|Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.), Jaipur|
Dasharatha Sharma writes that Vigraharaja IV (r.1151 -1163 AD) ruled from 1151 to 1163 A.D.. He was a powerful king and is also known as Bisaldeva. We have eleven inscriptions about him ranging from V. 1210 to V.1220. Of these six come from Ajmer, one from Lohari in the Jahazpur district of Mewar, one from Narhad in Jaipur division, and three from the Shiwalika Pillar of Ashoka, now in Delhi. It is in the Vigraharaja IV's reign that we find Chauhan records appearing for the first time in the area comprising of Bijolia, Mandalgarh and Jahazpur. In V. 1207 chittor and its adjacent territories probably recognized the supremacy of Chalukyas and Jahazpur might have been under them. 
He conquered Delhi from the kings of Tomar dynasty and attacked Chalukya king Kumarpala and to avenge his father's defeat, he destroyed the areas of Pallika and Naddul. He burnt Javalipura after attacking the Parmara king. Narhar Inscription of Vigraharaja IV of s.v. 1215 (1159 AD) tells us that Vigraharaj IV ruled over wide areas of Shekhawati. Bijolia inscription mentions his exploit and capture of Delhi and Hansi. Delhi as per Palam Baori and Delhi museum Inscriptions of respectively V. 1337 and V. 1384 a possession of Tomaras before its capture by Chauhans. Hansi had been recaptured by Tomaras from Ghaznavites and most probably remained in their hands till its conquest by the Chauhans. It had been captured by Masud in 1038 AD and recaptured after some time by Mahipala.
Wars against the Muslims - He fought many wars against the Muslims and conquered the area between Yamuna and Sutlej from them. Vigraharaja IV's first war against the Muslims appears to have been fought in self-defence. Advancing as far as Vavvera now a small village about six miles from Khetri in Jaipur division of Rajasthan, when Hammira invited Vigraharaja IV to submit to his authority. In the ensuing battle Hammira was beaten and forced to retire to his own dominions. Of people who agreed and supported Vigraharaja IV's policy and cooperated fully with him special mention might be made of his maternal uncle, Simhabala, the Johiya chief of Marukotta at least from V. 1217 to V. 1232. The Hammira or Muslim leader vanquished by Vigraharaja IV probably was the Ghaznavite Amir Khusrau Shah (1153-1160 AD). Next must have followed offensive operations on the part of Vigraharaja IV. We have no details about them, but by V. 1220, the year of incision of his Siwalik Pillar inscriptions, he had succeeded in freeing most Hindu territories from Ghaznavite dominion. Only the Punjab remained under Muslims after that year. 
About him some information can be get from the passage in an inscription that he attacked up to Sivalika region and got written his inscription on a pillar of Asoka. Thus he built up a big empire and adopted the titles of `maharajadhiraj` and `parmeshwara`. The conquest of Delhi turned Chauhans of Shakambhari and Ajmer into an all-India power.
Besides being a good warrior he also was a great poet. A drama named Harikeli was written by him. His poet laureate Somdeva and the drama of `Lalitvigraha`. He also established Sanskrit college, which was later on converted into a mosque by Altutumash.
Vigraharaja IV founded a number of towns which he called Visalapura after his alternative name Visala. One of these stands at the mouth of the chasm-like gorge which runs through the Girwar mountain range in Mewar to Rajamahala. According to Prithvirajavijaya Vigraharaja IV erected as many buildings as the hill-forts that he captured. On account of iconoclassical zeal of the Muslim conquerors, however, only a few of them have survived. Many were destroyed and many were converted to Muslim structures. 
संत श्री कान्हाराम ने लिखा है कि.... [पृष्ठ-76]: ईसा की दसवीं सदी में प्रतिहारों के कमजोर पड़ने पर प्राचीन क्षत्रिय नागवंश की चौहान शाखा शक्तिशाली बनकर उभरी। अहिच्छत्रपुर (नागौर) तथा शाकंभरी (सांभर) चौहनों के मुख्य स्थान थे। चौहनों ने 200 वर्ष तक अरबों, तुर्कों, गौरी, गजनवी को भारत में नहीं घुसने दिया।
चौहनों की ददरेवा (चुरू) शाखा के शासक जीवराज चौहान के पुत्र गोगा ने नवीं सदी के अंत में महमूद गजनवी की फौजों के छक्के छुड़ा दिये थे। गोगा का युद्ध कौशल देखकर महमूद गजनवी के मुंह से सहसा निकल पड़ा कि यह तो जाहरपीर (अचानक गायब और प्रकट होने वाला) है। महमूद गजनवी की फौजें समाप्त हुई और उसको उल्टे पैर लौटना पड़ा। दुर्भाग्यवश गोगा का बलिदान हो गया। गोगाजी के बलिदान दिवस भाद्रपद कृष्ण पक्ष की गोगा नवमी को भारत के घर-घर में लोकदेवता गोगाजी की पूजा की जाती है और गाँव-गाँव में मेले भरते हैं।
[पृष्ठ-77]: चौथी पाँचवीं शताब्दी के आस-पास अनंत गौचर (उत्तर पश्चिम राजस्थान, पंजाब, कश्मीर तक) में प्राचीन नागवंशी क्षत्रिय अनंतनाग का शासन था। इसी नागवंशी के वंशज चौहान कहलाए। अहिछत्रपुर (नागौर) इनकी राजधानी थी। आज जहां नागौर का किला है वहाँ इन्हीं नागों द्वारा सर्वप्रथम चौथी सदी में धूलकोट के रूप में दुर्ग का निर्माण किया गया था। इसका नाम रखा नागदुर्ग। नागदुर्ग ही बाद में अपभ्रंश होकर नागौर कहलाया।
551 ई. के आस-पास वासुदेव नाग यहाँ का शासक था। इस वंश का उदीयमान शासक सातवीं शताब्दी में नरदेव हुआ। यह नागवंशी शासक मूलतः शिव भक्त थे। आठवीं शताब्दी में ये चौहान कहलाए। नरदेव के बाद विग्रहराज द्वितीय ने 997 ई. में मुस्लिम आक्रमणकारी सुबुक्तगीन को को धूल चटाई। बाद में दुर्लभराज तृतीय उसके बाद विग्रहराज तृतीय तथा बाद में पृथ्वीराज प्रथम हुये। इन्हीं शासकों को चौहान जत्थे का नेतृत्व मिला। इस समय ये प्रतिहरों के सहायक थे। 738 ई. में इनहोने प्रतिहरों के साथ मिलकर राजस्थान की लड़ाई लड़ी थी।
नागदुर्ग के पुनः नव-निर्माण का श्री गणेश गोविन्दराज या गोविन्ददेव तृतीय के समय (1053 ई. ) अक्षय तृतीय को किया गया। गोविंद देव तृतीय के समय अरबों–तुर्कों द्वारा दखल देने के कारण चौहनों ने अपनी राजधानी अहिछत्रपुर से हटकर शाकंभरी (सांभर) को बनाया। बाद में और भी अधिक सुरक्षित स्थान अजमेर को अजमेर (अजयपाल) ने 1123 ई. में अपनी राजधानी बनाया। यह नगर नाग पहाड़ की पहाड़ियों के बीच बसाया था। एक काफी ऊंची पहाड़ी पर “अजमेर दुर्ग” का निर्माण करवाया था। अब यह दुर्ग “तारागढ़” के नाम से प्रसिद्ध है।
अजमेर से डिवेर के के बीच के पहाड़ी क्षेत्र में प्राचीन मेर जाति का मूल स्थान रहा है। यह मेरवाड़ा कहलाता था। अब यह अजमेर – मेरवाड़ा कहलाता है। अजयपाल ने अपने नाम अजय शब्द के साथ मेर जाति से मेर लेकर अजय+मेर = अजमेर रखा। अजमेर का नाम अजयमेरु से बना होने की बात मनगढ़ंत है। अजयपाल ने मुसलमानों से नागौर पुनः छीन लिया था। बाद में अपने पुत्र अर्नोराज (1133-1153 ई.) को शासन सौंप कर सन्यासी बन गए। अजयपाल बाबा के नाम से आज भी मूर्ति पुष्कर घाटी में स्थापित है। अरनौराज ने पुष्कर को लूटने वाले मुस्लिम आक्रमणकारियों को हराने के उपलक्ष में आना-सागर झील का निर्माण करवाया।
[पृष्ठ-78]: विग्रहराज चतुर्थ (बिसलदेव) (1153-1164 ई) इस वंश का अत्यंत पराक्रमी शासक हुआ। दिल्ली के लौह स्तम्भ पर लेख है कि उन्होने म्लेच्छों को भगाकर भारत भूमि को पुनः आर्यभूमि बनाया था। बीसलदेव ने बीसलपुर झील और सरस्वती कथंभरण संस्कृत पाठशाला का निर्माण करवाया जिसे बाद में मुस्लिम शासकों ने तोड़कर ढाई दिन का झौंपड़ा बना दिया। इनके स्तंभों पर आज भी संस्कृत श्लोक उत्कीर्ण हैं। जगदेव, पृथ्वीराज द्वितीय, सोमेश्वर चौहानों के अगले शासक हुये। सोमेश्वर का पुत्र पृथ्वीराज तृतीय (1176-1192 ई) ही पृथ्वीराज चौहान के नाम से विख्यात हुआ। यह अजमेर के साथ दिल्ली का भी शासक बना।
Vigraharaja IV (Visaladeva) founded a number of towns which he called Visalapura/Bisalapur Visalapura (विसलपुर) after his alternative name Visala. Bisalpur, situated at a distance of 125 Kms from Jaipur on Jaipur-Devali Road, is site of huge dam built on Banas River. 
James Tod writes that The genealogical tree of the Chauhans exhibits thirty-nine princes, from Anhal, the first created Chauhan, to Prithwiraja, the last of the Hindu emperors of India.1 But whether the chain is entire we cannot say. The inference is decidedly against its being so ; for this creation or regeneration is assigned to an age centuries anterior to Vikramaditya : and we may safely state these converts to be of the Takshak race, invaders of India at a very early period.
Sambhar,3 on the banks of the extensive salt lake of the same name, was probably anterior to Ajmer, and yielded an epithet to the princes of this race, who  were styled Sambhari Rao. These continued to be the most important places of Chauhan power, until the translation of Prithwiraja to the imperial throne of Delhi threw a parting halo of splendour over the last of its independent kings. There were several princes whose actions emblazon the history of the Chauhans. Of these was Manika Rae, who first opposed the progress of the Muhammadan arms. Even the history of the conquerors records that the most obstinate opposition which the arms of Mahmud of Ghazni encountered was from the prince of Ajmer,4 who forced him to retreat, foiled and disgraced, from this celebrated stronghold, in his destructive route to Saurashtra.
The attack on Manika Rae appears to have been by Kasim, the general of Walid, on the close of the first century of the Hegira.5 The second attack was at the end of the fourth century. A third was (luring the reign of Bisaladeva, who headed a grand con-
- 1 Born in S. 1215, or A.D. 1159. Anhala or Agnipala is here the head of the Chauhan line ; but a different list appears in the Hammira Maha-kavya of Nayachhandra Suri (I A, viii. 55 ff.).]
- 2 Ajmer is commonly said to have been founded by Raja Aja, A.D. 145. It was founded by Ajayadeva Chauhan about a.d. 1100 (IA, xxv. 162 f.).]
- 3 A name derived from the goddess Sakambhari, the tutelary divinity of the tribes, whose statue is in the middle of the lake.
- 4 Dharma Dhiraj, father of Bisaladeva, must have been the defender on this occasion.
- 5 Muhammad bin Kasim seems to have marched along the Indus valley, not in the direction of Ajmer (Malik Muhammad Din, Bahawalpur Gazetteer, i. 28).]
federacy of the Rajput princes against the foes of their religion. The celebrated Udayaditya Pramar is enumerated amongst the chiefs acting in subserviency to the Chauhan prince on this occasion, and as his death has been fixed by unerring records in A.D. 1096, this combination must have been against the Islamite king Maudud, the fourth from Mahmud ; and to this victory is the allusion in the inscription on the ancient pillar of Delhi.1 But these irruptions continued to the captivity and death of the last of the Chauhans, whose reign exhibits a splendid picture of feudal manners.
Delhi (Siwalik) pillar inscriptions of Visaladeva-Vigraharaja of A.D. 1114
James Tod (Annals of Haravati)  writes that In the first place, it is of no small moment to be enabled to adjust the date of Beesildeo, the most important name in the annals of the Chohans from Manik Rae to Pirthi Raj, and a slip from the genealogical tree will elucidate our remarks.
[p.417]: The name of Beesildeo (Visaladeva) heads the inscription on the celebrated column erected in the centre of Feroz Shah's palace at Delhi. This column, alluded to by Chund, as "telling the fame of "the Chohan," was " placed at Nigumbode," a place of pilgrimage on the Jumna, a few miles below Dehli, whence it must have been removed to its present singular position. *
The inscription commences and ends with the same date, viz,, 15th of the month Bysakh, S. 1220. If correctly copied, it can have no reference to Beesildeo, excepting as the ancestor of Prativa Chahmana tilaca Sacambhari bhulpati; or 'Pirthi Raj Chohan, the anointed of Sambhur, Lord of the earth' who ruled at Dehli in S. 1220, and was slain in S. 1249, retaining the ancient epithet of 'Lord of Sambhur,' one of the early seats of their power. brought away an inscription of this, the last Chohan emperor, from the ruins of his palace at Hasi or Hansi, dated S. 1224. See comments thereon, Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol I, p. 133. The second stanza, however, tells us we must distrust the first of the two dates, and read 1120 (instead of 1220), when Visaladeva "exterminated the barbarians" from Aryaverta. The numerals 1 and 2, in Sanscrit, are easily mistaken. If, however, it is decidedly 1220, then the whole inscription belongs to Prativa Chahmana, between whom and Visala no less than six princes intervene, and the opening is merely to introduce Pirthi Raj's lineage, in which the sculptor has foisted in the date.
I feel inclined to assign the first stanza to Visaladeva (Beesildeo), and what follows to his descendant Pirthi Raj, who by a conceit may have availed himself of the anniversary of the victory of his ancestor, to record his own exploits. These exploits were precisely of the same nature, — successful war against the Islamite, in which
[p.418]: each drove him from Aryavevia; for even the Mooslem writers acknowledge that Shahbudin was often ignominiously defeated before be finally succeeded in making a conquest of northern India.
If, as I surmise, the first stanza belongs to Beesaldeo, the date is S. 1120, or A.D. 1064, and this grand confederation described by the Chohan bard was assembled under his banner, preparatory to the very success, to commemorate which the inscription was recorded.
Harikeli Nataka is a drama written by Visaladeva. This drama is based on Kiratarjuniya of writer Bharavi.
The exploits of Bisaldeo
James Tod writes that The exploits of Bisaldeo form one of the books of Chandbardai, the bard. The date assigned to Bisaldeo in the Rasa (S. 921 = 864 AD) is interpolated — a vice not uncommon with the Rajpoot bards, whose acquire verification from less mutable materials than those out of which he weaves his song.
The warriors assembled under Visaladeva against the Islam invader
James Tod The bard Chand gives an animated picture of the levy of the chivalry, which assembled under Visaladeva, who, as the champion of the Hindu faith, was chosen to lead its warriors against the Islam invader.
James Tod provides us A literal translation of the passage from bard Chand with his comments which may be interesting about the warriors assembled under Visaladeva against the Islam invader: —
- To the Goyalwal Jait, the prince entrusted Ajmer, saying, on your fealty I depend ;' where can this Chalukya find refuge? He moved from the city (Ajmer), and encamped on the lake Visala and summoned his tributaries and vassals to meet him. This lake still bears the name of Beesal-ka-tal notwithstanding the changes which have accrued during a lapse of one thousand years, since he formed it by damming-up the springs. It is one of the reservoirs of the Luni River. The emperor Jahangir erected a palace on the banks of the Beesal-ka-tal, in which he received the ambassador of James I, of England.
- Mansi Parihar, with the array of Mandore, touched his feet. This shows that the Parihars were subordinate to the Chohans of Ajmer.
- Then the Gahlot, the ornament of the throng ; The respectful mention of the Gehlot as 'the ornament of the throne' clearly proves that the Chittor prince came as an ally. How rejoicing to an antiquary to find this confirmed by an inscription found amidst the ruins of a city of Mewar, which alludes to this very coalition ! The inscription is a record of the friendship maintained by their issue in the twelfth century, Samarsi of Chittor, and Pirthi Raj, the last Chohan king of India on their combining to chastise the king of Patun Anhulwarra "in like manner as did Bisaldeo and Tejsi of old unite against the foe, so, &c, &c. Now Tejsi was the grand father of Rawal Samarsi, who was killed in opposing the final Muslim invasion, on the Cagear, after one of the longest reigns in their annals : from which we calculate that Tejsi must have sat on the throne about the year S. 1120 (A.D. 1064). His youth and inexperience would account for his acting subordinately to the Chohan of Ajmer. The name of Udayaditya further confirms the date, as will be mentioned in the text. His date has been fully settled by various inscriptions found by the author. (See Transactions Royal Asiatic Society, Vol I, p.223.)
- Rama the Gor; The Gor was a celebrated tribe, and amongst the most illustrious of the Chohan feudatories ; a branch until a few years ago held Sooe-Sheopur and about nine lacs of territory. I have no doubt the Gor appanage was west of the Indus, and that this tribe on conversion became the Ghor.
- With folded hands arrived the Baloch. The Baloch was evidently Hindu at this time ; and as I have repeatedly said of Jit or Gete origin.
- but the lord of Bamani abandoned Sind. The lord of Bamani," in other places called Bamunwasso, must apply to the ancient Brahmanabad or Dewal, on whose site the modern Tatta is built.
- and the Nalbandi from Tatta and Multan. All this evinces supremacy over the Princes of this region : the Sodha, the Samma and Sumra.
- The Mori and
- Then came the array of Takitpoor, headed by the Goelwal Jait. Takatpur is the modern Todaraisingh near Tonk, where there are fine remains.
- and the Dor
- the Chandel, who contended with Pirthi Raj, who deprived them of Mahoba and Kalinjar, and all modern Bundelkhand.
In this short passage, a text is afforded for a dissertation on the whole genealogical history of Bajpootana at that period. Such extracta from the more ancient bards, incorporated in the works of their successors, however laconic, afford decisive evidence that their poetic chronicles bore always the same character; for this passage is introduced by Chund merely as a preface to the history of his own prince, Pirthi Raj, the descendant of Beesildeo.
A similar passage was given from the ancient chronicles of Mewar, recording an invasion of the Mooslems, of which the histories of the invaders have left no trace. (Vol. I, p. 208.) The evidence of both is incontestable; every name affords a synchronism not to be disputed; and though the isolated passage would afford a very faint ray of light to the explorer of those days of darkness, yet when the same industrious research has pervaded the annals of all these races, a
[p.416]: flood of illumination pours upon us, and we can at least tell who the races were who held sway in these regions a thousand years ago.
Amidst meagre, jejune, and unsatisfactory details, the annalist of Rajpootana must be content to wade on, in order to obtain some solid foundation for the history of the tribes ; but such facts as these stimulate his exertions and reward his toil : without them, his task would be hopeless. To each of the twenty tribes enumerated formed under the standard of the Chohan, we append a separate notice, for the satisfaction of the few who can appreciate their importance, while some general remarks may suffice as a connection with the immediate object of research, the Haras, descended from Beesildeo.
- Krishna Reddy (1 December 2006). Indian Hist (Opt). Tata McGraw-Hill Education
- [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=MazdaWXQFuQC Indian History Allied Publishers
- "Early Chauhan Dynasties" by Dasharatha Sharma, p.66
- "Early Chauhan Dynasties" by Dasharatha Sharma, p.67
- "Early Chauhan Dynasties" by Dasharatha Sharma, p.68-69
- "Early Chauhan Dynasties" by Dasharatha Sharma, p.72
- Sant Kanha Ram: Shri Veer Tejaji Ka Itihas Evam Jiwan Charitra (Shodh Granth), Published by Veer Tejaji Shodh Sansthan Sursura, Ajmer, 2015. pp.76-78
- Early Chauhan Dynasties by Dasharatha Sharma, p.72.Towns and Villages of Chauhan Dominions, S.N. 224
- James Todd Annals/Chapter 7 Catalogue of the Thirty Six Royal Races, pp.114-115
- Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume II, Higginbotham and Co. 1873. pp.416-418
- James Tod: Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume II,Annals of Haravati,p.414
- James Tod: Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Volume II,Annals of Haravati,p.414-416