Rudranarayan

Maharaja Rudranarayan (Bengali: মহারাজা রুদ্রনারায়ণ) was the ruler of Bhurishrestha, who consolidated and expanded the kingdom and converted it into one of the most powerful Hindu kingdoms of the time. He broke the traditional alliance with the Pathan sultans of Gaur and struck new alliance with the Hindu kingdom of Odisha and accounted for the downfall of the Pathan regime in Bengal.

Rudranarayan
Maharaja of Bhurishrestha
PredecessorShivanarayan
SuccessorBhavashankari
SpouseBhavashankari

Early lifeEdit

Rudranaryan born the only child of Maharaja Shivanarayan.[1] Rudranarayan was a supremely skilled swordsman. While a prince, he used to assist his father in managing the affairs of the State.[2] Maharaja Shivanarayan entrusted the royal duties to his able successor and engaged himself in spiritual activities.

ReignEdit

After his father died, he acceded the throne of Bhurishrestha. As a ruler he first united the two houses of Pendo and Dogachhia. After that Rudranarayan concentrated on consolidating his control over south western Bengal and large parts of it were brought under the flag of Bhurishrestha. The domain of the kingdom included the present districts of Howrah, Hooghly, East Midnapore, major part of West Midnapore and south western part of Burdwan.[3] He organised the navy. Several men-of-war were stationed in Damodar and Ron. He had garrisoned troops at Tamluk, Amta, Uluberia, Khanakul, Chhaunapur and Naskardanga.[4]

Battle of TribeniEdit

After consolidating his position, he concentrated on consolidating a Hindu confederacy to counter the rising Pathan sultanate of Gaur and approached the Hindu kingdoms of Bengal, Bihar and Odisha then under Gajapati Mukundadeva. He struck an alliance with Gajapati Mukunda Deva, the ruler of Kalinga (Odisha, Andhra, Bihar and southern Bengal).[2] In 1565, Mukunda Deva accepted the suzerainty of Akbar[5] and agreed to attack Sulaiman Karrani, the Pathanler of Gaur, in case he revolted against the Mughal emperor. The combined forces of Bhurishrestha and Odisha, met the Pathan forces at Tribeni. A heavy battle ensued and the Pathan forces were completely routed. Rajiv Lochan Ray, the general of Gajapati Mukundadeva and the commander-in-chief, of the combined forces showed remarkable valour and bravery. He had literally annihilated the Moslem army. Owing to this victory Gajapati Mukundadeva wrested the control of Saptagram.[3][6] He built a temple at Tribeni at a ghat at Gajagiri on the banks of Ganga.[7]

Conversion of KalapahadEdit

After the defeat in the Battle of Tribeni, Sulaiman Karrani was forced to make peace.[8] He realised that he would never be able to conquer Bhurishrestha unless he could defeat Rajiv Lochan Ray, the general of Gajapati Mukundadeva in the battlefield, which was next to impossible. So he invited him to his palace and trapped him into a love affair with his daughter. He offered Rajiv Lochan Ray to convert to Islam to which the wily general offered a counter offer, to convert his daughter to Hinduism and marry her.[9] However, Gajapati Mukunda Deva was opposed to such a matrimonial alliance and in accordance to the prevailing practices of Hinduism, decreed that neither Rajiv nor his sons would be allowed to enter the premises of Puri Jagannath temple. Enraged, Rajiv Lochan Ray vowed to take revenge of this insult and destroy the Jagannath temple at Puri. Hence he converted and married Karrani's daughter taking the name of Kalapahad (Black Hill). He led the Moslem Afghan army and attacked Odisha defeated Mukundadeva and sacked major towns and religious places including Hijli, Cuttack, Jajpur, Sambalpur, Konark, Ekamrakhsetra, Puri etc. in 1568.[5] Legend has it that ultimately Kalapahad was drowned in the river by Devi Samaleshwari in Sambalpur, Odisha. In reality, not much is known as to the real reasons for the death of Kalapahad. He may have been killed by certain remnants of the Gajapati's army while returning to Suleiman Karrani.

Conflict with Kotlu KhanEdit

On account of Kalapahad's conversion, Rudranarayan broke Bhurishrestha's traditional alliance with the Sultanate of Gaur. After the demise of Sulaiman Karrani, Daud Khan Karrani persuaded Rudranarayan for help against the Mughals, but in vain. After him, Kotlu Khan once again approached him for help, but he refused.[10] At this Kotlu Khan decided to attack Bhurishrestha. But intimidated by the might of Bhurishrestha's army and navy, he decided to attack the kingdom from the west. When the news reached Akbar, that the Pathan forces were marching towards Bengal, he dispatched an army of 5000 cavalry under the leadership of Jagat Singh, the son of Man Singh.[4] He sent emissaries to the courts of Bhurishrestha and Bishnupur inviting an alliance.

Kotlu Khan first tried to intimidate the Garhnayak of Mandaran and win him to his side. When he failed, he attacked the fort. Jagat Singh, who had arrived in Jehanabad, attacked Kotlu Khan from the west. The troops of Bishnupur attacked from the north and the soldiers of Bhurishrestha attacked from the east. In the battle, the commander of the fort and Kotlu Khan was killed. Jagat Singh was severely injured. He was saved from Pathan general Osman Khan and carried to Bishnupur and nursed. Osman Khan the Pathan general fled with his troops to Odisha.[4]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Bhattacharya, Raybaghini O Bhurishrestha Rajkahini, pp. xxiv
  2. ^ a b Bhattacharya, Raybaghini O Bhurishrestha Rajkahini, pp. 91
  3. ^ a b Bhattacharya, Raybaghini O Bhurishrestha Rajkahini, pp. 92
  4. ^ a b c Bhattacharya, Raybaghini O Bhurishrestha Rajkahini, pp. 117
  5. ^ a b Pathak, Durga Prashad (1989). Palm leaf etchings of Orissa. Abhinav Publications. p. 4. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
  6. ^ Chatterjee, Gouripada (1987). History of Bagree Rajya (Garhbeta). Mittal Publications. p. 6. Retrieved 19 August 2010.
  7. ^ Bhattacharya, Raybaghini O Bhurishrestha Rajkahini, pp. 96
  8. ^ Bhattacharya, Raybaghini O Bhurishrestha Rajkahini, pp. 97
  9. ^ Bhattacharya, Raybaghini O Bhurishrestha Rajkahini, pp. 109
  10. ^ Bhattacharya, Raybaghini O Bhurishrestha Rajkahini, pp. 116

ReferencesEdit

  • Bhattacharya, Bidhubhusan (2009). Raybaghini O Bhurishrestha Rajkahini. Kolkata: Nababharati Prakashani.
  • Ray, Bharat Chandra. Raibaghini.
Rudranarayan
Bharadwaj Dynasty
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Shivanarayan
Maharaja of Bhurishrestha Succeeded by
Bhavashankari