[Medieval History] Medieval Indian History Brief Notes - Part 1 : THE NORTH INDIAN KINGDOMS – THE RAJPUTS


Medieval Period
  1. Lies between the 8th and the 18th century A.D
  2. The Early Medieval period (8th-12th century A.O.)
  3. Later Medieval period (12th-18th century)
  4. Rajputs who belonged to the early medieval period
  5. The Rajput Period (647A.D- 1200 A.D.)
  6. The Ancient Indian history came to an end with the rule of Harsha and Pulakesin II
  7. 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
  1. 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),
  2. They belong to the ancient Kshatriya families,
  3. They are foreigners.
There were nearly 36 Rajput’ clans. The major clans were
  1. The Pratiharas of Avanti.
  2. The Palas of Bengal.
  3. The Chauhans of Delhi and Ajmer
  4. The Rathors of Kanauj
  5. The Guhilas or Sisodiyas of Mewar
  6. The Chandellas of Bundelkhand
  7. The Paramaras of Malwa
  8. The Senas of Bengal
  9. 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
  1. The Pratiharas were also known as Gurjara
  2. They ruled over northern and western India from the 8th to the 11th century A.D.
  3. Nagabhatta I (725-740.A.D.) was the founder of the Pratihara dynasty with Kanauj as his capital.
  4. Vatsaraja and Nagabhatta II played a vital role in consolidating the empire.
  5. Mihirabhoja was the most powerful Pratihara king.
  6. During his period, the empire extended from Kashmir to Narmada and from Kathiawar to Bihar.
  7. Mahendrapala (885-908 A.D.) son of Mihirabhoja, was also a powerful ruler.
  8. He extended his control over Magadha and North Bengal 
Pratiharas-A bulwark
  • 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
  1. Rajyapala was the last Pratihara king.
  2. Vast empire was reduced to Kanauj.
  3. The Pratihara power began to decline after Mahmud of Ghazni attacked the kingdom in 1018 A.D.
  4. After the decline of the Prathiharas their feudatories Palas, Tomars, Chauhans, Rathors, Chandellas, Guhilas and Paramaras became independent rulers.
  5. There was complete anarchy in Bengal between 750-760 A.D.
Gopala (765-769.A.D.)
  1. Restored order and founded the Pala dynasty.
  2. Extended his power over Magadha and the Pala dynasty
  3. Ruled over northern and eastern India.
Dharmapala (769-815 A.D.)
  1. The son of Gopala, succeeded him.
  2. He brought Kanauj, Bengal and Bihar under his control
  3. Became the master of Northern India after defeating the Pratiharas.
  4. He was a staunch Buddhist and founded several monasteries and the famous Vikramasila University.
  5. He also renovated the Nalanda University
Dharmapala’s son Devapala (815-855 A.D.)
  1. Succeeded him kept the Pala territories intact
  2. Captured Assam and Orissa. His successors were weak.
  3. During the reign of (998-1038. A.D.) The Palas became powerful again
  4. The Pala dynasty started declining after the death of Mahipala.
  5. The last Pala king was Govinda Pala
Tripartite Struggle for Kanauj
  1. 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.
  2. Their Tripartite struggle lasted nearly 200 years and weakened all of them and enabled the Turks to overthrow them.
The Tomars of Delhi
  1. The Tomars were the feudatories of the Pratiharas.
  2. They rose to power and founded the city of Delhi in 736 A.D.
  3. In 1043 A.D., Mahipala Tomar captured Thaneshwar, Hansi and Nagarkot.
  4. The Tomars became the feudatories of the Chauhans when Delhi was captured by them in middle of the 1 2th century

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