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Rajasthan after Alexander Invasion (326 BC)

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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).

Arjunayana

The Arjunayanas flourished in the Agra Jaipur tract from c. 200 BC TO 400 AD. Their coins have been found, which do not bear the name of any king or general, the legend is simply ‘Arjunayanam Jayah’, victory to the Arjunayanas. The coins belong to C 100 BC, but the Arjunayana state must have been much more ancient, for the ruling class believed that it descended from Arjuna, the epic hero. They worked in close cooperation with the Yaudheyas, their northern neighbours, who believed themselves to be the descendants of Dharma, the eldest brother of Arjuna.

  • Arjunayanas had their base in the present-day Bharatpur-Alwar region.
  • They emerged as a political power during the Shunga period (c. 185 – c. 73 BCE).

Rajnaya

  • Different scholars have ascribed different regions to Rajnaya janapadas; based on coins Cunningham suggested their region as near Mathura, Smith suggested former Dholpur state as original home of Rajnaya and Rapson ascribed them in same region as of Arjunayanas & Kings of Mathura.

Shivi

  • Shivi gana covered present districts of Udaipur & Chittorgarh.
  • The Shibis (Shivi) migrated from the Punjab to Rajasthan and settled at Madhyamika (later Nagri), located near Chittorgarh.
  • Nagri was excavated in 1904 A.D by D. R. Bhandarkar Malavas
  • The Malavas are actually mentioned in the Mahabhashya of Patanjali.
  • According to D. R. Bhandarkar, they initially lived in the Punjab; later, they migrated to eastern Rajasthan (Jaipur & Tonk), and finally to region in Madhya Pradesh, which is known as Malwa after them.
  •  Their capital in Rajasthan was Nagar, located in Tonk.

Shalvya: It was situated in Alwar district

Yodheya or Yaudheyas: Yaudheya or Yaudheya Gana was an ancient confederation who lived in the area between the Indus River and the Ganges River. Present Ganganagar & Hanumangarh districts formed part of their gana

  • They find mention in Pāṇini’s Ashtadhyayi and Ganapatha.
  • Later, the Junagarh rock inscription (c. 150 CE) of Rudradaman I acknowledged the military might of the Yaudheyas.

The name itself is derived from ‘Yodha’ and signifies ‘warrior’. Panini’s reference to Yaudheyas is the earliest known. The Yaudheyas have a long history as shown by their inscriptions and coins of different ages, and were existing upto the time of Samudragupta. They survived the onslaught of the Mauryan imperialism and closed their ranks in face of the Machiavellian Magadhan statecraft.

They disillusioned the Sunga ambitions and subsequently defied the alien Sakas and Kushans, resisted their advance and were instrumental in bringing about their downfall. Their country is called Bahudhanyaka and their capital is Rohtak in Mahabharata. According to Dr Altekar, we find from the spots where its coins have been discovered, that it extended from Saharanpur in the east to Bahawalpur in the west, from Ludhiana in the North West to Delhi in the south east. It was a confederation of three republics. Rohtak in Punjab was the capital of one of them, the northern Panchala known as Bahudhanyaka country was the centre of power for the second. Northern Rajputana seems to have been the jurisdiction of the third. The powerful Trans Beas state, mentioned by Alexander’s historians, which possessed fertile territory and virile inhabitants, and which was governed by an aristocracy exercising its powers with justice and moderation was the Yaudheya republic.

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