Jewels from the Christian World Civilization



Turks and Afghans




A.D. 1000 TO 1526

On no occasion were the earlier Muslim invaders of India called upon to meet a mighty Indian ruler. No Asoka, Kanishka, or Harsha arose to defend the rich and alluring plains. Such rulers were, indeed, rare phenomena in India, which has never been the home of a nation, and whose normal condition was that of a congeries of independent and mutually hostile states, fortunate if they could agree temporarily to sink their differences before a common foe.

When Muhammad b. Qasim invaded Sind in 711 the Chalukyas, the Pallavas, and the Rashtrakutas were contending for supremacy in the Deccan, and the Arab geographers of a later date corrupted Vallabha Rai, the title borne by many of the Rashtrakutas, imitating the Chalukyas, into Balhara, and used this word as a generic title for the leading ruler in India; but in Northern India the empire of Harsha had dissolved on his death in the middle of the preceding century, and no power had succeeded to the hegemony.

How Muhammad dealt with Dahir, the local ruler of Sind, we have seen. The Chavadas of Kathiawar, the Gahlots of Chitor, the Chauhans of Sambhar, and probably other houses claim to have met and defeated the Arab invaders, but these chiefs ruled principalities contiguous to or not far distant from the conquered state, and their opposition to Muhammad was not a united effort. The claims may well be true, but the conflicts were of little importance. The Arabs had Sind, and if they ever contemplated an extension of their conquests in India they soon abandoned the idea.

At the time of Mahmud's invasions India north of the Vindhyas was divided into a number of independent states. The Hindu Shahiya dynasty, founded by Lulliya the Brahman at the end of the ninth century, with its capital at Und on the Indus existed on sufferance for some time after the establishment of the Turkish power in Ghazni, but was extinguished by Mahmud. Of the history of the kingdom of the Punjab, with its capital at Bhatinda, little is known. Its position compelled its kings, Jaipal I, Anandpal, Jaipal II, and Bhimpal the Fearless to stand forth for a time as the principal champions of Hinduism, and though their end was unfortunate it was not dishonorable. On Bhimpal's flight to Ajmer in 1021 his kingdom became a province of Mahmud's empire.

The other states in northern India at this time were Sambhar, or Ajmer, ruled by the Chauhan Rajputs; Delhi, lately founded by the Tomaras near the site of the ancient Indraprastha (Indarpat); Chitor, already possessed by the Gahlots, who were not prominent among the opponents of the invader; Kanauj, still held by the Gurjara Pratiharas, Harsha's descendants, whose power had waned before that of the Chandel rajas of Jijhoti (the modern Bundelkhand), chieftains of Gond origin, who had advanced northwards until they made the Jumna the boundary between their territory and that of Kanauj; and Gujarat, ruled by the Chalukyas or Solankis, who had superseded the Chawaras.

The Jats inhabited the country on the banks of the Indus between Multan and the Sulaiman Range, and their chieftains seem to have owned allegiance to the Muslim rulers of Multan. To the south of Jijhoti lay Chedi, held by the Kalachuris or Haihayas, another tribe of Gond origin, and to the west of Jijhoti and Chedi lay Malwa, governed by a line of Paramaras or Pawars which had been founded early in the ninth century. Bengal was ruled by the Pala dynasty, founded in the eighth century by Gopala, who was elected king of Bengal and founded the city of Odantapuri (Bihar). Kamarupa, or Assam, was ruled by an ancient family of Koch, or Tibeto-Chinese origin, which had become completely Hinduized. In Kashmir the Karkota dynasty, founded in Harsha's lifetime by Durlabhavardhana, still reigned. The fortress of Gwalior was the capital of the Kachhwaha Rajputs, who were probably feudatories of Jijhoti.

Rajput Leagues against Mahmud

The leading confederates of Jaipal I in his campaign against Sabuktigin were Rajyapala of Kanauj, styled Jaichand by Muslim historians, and Dhanga of Jijhoti. The confederacy formed against Mahmud in 1001 was far more formidable, and Anandpal of the Punjab was joined by Visaladeva, the Chauhan king of Sambhar or Ajmer, to whom was given the chief command, his vassal the Tomara raja of Delhi, Rajyapala of Kanauj, Ganda of Jijhoti, Vajradaman Kachhwaha of Gwalior and Narwar, and the Pawar raja of Dhar, or Malwa, all of whom shared in the disastrous defeat suffered by the Hindus on December 31, 1001.

Ganda Chandel, who had succeeded his father Dhanga in 999, and appears in Muslim annals as Nanda, raja of Kalinjar, which was his principal fortress, succeeded Visaladeva of Sambhar as the leader of the Hindu confederacy, and, on Mahmud's return to Ghazni in 1019, from the expedition in which he plundered Muttra and captured Kanauj, Manaich, and Asni, took upon himself the probably congenial duty of punishing Rajyapala for having, in order to save Kanauj from pillage and destruction, betrayed the national cause by swearing fealty to the foreigner. Ganda's son, Vidhyadara, aided by the prince of Gwalior, invaded Kanauj and defeated and slew Rajyapala, who was succeeded by his son, Trilochanapala.

Mahmud was not slow to avenge his vassal, and in 1021 invaded India to punish Ganda. The details of this invasion have already been given. Ganda, with the confederate army of 36,000 horse, 105,000 foot, and 640 elephants, prepared to meet the invader on the Sai, between the Ganges and the Gumti, but his courage failed him, and after his flight Mahmud captured Bari, the new Pratihara capital, and returned to Ghazni with the booty which he had taken from Ganda's camp. In 1022 he returned and compelled Ganda's son to surrender to him Kalinjar, which long remained a bone of contention between Hindu and Muslim in India, and was regarded as the key to the region south of the Jumna and east of Malwa.

Hindu annals do not credit the Solankis of Gujarat with a share in the various confederacies formed to oppose the invader, but the considerations which led Mahmud to undertake the most famous of all his expeditions, that to Somnath, have been recorded. Bhim the Solanki then ruled Gujarat, having his capital at Anhilvara, in the neighborhood of the modern Patan. After the capture of Beyt Shankhodhar and the flight of Bhim, Mahmud, before returning to Ghazni, made arrangements for the administration of Gujarat.

According to the legend related in some Muslim histories an ascetic named Dabshilim, who had some claim to the throne, was brought to his notice as a fit person and was appointed by him to govern the country. At his request Mahmud carried to Ghazni for safe custody another Dabshilim, a relative whose pretensions the newly made king dreaded, and detained him until king Dabshilim was securely seated on his throne, when he sent him back to Gujarat at the king's request. When the prisoner approached Anhilvara the king, according to custom, went forth to meet him, and, arriving at the appointed spot before him, passed the time in hunting. At length, overpowered by the heat and by fatigue, he lay down under a tree to rest, covering his face with a red handkerchief. A bird of prey, taking the handkerchief for a piece of flesh, swooped down upon it and, driving his talons into the king's eyes, destroyed his sight. One so injured was disqualified from reigning, and the prisoner Dabshilim, arriving at that moment, was acclaimed by the popular voice as king, while the blinded man was confined in the dungeon under the throne-room which he had destined for his relative.

Dabshilim is well known in Muslim literature as the king to whom the Brahman, Pilpay, related the fables of the jackals Kalila and Dimna, which have been translated into Arabic and Turkish, and twice into Persian, but the name is unknown in Indian history and it is difficult to connect it with any Indian king. It has been suggested that Mahmud, after the flight of Bhim I, appointed his uncle, Durlabha, to the government, and that the two Dabshilims represent Durlabha and his son, but Lt.-Colonel Tod's explanation appears to be more probable. He says that the Dabhis were a well known tribe, said by some to be a branch of the Chawaras, who had preceded the Solankis on the throne of Gujarat, and suggests that the name is a compound of Dabi Chawara.

The remnant of the dominions of Rajyapala of Kanauj had passed to his son, Trilochanapala, who first transferred his capital to Bari, which was taken by Mahmud, and afterwards resided much at Benares, which was attacked and plundered by Ahmad Niyaltigin, the traitor who governed the Punjab for Masud, the son of Mahmud.

Hansi, a possession of Mahipal, raja of Delhi, was captured early in 1038 by Masud, but in 1044 Mahipal recovered from Maudud, Masud's son, not only Hansi, but also Thanesar and Kangra. In 1079 Ibrahim, the eleventh king of the Ghaznavid dynasty, led a raid into Western India, and early in the twelfth century Muhammad Bahlim, a rebellious governor of the Punjab under Bahram, the fifteenth king, established himself as far south as Nagaur, from which town he governed a large tract of country; but the power of the Ghaznavids had long been declining, and, with the exceptions already mentioned, the Hindu states of India were not molested, and were left free to pursue their internecine strife.

After the submission of Rajyapala of Kanauj to Mahmud the power of the Pratiharas declined, Trilochanapala and his successors were styled rajas of Kanauj, but lived principally at Manaich, now Zafarabad, near Jaunpur, and more remote than their ancient capital from the menace of the Chandel.

Shortly before 1090 Chandradeva, of the Gaharwar clan, acquired possession of Benares and Ajodhya, both of which had been included in the kingdom of Kanauj, and extinguished the last vestiges of the authority of the Pratiharas by extending his dominions as far as Delhi, which he is said to have captured and occupied, reducing the Tomaras to vassalage.

Gangeyadeva Kalachuri of Chedi, who reigned from 1015 to 1040, extended his ancestral dominions, and almost succeeded in becoming the paramount power in Northern India, but was not powerful enough to crush the Chandel kingdom. His son Karnadeva, who reigned from 1040 to 1100, invaded the Pala kingdom of Magadha, or Bihar, in 1039, before his father's death, and defeated the reigning king, Nayapala. In 1060 he and Bhim II of Gujarat attacked and crushed Bhoj, the learned king of Malwa. Malwa had been ruled for two centuries and a half by chiefs of the Paramara or Pawar tribe, whose capital was at first Ujjain and later Dhar. The line was honorably distinguished by its love for and encouragement of learning, and in this respect Bhoj was not the least distinguished of his house. The death of Bhoj broke the power of the Pawars, who, however, ruled Malwa until the beginning of the thirteenth century, when they were ousted by the Tomaras.

The inclusion of the Deccan in the Muslim kingdom of Delhi between the years 1294 and 1347 made Malwa a highway between the northern and the southern provinces, and destroyed the power of the Hindu rulers of the country; but the Tomaras were succeeded by the Chauhans, who enjoyed some power and influence in Malwa until the end of the fourteenth century, when it became an independent Muslim kingdom.

The victory over Bhoj of Malwa benefited the Kalachuri but little. Some years later Karnadeva suffered several defeats at the hands of his enemies, the chief of whom were Kirtivarman Chandel, who reigned from 1049 to 1100, and Vigrahapala III, king of Bihar and Bengal; and little more is heard of Chedi. After 1181 the Kalachuri rajas of northern Chedi disappear, having probably been supplanted by Baghel chiefs of Rewa.

Palas and Senas of Bengal

The Gahlot kingdom, which is still represented by the State of Udaipur, had been founded before the invasion of Sind by Muhammad b. Qasim, and tradition credits its ruler with having met the Muslims in the field in those early days, but the state seems to have taken no part in the resistance offered to Mahmud. The same may be said of the Pala kings of Bengal and Bihar, who apparently believed that they were not concerned in the fate of the Punjab and Hindustan, though the dominions of Dharmapala, the second of the line, are said to have extended from the Bay of Bengal to Delhi and Jullundur. They were devout Buddhists, and their religion perhaps set a gulf between them and their Brahmanical neighbors.

Mahipala I was reigning in Bengal during the period of Mahmud's raids, but before the next wave of invasion, destined to engulf Bengal, had broken over Northern India, and during a serious rebellion which broke out in the Pala kingdom about the year 1080, Choraganga, king of Kalinga, extended his conquests to the extreme north of Orissa, and Samantasena, a chieftain from the Deccan, founded a principality at Kasipuri, now Kasiari, in the Mayurbhanj State. His grandson, Vijayasena, established his independence about 1119, and took much of Bengal from the Palas, his aggression being doubtless stimulated by religious antagonism, for all the Senas were Brahmanical Hindus. Yallalasena, or Ballal Sen, Vijayasena's son and successor, was the most powerful of the line. He introduced Kulinism into Bengal, and is said to have founded Gaur, or Lakhnawati, but the city was probably built before his reign. About 1175 he was succeeded by his son, Lakshmanasena, who was driven from his capital, Nadiya, by Ikhtiyaruddin Muhammad b. Bakhtyar. The capture of Nadiya (Nuddea) did not immediately extinguish the dynasty, which continued its existence for four generations after Lakshmanasena, but the rajas were mere vassals of the Muslim rulers of the country.

Ramapala, who reigned from about 1077 to 1120, was one of the most famous of the Pala kings. His father, Mahipala II, was slain by rebels, and Ramapala was compelled to flee, but obtained assistance from many other princes, defeated and slew the rebel chief, and regained the throne. He extended his dominions and encouraged Buddhism, and it was not until the end of his reign that the Senas established themselves in Bengal. Ramapala has sometimes been regarded as the last of the Palas, but he was succeeded by five kings of his family, who, though Bengal had been lost, retained Bihar. Indradyumnapala, the last known raja of the line, was reigning at the time of the Muslim invasion of Bihar, in which he probably lost his life, as nothing more is heard of his house.

The Muhammadan kingdom of the Punjab had long ceased to be a menace to the Hindu princes of India, but they cannot have been ignorant of the rise of new powers beyond the Indus. No menace, however, sufficed to deter them from their internecine disputes. A long line of princes of the Chauhan tribe had ruled the principality of Sambhar, of which Ajmer had become the chief town, and in the middle of the twelfth century Vigraharaja (Visaladeva or Bisal Deo) of this line extended his dominions in an easterly direction by capturing Delhi from a chief of the Tomara tribe, who had founded the city in a.d. 993-94 by building the Red Fort where the Qutb Minar now stands. The city was of no great importance but Vigraharaja's victory extinguished a minor dynasty and might have made for unity and strength, had there not been other competitors for power in the field.

Vigraharaja's nephew and successor was Prithvi Raj, known to Muslim historians as Rai Pithaura, the most chivalrous warrior of his time in India : but the most powerful of Indian princes at the end of the twelfth century was Jayachandra, the Gaharwar raja of Kanauj and Ajodhya, styled by the Muhammadans 'Jaichand, raja of Benares'. He had a marriageable daughter, in whose honor he held a swayamvara, the assembly to which, in accordance with ancient custom, princes prepared to offer themselves as suitors for the lady's hand were summoned, in order that she might make her choice of a husband. The swayamvara was regarded as an assertion of superiority and Prithvi Raj failed to respond to the invitation and to appear as a formal suitor, but his reputation had reached the princess and he wounded Jayachandra's honor by carrying off the not unwilling damsel. This romantic exploit bred bitter enmity between the two leading powers of Northern India, and a victory in 1182 over the Chandel raja, Parmab, and the capture of the important fortress of Mahoba, while they enhanced the reputation of Prithvi Raj, weakened the Hindu cause by sowing further dissension between the native princes.

These princes, however, sank their differences and united to oppose the invader at the first battle of Taraori, in which Muhammad b. Sam was defeated, for the Muslim writers say that all the rajas of Hindustan were present at that battle; but Jayachandra
of Kanauj seems to have found an alliance with his son-in-law too high a price to pay even for national freedom, for he stood aloof from the Hindu confederacy at the second battle of Taraori, which laid the foundation of Muslim rule in Hindustan, and if Hindu legend is to be believed even allied himself to the national enemy.

The operations of the Muslims after the second battle of Taraori, in 1192, have been described in Chapter III. Muhammad b. Sam marched at once on Ajmer, the Chauhan capital, and, after sacking the city and enslaving many of its inhabitants, appointed Govindaraja, the son of Prithvi Raj, as its governor. According to the Muslim chroniclers the new raja was distasteful to his subjects by reason of his illegitimacy, but the truth was that he was a minor, and was not fit to contend with the enemies of his people. Hariraja, called Hemraj by Muslim historians, who was the younger brother of Prithvi Raj, accordingly deposed his nephew and usurped the throne. Govindaraja fled to the fortress of Ranthambhor, where, as will be seen, he carried on the line of his house, not without glory. He was succeeded by his son, Balhanadeva, who was reigning in 1215, and Balhanadeva was succeeded by his son Prahlad, who was killed by a lion. Vira Narayan, Prahlad's infant son, succeeded to the throne of Ranthambhor, and his uncle, Vagbhata, assumed the regency. The history of the Chauhans of Ranthambhor will be resumed later.

The fate of Hariraja in Ajmer has already been recorded. After suffering two defeats at the hand of Muhammad's lieutenant, Qutbuddin Aibak, he committed suicide, and Ajmer, the capital of the Chauhans, became a Muslim city.

Extinction of the Gaharwars

Jayachandra of Kanauj had, since the second battle of Taraori, acquiesced in all the acts of aggression committed by the invaders, but Muhammad b. Sam learned that he had repented of the alliance and was preparing to oppose him, and in 1193 he invaded India with the object of attacking him. It was probably the invasion of Bihar, the fate of its monks, and his own isolation that aroused in him, too late, a sense of the folly of his association with the enemies of his country. His fate has been recorded in Chapter III. Benares was plundered, Kanauj was destroyed, and the kingdom of the Gaharwars came to an end. The Muslims did not, however, immediately establish their authority in this region, and chiefs of the Chandel tribe from Mahoba ruled as local sovereigns in Kanauj for eight generations. The Gaharwars were extinguished, and there is no evidence to support the legend that a remnant migrated to the country now known as Marwar and became known as Rahtors, or the claim of the Maharaja of Jodhpur to descent from the old royal house of Kanauj.

The conquest of Bihar involved the destruction of the Pala dynasty, which had borne sway in Bengal and Bihar for nearly four centuries, and in the latter country alone for nearly a hundred years. Indradyumnapala, the last king of the line, was alive in 1197, but retained no power during the later years of his life.

Ikhtiyaruddin Muhammad b. Bakhtyar, having extinguished the Palas of Bihar, drove Lakshmanasena or Lakshman Sen of Bengal from his capital and established Muslim rule in Bengali Lakshmanasena, and, after him, his son and his grandson ruled at Vikrampur as vassals of the Muslim governor of Bengal, but the dynasty virtually came to an end with the capture of Nadiya (Nuddea). His conqueror died shortly after his disastrous expedition into Bhutan, or Tibet, where the destruction of his army was partly due to the treachery of the king of Kamarupa (Kamrup), or Assam. This kingdom successfully resisted all attempts of the Muslims to invade it, but the Hinduized Koch, who ruled it at this time, succumbed in 1228 to an invasion by the Ahoms, a Shan tribe, whose chiefs ruled the country until 1816, when they were conquered by the Burmese, who in 1824, during the first Burmese war, were expelled by British and Indian troops, and in 1826 Assam became a province of the British empire in India.

The extinction of the Kanauj dynasty and the disappearance of the Gaharwars left the Chandels of Jijhoti the only formidable neighbors of the Muslims. Paramardi, or Parmal, who had been defeated by Prithvi Raj, was still reigning at Mahoba, which had superseded Khajraho as the residential capital of the Chandels. The principal fortress in their dominions was Kalinjar, which had been surrendered to Mahmud of Ghazni by the son of Ganda Chandel, and in 1202 Qutbuddin Aibak marched against the fortress, the account of his siege and capture of which has already been related. After the death of Paramardi, the Chandels, as an important dynasty, disappeared, and the tribe dispersed, but petty chieftains of the race held lands in Malwa, as local rulers, until the sixteenth century.

All the ruling houses of Hindustan proper, except the Chauhans of Ranthambhor and the Katehriya Rajputs of Katehr, the modern Rohilkhand, had now been extinguished or expelled, and the latter were held in check by the Muslim garrison of Budaun, their former capital, which had been one of the earliest conquests of Qutbuddin Aibak and remained ever after in Muslim hands; but the Rajputs made Aonla their capital, and Katehr virtually retained its independence until the Mughul empire was firmly established in the middle of the sixteenth century. A strong king at Delhi might cow the Rajputs into submission, but whenever the central authority was weakened the Hindus rose and attacked the Muslims. The inhabitants of Katehr often suffered severely for the turbulence of their chiefs, who themselves usually found an asylum in the hills of Kumaon until the storm had passed.


But though the great ruling houses were extinct, the people were not left leaderless. The history of the Doab and the country on either side of the Ganges contains evidence that the local Hindu landholders, petty rajas, who were probably regarded as fief-holders and paid tribute or rent when the central government could enforce the demand, were ever ready to resist oppression, as in the reign of Muhammad Tughluq, and to take advantage of the weakness of their rulers, as during the reigns of the feeble Sayyids, or of their dissensions, as in the struggle for supremacy between the kingdoms of Delhi and Jaunpur.

The most turbulent of these petty chiefs were the leaders of the Meos, inhabitants of Mewat, the ill-defined tract lying south of Delhi and including part of the British Districts of Muttra and Gurgaon, and most of the Alwar and a little of the Bharatpur State; the Hindu landholders of Baran, or Bulandshahr, and Etawah; and various chiefs holding lands near the confluence of the Ganges and the Jumna. The depredations of the Meos extended across the Jumna into the Doab, and northward even into the streets of Delhi. The ruling family accepted Islam, and became known as Khanzadas; and Bahadur Nahar, whose tomb still stands at Alwar, and who ruled Mewat at the time of Timur's invasion at the end of the fourteenth century, was one of the most powerful chiefs in the neighborhood of Delhi.

The capture of Ranthambhor by Shamsuddin Iltutmish adds little to the reputation of that great king. According to the Hindu records he was defeated before the fortress in 1225, but succeeded in persuading the young raja, Vira Narayan, to visit him at Delhi, poisoned him, and took possession of his capital. Malwa was still independent under the Pawars, and the raja then reigning at Dhar attempted to win the favor of Iltutmish by attacking Vagbhata, Vira Narayan's uncle, who had been regent at Ranthambhor, but Vagbhata defeated him, and after the death of Iltutmish recovered Ranthambhor from the officer who held it for Raziyya, and was acclaimed by the Chauhans as their king. Muslim historians allege that he was defeated at Ranthambhor by Raziyya's troops, but are constrained to admit that the troops evacuated the fortress after dismantling it.

In 1249 Ghiyasuddin Balban, who afterwards ascended the throne of Delhi, attempted to recover Ranthambhor for his master, but was obliged to retire discomfited. The Muslim historian styles Vagbhata Nahar Deo, confusing him, perhaps, with a Meo chief, who had probably allied himself to Vagbhata, for Balban, before marching on Ranthambhor, had been engaged in an attempt to establish order in Mewat. Vagbhata was succeeded by his son, Jaitra Singh, who abdicated, and was succeeded in 1282 by his son Hamira, known to the Muslims as Hamir.

Hamira was warlike and enterprising. After subduing Arjuna, a minor chieftain of Malwa, he attacked the Gond raja of Garha-Mandla, who submitted and paid tribute.

The Pawar had gained little by his attempt to ingratiate himself with the foreigner. In 1234 Iltutmish invaded Malwa and sacked both Bhilsa and Ujjain, and Hamira, after succeeding his father at Ranthambhor, resolved to punish Bhoja II, the reigning king of
Malwa, for the crime of his predecessor. Bhoja was defeated, and Hamira made a triumphal entry into Ujjain, the ancient capital of Malwa. Not content with this success, he marched northward, compelled the Gahlot, Lachhman Singh, to acknowledge his supremacy, captured Abu and restored it to its hereditary prince in return for a promise to pay tribute, and marched homeward through Ajmer, Pushkar, Sambhar, and Khandela, all of which places he captured.

This vainglorious expedition enhanced Hamira's military reputation and was probably not without effect on the attitude of Jalaluddin Firuz, the first king of the Khalji dynasty, who, in 1291, marched to Ranthambhor, but decided, after reconnoitring the fortress, that it would be dearly captured at the price in human lives which he would have to pay, and turned aside to Jhain and Mandawar.

Hamira's defiance of Alauddin Muhammad by harboring the leaders of the mutiny which had broken out in Ulugh Khan's army at Jalor, as it was returning from the conquest of Gujarat, cost him his kingdom and his life. Ulugh Khan followed the fugitives into the territory of Ranthambhor and defeated the Rajputs under two ofiicers named Bhim and Dharma Singh, but was unable to undertake the siege of the fortress, and retired to Delhi. Hamira emasculated Dharma Singh, and he and his brother fled to Delhi and besought Alauddin to avenge this outrage. Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan were sent to open the siege of Ranthambhor, and, having first captured Jhain, encamped before the fortress, but were unfortunate. Nusrat Khan was killed and Ulugh Khan was defeated and driven back to Jhain. Alauddin then marched from Delhi to conduct the siege in person, and after some delay arrived before Ranthambhor. The siege was protracted for some months, and Ranamalla, or Ranmal, Hamira's minister, and some of the principal officers of the garrison deserted to the Muslims. The assault was delivered on July 10, 1301, and according to the Hindu version of the affair both Hamira and Mir Muhammad Shah, the leader of the mutineers who had found an asylum at Ranthambhor, performed the rite of jauhar and were slain. The queen, Rangadevi, immolated herself, and Hamira's brother Virama and the heroes Jajar, Gangadhar Tak, and Kshetra Singh Pawar shared their master's fate. The traitor Ranamalla and his companions were put to death by Alauddin. Thus ended Chauhan rule in Hindustan. The Raja of Nimrana, in the north of the Alwar State, claims descent from Prithvi Raj.

Conquest of Gujarat

Reference has been made to the conquest of Gujarat by Alauddin's officers, Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan. Bhim II, 'the Simpleton', who reigned from 1179 to 1242, was the king who defeated Muhammad b. Sam, and though he was afterwards defeated by Qutbuddin Aibak, who plundered his capital, Gujarat was not occupied by the Muslims, but remained a Hindu state. Bhim II was the last of his line, the Solankis, of which his ancestor Bhim I, the contemporary of Mahmud, had been the second.

Gujarat was the richest kingdom of India. It was to India what Venice was to Europe, the entrepot of the products of both the eastern and western hemispheres. Its princes favored sometimes the Jain and sometimes the Buddhist heresy. The court of Siddharaja Jayasingha, the seventh of the Solankis, who reigned from 1094 to 1143 and was one of the most powerful of Indian rulers, was visited by the geographer al-Idrisi. On Bhim's death in 1242 his throne passed to Visaladeva Vaghela of Dholka, who was descended from Siddharaja Jayasingha, and who reigned from 1243 to 1261.

Karandeva, the Rai Karan of the Muslims and the fourth of the Vaghela dynasty, was reigning in 1297, when Alauddin Khalji sent his brother Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan to make an end of Hindu rule in Gujarat. They were successful, and the Rajput Kingdom was overthrown. The walls of Anhilvara were demolished; its foundations excavated, and again filled up with fragments of their ancient temples. The fate of Karan and his family has been related elsewhere. His wife was captured and became the wife or concubine of the Muslim king of Delhi. Karan himself fled, with his beautiful daughter Deval Devi, and took refuge with Ramchandra of Deogir, well content now that his daughter should wed his host's son, to whom, in his pride, he had formerly refused her; but the prince of Deogir never possessed his bride, who was captured by the Muslim officer Alp Khan near Ellora and carried to Delhi, where she became the wife first of Khizr Khan, Alauddin's eldest son, who was afterwards murdered by order of his brother, Qutbuddin Mubarak, into whose possession she passed, and at last she suffered the degradation of the embraces of the foul outcaste, Khusrav Khan, who murdered his master and usurped his throne. Karan established himself for a time in the Nandurbar district, on the borders of the small state of Baglana, or Baglan, but his line died with him.

In Western India, as in Hindustan, Hindu rule, in the hands of minor chieftains, survived the extinction of the royal house. Chauhans held Champaner and Pavagarh until 1484, when Mahmud Begarha of Gujarat took their stronghold and the survivors fled to Chota Udaipur and Deogarh Bariya, still held by their descendants.

On the north-eastern frontier the state of Sirohi was held, as at present, by another branch of the Chauhans, known as Deora Rajputs from the name of an ancestor, Deoraj, who migrated westward when his clan was driven from its patrimony, Nadol, by Qutbuddin Aibak. The raja of Sirohi was ever ready to take advantage of the weakness of the kings of Gujarat by raiding the northern districts of their kingdom.

The peninsula of Cutch, too, remained unmolested by the Muslim governors and kings of Gujarat. Samma Rajputs of Sind, fleeing from that country before the Sumras, who had superseded them as its rulers, found an asylum with the Chavada Rajputs who ruled Cutch, and in about 1320 overcame their hosts and took the kingdom from them. Those of the Samma tribe who remained in Sind accepted Islam, and their kinsmen in Cutch, not prepared entirely to abandon the religion of their fathers, adopted a strange medley of the two faiths. The peninsula was divided between three branches of the tribe, all known as Jadeja, or 'the sons of Jada', until 1540, when Khengar, the head of one branch, with the help of Mahmud III of Gujarat reduced his kinsmen to obedience and became sole ruler. His uncle, Jam Rawal, fled to Kathiawar, and received from the Muslim king of Gujarat the fief of Nawanagar, still held by his descendants. The raja of Cutch was nominally bound to furnish a contingent of 5000 horse to the army of the Sultan of Gujarat.


The south-western region of the peninsula of Kathiawar was held by the Chudasima Rajput chief of Girnar, the group of hills rising above the fortress of Junagarh. His dominions included a great part of the ancient Surashtra, or Sorath, in its modern form. This remote corner of India was not molested by the early Muhammadan invaders, but the raja reigning in the middle of the fourteenth century harbored the rebel Taghi, who had risen in Gujarat against the authority of Muhammad Tughluq, whose evil days were drawing to a close. Muhammad pursued the rebel, and attacked both the raja of Girnar and the raja of Cutch, who was his ally. Taghi evaded him and fled into Sind, but the fortress-capital of Girnar was taken, and both the raja and his ally were compelled to make obeisance to Muhammad, who was too intent on capturing Taghi to remain in Kathiawar, and left that country without any more material assertion of his authority.

The raja of Girnar appears to have been independent of the earlier Muslim kings of Gujarat, or at least to have paid tribute irregularly, and only when it was levied by force, for in 1466 Mahmud Begarha invaded his state, and by means of wholesale pillage and massacre, including the sacking of a temple and the slaughter of its defenders, compelled him to agree to pay tribute. In the following year a threat sufficed to deter him from using the insignia of royalty, which he had hitherto displayed, and in 1469 Mahmud, judging that the time had come to crush the 'misbelievers', invaded the Girnar state and offered the raja the choice between Islam and death. Protestations of loyalty were of no avail, and he was besieged in his fortress, Uparkot, and, when hard pressed there, fled to another stronghold in the mountains, where Mahmud besieged him and compelled him, on December 4, 1470, to surrender. He accepted Islam and was entitled Khan Jahan. This raja is styled by Muslim historians Mandalika, as though this were his personal name, but the word is evidently no other than Mandalikaj the Sanskrit term for a provincial governor.

At about the time when the Arabs were overrunning Sind Bapa, the Gahlot chieftain, captured from the Paramaras or Pawars the fortress of Chitor, which remained the capital of this ancient tribe until it was captured by Akbar in 1567, when Udaipur became their principal seat. Their legends claim for them the credit of having opposed in arms both the Arab invader of Sind and the Turkish conqueror of the Punjab, and though it is possible that they marched, or sent contingents, against both, they were not sufficiently important to be mentioned in Muslim histories, and their own legends are not sufficient to establish any historical fact.

During the interval of comparative peace between the raids of Mahmud and the more systematic subjection of Northern India by Muhammad b. Sam the Chauhans of Ajmer and the Gahlots of Chitor were alternately friends and foes. The prince of Chitor, who had married a sister of Prithvi Raj of Ajmer and Delhi, espoused his cause in his contest with Jayachandra of Kunauj for supremacy in Northern India. The Solanki in Gujarat and the Pratihara in Mandor supported the claim of the Gaharwar, and, according to Rajput legend, both Kanauj and Gujarat employed Muslim mercenaries whose presence in their armies was a source of useful information to Muhammad b. Sam. The Rajputs of Northern India richly deserved their fate. The prince of Chitor, his son Kalyan Singh, and thirteen thousand of his troops are said to have been slain at the second battle of Taraori, and his widow, on hearing of his death, 'joined her lord through the flame'.

North-west of Mewar, the region in which the Gahlots bore sway, lay the desert tract of Marwar, at this time ruled by the Pratiharas, who were afterwards expelled by the Rahtors, the tribe to which the present Maharaja of Jodhpur belongs. West of Marwar lies the present State of Jaisalmer, held by the Jadons, whose home, according to their own traditions, had in ancient times been Zabulistan, between Sistan and Qandahar. Long before the rise of Islam they had been driven thence into the Punjab, where they domiciled for some time, and one branch of the tribe, the leader of which had retired in the eighth century into the desert of western Rajfontana, acquired from an ancestor the name of Bhati. A branch of the Bhatis settled in the north of the modern State of Bikaner, and gave to the town now known as Hanumangarh its original name, Bhatner, which in 1398 was taken by Timur from a Bhati chief named Dul Chand. This clan, as well as those branches of the Jadons which remained in the Punjab, accepted Islam. The main body of the tribe, however, travelling westward, had founded the fortress of Tanot, in the extreme north-western corner of what is now the Jaisalmer State. They afterwards made Ladorva their capital, and in 1156 Rawal Jaisal founded the town of Jaisalmer. In Marwar communities of Gohels, Chauhans, and Pawars disputed the authority of the Pratiharas or Parihars.

Rathors of Marwar

The founder of the Rathor dynasty of Marwar was Siahji, whom the bards of the Rajputs represent as a prince of the Gaharwar house of Kunauj, who escaped when the rest of the family was slain, and, fleeing, established himself in Marwar, where his tribe received the name of Rathor. This they explain as a corruption of Rashtrakuta, alleging that the Gaharwars were Rashtrakutas from the Deccan, but there is little doubt that the whole story is fiction. The Gaharwar line was certainly extinguished, and there is no evidence that any escaped; there is no reason to believe that the Gaharwars were Rashtrakutas; and an inscription dated a.d. 997, found in a town in the Jodhpur State, names four Rathor Rajas who reigned there in the tenth century. It was probably from these local chieftains that Siahji was descended. He established himself, with a small number of followers, first in the north of Marwar, where he received, as the price of assistance rendered to a Solanki chieftain, a bride with a dower. On a pilgrimage to Dwarka he encountered and slew the brigand from whom he had delivered the Solanki. The exploit enhanced his reputation and, about 1212, he took up his abode in the fertile region watered by the Luni river, west of the Aravalli Mountains. Here, by violence combined with treachery, he obeyed the Rajput maxim, 'Get land.' One Rajput chief and his followers he slew at a feast, another he defeated and killed in the field. The Brahmans of Pali besought his aid against the Mers and Minas who ravaged their lands. He drove off the marauders and, having settled at Pali on land granted to him by the grateful Brahmans, slew the leaders of the community and appropriated their lands. His son and successor, Asvatthama, established his brother Soning in Idar, a principality of the Dabhi Rajputs, by treacherously slaying the members of that clan while they were mourning for one of their princes; and Aja, another brother, invaded Okhamandal, in the extreme west of Kathiawar, and established himself there by murdering the Chavada ruler of the country. His descendants bear the surname which he assumed, and are still known as Vadhel, 'the Slayers'.

Raipal, the fourth of the line, slew the Parihar chief of Mandor, and Chhada and Tida, the seventh and eighth, harassed the Jadons or Bhatis of Jaisalmer and escaped chastisement only by giving the daughter of one of them in marriage to Rawal Chachakdeo I.

The Rathors were as prolific as they were unscrupulous, and wide as the lands were which they had obtained by violence and fraud, they were now insufficient for their support. Chonda, their eleventh chief, after suffering many vicissitudes, was able to assemble a large army composed entirely of the various clans of his tribe and to attack the Parihar prince of Mandor. He was victorious, and planted his banner 'on the ancient capital of Maru'. Chonda also added to his dominions the important city and district of Nagaur, a Muslim stronghold which the dissolution of the Kingdom of Delhi, following Timur's invasion of India, enabled him to acquire, and it was at this city that he met his death.

His fourth son, Aranyakanwal, had been betrothed to Karamdevi, daughter of Manik Rao of Aurint, chief of the Mohil Rajputs, but the damsel met and loved Sadhu, heir of Raningdeo, the Bhati lord of Pugal, a fief of Jaisalmer, and chose him as her husband. The slighted prince of Mandor attacked his rival, and the two met in single combat. Sadhu was slain, and Karamdevi, at once a virgin, a wife, and a widow,' sacrificed herself in the fire. Aranyakanwal died of his wounds, but Raningdeo, not content with the death of his son's rival, led a raid into Chonda's territory to punish the Sankhlas, whose prowess had discomfited the Bhatis in the combat between Sadhu and Aranyakanwal. Having slain three hundred of his enemies Raningdeo was returning with his spoil when he was overtaken by Chonda, who defeated and slew him.

Raningdeo's two surviving sons. Tana and Mera, accepted Islam, as so many other Bhatis had done, and thus obtained from Khizr Khan, then governor of Multan, a force with which to attack their enemy, but Kilan, son of the Rawal of Jaisalmer, who joined them, ensured their success by guile. Professing a desire to end the feud, he offered a daughter in marriage to Chonda, but when the Rathor came forth to receive his expected bride his suspicions were aroused by the appearance of the cortege which consisted of an unusually large number of armed men, and he turned back towards Nagaur. His enemies pursued him, and slew him at the gate of the town, 'and friend and foe entering the city together a scene of general plunder commenced.'

The death of Chonda occurred in 1408, and Nagaur was then lost to the Rathors. He was succeeded by his son Ranmall, who took advantage of the marriage of his daughter to Lakha Rana, the old chief of Chitor, to obtain a large grant of land from his son-inlaw, to whose court he migrated, and was followed thither by his son, Jodha. An account of the growth of Rathor influence at the court of Chitor, and of their expulsion from Mewar will be given in the history of that principality. Ranmall, with the aid of the forces of Mewar, captured the city of Ajmer by a stratagem, and thus temporarily added the ancient heritage of the Chauhans to the domains of Mewar. He attempted, after the death of'Lakha Rana, to usurp the throne of his infant son, but was slain in 1444 by Chonda, the old Rana's firstborn, who expelled the Rathors from Mewar. He was succeeded by Jodha, the eldest of his twentyfour sons, who in 1454 acquired Sojat, and in 1459 laid the foundation of Jodhpur, which has ever since remained the capital of the Rathor State. On his death in 1488 he was succeeded by his second son, Suja, or Surajmall, the eldest, Santal or Satal, having been slain near Pokharan, where he had established himself on the lands of the Bhatis. Surajmall was the hero of the episode known as the Rape of the Virgins. In July, 1516, a predatory band of Muslims, probably from Ajmer, descended on the town of Pipar during the celebration of the Tij festival, and carried off a hundred and forty Rajput maidens. Surajmall, to whom news of the outrage was carried, at once mounted, pursued the marauders, and rescued the maidens, but lost his own life in the fray. He was succeeded by his grandson, Ganga, the son of his eldest son, Bhaga, who had predeceased him, but his title was contested by his uncle. Saga, Surajmali's third son, who was supported by Daulat Khan Lodi. Saga and his ally were, however, defeated, and the former was slain.

Rao Ganga sent a large contingent to join Sangrama Rana in the battle of Khanua, fought against Babur in 1527, and on that day, so disastrous to the Rajputs, the young prince Raimall, grandson of Ganga, and many other Rathors fell. Ganga himself survived this event by nearly four years, and died in 1532.

Rathors of Baglana

The Rathors are widely spread. We have followed one tribe of them into Okhamandal, where they are known as Vadhel, 'the slayers'. The origin of a family which ruled the small principality of Baglana, or Baglan, a country now represented by the Baglan and Kalvan talukas, north of the Satmala hills, is more obscure. They, like the Rathors of Marwar, claimed kinship with the Gaharwars of Kanauj, but did not trace their descent to Siahji. They were perhaps descended from the earlier Rathors of Marwar and merely imitated Siahji in claiming descent from the Gaharwars. Their chief used the honorific title of Baharji and possessed seven fortresses, two of which, Mulher and Salher, were noted for their strength. They seem to have been tributary to the princes of Deogir, and they assisted Karandeva, the last Raja of Gujarat, when he fled, after the conquest of his country, to the Deccan.

When the kingdom of the Yadavas was annexed by the king of Delhi the allegiance of Baharji was transferred to the conqueror, but the country became independent after the revolt of the Deccan and the establishment of the Bahmani dynasty. Later it became tributary to the Sultans of Gujarat, and was invaded and laid waste by Ahmad Shah Bahmani I in 1429. It remained tributary to Gujarat, but enjoyed virtual independence until that kingdom was conquered by Akbar in 1573. He failed to conquer Baglana, and was obliged to acquiesce in a treaty with Pratap Shah, the reigning prince, in 1599.

The original title of the Gahlot princes of Mewar was Rawal, but early in the thirteenth century Rahup of Mewar captured Mokal the Parihar prince of Mandor, who bore the title of Rana, and carried him to Sesoda, the temporary capital of the Gahlots, where he compelled him to forgo the title of Rana and assumed it himself, instead of that of Rawal. It was he, too, who changed the name of his clan from Gahlot to Sesodia, derived from his temporarycapital.

The legend that the Gahlots had met and defeated the Arab invaders of Sind has already been mentioned. It is to the effect that they repelled an invasion of Mewar led by one Mahmud, whom they defeated and captured. It is certain that no Arab invader from Sind ever reached Mewar, and the name Mahmud suggests confusion between the Arabs of Sind in the eighth century and the Turks of Ghazni in the eleventh. It is possible that a Gahlot prince joined one of the confederacies against Mahmud, or met that invader on his way to Gujarat in the expedition in which he plundered Somnath, but we have no record of the event. The fate of the prince of Chitor at the second battle of Taraori has been mentioned. The Gahlot legend, disfigured by some palpable falsehoods, represents him 'as the Ulysses of the host; brave, cool, and skilful in the fight; prudent, wise, and eloquent in council; pious and decorous on all occasions; beloved by his own chiefs and reverenced by the vassals of the Chauhan.

Little more that is authentic is known of the history of the Gahlots or Sesodias until the reign of Alauddin Khalji, who, having already captured Ranthambhor from the Chauhans, besieged and took Chitor in 1303. The bard's account of this siege is most inaccurate and misleading. He antedates it by thirteen years, to a time when Alauddin had not ascended the throne; he makes Lachhman Singh, a distant cousin of the ruling prince, Rana of Chitor at the time of the siege; and he makes the fair Padmini, whom Alauddin coveted, the wife of the prince's uncle. These gross inaccuracies entirely discredit a story improbable in itself, at variance with known facts, and designed to minimize the disgrace of the loss of a strong fortress, of treachery on the part of Alauddin.

The facts were that Ratan Singh was Rana of Chitor, and that Lachhman Singh, Rana of Sesoda, commanded the fortress on his behalf. Their common ancestor was Karan Singh, Rawal of Chitor, from whom Ratan Singh was ninth and Lachhman Singh eleventh in descent. Ratan Singh was apparently in the fortress when it was besieged, but, though the rite of jauhar is said to have been performed and Lachhman Singh and eight thousand other Rajputs fell, he was taken alive and carried off to Delhi. The fair Padmini did not perish in the fire, as related by the bard, but lived to be the subject of negotiation between her husband and his captor, and the object of the bard's fiction appears to be the concealment of Ratan Singh's readiness to obey the ancient maxim which permits a Rajput to surrender his wife in order to preserve his land.

Alauddin left Maldeo, Raja of Jalor, whom he had defeated and who had sworn fealty to him, in command of Chitor, and the towns of Mewar were held by Muslim garrisons, and the survivors of the Sesodias, and those who remained faithful to them took refuge at Kelwara, in the heart of the Aravalli Mountains, and from this stronghold harried the lands of Mewar. Maldeo was shortly afterwards relieved of the command of Chitor, and Khizr Khan, the eldest son of Alauddin, was appointed in his place, but after the rescue of Ratan Singh Alauddin removed Khizr Khan and appointed Arsi, or Ar Singh, to the command. Arsi was, according to the Hindu legend, the elder son of Ajai Singh, Rana of Chitor, and, according to the Muslim chronicles, sister's son to Ratan Singh. The bards do not mention Arsi's appointment to the command of the fortress, but the Muslim historians say that on being appointed he swore fealty to Alauddin, who by this means sowed discord among the Rajputs, some of whom remained faithful to Ratan Singh, while others submitted to Arsi.

The history of Chitor at this time is hopelessly confused, owing to the silence of the Muslim historians and the discrepancies between the Hindu legends and the few facts known. It is certain, however, that Chitor was recovered by the Rajputs shortly after this time, and that Hamir, or Hamira Singh, was the hero of the enterprise. The precise degree of relationship between Hamir and the Rana is uncertain. According to the bards he was the son of Arsi, the elder son of Ajai Singh, but it seems probable that he was the grandson of Ratan Singh. The bards, in recording the recovery of Chitor, assign no date to it, but assert that it occurred in the reign of Mahmud Khalji of Delhi, a king unknown to history. Elsewhere the Rajputs are said to have recovered Chitor about 1312, four years before the death of Alauddin, who reigned until 1316, to have thrown the Muhammadan officers from the ramparts, and to have asserted their independence, but from an inscription at Chitor it appears that the fort was not recovered until the time of Muhammad Tughluq, who reigned from 1325 to 1351. According to native annals the 'Mahmud Khalji' in whose reign the fort was taken by Hamir was marching to recover it when he was met, defeated, and captured by the Rana, who imprisoned him for three months at Chitor, and would not liberate him until he had surrendered Ajmer, Ranthambhor, Nagaur, and Sui Sopar, with five millions of rupees and five hundred elephants. No Muslim king of Delhi was ever a prisoner in Chitor, or ever surrendered the fortresses mentioned to a Rana of Chitor, and the story appears to be a clumsy but wilful adaptation of the defeat and capture of
Mahmud Khalji II of Malwa by Sangrama about 200 years after this time. Hamir's reputation stands in need of so much manipulation of history. His reign was long and glorious. He lived until 1364, recovered all the dominions of his ancestors, and laboured to restore their prosperity.

He was succeeded by his son Kshetra, or Khet Singh, who extended the dominions of his house and is credited by the bards with a victory over the Mughul emperor Humayun, considerably more than a century before the latter's birth. He was slain in a family brawl in 1382, and was succeeded by his son Laksh Singh, or Lakha. He conquered the mountainous region of Merwara and destroyed its chief stronghold, Bairatgarh, on the site of which he built Radnor, but of greater importance than this conquest was his discovery of the mines at Jawar, sixteen miles south of Udaipur city, in territory taken by his father from the Bhils. These produced lead, zinc, and some silver, and the wealth thus acquired enabled him to rebuild the temples and palaces destroyed by Alauddin, and to build dams to form reservoirs or lakes for irrigation. Lakha also defeated the Sankhla Rajputs of Nagarchal, a district lying in the north of the present State of Jaipur, but the bards are not content with these exploits, and credit him with a victory over an imaginary Muhammad Shah Lodi of Delhi.

Rathors expelled from Mewar

Lakha's eldest son, Chonda, was to have been betrothed to the daughter of Ranmall the Rathor, but being annoyed by an innocent pleasantry of his father, which he regarded as indelicate, refused to accept Ranmall's offer of his daughter, and, as it could not be rejected without giving grave offence, Lakha himself accepted it, but insisted that Chonda should relinquish his right to the succession in favor of any issue which might be born of the Rathor lady. He agreed, and Lakha was succeeded, on his death in 1397, by his son Mokalji, aged five, for whom Chonda acted as regent until, incensed by the unjust suspicions of the child's mother, he retired from the kingdom. The bards are at fault regarding his destination, which they give as Mandu, the capital of the Muslim kingdom of Malwa, while they place the grant of land which he received in the west of the peninsula of Kathiawar, which was never included in that kingdom.

On Chonda's departure the rapacious Rathor kinsmen of the young Rana's mother flocked into the state. Her brother Jodha, who afterwards founded Jodhpur, came first, but was soon followed by their father, Ranmall, with a large contingent of the clan. They murdered Raghudeva, the younger brother of Chonda, and their designs on the throne were so evident that the mother, trembling for her child's life, begged Chonda to return. He obeyed the summons, and promised to join her and the young Rana on the Diwali festival, the feast of lamps, at Gosunda, seven miles south of Chitor. Chonda and his band obtained admission to Chitor in the guise of neighboring chieftains who had assembled to escort their prince to his capital. They overpowered the garrison, slew Rao Ranmall and a large number of the Rathors, and would have slain Jodha, had he not saved himself by flight. Chonda pursued him, occupied Mandor, then the Rathor capital, which was held by the Sesodias for twelve years, and annexed the fertile district of Godwar, which adjoined Mewar.

Jodha Rathor was a wanderer for seven years, but eventually succeeded in assembling a force of Rajputs of his own and other tribes, and in expelling the Sesodias from Mandor, where the two sons of Chonda were slain.

Mokal's reign was not distinguished by any feats of arms. The bards attribute to him a victory over the king of Delhi, but no contemporary king of Delhi was in a position to attack the Rana of Chitor, and if there is any foundation for the bard's story Mokal must be suspected of refusing an asylum to Mahmud, the last of the Tughluq dynasty, when he was fleeing from Delhi after his defeat by Timur. Mokal was assassinated in 1433 by two of his uncles, natural sons of his grandfather, they having interpreted an innocent question put by him as a reflection on their birth. He was succeeded by his son Kumbha, one of the greatest of the princes of Chitor, a soldier, a poet, a man of letters, and a builder to whom Mewar owes some of her finest monuments. The temples of Kumbha Sham at Mount Abu and Rishabhadeva in the Sadri pass, 'leading from the western descent of the highlands of Mewar,' still stand as
memorials of his devotion. Of eighty-four fortresses for the defence of Mewar, thirty-two were erected by Kumbha. Inferior only to Chitor is that stupendous work called after him 'Kumbhalgarh, the fort of Kumbha'. He captured Nagaur and gained many successes over his enemies in the intestinal feuds of the Rajputs, but the ascription to him of a great victory over Mahmud I of Malwa, whom he is said to have taken prisoner, and to have released after six months of captivity, is an error. Kumbha was not fortunate in his campaigns against Mahmud I, which have been described in Chapter XIV, and if the Pillar of Victory' at Chitor does indeed describe victories over that king it resembles the bardic chronicles.

Mewar's victory over Malwa was gained by Sangrama, Kumbha's grandson, over Mahmud II of Malwa, whom he defeated and took prisoner near Gagraun in 1517. Kumbha was stabbed to death in 1468, after a reign of thirty-five years, by his son Uda, but the parricide was attacked and defeated by his brother Raimall, and is said to have fled to Delhi, and to have offered a daughter in marriage to the Muslim king as the price of his aid in seating him on his throne, but no mention is made by Muslim historians either of this event or of a subsequent Muhammadan invasion of Mewar described by the bards, and Buhlul Lodi, who was then reigning at Delhi, was otherwise too deeply engaged to embark on such a campaign.

Battle of Khanua

Uda is said to have been struck by lightning and killed, as he was leaving the king's presence at Delhi, but however this may be, no more is heard of him, and Raimall kept the throne. He was a warlike prince, but he certainly did not, as recorded in the Rajput annals, carry on an interminable strife with Ghiyasuddin Khalji of Malwa, a slothful and unwarlike prince who hardly ever left his palace, but it is not improbable that Raimall raided the frontiers of Malwa. He had three sons, Sangrama or Sanga, Prithvi Raj, and Jaimall, whose ambition bred bitter strife between them until Sangrama withdrew from Mewar and lived in concealment to avoid the violence of Prithvi Raj, and Prithvi Raj was banished. Jaimall was now regarded as the heir, but in attempting to gain access to the damsel whom he was to marry was slain by her indignant father, and Prithvi Raj was recalled from banishment and gained the hand of
the maiden on whose account his brother had been slain. Another claimant to the throne arose in the person of Surajmall, the cousin of the three princes, but Prithvi Raj defeated him and drove him from Mewar, and his great-grandson, Bika, founded the Partabgarh-Deolia state. Prithvi Raj was afterwards poisoned by his brother-in-law, Jaimall of Sirohi, whose title to Abu had been confirmed by his marriage, and whom Prithvi Raj had punished for ill-treating his sister; and on Raimall's death in 1508 his eldest son, Sangrama, succeeded him without opposition.

Sangrama, destined to fall on the field of battle, was one of the greatest of the princes of Chitor. Eighty thousand horse, seven Rajas of the highest rank, nine Raos, and one hundred and four chieftains bearing the titles of Rawal and Rawat, with five hundred war elephants, followed him into the field. The princes of Marwar and Amber did him homage, and the Raos of Gwalior, Ajmer, Sikri, Raisen, Kalpi, Chanderi, Bundi, Gagraun, Rampura, and Abu served him as tributaries or held of him in chief. Sangrama, like some of his predecessors, is credited with victories for which there is no historical warrant over the king of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi, but he profited by the weakness and distractions of his enemies to extend and secure his frontiers, and it was he who, as already described, defeated and captured Mahmud II of Malwa, whose army contained a contingent placed at his disposal by the Sultan of Gujarat, so that the victor was able to boast that he had defeated the allied forces of two Muslim kings.

Sangrama had been in communication with Babur while the latter was still at Kabul, and had agreed, in the event of his invading India, to attack Agra while he attacked Delhi, but had failed to fulfil his promise, hoping, apparently, either that both Babur and Ibrahim Lodi would be destroyed or that the victor would be so exhausted as to afford him an opportunity of establishing his supremacy and restoring Hindu rule in Northern India. Not content with failing to aid Babur, he assembled a large army to attack him, and began operations by besieging Bayana. Babur marched to the
relief of the fortress, and Sangrama raised the siege and marched to Khanua, near Sikri, where the fate of Northern India was decided.

A full account of the battle will be given in the records of Babur's reign. Sangrama displayed no eagerness to attack the Muslims, and according to the Hindu annals the battle was preceded by negotiations, in which Silahdi the Tomar, chief of Raisen, a fief of Malwa, but now virtually independent, was employed as the intermediary. He is said, on the same authority, to have made a private agreement with Babur, in pursuance of which he deserted the Hindu cause andjoined the Muslims during the battle, but the extenuation of defeat by allegations of treachery is as common in Hindu annals as in those of other nations. The Rajputs suffered a crushing defeat. Sangrama himself was severely wounded, and Rawal Udai Singh of Dungarpur; Ratan Singh, Rawat of Salumbar; Raimall Rathor, grandson and heir of the prince of Marwar; Khet Singh and Ratan Singh of Mertha; Ramdas, Rao of Jalor; Uja Jhala; Gokuldas Pawar; Manikchand and Chandrabhan, Chauhans; and many others of less note were slain.

Sangrama retired towards Mewat, resolved not to return to his capital until he had retrieved his defeat and crushed the invader; but his ministers shrank from the discomfort and hardships which his decision imposed upon them, and he died at Baswa of poison administered at their instigation.

He was succeeded by Ratan Singh II, his eldest surviving son, who was secretly affianced to the daughter of the Kachhwaha, Prithvi Raj, Rao of Amber, but delayed the marriage ceremony, and Surajmall, Rao of Bundi, of the Hara clan of the Chauhans, sought and obtained her hand in marriage. Surajmall and Ratan Singh met and fought in 1531, when each killed the other, and Vikramaditya or Bikramajit succeeded his brother on the throne of Mewar. The new Rana was arrogant, passionate, and vindictive, and alienated his nobles, and the cavaliers of Mewar, by his preference for the society of wrestlers and athletes and for the infantry of his army, which he developed at the expense of his cavalry. An open rupture occurred between the prince and his nobles, and his cavalry refused to perform their duties. Matters had reached this stage when Sultan Bahadur of Gujarat marched against Bikramajit, then encamped at Loicha, in the Bundi territory. The feudal forces of the state deserted their sovereign and marched off to defend Chitor and the infant Udai Singh, posthumous son of Sangrama. Bahadur gained an easy victory over the paiks, or foot-soldiers of Mewar, and turned towards Chitor, to the defence of which the prince of Bundi, the Raos of Jalor and Abu, and many chiefs from all parts of Rajasthan hastened. The siege has been described in Chapter XIII. Chitor fell in 1534, and became for a short time a possession of the kingdom of Gujarat, but Udai Singh, who had been crowned during the siege, was carried off into safety by Surjan, prince of Bundi. There is no truth in the Rajput story of the dispatch of the rakhi to Humayun by the young Rana's mother, and of the latter's chivalrous response, for though he had received gross provocation from Bahadur he punctiliously refrained from attacking him while he was engaged in warfare against the 'misbelievers'. After the fall of Chitor, however, Bahadur was compelled to retire before Humayun, and Bikramajit returned and almost immediately recovered the fortress. He had learned no wisdom in adversity, and his insolence and arrogance towards his nobles culminated in a blow inflicted in open court on Karamchaud of Ajmer, his father's protector and benefactor. On the following day the nobles put the unworthy prince to death and, dreading the rule of a minor at such a critical period, persuaded Banbir Singh, natural son of Prithvi Raj, Sangrama's younger brother, to mount the throne. Banbir immediately sought the life of the infant, Udai Singh, but he was saved by a faithful nurse, who carried him off, and, after some vicissitudes, delivered him to Asa Sah, governor of Kumbhalgarh, who ensured his safety by passing him off as his nephew, and for three years kept the secret of his presence with him. The rumor at length spread that the son of Sangrama was at Kumbhalgarh, and the nobles of Mewar assembled there to do him homage. The pretensions of the bastard, Banbir, had offended them, and all deserted him. He still held the capital, but his ministers admitted a thousand of the adherents of the legitimate prince, and he was deposed, and Udai Singh was enthroned in 1537.

Jadons of Jaisalmer

The foundation of Jaisalmer by Rawal Jaisal, the Bhati, has been mentioned. The Jadons, or Bhatis, yet occupy their home in the desert. The Rathors were gaining power in the land of Kher, the desert of the west, and the Jadons found them troublesome neighbors, rapacious and unscrupulous. Rawal Chachakdeo, grandson of Jaisal, who reigned from 1219 to 1241, made preparations to chastise them, but their leader conciliated him by giving him a daughter to wife.

Karan Singh I, who reigned from 1241 to 1271, espoused the cause of a Hindu living near Nagaur, whose only daughter had been abducted by Muzatfar Khan, the Muslim ruler or governor of that district, and defeated and slew the Khan and three thousand of his men. The annals of Jaisalmer record a siege of the city by the troops of Alauddin Khalji of Delhi, which lasted for eight years, from 1286 to 1295. Alauddin did not ascend the throne of Delhi until 1296, and no such siege as that sung by the bards ever took place. The account of the performance of the rite of jauhar and of the death of 24,000 women in the flames, is detailed and circumstantial. Three thousand eight hundred Rajput warriors rushed on the foe; Mulraj III, the Jadon chief, and seven hundred of his kin fell, and Jaisalmer was occupied by a Muslim garrison which, after holding the place for two years, dismantled it and retired.

It is impossible to connect this legend with any historical event, but it may possibly be a wilful perversion of the defeat of the Jadons by the Rathors, for the annals proceed to relate that after the retirement of the Muslim garrison Maloji Rathor, chief of Mewa, made preparations for occupying and colonizing the deserted city, but was expelled by the Bhati chiefs, Duda and Tilak Singh, the former of whom was elected Rawal, and reigned from 1295 to 1306.

The bards of Jaisalmer, no whit inferior to those of other states in imagination, thus describe the end of Duda's reign:

"He even extended his raids to Ajmer, and carried off the stud of Firuz Shah from the Anasagar (lake), where they were accustomed to be watered. This indignity provoked another attack upon Jaisalmer, attended with the same disastrous results. Again the sakha was performed, in which sixteen thousand females were destroyed; and Duda, with Tilak Singh and seventeen hundred of the clan, fell in battle, after he had occupied the gaddi ten years".

This statement is quoted merely in order to display the shameless mendacity of the bardic annals. Firuz Shah was Jalaluddin Firuz Khalji, the uncle and predecessor of Alauddin, who is said to have taken Jaisalmer in the previous year. It may be one more perversion of a defeat at the hands of the Rathors.

Jaisalmer was again restored by Ghar Singh, who is said to have received it in fee from the king of Delhi for services rendered against Timur, who did not invade India until nearly a century after this time, but if any such services were rendered the occasion was perhaps, as conjectured by Lt-Col. Tod, one of the many irruptions of the Mughuls which took place at this period. Ghar Singh was assassinated in 1335, and was succeeded by his adopted son, Kehar Singh. Kehar Singh's third son, Kailan, involved the Jaisalmer state in hostilities with the kingdom of Multan by establishing himself on the northern bank of the Sutlej, where he is said to have founded the town of Kahror. The presence of the Bhatis on the Multan side of the river was resented, and Chachakdeo, who succeeded to Jaisalmer about 1448, is said to have resided at Marot in order the more readily to repel raids on his territories from the direction of Multan. He is credited in the annals of the state with two victories over the Muslim kings of Multan, besides others over the Dhundls, the Rathors, and even the Khokhars of the Punjab. He is said to have lost his life in battle with the king of Multan, but the native annals, a most untrustworthy guide, are the only authority for his exploits. Even these fail us after Chachakdeo's reign, and until the time of the Mughul emperors record nothing but a bare list of names.


The famous fortress of Gwalior was held, at the time of Mahmud's incursions into India, by Kachhwaha Rajputs, probably feudatories of the Chandels of Jijhoti. Mahmud's siege of the fortress in 1022 has already been noticed, and its strength at that time may perhaps be gauged by the easy terms on which he raised the siege.

About 1128 the Parihar Rajputs ousted the Kachhwahas, a scion of whom established himself in the neighbourhood of Amber. Qutbuddin Aibak captured the fortress, but it was recovered during the feeble reign of his son, Aram Shah, by the Parihar Birbal, or Mai Deo, whose son, Mangal Bhava Deo, was holding it in 1232, when Iltutmish attacked it. An account of his siege and capture of the place has already been given. It remained in the hands of the Muslims until after Timur's invasion, and was captured, when the kingdom of Delhi fell to pieces, by the Tomar, Har Singh, and was successfully defended by his son Bhairon against the attacks of Mallu in 1402 and 1403. The sieges of Gwalior in 1416, 1427, and 1432 by kings of the Sayyid dynasty were rather expeditions for the purpose of collecting taxes, or tribute, than serious attempts to capture the fortress, and the raja could always rid himself of the invaders by a payment on account, and an illusory promise to make regular payments in future. In 1423 Hushang Shah of Malwa attacked the fortress, but raised the siege when the Sayyid, Mubarak Shah, marched to its relief.

During the protracted contest in the reign of Buhlill Lodi between the kingdoms of Delhi and Jaunpur Man Singh of Gwalior espoused the cause of the latter, and gave an asylum to its last king, Husain Shah, when he was fleeing before his enemies.

Man Singh profited by the strife between the Muslims to extend his dominions, and when Sikandar Lodi, provoked by his protection of a fugitive rebel, invaded them in 1505 and the following years, he did not venture to attack Gwalior itself, but contented himself with reducing Mandrael, Utgir, and other fortresses of less importance, and was eventually recalled from this campaign by other affairs, but in 1518 his son, Ibrahim Lodi, incensed by the raja's protection of the pretender, Jalal Khan, besieged his capital, and Yikramaditya or Bikramajit, the son and successor of Man Singh, was compelled to surrender.

Raja Man Singh, who reigned from 1486 to 1517, enriched Gwalior with the great palace which crowns the eastern face of the rock, and earned a name as a patron of music and musicians. The famous singer Tan Sen, and the best musicians and singers at Akbar's court had been trained in the Gwalior school.

The Kachhwahas of Amber and Jaipur claim descent from the ancient rajas of Gwalior, of that tribe. Tej Karan, known as Dulha Rai, or the Bridegroom Prince, who was eighth in descent from Vajradaman, the first Kachhwaha prince of Gwalior, left that city, for some undetermined reason, in charge of his sister's son, a Parihar, who usurped his throne. Tej Karan married the daughter of the Bargujar Rajput chief of Daosa, and inherited that principality, then known as Dhundhar, from the Dhund river. Maidal Rao, Tej Karan's grandson, took the fortress of Amber from the Mina chief Bhato, and made it his capital. Maidal's great-grandson, Pajun, married the sister of Prithvi Raj of Ajmer and Delhi, and was killed with his brother-in-law at the second battle of Taraori. The Amber state, as it was known after the establishment of that town as the capital, was of little importance until the reign of Humayun. Towards the end of the fourteenth century Udai Karan, prince of Amber, added the Shekhawati district to his dominions, but his house did not otherwise specially distinguish itself.

Gond Kingdoms

Gondwana, the forest region between Berar on the west and Orissa on the east, was sparsely populated by the Gonds, Dravidians who had probably migrated northwards from the Deccan, but in the eleventh century the northern and eastern tracts of this region, which were known as Chedi, were ruled by two families of Haihaya Bans Rajputs, who were probably, like the Chandels of Jijhoti, Hinduized Gonds. One family, which retained its possessions until it was ousted by the Marathas, had its capital at Ratanpur, in the present Bilaspur District; and the other at Tripuri, or Tewar, about six miles from Jubbulpore. The Haihayas were also known as the Kalachuris. Those of Tewar disappeared towards the end of the twelfth century, being supplanted, as is commonly believed, by Baghels of Rewa, but according to Gond tradition by a Gond hero named Jadu Rai, said to be the ancestor of the Gond dynasty which was certainly reigning in that region, with its capital at Garha, not long after that time.

Tradition records the existence of a dynasty of Gaoli, or cowherd race, of whom nothing certain is known, at Deogarh, the old fortress which stands twenty-four miles south-west of Chhindwara. This dynasty ended with the twin-brothers Ransur and Ghansur, who reigned jointly, and who befriended a Gond named Jatba. Jatba eventually slew his masters and founded the Gond dynasty which reigned at Deogarh. The only indication of a date in the legend is the record of an imaginary visit paid by Akbar to Jatba, and even tradition is silent as to the history of his successors, of whom hardly anything is known until the time of Bakht Buland, who was reigning at Deogarh at the latter end of the seventeenth century.

Rather more than sixty miles west of Deogarh stands the fortress of Kherla, the foundation of which is attributed to a Rajput dynasty, whose capital it remained for a long period. The last of the line, Jaitpal, is said to have been killed after a twelve years' siege by the army of the king of Delhi. No such siege is recorded by the Muslim historians, but it is possible that the officials first placed in Berar by Alauddin Khalji extinguished the Rajput dynasty and built the present fort, which appears to be of Muhammadan construction. It fell afterwards, probably during the rebellion of the Deccan in the latter years of Muhammad Tughluq's reign, into the hands of Gonds, who established a dynasty there.

Gond legend assigns a high degree of antiquity to the dynasty of Southern Gondwana, the original capital of which is said to have been Sirpur, near the Pranhita River, in the Adilabad District of the Nizam's dominions. Ballalpur, higher up the river and on the opposite bank, was next selected as the capital, which was moved almost immediately to the newly founded city of Chanda, where the Gonds reigned until the dynasty was extinguished by the Marathas.

There were thus, when Muslim rule was established both in Northern and in Southern India, four Gond kingdoms in Gondwana—a northern kingdom with its capital at Garha; two central kingdoms with their capitals at Deogarh and Kherla; and a southern kingdom with its capital at Chanda. There are no materials for a detailed history of these kingdoms during the period of which we treat. The northern kingdom, known to the Muslims as Garha-Katanga, from its capital and another town, and afterwards as Garha-Mandla, was extended by Sangram Shah, who succeeded about 1480, and developed the little state, consisting of four districts lying about Garha and Mandla, into a kingdom containing fifty-four districts, by annexing large portions of the Narbada valley, the districts now called Sangor and Damoh, and the present state of Bhopal. He built the fortress of Chauragarh, he enriched his capital with buildings, and he obtained the fair Durgavati, daughter of the Chandel raja of Mahoba, as a bride
for his son Dalpat, who succeeded him. The alliance suggests the origin of the Chandels.

Durgavati, as regent for her son, Bir Narayan, earned undying fame as the defender of his inheritance against the Muslim ruler of Malwa and against Akbar, though she perished in the Mughul's unprovoked attack on the kingdom.

Of the history of the neighboring kingdom of Deogarh nothing certain, as has been said, is known until the reign of Bakht Buland, late in the seventeenth century.

Of Kherla more is known. The fortress is situated near the highway between Hindustan and the Deccan, and could not fail to attract attention. The Muslim kings of the Deccan refrained from molesting this state until, in 1398, Narsingh, the Gond raja, taking advantage of Firuz Shah's preoccupation with Vijayanagar, and instigated by the Muslim rulers of Malwa and Khandesh, invaded and ravaged Berar. He was driven out of that province and obliged to swear fealty to Firuz. Subsequent relations between the three states, the Deccan, Malwa, and Kherla, have been described in Chapter XV. In the reign of Ahmad Shah, brother and successor of Firuz, it was agreed that the allegiance of Kherla should be transferred to Malwa, and the king of Malwa afterwards captured the fortress and exterminated the Gond dynasty. Kherla appears in the Am-i-Akhari as a district in the province of Berar.

Kingdom of Chanda

Of the southern kingdom, Chanda, yet more is known, but what little certain knowledge we possess is disfigured and obscured by a rank overgrowth of fiction. Despite the claims to antiquity made in the legends of this kingdom it seems to have risen on the ruins of the Yakataka dynasty, whose capital was probably at Bhandak, a village near Chanda, at the end of the eleventh or beginning of the twelfth century, and the names of nineteen kings who reigned between that time and 1751, when the Marathas occupied the kingdom, have been preserved.

The first was Bhim Ballar, or Ballal, Singh, whose capital was at Sirpur and his chief stronghold Manikgarh, in the hills west of that town. His grandson was Hir Singh, who induced the Gonds to cultivate the land and introduced a primitive land revenue system. Hir Singh's grandson, Dinkar Singh, was a patron of learning, and was succeeded by his son. Ram Singh, a just ruler and a successful soldier, who extended the frontiers of his kingdom. Ram Singh was succeeded by his son, Surja Ballal Singh, one of the most romantic figures of old Gondwana. Owing to the absence of any written record it is impossible to say precisely at what period he reigned. The early part of the fifteenth century has been assigned as his date, but it appears to be at least as likely that he lived early in the fourteenth century. The romantic circumstances of his supposed visit to Delhi need not be recorded here, but it is probable that he visited that city, though the fact has not been deemed worthy of mention by any trustworthy historian. From the absence of any such mention it may be inferred that the Gond story of his rendering the king of Delhi an important service by capturing the fortress of a Rajput named Mohan Singh which the Muslim officers had failed to take is fiction, as is also the story that the king rewarded him for the exploit with the title of Shah, which no Muslim king of Delhi would have conferred. It is certain, however, that Surja Ballal and all who succeeded him on the throne of Chanda used this title, in the form 'Sa, and it appears that Surja Ballal, who was known after his visit to Delhi as Sher Sah Ballal Sah, assumed it in imitation of the king of Delhi.

Surja Ballal was succeeded by his son Khandkia Ballal Sah, who suffered from some disease which caused tumours and swellings on his body. Seeking a healthier capital than Sirpur he built the town of Ballalpur on the opposite side of the river. While hunting he accidentally discovered near the site on which Chanda stands a pool of water in a river bed, and, having drunk and washed himself in the water, found his disease alleviated. It was decided that the spot was the resting-place of the great god Achaleshwar, 'the Immovable One', and Khandkia, having been perfectly restored to health by further use of the water, built a new capital near the site, naming it Chandrapur, or Chanda (the Moon City). Its walls were completed by his son and successor, Hir Sah, who induced or compelled his subjects to undertake the cultivation of fixed holdings, and constructed many reservoirs for irrigation. His revenue from the land was assessed on the ploughs employed. He also built the citadel and the palace of Chanda, parts of which still stand. Of Hir Sah it is recorded that he paid no tribute to any foreign king, from which statement it may be inferred that his predecessors had paid tribute, probably to the Bahmani kings of the Deccan, but the relations between that kingdom and the southern Gond state are most obscure.

The kings of Chanda were not, like those of Kherla, drawn into the disputes between the kings of the Deccan and their northern neighbors, and seem wisely to have avoided such entanglements; but when Firuz Shah, the eighth king of the Bahmani dynasty, marched northwards, in 1399 or 1400, to punish Narsingh of Kherla for having invaded Berar, the fortress of Mahur was held by a 'misbeliever', probably a Gond from Chanda who had joined Narsingh; but he was permitted to retain the command of the fortress as governor on behalf of Firuz, on making submission.

The same governor was again in rebellion in 1424, and in the following year Ahmad Shah, the successor of Firuz, dealt with him in the manner already described. Continuing his march northwards Ahmad found the fortress of Kalam in the hands of a Gond chief, whom he slew or expelled, and then led a raid into Gondwana. He probably crossed the Wardha on this occasion, and, if so, this is the only recorded instance of the invasion of the Chanda kingdom by a Muslim king.

Hir Sah was succeeded by his two sons, Bhima and Lokba, who reigned jointly until they were succeeded by Karn Sah, the son of one of them, who embraced and propagated the Hindu religion and substituted the regular administration of justice for the primitive system under which each man avenged his own wrongs.

Karn Sah was succeeded by his son, Babaji Ballal Sah , who recovered the fortress of Bairagarh and is mentioned in the Ain-i-Akhari as being able to place in the field 1000 horse and 40,000 foot. He paid no tribute.

The Gond language possesses no written characters, and a high standard of civilization could hardly exist at the courts of the four Gond kingdoms, but the kings were not mere barbarians. Their architecture proves their taste, and if they possessed no native literature many were enlightened enough to encourage Hindu letters. The northern kingdom, Garha-Mandla, was rich, the rajas of Deogarh and Kherla were warlike, but none could compare with the greatness of the southern kingdom.

Unlike the other Gond kingdoms, the house of Chanda seems to have had a long succession of good and intelligent rulers, who resisted the natural temptations to inner strife and intrigue which brought destruction to the other kingdoms.