The term Rajput denotes a tribe or clan, the members of which claimed themselves as Kshatriyas belonging to the ‘solar’ or lunar’ dynasties.
The Hunas, Gurjaras and the other allied tribes who entered India during the 5th and 6th centuries merged themselves with the Indians, just as their predecessors, the Greeks, the Kushanas and the Sakas had done.
The Rajput dynasties formed by the social promotion of aborigines were inimical to the Rajputs descended from foreigners.
- The kingdom of the Paramara dynasty was situated to the west of that of the Kalachuri dynasty.
- Dhara modern Dhar, in Madhya Pradesh, was the capital of the Paramara dynasty.
- The history of the Paramara dynasty begins with the accession of Siyaka.
- The death of the Rashtrakuta, Krishna III presented him an opportunity, and he declared himself independent.
- Siyaka secured large slices of territory both from Pratihara and the Rashtrakuta empires.
- Munja was the most glamorous king of the Paramara dynasty.
- He was a great warrior and many stories of his gallantry are sung in ballads.
- Munja launched an aggressive campaign against Taila II but was entrapped by the enemy and put to death.
- Munja was succeeded by his younger brother Sindhuraja who recovered the lost territories from Taila Il.
Bhoja (1000-55 AD)
- Sindhuraja was succeeded by his son Bhoja.
- Bhoja’s commentary on the Yogasutras of Patanjali, though brief, is a great example of his erudition.
- His Samaranganasutradhara is an excellent work of art and architecture (Vastu Shastra).
- Men of letters like Dhanapala, Uvata and many others live in his court.
- Bhoja founded the city of Bhojapura.
- Brother of Bhoja succeeded Jayasimha.
- The famous temple of Nilakantesvara at Udayapur in Bhilsa is ascribed to him.
- The last known king of the Paramaras was Mahlak Deo
- He was defeated by Alauddin Khalji.
- Mahlak Deo was executed and Malava became a province of the Sultanate.
Solanki Dynasty (950 -1300)
- The Chalukyas or Solanki Dynasty ruled Gujarat and Kathiawar
- Mularaja established an independent kingdom with its capital at Anahilapataka
Bhima I (1022–64)
- His kingdom was rudely shaken by the invasion of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni who plundered the immense riches of the famous temple of Somnatha.
- The famous Dilwara temple was built at Abu in the Reign of Bhima I.
- His queen Udayamati built Ran-ki vav
- He built numerous temples and founded a city after his name, now represented by Ahmadabad.
- Scholar Hemachandra, who wrote the Siddha-Hemachandra, was in JAyasimha’s court.
- He embraced Jainism under the influence of Hemachandra.
- In 1178 Muizuddin Muhammad Ghori invaded Gujarat.
- Solanki dynasty under Mularaja’s mother bravely opposed the Muslims and defeated them near Mt. Abu.
- Qutub-ud-din invaded Gujarat and plundered Anahilapataka in 1197
- Later Gujarat was conquered by Alauddin Khalji.
- The main branch ruled in Sakambhari, modern Sambhar, in Jaipur Vasudadeva founded the main line in the middle of the 6th century
- He built at Pushkaraa temple for Siva.
- He is reputed to have killed a body of 700 Chalukyas who had come to Pushkara to rob the Brahmins
- He founded the city of Ajayameru or Ajmer
- He composed the celebrated drama, Harikeli Nataka.
- Among the many temples built by him at Ajmer, the Sarasvati Mandira is undoubtedly the best.
- Jayachandra organised a svayamvara ceremony for the marriage of his beautiful daughter Samyukta. Prithviraj Chauhan was not invited there.
- He succeeded in carrying off the Gahadvala princess by force.
- Prithviraj Chauhan met Muhammad Ghori at the field of Tarain in 1190-91.
- 1st battle of Tarain was disastrous for the Muhammad Ghori.
- Shihab-ud-din came to Tarain in 1192 practically unopposed by passing through Multan and Lahore.
- One lakh soldiers were killed in the 2nd battle of Tarain, including Govindaraja, chief of Delhi.
- Prithviraj Chauhan himself was taken prisoner and executed thereafter.
- Prithvirajavijaya and Prithviraj Raso, written by his court poets Jayanaka and Chanda (Chand Bardai) respectively.
- The emergence of the Gahadvalas in Kanauj in the latter part of the 11th century.
- The Gahadvala dynasty was founded by Yasovigraha
- He made Banaras the second capital
- Govindachandra raised Kanauj to unprecedented glory.
- His minister named Lakshmidhara produced Kritya Kalpataru or Kalpadruma.
- Muiz-ud-din Muhammad Ghori, who, after conquering Delhi and Ajmer from the Chahamanas, advanced with a large force against Kanaujin 1193
- patronage extended by him to Sriharsha, who wrote the well-known Naisadhacharita, Khandana-khanda-khadya
- Adakkamalla, was deprived of his ancestral kingdom by Iltutmish
- Chandela dynasty had rule over Bundelkhand.
- The Chandela dynasty claim their descent from Chandratreya, a descendant of the Moon dynasty.
- The earliest capital of the Chandela dynasty kings seems to have been at Khajuraho.
- Khajuraho reached its zenith in the 10th century.
- Nannuka founded the dynasty in the first quarter of the 9th century around Khajuraho in Bundelkhand.
- He built a magnificent temple at Khajuraho.
- In the Chaturbhuja temple, he installed the image of Vishnu.
- The most famous ruler of the Chandela dynasty.
- Temples of Jinanatha and Vaidyanatha were also built during the reign of Dhanga
- Sultan Mahmud twice invaded his kingdom in 1019 and 1022.
- He was defeated at the hands of Prithviraj Chauhan.
- In 1202, Qutub-ud-din Ibak seized and plundered the fort of Kalinjar, the strong citadel of the Chandellas.
- In1309, Alauddin Khalji conquered the greater part of the kingdom.
- The last known king of Chandela dynasty is Viravarman II.
- The Kalachuri dynasty, also known as the Haihayas, have been referred to the Epics and the Puranas.
- Their earliest seat of power was possibly at Mahishmati on the bank of Narmada river.
- Three Kalachuri kings- Krishnaraja, his son Sankaragana and the latter’s son Buddharaja—were known to have ruled between 550-620.
- Several branches of the Kalachuris were settled in different parts of northern India.
- One of them founded a principality in Sarayupara in the modern Gorakhpur district.
- The most powerful, brunch ruled in the Chedi country in Bundelkhand.
- The Kalachuri dynasty of Chedi, also known as kings of ‘Dahala-mandala’ had their capital at Tripuri, near Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh.
- Kokalla I accession on throne in 845 AD.
- He came into conflict with the Pratihara king Bhoja I and gained a victory over him.
- Poet Rajasekhara, lived in the Kalachuri court, staged the famous drama Viddhasalabhanjika.
- During his reign the Kalachuri dynasty became the greatest political power in India.
- Kalachuri dynasty remained unaffected by the marauding raids of Sultan Mahmud.
- He commemorated this great victory by assuming the proud title of ‘Trikalingadhipat
- Atisa Dipankara, who at that time had been residing in Magadha, took the initiative in inducing Karna and Nayapala, Pala king to conclude a treaty.
- Vijayasimha was the last kalachuri king of any importance.
- Trailokyavarman a Chandella king defeated him and conquered the whole of the Dahalamandala.
- The Tomaras are reckoned as one of the 36 Rajput dynasties.
- According to the bardic tradition, Anangpal Tuar founded Delhi in 736 and established the Tomara dynasty.
- The Tomaras ruled the Haryana country from their capital city Dhillika or Delhi.
Society Under Rajputs
Major literary works of this period
- Kalhana’s Rajatarangin – ‘River of Kings’
- Jayadeva’s Gita Govindam – Song of the cowherd
- Somadeva’s Kathasaritasagar
- Chand Bardai, the court poet of Prithviraj Chauhan, wrote Prithviraj Raso in which he refers to the military exploits of Prithviraj Chauhan.
- Bhaskara Charya wrote Siddhanta Shiromani, a book on astronomy.
- Rajasekhara – The court poet of Mahendrapala and Mahipala. His best known works were Karpuramanjari, Kavyamimamsa, and Balaramayana.
Art and Architecture
- Mural paintings and Miniatures paintings were popular.
- Temples at Khajuraho
- Lingaraja Temple at Bhubaneshwar
- The Sun Temple at Konark
- The Dilwara Temple at Mount Abu
- The Rajputs were staunch followers of Hinduism.
- They also patronized Buddhism and Jainism.
- During their period the Bhakti Cult started.
The emergence of Rajputs was the outcome of the death of Harshavardhana and the breakup of the Pratihara Empire. They dominated the Indian political scene for nearly 500 years from the 7th century.
These dynasties were the Pratiharas of Kannauj, the Chahamanas (of Shakambhari, Nadol and Jalor), the Tomaras of Delhi, the Chalukyas, the Paramaras, the Gahadavalas, Chandela, Sisodias, Guhilas etc.
KARANDEV VAGHELA, also known in history as Karan Ghelo, was the last in the line of Vaghela chieftains of Anhilwar in Gujarat. He was also the last Rajput ruler to have held control of most of Gujarat and Saurashtra.