THE NORTH INDIAN KINGDOMS – THE RAJPUTS
- Lies between the 8th and the 18th century A.D
- The Early Medieval period (8th-12th century A.O.)
- Later Medieval period (12th-18th century)
- Rajputs who belonged to the early medieval period
- The Rajput Period (647A.D- 1200 A.D.)
- The Ancient Indian history came to an end with the rule of Harsha and Pulakesin II
- From the death of Harsha to the 12th century, the destiny of India was mostly in the hands of various Rajput dynasties.
The popular theories are
- They are the descendants of Lord Rama (Surya vamsa) or Lord Krishna (Chandra vamsa) or the Hero who sprang from the sacrificial fire (Agni Kula theory),
- They belong to the ancient Kshatriya families,
- They are foreigners.
There were nearly 36 Rajput’ clans. The major clans were
- The Pratiharas of Avanti.
- The Palas of Bengal.
- The Chauhans of Delhi and Ajmer
- The Rathors of Kanauj
- The Guhilas or Sisodiyas of Mewar
- The Chandellas of Bundelkhand
- The Paramaras of Malwa
- The Senas of Bengal
- The Solankis of Gujarat.
The Rajputs lacked unity and struggled with one another
They also neglected the frontiers of India and gave way for the Muslims to invade India at a later period.
The Pratiharas 8th-11th Century A.D
- The Pratiharas were also known as Gurjara
- They ruled over northern and western India from the 8th to the 11th century A.D.
- Nagabhatta I (725-740.A.D.) was the founder of the Pratihara dynasty with Kanauj as his capital.
- Vatsaraja and Nagabhatta II played a vital role in consolidating the empire.
- Mihirabhoja was the most powerful Pratihara king.
- During his period, the empire extended from Kashmir to Narmada and from Kathiawar to Bihar.
- Mahendrapala (885-908 A.D.) son of Mihirabhoja, was also a powerful ruler.
- He extended his control over Magadha and North Bengal
- The Pratiharas stood as a bulwark of India’s defence against the aggression of the Muslims from the days of Junaid of Sind (725.A.D.) to that of Mahmud of Ghazni
Decline of the Pratiharas
- Rajyapala was the last Pratihara king.
- Vast empire was reduced to Kanauj.
- The Pratihara power began to decline after Mahmud of Ghazni attacked the kingdom in 1018 A.D.
- After the decline of the Prathiharas their feudatories Palas, Tomars, Chauhans, Rathors, Chandellas, Guhilas and Paramaras became independent rulers.
- There was complete anarchy in Bengal between 750-760 A.D.
- Restored order and founded the Pala dynasty.
- Extended his power over Magadha and the Pala dynasty
- Ruled over northern and eastern India.
Dharmapala (769-815 A.D.)
- The son of Gopala, succeeded him.
- He brought Kanauj, Bengal and Bihar under his control
- Became the master of Northern India after defeating the Pratiharas.
- He was a staunch Buddhist and founded several monasteries and the famous Vikramasila University.
- He also renovated the Nalanda University
Dharmapala’s son Devapala (815-855 A.D.)
- Succeeded him kept the Pala territories intact
- Captured Assam and Orissa. His successors were weak.
- During the reign of (998-1038. A.D.) The Palas became powerful again
- The Pala dynasty started declining after the death of Mahipala.
- The last Pala king was Govinda Pala
Tripartite Struggle for Kanauj
- The Pratiharas of Central India, the Palas of Bengal and the Rashtrakutas of Deccan wanted to establish their supremacy over Kanauj and the fertile Gangetic Valley.
- Their Tripartite struggle lasted nearly 200 years and weakened all of them and enabled the Turks to overthrow them.
The Tomars of Delhi
- The Tomars were the feudatories of the Pratiharas.
- They rose to power and founded the city of Delhi in 736 A.D.
- In 1043 A.D., Mahipala Tomar captured Thaneshwar, Hansi and Nagarkot.
- The Tomars became the feudatories of the Chauhans when Delhi was captured by them in middle of the 1 2th century