What is the meaning of landmark?
- Landmark means a location that has historical importance.
- The definition of a landmark is a building or an object that helps you identifies a location or the boundary of a piece of land.
- A prominent identifying feature of a landscape.
- An event, discovery, etc. considered as a high point or turning point in the history or development of something.
- Landmark is defined as an event that changed history.
Major landmarks in the Indian History
Harappa: It is one of the important sites of Indus civilization. It is on the banks of the river Ravi. It is now Montegomary district of Western Punjab in Pakistan. Dayaram Sahani excavated this site in 1921. The great granary is an important building found here.
Takshashila: It is in Pakistan. It was the capital of Gandhara province. Takshashila University was an important educational centre in Ancient India. Kautilya was a teacher in this university.
Pataliputra: It is presently called as Patna, the capital of Bihar state which is on the banks of the river Ganges. Pataliputra was the capital of the Magadha empire, the Mauryans and the Guptas.
Badami: It is in Bagalkot district, Karnataka. The early name of Badami was Vatapi and it was the capital of Chalukyas. It is famous for rock-cut cave temples.
Kanchi: Kanchi, also called Kanchipuram is near Madras in Tamil Nadu. It was the capital of the Pallavas. The city is famous for many Shaiva and Vaishnava temples. The world famous Kamakshi temple is found here.
Halebeedu: It is in Hassan District. Its early name was Dorasamudra and it was the capital of the Hoysalas. The Hoysaleshwara and Shantaleshwara temples are found here.
Delhi: It is situated on the banks of river Jamuna. It was the capital of Delhi Sultanate and also the Mughals for some time. Many monuments like Qutub Minar, Red Fort, Jama Maszid etc. are found here.
Devagiri: It is in Maharashtra. Alla0ud-din-Khilji led expeditions on this city. Mohammad-bin-Tughlaq built a new city called Daulatabad near Devagiri and shifted his capital from Delhi to Devagiri for a brief period.
Panipat: It is in Haryana State. It was a great battle field in the history of India where three great battles were fought.
Agra: It is on the banks of river Jamuna in Uttar Pradesh. It was founded by Sikandar Lodhi. It became the capital of the Mughals. Taj Mahal is the most famous monument of Agra.
Hampi: It is situated on the banks of river Tungabhadra in Bellary District. It was the capital of the Vijaynagara empire. Virupaksha temple, Vijayavittalaswamy temple, Stone chariot etc. are the magnificent monuments at Hampi.
Bidar: It is in the northern part of Karnataka. It was the capital city of Bahamani Kingdom. Here Mohammad Gawan built a Madarasa.
Bijapura (Present Vijayapura): It is in the northern part of Karnataka. It was the capital of Adil Shahis. Monuments like Golgumbaz, Ibrahim, Rauza, Asar Mahal, Barakaman etc are found here.
Calcutta: It is the capital of West Bengal, situated on the banks of river Hoogli. Calcutta was the first capital of the British India. Swami Vivekananda established Ramakrishna Mission at Belur near Calcutta.
Bombay: It is the capital of Maharashtra. It was the main settlement of the British on the west coast of India. The first session of the Indian National Congress was held here.
Pondicherry: It is to the South of Madras on the Coramandal coast. It was the capital of the French in India.
Srirangapatna: It is in Madhya Pradesh. It was the capital of the Early Wodeyars of Mysore, Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. Dariya Daulat Palace and Sriranganatha Temple are the famous monuments found here.
Meerut: It is in Uttar Pradesh and is near Delhi. It was an important centre of First war of Indian Independence.
Jallianwala Bagh: It is at Amritsar in Punjab. Here General Dyer massacred the unarmed people who were protesting the Rowlatt Act in 1919.
Dandi: It is in the West coast of Gujarat. Mahatma Gandhi began Salt Satyagraha Movement at this place.
Kalibangan is a part of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, located in present Hanumangarh district. The Kalibangan pre-historic site was discovered by Luigi Pio Tessitori, an Italian Indologist (1887–1919). He was doing some research in ancient Indian texts and was surprised by the character of ruins in that area. He sought help from Sir John Marshall of the Archaeological Survey of India. After Independence in 1952, Amlanand Ghosh identified the site as part of Harappan Civilization and marked it for excavation. Later, during 1961-69, excavation was carried out by B. B. Lal & Balkrishna Thapar.
Why is Kalibangan famous?
Explanation: Kalibangan is a famous site of Indus Valley Civilization in Rajasthan. It is famous for pottery, black bangles. It was an Industrial site the sign of ploughed field, fire altar and couples buried are founded.
Kalibangan has settlements belonging to:
- 3500 BC – 2500 BC (Pre-Harappan Period)
- 2500 BC – 1500 BC (Harrapan Period)
Features of Pre-Harappan Settlement:
- The pre-Harappan settlement was a fortified parallelogram, the fortification wall being made of mud-bricks.
- The settlements of the pre-Harappan period were often small. With no large buildings.
- They had a distinct, specialised style of making pottery and other crafts and they depended on agriculture and on pastoralism.
- The houses within the walled area were also made of mud-bricks.
- The distinctive trait of this period was the pottery which was significantly different from that of the succeeding Harappans.
- An outstanding discovery was a ploughed field, showing a cross-grid of furrows, the southeast of the settlement outside the town-wall. This is perhaps the earliest ploughed field excavated so far.
Features of Harrapan Period:
- During the Harappan period, the structural pattern of the settlement was changed. There were now two distinct parts: the citadel on the west and the lower city on the east.
- Each city was divided into two parts-the raised area called the ‘Citadel’ and the ‘lower town.’
- The main streets followed a grid pattern running from north to south or from east to west.
- The houses at street corners were rounded to allow carts to pass easily.
- House drains emptied all waste water into the street drains.
- The streets crossed the main road at right angles, dividing the city into square or rectangular blocks.
- The cemetery of the Harappans was located to the west-southwest of the citadel.
- The three types of burials are found: Extended inhumation in rectangular or oval grave-pits, Pot-burials in a circular pit and Rectangular or oval grave-pits containing only pottery and other funerary objects.
Terracotta: Terracotta, terra cotta, or terra-cotta, a type of earthenware, is a clay-based unglazed or glazed ceramic, where the fired body is porous. The best terracotta figure from Kalibangan is that a charging bull which is considered to signify the “realistic and powerful folk art of Harappan Age”.
Seals: Thousands of seals have been discovered by archaeologists from the Harappan sites. Most of the seals were made of steatite, which is a kind of soft stone. A few of them were also made of terracotta, gold, agate, chert, ivory and faience. The standard Harappan seal was square in shape with a 2X2 dimension. Most noteworthy is a cylindrical seal, depicting a female figure between two male figures, fighting or threatening with spears.
Mains Practice Question
Q. Artistic creativity of people of Indus valley civilization was vast. Comment (250 words)
- Give a brief introduction on Harappan art forms.
- Discuss the features, uniqueness and vivid imagination of art forms of Indus valley civilisation (IVC).
- Explain the significance of the distinct art forms used in social life.
- Write a suitable conclusion.
- The arts of the Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) emerged during the second half of the third millennium BCE. The forms of art found from various sites of the civilisation include sculptures, seals, pottery, jewellery, terracotta figures, etc.
- Their delineation of human and animal figures was highly realistic in nature, since the anatomical details included in them were unique, and, in the case of terracotta art, the modeling of animal figures was done in an extremely careful manner.
The artists of IVC surely had fine artistic sensibilities and a vivid imagination. This can be seen in the following examples from the Indus valley civilization:
- Stone Statues: Excellent examples of handling three-dimensional volumes, for example male torso figures in red sandstone and bust of a bearded man in soapstone.
- Bronze Casting: Bronze statues were made using the ‘lost wax’ technique. Human as well as animal figures were common examples: Dancing Girl Statue, buffalo with its uplifted head, back and sweeping horns and the goat are of artistic merit.
- Terracotta: Compared to the stone and bronze statues the terracotta representations of human form are crude in the Indus Valley. They are more realistic in Gujarat sites and Kalibangan.
- Deities like bearded men, mother goddesses and toy carts, animals were common.
- Seales and tablets: Made of steatite, and occasionally of agate, chert, copper, faience and terracotta, with beautiful figures of animals, such as unicorn bull, rhinoceros, tiger, elephant, bison, goat, and buffalo. Rendering of animals in various moods is remarkable, for example Pashupati Seal.
- Commonly used for commercial purposes but usage for amulets for identity cards.
- The standard Harappan seal was a square plaque 2×2 square inches, made from steatite. Every seal is engraved in a pictographic script.
- Square or rectangular copper tablets, with an animal or a human figure on one side and an inscription on the other, or an inscription on both sides have also been found.
- Pottery: It consists chiefly of very fine wheel made wares, very few being hand-made. Plain pottery is more common than painted ware.
- Plain pottery is generally of red clay, with or without a fine red or grey slip. It includes knobbed ware, ornamented with rows of knobs.
- Black painted ware has a fine coating of red slip on which geometric and animal designs are executed in glossy black paint.
- Polychrome pottery is rare and mainly comprises small vases decorated with geometric patterns in red, black, and green, rarely white and yellow. Incised ware is also rare and the incised decoration was confined to the bases of the pans, always inside and to the dishes of offering stands.
- Perforated pottery includes a large hole at the bottom and small holes all over the wall, and was probably used for straining beverages.
- Beads and Ornaments: Produced from every conceivable material ranging from precious metals and gemstones to bone and baked clay, gold and semi-precious stones, copper bracelets and beads, gold earrings and head ornaments, faience pendants and buttons, and beads of steatite and gemstones.
- The beads are in varying shapes—disc-shaped, cylindrical, spherical, barrel-shaped, and segmented. Some beads were made of two or more stones cemented together, some of stone with gold covers. Some were decorated by incising or painting and some had designs etched onto them.
- The sites of Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) like Harappa and Mohenjodaro showcase excellent town planning as well, like houses, planned streets, public baths, drainage systems, storage facilities, etc.
- They tell how the Indus Valley people used stone in construction. The artists and craftsmen of the Indus Valley were extremely skilled in a variety of crafts—metal casting, stone carving, making and painting pottery and making terracotta images using simplified motifs of animals, plants and birds.
- Their artistic versatility showed in the range of materials they used and the forms they made out of it. The patterns, motives and designs found on the articles show the creativity that existed and judging from the excavated evidence, one can only conclude the people of Indus civilization were indeed true art patrons.
Q. What were the different types of art and crafts of Harappan civilization? Also, examine their significance. (200 words)
- Give general features of Harappan art and crafts in introduction
- Briefly explain features and uniqueness of individual art forms
- general – what the art forms tell about IVC and its effect in present;
- Specific – how individual art forms were used in social life.
Art works of the Indus Valley Civilisation emerged during the second half of the third millennium BCE. The artists of that time surely had fine artistic sensibilities and a vivid imagination. Their delineation of human and animal figures was highly realistic in nature, since the anatomical details included in them were unique, and, in the case of terracotta art, the modeling of animal figures was done in an extremely careful manner.
The forms of art found from various sites of the civilisation include sculptures, seals, pottery, jewellery, terracotta figures, etc.
- Excellent examples of handling three-dimensional volumes, for example male torso figure in red sandstone and bust of a bearded man in soapstone.
- Bronze statues were made using the ‘lost wax’ technique. Human as well as animal figure were common example Dancing Girl Statue, buffalo with its uplifted head, back and sweeping horns and the goat are of artistic merit
- Metal-casting remained a continuous tradition. The late Harappan and Chalcolithic sites like Daimabad.
- Compared to the stone and bronze statues the terracotta representations of human form are crude in the Indus Valley. They are more realistic in Gujarat sites and Kalibangan.
- Deities like bearded man, mother goddess and toy carts, animals were common.
Seals and Tablets
- Made of steatite, and occasionally of agate, chert, copper, faience and terracotta, with beautiful figures of animals, such as unicorn bull, rhinoceros, tiger, elephant, bison, goat, buffalo. Rendering of animals in various moods is remarkable, for example Pashupati Seal.
- Commonly used for commercial purposes but usage for amulets for identity cards.
- The standard Harappan seal was a square plaque 2×2 square inches, made from steatite. Every seal is engraved in a pictographic script.
- Square or rectangular copper tablets, with an animal or a human figure on one side and an inscription on the other, or an inscription on both sides have also been found.
- It consists chiefly of very fine wheel made wares, very few being hand-made. Plain pottery is more common than painted ware. Plain pottery is generally of red clay, with or without a fine red or grey slip. It includes knobbed ware, ornamented with rows of knobs. The black painted ware has a fine coating of red slip on which geometric and animal designs are executed in glossy black paint.
- Polychrome pottery is rare and mainly comprises small vases decorated with geometric patterns in red, black, and green, rarely white and yellow. Incised ware is also rare and the incised decoration was confined to the bases of the pans, always inside and to the dishes of offering stands. Perforated pottery includes a large hole at the bottom and small holes all over the wall, and was probably used for straining beverages.
Beads and Ornaments
- Produced from every conceivable material ranging from precious metals and gemstones to bone and baked clay, gold and semi-precious stones, copper bracelets and beads, gold earrings and head ornaments, faience pendants and buttons, and beads of steatite and gemstones.
- Beads were made of carnelian, amethyst, jasper, crystal, quartz, steatite, turquoise, lapis lazuli, etc. Metals like copper, bronze and gold, and shell, faience and terracotta or burnt clay were also used for manufacturing beads. The beads are in varying shapes—disc-shaped, cylindrical, spherical, barrel-shaped, and segmented. Some beads were made of two or more stones cemented together, some of stone with gold covers. Some were decorated by incising or painting and some had designs etched onto them
- Spindles and spindle whorls indicate spinning of cotton and wool was very common. Spinning is indicated by finds of whorls made of the expensive faience as also of the cheap pottery and shell.
Such variety of art and crafts tell lot about the Harappan Civilisation:
- They tell how the Indus Valley people used stone in construction. The artists and craftsmen of the Indus Valley were extremely skilled in a variety of crafts—metal casting, stone carving, making and painting pottery and making terracotta images using simplified motifs of animals, plants and birds.
- This showcases one of the earliest examples of civic planning. Houses, markets, storage facilities, offices, public baths, etc., arranged in a grid-like pattern. There was also a highly developed drainage system.
Kalibanga means black clay bangles. It is located on the banks of the Ghagghar (Saraswati) river in Hanumangarh district of northern Rajasthan. Surrounded by security rugged two mounds have been found here. One of these is the eastern mound, from where the evidence of ordinary settlement is found. The western mound is the fort where probably the upper class dwelled. Proof of farming from Kalibanga is found, which is the oldest in the world. Evidences of fire pits in a line are dound from raised platforms made of raw bricks. It is speculated that these platforms were constructed for religious purposes. Remains of many utensils made from clay have been obtained from Kalibanga. The script found on the pottery and seals from here is similar to the Sandhwa script, which has not yet been read. Due to the absence of stones, the walls were made of sun baked bricks and they were joined by sand. Personal and public drains and garbage utensils were part of extraordinary arrangements for cleaning the city. Fortunately, the center of such a prosperous civilization was lost. Probably due to the lack of rainfall here, the water of the river decreased. In the long run, this land became the sea of sand. The mention of extinction of Saraswati River is found in the Puranas. Thus, it was civilization declined.
Ahad (Udaipur) – It is a city situated near Udaipur. Its civilization also evolved around river as other ancient civilizations. Ahad developed in valleys of Bedach (Ayad) river. Tamarvati Nagari is also second name, where the center of copper tools is proven. In the tenth-eleventh century, it was called ‘Aghaatpur’. The local people used to call it ‘Dhoolkot’. Copper axes, stone tools and other tools have been found. The people used to use precious stones such as onyx, rhinestone etc. to make ornaments. Like the Kalibanga, pottery is found in large number. The people of this place could make beautiful pottery without even painting. The people of the this civilization were familiar with agriculture. It is proved by the large utensils and granite stones found here which they used to produce food. The presence of 4 to 6 large squares in a house throws light on the arrangement of large family and group food. Excavation done at Ghillund (Rajsamand), Ballathal (Udaipur), Bagaur (Bhilwara), adjoining areas of Khaia, we get information about the spread of civilization. The Ahad civilization was not only confined to the Ahadriver (river valley), but till the valley of Chambal rivers and Kutch in Gujarat. Belonging to copper age this place is situated in Vallabh Nagar in Udaipur. The work of excavation of this mound was done by Dr. V. N. Poona of Poona in March 1993, under the Supervision of Dr Dev Kothari, Institute of Rajasthan Studies, University of Rajasthan University, Udaipur. Dr. V.N. Mishra of Poona, Dr. V. S. Shinde, Dr. R.K. Mohanty and Dr. Lalit Pandey and Dr. Jivan Kharkal. The excavation work was done here for 7 years. By the way, this place is an extension of the Ahad. This civilization dates back to approximately 3200 B.C.E.
(1) Copper Equipment – Residents of this civilization used copper-made equipments and weapons. They were using axl knife, chisel, razor, and arrow panels. Stone made tools have also been found. Easy availability of copper to the people here could be one of the reason.
(2) Pottery – The special type shiny pottery obtained from Ballathal is of two types – one with rough walls and other smooth clay walls. For black, red and dark red colors, shiny coating is found inside outside of such utensils. White paintings are usually found on black and red pots. A massive fortification structure was discovered in the middle of Balathal’s mound whose walls were 3.15 meters high and about 5 meters thick, this fort spread over 5600 square meters area. This fort was made of clay and stone. In the construction of Ballathal, the construction of a large building of eleven rooms is also found, which were built in the second phase of Copper period. Just as the remnants of copper smelting furnaces have been found in the civilization of Copper era, similarly remains of iron furnaces are found in Balathal.
1. The remains of Kalibanga were found along the banks of which river in Rajasthan?
2. “Aahar” civilization was developed along the banks of which river?
3. In which district are the remains of Balathal civilization found?
What have you learnt?
- The main sources of information of Vedic civilization are four Vedas – Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharva Veda.
- The social life of Rigvedic Aryans was based on simplicity and equality.
- Indus civilization was a urban civilization whereas Vedic civilization was rural civilization.
- Three civilizations developed in the state of Mesopotamia – Sumeria, Babylonia and Assyrian civilization.
- A ruler named Hammurabi is known for his code of law.
- The rise of Egyptian civilization in the valley of Nile This civilization is especially known for the construction of the pyramid.
- China’s wall was built to protect against the invasion of barbarous races.
- In China, there were famous philosophers like Confucius, Mensius and Laotse.
- The key feature of Greek civilization is the location of the city kingdoms. ‘Sparta’ and ‘Athens’ were the major cities of Greece.
- The main center of the Roman civilization was Italy. Italy worked hard to combine the cultures of Europe and Greece.
- The largest contribution of Rome to the world is principle of Law and good governance.
1. Which of the following is the oldest Vedas?
(A) Rig Veda (B) Samaveda
(S) Yajurveda (D) Atharva Veda
2. Which civilization originated in the Nile valley?
(A) China’s civilization (B) Maya civilization
(c) Civilization of Greece (D) Mishra’s civilization
3. Whose ideas are collected in the book “Tao-Te-Ching”?
(A) Confucius (B) Mensius
(c) Laotse (D) Kotsu
4. Which of the following is called ‘Father of History’?
(A) Homer (B) Herodotus
(c) Socrates (D) Aristotle
5. Kalibanga civilization existed in which of the present district of Rajasthan?
(A) Sikar (B) Udaipur
(c) Bhilwara (D) Hanumangarh
Gupta Empire in Rajasthan
Before the rise of Gupta’s, Rudrasimha II, of the Western Satraps (Kshatrap), ruled Rajasthan. The Gupta Empire was an ancient Indian empire existing from the mid-to-late 3rd century CE to 543 CE. At its zenith, from approximately 319 to 543 CE, it covered much of the Indian subcontinent. This period is called the Golden Age of India (there was peace, development and prosperity in the country) by some historians.
After the decline of the Kushanas, north India witnessed the rise of the Gupta dynasty. The rulers of this dynasty were able to establish a vast empire that included almost the entire north India. The Guptas had certain material advantages that helped them to carve an empire. They operated from eastern U.P. and Bihar which was very fertile. They could also exploit the iron ores of central India and Bihar to their advantage. Their period was marked by great progress in art, architecture and literature. They ruled up to circa A.D.550. After their collapse there emerged various regional kingdoms in north India. South India too witnessed the rise of two important kingdoms under the Chalukyas and the Pallavas respectively during AD 550–750.
- According to Prayag Prashashthi (Allahabad Inscription), Samundragupta defeated many republican kingdoms.
- Samundra Gupta defeated Rudradaman II in 351 A.D. and captured southern Rajasthan.
- Vikramaditya Defeated last Shaka ruler and whole Rajasthan came under Gupta dynasty.
- Maximum Gupta period coins are found from Bayana (Bharatpur) belonging to Kumar Gupta.
- Baran (Rajasthan) inscription mention about Gupta period.
- Durga Temple (Kota) and Shiv Temple (Chachanura) are the best examples of Gupta Architecture.
Post Gupta Period (Huns, Vardhan and Gurjars)
- In 503 A.D, Toranmal of Hun Dynasty defeated Guptas and captured Rajasthan.
- Mihirkula built Shiva temple in Badauli.
- Later Mihikula was defeated by Narsingh Baladitya Gupta and Rajasthan was preoccupied by Guptas.
- The capital of Gurjar-Pratihar was Bhinmal.
- Chinese traveller Huang Tsang visited Bhinmal during his period.
- Brahmagupta belongs to Bhinmal.
- Gurjar Pratihar stopped Arab invasion from North West.
Due to the planned location of the state, and the abundance of ancient rivers, like the Drishadvatiand Sarasvati that flows through it, the entire state started grasping the attention of various empires such as Arjunyas, Hunas, Saka Satraps, and Yaudheyas.
Then came the Gupta dynasty who subjugated the state during the 4th century. Several Buddhist caves and shrines were constructed in the Jhalawar district. During the sixth century, the authority and impact of the Guptas began to decline. In 700 CE, the Gurjara-Pratiharas defeated the Gupta and presided on the throne. The entire power was now in their hands.
The Gupta dynasty was established by Shrigupta, who probably belonged to the vaishya caste. He hailed from either Magadha (Bihar) or Prayaga (eastern U.P.). His son Ghatotkacha, who carried the title of maharaja, appears to be some small king about whom nothing much is known. (a) Chandragupta I The real founder of the Gupta empire was Chandragupta I (AD 319–334). The year of his accession in A.D. 319 marks the beginning of the Gupta era. It was henceforth used in all their records, and also those of their feudatories. He took the title of maharajadhiraja (king of kings). He married a Lichchhavi princess Kumaradevi. This event is recorded in a series of gold coins issued by Chandragupta. It appears that this matrimonial alliance gave legitimacy, prestige and strength to the Gupta king. Chandragupta, was ruling over Magadha (Bihar) Saket (modern Ayodhya) and Prayaga (modern Allahabad) with his capital at Pataliputra (Modern Patna).
1. Who was the real founder of the Gupta dynasty?
2. Give two material advantages that helped the Guptas to establish an empire?
3. How did the marriage alliance with the Lichchhavi’s help Chandragupta?
Chandragupta was succeeded by his son Samudragupta (A.D. 335–375). Samudragupta followed a policy of conquest and enormously enlarged his kingdom. His achievements are recorded in a long inscription (prashasti), written in pure Sanskrit by his court poet Harisena. The inscription is engraved on a Pillar at Allahabad. It enumerates the people and the regions conquered by Samudragupta. He adopted a different policy for different area conquered by him. In the Ganga-Yamuna doab, he followed a policy of annexation. He defeated nine naga rulers and incorporated their kingdoms in the Gupta empire. He then proceeded to conquer the forest kingdoms of central India, mentioned as atavirajyas. The rulers of these tribal areas were defeated and forced into servitude. This area had a strategic value as it contained a route to south India. It enabled Samudragupta to proceed to South along the eastern coast conquering twelve kings on the way and reached as far as Kanchi near Chennai. Samudragupta, instead of annexing their kingdoms, liberated and reinstated these kings on their thrones.
This policy of political conciliation for south India was adopted because he knew that it was difficult to keep them under control and subservience once he returned to his capital in north. So it was enough for him that these states recognized his suzerainty and paid him tributes and presents. According to the Allahabad inscription, neighbouring five frontier kingdoms and nine republican states of Punjab and western India were overawed by the conquests of Samudragupta. They agreed to pay tribute and taxes to Samudragupta and obey his orders without any fight. The inscription adds that Samudragupta also received tributes from many kings of south – east Asia. It is generally believed that though he had spread his influence over a vast area, Samudragupta exercised direct administrative control mainly over Indo-Gangetic basin. He celebrated his conquests by performing a horse sacrifice (ashvamedha) and by issuing ashvamedha type of coins (the coins portraying the scene of sacrifice) on the occasion. Samudragupta was not only a conqueror but also a poet, a musician and a patron of learning. His love for music is attested by his coins that represent him as playing on a vina (lute).
1. What is the importance of the Allahabad Pillar inscription in the history of Samudragupta?
2. What do we know about Samudragupta’s personality from his coins?
Chandragupta II was succeeded by his son Kumaragupta (AD 415–455). He was able to maintain the empire built up by his father but during the later part of his reign there was a threat from the Hunas of Central Asia. After occupying Bactria the Hunas crossed the Hindukush Mountains and entered India. Their first attack during his reign was repulsed by prince Skandagupta. The Guptas however could not protect their empire for long and the successive waves of Huna invasion made the Gupta’s very weak. This was one of the main factors which accelerated the disintegration of the Gupta empire. The inscriptions issued by the Hunas show that by AD 485 they had occupied eastern Malwa and a large part of central India. Punjab and Rajasthan also passed into their hands. The first important ruler of the Hunas in India was Toramana who conquered an area stretching up to Eran near Bhopal in central India. His son Mihirkula suc ceeded him in AD 515.
He is described in texts as a tyrant and an iconoclast. Both Yashodharman of Malwa and Narasimhagupta Baladitya of the Gupta dynasty finally defeated Mihirkula. But this victory over the Hunas could not revive the Gupta Empire. Besides the Huna invasion there was also a gradual decline in economic prosperity. It is indicated by the gold coins of later Gupta rulers, which have less of gold content and more of alloy. We also notice a gradual disappearance of coins in the post Gupta period. It led the kings to make payments in form of land rather than cash. It is evident by the discovery of large-scale land grant charters donating land to brahmanas and officers. The practice of giving land for religious and secular purposes in lieu of services rendered to the State is normally termed as feudalism. Under this practice, the donee (the one who receives the grant) was given the right not only to collect the taxes but also to administer the donated land. This created small-small pockets of power trying ceaselessly to expand their sphere of influence at the cost of the ruling authority. The decline of the Gupta empire resulted in the emergence of numerous ruling dynasties in different parts of northern India. The prominent among them were the Pushyabhutis of Thanesar, Maukharies of Kanauj and the Maitrakas of Valabhi. The political scene in the Peninsular India was no different. The Chalukyas and the Pallavas emerged as strong regional powers in Deccan and northern Tamil Nadu respectively.
The Maitrakas were tributary chiefs of the Guptas, who established an independent kingdom in western India. Dhruvasena II was the most important ruler of the Maitrakas. He was a contemporary of Harshavardhana and was married to his daughter. Hsuan Tsang tells us that Dhruvasena II attended Harsha’s assembly at Prayaga (Allahabad). Ruling over Saurashtra in Gujarat, the Maitrakas developed Valabhi as their capital. This city became an important center of learning. Being on the Arabian Sea, it was also a port town having flourishing trade and commerce. Maitrakas continued to rule until the middle of the eighth century when Arab attacks weakened their power.
The Maukharies ruled over Kanauj, a city in western Uttar Pradesh, which gradually replaced Pataliputra as a political center of north India. Maukharies were also the subordinate rulers of the Guptas and used the title of samanta. Harshavardhana’s sister Rajyashri was married to Grihavarman. Shashanka, the ruler of Bengal (Gaur), and Devgupta, the Later Gupta ruler jointly attacked Grihavarman and killed him. The kingdom of Kanauj was then merged with that of the Pushyabhutis and Harsha shifted his capital from Thanesar (Kurukshetra) to Kanauj.
Gupta and Kushan Era Coins Discovered in Rajasthan
Mining companies searching for granite discovered a huge hoard of ancient coins at Tonk, Jankipuram. Rajasthan in September 2016. Treasure hunters from 20 villages came down to find more. The private excavation of coins is illegal and local authorities restricted access to the area as per Section 144.
158 coins have been confiscated from villagers by 1st March and an effort to find the actual count and for handing it over to the Government. State Archaeology and Museum Department analysed the coins and a statement was released.
Before the analysis, it was believed that the coins belonged to the Samudragupta era (336 – 380 CE). But the coins were struck under the reign of different emperors.
106 coins belong to the Gupta dynasty and were minted under emperors like Samudragupta (335-380 CE), Chandragupta II (380-415 CE) and Kumaragupta (415-455 CE). Two of the coins and a terracotta bull from Kushan dynasty of the 1st century CE was also found.
Ancient Brahmi and Greek inscriptions were translated by researchers by following the standards laid down by the International Core Data Standard for Archaeological Sites and Monuments.
Experts stated that the Kushan coins feature an image of a king giving ‘ahauti‘ (inflammable item) to the fire on one side and an image of Greek god and goddesses on the other. A Greek inscription reads Shao Nano Shao, Kanishka Kushan,” or “Emperor of the emperor, Kanishka Kushan.”
Gupta coins feature Hindu deities like Saraswati the goddess of knowledge, music, and the arts.
The rarest Gupta coins feature a goddess sitting on a chair, wearing a sari, with the hair falling down over the shoulder. The image and inscriptions indicate independence and empowerment of women in ancient times. The Gupta-era coins feature a Brahmi inscription as well. It is likely that the site was used for hiding wealth.
631 AD – Chhch attack on Chittor
644 – 725 AD: Arabs attack on Chittor
728 – Bappa Rawal established Mewar
Maharana Udai Singh II was the one who established Udaipur. But do you know who was the one who founded Mewar? Well in this article we are going to tell you about the founder of Mewar dynasty.
In earlier times Mewar was known as Marupradesh and also Medhapat. Maharana GuhAditya (Guhil/Gohil) was the founder and ruler of Medhapat. After Maharana GuhAditya several rulers came and dictated the kingdom of Mewar.
Bappa Rawal became the 8th King or the Maharana of the Dynasty of Guhilot (Gahlot) Rajput after his father Rawal Mahendra-II.
Prince Kalbhoj, later known as Bappa Rawal, was born in 713 AD. He spent his childhood at a place called Nagda and afterward made it his capital. Nagda is situated 19 km from Udaipur.
It is said that Bappa was only 3 years old when his father Rawal Mahendra-II was assassinated. It is also believed that after his father’s death Bappa and his mother were in the shelter of the Bheel Tribal community and they helped Bappa in learning warfare tactics, battlefield tips and tricks. At the age of 21, he succeeded to the throne and became the king.
He gave up his name after he ascended on the throne and took the title of Bappa Rawal, where Bappa means father and Rawal is their royal name. Bappa Rawal extended his kingdom to the east by defeating Man Singh of the Mori (Mauryan) clan from Chittor in 734 AD.
Bappa Rawal died in the year of 753 AD at Eklingji. It is said that he was the last king of the Guhilot Clan.
It is also mentioned in historical pieces of evidence that Bappa Rawal was a devoted follower of a sage named Harit Rishi. As per the sage’s instruction, after ruling the kingdom for 19 years, he resigned from the title of the king and left the throne of Mewar for his son and became a devotee to Lord Shiva.
Ahar – Banas Culture of Rajasthan
A number of Chalcolithic cultures have been discovered in northern, central and western India. The Ochre-Colored Pottery (OCP) culture in the Punjab, Haryana, north-east Rajasthan and upper Ganga-Yamuna doab
- The Narhan culture and its variants in the northern Vindhyas and the middle and lower Ganga valley.
- The Ahar culture in the Mewar region of Rajasthan.
- The Kayatha and Malwa cultures in the Malwa region of western Madhya Pradesh.
- The Jorwe culture in western Maharashtra.
The Ahar culture, also known as the Banas culture, is a Chalcolithic Culture of southeastern, Rajasthan, lasting from 3000 to 1500 BCE, contemporary and adjacent to the Indus Valley Civilization. The Main distribution of this culture seems to be concentrated in the river valleys of Banas and its tributaries namely Berach and Ahar. More than 90 sites of the culture have been identified till date, out of which, Gilund, Ahar, Ojiyana and Balathal are prominent sites. These sites of Ahar culture provide important information about the transformation of life from hunting-gathering to agriculture in the Mewar region.
Important Sites of Ahar-Banas Culture:
- Pachamta (Because, Excavation done in 2015)
The Ochre Colored Pottery or OCP culture
The Ochre Colored Pottery or OCP culture is defined by the type of similar Ochre Pottery found at different sites. In 1951, B.B. Lal carried out small digs at Bisauli and Rajpur Parsu villages in Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh at spots where copper hoards had reportedly been discovered earlier. While B.B. Lal did not find any new copper objects, he came across weathered ochre-coloured pottery (OCP), and on that basis he suggested a probable correlation between the hoards and this pottery. Since then as many as 950 sites of OCP culture have been discovered from the different parts of western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan.
- Further, because of their discovery in groups, they have also been labelled as Copper Hoard Culture.
The highest Number of the OCP sites in Rajasthan is found in the district of Sikar followed by Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Alwar and Bharatpur.
Important Sites of OCP Culture: In Rajasthan, Ochre Colored Pottery sites have been discovered at Ganeshwar (Sikar)andJodhpura (Jaipur).
Ganeshwar is a village in Neem Ka Thana Tehsil in the Sikar District. Excavations have revealed ancient sites, with remains of a 4000 years old civilization. The site is located at source of river Kantali, which used to join river Drishadwati, near Soni-Bhadra on the north.
Historian R.L. Mishra wrote that, Red pottery with black portraiture was found which is estimated to be belonging to 2500–2000 BC was found when Ganeshwar was excavated in 1977.
Ganeshwar is located near the copper mines of the Sikar Jhunjhunu area of the Khetri copper belt in Rajasthan. It mainly supplied copper objects to Harappa.
Rajasthan during Vedic Period (1500 BC – 500 BC)
The cities of the Harappan Culture had declined by 1500 B.C. Around this period, the speakers of Indo- Aryan language, Sanskrit, entered the north-west India from the Indo-Iranian region. Initially they would have come in small numbers through the passes in the northwestern mountains. Their initial Settlements were in the valleys of the north-west and the plains of the Punjab.
Later, they moved into Indo-Gangetic plains. As they were mainly a cattle-keeping people, they were mainly in search of pastures. By 6th century B.C., they occupied the whole of North India, which was referred to as Aryavrata. The original home of the Aryans is a debatable question and there are several views.
Period between 1500 B.C and 600 B.C may be divided into:
- Early Vedic Period or Rig Vedic Period (1500 B.C -1000 B.C)
- The Later Vedic Period (1000B.C – 600 B.C).
Why it is called Vedic Period?
The word ‘Veda’ is derived from the root ‘vid’, which means to know. In other words, the term ‘Veda’ signifies ‘superior knowledge’. The Vedic literature consists of the four Vedas – Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva.
- The Rig Veda is the earliest of the four Vedas and it consists of 1028 hymns.
- The Yajur Veda consists of various details of rules to be observed at the time of sacrifice.
- The Sama Veda is set to tune for the purpose of chanting during sacrifice. It is called the book of chants and the origins of Indian music are traced in it.
- The Atharva Veda contains details of rituals.
Rig Vedic or Early Vedic Period (1500-1000 BC)
During the Rig Vedic period, the Aryans were mostly confined to the Indus region. The Rig Veda refers to Saptasindhu or the land of seven rivers. This includes the five rivers of Punjab, namely Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej along with the Indus and Saraswati.
Later Vedic Period or Iron Age (1000-600 BC)
- The Aryans further moved towards east in the Later Vedic Period. The Satpatha Brahmana refers to the expansion of Aryans to the eastern Gangetic plains.
- Kuru and Panchala kingdoms flourished in the beginning. After the fall of Kurus and Panchalas, other kingdoms like Kosala, Kasi and Videha came into prominence.
- The later Vedic texts also refer to the three divisions of India – Aryavrata (northern India), Madhyadesa (central India) and Dakshinapatha (southern India).
Rajasthan during Mahajanapads Period (600 BCE -300 BCE)
The end of Vedic India is marked by linguistic, cultural and political changes. By the 6th century BCE, the political units consolidated into large kingdoms called Mahajanapads. The age is also referred to as period of second urbanization.
The term “Janapadas” literally means the foothold of a tribe, in Panini’s “Ashtadhyayi“, Janapadas stands for country. The Pre-Buddhist north-west region of the Indian sub-continent was divided into several Janapadas demarcated from each other by boundaries. Each of these Janapadas was named after the Kshatriyas tribe (or Kshatriyas Jana) who had settled there in Ancient Buddhist texts like the Anguttara Nikaya make reference to sixteen Mahajanapads and republics which had evolved and flourished in Indian Sub-Continent.
The modern state of Rajasthan was also part of several Mahajanapads mentioned below:
- The modern districts of Jaipur, Alwar & Bharatpur formed part of Mahajanapads of Machcha or Matsya.
- The capital of Matsya was at Viratanagari (present-day Bairat), which is said to have been named after its founder king, Virata.
- The kingdom came under the control of the neighboring Chedi Kingdom in the 5th century.
- The capital of Saurasena janapadas is located near modern day Mathura.
- It covers region of Alwar, Bharatpur, and Dholpur & Karauli.
• The capital of Kuru Janpada was Indrapath.
• It covered parts of northern Alwar region.
Rajasthan after Alexander Invasion (326 BC)
Because of Alexander’s invasion in 326 BCE tribes of South Punjab especially Malav, Shivi and Arjunayan migrated to Rajasthan. Punjab and Rajasthan became the nucleus of a number of oligarchies, or tribal republics whose local importance rose and fell in inverse proportion to the rise and fall of larger kingdoms. According to coins recovered, the most important politically were the Audambaras, Arjunayanas, Malavas, Kunindas, Trigartas, Abhiras, Yaudheyas and Shibis (Shivi).
Maurya Rule in Rajasthan (321-184 BCE)
Part of modern day Rajasthan was under occupation of Maurya Rule. The ruins of the Bijak-ki-Pahadi, a Buddhist Chaitya from the 3rd century BCE located in Bairat, are the oldest free-standing Buddhist structures in India.
Maan Mori, of the Maurya dynasty ruled the kingdom till 734 AD when he was killed by Bappa Rawal of the Guhilot clan. Born as Kalbhoj, Bappa Rawal was the founder of a dynasty, which later comes to rule Mewar.
Sakas (1st AD)
The Indo-Scythians are a branch of the Sakas who migrated from southern Siberia into Bactria, Sogdia, Arachosia, Gandhara, Kashmir, Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, from the Middle of the 2nd century BCE to the 4th century CE.
The first Saka king in India was Maues or Moga who established Saka power in Gandhara and gradually extended supremacy over north-western India.
The Western Satraps (35-405 CE) were Saka rulers of modern Gujarat, southern Sindh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya pradesh states.
They were successors to the Indo-Scythians and were contemporaneous with the Kushan Empire, Which ruled the northern part of the Indian subcontinent.
Rajasthan during Gupta Period
Before the rise of Gupta’s, Rudrasimha II, of the Western Satraps, ruled Rajasthan. Samudra Gupta defeated Rudrasimha II in 351 A.D to capture the southern part of Rajasthan.
Various Sculptures of Gupta Period are found in Ajmera (Dungarpur), Abhaneri (Jaipur), Mandore, Osiyan (Jodhpur), Neelkanth, Sacheli (Alwar) & Kalyanpur, Jagat (Udaipur).
Huna Emipre in Rajasthan: In 503 C.E, Huna King Toranmal defeated Gupta’s and occupied Rajasthan. Hunas were a tribe close to Himalayas that because of limited interaction with Indian kingdoms were mentioned in the epic Mahabharata. They belonged to the Xinjiang province of China, east of Jammu-Kashmir. However, they were nomadic people who changed their settlements from time to time.
Vardhana Emipre: After the downfall of the Gupta Empire in the middle of the 6th century, North India was split into several independent kingdoms. Prabhakara Vardhana, who belonged to the Pushyabhuti family, extended his control over neighboring states. Around 606 CE, Harsha Vardhana ascended the throne and ruled till 647 C.E.
The Gurjara-Pratihara King Nagabhatt I won Kannauj and established rule over most of Rajasthan. The capital of their Kingdom was shreemal, which is old name of Bhinmal in Jalore. From 550 to 1018 AD, the Gurjars played a great part in history of Northern India nearly for 500 years.
The Origin of Rajputs
The term Rajput starts coming in use from the 6th Century AD. The origin of the Rajputs is the subject of debate. There are four main streams of thought on origin of Rajputs:
Foreign origin theory of Rajputs:
This theory says that the Rajputs are descendents of the races like Sakas, Kushanas, and Hunas etc. Dr. VA Smith, Col. James Todd, William Crooks supported this theory. The main argument of James Todd behind the foreign origin of the Rajputs was that these people worshipped Fire and Fire was the main deity of the Sakas and Hunas.
Mixed Origin Theory
This theory as put forward by Dr. DP Chatterjee says that Rajput is a mixed race. Some of them were descendents of the Aryans while some of them were from the foreign races such as Hunas, Sakas etc.
Kshatriyas theory of origin
This theory was propounded by Gauri Shankar Ojha and says that the Rajputs are NOT from the foreign origin and they are descendents of the mythological Khatriya Heroes like Rama. The theory divides the Rajput based on their lineage as Suryavanshi & Chandravanshi, which they trace from Surya and Chandra. They worship fire as the Aryans did and worship of fire was not the tradition of the Foreigners only.
This theory comes from the Prithvi of Chandrabhardai. According to this theory, Rajputs were the result of Yagya performed by Hrishi Vashistha at “Guru Shikhar” in Mount Abu. The four Rajput clans from Agnikunda are Chauhans, Chalukyas, Parmaras and Pratiharas. Muhnot Nainsi & Suryamal Mishran also support this theory
Pratiharas of Mandore
Mandore is an ancient town, and was the seat of the Pratiharas of Mandavyapura, who ruled the region in the 6th century CE. The origin of the dynasty is described in two inscriptions: the 837 CE Jodhpur inscription of Bauka and the 861 CE Ghantiyala (or Ghatiyala) inscription of Kakkuka.
Raja Harishchandra Pratihara is described as the founder of the clan. He had four sons: Bhogabhatta, Kakka, Rajjila and Dadda. Nagabhatt, fourth in line from Harichandra, moved his capital from Mandavyapura to Medantaka (modern Merta).
Pratiharas of Bhinmal (Jalore)
The strongest of the Gurjara-Prathira branch was the one at Bhinmal, under king Vyaghramukh. The Gurjar clan, which ruled at Bhinmal, was known as Chapas (this name is a short version of Chapotkrisht, Sanskrit word which means excelled in archery or strong bowmen). As per the records of Heun Tsang, the famous astronomer and mathematician Brahmagupta was in the court of Vyaghramukh.
The Chauhan Dynasty
The Raja Saheb of Mainpuri, Head of all Chauhan clans
1. Songara Chauhan: Kuldevi is Chandi Devi. They are descended from the Rajas of Jalore, and had one branch, viz. Bhadoria
2. Khichi Chauhan: Kuldevi is Bhagwati. They are descended from Raja Bhagwat rai, Raja Gugalsingh and Raja Jaisingh of Khinchipur.
3. Hada Chauhan: Kuldevi is Ashapura. They are descended from Raja Manik Rai of Sambhar, and have the following branches, Udawat, Devra, Devre, Jaitawat and Chandrawat.
4. Bhadauria Chauhan: Their Kingdom was Bhadawar and are said to be a branch of the Songara Chauhan.
5. Bachgoti: Their name is derived from Vatsa Gotri and has two branches viz. Rajkumar and Rajwar.
The word Chauhan is the vernacular form of the Sanskrit term Chahamana. While the earlier versions of Chandbardai work Prithviraj Raso does not mention Chauhan as born from Agnikunda, the later versions do.
The 15th-century Hammira Mahakavya of Nayachandra Suri & Jayanayak’s Prithviraj Vijay considers Chauhans as Suryavanshi. Pandit Gaurishankar Ojha seconds this opinion.
Based on Bijloia Inscription (1170 CE), Dr. Dasrath Sharma considers that early ancestor of Chauhan was born at Ahichchhatrapura in the gotra of sage Vatsa. Ahichchhatrapura can be identified with modern Nagaur.
Chahamanas probably started out as petty rulers of Ahichchhatrapura. As the Chahamana territory expanded, the entire region ruled by them came to be known as Sapadalaksha. In course of time Chauhans formed ruling dynasties at various places.
Major Chauhan dynasties include:
- Chauhans of Shakambhari
- Chauhans of Ranthambore
- Chauhans of Jalore
Apart from these, there are other ruling dynasties that claim Chauhan descent including:
- Haras of Hadoti
Chauhans of Shakambhari
Raja Guvaka I, 1st Raja of the Chahamana Dynasty at Harsha from 809 to 836, also known as Govindraj I, his predecessors were rulers at their capital of Purnatallakapura, initially he was the Samanta of Raja Nagabhata II of Kannauj, who had married his sister Kalavati Devi; he took part in a battle against the Muslims on behalf of Nagabhata II, and had defeated Sultan Beg Varisa; at some time he probably declared himself independent, and made his capital at Harsha, married and had issue. He lived around 815.
Chauhans of Ranthambore
The Chauhan lost Ranthambore as a result of defeat of Prithviraja III in battle of Tarain 1192. By Mahmud of Ghori But, Prithviraj’s son Govindaraja IV accepted the Ghurid suzerainty, and ruled Ranthambore as his vassal.
In 1299, he defeated Allauddin Khilji’s army led by Ulugh Khan & Nusrat Khan.
- In 1301, Allauddin Khilji again invaded his kingdom, which resulted in his defeat and death.
Chauhans of Jalore: Prathihar king VatsaRaja was the ruler of Jalore during 8th century. Towards the end of 12th Century, Parmars ruled here. Historians believe that the Jalore fort was built by Parmar rulers. It is known from a stone inscription of 1238 A.D. of fort that Parmar King Biral’s-queen Maludevi Powered Gold wins on Sindhu King.
Nadole king, Arhan’s, youngest son Kirtipala started Chouhan tradition in Jalore.
The Kingdom of Mewar
The kingdom of Mewar includes present day districts of Chittorgarh, Rajsamand, Udaipur, Dungarpur, and Banswara. The region was originally called Medhpaat and Lord Shiva (Ekling Nath) is called Medhpateshwar (Lord of Medhpaat). Over time, the Name Medhpaat became Mewar.
The creators of Mewar’s ruling dynasty in Rajputana came originally from the Guhilot clan. Foundation Stories claim this clan originated in Kashmir and migrated to Gujarat in the sixth century. In the Seventh century they migrated again, to the plains of Mewar, in the area around Magda, which was named after one of the earliest clan leaders.
The Guhilot had established themselves in Mewar as early as the last quarter of the sixth century A.D. Chittor, the early seat of Guhilas, held a strategic position. Since its boundaries touched the Sultanate’s possession of Sapadalaksha, Sultanas could hardly tolerate a powerful kingdom unmolested. The contemporary of Sultan Iltutmish at the seat of Mewar was Guhila Jaitya Simha. His dates range from 1213 to 1250, he is reported to have fought both with Sultan Iltutmish and Nasiruddin Mahmud. According to Sanskrit play Hammira-mada-mardana, Mlechchha warriors on their way to Gujarat (against King Viradhavala) entered Nagda and devastated Mewar region. The Muslim writers are silent about this campaign. It is possibly due to the failure of the campaign and the defeat of the Sultan at the hands of a petty chief as indicated in the epigraph. Chirwa and Mt Abu inscriptions boastfully record the curbing of the pride of the Turushkas.
The uninterrupted hold pf Mewar under its chiefs Jaitra Simha, Teja Simha and Samar Singh nullified an unsuccessful attack on Chittor by Sultan Ghiasuddin Balban. The Mt. Abu inscription of V.S. 1342 credits the last mentioned Guhila Chief with a victory over the Turushkas. This obviously refers to an armed expedition of the Muslims against Gujarat in which Samar Singh Guhila probably helped the Gujarat Chief Sarangadeva and saved the Gujarat territory from a complete devastation. Although the Persian sources are silent about the event, the testimony of the inscriptions leave little doubt about the event, the testimony of the inscriptions leave little doubt about a Guhila – Musi im conflict or at least the claims of independence set forth by the Guhila chiefs. The real threat to Mewar, however, came during the Khalji period.
Guhils of Chittorgarh
- He is known as the founder of Guhil dynasty.
- Originally he was born in Anandnagar, Gujarat but in 565 C.E, he established independent city at Nagda (Udaipur).
- Bappa Rawal
- Born as Kalbhoj
- Is said to have defeated Maan Mori and laid foundation of Guhilot Dynasty rule in Mewar.
- Formed triple alliance with Nagabhatta & Jaysimha to defeat Arabs in Battle of Rajasthan.
Battle of Rajasthan: 738 AD
The Battle of Rajasthan is a battle (or series of battles), taken place in 738 A.D., somewhere on borders on modern Sind-Rajasthan. In this battle, the Gurjar-Hindu alliance defeated the Arab invaders and removed the Arab invaders and pillagers from the area east of the Indus River and protected whole India.
The main Indian kings who contributed to the victory over the Arabs were:
- Gurjara-Pratihara King Nagabhatt I
- Jaysimha Varman of the Rashtrakuta Empire
- Bappa Rawal of Hindu Kingdom of Mewar
By the end of 7th century A.D Islam had become a powerful religion and Arabs a power force. Muhammad Ibn Qasim captured Iran & Afghanistan. . His successor, Junayd Ibn Abd al- Rahman al-Murri, led a large army into the Hindustan region in early 730 CE. Dividing this force into two he plundered several cities in southern Rajasthan, western Malwa, and Gujarat.
Realizing the power of Arab forces, Pratihara king, Nagabhatta appealed for showing a united front with Jaysimha Varman of the Rashtrakuta Empire. Jaysimha acknowledged and sent his son Avanijanashraya Pulakeshin to support Nagabhatta. The two forces, united with the already fighting Rajput forces under Bappa Rawal, at the border of Rajasthan.
The final battle of Rajasthan & Result: The battle was fought between 5,000-6,000 Rajput-Gurjar Infantry and cavalry facing more than 30,000 Arabs. The Rajputs under Bappa Rawal managed to kill the Arab leader Emir Junaid during the war. In the words of the Arab chronicler Suleiman, “a place of refuge to which the Muslims might flee was not to be found.”
The Arabs took a long time to recover from their defeat. Junayd’s successor Tamim ibn Zaid al-Utbi organized fresh campaigns against Rajasthan but failed to get hold of any territories. Thus, the triple alliance of Indian Kingdoms saved Hindustan from Arab invaders, at-least for next 200 years.
Gurjar-Pratihar of Bhinmal
Raja Nagbhatta I
- Founder of Bhinmal branch of Pratihar.
- Made triple alliance with Bappa Rawal and Jaisimha to defeat Arabs.
- First Pratihar king to occupy Kannauj.
- He defeated Dharmapala of Gaud Dynasty and defeated by Dhruva of Rashtrakuta dynasty.
Raja Nagbhatta II
- Occupied Kannauj.
- Defeated Dharmapala in the battle of Mudgagiri.
- Defeated by Govinda of Rashtrakuta.
Raja Mihir Bhoj
- Defeated Devpala of Bengal.
- Arab traveller Suleiman visited his court in 851 A.D.
- Last ruler of this dynasty.
- His rule came to an end due to emerging of Gazni power.
Guhil Dynasty of Mewar
- In 566 A.D. Guhil established this dynasty.
- He established independent city Nagda (Udaipur).
- Original Name was Kaalbhoj
- In 734, he defeated Maan Mori and took Chittorgarh under his control and made Nagada his capital.
- At first, started gold coin in Rajasthan.
- He built Eklingji Temple in Udaipur.
Allat (943 A.D. to 953 A.D.)
- Original Name is Alu Rawal
- Built Varah Temple of Ahar.
- Married Hun Princess Hariyadevi.
- Established bureaucracy in Mewar.
Jaitra Singh (1213-1253 A.D.)
- Fought battle of Bhutala and defeated the army of Iltutmish.
- He made Chittor his new capital.
- His reign is called Golden Age of Medieval Mewar.
Ratan Singh (1302-1303 A.D.)
- AllauddinKhilji defeated him and he was killed.
- After his death, his wife Padmavati committed Jauhar.
- This was biggest Saka of Chittor and first Saka of Rajasthan.
- Gora and Badal, two commanders showed courage during the battle.
- In 1540 A.D. Malik Mohammed Jayasi wrote Padmavat in which he mentioned the beauty of Queen Padmavati.
Sisodiya Dynasty of Mewar
Rana Hammir (1326-1364)
- Fought Battle of Sugoli with Mohammad Bin Tughlaq.
- Built the Annapurna Mata Temple of Chittorgarh Fort.
Khetri Singh (1364-82)
- He captured Zafar Khan, Sultan of Gujarat.
- Son of Hammir
Rana Lakha (1382-1421)
- He married Hansa Bai, princess of Marwar.
- His son Rana Choonda took the oath that not to come on the throne. Thus he is also called Bhishmapitamah of Mewar.
Rana Mokul Singh (1421-33)
- He reconstructed Samidheshwar Temple in Chittoor.
- In 1433, he was murdered in Zilwada.
Rana Kumha (1433-68)
- Defeated Mahmud Khilji, Sultan of Malwa, in battle of Sarangpur (Mandalgarh).
- He erected Vijay Stambh (sign of Rajasthan police) after this victory which is 37 meters tall and 10 meter in width having 9 floors.
- It is compared with Qutub Minar.
- Rana Kumbha defeated the joint army of Mahmud Khilji and Qutbuddin of Gujarat in 1456.
- Important fort built by Kumbha- (1) Kumbhalgarh (2) Achalgarh (3) Basantgarh
- Important books written by Kumbha- (1) Rasik Priya (2) Sudha Prabhandh (3) Sangeet Raj (5 part) (6) Sangeet Sudha (7) Kamaraj Ratisaar
- He gave patronage to many scholars in his court. Important are- (a) Mandan (b) Kanh Vyas (c) Ramabai (d) Muni Sundar Suri etc.
- He was a musician as well.
- He was killed by his son Ooda Singh or Udai Singh.
Rana Udai Singh (1468-73)
- He killed his father Rana Kumbha and came to the throne.
- Ramuel, his brother, defeated him and ascended the throne.
Rana Sanga (1508-1528)
- In 1517 and 1519, he fought the battle of Khatoli and Bari respectively with Ibrahim Lodhi and defeated him in both the battles.
- In 1519, he defeated MehmudKhilji in the battle of Gagron.
- In 1527, he was defeated in the battle of Khanwa by Babur.
- The important king who took part in the battle of Khanwa (Maldev- Marwar, Medini Rai- Chanderi, Mahmood Lodhi (small brother of Ibrahim Lodhi)
- He died at Kalpi (M.P.)
Maharana Udai Singh (1537-1572)
- Saved by Panna Dhai in the childhood
- In 1557, fought the battle of Harmada with Haji Khan Pathan who was governor of Ajmer.
- In 1559, he founded Udaipur and constructed Udai Sagar Lake.
- In 1568 Akbar attacked and Jaimal and Fatta was killed
Maharana Pratap (1572-1597)
- In 1576, He fought the battle of Haldighati with Akbar and was defeated by Akbar. Akbar deputed Man Singh against Maharana Pratap.
- Thermopylae of Rajasthan – James Tod
- Kumbhalgarh war (1577, 1578, 1579) between (Sahbaz v/s Pratap)
- His horse’s name was Chetak who was injured in this battle and later died. Chetak’s cremation is in Balicha Village.
- In 1582, he fought Battle of Diver.
- In 1597. He died in Chawand.
Karan Singh (1620-1628)
- He started construction of Jagmandir Palace of Udaipur.
Jagjit Singh I (1628-52)
- He finished the construction of Jagmandir Palace of Udaipur.
- He constructed Jagdish Temple of Udaipur.
Raj Singh (1652-80)
- He protested against Jajiya Tax by Aurangzeb
- Supported Aurangzeb in the fight of Successor
Jai Singh (1680-98)
- He built Jaisamand Lake.
Rathod Dynasty of Marwar
- He founded this dynasty.
- In 1273, he died protecting cows in Bithu village.
- The real founder of Rathod dynasty in Mewar.
- He was killed in a battle with Salim Shah of Multan.
Rao Jodha (1438-89)
- He established city Jodhpur.
- He constructed Mehrgarh Fort.
- His 5th son Bika established Bikaner.
Rao Maldeo (1532-1562)
- He killed his father and ascended the throne.
- In 1541, he defeated Jaitasi of Bikaner.
- In 1543, he was defeated by Sher Shah Suri in Battle of Sumail.
Rao Chandra Sen (1562-1565)
- He was defeated by the Mughal but still denied to form an alliance with them.
- He is called Pratap of Marwar.
Raja Udai Singh (1583-1595)
- He established a marital relation with Mughals.
- His daughter Mani Bai was married to Jahangir.
Maharaja Jaswant Singh (1638-1678)
- He wrote BhasaBhusan, Anand Vilas, Prabodh Chandrodaya and AparokshaSidhanta Saar.
Raja Rai Singh (1659-1659)
Maharaja Ajit Singh (1679-1724)
Rathod of Bikaner
Rao Bika (1465-1504)
- In 1465, he established Rathod dynasty in Bikaner region.
- In 1488, established Bikaner.
Rao Naroji (1504-05)
Rao Lunkaran (1505-1526)
Rao Jait Singh (1526-1542)
Rao Kalyan Singh (1542-1571)
Raja Raj Singh I (1571-1611)
- Akbar gave 51 Pargana to him.
- He constructed Junagadh Fort in Bikaner.
- He wrote ‘Rai Singh Mahotsav’.
Maharaja Rao Anup Singh (1669-1698)
- He wrote ‘Anup Vivek’, ‘Kaam Prabodh’,’ ShraddhPrayog Chintamani’, ‘Anupodaya.’
Maharaja Rao Sarup Singh (1698-1700)
Maharaja Sir Rao Sadul Singh (1943-1950)
- He was the last ruler of Bikaner and merged in present Rajasthan state and signed the instrument of accession to the dominion of India.
Kachwaha of Amber
- He was feudal of Rana Sanga; therefore, he fought Battle with Babur in the Battle of Khanwa.
- The accepted sovereignty of Akbar.
- The first king of Rajasthan to accept sovereignty and establish a marital relation with Mughal.
- Suppress Mirza revolt in Sarnal Battle. Thus he was given Nagada and Parcham by Akbar as the award.
- His daughter was married to Jahangir.
- He was made Subedar of Kabul, Bihar and Bengal.
- Established Maanpur city in Bihar
- He established Akbarnagar city in Bengal.
- Began the construction of forts of Amber
- Constructed Radha Govind Temple in Vrindavan
Mirza Raja Jaisingh
- Ruled for the maximum period in Jaipur (46 Years)
- Shah Jahan titled him ‘Mirza Raja’.
- On 11 June 1665, Treaty of Purandar was signed between Shivaji and Jaisingh.
- He constructed Jaigarh Fort in Jaipur.
Sawai Jai Singh
- He saw the reign of seven Mughal Badshah.
- Changed the name of Amber to Islamabad.
- His Purohit was ‘PundarikRatnagar’.
- In 1747, he defeated Madho Singh in the Battle of Rajmahal on the bank of river Banas.
- 1748, he was defeated by Madho Singh in the Battle of Bagru.
- After this defeat, he committed suicide.
- In 551 A.D. he established Chauhan dynasty.
- According to Bijoliya inscription, he constructed Sambhar Lake.
- In 1113 he established Ajmer city.
- He built Ajmer fort.
- He constructed Anasagar Lake in Ajmer.
- Also constructed Varah Temple in Pushkar.
- He took away Delhi from Tomar dynasty.
- He constructed a school later QutubuddinAibak built Dhai Din Ka Jhopda in place of this school.
- In 1182, he defeated Chandel ruler Parmarardidev in Battle of Mahoba.
- 1191, he defeated Mohammad Ghori in First Battle of Panipat.
- 1192, he was defeated by Mohammad Ghori in Second Battle of Panipat.
- Moinuddin Chisti came to India during his reign.
- He constructed Pithoragarh near Delhi.
- Kaimash and Bhuvanmalla were his two ministers.
Chauhan of Ranthambore
- After the death of Prithviraj III, his son Govindraj established his rule in Ranthambore.
- In 1299, he defeated the army of Alauddin Khilji led by Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan.
- Nusrat Khan was killed in this battle.
- After that Allauddin Khilji raids the Ranthambore fort with his army and defeats them.
- 1301, first Siege of Ranthambore took place. This was the first Siege of Rajasthan.
- He fought 17 battle in his life in which he only lost the last one.
Chauhan of Jalore
- Founder of this branch of Chauhan was Kirtipal.
- In inscriptions, Jalore is mentioned as Jabalipur.
- Allauddin Khilji changed the name of Siwana to Khairabad.
Hada Chauhan of Bundi
- In 1241, Deva Hada defeated Jait Meena and occupied Bundi.
- 1354, Barsingh constructed Taragarh fort of Bundi.
- Rao Surjan constructed Ranchhod Temple in Dwarika.
- Budhhasingh wrote ‘Nehtarang’.
- Maratha interference took place during the reign of Budhhasingh.
Hada Chauhan of Kota
- In 1631, Madho Singh founded this state.
- Mukund Singh constructed AbaliMeeni Palace in Kota.
- Bhim singh constructed Sawariyaji Temple in Baran.
Parmar of Abu
- Parmar means Killer of the enemies.
- The founder was Dhumraj but the dynasty begins from Utpalraj.
- In 1031, Vimalshah constructed a wonderful temple of Adinatha in Abu.
- Dharavarsha wrote a drama named ‘Parth-Parakrama-Vyayoga’ and established Prahaladanpur (Palanpur).
- During the reign of Som singh, son of Dharavarsha, Tejpal constructed Neminath Temple in Delwara village.
Jat Rulers of Bharatpur
At the end of the 17th century, Jat Baija with his son Rajaram, Zamindar of the village of Sinsini, took advantage of the weakness of the Mughal Empire to enlarge his territory. Bharatpur State, also known as Bharatpore State was a Hindu princely state in India. It was ruled by a Hindu Jat dynasty. At the end of the 17th century, Jat Bhajja the Zamindar of the village of Sinsini took advantage of Mughal confusion and weakness after the death of Aurangzeb to seize the area and enlarge his territory. His descendents, Churaman Singh and Badan Singh continued the expansion and the latter being the founder of the fortress of Bharatpur in 1724. Bharatpur had 17 gun salute status.
In 1756 the ruler at that time, Suraj Mal, received the title of Raja. Bharatpur became increasingly associated with Maratha ambitions and in spite of treaty ties to the East India Company assisted the Maratha Confederacy in their struggles against the British. This gained those few friends in British circles but the early attempts by the British to force the submission of Bharatpur fortress proved abortive. In 1826 however, the British took the opportunity offered by a bitter internal feud concerning the succession finally to reduce the stronghold. The rival claimant was exiled to Allahabad and Balwant Singh, then a child of seven, was placed on the throne under the supervision of a British Political Agent. From that time onwards Bharatpur came under British control until it acceded to the Indian Union at Independence.
Lord Ram’s brother Laxman is the family deity of the erstwhile royal family of Bharatpur. The name ‘Laxman’ was engraved on the arms, seals and other emblems of the state.
Rulers of Bharatpur
1. Khanu Chand
2. Gokula Singh
Kachwaha Rulers of Modern Alwar State
The Kachwaha are a Suryavanshi Rajput clan who ruled a number of kingdoms and princely states in India such as Dhundhar, Alwar, and Maihar, while the largest and oldest state was Amber, now part of Jaipur. The Maharaja of Jaipur is regarded as the head of the extended Kachwaha clan. There are approximately 71 sub clans of the Kachwaha, including the Rajawat, Shekhawat, Sheobramhpota, Naruka, Nathawat, Khangarot, and Kumbhani. They claim descent from Kusha, the younger of the twin sons of Rama. The Kachwaha clan ruled in Jaipur right up until modern times. The last ruling Maharaja of Jaipur was Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur (1917–1970). Shortly after India’s independence in 1948, Sawai Man Singh peacefully acceded the state of Jaipur to the Government of India. He then was appointed the first Rajpramukh of Rajasthan. Kachwaha clan Gotra is Gautam and Kuldeviis Jamwai Mata & Ishta is Ramchandra ji.
Alwar has been a part of Matsya region of olden times whose capital was Viratnagar. Alwar was formerly known as ‘Ulwar’. Meenas are said to have been the first occupants of Alwar. They are said to have built the fort and the old town, remains of which last are to be seen within the hills under the fort. In the fourteenth century Bahadur Raja Nahar Khan won Alwar from Nikumba Rajputs, after which Alwar became the capital of the Khanzada Rajput dynasty’s Mewat State, which was established by Chandravanshi Rajput Raja Nahar Khan, who converted to Islam in the fourteenth century during Firuz Shah Tughlaq’s era. Khanzada Hasan Khan Mewati was the last Khanzada Rajput Ruler of Mewat who fought against Babar in the Battle of Khanwa. After his defeat in the battle, the Khanzada lost control of Mewat. After the Battle of Khanwa, Alwar was won over by the Jats. It later came under Kachwaha Rajputs in 1770 CE.
1. Pratap Singh Prabhakar Bahadur (1775–1791)
2. Bakhtawar Singh Prabhakar Bahadur (1791–1815) Rao Raja of Alwar
3. Bane Singh Prabhakar Bahadur (1815–1857) Maharao Raja of Alwar
4. Sheodan Singh Prabhakar Bahadur (1857–1874) Maharao Raja of Alwar
5. Mangal Singh Prabhakar Bahadur (1874–1892) Maharaja of Alwar
6. Jai Singh Prabhakar Bahadur (1892–1937) Maharaja of Alwar
7. Tej Singh Prabhakar Bahadur (1937–1971) Maharaja of Alwar
Kachwaha Rulers of Jaipur
Kachwaha are dynasty of Kush the son of Ram and Sita. They called Suryavanshi and dulha rao is the known as the founder of the Rajput kingdom Amer in 1037 AD and they fought with Meena many year. Kachwaha won the amber from the Meena raja. They built many palaces, temples and many buildings around the Amer. Amber was the capital of Kachwaha. After that the Sawai Jai Singh II built the first planned city ‘jai nagar’. Now jai nagar is called as Jaipur.
The Kachwaha are a Suryavanshi Rajput clan who ruled a number of kingdoms and princely states in India such as Dhundhar, Alwar, and Maihar, while the largest and oldest state was Amber, now part of Jaipur. The Maharaja of Jaipur is regarded as the head of the extended Kachwaha clan. There are approximately 71-sub clans of the Kachwaha, including the Rajawat, Shekhawat, Sheobramhpota, Naruka, Nathawat, Khangarot, and Kumbhani. They claim descent from Kusha, the younger of the twin sons of Rama. The Kachwaha clan ruled in Jaipur right up until modern times. The last ruling Maharaja of Jaipur was Sawai Man Singh II of Jaipur (1917–1970). Shortly after India’s independence in 1948, Sawai Man Singh peacefully acceded the state of Jaipur to the Government of India. He then was appointed the first Rajpramukh of Rajasthan. Kachwaha clan Gotra is Gautam and Kuldeviis Jamwai Mata & Ishta is Ramchandra ji.
Shekhawats of Sikar
Sikar had been the biggest Thikana (Estate) of the Jaipur state. Previously Sikar was known as Nehrawati. It was the capital town of Thikana Sikar. Sikar is surrounded by the fortified walls consisting of seven “Poles” (gates). These historic gates are named as Bawari gate, Fatehpuri Gate, Nani Gate, SurajPol Gate, Dujod Gate Old, Dujod Gate New and Chandpole Gate. The primitive name of Sikar was “Beer BhanKa Bass”.
Raja Bahadur Singh Shekhawat, the Raja of Khandela gifted the village (Beer Bhan Ka Bass) to Rao Daulat Singh, son of Rao Jaswant Singh of Kasli Thikana. Rao Daulat Singh changed the name of Veer Bhan Ka Bass village to Sikar in memory of Rao Shekha and constructed a fort here in 1687. In 1721 Daulat Singh’s son Shiv Singh became ruler of Sikar.
Rulers of Jhalawar
The Jhalawar family, owe their fortune largely to Zalim Singh, a collateral descendant of the Jhala rulers of Wadhwan in Gujarat. His ancestor Bhavsinghji left his native land to seek his fame and fortune. His fourth son, Madho Singh, took employment at Kotah, receiving lands and appointments after he had married his sister to the ruler. At his death in 1758, his younger grandson succeeded to his lands and offices.
A talented and courageous man, Zalim Singh Jhala carved out a distinguished career for himself serving the Kotah Rajas. He quickly rose to the supreme office in the land, becoming Diwan and virtual ruler of the state. On the death of his patron in 1764, his successor was unwilling to leave matters of state entirely in the hands of his minister. The contest for power eventually resulted in military conflict and Zalim was forced to flee to Mewar. Not content to idle away his time, he assumed the role of kingmaker, successfully intriguing and doing battle for his favourite. His efforts did not go unrecognised, for he received high titles and the estate of Chiturkhaira.
The death of Zalim’s brother-in-law, Maharaja Guman Singh of Kotah, brought him back to Kotah as guardian to his minor nephew. Although appointed Diwan, thereafter he ruled as virtual regent of the kingdom. He negotiated the Kotah Treaty with the HEIC in 1817, as if he was actual ruler, but was careful to ensure an entrenched position for himself and his successors as hereditary Mikado’s of the state. At his death in 1824, he left behind a strong and prosperous state, the centre of trade in the region.
Zalim’s son, Raj Rana Madho Singh, who succeeded him as Diwan and virtual regent, ruled for a decade and died in 1834. He left his office, titles and lands to his only surviving son, Raj Rana Madan Singh.
The continuation of the dual system of government came under increasing strain, Friction and disagreements engulfed the Kotah Royal Family, the state nobles and the British. After many contests and conflicts, the British decided to end the stalemate by separating Kotah into two states. The new state of Jhalawar came into being in 1838, with Madan Singh as independent ruler and Maharaj Rana. He died in 1845, leaving his new state to his only legitimate child, Maharaj Rana Prithviraj Singh, who consolidated his inheritance by building towns and villages, and constructing public buildings. He died without leaving a legitimate male heir in 1875.
Kunwar Shri Vakhatsinghji succeeded as Zalim Singh II, having been adopted by his predecessor, two years before his death. A young prince surrounded by those who catered to his every childish whim and will, he grew up into a bigot and racist. Had he managed to be a good administrator or reformer, his petulant attitude to Europeans may have been forgiven, but his government descended into near chaos within a few years of receiving full ruling powers. After three years, he was suspended for by the British authorities, which then set up a Council of Administration. They deposed him nine years later, on the grounds of mental instability and maladministration, the state abolished and its territories restored to the Kotah Durbar.
In 1899 the Government of India created a new state from the Chaumahala, Patan and the southern portions of Suket tehsils. The childless Zalim II refusing to adopt a successor, they selected Bhawani Singhji, a distant descendant of Zalim Singh I as ruler of the new Jhalawar. Their choice could not have settled on a better ruler. Cultured and refined, with an enquiring mind that embraced scholarship and learning throughout his life, he improved the lot of his subjects profoundly. Schools and educational institutions were established throughout the state for boys and girls. Agricultural improvements and development of the state infrastructure, prison reform, and even light scale industrial development did not escape his interest. His cultural interests and pursuits were never neglected either, for he amassed a fine library, built an opera house, and established societies and associations to spread interest in literature, music and the arts. He died on board ship near Aden in 1929, leaving an only son.
Maharaj Rana Rajendra Singh was imbued with many of the same interests and qualities as his father. He had been carefully educated, and when he ascended the throne, continued his father with great enthusiasm. He had a certain interest in military affairs and enjoyed sports of all kinds, including big-game hunting, shooting, fishing, squash, badminton, croquet, cricket, and motoring. A crack shot, who once killed three tigers in five minutes; he later became a keen conservationist who exchanged his guns for a camera. His literary and scholarly interests were no less keenly held, for he composed poetry and authored several books in Urdu and Hindi. His early death in 1943 left the throne yet again to an only son.
Maharaj Rana Harishchandra succeeded his father at the age of twenty-two. He had much to live up to, but little time. Within four years of his succession, the Indian sub-continent gained its independence and the princely states of Rajasthan merged with democratic India. He did so willingly and enthusiastically joining the Indian Foreign Service in 1950 and serving at Rome and Rangoon, before returning to India in 1954. He later entered politics, serving as an elected member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly in the 1960’s, briefly serving as a state cabinet minister. He opposed and defeated the Indian National Congress in 1967 but failed to unseat them as their central government allies imposed presidential rule, then bribed enough of the poorer MLAs to whittle away the majority. He died at the height of the crisis in 1967.
Maharaj Rana Indrajit Singh inherited the throne (Gaddi) at the age of twenty-three, but eschewed his father’s political role. For a time, he served in the Indian army then devoted himself to raising his family and managing his properties. The principal private palace was turned into a hotel serving visitors to the fort and its treasures. He died in New Delhi in 2004, leaving the throne to his elder son, Maharaj Rana Shri Chandrajit Singh.
Maratha in Rajasthan
The rise of Maratha in the 17th century is an important event in Indian History. There were many causes of their rise. The geographical situation, Bhakti movement, literature and language, the dominant influence of the Hindu power as well as the Deccan policy of the Mughal emperors – all contributed significantly to the rise of the Maratha power. Shivaji united together the fragmented Marathas scattered in different parts of Maharashtra. He organized them and created an independent state. This led to the direct Maratha – Mughal confrontation. A number of Rajput rulers were sent to the Deccan a Mughal commanders and this resulted in the first phase of Rajput-Maratha contacts.
The Rajputs were first exposed to Maratha’s during the time when Aurangzeb sent Jaswant Singh of Jodhpur and Jai Singh of Amer was sent to Deccan to subdue Shivaji. They failed in the process but admired Shivaji’s spirit for independence, his concern for preserving Hindu culture and his fight against all odds with Aurangzeb. However, much of these interactions were limited to Deccan territories till Marathas under great Peshwa Baji Rao-I, started on an aggressive expansion campaign.
When the Marathas were trying to gain foothold in Malwa, Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur extended clandestine support. Sawai Jai Singh’s pro-Maratha policy was motivated by his desire to drive away the Mughals from Malwa with the help of the Marathas and then extend his own territories upto Malwa.
By the end of 17th century the decline of Mughal power carved out sufficient space for new empire. A new strategy of systematic expansion towards north began with Bajirao taking over as Peshwa in 1720.
A.D. Peshwa Baji Rao decided to overrun and bring under control the rich and flourishing provinces of Malwa and Gujarat. The province of Malwa was a part of the Mughal Empire and Sawai jai Singh of Jaipur was regularly appointed as Subedar of Malwa. Sawai Jai Singh inflicted some initial defeats to Marathas but it failed to control the Maratha expansion and Malwa began to slip under Maratha domination.