The Hegemony of Gurjar Pratiharas

The Gurjar Pratiharas ruled much parts of the Northern India from the 6th to 11th Century AD. They find their origin from Ujjain or Mandsaur.

  • Due to the prowess of Gurjar Pratiharas, Arabs were confined to Sindh from 7th to 11th century.
  • The founder of this Dynasty was Harichandra in 6th century.
  • The successors of Harichandra established Marwar in Rajasthan and built the Temple city of Osean, near Jodhpur.

The first important ruler of this dynasty was Nagabhatta-I (730-756 AD) whose reign was from Mandore (Jodhpur) to Malwa, Gwalior and Bharuch.

His capital was Avanti in Malwa.

  • Battle of Rajasthan: It was during the times of Nagabhatta I , when Junaid, another Arab commander invaded India after Mohammad Bin Qasim. Nagabhatta I along with his feudatories such as Chauhans and Guhilots defended the western frontiers but the Arabs were capable of doing a lot of damage to their western Frontiers. Junaid was defeated and his successor Tamin was compelled to run back to Arab defeated and wounded. This is known as Battle of Rajasthan.

He was succeeded by Vatsaraja who captured Kannauj and came in direct conflict with the Palas of Bengal. He conflicted and defeated Dharmapala. In 786 AD the Rastrakuta King Dhruva defeated him. He died in 805 AD.

Vatsaraja was succeeded by Nagabhatta II. Nagabhatta was initially defeated by Rastrakuta King Govinda III but later recovered and captured Kannauj.

Nagabhatta II was the most important and powerful rulers of the Guarjar Pratiharas.

  • With his feudatories such as Chauhans and Guhilots, Nagabhatta II was
  • Nagabhatta II is best known for rebuilding the Somnath Temple in 815, which was destroyed by Arab armies of Junayad in 725 AD. This was a large structure of Red Sandstone which was again destroyed in 1024 by Mahamud of Ghazni.

Next important King of this dynasty was Mihirbhoja who ruled till 885 AD was assumed the title of Adivaraha. Mihirbhoja was one of the great empire builders, who after some initial defeats conquered the territories of modern Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The Teli Mandir at the Gwalior fort perpetuates his memory.

The beginning of the 10th century brought weakness in the Gurjar Pratiharas. In 912 AD, the Gurjar Pratihara King Bhoja II was overthrown by a Pala King Mahipala-I. The feudatories took the advantage of the temporary weakness of the Pratiharas and declared their independence.

The major feudatories Guhilots captured Chittor and founded the Mewar Kingdom, Chauhans established the Chauhans Kingdom in Ajmer.

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