The Guhilas of Medapata colloquially known as Guhilas of Mewar were a Rajput dynasty that ruled the Kingdom of Mewar (Medapata, modern Mewar) region in present-day Rajasthan state of India.[2][3] The Guhila kings initially ruled as Gurjara-Pratihara feudatories between end of 8th and 9th centuries and later were independent in period of the early 10th century and allied themselves with the Rashtrakutas.[4] Their capitals included Nagahrada (Nagda) and Aghata (Ahar). For this reason, they are also known as the Nagda-Ahar branch of the Guhilas.

Guhila Dynasty
गुहिल राजवंश
The Guhilas and neighbouring South Asian polities circa 1250 CE.[1]
• 728-753
Bappa Rawal (first)
• 753-773
Khuman I
• 828-853
Khuman II
• 878-942
Khuman III
• 942-951
Rawal Bharttripatta II
• 951-971
Rawal Allata
• 1303
• Established
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Mori Rajputs
Sisodias of Mewar
Delhi Sultanate

The Guhilas assumed sovereignty after the decline of the Pratiharas in the 10th century under Rawal Bharttripatta II and Rawal Allata. During the 10th-13th centuries, they were involved in military conflicts with several of their neighbours, including the Paramaras, the Chahamanas, the Delhi Sultanate, the Chaulukyas, and the Vaghelas. In the late 11th century, the Paramara king Bhoja interfered in the Guhila throne possibly deposing a ruler and placing some other ruler of the branch.[5]

In the mid-12th century, the dynasty divided into two branches. The senior branch (whose rulers are called Rawal in the later medieval literature) ruled from Chitrakuta (modern Chittorgarh), and ended with Ratnasimha's defeat against the Delhi Sultanate at the 1303 Siege of Chittorgarh. The junior branch rose from the village of Sisoda with the title Rana and established the Sisodia Rajput dynasty.

Origin edit

The history of the Guhilas has been obscured by bardic legends. In the 7th century, three different Guhila dynasties are known to have ruled in present-day Rajasthan in Nagda-Ahar, Kishkindha (Kalyanpur) and Dhavagarta (Dhor). None of these dynasties claimed any prestigious origin in their 7th century records.[6] The Guhilas of Dhavagarta explicitly mentioned the Mori (later Mauryas) kings as their overlords, and the early kings of the other two dynasties also bore the titles indicating their subordinate status.[7]

By the 10th century, the Guhilas of Nagda-Ahar were the only among the three dynasties to have survived. By this time, their political status had increased, and the Guhila kings had assumed high royal titles such as Maharajadhiraja. During this period, the dynasty started claiming a prestigious origin, stating that its founder Guhadatta was a Brahmin who had migrated from Anandapura (present-day Vadnagar in Gujarat).[8] The 977 CE Atpur inscription of Shaktikumara lists 20 Guhila kings in an unbroken line of succession, starting with Guhadatta and ending with Shaktikumara.[9]

The Guhila dynasty ruled from Chittor Fort, which fell to the Delhi Sultanate in the Siege of Chittorgarh (1303), marking the end of the dynasty.

By the 13th century, having consolidated their rule over the Medapata (Mewar) region, the Guhilas came up with a new origin myth.[10] Their post-13th century records and the subsequent bardic legends name the dynasty's founder as Bappa Rawal, who is not mentioned in the Atpur inscription.[11] These accounts state that Bappa Rawal consolidated his rule with the blessings of the Pashupata sage Haritarashi.[10] Different historians identify Bappa Rawal with different kings mentioned in the Atpur inscription, including Kalabhoja, Shiladitya, and Khummana. R. C. Majumdar theorizes that Bappa achieved a highly significant military success, because of which he gained reputation as the dynasty's founder.[11]

According to the 1274 CE Chittor inscription and the 1285 CE Achaleshwar (Abu) inscription of Vedasharma, Bappa Rawal "changed his priestly splendour for regal lustre". Based on this, scholars such as D. R. Bhandarkar theorized that the Guhilas were originally Brahmins. G. H. Ojha, however, believed that the statement in Vedasharma's inscription is a misinterpretation of the earlier Atpur inscription. The Atpur inscription describes Guhadatta as a "Mahideva", which according to historian R. V. Somani, can be translated as either "king" or "Brahmin".[12]

The 1274 CE Chittor inscription compares the Guhila ruler Bharttripatta with Rama, describing both of them as "Brahma-Kshatras". Based on the identification of Rama with Parashurama, scholars such as D. C. Sircar theorized that the progenitor of the dynasty had a Brahmin parent and a Kshatriya parent. However, Somani dismisses this theory, arguing that Rama here refers to Ramachandra, from whose Solar dynasty (or Suryavansh) the later Guhilas claimed descent.[13]

The later bardic chronicles mention a fabricated genealogy, claiming that the dynasty's founder Guhaditya was a son of Shiladitya, the Maitraka ruler of Vallabhi. This claim is not supported by historical evidence.[14]

History edit

Statue of Bappa Rawal at Mewar (r.728 CE–763 CE).

R. C. Majumdar places Guhadatta in the 5th century CE, assuming a 20-year reign for each generation.[9] R. V Somani places him somewhere before the first quarter of the 6th century.[14][15]

According to the 977 CE Atpur inscription and the 1083 CE Kadmal inscription, Guhadatta was succeeded by Bhoja, who commissioned the construction of a tank at Eklingji. The 1285 CE Achaleshwar inscription describes him as a devotee of Vishnu.[16] Bhoja was succeeded by Mahendra and Nagaditya. The bardic legends state that Nagaditya was killed in a battle with the Bhils.[16]

Nagaditya's successor Shiladitya raised the political status of the family significantly, as suggested by his 646 CE Samoli inscription, as well as the inscriptions of his successors, including the 1274 CE Chittor inscription and the 1285 CE Abu inscription. R. V. Somani theorizes that the copper and zinc mines at Jawar were excavated during his reign, which greatly increased the economic prosperity of the kingdom. The 16th century Buddhist writer Taranatha mentions a reputed artist named Shringadhara, who was patronized by the king Shila of Maru country. Somani identifies this king as the Guhila king Shiladitya, although some other historians have identified him as Harshavardhana or the Maitraka king Shiladitya.[17]

Shiladitya was succeeded by Aparajita, who is attested by the 661 CE Kunda inscription. This epigraph records the construction of a Vishnu temple by Yashomati, the wife of Aparajita's commander Varaha. According to the bardic chronicles, Aparajita was also killed in a battle with the Bhils. His son Mahendra succeeded him.[18]

Mahendra was succeeded by Kalabhoja, who has been identified as Bappa Rawal by several historians including G. H. Ojha.[19]

The Guhilas originally acknowledged the suzerainty of the Gurjara-Pratiharas. In the 10th century, Bharttripatta II became an independent ruler, and assumed the title Maharajadhiraja, as attested by a 943 CE inscription. His successor Allata (reigned c. 950s CE) killed one Devapala, who according to Majumdar, might have been the Gurjara-Pratihara king Devapala.[11]

Sahasra Bahu Temples in Nagda, Rajasthan, 10th century CE.
Sahasra Bahu Temples relief in Nagda, Rajasthan, 10th century CE.

Guhilas of Ahar edit

Towards the end of the 10th century, Ahar became the second capital of the Guhilas.[20]

In the later half of the 10th century, the Paramara king Munja defeated the elephant forces of the Guhilas, and plundered their capital Ahar. The defeated Guhila ruler (either Naravahana or his son Shaktikumara) took shelter with Dhavala, the Rashtrakuta ruler of Hastikundi. As a result of this victory, the Paramaras gained control of the eastern part of Mewar, including Chittorgarh.[21]

Shaktikumara's son Ambaprasada was defeated and killed by the Chahamana king Vakpati II. Among his successors, Vijayasimha (r.c. 1108–1116) was a son-in-law of the Paramara king Udayaditya and a father-in-law of the Kalachuri king Gayakarna.[20]

Rawal branch edit

According to the 15th century text Eklinga-Mahatmaya, the family split into two branches during the reign of Ranasimha alias Karna: the Rawal (senior) branch of Chittor, and the Rana (junior) branch of Sisoda.[22] The later Sisodia Rajput dynasty of Sesoda thus descended from the Guhilas of Mewar.[23]

Kshemasimha succeeded his father Ranasimha alias Karna. By 1151, Chittor was under the control of the Chaulukya king Kumarapala.[20] Kshemasimha's son Samantasimha appears to have achieved military success against Kumarapala's successor Ajayapala. However, he was defeated by Ajayapala's feudatory Prahladana, the Paramara chief of Abu. The 1231 CE Abu prashasti inscription states that Prahladana defended the Gurjara king (that is, Ajayapala) after Samantasimha had broken the king's power on the battlefield.[24]

Roof carvings, Sahasra Bahu Temples in Nagda, Rajasthan, 10th century CE.

Shortly later, the Naddula Chahamana king Kirtipala, who was also a Chaulukya feudatory, ousted Samantasimha from Mewar. Kirtipala probably launched this invasion during 1171-1179 CE, with the approval of his Chaulukya overlord. By 1182,[20] Samantasimha's younger brother Kumarasimha regained the control of his ancestral kingdom by appeasing the Chaulukya king Bhima II.[25] After losing his ancestral realm, Samantasimha established new branch of the Guhilas in the area of Vagad. However, he was displaced from Vagad by Bhima II in 1185 CE or thereabouts. He was aided by Sambhar-Ajmer ruler Prithviraja III with whom he fought against the Ghurid conqueror Muhammad of Ghor in Second Battle of Tarain.[26][27]

Kumarasimha was succeeded by Mathanasimha, Padmasimha and Jaitrasimha.[20]

Jaitrasimha edit

During the reign of Jaitrasimha (r. c. 1213–1252), the Guhilas achieved a high political status.[28] He fought with multiple rulers like Turushkas at Naddula[29] which was possible held by Ghurid dynasty who captured it from Chauhans,[29] Tribhuvana-Ranaka (identified with the Chaulukya king Tribhuvanapala) at Kottadaka,[30] Iltutmish invaded Mewar, and destroyed Nagada. His relatives also possibly fought with Panchalagudika Jaitramalla.[28]

The Guhila records also credit him with military success against the king of Shakambhari. The rulers of Shakambhari had already ended by this time, therefore, this may be a reference to the Chahamanas of Ranthambore. Jaitrasimha is also said to have defeated the Sindhuka army, whose identity is uncertain.[28]

Decline edit

Jaitrasimha's son Tejasimha ascended the throne sometime before 1260. The earliest Guhila inscription discovered at Chittor is from Tejasimha's reign, and refers to "Chitrakuta-maha-durga" (the great fort of Chittor).[28]

Tejasimha's son Samarasimha succeeded him sometime during 1267–1273. He defeated Krishnaraja, a ruler of the Paramara branch of Abu. He lost control of Abu soon, when Krishnaraja's son Pratapasimha, supported by the Vaghela king Sarangadeva, conquered it during 1285–1287. Sometime before 1285, Samarasimha helped Sarangadeva repulse a Turushka (Turkic) invasion of Gujarat (possibly a Delhi Sultanate army during Balban's reign).[28] His Chirwa inscription states that he "like unto the primaeval boar [...] in a moment lifted the deeply sunk Gurjara land out of the Turushka sea".[31] Towards the end of the 13th century, when Alauddin Khalji's army invaded Gujarat, Samarasimha saved his kingdom by paying a tribute.[28]

The Rawal branch ended when Ratnasimha was defeated by Alauddin Khalji in the Siege of Chittorgarh (1303).[32] The Rana branch survived in form of the Sisodia dynasty which continued to rule Mewar till Independence of India from British control.[citation needed]

Genealogy edit

Different sources offer different lists of the Guhila kings. The earliest extant inscription that provides a genealogy of the dynasty is the 971 CE inscription of Naravahana. However, it is badly damaged, and only three names can be read: Guhila, Bappa and Naravahana.[33]

The following inscriptions are the major sources of the dynasty's genealogy:[34][35]

  • Atpur (Ahar) inscription, 977 CE (1034 VS) of Śaktikumāra
  • Chittor inscription, 1274 CE (1331 VS) of Samarasiṃha
  • Abu (Achaleshvar) inscription, 1285 CE (1342 VS) of Samarasiṃha
  • Sadadi (Ranpur) inscription, 1439 CE (1496 VS) of Kumbhakarna of Rana (Sisodia) branch
  • Kumbhalgarh inscription, 1460 CE (1517 VS) of Kumbhakarna of Rana (Sisodia) branch

Early kings edit

The following table lists the early kings of the dynasty, as given in the various inscriptions.[34][35]

# Name (IAST) Atpur
Date of own inscriptions Notes
1 Bappa Called Bappaka in Abu inscription
2 Guhila Called Guhadatta in Atpur inscription
3 Bhoja
4 Mahendra (I)
5 Nāga
6 Śila ? 646 CE (703 VS)
7 Aparājita 661 CE (718 VS)
8 Mahendra (II)
9 Kālabhoja
10 Khommāṇa (I) Called Sh[Kh]ummāṇa in Kumbhalgarh inscription
11 Mattaṭa Called Manttaṭa in Chittor inscription
12 Bhartṛipaṭṭa (I) Called Bhartṛibhaṭa in all inscriptions except the Atpur one
13 Siṃha Called Athasiṃha Chittor inscription
14 Khommāṇa (II) Son of Siṃha
15 Mahāyaka Called Mahāyika in Abu inscription, Son of Khommāṇa
16 Khommāṇa (III) Called Khumāṇa in all inscriptions except the Atpur one, Son of Mahāyaka
17 Bhartṛipaṭṭa (II) 942 CE (999 VS), 943 CE (1000 VS) Son of Khommāṇa (III), Married Mahālakṣmī of Rashtrakuta family
18 Allaṭa 951 CE (1008 VS), 953 CE (1010 VS) Son of Bhartṛipaṭṭa (II), Married Huna princess Hariyādevī
19 Naravāhana 971 CE (1028 VS) Son of Allaṭa, Married a daughter of Jejaya of Chahamana family. Held religious debates in court between Buddhists, Jains and Shaivite Hindus.[36]
20 Śalivāhana Son of Naravāhana
21 Śaktikumāra 977 CE (1034 VS) Son of Śalivāhana
22 Āmraprasāda 993 CE (1050 VS) Called Ambāprasāda in Kumbhalgarh inscription, Son of Śaktikumāra. Slain by Chauhan Vakpatiraja II in Battle.
23 Śuchivarman ? The Kumbhalgarh inscription lists Anantavarman (a son of Śaktikumāra) instead
24 Naravarman Son of Śaktikumāra
25 Kīrtivarman ? The Kumbhalgarh inscription lists Yaśovarman (a son of Śaktikumāra) instead
26 Yogarāja According to Kumbhalgarh inscription, his descendants did not rule. Possibly deposed by Bhoja of Paramars.[37]
27 Vairaṭa Descendant of Junior branch from Allata. Possibly placed on throne by Bhoja.[38]
28 Vaṃśapāla Called Haṃsapāla in Kumbhalgarh inscription
29 Vairisiṃha Son of Vaṃśapāla
30 Vijayasiṃha 1164 VS, 1173 VS Son of Vairaṭa. Married Śyāmaladevī (daughter of Paramara king Udayaditya) forming a matrimonial alliance with the traditional enemy of the house; His daughter Alhaṇadevi married the Kalachuri king Gayakarna. The Kumbhalgarh inscription mentions an unnamed narendra (prince), who is identified with him.[39]
31 Vairisiṃha (II) Son of Vijayasiṃha. Called Virasiṃha in Kumbhalgarh inscription
32 Arisiṃha
33 Choḍa Called Choḍasiṃha in Sadadi inscription
34 Vikramasiṃha Son of Choḍa (Abu insc.) or Elder brother of Choḍa (Kumbhalgarh insc.)
35 Raṇasiṃha 1223 VS Son of Vikramasiṃha. Called Karṇasiṃha in Ekalinga Purana. Rana Branch descends through his son Rahapa.

Post-split Rawal branch edit

After Raṇasiṃha, the dynasty split into the Rawal branch and the Rana branch. The following is a list of the rulers of the Rawal branch. Except Ratnasiṃha, all these rulers are mentioned in Abu, Sadadi, and Kumbhalgarh inscriptions. Ratnasiṃha is mentioned only in the Kumbhalgarh inscription.[40][41]

# Name (IAST) Date of own inscriptions Notes
36 Kṣemasiṃha 1228 VS, 1236 VS, 1256 VS, 1258 VS Son of Raṇasiṃha; his elder brother Mahanasiṃha apparently died before their father Raṇasiṃha
37 Sāmantasiṃha Son of Kṣemasiṃha
38 Kumārasiṃha Younger brother of Sāmantasiṃha
39 Mathanasiṃha Called Mahanasiṃha in Kumbhalgarh inscription, Son of Kumārasiṃha
40 Padmasiṃha
41 Jaitrasiṃha 1270 VS, 1279 VS, 1284 VS Called Raula Jayasiṃha in Kumbhalgarh inscription. Son of Padmasiṃha. His younger son Sīlhaḍa seems to have ruled Vāgaḍa.
42 Tejasiṃha 1317 VS, 1322 VS, 1324 VS Son of Jaitrasiṃha. The Kumbhalgarh inscription gives his title as Rāula. Married Jayatalladevī
43 Samarasiṃha 1330 VS, 1331 VS, 1335 VS, 1342 VS, 1344 VS, 1345 VS, 1356 VS, 1358 VS Son of Tejasiṃha. Assumed the title Mahārajākula. The Kumbhalgarh inscription gives his title as Rāula.
44 Ratnasiṃha 1359 VS Son of Samarasiṃha. Assumed the title Mahārajākula in Dariba inscription. The Kumbhalgarh inscription gives his title as Rāula.

The 1439 Sadadi inscription of Kumbhakarna lists the following five rulers as Samarasiṃha's successors: Bhuvanasiṃha, Jayasiṃha, Lakṣmasiṃha, Ajayasiṃha, and Arisiṃha. These names are followed by that of Hammīra and other his Sisodia successors. These names are also mentioned in the text Ekalinga Māhātmya (also called Ekalinga Purāṇa). However, these rulers actually belonged to the Rana branch of the family.[40]

The 1460 Kumbhalgarh inscription of Kumbhakarna states that after Ratnasiṃha departed from the battlefield (during the 1303 Siege of Chittor), Lakshmasiṃha of the Rana branch died fighting to defend the fort.[32]

Rana branch edit

Guhila headquarters at various times

Rahapa, a son of Ranasimha alias Karna, established the Rana branch. According to the 1652 Eklingji inscription, Rahapa's successors were:[42]

  • Narapati
  • Dinakara
  • Jasakarna
  • Nagapala
  • Karnapala
  • Bhuvanasimha
  • Bhimasimha
  • Jayasimha
  • Lakhanasimha
  • Arisimha (Arasi)
  • Hammira (Hammir Singh)

Hammir Singh re-established the families rule over Mewar under the title of Rana.

For Sisodia successors of Hammir Singh, see Ranas of Mewar.

References edit

  1. ^ Schwartzberg, Joseph E. (1978). A Historical atlas of South Asia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. pp. 21, 147. ISBN 0226742210.
  2. ^ Brajadulal Chattopadhyay (2006). Studying Early India: Archaeology, Texts and Historical Issues. Anthem. p. 116. ISBN 978-1-84331-132-4. The period between the seventh and the twelfth century witnessed gradual rise of a number of new royal-lineages in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, which came to constitute a social-political category known as 'Rajput'. Some of the major lineages were the Pratiharas of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and adjacent areas, the Guhilas and Chahamanas of Rajasthan, the Caulukyas or Solankis of Gujarat and Rajasthan and the Paramaras of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  3. ^ David Ludden (2013). India and South Asia: A Short History. Simon and Schuster. p. 89. ISBN 978-1-78074-108-6. By contrast in Rajasthan a single warrior group evolved called Rajput (from Rajaputra-sons of kings): they rarely engaged in farming, even to supervise farm labour as farming was literally beneath them, farming was for their peasant subjects. In the ninth century separate clans of Rajputs Cahamanas (Chauhans), Paramaras (Pawars), Guhilas (Sisodias) and Caulukyas were splitting off from sprawling Gurjara Pratihara clans...
  4. ^ Ram Vallabh Somani 1976, pp. 51.
  5. ^ Ram Vallabh Somani 1976, pp. 59–61.
  6. ^ Nandini Sinha 1991, p. 64.
  7. ^ Nandini Sinha 1991, p. 65.
  8. ^ Nandini Sinha 1991, p. 66.
  9. ^ a b R. C. Majumdar 1977, pp. 298–299.
  10. ^ a b Nandini Sinha 1991, p. 68.
  11. ^ a b c R. C. Majumdar 1977, p. 299.
  12. ^ Ram Vallabh Somani 1976, pp. 31–32.
  13. ^ Ram Vallabh Somani 1976, p. 32.
  14. ^ a b Ram Vallabh Somani 1976, p. 34.
  15. ^ Ali, Daud (1 January 2005). "NANDINI SINHA KAPUR: State Formation in Rajasthan: Mewar during the Seventh-Fifteenth Centuries. 308pp. Delhi: Manohar, 2002". Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient.
  16. ^ a b Ram Vallabh Somani 1976, p. 36.
  17. ^ Ram Vallabh Somani 1976, pp. 37–38.
  18. ^ Ram Vallabh Somani 1976, p. 39.
  19. ^ Ram Vallabh Somani 1976, p. 40.
  20. ^ a b c d e D. C. Ganguly 1957, p. 89.
  21. ^ Krishna Narain Seth 1978, p. 94.
  22. ^ Akshaya Keerty Vyas 1937, pp. 311.
  23. ^ R. C. Majumdar 1977, p. 298.
  24. ^ Asoke Kumar Majumdar 1956, p. 128.
  25. ^ Ashok Kumar Srivastava 1979, p. 5.
  26. ^ Gopinath Sharma (1992). "RAJASTHAN". In Mohammad Habib; Khaliq Ahmad Nizami (eds.). A Comprehensive History of India: The Delhi Sultanat (A.D. 1206-1526). Vol. 5 (Second ed.). The Indian History Congress / People's Publishing House. p. 803. COMPRISING the districts of Dungarpur and Banswara was known as Vagad in old days. It was occupied chiefly by Bhils and to a small extent by Rajputs of the Chauhan and Pramara clans. Samant Singh of Mewar was forced by circumstances to migrate to Vagad and to set up a separate principality with its capital at Baroda in the last halť of the twelfth century. But his rüle was short-lived. After a reign of about ten years, he was overpowered by Bhim Deva II, who established his sway about the year 1185 and posted his chief, Vijayapal, over Vagad. The fugitive prince, according to local traditions, repaired to the court of Prithviraja and died a martyr's death at the famous feld of Tarain
  27. ^ Rima Hooja (2006). A HISTORY OF RAJASTHAN (PB). Rupa & Company. p. 350. ISBN 978-81-291-1501-0. In the final quarter of the twelfth century AD (as noted already), Mewar's Guhila chief, Samantasimha, sought refuge in the Vagar area, following his defeat at the hands of Kirtipal of Jalore and the Chalukyas of Gujarat, along with the loss of his capital city. Samantasimha established a principality centred around his new small capital of Baroda sometime around c. 1171 or so. This probably proved short-lived. Ojha holds, on the basis of the Virpur Inscription, that having been forced to quit his estates, Samantasimha subsequently found a place at the court of Prithviraj Chauhan III, and finally met a hero's death at the battle of Tarain
  28. ^ a b c d e f D. C. Ganguly 1957, p. 90.
  29. ^ a b R. B. Singh 1964, p. 264.
  30. ^ Asoke Kumar Majumdar 1956, p. 168.
  31. ^ Peter Jackson 2003, p. 133.
  32. ^ a b Akshaya Keerty Vyas 1937, p. 313.
  33. ^ Anil Chandra Banerjee 1958, p. 15.
  34. ^ a b N. P. Chakravarti 1987, pp. 119–121.
  35. ^ a b Anil Chandra Banerjee 1958, pp. 14–15.
  36. ^ Ram Vallabh Somani 1976, pp. 55.
  37. ^ Ram Vallabh Somani 1976, pp. 59–60.
  38. ^ Ram Vallabh Somani 1976, pp. 59.
  39. ^ Akshaya Keerty Vyas 1937, pp. 310–314.
  40. ^ a b N. P. Chakravarti 1987, p. 121.
  41. ^ Akshaya Keerty Vyas 1937, pp. 312–313.
  42. ^ D. C. Ganguly 1957, p. 91.

Bibliography edit