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Gurjara-Pratihara The Gurjara Pratihara (Sanskrit: , Gurjara Pratihra), often simply called Pratihara, was an Indian dynasty that

t ruled much of Northern India from the 6th to the 11th centuries. At its peak of prosperity and power (c. 836910), the Gurajara-Pratihara kingdom rivaled or even exceeded the Gupta Empire in the extent of its territory.

Kannauj was the capital of imperial Gurjara Pratiharas.[1][2][3] The Gurjara Pratihara king in the tenth century was entitled as Maharajadhiraja of Aryavarta. [4][5]Contents [hide] 1 Etymology 2 Origin 3 Rulers 3.1 Early rulers 3.2 Expansion 3.3 Conquest of Kannauj and further expansion 3.4 Decline 4 Gurjara Pratihara art 5 Battle of Rajasthan 6 Later events 7 Legacy of the Empire 8 See also 9 References

Etymology The word "Pratihara" means keeper or protector, and was used by the GurjaraPratihara rulers as self-designation. The Pratihara rulers claim descent from the Hindu mythological character Lakshmana, who had performed the duty of a door-keeper ("pratihara") for his elder brother Rama. However, the author Sailendra Nath Sen believes that the title "Pratihara" is derived from one of the kings in the line holding the office of a Pratihara ("protector") in the Rashtrakuta court.[6]

A 1966 book published by the Directorate of Public Relations of Rajasthan mentions that the kings of this dynasty came to be known as the Pratiharas, because they guarded the north-western borders of the Indian subcontinent against foreign invasions.[7] Origin

According to a legend given in later manuscripts of Prithviraj Raso, the Pratiharas were one of the Agnikula clans of Rajputs, deriving their origin from a sacrificial fire-pit (agnikunda) at Mount Abu.[8] However, this mythical story of Agnikula is not mentioned at all in the original version of the Prithviraj Raso preserved in the Fort Library at Bikaner.[9] Several scholars including D B Bhandarkar, Baij Nath Puri and A. F. Rudolf Hoernle believe that the Pratiharas were a branch of Gurjars.[10][11][12][13][14] [15] The Pratihara dynasty is referred to as Gurjara pratiharanvayah, i.e., Pratihara clan of the Gurjaras, in line 4 of the "Rajor inscription (Alwar)".[16][17] The historian Rama Shankar Tripathi states that the Rajor inscription confirms the Gurjara origin of the Pratiharas. In line 12 of this inscription, occur words which have been translated as "together with all the neighbouring fields cultivated by the Gurjaras". Here, the cultivators themselves are clearly called Gurjaras and therefore it's reasonable to presume that, in line four too, the term bears a racial signification.[18] The Rashtrakuta records, as well as the Arab writers like Abu Zaid and Al-Masudi (who allude their fights with the Juzr or Gurjara of the north) indicate the Gurjara origin of the Pratiharas.[18] The Kanarese poet Pampa expressly calls Mahipala Ghurjararaja. This ephithet could hardly be applied to him, if the term Ghurjararaja bore a geographical sense denoting what after all was only a small portion of Mahipala's vast territories.[18] Tripathi believes that all these evidences point to the Gurjara ancestry of the Pratiharas. [19]

Vincent Smith believed that the Pratiharas were certainly of Gurjar origin, and stated that there is possibility of other Agnikula clans being of same origin.[20] However, H. A. Rose and Denzil Ibbetson stated that there is no conclusive proof that the Agnikula clans are of Gurjara origin; they believed that there is possibility of the indigenous tribes adopting Gurjara names, when their founders were enfiefed by Gurjara rulers.[20] Dasrath Sharma believed that Gurjara was applied for territory and conceded that although some sections of the Pratiharas (e.g. the one to which Mathanadeva belonged) were Gurjars by caste, the imperial Pratiharas of Kannauj were not Gurjars.[21][22]However, in the earliest ephigraphical records of the Gurjars of Broach, Dadda is described as belonging to the Gurjara-nrpati-vamsa which, as Calukva-vamsa or Raghuvamsa, refers not to the country, but to the family or the people ; i.e., it stands for the Gurjar family and not the country. Gurjaratra, Gurjara-bhumi or Gurjara-mandala would thus only mean 'land or Mandala of Gurjars.[23]

RulersGurjar pratihar rulers (650-1036 AD) Dadda I-II-III (650 - 750) Nagabhata I (750 - 780) Vatsaraja (780 - 800)

Nagabhata II (800 - 833) Ramabhadra (833 - 836) Mihir Bhoja the Great Mahendrapala I Bhoj II (910 - 913) Mahipala I (913 - 944) (944 - 948) (836 - 890)

(890 - 910)

Mahendrapala II Devpala Vinaykpala Mahipala II Vijaypala II Rajapala

(948 - 954) (954 - 955) (955 - 956) (956 - 960) (960 - 1018) (1018 - 1027)

Trilochanpala

Jasapala (Yashpala)(1024 - 1036)

Early rulers Harichandra is said to have laid the foundation of this dynasty in the 6th century. The Harichandra line of Pratihar Gurjar established the state of Marwar, based at Mandore near modern Jodhpur, which grew to dominate Rajasthan. The Pratihara kings of Marwar also built the temple-city of Osian. Expansion Nagabhata I (730756) extended his control east and south from Mandor, conquering Malwa as far as Gwalior and the port of Bharuch in Gujarat. He established his capital at Avanti in Malwa, and checked the expansion of the Arabs, who had established themselves in Sind. In this Battle of Rajasthan (738 CE) Nagabhata led a confedracy of Gurjars to defeat the Muslim Arabs who had till then been pressing on victorious through West Asia and Iran. Nagabhata I was

followed by two weak successors, who were in turn succeeded by Vatsraja (775 805).

Varaha (the boar-headed Vishnu avatar), on a Pratihara coin. 850900 CE. British Museum. Conquest of Kannauj and further expansion

Vatsraja sought to capture Kannauj, which had been the capital of the seventhcentury empire of Harsha. His ambitions brought the Pratiharas into conflict with the Pala dynasty of Bengal and the Rashtrakutas of the northern Deccan, with whom they would contest for primacy in northern India for the next two centuries. Vatsraja unsuccessfully challenged the Pala ruler Dharmapala (c. 775 810) for control of Kannauj. In about 786 the Rashtrakuta ruler Dhruva (c. 780 793) crossed the Narmada River into Malwa, and from there tried to capture Kannauj. Vatsraja was defeated by Dhruva around 800, and died in 805.

Vatsraja was succeeded by Nagabhata II (805833). Nagabhata II was initially defeated by the Rashtrakuta king Govinda III (793814), but later recovered Malwa from the Rashtrakutas, conquered Kannauj and the Ganges plain as far as Bihar from the Palas, and again checked the Muslims in the west. He rebuilt the great Shiva temple at Somnath in Gujarat, which had been demolished in an Arab raid from Sind. Kannauj became the center of the Gurjar Pratihara state, which covered much of northern India during the peak of their power, c. 836 910.

Rambhadra (833-c. 836) briefly succeeded Nagabhata II . Bhoja I or Mihir Bhoja (c. 836886) suffered some initial defeats by the Pala king Devapala (810850), but recovered to expand the Gurjar dominions west to the border of Sind, east to Magadha, and south to the Narmada. His son Mahenderpal 1 (890910) expanded further eastwards in Magadha, Bengal, and Assam. Decline Bhoja II (910912) was overthrown by Mahipala I (912914). Several feudatories of the empire took advantage of the temporary weakness of the Gurjar Pratiharas to declare their independence, notably the Paramaras of Malwa, the Chandelas of Bundelkhand, and the Kalachuris of Mahakoshal. The Rashtrakuta king Indra III (c.914928) briefly captured Kannauj in 916, and although the Pratiharas regained the city, their position continued to weaken in the 10th century, partly as a result of the drain of simultaneously fighting off Turkic

attacks from the west and the Pala advances in the east. The Gurjar-Pratiharas lost control of Rajasthan to their feudatories, and the Chandelas captured the strategic fortress of Gwalior in central India, c. 950. By the end of the tenth century the Gurjar Pratihara domains had dwindled to a small kingdom centered on Kannauj. Mahmud of Ghazni sacked Kannauj in 1018, and the Pratihara king Rajapala fled. The Chandela ruler Gauda captured and killed Rajapala, placing Rajapala's son Trilochanpala on the throne as a proxy. Jasapala, the last Gurjar king of Kanauj, died in 1036.

It can be understood from many Arabic sources that armies of the Muslim invaders greatly feared the might of the Gurjar Pratiharas. The Persian traveler Ahmad ibn Rustah praised the Gujara-Pratihara ruler Mihir Bhoja I in his Kitb alA'lk an-Nafsa thus:[24][dubious discuss] In Hind there is a Malik (king) who is called Al-juzar (Gujar). Such is awdl (justice) in his kingdom, if the gold is dropped in the way, there is no danger of its being picked up and stolen away by any body. His empire is very vast. Arab traders go to him, he makes ahsan (favour) to them, purchases merchandise from them; the purchase and sale are carried in gold coin called tatri. When the Arabs request him to provide a body guard, he says, there is no thief in my empire. If there is any incident or loss to your goods, merchandise and money I stand surety. Come to me, I will pay the compensation.

Gurjara Pratihara art The Gurjara-Pratihara kings were great builders.Mihir Bhoj, was the most outstanding rulers of the dynasty.Notable sculptures of this period, include Viswaroopa form of Vishnu and Marriage of Siva and Parvati from Kannauj. Beautifully carved panels are also seen on the walls of temples standing at Osian, Abhaneri and Kotah.The female figure named as Sursundari exhibited in Gwalior Museum is one of the most charming sculptures of the Gurjara-Pratihara art.[25]

The image of standing Laksmi Narayana (Plate 42) from Agroha (Dist. Hissar), now preserved in the Chandigarh museum, is also a fine piece of art of the Gurjara-Pratihara period.[26]They are known for their open pavilion temples.The gretatest development of Gurjar Pratihara style of temple building took place at Khajuraho.[27]

Gurjar Pratihar rulers also built many Jain temples.[28]

References
^ Kulke, Hermann; Rothermund, Dietmar. A history of India (4, illustrated ed.). Routledge, 2004. pp. 432 pages. ISBN 0-415-32920-5, ISBN 9780415329200. "In 9th century the Gurjara Pratiharas kings, Bhoja (836885) and Mahendrapala (885910), proved to be more powerful than their contemporaries of the other two dynasties whom they defeated several times. Kannauj then emerged as the main focus of power in India." ^ Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra; Samiti, Bhratya Itihsa. The History and Culture of the Indian People: The classical age. G. Allen & Unwin, original from-the University of Michigan. "Rajasekharan, the great poet and playwright at the Gurjara-pratihara court of Kannauj.." ^ Chopra, Pran Nath (2003). A comprehensive history of ancient India. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. pp. 196. ISBN 81-207-2503-4, ISBN 978-81-207-2503-4. "AlMasudi who visited his (Gurjara Mahipala) court, also refers to the great power and resources of the Gurjara pratihara rules of Kannauj." ^ Andr Wink (2002). Al-Hind: Early medieval India and the expansion of Islam, 7th11th centuries. BRILL. p. 284. ISBN 0391041738, ISBN 9780391041738. ^ TheFreeDictionary ^ Sailendra Nath Sen (1999). Ancient Indian History and Civilization. New Age International. p. 266. ISBN 8122411983, ISBN 9788122411980. ^ New image of Rajasthan. Directorate of Public Relations, Govt. of Rajasthan. 1966. p. 2. ^ Rama Shankar Tripathi (1989). History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 221. ISBN 81-208-0404-X, ISBN 978-81-208-0404-3. ^ S.R. Bakshi; S.G. Early Aryans to Swaraj. pp. 325. "It has been reported that the story of agnikula is mot mentioned at all in the original version of the Raso preserved in the Fort Library at Bikaner." ^ K.M. Munshi (1943). The Glory that was Gurjardesh. ^ Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (1834). Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland. Cambridge University Press for the Royal Asiatic Society. p. 648. "The Parihars (Pratiharas), as Mr. Bhandarkar rightly points out, were one of the divisions of the Gurjara tribe." ^ Chopra, Pran Nath (2003). A comprehensive history of ancient India. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. pp. 196. ISBN 81-207-2503-4, ISBN 978-81-207-2503-4. "AlMasudi who visited his (Gurjara mahipala) court, also refers to the great power and resources of the Gurjara pratihara rules of Kannauj."

^ Jamanadas, K.. "Rajput Period Was Dark Age Of India". Decline And Fall Of Buddhism: A tragedy in Ancient India. New Delhi: Bluemoon Books. Retrieved 2007-05-31. ^ Bhandarkar, Devadatta Ramakrishna (1989). Some Aspects of Ancient Indian Culture. Asian Educational Services. pp. 64. ISBN 8120604571. ^ Baij Nath Puri, The history of the Gurjara-Pratihras,Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1986, pp.13 ^ Rama Shankar Tripathi (1999). History of ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. p. 318. ISBN 81-208-0018-4, ISBN 978-81-208-0018-2. ^ University of Kerala, Dept. of History; University of Allahabad, Dept. of Modern Indian History; University of Kerala (1963). Journal of Indian history, Volume 41. Dept. of History, University of Kerala, Original from the University of California. pp. 765. "Gurjara-Prathiranvaya, of the Rajor inscription, which was incised more than a hundred years later than Bhoja's Gwalior prasasti, nearly fifty years later than the works of the poet Rajasekhara." ^ a b c Rama Shankar Tripathi (1989). History of Kanauj: To the Moslem Conquest. Motilal Banarsidass Publ. p. 222. ISBN 81-208-0404-X, ISBN 978-81208-0404-3. ^ Radhey Shyam Chaurasia (2002). History of Ancient India: Earliest Times to 1000 A. D.. Atlantic Publishers & Distributors. p. 207. ISBN 81-269-0027-X,ISBN 978-81-269-0027-5. ^ a b Rose, Horace Arthur; Ibbetson (1990). Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North West Frontier Province. Asian Educational Services. pp. 300. ISBN 8120605055. ^ Majumdar, Ramesh Chandra (2002) [1976]. Readings in Political History of India, Ancient, Mediaeval, and Modern. B.R. Pub. Corp (on behalf of Indian Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies), D.K. Publishers' Distributors. pp. 209. "But he(Mr. sharma) refused to believe that the Imperial Pratiharas of Kanauj were also Gujars in this sense." ^ Imperial Gazetteer of India, vol. 2. Digital South Asia Library. pp. 320. Retrieved 2007-05-31. "But whatever our theories regarding the infusion of Gujar blood among the Rajputs, there was certainly no Gurjara (Gujar) empire in Northern India" ^ Manjulal Ranchholdlal Majmudar (1960). Historical and cultural chronology of Gujarat, Volume 1. Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. p. 147. ^ Ibne Rustah. Kitsbul Alaq Al-Nafisa Part 4. p. 134. ^ Jayantika Kala (1988). Epic scenes in Indian plastic art. Abhinav Publications. p. 5. ISBN 81-7017-228-4, ISBN 978-81-7017-228-4.

^ Brajesh Krishna, The art under the Gurjara-Pratihras, Harman Pub. House, 1990, pp.142 ^ Partha Mitter, Indian art, Oxford University Press, 2001 pp.66 ^ Jain Tirths. "Gurjar Pratihar". ^ Radhey Shyam Chaurasia (2002). History of Ancient India: Earliest Times to 1000 A. D.. Atlantic Publishers & Distributors. p. 207. ISBN 81-269-0027-X,ISBN 978-81-269-0027-5. "The king of Gurjars maintain numerous faces and no other Indian prince has so fine a cavalry .He has" ^ Radhey Shyam Chaurasia (2002). History of Ancient India: Earliest Times to 1000 A. D.. Atlantic Publishers & Distributors. p. 207 to 208. ISBN 81-269-0027-X, ISBN 978-81-269-0027-5. ^ Panchnana Rya (1939). A historical review of Hindu India: 300 B. C. to 1200 A. D.. I. M. H. Press. p. 125. ^ http://books.google.com/books? ei=73EQTfE7w5uWB5LbwNwM&ct=result&id=QJNHAAAAMAAJ&dq=rewari+ahir+ rulers&q=ahir+jats ^ Parihar article on Jatland