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General Studies: Personalities


Bust of Rudradaman, with corrupted Greek "OVONIAOOCVAC’I IANO"

Three-arched hilf or Chaitva with river, crescent and sun. Brahmi legend: "Rajno ' Ksatrapasa Jayadamasaputrasa Rajno Mah a ksatrapasa Rudradamasa": "King and Great Satrap Rudradaman, son of King and Satrap Jayadaman" 16mm, 20. games

Rudradaman I (130-150 ) was the Sala ruler of Malwa. A member of the Wesirem Kishatrapas dynasty. He was the grandson of the celebrated Shakya king Chastana. Rudradaman I was instrujmental in the expansion of the Ror kingdom and the deeline of the Satavahana Empire. Saka of Shakya as in people of the Goddess Shakumbari and originally hailing from Northern and Northwestern parts of the Indian subcontinent.


Rudradaman I took up the title of Mahaksharapa. ("Great Satrap"). After he became the king and then strengthened his kingdom. Partly because of declining Kushan Empire.

Victrog over the Satavahana

Although Rudradaman I took the title of Mahaksatrpa. He still had to defend his kingdom from the Stavahanas. The conflict between Rudradaman and Satavahanas became so gruelling, that in order to contain the conflict, a matrimonial relationship was concluded by giving Rudradaman's daughter to the Satavahana king Vashishtiputra Satakarni. But that did not stop Rudradaman I from waging a war against Satavahanas and in fact Satavahanas were defeated twice in theseconfficts, and Vashishiputra Satakarni was only spared his life because of his family links with Rudradaman:

"Rudradaman who obtained good report because he, in spite of having twice in fair fight completely defeated Satakarni, the lord of Dakshinapatha, on account of the nearness of their complection did not destroy him,'
As a result of his victories Rudradaman regained all the fbrner territories previously held by Nahapana, except for the extreme sout territories of Poona and Nasik Satavahana dominions were limited to their original base in the Deccan and eastern central India around Amaravati:

"Rudradaman who is the lord of the whole of eastern and western Akaravanti (Akara: Fast Malwa and Avanti: West Malwa), the Anupa country, Anarta, Surashtra, Svabhra (northern Gujarat) Maru (Marwar), Kachchha (Cutch), Sindhu-Sauvra (Sindh and Multan districts), Kukura (Eastern Rajputana), Apranta ("Western Border") Northern Konkan, Nishada (an aborigina tribe, Malwa and parts of Central India) and other territories gained by his own valour the towns. Marts and rural parts of which are never troubled by robbers, snakes, wild beasts, diseases and the like. Where all subhects are attached to him, (and) where through his might the objects of religion, wealth and pleasure are duly attained".

Other Facts

The Sanskrit Junagadh inscription dated 150 credits Rudradaman. I with supporting the cultural arts ans Sanskrit literature and repairing the dam built by the Mauryans. He in fact repaired the embankments of the lake Sudarshana, which was constructed by the Mauryas for cheeking floods!

Rudradaman fought many abattle against the Satavahanas (or the Andhras) and Satkarni, the son of the Andhra king pulnayi, in an effrt to end the hostilities, married the daughter of Rudradaman, Rudradaman also conqured the Yaudheya tribes in Haryana, as described in the Girnar inscription:

"Rudradaman who by force destroyed the Yaudheyas who were loath to submit rendered proud as they were by having manifested their title of heroes among all Kshatriya." However, in the next century thewarlike Yaudherya became more powerful. The indigenous Nagas also were aggressive toword Saka Kushtrapas in the 3rd century.
Rudradaman is also known as the king who ruled when the Greek writer Yavanesvara translated the Yavanajataka from Greek to Indian. Which influenced astrology in India.


Shiladitya was a ruler of Malwa. He was Jat of Virk gotra. He was son of Yasodharman. He became ruler of Malwa after Yasodharman. He was follower of Buddhism. The Chinese traveller Xuanzang after mentioned him. His neighbours wers Brahmans who attacked him so he migarated form Malwa and reached Kashmir. In 540 AD Pravarsen of Kashmir made him king again. After the fall of rule of Virk Jats inMalwa there were no other Jat State worth mentioning.

Chandragupta II

Chandragupta H (very often refrred to as Vikramaditya) or Chandragupta Vikramadutiya was one of the most powerful emperors of the Gupta empire. His rule spanned 375-413/15, during which the Gupta empire achieved its zenith. The period of prominence of the Gupta dynasty is very often referred to as he Golden Age of India. Chandragupta was the son of the previous rule, Samudragputa. He attained success by pursuing both a fovorabe marital alliance and an aggressive expansionist policy, in this his father and frandfather set the precedent.


Not much is known about the personal details of the great king. His mother Datta Devi. Was the chief queen of Samudragupta. After Samudragupta's death, Ramgupta, his brother took over the ttirone and also married
Chandragupta's fiance' Dhruvaswamini by force. The most widelyaccepted details have been built upon the plot of the ptey' Devi- Chandraguptam of Vishakadatta. The play is now lost but fragments have been preserved in other works(Abhinava-bharati.Sringara- prakasha. Natya-darpana, Nataka-lakhjana Ratna-kosha). There even exists an Arabic work Mujmalu-t-Tawarikh which tells a similar tale of a king whose name appearas to a corruption of Vikramaditya.'
The fragment from Natya-darpana mentions the king Ramagupta, the elder broter of Chandragupta, surrendering his queen Dhravaswamini to the Saka king of the Western Kshtrapas Rudrasimha IN . after a defeat at the Saka king's hands. To avoid the ignominy the Guptas decied to send Madhavasena, a courtesan and a beloved of Chandragupta. Disguised as the queen. However, Chandragupta changes the plan and himself goes to the Saka King disguised as the queen. He then kills Rudrasimha and later his own brother, Ramagupta, Dhravaswamini is them married to chandragupta.We do not know what liberties Vishakadatta took with the incients. But Dhruvadevi was indeed the king's chief queen as seen in the Vaisali terracotta seal the calls her Mahadevi' Dhruvasamini. The Bilsad pillar inscription of their son Kumara Gupta I on also refers to her as Mahadevi Dhruvadevi. A Ramagupta too is mentined in inscription on Jain figure in the District Arcaeologica! Museum, Vidisha and some copper coins found at Vidisha. The fact that the king and Dhruvadevi are the protagonists of Vishakadatta's play indicated that marrying his widowed sister in law was not given any significance by the playwright. However, later Hindus did not view such a marriage with favour and some censure of act is fond in the sanjan copperplate inscription of Amoghvarsh I and in the Sangali and camby plates of the Rashrtakuta king Govinda IV

The Allahabad pillar inscription mention themarrige of Chandragupta with a Naga princess Kuberanaga. A pillar from Mathura referring to Chandragupta (Chandragupta) has recently been dated to 388.
Chndragupta's daughter Prtabhavat by his other queen Kuberanaga. A Naga princess. Was married to the powerful Vakataka king Rudrasena II. The Empire Gold coins of Chandragupta II. The one on the left is the obverse of a so-called" Chhatra" h/pe Of ChandfeQUpti !i While the one on the right is the obverse of a so-called "Archer" type of Chandragupta II. His greatest victory was his victory over the Shaka-Ksbairapa Dynasty and annexation of their kingdom in Gujarat, by defeating their last ruler Rudrasimha III.

His son-in low Rudrasena II died fortuitously after a very short reign in 390 AD. Following which Prabhavtlgupta ruled as a regent on behalf of her two sons. During this twenty year period the Valtala relm was practically a part of the Gupta empire. The geographica location of the vakataka kingdom allowed Chandragupta to take the opportunity to defeat the Western Kshatrapas once for all. Many historians refer to this period as the Vakataka-Gupta age.

Chandragupta 11 controlled a vast empire, from the mouth of the Ganges to the mouth of the Indus River and from what is now North Pakistan down to the mouth of the N nniacla. Pataliputra continued to be the capital of his huge empire but Ujjain too became a sort of second capital. The large number of beautiful gold coins issued by the Gupta dynasty are testament to the imperial grandeur of that age. Chandragupla II also started producing silver coins in the Shaka tradition.

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His Reign

Fiaxian (Fa-shien) was the first of three great Chinese pilgrims who visited India from the fifth to the seventh centuries AD, in search of knowledge, manuscripts and relics. He arrived during the reign of Chandragupta 11 and gave a general description of North India at that time. Among the other things, he reported about the absence of capital punishment, the lack of a poll-tax and land tax and the presence of a strongly embedded caste system. Most citizens did not consume onions, garlic, meat and wine. The exception to this were the Chandalas. who were shunned in-society and segregated from other people.

Culturally too, the reign of Chandragupta II marked a Golden Age. This is evidenced by later reports of the presence of a circle of poets known1 as the Nine Gffl§ in D'iS HMt fifi ff/MfiSf among them was Kalidasa, who authored numerous immortal pieces of literature including The Recognition of Shakuntala and he is often referred to as the Shakespeare of India. One other was Varahamihira who was a famous astronomer and mathematician.

The next day after the Hindu festival Diwali is called Padwa or Varshapratipada. Which marks the coronation of King Vikramaditya. The Hindu Shaka-Samvat Calendar was apparently started on ttiis day and this day is celebrated as new year's day in some places (which IS COIlfUSing because the Vikram-Samvat is synchronised with the Vikram-Samvat) calendar. Which starts around April. In some parts of India.

The famous iron Pillar

Close to the Qutub Minar is one of Deihi.'s most curious structures, an iron-pillar, dating back to 4th century. The pillar bears an inscription which states that it was erected as a flagstaff in honour of the Hindu god Vishnu and in the memory of Chandragupla II. The pillar also highlights ancient .Indja's achievements in metallurgy. The pillar is made of 98 percent wrought iron and has stood more than 1,600 years without rusting or decomposing. This iron pillar is similar to the Pillars of Ashoka found mostly in northern India. From Chandragupta II kings were known as Parama Bhagavatas, or Bhagavata

Vaishnavas, The Bhagavata Purana entails the fully developed tenets and philosophy of the Bhagavata cult whereis Krishna gets fused with Vysudeva and transeendds Vedic Vishnu and. cosmic Hari to be turned into the ultim Camparigns agains foreign tribes

Fourth century AD Sanskrit poet Kalidasa, credits Chandragupta Vikramaditya (aka Raghu) with having conquered about twenty one kingdoms, both in and outside India. After finishing his campaign in the East, South and West India, Raghu aka Vikramaditya {Chandragupta II) proceeded northwards, subjugated the Parasikas (Persians), then the Hunas and the Kambojas tribes located in the west and east Oxus valleys respectively. Thereafter, the glorious king proceeds across the Himalaya and reduced the Kinnaras, Kiratas etc and lands into India proper.

According to the Brihat-Katha-Manjari of the Kashmiri Pandit Kshmcndra, king Vikramaditya (Chandragupta II) had "unhurdenecl the sacred earth of the Barbarians like the Srrakas, .Mlecchas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Tusharas, Parasikas, Hunas, etc. by annihilating these sinful Mlecchas completely"


Singhvarma was a ruler of Malva, contemporary of Samudragupta (335-375). At the time of Gupta rulers in Malwa there is mention of one more dynasty of rulers in Malwa. Singhvarma had two sons namely Chandravarma and Narvarma Chandravarma moved from Malwa and established kingdom in Marwar. Narvarma remained ruler in Malwa. Narvarma had two sons namely Bandhuvarma and Bhimvarma Guptas had increased their powers in Malwa and Bandhuvarma accepted subjection of Gupta rulers. Bhimvarma became samant of Skandgupta Vikramadiiya (455-467), son of Kumargupta. He was probably samant of Kaushambi.
Bhangupta Baladitya became ruler of Malwa after 40 years period of Skandgupta. Baladitya has been mentioned along with Jat ruler Yasodharman in defeating the Huns. If we add name of Vishnuvardhan after Bandhuvarma the chronology of these rulers becomes as under: Singhvarma, his two sons Chandravarma and Narvarma. Narvarma had one son Vtshvavamia. He had two sons Raghu varma and Bhimvarma. Raghuvanma s son was Vishnuvardhan and his son Yasodharman. Yasodharman's son was Shiiaditya.

Bandhuvarma was contemporary of Kuinargupta I and Samudragupta. He was ruler of Mandsaur. There is an inscription about him at Mandsaur. This indicates that he was present there till 473 AD. After Bandhuvarma the ruler of Mandsaur was Vishnu vardhan who erected a pillar of victory at Bayana due to which Bayana's name becameVijaygarh. Vishnuvardhan and Yasodharman assumed the title of Samrat after they occupied the territories of Bandhuvarma. It is also mentioned that Vishnuvardha had assumed the litle of Maharajadhiraja" or Emperor. Yasodharman


The Gupta empire had been weakened by the attacks of the Indo-Hephthalites, known in India as the Hunas, towards the end of the 5th century, which caused it to break up into smaller states. Yasodharman defeated a Huna army in 528 and their ruler Mihirakula, which checked the huna expansion in India. Legend has it that Yashodhannan. originally a prince, had lost his kingdom and was saved by a girl while wandering in a forest.lt is said that it was a message Iron) this girl whom he later considered a sister, thai acted as a motivation behind his military endeavours Twin monolithic pillars at in District were erected by Yasodharman as a record of his victory,

Three inscriptions of Yasodharman have been found in Mandsaur. One of these is of samvat 589 (532). Yasodharman had acquired the title of Vikramaditya. The Kashmiri poet Kalhana has mentioned about three Kalidasas. The second Kalidasa, who wrote the books 'Raguvansha' and Jyotirvidabharan'. was court poet of Yasodharman. According to some analysts. Kalidasa has mentioned the victories of Yasodharman as Raghu-digvijaya'. His pillars claim that his rule extended from Himalayas in the north to in south, although that seems rather unlikely. The ruler of Magadha had become his friend. The victory of Yasodharman is mentioned in the sentence "Ajay Jarto Hunan" in the grammar of Chandra of the sixth century. This mention, in the phrase sentence or "Ajay Jarto human" refers to the defeat of Huns by the Jats under the leadership of Yasodharman.


Bhoja was a philosopher king and polymath of medieval India. He ruled the kingdom of Malwa in Centra India from about 1010 to 1060. The name means "bountiful, liberal" and appears as the name of a tribe, the descendants of Mahabhoja in the Mahabharata.


Bhoja was from the Paramara dynasty of Arya , who ruled Malwa from the mid-tenth century to about 1200. His extensive writings cover philosophy, poetry, medicine, veterinary science, phonetics, yoga, and archery. Under his rule, Malwa and its capital Dhar became one of the chief intellectual centers of India. King Bhoj, together with the Solanki king Bhima of Gujarat (Anhiiwara). rebuilt the temple at Somnath between 1026 and 1042 alter it was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1024. Bhoj also founded the city of Bhopal, which is named after him. to secure the eastern frontier of his kingdom, He was also referred to as 'Juzr' by a poet.


The paramara rajputs are supposed to have arisen from the sacrificial pit on arbuda parvata, which was the source of many Kshatriyas who were generated by the devas for the destruction of the turuShkas and mlechChas who were a pestilence on Aryavarta. In historical reality paramAras were a subsidiary branch of the rashtrakutas, who were appointed as governors of central India in Malava province by the main ruling branch. The paramara Rajputs founded the notable city of dhara in central India, which remained their capital until its ultimate conquest. It was here that their greatest king and a remarkable genius, bhoja raja came to power by 1000 AD and ruled for more than half a century.

He was the son of sindhurAja, who was notable conqueror, who defeated the chalukyas and shiiaharas of the Konkan region, bhoja's path was similar to other great Hindu rulers of the time engaged in wasteful intercine struggles for supremacy. We get some glimpses of his remarkable life from the apocryphal biography bhoja prabandham. Early in his career, just before he came to power, bhoja was afilicied hy a tumor in his brain which used to cause him intense head aches. Two learned brahmin brothers from the school of Ujjain, who ere pre-eminent surgeons of the era, performed a surgery on his brain and relieved him of his tumor. The description of the surgery that survives suggests that they artificially induced a coma with a special, preparation known as the sammohini and then opened his skull to remove the tumor. He was then brought back to consciousness with another drug.

Bhoja survived this surgery remarkably well and had an illustrious reign both as a milhary commander and encyiopaedic scholar, bhoja long desired to reduce his arch-rivals the chalukyas of the Deccan and initiated several successful campaigns again them. Then he tried a remarkable political game to destroy the chalukyas: by forming an alliance with the chola king Rajendra, bhoja induced him to attack the chalukyas from the south. Likewise he induced the kalachuri king kumara g/a Ngeyadeva (who claimed descent from the haihayas who had survived the ancient assault of the bhargavas) to attack the chalukyas from the east, bhoja himself pressed on them from the north, for this purpose he erected the mighty fortifications of mandu and initially put the chalukyas on the retreat. But the chalukyas. suddenly reviving the glory that pulakcshin-ll. had taken them to, remained firm in the front war, eventually causing bhoja's allies to give up. someshvara, the chalukya subsequently invaded the paramara kingdom and stormed the fort of mandu after a long siege, then took Ujjain. and finally captured dhara the capital of bhoja from him. bhoja unfazed retreated north and with the help of rajendra chola who kept the pressure from the south, took back dhara and ujjain. Then bhoja conquered chitrakuta (Chittor) and medhapatha (Mewar) from the shishodias and established his sway over the arbuda fort (Mount Abu).

Raja Bhoja then organized his armies to attack Mahmud Ghaznavi who had invaded Somnath. Ghaznavi fearing the powerful army of bhoja retreated via the desert of sindh to avoid a clash (reported by Turkie author Gardizi as Hindu padisbaw parmar dev) with the Hindu king and lost many of his men. bhoja repulsed the ghaznavid Masu'd who lead a huge army into India to attack the rich inner cities which his father had failed to raid. Then bhoja realizing the national threat from Islam, organized a confcdralion of I lindu kings including the kalachuri lakshml-karna. the Chaham Ana and other Rajputs to fight the Ghaznavi Maliq Salar Masud. In the great battle of Bahraich the Hindu confcdracy fought a pitched battle for about a month with the Moslems and completely defeated them killing, Salar Masud in the process. They then went on to liberate Hansi Thaneshvar, Nagarkot and other cities taken by the Ghaznavids and marched against Lahore and besieged it. Just at the point Lahore was about to fall to them, the I lindu kings had a disagreement over who would own the liberated territories and their armies disbanded and dispersed in a huff, bhoja started lighting his erstwhile allies in the war against the Moslems.

Bhoja first defeated the Chahamanas of shakambharL but the Chahamanas of ruiddula repulsed his attempt to take their kingdom, bhoja next tried to seize the kingdom of the chandellas. but they formed an alliance with the rashtrakutas of Kannauj and kachchapaghatas of Gwaliorand repulsed him. bhoja however, did keep the ghaznavids in check with help from his shishodia feudatories, bhojathen seized the territory of the western chalukya Bhima of Gujarat, unfazed by this formed an alliance with the haihaya, lakshml karna to attack bhoja in. a two front war on both east and west, bhoja was caught in the pincer grip, and while lighting his two enemies he was shot down by an arrow on the battle field. Thus, the great raja bhoja having spent his career in numerous campaigns had fallen like a true kshatriya in the defense of his capital.

Hence its said that when he was alive the poets would say: adya dhara sadadhara sadajamba sarasvati panditah manditah sarve bhojaraje bhuvam gate" Today dhara is ever supported, and the Goddess Sarasvati is ever propped up. All the pundits are adorned with the coining of king Bhoja on this earth. When he fell in the defending dhara from his rivals they said: adya dhara niradhara niralamba sarasvat paaditah khanditah sarve bhojaraje divam gate" Today dhara is unsupported, and the Goddess Sarasvati is without a prop. All the pundits are scattered with the ascent of king Bhoja to heaven.

Bhoja the genius

An analysis of bhoja's military campaigns show that lie was undoubtedly a good general in war and was studded with many major victories over rival rajas and Islamic marauders. His military career was however, hardly any greater than his equally warlike and militarily successful contemporaries such as Rajendra choLa or Jakshmi-karna kalachuri or someshvara chalukya. Yet raja bhoja is remembered much more than any of these contemporaries of his and is often compared with the illustrious vikramaditya of the golden gupta era. His name is a household one amongst ail brought up in the sanskritic culture. Why is this so?
The main reason for this is that Hindus have always remembered philosophers, pocis and scholars much more than kings merely decorated with military success. A king who did good to the people was much more embedded in the collective memory of the Hindus than a king who conquered vast territories. Raja bhoja definitely stood out in this regard as one of historical India's most remarkable intellectuals with an astonishin variety of interests and oceanic knowledge.

Bhoja Raja constructed several spectacul temples, one of the most dramatic of which i seen in the form ofthe great temple of shiva termed bhqjcshvara at bhojapuraa some distance from the modern city of Bhopai. Another notable construction, "which is a historical civil engineering masterpiece, is the bhoja lake which was built by darning and channelizing the Betwa river. He is also supposed to have paid great attention to the education of his people, so much so that even humble weavers in kingdom are supposed to have composed metrical Sanskrit kavyas. in ancient and voluminous literature ofthe siddhanta tantras of shiva. It was the basis Of all subsequent developments ofthe siddhantic pashupata streams that followed,

Rasa-raja-fnraiganka: A treatise on chemistry, especially dealing with the extraction of metals from ores, and production of various drugs. Jyotisha-raja-mraiga-nka: A treatise on astronomy and construction of instruments lor astronomical observations. Yuktikaipataru: A technological manual describing the construction of ships for naval warfare and the making of glass amongst other things. Shrainagara Prakasha: A treatise on Hindu erotics, Dharmash Astra vraitti: A commentary on the Hindu legalistic literature. Champuramayana: A re-narration ofthe ramayana in mixture of prose and poetry, which characterises the champUs. The description of nanumars qualities are particularly poetic. The classical Hindu twilight and modern India Perusing bhoja's surviving works one sees that the Hindu world just prior to its eclipse by the violent Islamic whirlwind ffOW Cent®! As/a was not one on its decline. On the contrary, due geniuses like bhoja, it was in the peak in of achievements in terms of arts, technology and science. Yet, this India and its illustrious rulers were almost opaque to impending doom that loomed large. Sonic authors have attributed to this to regionalism or the lack of a national Hindu spirit. Tins was not entirely lacking as evidenced by the confedration that overthrew the Gha/ navids. Yet. the fact that these illustrious rulers were pulling down each other even as their common enemy Mahmud was savaging North India is rather striking. Another paradoxical point to note is that a raja bhoja became a pan-Indian epitome of a great ruler from the Tamil country to Kashmir.This suggests thatthe cultural unity of .greater India remained intact even in this period-there were indeed figures who capable of being pan-Indian heroes even if they were only regional in the military achievements. Thus, there was a collective Indian mind, that appreciated the scholarly king, but failed to collectively respond to the problem posed by Islam. Likewise, the kings of bhoja's era did not lack in courage or military skills, but remained in their childish cocoons of romantic military adventures even as a greater danger, threatened to extinguish them.

The lesson of the twilight of classical Hindu India is a chilling one for modern India. The modern Indians in the same way as their ancestors pride themselves of their intellectual and technological achievements. Despite the depreciations of centuries they have the vestiges of cultural unity and continue to have pan-India icons, howsoever crass they may be in comparison to the iegendary raja bhoja. But sadly they remain as naive as their predecessors in the twilight era to the impending threats from Islam and Christianity.

Hoshang Shah of Malwa

Originally known as Alp Khan, he had taken the title of Hoshang Shah Gori when he was crowned the second King of Miiwa. Alp Khan's father Khan Ghori had belonged to the court of Firozshah Tughlaq, the Sultan of Delhi. Dilawar Khan Gori was appointed governor of Malwa probably by Firuz of the house ofTuglaq but made himself independent of the Delhi Sultanate for all practical purposes in 1401. Thus he had practically come to Mandu in 1401 as the first King of Malwa. Dilawar had also shifted the capital from Dhar to Mandu, renaming it Shadiabad, the city of joyj. Hoshang Shah showed promise of being equally able and much bolder than his father. In fact, he was far more ambitious and did not care what steps he took to achieve his ambition.

There is an interesting story of how he obtained the finest elephants from Qrissa. The year was 1421 .Hoshang Shah was furious to know that the King of Qrissa refused to send him the best elephants in Orissa. One fine moring, he left Mandu taking a thousand soldiers with him. His destination was Jajpur, Orissa. They disguised themselves as merchants and carried with them several things not readily available in Orissa. Hoshang Shah also led a team of excellent horses, taking care to choose the kind particularly favoured by the King of Orissa. Everyone knew the latter's love for bright bay, bright chestnut and grey horses. Hoshang Shah was sure he could not fail to be impressed by the ones he was taking along.

It took them a full month to reach Orissa from Mandu. Their disguise was so perfect that no one suspected that they were anything but ordinary merchants. When the king came to inspect the horses, Hoshang Shah's men captured him. Hoshang Shah let him free only after the king promised to gift 100 of the very best elephants and to let him out of Orissa safely. Thus Hoshang Shah marched back to Mandu in triumph.
Hoshang Shah ruled Malwa for 27 years. Despite being a warrior, he had a sympathetic heart and was dearly loved by his subjects. He was also an impartial ruler and extended his patronage to other religions. He is also remembered for his wonderful taste in architecture. It was he who made Mandu one of the most impregnable forts of India.

At Dhar, the old capital of the kingdom ofMalwa, two mosques were built wholly out of the remains of old buildings; the domes and pillars of these mosques were oh Hindu form.
But the buildings at Mandu, where the capital was soon transferred, were marked by the predominance of Muslim traditions. Among the many buildings of splendid architectural beauty built in the fortified city of Mandu, situated in an extensive plateau over-looking the Narmada River, the following deserve mention - the Jami Masiid, which was planned and begun by Hushang Shah and completed by Mahmud Khalji the Hindola Mahal, the Jahaj Mahal. Hushang Shah's tomb, and Baz Bahadur's and Rani Rupamati's palaces.

Hoshangabad city in MadhYa Pradesh. India, was earlier called Naraiadapur after the river Narrnada, however later the name was changed to Hoshangabad. The district takes its own name from the head quarters town Hoshangabad which was founded by "Sultan Hushang Shah Gori", the second king of Mandu (Malwa) in early 15th century.
Hushang waged alliance with the Indian dynasty of the Pranoktas in the battle against the Chaiukyas. Hoshang never thought he would be defeated in the memorable battle that cost him his wife.

Rani Durgavati

Rani Durgavati (October 5,1524- June 24, 1564) was born in the family of famous Chandel Emperor Keerat Rai. She was born at the fort of Kalanjar (Banda, Uttar Pradesh). Chandel Dynasty is famous in the Indian History for the defense of king Vidyadhar who repulsed the attacks of Mahmud Ghaznavi. His love for sculptures is shown in the world famed temples of Khajuraho and Kaiariiarfort. Rani Durgavati s achievements further enhanced the glory of her ancestral tradition of courage and patronage of arts.

In 1542, she was married to Dalpat Shah, the eldest son of king Sangram Shah of Gond Dynasty. Chandel and Gond dynasties got closer as a consequence of this marriage and that was the reason Keerat Rai got the help of Gonds and his son-in-law Dalpat Shah at the time of invasion of Sher Shah Suri in which Sher Shah died.

She gave birth to a son in 1545. who was named Vir Narayan. Dalpat Shah died in about 1550. As Vir Narayan was too young at that time, Durgavati took the reins of the Gond kingdom in her hands. Two ministers Adhar Kayastha and Man Thakur helped the Rani in looking after the administration successfully and effectively. Rani moved her capital to Chauragarh in place of Singaurgarh. It was a fort of strategic importance situated on the Satpura hill range.

After the death of Sher shah, Sujat Khan captured the Malwa zone and was succeeded by his son Baz Bahadur \n 1556. After ascending to the throne, he attacked Rani Durgavati but the attack was repulsed with heavy losses to his army. This defeat effectively silenced Baz Bahadurand the victory brought name and fame for Rani Durgavati.
In the year 1562 Akbar vanquished the Malwa ruler Baz Bahadur and annexed the Malwa under Mughal dominion. Consequently, the state boundary of Rani touched the Mughal Sultanate.
Rani's contemporary was a Mughal General, Khwaja Abdul Majid Asaf Khan , an ambitious man who vanquished Ramchandra, the ruler of Rewa. Prosperity of Rani Durgavati's state lured him and he invaded Rani's state after taking permission from Mughal emperor Akbar.

When Rani heard about the attack by Asaf Khan she decide to defend her kingdom with all her might although her minister Adhar pointed out the strength of Mughal forces. Rani maintained that it was better to die respectfully than to live a disgraceful life.

To fight a defensive battle, she went to Narrai situated between a hilly range on one side and two rivers Gaur and Narrnada on the other side, ft was an unequal battle with trained soldiers and modern weapons in multitude on one side and a few untrained soldiers with old weapons on the other side. Her Faujdar Arjun Das was killed in the battle and Rani decided to lead the defence herself. As the enemy entered the valley, soldiers of Rani attacked them. Both sides lost some men but Rani was victorious in this battle. She chased the Mughal army and came out of the valley.
At this stage Rani reviewed her strategy with her counselors. She wanted to attack the enemy in the night to enfeeble them but her lieutenants did not accept her suggestion. By next morning Asaf khan had summoned big guns. Rani rode on her elephant Sarman and j came for the battle. Her son Vir Narayan also took part in this battle. He forced Mughal j army to move back three times but at last he got wounded and had to retire to a safe place. In the course of battle Rani also got Injured near her ear with an arrow. Another arrow pierced her neck and she lost her consciousness. On regaining consciousness she advised her to leave the battlefield but she refused and took out her dagger and killed herself on June 24,1564. Her death is celebrated in India as a "martyrdom day" on June 24.in the year 1983, the Government of Madhya Pradesh renamed the University of Jabalpur as Rani Durgavati Vishwavidyaiaya in her memory. Government of India paid its tribute to her by issuing a postal-stamp commemorating her death, on 24th June 1988.

Raja Birbai

Raja Birbal<1528-1586) (real name: Maheshdas Bhat) was the Grand Vizier (Wazlr-e Azam) of the Mughal court in the administration of the Mughal emperor Akbar and one of his most trusted members along with being a part of Akbar's inner council of nine advisors, known as the navaratna, a Sanskrit word meaning nine jewels He was only person other than Akbar who was a Din-i-llahi believer.
Birbal's duties in Akbar's court were mostly military and administrative but he was also a very close friend of the emperor, who liked Birbai most for his wit and wisdom, as a result of which they frequently had witty and humorous exchanges between them. These exchanges and stories have become part of a rich tradition of folklore and legend

Early Years

Born Mahesh Das in 1528 in the village Ghoghara of Sihawal tehsil in Sidht district of Madhva Pradesh. Birba! grew up in a Brahmin household, educated but impoverished. He was a poet and author whose wit and wisdom led the Emperor Akbar to invite him to be a part of the royal court and to bestow upon him a new name - Birbai (Bir means Brain, Bal means Strong). Akbar also conferred on him the title of Raja.

Meeting with Sikh guru

According to Giani Gian Singh, The author of the BookTwarikh Guru Khalsa in 1626, Raja Birbai met Guru Amac Das, the third guru of Sikhism. He and his army had their meals in the Langar, when some unscrupulous individual told him that Guru Amar Das had a precious rasayana (a rejuvenating ointment that promised eternal youth according to Ayurveda's Bhoota Vidya). He demanded this rasayana from Guru Amar Das. But Guru Amar Das replied God's name is the true rasayana and this rasayana is only gifted to the previous Gurus.
Birbai did not believe him and instead got angry. He said that he would take the rasayana the next day but at night. However, he had orders to reach Malandri (Muhim) the next day. Abandoning his plans for the rasayana, he journeyed onward.


Raja Birbai died in the battle of Malandari Pass, attempting to quell unrest amongst Afghan or Pashtun tribes in Northwest India. Akbar was said to have mourned for a long time on hearing the news. The death was said to be caused by treachery, not military defeat. Sanchit Fazal killed Birbai because of his close relationship with Akbar. A quote from Birbal's last wish was that upon his (Birbai) death, his ashes be immersed in the River Ganges at Haridwar, but Akbar did not grant this wish and instead he had a well dug, near the river and buried his ashes there. (Location: Thanda kua near Harki Pauri, Haridwar)

Baz Bahadur

The Defeat of Baz Bahadur of Malwa by the Mughal Troops, while Rani Roopmati, and her female companions, view the scene from the terrace of the fort. 1561- Akbarnama, ca 1590-95
Miyan Bayezid Baz Bahadur was a sultan of Malwa from 1555 to 1562. He is known for his romantic liaison with Roopmati, a singer of Rajput birth.
Baz Bahadur as sultan did not bother to look after his kingdom nor did he maintain a strong army, being devoted to the arts and to his paramour. The Mughals defeated him and captured his queen Roopmati, who killed herself at this turn of events. Baz Bahadur fled to Chittorgarh to seek help.
Mughal forces led by Adham Khan, enter the fort of Baz Bahadur of Malwa, 1561, Akbarnamaca 1590-95.
In an ugly twist to this story of love, Akbar's general Adham Khan attacked Mandu and overthrew Baz Bahadur. One of the reasons for Adham Khan's attack seems to be his love for Rani Roopmati. Rani Roopmati poisoned herself to death on hearing the news of fall of Mandu. Baz Bahadur fled.*
His capital was Mandu (now in Madhva Pradesh). Mandu was an important city for the Mughal emperors too. Akbar. Jehangir and Noor Jahan have visited Mandu. The Jahaj Mahal is in Mandu.

Rani Rupmati

Rani Rupmati, also spelt Roopmati, was a Hindu singer of Malwa. Sultan Baz Bahadur and Roopmati fell in love with each other and were married according to muslim and Hindu rites.
Adham Khan was prompted to conquer Mandu partly due to Rupmati's beauty. When Adham Khan marched on the fort Baz Bahadur met him with his small force and was defeated, Roopmati poisoned herself. Thus ending the magical love story which was steeped in music, poetry ,romance,war and death.

The Defeat of Baz Bahadur of Malwa by the Mughal Troops, while Rani Roopmati, and her female companions, view the scene from the terrace of the fort. 1561- Akbarnama, ca 1590-95
Baz Bahadur, ever so fond of music, was the last independent ruler of Mandu. Once out hunting, Baz Bahadur chanced upon a shepherdess frolicking and singing with her friends. Smitten by both her enchanting beauty and her mellifluous voice, he begged Roopmati to accompany him to his capital. Roopmati agreed to go to Mandu on the condition that she would live in a palace within sight of her beloved and venerated river, Narmada. Thus was built the Rewa Kund at Mandu. Nowadays, their family member's are living in Indore.

Ahilyabai Holkar

Punyaslok Kajmata Ahilyadevi Holkar, called "Catherine the Great, Elizabeth, Margaret of India" (1725 - 1795, ruled 1767-1795) was a Holkar dynasty ruler Malwa kingdom, India. She was born in the village of Chaundi in Maharashtra. She 11 moved the capital to Maheshwar south of indore on the Narmada River.
Ahiiyadevi's husband Khanderao Holkar was killed in the battle of Kumher in 1754. Twelve years later, her father-in-law, Maihar Rao Holkar, died. She tried to protect her kingdom from Thugs, the plunderers. She personally led armies into battle. She appointedTukojirao Holkar as the Chief of Army. She is also famous for justice, once she gave the order for killing her only son under the elephant feet for his punishable activities.
Rani Ahilyadevi was a great builder and patron of many Hindu temples which 1 embellished Maheshwar and indore. She also built temples and Dharmshala (Free lodging) at sacred sites outside her kingdom, at prominent religious places like Dwarka in Gujarat east to the Kashi Vishwanath.Temple at Varanasi on the Ganges, Ujjain (M.R), Nasik (Mh.), Parali baijnath (Ms.). Seeing the destroyed and desecrated temple in Somanath, Rani Ahilyadevi built a temple where Lord Shiva is still worshipped by Hindus.

Ahilyadevi was bom on August 31,1725 in the village of Chondi, in Beed district, Maharashtra. Her father, Mankoji Shinde, was the patil of the village, a member of the proud Dhangar community. Women then did not go to school, but Ahilyabai's father taught her to read and write.

Her entrance on to the stage of history was something of an accident: Maihar Rao Holkar, a commander in the service of the Peshwa Bajirao and lord of the Malwa territory, f stopped in Chondi on his way to Pune and. according to legend, saw the eight-year-oid Ahilyadevi at the temple service in the village. Recognising her piety and her character, he brought the girl to the Holkar territory as a bride for his son, Khande Rao.


Ahilya devi's husband was killed in battle in 1754. Twelve years later, her father-in-law, Malhar Rao died. From 1766 until her death in 1795, she ruled Malwa, trained in both administrative and military matters by Malhar Rao. A letter to her from Malhar Rao in 1765 illustrates the trust he had in her ability during the tempestuous battle for power in the 18th century:
"Proceed to Gwalior after crossing the Chambai. You may halt there for four afj five days. You should keep your big artillery and arrangeforits ammunition as much as possible On the march you should arrange for military posts being located for protection of the road."

Already trained to be a ruler, Ahilyadevi petitioned the Peshwa after Mafhar s death, and the death of her son, to take over the administration herself. Some in Malwa objected to her assumption of rule, but the army of Flolkar was enthusiastic about her leadership. She had led them in person, with four bows and quivers of arrows fitted to the corners of the howdah of her favourite elephant. The Peshwa granted permission, and, withTukoji Holkar (Malhar Rao's adopted son) as the head of military matters, she proceeded to rule Malwa in a most enlightened manner, even reinstating a Brahmin who had opposed her. Ahilyadevi never observed purdah but held daily public audience and was always accessible to anyone who needed her ear.
Among Ahiiyadevi's accomplishments was development of Indore from a small village to a prosperous and beautiful city: her own capital, however, was in nearby Maheshwar, a town on the banks of the Narmada river. She also built forts and roads in Malwa, sponsored festivals and gave donations for regular worship in many Hindu temples. Outside Matwa. she built dozens of temple, ghats, wells, tanks and rest-houses across an area stretching from the Himalayas to pilgrimage centres in South India. The Bharatiya Sanskritikosh lists as sites she embellished, Kashi, Gaya,Somnath, Ayodhya, Mathura, Hardwar, Kanchi.Avanti, Dwarka. Badrinarayan, Rameshwar and Jaganathpuri. Ahilyadevi also rejoiced when she saw bankers, merchant, farmers and cultivators rise to levels of affluence, but did not consider that she had any legitimate claim to any of that wealth, be it through taxes or feudal right. She must, in fact, have financial all her activities with the lawful gains obtained from a happy and prosperous.
There are many stories of her care for her people. She helped widows retain their husbands" weafth. She made sure that a widow was allowed to adopt a son; in fact, in one instance, when her minister refused to allow the adoption unless he was suitably bribed, she is said to have sponsored the child herself and given him clothes and jewels as part of the ritual. To honour the memory of Ahilyadevi Holkar, in 1996 leading citizens of Indore instituted an award in her name to be bestowed annually on an outstanding public figure. The then prime minister of India gave away the first award to Nanaji Deshmukh. The only time Ahilyadevi seems not to have been able to settle a conflict peacefully and easily was in the case of the Bhils and Gond "plunderers" on her borders; but she granted them waste hilly lands and the right to a small duty on goods passing through their territories. Even in this case, according to Malcolm, she did give "considerate attention to their habits".

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