Malwa: The Parmaras of Malwa

The Parmaras established themselves rulers of Malwa in central India in 9th century, ruling from their capital Dhar.

They were able to rule till 1305 when Malwa was conquered finally by Alauddin Khilji.

The Parmaras are one of the 4 Agnikula clans of Rajputs. Their origin is uncertain. Various scholars have various views about the origin of the Parmaras. The territory under them was the region north of Narmada and was known as “Kingdom of Ujjain“.

The Paramara Dynasty was founded by a chief called Upendra (Krishanaraja) at the beginning of the 9th century. One of the successors of Upendra named Munja was a patron of the poets & scholars and a great poet himself.

  • Munja was able to defeat Chalukya King Taila II for 16 times but was defeated, captured and executed in the 17th attack.

His nephew Bhoja who is famous as “Raja Bhoj of Dhar” was philosopher king and a polymath of the Central India. He ascended the throne of Dhar in around 1000 AD and reigned gloriously for more than 45 years. His path was similar to other Rajas, indulging in wasteful struggles with the neighbors. Bhoja is honored as a Model King. Works on astronomy, architecture, poetry, mathematics etc. are attributed to Bhoja. Many scholars compare Bhoja with Samudragupta. Some important works of Bhoja are as follows:

  • Saraswatikantabharna: A treatise on Sanskrit Grammar
  • Rajmartanda: a major commentary on Patanjali’s yoga sutra
  • Samarangana Sutradhara : a Treatise on Civil Engineering
  • TattvaPrakasha: A treatise on Tantras
  • Rasarajamriganka: A treatise on chemistry (ores) and drugs.

The Bhojeshwar temple at Bhojpur near Bhopal was established by him. The temple is incomplete and is dedicated to Shiva.

  • The Bhojpur Lake, a beautiful water body neat Bhopal was built during his time by massive embankment closing the outlets in a circle of mountains was one of the greatest work of Raja Bhoj. The dam was later destroyed by Hoshang Shah.
  • It was probably the fear of Bhoja’s organized army that Mahmud Ghaznavi returned via Thar Desert.

He was able to defeat the Chauhans of Shkambhari. The enmity with Chandelas took his life as well as glory of his dynasty. The Chalukyas had made an alliance with the Rastrakutas and Kachhchawahas and defeated him. His death in 1053 AD (some sources say 1060-62 AD)) reduced his dynasty as a local power until Malwa was sacked and annexed by the Tomara Clan. Tomaras were defeated by Chauhans and from whom the crown passed to Mohammedan Kings in 1401. Akbar suppressed the local dynasty and incorporated Malwa in Mughal Empire in 1569.

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