Kanauj while the rest of the Empire was divided among rival independent kingdoms. As so often happened in the past, a political re-adjustment would probably have taken place, sooner or later, if the Indian states were left to themselves. But this was not to be. An Islamic power from the west appeared in the scene just at the psychological moment and changed the whole situation. The states that were fighting for supremacy were all involved in a common ruin. The Pratiharas had stood as the bulwark against the aggression of the Mussulmans ever since their first raids into India proper. It will be remembered that Nagabhata, the founder of the dynasty, owed his greatness to a successful campaign against them early in the 8th century A.D. when they seemed to carry everything before them. In the following centuries during the
[Page-72] palmy days of the Pratiharas they never forgot this noble mission. This is testified to by the Mahomedan writers themselves. Thus Sulaiman who wrote his account of India in 851 A. D. speaks of the contemporary Gurjara king that 'he is unfriendly to the Arabs' and 'among the princes of India there is no greater foe of the Muhammadan faith than he.' (Elliott's History of Incita, I, p, 4) Again Al Mas'udi says ' that while the Balhara king (Rashtrakuta) was a great friend of the Mahomedans, the King of Juzr (Gurjara) is at war with them.' (Ibid, pp. 23, 24) With the decline and downfall of the great Pratihara empire there was no power strong enough to oppose a successful resistance to the aggressions of Islam. In the meantime a strong Islamic power was established at Ghazni and two of its famous kings Sabuktigin and Mahmud seized the favourable opportunity to push forward the outposts of Islam into the heart of India. The story is well known and need not be repeated here. It will suffice to state that the Pratihara king of Kanauj, shorn of dignity and power as he was, remembered the proud day of his family, and when the call of duty came about 991 A.D., he joined the confederacy that Jaipal formed against the Mahomedan foe. The imperial banner of the Pratiharas was unfurled in the valley o the Kurram river in far distant Afghanistan in defence of their faith and their country, but all in vain. Nothing undaunted, the Indian kings once more offered a united opposition to Mahmud in the neighbourhood of Peshawar, and Rajyapal took his due share in the campaign. But fate was against the Indians and even their united efforts failed to stay the onward progress of the Moslems. The kingdom of Rajyapala had now been confined practically to the east of the Jumna although it included
[Page-73] Mathura. In the south the Chandellas were gradually encroaching upon his territory and had conquered as far as the Fathpur District. While Rajyapala was busy defending his southern frontier against the Chandellas Mahmud invaded his dominions in December, 1018 A.D. (Ibid, Vol. II, pp. 47-8) Mahmud first attacked the fort of Baran (Bulandshahar). It was surrendered without a blow by the cowardly Hardat (Haradatta ?) who sought safety by conversion to the faith of Islam with ten thousand followers. Kulchand (Kulachandra ?) defended the next fortified position with great vigour, and finding no hope of success slew himself and his wife with a dagger. Nearly fifty thousand men were killed in course of this campaign. After plundering the city of Mathura Mahmud proceeded towards the capital. He left his main army behind and appeared before Kanauj with a comparatively small army. Rajyapal, unable to defend it with his small following, crossed over to Bari on the other side of the Ganges. Then plunder and massacre were let loose over the imperial city and the centenary of the Rashtrakuta occupation was performed as it were amid awful spectacles. A few years later Mahmud invaded Kanauj a second time, Rajyapal made a brave stand on the Rahib beyond the Ganges, but was defeated, and Bari fell into the hands of the Mahomedan conqueror.
The account of Rajyapala differs materially from that given by V. Smith in J. R. A. S. 1909, pp. 278. He has assumed, first, that Rajyapal submitted to Mahmud and was killed by the Indian chiefs for his pusillanimity, and, secondly, that Mahmud's next expedition was undertaken solely with the object of punishing these chiefs. Of this there is no trace in the contemporary account of Al Utbi. Nizamuddin, and following him Ferishta, are responsible for the version adopted by V. Smith, but no great reliance should be placed on these later authorities. How facts were distorted by them may be typically illustrated by one incident in connection with this Kanauj expedition. Al Utbi refers to the heroic defence of Kulchandar mentioned above in the text, but Nizamuddin relates the event in the following words ; " The chief of the place, whose name was Kulchandar, mounted his elephant
[Page-74] with the intention of crossing over the stream and flying away, but the Sultan's army pursued and when they approached him he killed himself with his dagger." Besides Al Utbi expressly mentions that Pur Jaipal was reigning at the time of the second expedition and opposed Mahnmd on the banks of the Rahib. This name has been construed by V. Smith as Trilochanapala on the strength of a variant reading Taru Jaibal in some manuscripts of Nizamuddin's history. He apparently forgets that Al Utbi gives the same name Pur Jaipal to the king who opposed Mahmud in his first and second expeditions against Kanauj. Besides even Nizamuddin tells us that Pur Jaipal who opposed Mahmud in his second expedition 'had often fled before his troops.' This can hardly apply to the new king Trilochanaptila and V. Smith's view that Trilochanapala might have opposed Mahmud as a crown prince seems to be a gratuitous assumption. That Nizamuddin's information was defective seems also to clearly follow from the fact that he places the scene of battle on the banks of the Jumna whereas Al Utbi places it on the bank of the Rahib. It should be borne in mind that Al Utbi was secretary to Sultan Mahmud and " enjoyed excellent opportunities of becoming fully acquainted with the operations of that conqueror." (Elliot's History of India, Vol. II, p. 14).
There is another circumstance which justifies us in rejecting Nizamuddin's version. According to Dubkund inscription, Rajyapala was killed by the Kachchhapaghata chief Arjuna, an ally or feudatory of the Chandella chief Vidyadhara, son of Ganda. Nizamuddin, however ascribes tho death of the Kanauj king to Nanda, who may be, as V. Smith suggests, a corruption for Ganda. V. Smith explains the discrepancy by supposing that Arjuna joined in a confederacy with Vidyadhara who was then a crown prince and killed Rajyapala. This is another gratuitous assumption which is disproved by the Mahoba inscription. After describing the exploits of Ganda, the inscription tells us with reference to his son and successor Vidyadhara, that "he had caused the destruction of the king of Kanyakubja." The achievement would surely have been credited to Ganda if it was accomplished in his time.
On the whole I have thought it safer to follow the contemporary version of Al Utbi rather than the palpably defective account of Nizamuddin and Ferishta. Besides, in the particular case under consideration, Al Utbi is supported by Indian records. For, according to the two inscriptions noted above, Rajyapala must have been killed in Vidyadhara's time and was therefore alive at the time of Mahmud's second expedition against Kanauj when Ganda was still the Chandella king. There is moreover some inherent improbability in the story recorded by Nizamuddin. We are told that the Chandella chief punished the king of Kanauj for his submission to Mahmud, but the Chandella himself had fled before Mahmud's army both before and after this event. Again Nizamuddin would have us believe that immediately after the Chandella chief had killed the king of Kanauj, his son Trilochanapala (according to V. Smith's account) came to assist the murderer of his father ! (See Elliot's History of India, Vol. II, pp, 463 ff.)
Later kings of the Pratihara dynasty
The great Pratihara empire finally passed away, but its carcase remained and then followed the feast of vultures. The Chandellas and the Kachchhapaghatas fell upon the old unfortunate Rajyapal and the last of the great
[Page-75] Pratiharas met a heroic death on the battlefield. (Ep, Ind., Vol. II, p. 237) He was succeeded by Trilochanapala who is known from an inscription to have been ruling in 1027 A.D. (Ind. Ant., Vol. XVIII, p. 34) With him ended the line of the Imperial Pratlharas who had fully justified their designation by defending the gates of India for well nigh three hundred years.
The later kings of the Pratihara dynasty, their relation to one another and the known dates we possess of them may be represented by the table pictured:
- Dehanaga Devi + Mahendra Pala (893, 898, 899, 904, 908 A.I).) → Bhojadeva II
- Mahendra Pala (893, 898, 899, 904, 908 A.I).) + Mahidevi Devi → Mahipala alias Kshitipala alias Vinayakapala, alias Herambapala (914, 917, 931 AD) → 1. Mahendra Pala II (946 A.D.) + 2. Devapala (949 A.D.) + 3. Vijaya Pala (960 A.D.)
- 3. Vijaya Pala (960 AD) → Rajya Pala (1019 A.D.) → TrilochanapSla (1027 AD)
For the earlier kings, cf the Table on p. 31 above. The date 893 A.D. after Mahendrapala has been left out there through oversight. A king Yasahpala of Kausambi is known from the Karra Inscription of 1037 A.D. but his relationship with the Pratihara dynasty, if any, is unknown. A complete list of relevant inscriptions, with full references, is given in V. A. Smith's article (J. R. A. S., 1909, pp. 53 ff., 247 ff.)
N.B. (1) Owing to a different interpretation, proposed by Mr. H. Krishna Sastri, Editor, Epigraphia Indica, about Verse 19 of the Jodhpur Inscription, the following changes are necessary on p. 28 above. Ll. 6-7 omit all the words between ' Siluka' and "defeated Devaraja." L. 11. Substitute 'two' for 'three.' Omit lines 18 to 23 altogether.
(2) [Page-76] The suggested location of Ramathas and Muralas on p. 64 (fn. 2) above is corroborated by the geographical chapter (Chap. XVII) of Kavya Mimamsa, a work of the poet Rajasekhara himself. I am indebted to MM. Hara Prasad Sastri for this reference.
(3) Reader's attention is drawn to a number of obvious misprints in footnotes on pp. 40 and 44.
Ghatiyala Inscriptions of Kakkua S.V. 918 (861 AD)
- Main article: Ghantiyala
The Ghatiyala Inscriptions of Kakkua S.V. 918 (861 AD)  gives us the genealogical list of the feudatory Pratihara family which is brought down to Kakkuka, to whose reign the inscription belongs. It tells us in verse third that Kakkuka obtained great renown in the countries of Travani (त्रवणी), Valla (वल्ल) and Mada (माड़), amongst the people known as Arya, in Gurjjarattra, and in Parvata in the Lata country. (V-3:येन प्राप्ता महाख्यातिस्त्रवण्यां बल्लमाडयो: आर्येषु गुर्ज्जरत्त्रयां लाटदेशे च पर्व्वते)
Let us interpret the places and people mentioned in above Inscriptions and connection with Jat history and Jat clans:
Travani (त्रवणी) - Travani is the same as Tivari (तिवरी), a Village in Osian tahsil of Jodhpur district in Rajasthan. Jat history tells us that Tawal (तावल) gotra of Jats originated from place name Tivari (तिवरी). 
Vallamada (वल्लमाड) - Vallamada is mentioned in verse-3 of Ghatiyala Inscriptions of Kakkua S.V. 918 (861 AD). Here Valla is sanskritized form of Ball (बल्ल) or Bal (बल) mentioned in both these inscriptions. Mada is given in the inscription in conjunction with Maru (Maru-Mada). Jaisalmer, is still called Mada, and Mara proper can only be the Sheo, Malani and Pachpadra districts of the Jodhpur. Thus this represents the 'Bal Division' (बलमण्डल) mentioned in Jat history.
We know that Ball (बल्ल) or Bal (बल) or Balhara (बलहारा) are all Jat clans. Balhara needs a special mention here. In Sanskrit, "Bal" means "strength" and "hara" means "the possessor". Balhara means "the possessor of strength". About the origin of Balhara, the early Arab Geographers are unanimous in their spelling of the title "Balhará." The merchant Sulaimán says it is a title and not a proper name. Ibn Khurdádba says that it signifies "King of Kings." Balhara Jats were the rulers in Sindh and Rajasthan from 8th to 10th century. Balharas ruled the area, which can be remembered as 'Bal Division' (बलमण्डल) . The area from Khambhat to Simari was under their rule and Manafir was their capital. 
Sir Henry Eliot has mentioned that after defeat of Jat Raja Sahasi Rai II, Raja Matta of Shivistan attacked Alore (the capital of Chach) with brother of Raja of Kannauj and his army. The Jat Raja Ranmal was the ruler of Kannauj at that time. He was famous as Rana. After that the other Jat rulers were eliminated except the Balharas. The Balharas were strong rulers from Khambhat to Sambhar. There are seven tanks of Balharas, Banka tank in the name of Banka Balhara and Lalani tank in name of Lalaji. 
Bhim Singh Dahiya writes that the Balhara clan finds mention in numerous references. A country of Balhara, adjoining Jurz (Gujar) country, is mentioned as situated on the western sea coast in connection with the location of "A Race of fair women".  The Muslim historian, Abuzaid (916 AD) and Al Masudi (943 AD) speak of two empires, named as Juzr and Balhara.
Gurjaratra (गुर्जरत्र) - Gurjaratra comprised the districts of Didwana and Parbatsar of the princely Jodhpur State, now in Nagaur district in Rajasthan. Gurjaratra can be considered to be a sandhi of Gur + Jarta = Gurjarata = Gurjaratra. Gur means great and Jarta is identified with Jats by many historians. It means 'Great Jats' same as Massagetae of Herodotus.
According to many writers they belong to the 'Gujar' dynasty and their ancestors are said to have been associated with the Maurya Jatti clan. At the time of acquiring Agnikula Kshatriya status, their capitals were in Bhinmal and Tirah. After the Agnikula ceremony they decided to forget their original roots in order to rise in status.
Views of other historians:
The Pratihara dynasty is referred to as Gurjara pratiharanvayah, i.e., Pratihara clan of the Gurjaras, in line 4 of the "Rajor inscription (Alwar)". The historian Rama Shankar Tripathi states that the Rajor inscription confirms the Gurjara origin of the Pratiharas. In line 12 of this inscription, occur words which have been translated as "together with all the neighbouring fields cultivated by the Gurjaras". Here, the cultivators themselves are clearly called Gurjaras and therefore it's reasonable to presume that, in line four too, the term bears a racial signification. The Rashtrakuta records, as well as the Arab writers like Abu Zaid and Al-Masudi (who allude their fights with the Juzr or Gurjara of the north) indicate the Gurjara origin of the Pratiharas. The Kanarese poet Pampa expressly calls Mahipala Ghurjararaja. This ephithet could hardly be applied to him, if the term Ghurjararaja bore a geographical sense denoting what after all was only a small portion of Mahipala's vast territories. Tripathi believes that all these evidences point to the Gurjara ancestry of the Pratiharas.
Vincent Smith believed that the Pratiharas were certainly of Gurjar origin, and stated that there is possibility of other Agnikula clans being of same origin. However, H. A. Rose and Denzil Ibbetson stated that there is no conclusive proof that the Agnikula clans are of Gurjara origin; they believed that there is possibility of the indigenous tribes adopting Gurjara names, when their founders were enfiefed by Gurjara rulers. Dasrath Sharma believed that Gurjara was applied for territory and conceded that although some sections of the Pratiharas (e.g. the one to which 'Mathanadeva belonged) were Gurjars by caste, the imperial Pratiharas of Kannauj were not Gurjars. However, in the earliest ephigraphical records of the Gurjars of Broach, Dadda is described as belonging to the Gurjara-nrpati-vamsa which, as Chalukva-vamsa or Raghuvamsa, refers not to the country, but to the family or the people ; i.e., it stands for the Gurjar family and not the country. Gurjaratra, Gurjara-bhumi or Gurjara-mandala would thus only mean 'land or Mandala of Gurjars.
Brief description of Pratihara Rulers
We find three branches of Pratihara rulers. One branch of this dynasty ruled in Rajasthan at Mandor. Nagabhata from this branch made his capital at Merta. One branch from Mandor moved to Jalor. Nagabhatta I (730-756 AD) made his capital at Bhinmal (Jalor). Second ruled in east at Kanauj and third branch ruled in south at Baroch. Till the rule of Nagabhata I first and second branches were under the main branch.  In second elder branch of this dynasty had rulers like Nilabhata, Vinjaraja, Nagabhata I, Devaraja, Kakkustha, Vatsaraja, Nagabhata II etc. 
Based on ancestry in above Inscriptions, the Pratihara Rulers are described below:
- Harichandra (550 AD) (हरिचंद्र) - Harichandra is said to have laid the foundation of this dynasty in the 6th century around 550 AD. The Harichandra line of Pratihar Gurjar established the state of Marwar, based at Mandore near modern Jodhpur, which grew to dominate Rajasthan. The Pratihara kings of Marwar also built the temple-city of Osian. We get information about 11 rulers of this dynasty from Bhinmal, Jodhpur and Ghantiyala Inscriptions. According to Jodhpur Inscription of Bauka, Harichandra had four sons, viz, Bhoga Bhata, Kakka, Rajjila and Dadda. But Ghantiyala Inscription No. I mentions only one son namely Rajjila. 
- Ghantiyala Inscription No.II  informs us that the village of Rohinsakupaka (Ghatiyala) had formerly become unsafe on account of the- Abhiras (Ahirs), and had consequently not been a place of residence for good people. Verses 8 and 4 tell us that Kakkuka, the favourite son of Kakka, of the Pratihara race, constructed a market place decorated with variegated streets, went to the houses of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas (prakriti) and Vaishas, and, promising them means of livelihood, established the mahajana, the big folk there.
- Harichandra was a Brahman versed in Vedas and Shastras. He had two wives, one was Brahman and other was Kshatriya. The sons of Brahman wife became Pratihara Brahman and those born of Kshatriya wife became the founder of the Royal line of Pratiharas. It is significant that the Kshatriya wife Bhadra is called queen but no such epithet is used for Brahman wife. Harichandra had foursons by his Kshatriya wife Bhadra, viz. Bhogabhata, Kakka, Rajjila and Dada. They conquered and fortified Mandavyapura which presumably became their capital. The four sons of Harichandra are described as fit to hold separate principality. But nothing is known about the first two. 
- Rajjila (रज्जिल) - The third son of Harichandra Rajjila ruled in Mandavyapura. Rajjila was a brave and ambitious ruler. When his first prince narabhatta was born, Rajjila was busy in some war.
- Dadda (580-605) (दद्द) - The feudatory Gurjara chiefs of Broach claim descent from a race of Gurjara kings (Garjara-nripa-vamsa). Now the earliest known date of the third of these chiefs is 629 A.D.. Allowing fifty years for the two generations that preceded him we get the date 580 A.D., for the feudatory (samanta) Dadda who founded the line. This date corresponds so very well with that of Dadda, the youngest son of Harichandra, that the identity of the two may be at once presumed. It has been already suggested, on general grounds, that the Broach line was feudatory to the main line of the Gurjaras further north, and the proposed identification shows that the main Gurjara power in the north was the Pratihara line under consideration. An important piece of evidence in support of this has recently been brought to light by Mr. A. Venkata Subbiah. We learn from the colophon and the opening stanzas of the commentary known as Laghuvritti on Udbhata's Kavyalamkarasamgraha, that it was written by Induraja, who was a Pratihara and an inhabitant of Konkana. This goes a great way towards proving that the Gurjara rulers of Broach belonged to the Pratihara clan. 
- It appears that Rajjila appointed his younger brother Dadda as samanta of Baroach to protect from the attacks from Vallabhi and Chalukyas. After Dadda I, Jaibhatta I (605-629) defeated Valabhi armies at Kathiawar in Gujrat. Jaibhatta I's successor was Dadda II (629-654) who had to fight with Pulakesin II. His successor was Jaibhatta II, who was defeated by Chalukya Jaysingh Varma. After him Dadda III and Jaibhatta III occupied the throne. The last ruler Jaibhatta III helped Chalukya ruler Balabhi ruler Sholaditya V in fighting with Arabs. 
- Narabhata (600-625 AD) (नरभट) - Rajjila was succeeded by his son Narabhata. Narabhata was a brave and ambitious ruler like his father. He was called Pellapelli (पेल्लापेल्ली) due to his bravery. Narabhata with his wife Jajjika got son Nagabhata.
- Nagabhata (625-650 AD) (नागभट) - Narabhata was succeeded by his son Nagabhata, who fixed his permanent capital at Madantakapura (मेदन्तकपुर) (Modern Merta). He was called Pellapelli (पेल्लापेल्ली) due to his bravery. He divided his state with his two sons. Mandor was given to elder son Tata and Merta to his younger son Bhoja.
- Bhoja (650-675 AD) (भोज) - Nagabhata's sons Tata (तात) and Bhoja ruled up to 675 AD. Tata gave his kingdom to his brother Bhoja and spent rest of life in Mandavya Ashrama. Bhoja protected his kingdom efficiently. After death of Bhoja his son Chanduka became ruler.
- Chanduka (चंदुक) - He ruled after Yashovarddhana. It is not known how he got death.
- Yashovarddhana (690-740) (यशोवर्द्धन) - He ruled after Bhoja. Yashovarddhana defeated Shalavanshi Prathuvardhana, who had defeated him earlier.
- Shiluka (725-730) (शीलुक) - Chanduka was succeeded by his son Shiluka. Arab invader Junaid had come during his reign. Shilaka extended his rule upto Travani and Balladesha. He defeated Bhattika Devaraja of Balladesha.
- Jhota (झोट) - Jhota succeeded Shiluka. He got moksha in River Ganga.
- Bhilladitya (भिल्लादित्य) - Bhilladitya succeeded Jhota. He left the rule and went to Haridwar for moksha.
- Kakka (कक्क) - His son Kakka succeeded Bhilladitya. He was a brave and a scholarly samanta of Raghuvanshi Pratihara Vatsa Raja. Kakka's son Bauka's Jodhpur inscription reveals that he defeated Gaudas of Muddagiri (मुद्दगिरि) Munger Raja Dharamapala. Kakka wrote 10 literary books. We have his Ghantiyala inscription also. Kakka had two wives - 1. Padmini who gave birth to Bauka and 2. Durlabhadevi who gave birth to Kakkuka.
- Bauka (वाउक) - Bauka was son of Kakka from queen Padmavati. The epigraph of Bauka was found in the Jodhpur city wall. Bauka was not a strong warrior but a good administrator. Raja Mayura of Bhatti Kshatriya attacked Mandor during his reign. When his unorganized army lost control over the war he himself entered in the middle of enemy Bhatt's army and fought bravely. Jodhpur Inscription tells us that when Nandaballa was killed by the enemy and his own army left him alone in the war he killed Raja Mayura and his kingdom was merged into Pratihara kingdom. After this victory he became a saint and handed over kingdom to Kakkuka. 
- Kakkuka (कक्कुक) - The Ghantiyala inscription of 861 AD Verse-3 says that Kakkuka obtained great renown in the countries of Travani (त्रवणी), Valla (वल्ल) and Mada (माड़), amongst (the people known as) Arya, in Gurjaratra, and in Parvata in the Lata country. Verse 4 of Ghantiyala inscription of 861 AD tells us that Kakkuka erected two columns, one at Rohimsaka and the other at Maddodara (मडड़ोदर). The next verse informs us that the village of Rohinsakupaka (Ghatiyala) had formerly become unsafe on account of the- Abhiras (Ahirs), and had consequently not been a place of residence for good people. Verses 8 and 4 tell us that Kakkuka, the favourite son of Kakka, of the Pratihara race, constructed a market place decorated with variegated streets, went to the houses of Brahmanas, Kshatriyas (prakriti) and Vaishyas, and, promising them means of livelihood, established the mahajana, the big folk there.The inscription was composed by Shri-Kakkuka himself, as the line in prose at the end informs us. Epigraphic India Vol.IX, p. 198-200, Dr D.B.Bhandarkar, M.A.,Poona, pp.277-280
- Nagabhata I (730–756) (नागभट I)- Nagabhata I extended his control east and south from Mandor, conquering Malwa as far as Gwalior and the port of Bharuch in Gujarat. He established his capital at Avanti in Malwa, and checked the expansion of the Arabs, who had established themselves in Sind. In this Battle of Rajasthan (738 CE) Nagabhata led a confederacy of Gurjars to defeat the Muslim Arabs who had till then been pressing on victorious through West Asia and Iran.
- Vatsraja (775–805) (वत्सराज) - Nagabhata I was followed by two weak successors, who were in turn succeeded by Vatsraja (775–805). Vatsraja sought to capture Kannauj, which had been the capital of the seventh-century empire of Harshavardhana. His ambitions brought the Pratiharas into conflict with the Pala dynasty of Bengal and the Rashtrakutas of the northern Deccan,with whom they would contest for primacy in northern India for the next two centuries. Vatsraja unsuccessfully challenged the Pala ruler Dharmapala (c. 775–810) for control of Kannauj. In about 786 the Rashtrakuta ruler Dhruva (c. 780–793) crossed the Narmada River into Malwa, and from there tried to capture Kannauj. Vatsraja was defeated by Dhruva around 800, and died in 805.
- Nagabhata II (805–833) (नागभट II) - Vatsraja was succeeded by Nagabhata II (805–833). Nagabhata II was initially defeated by the Rashtrakuta king Govinda III (793–814), but later recovered Malwa from the Rashtrakutas, conquered Kannauj and the Ganges plain as far as Bihar from the Palas, and again checked the Muslims in the west. He rebuilt the great Shiva temple at Somnath in Gujarat, which had been demolished in an Arab raid from Sind. Kannauj became the center of the Gurjar Pratihara state, which covered much of northern India during the peak of their power, c. 836–910. Nagabhatta II was defeated by Rashtrakuta Govinda III and he was forced to take shelter in Rajasthan. This war took place around 810 AD. An copper grant of Nagabhatta II obtained from Badhal Village reveals that this war took place after few years. Buchkala Inscription of Nagabhatta II of V. 872 (815 AD) reveals that he bore all titles and claims that place of svavishaya so he remained ruler in Rajasthan after above war also. This copper grant is yet unpublished.
- Rambhadra (833-c. 836) (रामभद्र) - briefly succeeded Nagabhata II.
- Bhoja I (भोज I)or Mihir Bhoja (836–886) (मिहिर भोज) suffered some initial defeats by the Pala king Devapala (810–850), but recovered to expand the Gurjar dominions west to the border of Sind, east to Magadha, and south to the Narmada. Bhoj I is said to have issued a grant in 836 AD at Skandhavara Mahodaya (महोदय). Mahodaya is name of Kannauj. 
- Mahendrapala (885-912 AD) (महेन्द्रपाल) - The emperor Mahendrapala had several queens and several sons were born of them. We learn from a copper-plate grant (Ind. Ant., Vol. XV, p. 138) that his queen Dehanaga Devi had a son called Bhojadeva (II) while the son of another queen Mahidevi Devi (Ep. Ind., Vol. XIV, p. 176. ) was named Vinayakapala Deva. Another grant (Ind. Ant., Vol. XVI, p. 174) mentions Mahipala Deva as having meditated on the feet of Mahendrapala Deva, and a careful consideration of some isolated passages in the writings of poet Rajasekhara leaves no doubt that Mahipala was a son of Mahendrapala. (Ep. Ind. Vol. I, pp. 170-71.) It has been usually held by scholars that Mahipala was but another name of Vinayakapala. He expanded further eastwards in Magadha, Bengal, and Assam.
- Bhoja II (910–912) (भोज I) was overthrown by Mahipala I (912–931). Several feudatories of the empire took advantage of the temporary weakness of the Gurjar Pratiharas to declare their independence, notably the Paramaras of Malwa, the Chandelas of Bundelkhand, and the Kalachuris of Mahakoshala.
- Mahipaladeva (912-931 AD) (महीपालदेव) - Historians consider that the identity of Mahipala and Vinayakapala was same. The identity of Mahipala and Kshitipala we may accept with less hesitation as the two words are synonymous. The emperor Mahendrapala had thus at least two sons, Bhoja II and Mahipala, alias Kshitipala, alias Vinayakapala. Bhoja II succeeded him probably not long after 908 A.D., the last known date of his father. We know practically nothing about this king who ceased to reign sometime before 914 A.D. This date is furnished by the Haddala grant of the Chapa Mahasamantadhipati Dharanivaraha who styles himself a feudatory of the Rajadhiraja Mahipaladeva. It is thus clear that Mahipala ascended the throne in less than six years after the death of his father and that eastern Kathiawar over which Dharanivaraha ruled was still included within the empire.
- The Rashtrakuta king Indra III (c.914–928) briefly captured Kannauj in 916, and although the Pratiharas regained the city, their position continued to weaken in the 10th century, partly as a result of the drain of simultaneously fighting off Turkic attacks from the west and the Pala advances in the east. The Gurjar-Pratiharas lost control of Rajasthan to their feudatories, and the Chandelas captured the strategic fortress of Gwalior in central India, c. 950. By the end of the tenth century the Gurjar Pratihara domains had dwindled to a small kingdom centered on Kannauj. But he improved his position very soon and regained many of his lost kingdoms.
- The conquests of Mahipala are described in a grandiloquent verse by the poet Rajasekhara in the Introduction to his Play Balabharata or Prachanda Pandava.
- " And in that (lineage of Raghu) there was born the glorious Mahipaladeva, who has bowed down the locks of hair on the tops of the heads of the Muralas;'who has caused the Mekalas to suppurate ; who has driven the Kalingas before him in war ; who has spoilt the pastime of (the king who is) the moon of the Keralas ; who has conquered the Kulutas ; who is very axe to the Kuntalas ; and who by violence has appropriated the fortunes of the Ramathas."
- Mahipala or Vinayakapala was the last great ruler of the imperial dynasty. His last recorded date is 931 AD. (Ind. Ant., Vol. XV, p. 140) So far as epigraphical evidence goes, the Pratihara kingdom at the time stretched as far as Benares in the east. The Ganges, the Jumna, the Betwa and the Dasan rivers seem to have formed its boundaries on the south-east while to the south it probably reached the Vindhyas. Thus, on the whole, Mahipala must be credited with having restored to a great degree the fallen fortunes of his family. But there can be no question that the prestige of the Pratiharas suffered a severe blow from which they never completely recovered.
- Vinayakapala I (931-943) (विनायकपाल I) - Rashtrakutas had attacked again his country, but very soon prince Deva I of Chedi kingdom defeated them. His kingdom spread from Varanasi to Gwalior and Ujjain. An inscription found at Rakhej near Chanderi tells us that he spent 95-96 Karor to improve the water supply from Ur river.  Vinayakapala was succeeded by his three sons. The eldest was Mahendrapala II whose existence has recently been brought to light by the discovery of the Pratabgarh inscription dated 946 A.D. (Ep. Ind., Vol. XIV, p. 176).
- Mahendrapala II (943-948) (महेन्द्रपाल) - He succeeded Vinayakapala I on the throne of Pratiharas. He was born to Rani Prasadhana Devi. Mahendrapala II granted village Ghontavarsika, modern Ghotarsi, a village seven miles to the east of Pratapgarh to temple of Vatayakshini Devi dated in the Vikrama year V.1003 (A.D. 946). Some records reveal that upto the reign of Mahendrapala II in Avanti, Dashapura, Bhandu, Ujjain and Pratapgarh were in Pratihara Kingdom. 
- Devapala (948-959 AD) (देवपाल) - After Mahendrapala II came Devapala who is referred to in a Siyadoni inscription as ruling in 948-949 A.D. (Ibid, Vol. I, p. 177)
- Vijayapala (959-984) - Devapala was succeeded by Vijayapala who is mentioned a the suzerain power in the Rajorgarh inscription of Mathanadeva, dated 960 A.D. (Ibid, Vol. III, p. 266) During the reign of these above three monarchs the disintegration of the empire was all but complete.
- Rajyapala (राज्यपाल ) - In the meantime a strong Islamic power was established at Ghazni and two of its famous kings Sabuktigin and Mahmud Ghazni seized the favourable opportunity to push forward the outposts of Islam into the heart of India. It will suffice to state that the Pratihara king of Kanauj, shorn of dignity and power as he was, remembered the proud day of his family, and when the call of duty came about 991 A.D., he joined the confederacy that Jaipal formed against the Mahomedan foe. The imperial banner of the Pratiharas was unfurled in the valley of the Kurram river in far distant Afghanistan in defence of their faith and their country, but all in vain. Nothing undaunted, the Indian kings once more offered a united opposition to Mahmud in the neighbourhood of Peshawar, and Rajyapal Pratihara took his due share in the campaign. But fate was against the Indians and even their united efforts failed to stay the onward progress of the Moslems. The kingdom of Rajyapala had now been confined practically to the east of the Jumna although it included Mathura. In the south the Chandellas were gradually encroaching upon his territory and had conquered as far as the Fathpur District. While Rajyapala was busy defending his southern frontier against the Chandellas Mahmud invaded his dominions in December, 1018 A.D. (Ibid, Vol. II, pp. 47-8). The Chandela ruler Ganda (गण्ड) captured and killed Rajapala, placing Rajapala's son Trilochanpala on the throne as a proxy. According to Dubkund inscription, Rajyapala was killed by the Kachchhapaghata chief Arjuna, an ally or feudatory of the Chandella chief Vidyadhara, son of Ganda.
- Trilochanpala (1019 AD) (त्रिलोचनपाल) - Rajyapala's son was Trilochanpala. Mahmud returned in 1019 to take avenge of Chandelas. But the situations had now changed. Trilochanpala son of Hindushahi ruler Anandapala and Pratihara Rajyapala's son Trilochanpala were both friends of Raja Vidyadhara Chandela. Both failed to oppose Mahmud.
- Yashapala (1036 AD) (यशपाल) - We do not have any historical evidences of the successor of Trilochanpala but we have a Prayaga epigraph of Maharajadhiraja Yashapala dated 1036 AD which shows grants by this king. The last Pratihara king of Kanauj, died in 1036 AD and in place a new Royal dynasty of Gahrwalas rises.
Rajatarangini tells us about Influence of the Pratihara When the king of Kashmir Sussala was murdered in 1127 AD.... When the powerful lord of Kampana entered the capital, Induraja with his followers left Tikka and came thither. The king made Chitraratha, Shriva, Bhāsa and others lords of Pādāgra, Dvara and Kheri ; even Sujji who had not given up the duty entrusted to him had to wait on the pleasure of the Pratihara, what shall I say of other ministers ! The Pratihara who was in the confidence of the Damaras created dissensions among the parties, and was an object of regard of the king. There was not one among the enemies who at the bidding of the Pratihara did not come or wish to come under the protection of the king. The wily king who was ill at ease did not even take his meals but at the desire of the Pratihara. Thus the Pratihara became powerful in the capital ; but his policy which had well nigh succeeded was defeated. (p.127)
Rajatarangini tells us ...The Damaras, in the splendour of theft wealth, entered the capital, like the procession of a bridegroom, in an auspicious moment. When the people saw that each of them had a horse and an umbrella and was more than a king, they regarded the forbearance of the son of Sussala as cruelty. Koshteshvara in whom centered greatness, form, youth, dress and beauty was the special object of sight of the women. The country in which the civil war ceased, became now the scene of festivity and rang with the sound of music of the many Lavanyas (Damaras) who came in there. Lakshmaka too brought to the king Kshira and others with a large army from Maḍavarajya. The king loved the Pratihara, and the king's parasites therefore thought it a great favor if they could gain entrance within the Pratihara's door. The Lavanyas plundered the villages and a great famine ensued in consequence and which caused a great expenditure to the king. [VIII(i), p.132]
Rajatarangini tells us ...Rivalry of the Pratihara and Janakasimha : The people knew that the king's ministers were wise and possessed unlimited nobility of soul and power, and they served them in every way. But the Pratihara could not brook the advancement of other ministers, as the esha herb cannot bear the growth of trees by its side ; and he rooted out all the ministers except Janakasimha, like grass. Janakasimha had served the king from childhood and knew his habits and he could not therefore be ruined. Janakasimha wished to establish peace with the king by a marriage alliance, but his son Chhuḍḍa was disgraced on account of his pride and insolence. The king watched for alight faults, and he hated both the father and the son for the behaviour of the son, and became angry with both of them. Both Janakasimha and the Pratihara became very haughty in the reign of this king, as they were both of the same age with the king and were well known to the queen-mother. They knew not to act according to the time. In the capital they used carriage and pair, and in bath and food and furniture they behaved like the king. It is ridiculous to live in the same style with one's own master, because they all attained prosperity through him. It is like the attempt of the frogs to overleap the tall lotus stock. The enemies of Janakasimha and of the Pratihara biased the king against them and against all their party ; and made them appear in the eyes of the king, as a portrait of envy drawn on the wall. [VIII (i),p.135]
Rajatarangini tells us ..The Pratihara's machinations against Sujji: The first minister, the Pratihara, unable to bear the pride of Sujji, began to find some pretext against him. Now at this time, the elder brother of Dhanya had purified himself by bathing in the Ganges, and returned to this country, and came to the king when he was walking alone. He and his party were welcomed by the king who talked long with them. But they had no appointments and were oppressed with anxiety. In time of work, the king depended on his father's ministers, but they too had their hidden purpose, and they waited for opportunity. The Pratihara who was bent on ruining the great Sujji persuaded them that violent acts were commendable. [VIII (i),p.138]
Rajatarangini tells us that ... Udaya, lord of Kampana, waited before the king, and then went after the prime minister, the Pratihara. The army consisted of the Rajputs, and the Damara horsemen and was led by ministers, and accompanied by troops who looked terrible in their arms. A part of the force which was within the palace (at Lohara) surrounded a large tract of country and tried to seize the enemy. Lalla , and others remained at Phullapura adjoining Kotta, and made the enemy's soldiers tremble by spreading alarm and dissension among them, and also by skirmishes.(p.161)
Rajatarangini tells us that ...The Pratihara was seen by some of the enemy's soldiers riding on the shoulder of his servant who was unable to run fast. The soldiers determined to seize him, and pursued him with all their might. He was without clothes and his gold ear-rings and arm-rings glittered in the sun. The servant wounded by a stone let fall his master from his shoulder and he was out by a rock. He lay without moving or speaking and was taken up by the soldiers who soon came up to him. He became, like a sharika ( a bird ) that feels miserable and languishes when newly caught and while the moisture is yet in her throat. He could hardly cast his eye on the enemies. He thought that after he fell into the hands of the enemy, Sujji would subject him to still greater indignities. Shorn of wealth and fame and having only his upper garment on him and without even the power to move he was borne on the shoulders by the troopers who shouted and laughed in derision. Thus he was conveyed to Sujji. That kind hearted man covered his face and enquired why he was not honored like a great king, and gave him his own clothes to dress. Sujji consoled him with mild words, clothed him and placed him on a horse and thus comforted him. (p.166)
Jat Gotras common with Parihars
Thakur Deshraj writes that In the Rajakula Jats, Parihars are found in districts of Agra and Mathura. He considers Parihar Gotra in Jats to be based on title and rejects their foreign origin theory propagated by historians like D R Bhandarkar and V A Smith. During Mount Abu mahayagya of of creation of Agnikula Kshatriya some gotras who joined them became Rajput Parihars and those remained out of it were Jat Parihars and Gujar Parihars. Thakur Deshraj considers their origin in The Mahabharata Tribe called Paratangana (परतंगण), rulers near Manasarowar in Himalayas, as these were the people on gate way of India near China border. Their neighbours were Tangana (तंगण) people who are still found amongst Jats in Jaipur and Bharatpur districts in Rajasthan and in Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh in the form of Tangar (तंगड़) Jat clan.
Some Jat Gotras also joined or merged with the Pratihara Confederation. The Jat clans common with Parihars are listed below:
Villages founded by Parihar clan
- Parihara (पड़िहारा) - town in Ratangarh tahsil in Churu district, Rajasthan was founded by Parihar Jats.
Distribution in Uttar Pradesh
Villages in Agra district
Villages in Mathura district
Villages in Hathras district
Distribution in Rajasthan
Locations in Jaipur city
Mahavir Nagar I, Sanganer,
Villages in Kota district
Villages in Bharatpur district
Distribution in Gujarat
Distribution in Pakistan
According to 1911 census the Parhar were the principal Muslim Jat clan in districts:
- Shahpur (Sargodha District) District - Parhar (1,880)
- Muzaffargarh District - Parhar (2,610)
- Multan District - Parhar (557)
- Dera Ghazi Khan District - Parhar (1,144)
- Bahawalpur State - Parhar (7,860)
- Thakur Hukum Singh Parihar (ठाकुर हुकम सिंह परिहार) was from Kathwari, Kiraoli, Agra, Uttar Pradesh. He was Freedom fighter of Shekhawati farmers movement. 
- ठाकुर रामबाबूसिंह ‘परिहार’ : जाट-जाति के सुप्रसिद्ध कवि
- ठाकुर रामबाबूसिंह ‘परिहार’ के भतीजे कुं. बहादुरसिंह, कुं. प्रतापसिंह और चिरंजीव फूलसिंह परिहार-वंश के नवयुवक अपनी भड़कीली बसन्ती पोशाक में जनता के मन को मोह रहे थे।
- स्वागताध्यक्ष कुंवर बहादुरसिंह (सुपुत्र स्वर्गीय ठाकुर पीतमसिंह परिहार, जमींदार कठबारी) ने अपना छपा हुआ भाषण पढ़ा । अनन्तर ठाकुर हुक्मसिंह परिहार ने ठाकुर भोलासिंह जी फौजदार का प्रख्यात नाम इस महोत्सव के प्रधान बनाए जाने के लिए पेश किया। (जाट इतिहास:ठाकुर देशराज,पृष्ठ-680)
- कुंवर प्रतापसिंह परिहार सुपुत्र ठाकुर रामसरनसिंह परिहार ने समर्थन व कुंवर लालसिंह ने अनुमोदन किया। करतल-ध्वनि के बीच ठाकुर भोलासिंह सभापति के आसन पर आसीन हुए और अपने छपे हुए वीर-रस पूर्ण भाषण को पढ़ा। (जाट इतिहास:ठाकुर देशराज,पृष्ठ-681)
- कठवारी के मुख्य-मुख्य सरदार ठा. छिद्दासिंहजी, ठा. गोपीचन्दजी, ठा. कलियानसिंहजी, (ठा. रामबाबूसिंहजी ‘परिहार’ के बड़े भाई) और महाशय (जाट इतिहास:ठाकुर देशराज,पृष्ठ-681) प्यारेलालजी ने आए हुए लोगों की आव-भगत में अपनी पूरी शक्ति लगा दी थी।
- Dalip Singh (Parihar) - X.En. RSEB , Home District : Bharatpur, Date of Birth : 2-May-1951, Address : 20/148, Mansarowar, Jaipur, Phone: 0141-2392293, Mob: 9413335656
- Jai Singh Choudhary (Padiyal) - X.En. PHED, Home District : Jodhpur, Date of Birth : 17-March-1959, 2A, Subhash Nagar,Near Dhanwantary Hospital Old Building,Pal Road,Jodhpur-342008, Phone Number : 0291-2786164, Mob: 9461111370, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- R.C.Majumdar: "The Gurjara Pratiharas", Journal of the Department of Letters Vol.X, Calcutta University Press, 1923
Back to Gotras