History of Yaduvanshi Lunar Race Bhati Rajput of Lodrava and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan —–
Traditionaly Bhatis are regarded as Yaduvansis belonged to Yadu or Jadon clan of Rajputs who claimed descent from Lord Krishna ( 1) .They are migrated from their homeland of Saurashtra , and stayed at varios places before they reached Jaisalmer .In the Lakhi forest , where they stayed for some time , they founded the town of Bhatner now known as Hanumangarh .Similarly . theu built the forts of Kahror in Sind and Tanot in Jaisalmer during their peregrinations (2) .
Bardic chronicles give long generation of the Bhatis , generally beginning their account with Krishna of Lunar Kshtriya’s race of puranic Yadava dynasty of Mathura and Dwaraka .It is said that after the death of Lord Krishna , when the power of Yadavas ( Jadus ) declined at Dwaraka , some Yaduvansis families proceeding beyond Indus settled in Afghanistan .But , du to constant attacks of various nomadic tribes , the Yadava Chandravashi kshatriyas could not retain the vast kingdom of Afghanistan and a process their migration towards India started ( 3 ).But their first great ruler perhaps was Devaraja .Many storieshave gathered round him .He built the fort of Derawar , which seems to be a shortened form of Devarajapura .It stood in an oasis commanding the routes to Sind .He avenged the death of his father , Vijayaraja , and made himself master of all the land between the Derawar and Bikampur forts ( 4 ) .Bikampur fort was captured from the Paramaras .He is also said to have led an army against the Paramaras of Dhara .But this can be regarded as a later fabrication .
It is not easy to fix the time and reign of Devaraja .As he is the eight ruler of the line which is supposed to have begun with Bhati , the reputed founder of the Bhati era of 623 ( 5 ) , it is possible to regard him as a contemporary of Siluka Pratihara of Mandor . According to Bauka’s Jodhpur inscription of v894 ,the Siluka Pratihara secured the insigna of royalty by ‘’ felling on ground the Bhattika ruler Devaraja of Vallamandala ( 6 ) .Thus the stormy career of this early Devaraja probably ended not in a fracas with the Turkish governor of Aror ,as the writer of the Khyats would like us to belive ,but with one of his own ambitious neighbours .
However , the identification thus proposed runs into difficulties in view of the other datain the Khyat of Nainsi .While Devaraja is separatedly by seven generations from Bhati , the distance between him and Dusajha ( c.1150 ) is barely two generations .This would put Devaraja in c .1075-1100 .So as suggested by us elsewhere , ( 7 ) , the only way to reconcile these diverse data is to assume that there were probably a number of Devarajas .Of these , the first one can ,on the basis of irrefutable epigraphic evidence , be put in the earlier half of the eight century .The last one was separated from Vijayaraja IIIby barely three generations . Since Vijaraja was on the scene in 1164 , Devaraja will have to be put towards the end of the eleventh century , if there is any truth in the story of his death in a fight against the Turks , it mightb not be wrong to conclude that he also tried to prevent the advance of the Ghaznavid ruler . Ibrahim III ,to the western coast of India ( 8 ). However , he did not succeed in this venture .
Devaraja IIwas successively followed on the thorne by Mundha , Vacca and Dusajha (9 ). Jaisal should have been the next ruler , as the eldest son of Dusajha .Instead he was succeeded by his second son , Vijayarava Lanja ,who is said to have married a daughter of Jayasimha Siddharaja of Anahilapathan ( c.1093-1143 ), ( 10 ) . This , however , has to be regarded as unlikely , if we identify Vijayarava with the Bhati ruler Vijayaraja , for whom we have inscriptions of the Bhatika Samvat 541 ( A.D 1165 ) ,543 ( A.D 1167 ) and 552 ( A.D 1176 ) , ( 11) .The earlist of them , found on a Govardhana of the Vijadasar tank near Asnikot , gives him the title of Paramabhattaraka-maharajadhiraja –paramesvara and records perhaps the donation of a certain amount of Mahamadya to the shrine of Chahinidevi which stands on the edge of the tank .The second inscription records the building of the matha ( shrine ) of Chahinidevi .The third inscription , incised on the Vijayaraja’s pattarani or chief queen .Thus , these records show for at least twelve years ( 1165-76 ) the presence of a strong Bhati ruler , who contributed to the welfare of his people by setting up shrines and temples .The tanks attached to the temples supplied the people with water they needed to shake their thirst and imigate their fields .
Because of his love for a fashionable nagaraka’s life , Vijayaraja was called ‘’ Lanja ‘’m or the ‘’ great dandy ( 12 ) .But equally well known was his valour .He had come to be known as ‘’ the portal of the north ‘’ on account of his resistance to the Turkish invaders from the north-west ( 13 ) .
Vijayaraja was succeeded by Bhoja who , like his father , ruled over Lodrava ( 14 ) and took upon himself the duly of protecting the country against invaders from the north-west ( 15 ) .When the Ghaznavid army tried to march on to Abu by way of Lodrava , Bhoja , conscious of his duty towards his people , attacked the aggressors .The invaders captured and sacked Lodrava . Vijayaraja’s elder brother , Jaisal , who had been kept out from succession on the death of Dusajha , now had his chance .He had already joined the Ghaznavids and now received the thorne of Lodrava as his reward ( 16 ) .
Jaisal did not find the stay at Lodrava very congenial .So he built the fort of Jaisalmer on the site five Kos to the east of Lodrava .It had a deep well and a good tank which could supply water throughout the year .The date of the foundation of the fort , as given by most chroniclers ,is Sunday , the 12th of the dark half of Sravana , v.1212 ( 17 ) .But in view of the dates of Vijayaraja ( v1222-33 ) and Bhoja ( c.v.1235 ) , both preceding Jesal on the thorne , we can hardly regard v.1212 as the correct date .The earliest reference to Jaisalmer is in the Kharataragacchapattavali of Jinapala , and the year recorded is v.1224. The fort must , therefore , have been founded between v.1235 and 1244.
Jaisal died after a rule of five years and was followed by his son Salivahana in about v.1240 ( A.D 1183 ) .The fort left incomplete by the former was completed during the latter’s regin of twenty –two years ( 18 ) .His son , Vaijala a licentious youth , was deposed by the Bhatis ( 19 ) in c.1206 .
1-Erskine , Imperial Gazetteers of India , Op.cit ., p.208 .
2- Nainsi Khyat, Rajathani ed .,pp .20-21.
3- Tod ., Op.cit., Vol .II ,pp.1169-73 .
4- Nainsi Khyat .Rajasthani ed ., pp.21 ,25.
5-The rulers preceding Devaraja are Bhati ,Vaccharav I, Manjhamarava , Kehar ( founder of Kahror ) , Tanu ( founder of Tanot ) and Vijayarava II.
6- Buka’s Jodhpur inscription , EI,XVIII, 1925-26 ,pp87-99 , v.19 .
7-Rajasthan Through the Age ,I,pp .548-49 .
8- see ECD,p.36 for the relevant references .
9- Nainsi’s Khyat , II,pp.21-22.
11-For the text of the inscriptions see Rajasthan Through the Ages ,Ip.286 .
12-Nainsi’s Khyat , II,p33.
13-Ibid , p.34 .
14-Nainsi’s Khyat ,II.pp.33-34.
17-Ibid ,p.36 .
18-Ibid ,p. 37.
19- For a subsequent history of Bhatis , see Mohammad Habib and K.A.Nizami ,A Comprehensive History of India , v.pp.818-20.
Author-Dr Dhirendra Singh Jadaun
Village -Larhota ,near Sasni
District-Hathras ,Uttar Pradesh.
Associate Prof. Of Agric Soil Sci.
Shahid Captain Ripudman Singh Govt.College , Sawaimadhopur ,Rajasthan ,322001.