Vigraharāja IV known as Visaladeva, was an Indian king belonging to the Chahamana dynasty of north-western India. He turned the Chahamana kingdom into an empire by subduing nearly all the neighbouring kings, his kingdom included the parts of present-day Rajasthan and Delhi. Vigraharaja commissioned several buildings in his capital Ajayameru, most of which were destroyed or converted to Muslim structures after the Muslim conquest of Ajmer; these include a Sanskrit centre of learning, converted into the Adhai Din Ka Jhonpra mosque. Harakeli Nataka, a Sanskrit-language drama written by him, is inscribed on inscriptions discovered at the mosque site. Vigraharaja was born to the Chahamana king Arnoraja. Vigraharaja's elder brother and predecessor Jagaddeva killed their father, their half-brother, was brought up in Gujarat by his Chaulukya maternal relatives. Vigraharaja ascended the throne after killing Jaggaddeva to avenge their father's death; the 1164 CE Delhi-Shivalik pillar inscription states that Vigraharaja conquered the region between the Himalayas and the Vindhyas.
The Himalayas and the Vindhyas form the traditional boundary of Aryavarta, Vigraharaja claimed to have restored the rule of Aryans in this land. While his claim of having conquered the entire land between these two mountains is an exaggeration, it is not baseless, his Delhi-Shivalik pillar inscription was found at Topra village in Haryana, near the Shivalik Hills. This indicates that Vigraharaja captured territories to the north of Delhi, up to the Himalayan foothills. Raviprabha's Dharmaghosha-Suri-Stuti states that the ruler of Malwa and Arisiha assisted him in hoisting a flag at the Rajavihara Jain temple in Ajmer; the ruler of Malwa here refers to a claimant to the Paramara kingdom, captured by the Chaulukyas during this period. Assuming that the claimant to the Malwa throne had accepted Vigraharaja's suzerainty, it appears that Vigraharaja's influence extended up to the Vindhyas, at least in name, his kingdom included the present-day Rajasthan and Delhi. It also included a part of Punjab and a portion of the northern Gangetic plain.
The play Lalita-Vigraharaja-Nataka, composed by Vigraharaja's court poet, claims that his army included 1 million men. Vigraharaja's father Arnoraja had suffered a humiliating at the hands of Kumarapala, the Chaulukya king of Gujarat. Vigraharaja launched several expeditions against the Chaulukyas to avenge his father's defeat. According to the Bijolia rock inscription, he killed one Sajjana; the inscription describes Sajjana as "the most wicked person of the land", sent to the abode of Yama by Vigraharaja. Historian Dasharatha Sharma identified Sajjana with Kumarapala's governor of Chittor. According to the Jain author Somatilaka Suri, Vigraharaja's army captured Sajjana's elephant force. While Vigraharaja was busy fighting at Chittor, Kumarapala tried to create a diversion by besieging Nagor, but lifted the siege after learning about Vigraharaja's victory at Chittor. A Chahamana prashasti boasts; this is an exaggeration, but it does appear that Vigraharaja conquered some of Kumarapala's territories.
The earliest Chahamana inscriptions from the Bijolia-Jahazpur-Mandalgarh area are dated to Vigraharaja's reign. Vigraharaja subdued the Chahamanas of Naddula, who had branched off from the Shakambhari Chahamana dynasty, were feudatories of the Chaulukya king Kumarapala; the Bijolia inscription boasts that he turned Javalipura into "Jvalapura". The Naddula ruler subdued by him was Alhanadeva. Vigraharaja defeated one Kuntapala, who can be identified with a Naddula Chahamana subordinate of Kumarapala; the Bijolia rock inscription states that Vigraharaja conquered Delhi. The Chahamanas had been involved in conflicts with the Tomaras of Delhi since the time of his ancestor Chandanaraja. Vigraharaja put an end to this long conflict by decisively defeating the Tomaras, who had grown weak under attacks from the Chahamanas, the Gahadavalas and the Muslims; the Tomaras continued to rule for a few more decades, but as vassals of the Chahamanas. An old bahi states that Visaladeva i.e. Vigraharaja captured Delhi from Tamvars in the year 1152 CE.
According to historian R. B. Singh, Hansi might have been under Muslim control by this time. On the other hand, Dasharatha Sharma theorizes that the Tomaras had recaptured Hansi from Ghaznavids by this time, Vigraharaja captured it from the Tomaras; the legendary epic poem Prithviraj Raso states that the Chahamana king Prithviraja III married the daughter of the Tomara king Anangapala, was bequeauthed Delhi by the Tomara king. Historian R. B. Singh speculates that it was Vigraharaja, who married the daughter of the Tomara king. According to Singh, mentioned in the play Lalita-Vigraharaja-Nataka as Vigraharaja's lover, might have been the daughter of a Tomara king named Vasantapala. Several sources indicate that Vigraharaja achieved military successes against the Turushkas, the Muslim Turkic invaders; the Delhi-Shivalik pillar inscription boasts that he destroyed the mlechchhas, once again made Aryavarta what its name signifies. The Prabandha-Kosha describes him as "the conqueror of Mu
Rajput is a large multi-component cluster of castes, kin bodies, local groups, sharing social status and ideology of genealogical descent originating from the Indian subcontinent. The term Rajput covers various patrilineal clans associated with warriorhood: several clans claim Rajput status, although not all claims are universally accepted; the term "Rajput" acquired its present meaning only in the 16th century, although it is anachronistically used to describe the earlier lineages that emerged in northern India from 6th century onwards. In the 11th century, the term "rajaputra" appeared as a non-hereditary designation for royal officials; the Rajputs emerged as a social class comprising people from a variety of ethnic and geographical backgrounds. During the 16th and 17th centuries, the membership of this class became hereditary, although new claims to Rajput status continued to be made in the centuries. Several Rajput-ruled kingdoms played a significant role in many regions of central and northern India until the 20th century.
The Rajput population and the former Rajput states are found in north, west and east India. These areas include Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. In Pakistan they are found on the eastern parts of the country, Punjab and Dera Ismail Khan in K. P.. The origin of the Rajputs has been a much-debated topic among the historians. Colonial-era writers characterised them as descendants of the foreign invaders such as the Scythians or the Hunas, believed that the Agnikula myth was invented to conceal their foreign origin. According to this theory, the Rajputs originated when these invaders were assimilated into the Kshatriya category during the 6th or 7th century, following the collapse of the Gupta Empire. While many of these colonial writers propagated this foreign-origin theory in order to legitimise the colonial rule, the theory was supported by some Indian scholars, such as D. R. Bhandarkar; the Indian nationalist historians, such as C. V. Vaidya, believed the Rajputs to be descendants of the ancient Vedic Aryan Kshatriyas.
A third group of historians, which includes Jai Narayan Asopa, theorized that the Rajputs were Brahmins who became rulers. However, recent research suggests that the Rajputs came from a variety of ethnic and geographical backgrounds; the root word "rajaputra" first appears as a designation for royal officials in the 11th century Sanskrit inscriptions. According to some scholars, it was reserved for the immediate relatives of a king. Over time, the derivative term "Rajput" came to denote a hereditary political status, not very high: the term could denote a wide range of rank-holders, from an actual son of a king to the lowest-ranked landholder. Before the 15th century, the term "Rajput" was associated with people of mixed-caste origin, was therefore considered inferior in rank to "Kshatriya"; the term Rajput came to denote a social class, formed when the various tribal and nomadic groups became landed aristocrats, transformed into the ruling class. These groups ranks; the early medieval literature suggests that this newly formed Rajput class comprised people from multiple castes.
Thus, the Rajput identity is not the result of a shared ancestry. Rather, it emerged when different social groups of medieval India sought to legitimize their newly acquired political power by claiming Kshatriya status; these groups started identifying as Rajput in different ways. Scholarly opinions differ on when the term Rajput acquired hereditary connotations and came to denote a clan-based community. Historian Brajadulal Chattopadhyaya, based on his analysis of inscriptions, believed that by the 12th century, the term "rajaputra" was associated with fortified settlements, kin-based landholding, other features that became indicative of the Rajput status. According to Chattopadhyaya, the title acquired "an element of heredity" from c. 1300. A study by of 11th-14th century inscriptions from western and central India, by Michael B. Bednar, concludes that the designations such as "rajaputra", "thakkura" and "rauta" were not hereditary during this period. During its formative stages, the Rajput class was quite assimilative and absorbed people from a wide range of lineages.
However, by the late 16th century, it had become genealogically rigid, based on the ideas of blood purity. The membership of the Rajput class was now inherited rather than acquired through military achievements. A major factor behind this development was the consolidation of the Mughal Empire, whose rulers had great interest in genealogy; as the various Rajput chiefs became Mughal feduatories, they no longer engaged in major conflicts with each other. This decreased the possibility of achieving prestige through military action, made hereditary prestige more important; the word "Rajput" thus acquired its present-day meaning in the 16th century. During 16th and 17th centuries, the Rajput rulers and their bards sought to legitimize the Rajput socio-political status on the basis of descent and kinship, they fabricated genealogies linking the Rajput families to the ancient dynasties, associated them with myths of origins that established their Kshatriya status. This led to the emergence of what Indologist Dirk Kolff calls the "Rajput Great Tradition", which accepted only hereditary claims to the Rajput identity, fostered a notion of eliteness and exclusivity.
The legendary epic poem Prithvira
Prithviraja III, popularly known as Prithviraj Chauhan or Rai Pithora in the folk legends, was an Indian king from the Chahamana dynasty. He ruled the traditional Chahamana territory, in present-day north-western India, he controlled much of the present-day Rajasthan and Delhi. His capital was located at Ajayameru, although the medieval folk legends describe him as the king of India's political centre Delhi to portray him as a representative of the pre-Islamic Indian power. Early in his career, Prithviraj achieved military successes against several neighbouring Hindu kingdoms, most notably against the Chandela king Paramardi, he repulsed the early invasions by Muhammad of Ghor, a ruler of the Muslim Ghurid dynasty. However, in 1192 CE, the Ghurids defeated Prithviraj at the Second battle of Tarain, his defeat at Tarain is seen as a landmark event in the Islamic conquest of India, has been described in several semi-legendary accounts. The most popular of these accounts is Prithviraj Raso, which presents him as a "Rajput", although the Rajput identity did not exist during his time.
The extant inscriptions from Prithviraj's reign are few in number, were not issued by the king himself. Much of the information about him comes from the medieval legendary chronicles. Besides the Muslim accounts of Battles of Tarain, he has been mentioned in several medieval kavyas by Hindu and Jain authors; these include Hammira Mahakavya and Prithviraj Raso. These texts contain eulogistic descriptions, are therefore, not reliable. Prithviraja Vijaya is the only surviving literary text from the reign of Prithviraj. Prithviraj Raso, which popularized Prithviraj as a great king, is purported to be written by the king's court poet Chand Bardai. However, it is full of exaggerated accounts. Other chronicles and texts that mention Prithviraj include Prabandha-Chintamani, Prabandha Kosha and Prithviraja Prabandha; these were composed centuries after his death, contain exaggerations and anachronistic anecdotes. Both Prabandha-Chintamani and Prithviraja-Prabandha portray Prithviraj as an inept and unworthy king, responsible for his own downfall.
Prithviraj has been mentioned in Kharatara-Gachchha-Pattavali, a Sanskrit text containing biographies of the Kharatara Jain monks. While the work was completed in 1336 CE, the part that mentions Prithviraj was written around 1250 CE; the Alha-Khanda of the Chandela poet Jaganika provides an exaggerated account of Prithviraj's war against the Chandelas. Prithviraj was born to the Chahamana king queen Karpuradevi. Both Prithviraj and his younger brother Hariraja were born in Gujarat, where their father Someshvara was brought up at the Chaulukya court by his maternal relatives. According to Prithviraja Vijaya, Prithviraj was born on the 12th day of the Jyeshtha month; the text does not mention the year of his birth, but provides some of the astrological planetary positions at the time of his birth, calling them auspicious. Based on these positions and assuming certain other planetary positions, Dasharatha Sharma calculated the year of Prithviraj's birth as 1166 CE; the medieval biographies of Prithviraj suggest.
The Prithviraja Vijaya states. The Raso goes on to claim that he became well-versed in a number of subjects, including history, medicine, painting and theology. Both the texts state that he was proficient in archery. Prithviraj moved from Gujarat to Ajmer, when his father Someshvara was crowned the Chahamana king after the death of Prithviraja II. Someshvara died in 1177 CE; the last inscription from Someshvara's reign and the first inscription from Prithviraj's reign are both dated to this year. Prithviraj, a minor at the time, ascended the throne with his mother as the regent; the Hammira Mahakavya claims that Someshvara himself installed Prithviraj on the throne, retired to the forest. However, this is doubtful. During his early years as the king, Prithviraj's mother managed the administration, assisted by a regency council. Kadambavasa served as the chief minister of the kingdom during this period, he is known as Kaimasa, Kaimash or Kaimbasa in the folk legends, which describe him as an able administrator and soldier devoted to the young king.
Prithviraja Vijaya states that he was responsible for all the military victories during the early years of Prithviraj's reign. According to two different legends, Kadambavasa was killed by Prithviraj; the Prithviraja-Raso claims that Prithviraj killed the minister after finding him in the apartment of the king's favourite concubine Karnati. Prithviraja-Prabandha claims that a man named Pratapa-Simha conspired against the minister, convinced Prithviraj that the minister was responsible for the repeated Muslim invasions. Both these claims appear to be inaccurate, as the much more reliable Prithviraja Vijaya does not mention any such incident. Bhuvanaikamalla, the paternal uncle of Prithviraj's mother, was another important minister during this time. According to Prithviraja Vijaya, he was a valiant general who served Prithviraj as Garuda serves Vishnu; the text states that he was "proficient in the art of subduing nāgas". According to the 15th-century historian Jonaraja, "naga" here refers to elephants.
However, Har Bilas Sarda interpreted Naga as the name of a tribe, theorized
The British Raj was the rule by the British Crown in the Indian subcontinent from 1858 to 1947. The rule is called Crown rule in India, or direct rule in India; the region under British control was called British India or India in contemporaneous usage, included areas directly administered by the United Kingdom, which were collectively called British India, those ruled by indigenous rulers, but under British tutelage or paramountcy, called the princely states. The whole was informally called the Indian Empire; as India, it was a founding member of the League of Nations, a participating nation in the Summer Olympics in 1900, 1920, 1928, 1932, 1936, a founding member of the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945. This system of governance was instituted on 28 June 1858, after the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the rule of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria, it lasted until 1947, when it was partitioned into two sovereign dominion states: the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan.
At the inception of the Raj in 1858, Lower Burma was a part of British India. The British Raj extended over all present-day India and Bangladesh, except for small holdings by other European nations such as Goa and Pondicherry; this area is diverse, containing the Himalayan mountains, fertile floodplains, the Indo-Gangetic Plain, a long coastline, tropical dry forests, arid uplands, the Thar Desert. In addition, at various times, it included Aden, Lower Burma, Upper Burma, British Somaliland, Singapore. Burma was separated from India and directly administered by the British Crown from 1937 until its independence in 1948; the Trucial States of the Persian Gulf and the states under the Persian Gulf Residency were theoretically princely states as well as presidencies and provinces of British India until 1947 and used the rupee as their unit of currency. Among other countries in the region, Ceylon was ceded to Britain in 1802 under the Treaty of Amiens. Ceylon was part of Madras Presidency between 1793 and 1798.
The kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan, having fought wars with the British, subsequently signed treaties with them and were recognised by the British as independent states. The Kingdom of Sikkim was established as a princely state after the Anglo-Sikkimese Treaty of 1861; the Maldive Islands were a British protectorate from 1887 to 1965, but not part of British India. India during the British Raj was made up of two types of territory: British India and the Native States. In its Interpretation Act 1889, the British Parliament adopted the following definitions in Section 18: The expression "British India" shall mean all territories and places within Her Majesty's dominions which are for the time being governed by Her Majesty through the Governor-General of India or through any governor or other officer subordinates to the Governor-General of India; the expression "India" shall mean British India together with any territories of any native prince or chief under the suzerainty of Her Majesty exercised through the Governor-General of India, or through any governor or other officer subordinates to the Governor-General of India.
In general, the term "British India" had been used to refer to the regions under the rule of the British East India Company in India from 1600 to 1858. The term has been used to refer to the "British in India"; the terms "Indian Empire" and "Empire of India" were not used in legislation. The monarch was known as Empress or Emperor of India and the term was used in Queen Victoria's Queen's Speeches and Prorogation Speeches; the passports issued by the British Indian government had the words "Indian Empire" on the cover and "Empire of India" on the inside. In addition, an order of knighthood, the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, was set up in 1878. Suzerainty over 175 princely states, some of the largest and most important, was exercised by the central government of British India under the Viceroy. A clear distinction between "dominion" and "suzerainty" was supplied by the jurisdiction of the courts of law: the law of British India rested upon the laws passed by the British Parliament and the legislative powers those laws vested in the various governments of British India, both central and local.
At the turn of the 20th century, British India consisted of eight provinces that were administered either by a governor or a lieutenant-governor. During the partition of Bengal, the new provinces of Assam and East Bengal were created as a Lieutenant-Governorship. In 1911, East Bengal was reunited with Bengal, the new provinces in the east becam
Chahamanas of Shakambhari
The Chahamanas of Shakambhari, colloquially known as the Chauhans of Sambhar, were an Indian dynasty that ruled parts of the present-day Rajasthan and its neighbouring areas between 7th to 12th centuries. The territory ruled by them was known as Sapadalaksha, they were the most prominent ruling family of the Chahamana clan, were categorized among Agnivanshi Rajputs in the medieval legends. The Chahamanas had their capital at Shakambhari; until the 10th century, they ruled as Pratihara vassals. When the Pratihara power declined after the Tripartite Struggle, the Chahamana ruler Simharaja assumed the title Maharajadhiraja. In the early 12th century, Ajayaraja II moved the kingdom's capital to Ajayameru. For this reason, the Chahamana rulers are known as the Chauhans of Ajmer; the Chahamanas fought several wars with their neighbours, including the Chaulukyas of Gujarat, the Tomaras of Delhi, the Paramaras of Malwa. From 11th century onwards, they started facing Muslim invasions, first by the Ghaznavids, by the Ghurids.
The Chahamana kingdom reached its zenith under Vigraharaja IV in the mid-12th century. The dynasty's power ended in 1192 CE, when the Ghurids defeated his nephew Prithviraja III. According to the 1170 CE Bijolia rock inscription of Someshvara, the early Chahamana king Samantaraja was born at Ahichchhatrapura in the gotra of sage Vatsa. Historian R. B. Singh theorizes that the Chahamanas started out as petty rulers of Ahichchhatrapura, moved their capital to Shakambhari as their kingdom grew, they became the vassals of the imperial Gurjara-Pratiharas. Several mythical accounts of the dynasty's origin exist; the earliest of the dynasty's inscriptions and literary works state that the dynasty's progenitor was a legendary hero named Chahamana. They variously state that this hero was born from Indra's eye, in the lineage of the sage Vatsa, in the solar dynasty and/or during a ritual sacrifice performed by Brahma. In the period, the Chahamanas were categorized as one of the Rajput clans, although the Rajput identity did not exist during their time.
A popular medieval account classifies the dynasty among the four Agnivanshi Rajput clans, whose ancestors are said to have come out of sacrificial fire pit. The earliest source to mention this legend are the 16th century recensions of Prithviraj Raso; some colonial-era historians interpreted this myth to suggest a foreign origin of the dynasty, speculating that the foreign warriors were initiated into the Hindu society through a fire ritual. However, the earliest extant copy of Prithviraj Raso does not mention this legend at all. Instead, it states that the first ruler of the dynasty was Manikya Rai, said to have been born from Brahma's sacrifice; the core territory of the Chahamanas was located in present-day Rajasthan. It was known as Jangala-desha; the term Jangladesha appears to be older. The text does not mention the exact location of the region; the Sanskrit texts, such as Bhava Prakasha and Shabdakalpadruma Kosha suggest that it was a hot, arid region, where trees requiring little water grew.
The region is identified with the area around Bikaner. The term Sapadalaksha refers to the large number of villages in the area, it became prominent during the Chahamana reign. It appears that the term referred to the area around modern Nagaur near Bikaner; this area was known as Savalak in as late as 20th century. The early Chahamana king Samantaraja was based in Ahichchhatrapura, which can be identified with modern Nagaur; the ancient name of Nagaur was Nagapura, which means "the city of the serpent". Ahichchhatrapura has a similar meaning: "the city whose chhatra or protector is serpent"; as the Chahamana territory expanded, the entire region ruled by them came to be known as Sapadalaksha. This included the Chahamana capitals Ajayameru and Shakambhari; the term came to be applied to the larger area captured by the Chahamanas. The early medieval Indian inscriptions and the writings of the contemporary Muslim historians suggest that the following cities were included in Sapadalaksha: Hansi and Mandalgarh.
The earliest historical Chahamana king is the 6th century ruler Vasudeva. According to a mythical account in Prithviraja Vijaya, he received the Sambhar Salt Lake as a gift from a vidyadhara. Little is known about his immediate successors; the 8th century Chahamana ruler Durlabharaja I and his successors are known to have served the Gurjara-Pratiharas as vassals. In 10th century, Vakpatiraja I made an attempt to overthrow the Gurjara-Pratihara suzerainty, assumed the title Maharaja, his younger son Lakshmana established the Naddula Chahamana branch. Vakpatiraja's elder son and successor Simharaja assumed the title Maharajadhiraja, which suggests that he was a sovereign ruler. Simharaja's successors consolidated the Chahamana power by engaging in wars with their neighbours, including the Chaulukyas of Gujarat and the Tomaras of Delhi; the dynasty's earliest extant inscription is from the reign of Vigraharaja II. During the reign of Viryarama, the Paramara king Bhoja invaded the Chahamana kingdom, occupied their capital Shakambhari for a brief period.
Chamundaraja restored the Chahamana power with the help of the Naddula Chahamanas. The subsequent Chahamana kings faced several Ghaznavid raids. Ajayaraja II repuls
The Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty known as the Pratihara Empire, was an imperial power during the Late Classical period on the Indian subcontinent, that ruled much of Northern India from the mid-8th to the 11th century. They ruled first at Ujjain and at Kannauj; the Gurjara-Pratiharas were instrumental in containing Arab armies moving east of the Indus River. Nagabhata I defeated the Arab army under Tamin during the Caliphate campaigns in India. Under Nagabhata II, the Gurjara-Pratiharas became the most powerful dynasty in northern India, he was succeeded by his son Ramabhadra, who ruled before being succeeded by his son, Mihira Bhoja. Under Bhoja and his successor Mahendrapala I, the Pratihara Empire reached its peak of prosperity and power. By the time of Mahendrapala, the extent of its territory rivalled that of the Gupta Empire stretching from the border of Sindh in the west to Bengal in the east and from the Himalayas in the north to areas past the Narmada in the south; the expansion triggered a tripartite power struggle with the Rashtrakuta and Pala empires for control of the Indian Subcontinent.
During this period, Imperial Pratihara took the title of Maharajadhiraja of Āryāvarta. Gurjara-Pratihara are known for carved panels and open pavilion style temples; the greatest development of their style of temple building was at Khajuraho, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The power of the Pratiharas was weakened by dynastic strife, it was further diminished as a result of a great raid led by the Rashtrakuta ruler Indra III who, in about 916, sacked Kannauj. Under a succession of rather obscure rulers, the Pratiharas never regained their former influence, their feudatories became more and more powerful, one by one throwing off their allegiance until, by the end of the 10th century, the Pratiharas controlled little more than the Gangetic Doab. Their last important king, was driven from Kannauj by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1018; the origin of the dynasty and the meaning of the term "Gurjara" in its name is a topic of debate among historians. The rulers of this dynasty used the self-designation "Pratihara" for their clan, never referred to themselves as Gurjaras.
The Imperial Pratiharas could have emphasized their Kshatriya, instead of Gurjara, identity for political reasons. However, at local levels Pratiharas were not wary of projecting their tribal identity, they claimed descent from the legendary hero Lakshmana, said to have acted as a pratihara for his brother Rama. K. A. Nilakanta Sastri theorized that the ancestors of the Pratiharas served the Rashtrakutas, the term "Pratihara" derives from the title of their office in the Rashtrakuta court. Multiple inscriptions of their neighbouring dynasties describe the Pratiharas as "Gurjara"; the term "Gurjara-Pratihara" occurs only in the Rajor inscription of a feudatory ruler named Mathanadeva, who describes himself as a "Gurjara-Pratihara". Another Pratihara king named Hariraja is mentioned as a "ferocious Gurjara" in the Kadwaha inscription. According to one school of thought, Gurjara was the name of the territory ruled by the Pratiharas. An opposing theory is that Gurjara was the name of the tribe to which the dynasty belonged, Pratihara was a clan of this tribe.
Several historians consider Gurjaras to be the ancestors of the modern Gujjar tribe. The proponents of the tribal designation theory argue that the Rajor inscription mentions the phrase: "all the fields cultivated by the Gurjaras". Here, the term "Gurjara" refers to a group of people rather than a region; the Pampa Bharata refers the Gurjara-Pratihara king Mahipala as a Gurjara king. Rama Shankar Tripathi argues that here Gurjara can only refer to the king's ethnicity, not territory, since the Pratiharas ruled a much larger area of which Gurjara-desha was only a small part. Critics of this theory, such as D. C. Ganguly, argue that the term "Gurjara" is used as a demonym in the phrase "cultivated by the Gurjaras". Several ancient sources including inscriptions mention "Gurjara" as the name of a country. Shanta Rani Sharma notes that an inscription of Gallaka in 795 CE states that Nagabhata I, the founder of the Imperial Pratihara dynasty, conquered the "invincible Gurjaras," which makes it unlikely that the Pratiharas were themselves Gurjaras.
However, she does concede that Imperial Pratiharas were indeed known as Gurjaras, on account of their nationality. She mentions two groups of people who were known as Gurjaras, draws a line between them. According to her, Gujjars are the descendants of ethnic Gurjaras, have nothing to do with imperial Pratiharas and Chalukyas who were known as Gurjaras. Among those who believe that the term Gurjara was a tribal designation, there are disagreements over whether they were native Indians or foreigners; the proponents of the foreign origin theory point out that the Gurjara-Pratiharas emerged as a political power in north India around 6th century CE, shortly after the Huna invasion of that region. Critics of the foreign origin theory argue that there is no conclusive evidence of their foreign origin: they were well-assimilated in the Indian culture. Moreover, if they invaded Indian through the north-west, it is inexplicable why would they choose to settle in the semi-arid area of present-day Rajasthan, rather than the fertile Indo-Gangetic Plain.
According to the Agnivansha legend given in the manuscripts of Prithviraj Raso, the Pratiharas and three other Rajput dynasties originated from
Hammira Mahakavya is a 15th-century Indian Sanskrit epic poem written by the Jain scholar Nayachandra Suri. It is a legendary biography of the 13th century Chahamana king Hammira. While not accurate from a historical point-of-view, the text provides valuable information about the medieval history of north-western India. Much of the text describes his conquests of the neighbouring Hindu kingdoms; the last third part describes his conflict with the Sultan of Delhi. The text attributes Hammira's defeat against Ala-ud-Din to betrayal by his officers. Hammira Mahakavya was composed by the Jain scholar Nayachandra Suri; the author was not a contemporary of the hero of the text. The date and place of the text's origin are not certain. According to Cynthia Talbot, it was composed around 1400 CE to please a Chauhan ruler. Nayachandra states that he was inspired to write the poem because the courtiers of the Tomara king Virama declared that no contemporary poet could compose a poem comparable with the ones written by the ancient poets.
Nayachandra composed Hammira Mahakavya as a challenge. Based on this, Phyllis Granoff theorizes that the poem was written at the Tomara court, around 1420 CE, or over 100 years after the death of Hammira in 1301. Nayachandra's disciple Nayahamsa made a copy of the manuscript in 1496 CE, used by N. J. Kirtane to produce an editio princeps. Nayahamsa added an appendix, which praises Nayachandra Suri and his spiritual lineage; the text is divided into fourteen cantos. The poem begins with an invocation to Jain tirthankaras, it describes the life Hammira, compared to the legendary heroes Mandhata and Rama. Cantos 1-4 are devoted to Hammira's ancestors, including kings from the Shakambhari Chahamana dynasty. Cantos 5-7 describe Hammira's engagement in various services and festivities; the information contain. The next few cantos describe his reign; the last third part of the text describes Hammira's conflict with Ala-ud-Din Khalji, the Muslim Sultan of Delhi. The text gives the following line of succession of the Chahamana kings, which does not match with the historical genealogy of the dynasty: Much of the information about these ancestors is fanciful in nature.
For example, the dynasty's mythical progenitor Chahamana is described as follows: Once Brahma wandered in search of a holy place for a sacrifice. The lotus held in has hand fell at a spot that came to be known as Pushkar. Brahma decided to conduct a sacrifice at that place, invoked Surya to protect his sacrfice from the danavas. A hero sprung from the orb of the sun, protected Brahma's sacrifice. With Brahma's blessings, this hero became a powerful king; the description of Hammira's historical ancestors does not provide much information of historical value. For example, Chandraraja is described as follows: The description of the events from the death of Prithviraja III to the reign of Hammira is historical, but still not accurate; the text describes Prithviraja III's war against Muhammad of Ghor as follows: During the just rule of Prithviraja in the East, the Muslim king Shahab-ud-Din began attempts to subjugate the earth. The kings of the West, led by one Chandraraja, appealed Prithviraja to counter Shahab-ud-Din.
Chandraraja told Prithviraja that Shahab-ud-Din had set up his capital at Multan, had defeated the noblest of the Hindu Rajput kings. The invader had dishonoured their women and reduced them to a sorry state. Chandraraja compared Shahab-ud-Din to Parashurama, who had come to exterminate the warrior caste from the earth. On hearing this, Prithviraja became angry, declared that he would force Shahab-ud-Din to beg them for an apology on his knees. After some days, he entered Shahab-ud-Din's territory; when the enemy king came to know about this, he set out from Multan, with an army. In the ensuing battle, Prithviraja captured Shahab-ud-Din; the Muslim king was made to bend on his knees, seek forgiveness from the Rajput kings he had harassed. Subsequently, Prithviraja presented expensive gifts to all the kings, asked them to return home. Despite being well-treated after his defeat, Shahab-ud-Din sought revenge, he invaded Prithviraja's kingdom seven more times. He decided to seek help from the king of the Ghataika country.
From this king, he obtained a large infantry and cavalry, captured Delhi. When Prithviraja heard about this, he had only a small force stationed at his capital Ajmer, he asked his general Udayaraja to gather a larger army, set out against Shahab-ud-Din with the small force. Although Prithviraja's contingent was small, Shahab-ud-Din was terrified at this news. At night, he sent some men to Prithviraja's camp and bribed the cavalry chief and the royal musicians; the next morning, Shahab-ud-Din sent a force to attack Prithviraja's camp. Prithviraja asked his men to prepare for war; the disloyal cavalry chief presented him a dancing horse named Natyarambha. As soon as the king mounted this horse, the disloyal musicians started playing music; the horse started dancing to the music, this performance diverted the king's attention. Meanwhile, the Muslim soldiers managed to kill a number of Rajputs. Prithviraja came to his senses, dismounted from the horse, killed a number of attackers, but he fell to the ground after an enemy soldier attacked him from behind.
He was taken captive. Fearing Udayaraja's army, Shahab-ud-Din retreated to Delhi but took the captive Pr