Annals of Haravati
|Wikified by:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.), Jaipur|
- 1 Abstract of Chapter I
- 2 Fabulous origin of the Agnicula races
- 3 The Chauhans
- 4 Dominions of Chohans
- 5 Found Ajmer — Ajipal- Manik Rae
- 6 Manika Rae originator of various tribes
- 7 Contests with the Mahomedans
- 8 The warriors assembled under Beesildeo against the Islam invader
- 9 Delhi (Siwalik) pillar inscriptions of Visaladeva-Vigraharaja of A.D. 1114
- 10 Hansi and Golkunda
- 11 Ishtpal, the founder of the Haras, obtained Hansi
- 12 Rao Dewa erects Bundi
- 13 Abstract of Chapter II
- 14 Recapitulation of the Hara princes from the founder Anuraj to Rae Dewa
- 15 Hamu succeeds
- 16 Bando's two brothers Samarsi & Umarsi adopt muslim faith
Abstract of Chapter I
[p.405]: Hraoati defined — Fabulous origin of the Agnicula races — Mount Aboo — The Chohans obtain Macavati, Golconda, and the Konkan. — Found Ajmer — Ajipal- Manik Rae— First Islamite invasion- Ajmir taken — Sambhur founded ; its salt lake— Offspring of Manik Rae— Establishments in Rajpootana — Contests with the Mahomedans. — Beelundeo of Ajmer ; Goga Chahan of Mehera ; both slain by Mahmoud, — Beesuldeo Generalissimo of the Rajpoot nations; his period fixed; his column at Dehli ; his alliances, — Origin of the Hara tribe, — Anuraj obtains Asi — dispossessed — Ishtpal obtains Aser — Rao Hamir. — Rao Chund slain — Aser taken by Alla-o-din — Prince Rainsi escapes to Cheetore ; settles at Bhynsror, in Mewar — His son Kolun declared lord of the Pathar.
Haravati, or Harouti, 'the country of the Haras' comprehends two principalities, viz,, Kotah and Boondi. The Chumbul intersects the territory of the Hara race, and now serves as their boundary, although only three centuries have elapsed since the younger branch eeparated from and became independent of Boondi.
The Hara is the most important of the twenty-four Chohan sacha,being descended from Anuraj, the son of Manik Rae, king of Ajmer, who in S. 741 (A.D. 685) sustained the first shock of the Islamite arms.
Fabulous origin of the Agnicula races
We have already sketched the pedigree of the Chohans,* one of he most illustrious of the " thirty-six royal races" of India.† We must, however, in this place, enter into it somewhat more fully ; and in doing so, we must not discard even the fables of their origin, which will at least demonstrate that the human understanding has
- * See Vol I, p. 85.
- † According to Herodotus, the Scythic sacai enumerated eight races with the epithet of royal, and Strabo mentions one of the tribes of the Thyssagetae as boasting the title of Basilii. The Rajpoots assert that in ancient times they only enumerated eight royal sachham or branches, viz., Surya, Soma, Hya or Aswa (qu. Asi ?) Nima, and the four tribes of Agnivansa, viz., Pramara, Purihars, Solanki, and Chohan.
- Abulgazi states that the Tatars or Scythians were divided into six grand families. The Rajpoots have maintained these ideas, originally brought from Oxus.
[p.406]: been similarly constructed in all ages and countries, before the thi.... veil of ignorance and superstition was withdrawn from it. So scanty are the remote records of the Chohans, that it would savour of affectation to attempt a division of the periods of their history, or the improbable, the probable, and the certain. Of the first two, a separation would be impracticable, and we cannot trace the latter beyond the seventh century.
" When the impieties of the kings of the warrior race drew upon them the vengeance of Pursarama, who twenty-one times extirpated that race, some, in order to save their lives, called themselves bards; others assumed the guise of women ; and thus the singh (horn) of the Rajpoots was preserved, when dominion was assigned to the Brahmins. The impious avarice of Sehsra Arjuna, of the Hya race, king of Maheswar on the Nerbudda, provoked the last war, having slain the father of Pursarama.
" But as the chief weapon of the Brahmin is his curse or blessing, great disorders soon ensued from the want of the strong arm. ignorance and infidelity spread over the land ; the sacred books were trampled under foot, and mankind had no refuge from the monstrous brood.* In this exigence, Viswamitra, the instructor in arms† of Bhagwan, revolved within his own mind, and determined upon, the re-creation of the Chetries.
Re-creation of the Kshatriyas: Viswamitra chose for this rite the summit of Mount Aboo‡ where dwell the hermits and sages (Moonis and Rooais) constantly occupied in the duties of religion, and who had carried their complaints even to the keer samudra (sea of curds), where they saw the Father of Creation floating upon the hydra (emblem of eternity). He desired them to regenerate the warrior race, and they returned to Mount Aboo with Indra, Brimha, Roodra, Vishnu, and all the inferior divinities, in their train. The fire-fountain (anhul-coond) was lustrated with the waters of the Ganges; expiatory rites were performed, and, after a protracted debate, it was resolved that Indra should initiate the work of re-creation.
Pramar: Having formed an image (pootli) of the dhuba grass, he sprinkled it with the water of life, and threw it into the fire-fountain. Thence, on pronouncing the sajivan mantri (incantation to give life), a figure slowly emerged from the flame, bearing in the right hand a mace, and exclaiming, " Mar ! mar !" (slay, slay). He was called Pramar; and Aboo, Dhar, and Oojein were assigned to him as a territory.
Solanki: " Brimha was then entreated to frame one from his own essence (ansa). He made an image, threw it into the pit, whence issued a figure armed with a sword (kharga) in one hand, with the veda in the other, and a zunoo round his neck. He was named Chalook or Solanki, and Anhulpoor Patun was appropriated to him.
- * Or, as the bard says, Dytes, Asuras, and Danoos, or demons and infidels,as they style the Indo-Scythic tribes from the north-west, who paid no respect to the Brahmins.
- † Awud-guru.
- ‡ My last pilgrimage was to Aboo.
Parihar: " Roodra formed the third. The image was sprinkled with the water of the Ganges, and on the incantation being read, a black ill-favoured figure arose, armed with the d'hanoos or bow. As his foot slipped when sent against the demons, he was called Purihar, and placed as the poleoh, or guardian of the gates. He had the nonangul Maroost'hali, or 'nine habitations of the desert' assigned him.
Chauhans: The fourth was formed by Vishnu; when an image like himself, four-armed, each having a separate weapon, issued from the flames, and was thence styled Chuthurbhooja Chau-han, or the ' four-armed.' The gods bestowed their blessing upon him, and Macavati-nagri as his territory. Such was the name of Gurra-Mundilla in the Dwapur, or silver age.
" The Dytes were watching the rites, and two of their leaders were close to the fire-fountain ; but the work of regeneration being over, the new-born warriors were sent against the infidels, when a desperate encounter ensued. But as fast as the blood of the demons was shed, young demons arose ; when the four tutelary divinities, attendant on each newly-created race, drank up the blood, and thus stopped the multiplication of evil These were
" When the Dytes were slain, shouts of joy rent the sky ; ambrosial showers were shed from heaven ; and the gods drove their cars (vahan) about the firmament, exulting at the victory thus achieved.
the rest were born of woman ; these were created by the Brahmins !* —
Gotr-acharya of the Chohans
- Sham Veda,
- Mad'hooni sac'ha,
- Vacha gotra,
- panch purwur junoo,
- Laktuncari nekas,
- Chandrabhaga Nadi,
- Brigoo neshan,
- Balun Putra, Kal-Bhiroo,
- Aboo Achaleswar Mahadeo,
- Chatur bhooja Chau-han."
The period of this grand convocation of the gods on Mount Aboo, to regenerate the warrior race of Hind, and to incite them against "the infidel races who had spread over the land," is dated so far back as the opening of the second age of the Hindus : a point which we shall not dispute. Neither shall we throw a doubt upon the Chronicles which claim Prince Sehl, one of the great heroes of the
:* It is by no means uncommon for this arrogant priesthood to lay claim to powers co-equal with those of the Divinity, nay often superior to them. With the scene in the Ramayuna, where they make the deity a mediator, to entreat the Brahmin Vashishta to hearken to King Vishwamitra's desire for his friendship. Can anything exceed this) Parallel it, perhaps, we may, in that memorable instance of Christian idolatry, where the Almighty is called on to intercede with St. Januarius to perform the annual miracle of liquefying the congealed blood.
[p.408]: Mahabharat, as an intermediate link between Anhul Chohan and Satpati, who founded Macavati, and conquered the Konkan ; while another son, called Tuntur Pal, conquered Aser and Gowalcoond (Golconda), planted his garrisons in every region, and possessed nine hundred elephants to carry puckala, or water-skins.
Regenerated to fight the battles of Brahminism: Let us here pause for a moment before we proceed with the chronicle, and inquire who were these warriors, thus regenerated to fight the battles of Brahminism, and brought within the pale of their faith ? They must have been either the aboriginal debased classes, raised to moral importance by the ministers of the pervading religion, or foreign races who had obtained a footing amongst them. The contrasted physical appearance of the respective races will decide this question. The aborigines are dark, diminutive, and ill-favoured ; the Agniculas are of good stature, and fair, with prominent features, like those of the Parthian kings. The ideas which pervade their martial poetry are such as were held by the Scythian in distant ages, and which even Brahmanism has failed to eradicate ; while the tumuli, containing ashes and arms, discovered throughout India, especially in the south about Gowalcoond, where the Chohans held sway, indicate the nomadic warrior of the north as the of Mount Aboo.
Dominions of Chohans
Of the four Agnicula races, the Chohans were the first who obtained extensive dominion. The almost universal power of the Pramaras is proverbial ; but the wide sway possessed by the Chohan can only be discovered with difficulty. Their glory was on the wane when that of the Pramaras was in the zenith ; and if we may credit the last great bard of the Rajpoots, the Chohans held in capital of the Pramaras of Telingana, in the eighth century of vikram though the name of Pirthi Raj threw a parting ray of splendour upon the whole line of his ancestry, even to the fire-fountain on the summit of classic Aboo.
The facts to be gleaned in the early page of the chronicle are contained in a few stanzas, which proclaim the possession of power, though probably of no lengthened duration. The line of Nerbudda, from Macavati, or Makauti, to Maheswar, was the primitive seat of sovereignty, comprehending all the tracts in its vicinity both north and south. Thence, as they multiplied, they spread over the peninsula, possessing Mandoo, Aser, Golconda and tne Konkan; while to the north, they stretched even to the fountains of the Ganges. The following is the bard's picture of Chohan dominion :
- * The Mahomedan writers confirm this account, for in their earliest recorded invasion, in A.H. 143, the princes of Lahore and Ajmer, said to be of the same family, are the great opponents of Islam, and combated its advance in fields west of the Indus. We know beyond doubt that Ajmir was then the chief seat of Chohan power.
[p.409]: conquered even to the hills of Bhadri. The infidels (asuras) fled, and allegiance was proclaimed in Dehli and Cabul, while the country of Nepal he bestowed on the Mallani.* Crowned with the blessing of the gods, he returned to Macaouti.
It has already been observed, that Macaouti-Nagri was the ancient name of Gurra Mundilla, whose princes for ages continued the surname of Pal, indicative, it is recorded by tradition, of their nomadic occupation. The Aheers, who occupied all Central India, and have left in one nook (Aheerwarra) a memorial of their existence, was a branch of the same race, Aheer being a synonym for Pal. Bhelsa, Bhojpoor, Diep, Bhopal, Airun, Garspoor, are a few of the ancient towns established by the Pals or Palis ; and could we master still unknown characters appertaining to the early colonists of India, more light would be thrown on the history of the Chohans.†
Found Ajmer — Ajipal- Manik Rae
A. scion from Macaouti, named Ajipal, established himself at Ajmer,‡ and erected its castle of Tarragur'h. The name of Ajipal is one of the most conspicuous that tradition has preserved, and is always followed by the epithet of chukwa, or universal potentate. His era must ever remain doubtful, unless, as already observed, we should master the characters said to belong to this race, and which are still extant, both on stone and on copper.§ From what cause is stated (most probably a failure of lineal issue), Pirthi Pahar was brought from Macaouti to Ajmer. By a single wife (for polygamy was then unknown to these races), he had twenty-four sons, whose progeny peopled these regions, one of whose descendants, Manika Rae, was lord of Ajmer and Sambhur, in the year S. 741, or AD. 685.
- * The Mallani is (or rather was) one of the Chohan Sachae and may be the Malli who exposed Alexander at the confluent arms of the Indus. The tribe extinct and was so little known even five centuries ago, that a prince of Boondi, of the Hara tribe, intermarried with a Mallani, the book of genealogical affinities not indicating her being within the prohibited canon. A more skilful bard pointed out the incestuous connection, when divorce and expiation ensued. Vide page 270.
- † All these towns contain remains of antiquity, especially in the district of Diep, Bhojpoor, and Bhelsa. Twenty years ago, in one of my journies, I passed the ruins of Airun, where a superb column stands at the junction of its two extremes. It is about thirty feet in height, and is surmounted by a human figure, having a glory round his head ; a colossal bull is at the base of the colomn. I sent a drawing of it to Mr. Colebrooke at the time, but possess no copy.
- ‡ It is indifferently called Aji-mer, and Aji-doorg, the invincible hill (mera) or invincible castle (doorg). Tradition, however, says that the name of this renowned abode, the key of Rajpootana, is derived from the humble profession of the young Chohan, who was a goatherd : Aja meaning 'a goat' in Sanskrit ; still referring to the original pastoral occupation of the Palis.
- § I obtained at Ajmer and at Poshkur several very valuable medals, Bactrian, Indo-Scythic, and Hindu, having the ancient Pali on one side, and the effigy of a horse on the other.
[p.410]: quently entertain us with much substantial information, we can trace his subject, and see his heroes fret their hour upon the uncertain stage, throughout a period of twelve hundred years. It was at this era (A.D. 685) that Rajpootana was first visited by the arms of Islam, being the sixty-third year of the Hejira. Manika Rae, then prince of Ajmer, was slain by the Asuras and his only child, named Lot, then an infant of seven years of age, was killed by an arrow while playing on the battlements (kangras). The invasion is said to have been from Sinde, in revenge for the ill-treatment of an Islamite missionary, named Roshan Ali, though the complexion of the event is more like an enterprize prompted by religious enthusiasm. The missionary being condemned to lose his thumb, " the disjointed member, flew to Mecca," and gave evidence against the Rajpoots idolater; when a force was prepared, disguised as a caravan of horse-merchants, which surprised and slew Doola Rae and his son and obtained possession of Gurh-beetli, the citadel.
Puerile as is the transaction, its truth is substantiated by the fact that the Caliph Omar at this very time sent an army to Sinde, whose commander, Abul Ais, was slain in an attempt on the ancient capital Alore. Still nothing but the enthusiasm of religious frenzy could have induced a band to cross the desert in order to punish this insult to the new faith.
Whatever were the means, however, by which Ajmer was captured and Doola Rae slain, the importance of the event has been deeply imprinted on the Chohans ; who, in remembrance of it, deified the youthful heir of Ajmer : "Lot putra" is still the most conspicuous of the Chohan penates. The day on which he was killed is sanctified and his effigy then receives divine honours from all who have the name of Chohan. Even the anklet of bells which he wore has become an object of veneration, and is forbidden to be used by the children of this race.
Manika Rae, the uncle of the youth (putra), (who is still the object of general homage, especially of the Chohan fairs, upon the occupation of Ajmer, retired upon Sambhur, which event another couplet fixes, as we have said, in S. 741.* Here the bard has recourse to celestial interposition in order to support Manika Rae in big adversity. The goddess Sacambhari appears to him, while seeking shelter from the pursuit of this merciless foe, and bids him establish himself in the spot where she manifested herself, guaranteeing to him the possession of all the ground he could encompass with, his horse on that day ; but commanded him not to look back until he
- * Samvat, stsoh ektalees
- Malut bali bes
- Sambhur aya tuti surr-us
- Manik Rae, Nur-es
[p.411]: had returned to the spot where he left her. He commenced the circuit, with what he deemed his steed could accomplish, but forgetting the injunction, he was surprised to see the whole space covered as with a sheet. This was the desiccated sirr, or salt-lake, which he named after his patroness Sacambhari, whose statue still exists on a small island in the lake, now corrupted to Sambhur.*
However jejune these legends of the first days of Chohan power, they suffice to mark with exactness their locality ; and the importance attached to this settlement is manifested in the title of " Sambhri Rao," maintained by Pirthi Raj, the descendant of Manika Rae, even when emperor of all northern India.
Manika Rae originator of various tribes
Manika Rae, whom we may consider as the founder of the Chohans of the north, recovered Ajmer. He had a numerous progeny, who established many petty dynasties throughout Western Rajwarra, giving birth to various tribes, which are spread even to the Indus.
The Kheechie,† the Hara, the Mohil, Nurbhana, Badorea, Bhowrecha, Dhnnaires, and Bagrecha, are all descended from him. The Kheechies were established in the remote Do-abeh, called Sinde-Sagur, comprising all the tract between the Behut and the Sinde, a space of sixty-eight coss, whose capital was Kheechpoor-Patun. The Haras obtained or founded Asi (Hansi) in Heriana ; while another tribe held Gowalcoond, the celebrated Golconda, now Hydrabad, and when thence expelled, regained Aser. The Mohils had the tracts round Nagore.‡ The Bhadoreas had an appanage on the Chumbul, in a tract which bears their name, and is still subject to them. The Dhunaireas settled at Shahabad, which by a singular fatality has at length come into the possession of the Haras of Kotah. Another branch fixed at Nadole, but never changed the name of Chohan.§
- * An inscription on the pillar at Feroz Shah's palace at Dehli, belonging to this family, in which the word sacambhari occurs, gave rise to many ingenious conjectures by Sir W. Jones, Mr. Colebrooke, and Colonel Wilford.
- ‡ In the annals of Marwar it will be shewn, that the Rahtores conquered Nagore or Naga-doorg (the 'serpent's castle'), from the Mohils, who held fourteen hundred and forty villages so late as the fifteenth century. So many of the colonies of Agniculas bestowed the name of serpent on their settlements, that I am convinced all were of the Tak, Takshac, or Nagvansa race from Sacadwipa, who, six centuries anterior to Vikramaditya, under their leader Sehehsnaga conquered India, and whose era must be the limit of Aguicula antiquity.
- § The importance of Nadole was considerable, and is fully attested by existing inscriptions as well as by the domestic chronicle. Midway from the founder, in the eighth century, to its destruction in the twelfth, was Rao Lakhun, who in S. 1039 (A.D. 983), successfully coped with the princes of Nehrvalla.
- " Sumeah dos seh onchalees
- " Bar ekhouta Patun pyla pol
- " Dan Chohan agam
- "Mewar Dhanni dind bhurri
- " Tees bar Rao Lakhun t'huppi
- " Jo arumba, so kurri"
[p.412]: Many chieftainships were scattered over the desert, either trusting to their lances to maintain their independence, or holding of superiors ; but a notice of them, however interesting, would here, perhaps, be out of place. Eleven princes are enumerated in the Jaegas catalogue, from Manika Rae to Beesildeo, a name of the highest celebrity in the Rajpoot annals, and a landmark to various authorities, who otherwise have little in common even in their genealogies, which I pass over in silence, with the exception of the intermediate name of Hursraj,* common to the Hamir Rasa as well as the Jaega's list. The authority of Hursraj stretched along the Aravulli mountains to Aboo, and east of the Chumbul. He ruled from S. 812 to 827 (A.H. 138 to 153), and fell in battle against the Asuras, having attained the title of Ari-murdhan, Ferishta says, that
- "In A.H. 143, the Mooslems greatly increased, when issuing from their hills they obtained possession of Kirman, Peshore, and all the lands adjacent ; and that the Raja of Lahore, who was of the family of the Raja of Ajmer, sent his brother† against these Afghans, who were reinforced by the tribes of Ghilji, of Ghor and Cabul, just become proselytes to Islam ;"‡ and he adds, that during five month seventy battles were fought with success ; or, to use the historian's own words, "in which Sepahi sirmah (General Frost) was victorious over the infidel, but who returned when the cold season was passed with fresh force. The armies met between Kirman and Peshawar sometimes the infidel (Rajpoot) carried the war to the ' mountainous regions,' and drove the Moosulmauns before him sometimes the Moosulmauns, obtaining reinforcements, drove infidel by flights of arrows to their own borders, to which always retired when the torrents swelled the Nilab (Indus)".
Whether the Raja of Ajmer personally engaged in these combats the chronicle says not. According to the Hamirraso Hursraj was succeeded by Doojgun-deo, whose advanced post was Bhutnair, and who overcame Nasir-oo-din, from whom he captured twelve hundred horse, and hence bore the epithet of Sultan Graha
- collected the commercial duties (dan). He took tribute from the lord of Mewar, and performed whatever he had a mind to."
- Lakhun drew upon him the arms of Soobektegin, and his son Mahmood when Nadole was stripped of its consequence ; its temples were thrown down and its fortress was dilapidated. But it had recovered much of its power, and even sent forth several branches, who all fell under Alla-o-din in the thirteenth century. On the final conquest of India by Shahbudin, the prince of Nadole appears to have effected a compromise, and to have become a vassal of the empire. This conjecture arises from the singularity of its currency, which retains on the one side the names in Sanscrit of its indigenous princes, and on the other that of the conqueror.
- * Hursraj and Beejy Raj were sons of Ajipal, king of Ajmer, according to the chronicle.
- † This is a very important admission of Ferishta, concerning the proselytes of all these tribes, and confirms my hypothesis, that the Afghans are converted Jadoons or Yadus not Yahudis, or Jews. The Gor is also a well-known Rajpoot tribe, and they had only to convert it into Ghor. Vide Annals of the Bhattis.
[p. 413]: or 'King-seizer.' Nasir-oo-din, was the title of the celebrated Soobektegin, father to the still more celebrated Mahmood. Soobektegin repeatedly invaded India during the fifteen years' reign of his predecessor Aliptegin.
Contests with the Mahomedans
Passing over the intermediate reigns, each of which is marked by some meagre and unsatisfactory details of battles with the Islamite, we arrive at Beesildeo. The father of this prince, according to the Hara genealogists, was Dherma-Guj, apparently a title, — 'in faith like an elephant,' — as in the Jaega's list is Beer Beelundeo, confirmed by the inscription on the triumphal column at Dehli. The last of Mahmood's invasions occurred during the reign of Beelundeo, who, at the expense of his life, had the glory of humbling the mighty conqueror, and forcing him to relinquish the siege of Ajmer. Before we condense the scanty records of the bards concerning Visala-Deva,* we may spare a few words to commemorate a Chohan, who consecrated his name and that of all his kin, by his deeds in the first of Mahmood into India.
Goga Chohan was the son of Vacha Raja, a name of some celebrity. He held the whole of Jungal-des, or the forest lands from the Sutlej to Heriana ; his capital, called Mehera, or, as pronounced, Goga ca Mairi, was on the Sutlej. In defending this he fell, with forty-five sons and sixty nephews ; and as it occurred on Sunday (Rubvar), the ninth (nomee) of the month, that day is held sacred to the manes of Goga by the thirty-six classes"† throughout Rajpootana, but especially in the desert, a portion of which is yet called Gogadeo ca t'hul. Even his steed, Javadia‡ has been immortalized, and has become a favorite name for a war-horse throughout Rajpootana, whose mighty men swear " by the saca of Goga," for maintaining the Rajpoot fame when Mahmood crossed the Sutlej.
This was probably the last of Mahmood's invasions, when he marched direct from Mooltan through the desert. He attacked Ajmer, which was abandoned, and the country around given up to devastation and plunder. The citadel, Gurh-Beetli, however, held Out, and Mahmood was foiled, wounded, and obliged to retreat by
- * The classical mode of writing the name of Beesildeo.
- † Chatees-pon
- ‡ It is related by the Rajpoot romancers that Goga had no children ; that lamenting this, his guardian deity gave him two barley-corns (java or jao), one of which he gave to his queen, another to his favourite mare, which produced the steed (Javadia) which became as famous as Goga himself. The Rana of Oodipoor gave the author a blood-horse of Kattiawar, whose name was Javadia. Though a lamb in disposition, when mounted, he was a piece of fire, and admirably broken in to all the manage exercise. A more perfect animal never existed. The author brought him, with another (Mirg-raj), from Oodipoor to 'the ocean' intending to bring them home : but the grey he save to a friend, and fearful of the voyage, he sent Javadia back six hundred miles to the Rana, requesting "he might be the first worshipped on the annual military festival :" a request which he doubts not was complied with.
[p. 414]: Nadole * another Chohan possession, which he sacked, and then proceeded to Nehrwalla, which he captured. His barbarities promoted a coalition, which, by compelling him to march through the deserts to gain the valley of Sinde, had nearly proved fatal to his army.
The exploits of Beesildeo form one of the books of Chund the bard. The date assigned to Beesildeo in the Rasa (S. 921) is interpolated — a vice not uncommon with the Rajpoot bard, whose acquire verification from less mutable materials than those out of which he weaves his song.†
The warriors assembled under Beesildeo against the Islam invader
Chund gives an animated picture of the levy of the chivalry, which assembled under Beesildeo, who, as the champion of the Hindu faith, was chosen to lead its warriors against the Islam invader.
- The Chalook king of Anhulwarra alone refused to join the confederation, and in terms which drew upon him the vengeance of the Chohan. A literal translation of the passage may be interesting : —
- " To the Goelwal Jait, the prince entrusted Ajmer, saying, on your fealty I depend ;' where can this Chalook find refuge? He moved from the city (Ajmer), and encamped on the lake Visala‡ and summoned his tributaries and vassals to meet him.
- Mansi Purihar, with the array of Mundore, touched his feet.§
- Then the Ghelote, the ornament of the throng ;|| and the Pawasin
- * See note, p. 411, for remarks on Nadole, whence the author obtained much valuable matter, consisting of coins, inscriptions on stone and copper, and MSS, when on a visit to this ancient city in 1821.
- † We have abundant checks, which, could they have been detailed in the earlier stage of inquiry into Hindu literature, would have excited more interest for the hero whose column at Dehli has excited the inquiries of Jone Wilford, and Colebrooke.
- ‡ This lake still bears the name of Beesil-ca-tal notwithstanding the changes which have accrued during a lapse of one thousand years, since he formed it by damming-up the springs. It is one of the reservoirs of the Looni river. The emperor Jehangir erected a palace on the banks of the Beesil-ca-tal, in which he received the ambassador of James I, of England.
- || The respectful mention of the Ghelote as 'the ornament of the throne' clearly proves that the Cheetore prince came as an ally. How rejoicing to an antiquary to find this confirmed by an inscription found amidst the ruins of a city of Mewar, which alludes to this very coalition ! The inscription is a record of the friendship maintained by their issue in the twelfth century, Samarsi of Cheetore, and Pirthi Raj, the last Chohan king of India on their combining to chastise the king of Patun Anhulwarra "in like manner as did Beesildeo and Tejsi of old unite against the foe, so, &c, &c. Now Tejsi was the grand father of Rawul Samarsi, who was killed in opposing the final Mooslem invasion, on the Cagear, after one of the longest reigns in their annals : from which we calculate that Tejsi must have sat on the throne about the year S. 1120 (A.D. 1064.) His youth and inexperience would account for his acting subordinately to the Chohan of Ajmer. The name of Udyadita further confirms the date, as will be mentioned in the text. His date has been fully settled by various inscriptions found by the author. (See Transactions Royal Asiatic Society, Vol I, page 223.)
[p. 415]: with Tuar,1 and Rama the Gor ;2 with Mohes the lord of Mewat.3 The Mohil of Doonapoor with tribute sent excuse.4 With folded hands arrived the Baloch5 but the lord of Bamuni abandoned Sinde.5 Then came the Nuzzur from Bhutnair,7 and the Nalbundi from Tatta8 and Mooltan.9 When the summons reached the Bhomia Bhatti of Derrawul10 all obeyed ; as did the Jadoon of Mallunwas.11 The Mori12 and Birgoojur13 also joined with the Catchwahas of Anterved14 The subjugated Meras worshipped his feet.15 Then came the array of Takitpoor, headed by the Goelwal Jait.16 Mounted in haste came Udya Pramar17 with the Nurbhan18 and the Dor19 the Chundail20 and the Dahima."21
In this short passage, a text is afforded for a dissertation on the whole genealogical history of Bajpootana at that period. Such extracta from the more ancient bards, incorporated in the works of their successors, however laconic, afford decisive evidence that their poetic chronicles bore always the same character; for this passage is introduced by Chund merely as a preface to the history of his own prince, Pirthi Raj, the descendant of Beesildeo.
A similar passage was given from the ancient chronicles of Mewar, recording an invasion of the Mooslems, of which the histories of the invaders have left no trace. (Vol. I, p. 208.) The evidence of both is incontestable; every name affords a synchronism not to be disputed; and though the isolated passage would afford a very faint ray of light to the explorer of those days of darkness, yet when the same industrious research has pervaded the annals of all these races, a
- 1. This Tuar must have been one of the Dehli vassals, whose monarch was of this race.
- 2. The Gor was a celebrated tribe, and amongst the most illustrious of the Chohan feudatories ; a branch until a few years ago held Sooe-Soopoor and aboutt nine lacs of territory. I have no doubt the Gor appanage was west of the Indus, and that this tribe on conversion became the Ghor.
- 4. The Mohils have been sufficiently discussed.
- 5. The Baloch was evidently Hindu at this time ; and as I have repeatedly said of Jit or Gete origin.
- 6. "The lord of Bamuni," in other places called Bamunwasso, must apply to the ancient Brahminabad. or Dewul, on whose site the modem Tatta is built.
- 7 See Annals of Jessulmer.
- 8. & 9. All this evinces supremacy over the Princes of this region : the Soda, the Samma and Soomura.
- 10 Of Derrawul we have spoken in the text
- 11. Mallunwas we know not
- l2. & 13. & 14. The Moris, the Cutchwahas and Birgoojurs require no further notice.
- 15 The Meras inhabited the Aravulli.
- 17. Udyadita now a land-mark in Hindu history.
- 19. & 20. The Dor and Chundail were well known tribes; the latter contended with Pirthi Raj, who deprived them of Mahoba and Kalinger, and all modern Boondelkand.
[p.416]: flood of illumination pours upon us, and we can at least tell who the races were who held sway in these regions a thousand years ago.
Amidst meagre, jejune, and unsatisfactory details, the annalist of Rajpootana must be content to wade on, in order to obtain some solid foundation for the history of the tribes ; but such facts as these stimulate his exertions and reward his toil : without them, his task would be hopeless. To each of the twenty tribes enumerated formed under the standard of the Chohan, we append a separate notice, for the satisfaction of the few who can appreciate their importance, while some general remarks may suffice as a connection with the immediate object of research, the Haras, descended from Beesildeo.
Delhi (Siwalik) pillar inscriptions of Visaladeva-Vigraharaja of A.D. 1114
In the first place, it is of no small moment to be enabled to adjust the date of Beesildeo, the most important name in the annals of the Chohans from Manik Rae to Pirthi Raj, and a slip from the genealogical tree will elucidate our remarks.
[p.417]: The name of Beesildeo (Visaladeva) heads the inscription on the celebrated column erected in the centre of Feroz Shah's palace at Delhi. This column, alluded to by Chund, as "telling the fame of "the Chohan," was " placed at Nigumbode," a place of pilgrimage on the Jumna, a few miles below Dehli, whence it must have been removed to its present singular position. *
The inscription commences and ends with the same date, viz,, 15th of the month Bysakh, S. 1220. If correctly copied, it can have no reference to Beesildeo, excepting as the ancestor of Prativa Chahmana tilaca Sacambhari bhulpati; or 'Pirthi Raj Chohan, the anointed of Sambhur, Lord of the earth' who ruled at Dehli in S. 1220, and was slain in S. 1249, retaining the ancient epithet of 'Lord of Sambhur,' one of the early seats of their power.† The second stanza, however, tells us we must distrust the first of the two dates, and read 1120 (instead of 1220), when Visaladeva "exterminated the barbarians" from Aryaverta. The numerals 1 and 2, in Sanscrit, are easily mistaken. If, however, it is decidedly 1220, then the whole inscription belongs to Prativa Chahmana, between whom and Visala no less than six princes intervene,‡ and the opening is merely to introduce Pirthi Raj's lineage, in which the sculptor has foisted in the date.
I feel inclined to assign the first stanza to Visaladeva (Beesildeo), and what follows to his descendant Pirthi Raj, who by a conceit may have availed himself of the anniversary of the victory of his ancestor, to record his own exploits. These exploits were precisely of the same nature, — successful war against the Islamite, in which
- * See Asiatic Researches, Vol. I, p. 379, Vol. VII, p. 180, and Vol IX, p. 463.
- † I brought away an inscription of this, the last Chohan emperor, from the ruins of his palace at Hasi or Hansi, dated S. 1224. See comments thereon, Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, Vol I, p. 133.
- ‡ These inscriptions, while they have given rise to ingenious interpretations, demonstrate the little value of mere translations, even when made by first-rate scholars, who possess no historical knowledge of the tribes to whom they refer. This inscription was first translated by Sir W. Jones in 1784 (Asiatic Researches, Vol. I) A fresh version (from a fresh transcript I believe) was made by Mr. Colebrooke in 1800 (Asiatic Researches, Vol. VII), but rather darkening than enlightening the subject, from attending to his pundit's emendation, giving to the prince's name and tribe a metaphorical interpretation. Nor was it till Wilford had published his hodge-podge Essay on Vikramaditya and Salivahana, that Mr. Colebrooke discovered his error, and amended it in a note to that volume ; but even then, without rendering the inscription useful as a historical document. I call Wilford's essay a hodge-podge advisedly. It is a paper of immense research ; vast materials are brought to his task, but he had an hypothesis and all was confounded to suit it Chohans, Solankis, Ghelotes, all are amalgamated in his crucible. It was from the Sarangadhar Padhati, written by the bard of Hamira Chohan, not king of Mewar (as Wilford has it), but of Rinthmnbor, lineally descended from Visaladeva, and slain by Alla-o-din. Sarangdhar was also author of the Hamir Rasa and the Hamir Cavya bearing this prince's name, the essence of both of which I translated with the aid of my Guru. I was long bewildered in my admiration of Wilford's researches ; but experience inspired distrust, and I adopted the useful adage in all these matters, "nil admirari"
[p.418]: each drove him from Aryavevia; for even the Mooslem writers acknowledge that Shahbudin was often ignominiously defeated before be finally succeeded in making a conquest of northern India.
If, as I surmise, the first stanza belongs to Beesildeo, the date is S. 1120, or A.D. 1064, and this grand confederation described by the Chohan bard was assembled under his banner, preparatory to the very success, to commemorate which the inscription was recorded.
In the passage quoted from Chund, recording the princes who led their household troops under Beesildeo, there are four names which establish synchronisms : one, by which we arrive directly at the date, and three indirectly. The first is Udyadit Pramar, king of Dhar (son of Raja Bhoj), whose period I established from numerous inscriptions,* as between S. 1100 and S. 1150 ; so that the date of his joining the expedition would be about the middle of his reign. The indirect, but equally strong testimony consists of,
The third proof is in the Mewar inscription, when Tejsi, the grandfather of Samarsi, is described as in alliance with Beesildeo, Beesildeo is said to have lived sixty-four years. Supposing this date, S. 1120, to be the medium point of his existence, this would make his date S. 1088 to S. 1152, or A.D. 1032 to A.D. 1096 ; but as his father, Dherma Guj, "the elephant in faith," or Beer Beelan Deo (called Malun Deo, in the Hamir Rasa), was killed defending Ajmer on the last invasion of Mahmood, we must necessarily place Bessil's birth (supposing him an infant on that event), ten years earlieir, or A.D. 1022 (S. 1078), to A.D. 1086 (S. 1142), comprehending the date on the pillar of Dehli, and by computation all the periods mentioned in the catalogue. We may therefore safely adopt the date of the Rasa, viz., S. 1066 to S. 1130.
- * See Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, VoL I, p. 133.
- † See Annals of Jessulmer, for foundation of Derrawul, p. 212.
- ‡ In transcribing the annals of the Kheechies, an important branch of the Chohans, their bards have preserved this passage : but ignorant of Derrawul and Lodorva (both preserved in my version of Chund), they have inserted Jessulmer. By such anachronisms, arising from the emendations of ignorant bards, their poetic chronicles have lost half their value. To me the comparison of such passages, preserved in Chund from the older bards, and distorted by the moderns, was a subject of considerable pleasure. It reconciled much that I might have thrown away, teaching me the difference between absolute invention, and ignorance creating errors in the attempt to correct them. The Kheechie bard, no doubt, thought he was doing right when he erased Derrawul and inscribed Jessulmer.
[p.419]: of Dehli ; with Doorlub and Bhima of Guzzerat ; with Bhoj and Udyadit of Dhar; with Pudumsi and Tejsi of Mewar; and the confederacy which he headed must have been that against the Islamite king Modud, the fourth from Mahmood of Ghizni, whose expulsion from the northern parts of Rajpootana (as recorded on the pillar of Dehli) caused Aryaverta again to become ' the land of virtue.' Mahmood's final retreat from India by Sinde, to avoid the armies collected "by Byramdeo and the prince of Ajmer" to oppose him, was in A.H. 417, A.D. 1026, or S. 1082, nearly the same date as that assigned by Chund, S. 1086.
We could dilate on the war which Beesildeo waged against the prince of Guzzerat, his victory, and the erection of Beesil-nuggur,* on the spot where victory perched upon his lance ; but this we reserve for the introduction of the history of the illustrious Pirthi Raj- There is much fable mixed up with the history of Beesildeo, apparently invented to hide a blot in the annals, warranting the inference that he became a convert, in all likelihood a compulsory one, to the doctrines of Islam. There is also the appearance of his subsequent expiation of this crime in the garb of a penitent ; and the mound (dhoond), where he took up his abode, still exists, and is called after him, Beesil-Ca-d'hoond, at Kalik Jobnair.†
Hansi and Golkunda
According to the Book of Kings of Gomund Ram (the Hara bard), the Haras were descended from Anuraj, son of Beesildeo ; but Mog-ji, the Kheechie bard, makes Anuraj progenitor of the Kheechies, and son of Manika Rae. We follow the Hara bard.
Anuraj had assigned to him in appanage the important frontier fortress of Asi (vulg, Hansi). His son Ishtpal, together with Agunraj, son of Ajey-Rao, the founder of Kheechpoor Patun in Sind-Sagur, was preparing to seek his fortunes with Rundheer Chohan prince of Gowalcoond : but both Asi and Golconda were almost simultaneously assailed by an army "from the wilds of Gujlibund."
Rundheer performed the saca ; and only a single female, his daughter, named Soorahbae, survived, and she fled for protection towards Asi, then attacked by the same furious invader. Anuraj prepared to fly ; but his son, Ishtpal, determined not to wait the attack, but seek the foe. A battle ensued, when the invader was slain, and Ishtpal, grievously wounded, pursued him till he fell, near the spot where Soorahbae was awaiting death under the shade of a peepul : for " hopes of life were extinct, and fear and hunger had reduced her to a skeleton." In the moment of despair, however, the ashtwa (peepul) tree under which she took shelter was severed, and
- * This town,— another proof of the veracity of the chronicle,yet exists in Northern Guzzerat.
- † The pickaxe, if applied to this mound (which gives its name to Dhoondar), might possibly shew it to be a place of sepulture, and that the Chohans, even to this period, may have entombed at least the bones of their dead. The numerous tumuli about Hydrabad, the ancient Gowalcoond, one of the royal abodes of the Chohans, may be sepultures of this race, and the arms and vases they contain all strengthen my hypothesis of their Scythic origin.
[p.420]: Asapurna, the guardian goddess of her race, appeared before her. To her, Soorahbae related how her father and twelve brothers had fallen in defending Golconda against ' the demon of Gujlibund'. The goddess told her to be of good cheer, for that a Chohan of her own race had slain him, and was then at hand ; and led her to where Ishtpal lay senseless from his wounds. By her aid he recovered,* and possessed himself of that ancient heir-loom of the Chohans, the famed fortress of Aser.
Ishtpal, the founder of the Haras, obtained Hansi
Ishtpal, the founder of the Haras, obtained Aser in S. 1081† (or A.D. 1025) ; and as Mahmood's last destructive visit to India, by Mooltan through the desert to Ajmer, was in A.H. 417, or A.D. 1022, we have every right to conclude that his father Anuraj lost his life and Asi to the king of Ghizni ; at the same time that Ajmer was sacked, and the country laid waste by this conqueror, whom the Hindu bard might well style " the demon from Gujlibund. ‡ The Mahomedan historians give us no hint even of any portion of Mahmood's army penetrating into the peninsula, though that grasping ambition, which considered the shores of Saurashtra but an intermediate step from Ghizni to the conquest of Ceylon and Pegu,§ may have pushed an army during his long halt at Anhulwarra, and have driven Rindheer from Golconda. But it is idle to speculate upon such slender materials ; let them suffice to illustrate one new fact,namely, that these kingdoms of the south as well as the north were held by Rajpoot sovereigns, whose offspring, blending with the original population, produced that mixed race of Mahrattas, inheriting with the names, the warlike propensities of their ancestors, but who assume the name of their abodes as titles, as the Nimalkurs, the Phalkias, the Patunkars, instead of their tribes of Jadoon, Tuar, Puar, &c., &c.
Ishtpal had a son called Chand-kurn ; his son, Lok Pal, had Hamir and Gumbir, names well known in the wars of Pirthi Raj. The brothers were enrolled amongst his one hundred and eight great vassals, from
- * Or, as the story goes, his limbs, which lay dissevered, were collected by Soorahbae, and the goddess sprinkling them with " the water of life" he arose. Hence the name Hara, which his descendants bore, from har or ' Bones,' she collected : but more likely from having lost (Hara) Asi.
- † The Hara chronicle says S. 981, but by some strange, yet uniform errors all the tribes of the Chohans antedate their chronicles by a hundred years. Thus Beessildeo's taking possession of Anhulpoor Patun is "nine hundred, fifty " thirty and six" (S. 986), instead of S. 1086. But it even pervades Chund, the poet of Pirthi Raj, whose birth is made 1115, instead of S. 1215 : and here in all probability, the error commenced, by the ignorance (willful we cannot imagine) of some rhymer.
- ‡ The elephant wilds.' They assert that Ghizni is properly Gujni, founded by the Yadus : and in a curious specimen of Hindu geography (presented by me to the Royal Asiatic Society), all the tract about the glaciers of the Ganges is termed Gujlibun, or Gujlibu, the 'Elephant Forest' There is a " Gujingurh mentioned by Abulfazil in the region of Bijore, inhabited by the Sooltans, Jadoon, and Eusofzye tribes.
- § See Ferishta, life of Mahmood.
In the Canouj Samya, that book of the poems of Chund devoted to the famous war in which the Chohan prince carries off the princess of Canouj, honourable mention is made of the Hara princes in the third day's fight, when they covered the retreat of Pirthi Raj : —
- "Then did the Hara Rao Hamir with his brother Gumbir, mounted on Lakhi steeds, approach their lord, as thus they spoke : ' Think of thy safety, Junglu-es,* while we make offerings to the array of Jaichand. Our horses' hoofs shall plough the field of fight, like the ship of the ocean.' "
The brothers encountered the contingent of the prince of Kasi Benares), one of the great feudatories of Canouj. As they joined, "the about raised by Hamir reached Doorga on her rock-bound throne" Both brothers fell in these wars, though one of the few survivors of the last battle fought with Shahbudin for Rajpoot independence, was a Hara : —
Hamir had Kalkurna, who had Mah Mugd: his son was Rao Bacha; his, Rao Chund.
Amongst the many independent princes of the Chohan race to whom Alla-oo-din was the messenger of fate ,was Rao Chund of Aser. Its walls, though deemed impregnable, were not proof against the skill and valour of this energetic warrior ; and Chund and all his family, with the exception of one son, were put to the sword.
This son was prince Rainsi, a name fatal to Chohan heirs, for it was borne by the son of Pirthi Raj who fell in the defence of Dehli : but Rainsi of Aser was more fortunate. He was but an infant of two years and a half old, and being nephew of the Rana of Cheetore, was sent to him for protection. When he attained man's estate, he made a successful attempt upon the ruined castle of Bhynsror, from which he drove Dooga, a Bhil chief, who, with a band of his mountain brethren, had made it his retreat. This ancient fief of Mewar had been dismantled by Alla-oo-din in his attack on Cheetore, from which the Ranas had not yet recovered when the young Chohan came amongst them for protection.
Rainsi had two sons, Kolun and Kankul. Kolun being afflicted with an incurable disease, commenced a pilgrimage to the sacred "Kedarnath," one of the towns of the Ganges. To obtain the foil benefit of this meritorious act, he determined to measure his length on the ground the whole of this painful journey. In six months he had only reached the Binda Pass, where, having bathed in a fountain whence flows the rivulet Banganga, he found his health greatly restored. Kedarnath was pleased to manifest him-
- * Jungul-es 'lord of the forest lands,' another of Pirthi Raj's titles.
- † "The lord of Kedar," the gigantic pine of the Himalaya, a title of Siva.
[p.423]: y degrees, and as soon as they were out of danger, he saddled as charger, and lance in hand appeared under the balcony where the emperor was seated. "Farewell, king," said the Rangra ; 'there are three things your majesty must never ask of a Rajpoot ; 'his horse, his mistress, and his sword." He gave his steed the rein, and in safety regained the Pathar.
Rao Dewa erects Bundi
Having resigned Bumaoda to Hur-raj, he came to Bandoo-Nal, the spot where his ancestor Colun was cured of disease. Here the Meenas of the Oosarra tribe dwelt, under the patriarchal government of Jaitah, their chief there was then no regular city ; the extremities of the valley (thal)1 were closed with barriers of masonry and gates, and the huts of the Meenas were scattered wherever their fancy led them to build At his time, the community, which had professed obedience to the Rana on the sack of Cheetore, was suffering from the raids of Rao Bango, the Kheechie, who from his castle of Ramgurh (Relawun) imposed " birchi-dohae" on all around. To save themselves from Bango, who used " to drive his lance at the barrier of Bandoo," the Meenas entered into terms, agreeing, on the full moon of every second month, to suspend the tribute of the chouth over the barrier. At the appointed time, the Rao came, but no bag of treasure appeared. " Who has been before me ? demanded Gango ; when forth issued the " lord of the Pathar," on the steed coveted by the Lodi king. Gango of Relawun bestrode a charger not less famed than his antagonist's, " which owed his birth to the river-horse of the Par, and a mare of the Kheeehie chieftain's, as she grazed on its margin.2 Mounted on this steed, no obstacle could stop him, and even the Chumbul was no impediment to his seizing the tribute at all seasons from the Meenas."
The encounter was fierce, but the Hara was victorious, and Gango turned his back on the lord of the Pathar, who tried the mettle of bis son of the Par, pursuing him to the banks of the Chumbul What was his surprise, when Gango sprang from the cliff, and horse and rider disappeared in the flood, but soon to re-appear on the opposite bank ! Dewa, who stood amazed, no sooner beheld the Rao emerge, than he exclaimed " Bravo, Rajpoot ! Let me know your name." " Gango Kheechie," was the answer. " And mine is Dewa Hara ; we are brothers, and must no longer be enemies. Let the liver be our boundary."
It was in S. 1398 (A.D. 1342) that Jaita and the Oosarras acknowledged Rae Dewa as their lord, who erected Boondi in the .eotre of the Bandoo-ca-Nal, which henceforth became the capital of the Haras. The Chumbul, which, for a short time after the adventure here related, continued to be the barrier to the eastward, was soon overpassed, and the bravery of the race bringing them into contact with the emperor's lieutenants, the Haras rose to favour and
1 Thal and Nal are both terms for a valley, though the latter is oftener applied to a defile. 2 The Par, or Parbati river, flows near Ramgorli Relawun.
Abstract of Chapter II
[p.424]: Recapitulation of the Hara princes from the founder Anuraj to Rae Dewa — He erects Boondi — Massacre of the Oosarras — Dewa abdicates — Ceremony of Yugaraj, or abdication — Succeeded by Samarsi — Extends his sway east of Chumbal — Massacre of the Koteah Bhils — Origin of Kotah - Napooji succeeds — Feud with the Solanki of Thoda — Assassination of Napooji - Singular Sati - Hamoo succeeds - The Rana asserts his right over the Pathar - Hamoo demures, defies, and attacks him, — Anecdote — Birsing — Biroo — Rao Bando — Famine — Anecdote— Bando expelled by his brothers ; concerts to Muhammadanism, — Narayndas puts his uncles to deaths and recovers his patrimony - Anecdotes of Narayndas, — Aids the Rana of Cheetore — Gains a victory - Espouses the niece of Rana Raemull — His passion for opium. — Death - Rao Soorajmul — Marries a princess of Cheetore — Fatal result — Aihars or Spring-hunt — Assassination of the Rao — His revenge, — Twofold Sati — Rao Soortan — His cruelty, deposal, and banishment — Rao Arjoon elected, Romantic death — Rao Soorjun accedes.
Recapitulation of the Hara princes from the founder Anuraj to Rae Dewa
[p.424]: Having sketched the history of this race, from the regeneration of Anhul,2 the first Chohan (at a period which it is impossible to fix), to the establishment of the first Hara prince in Boondi, we shall here recapitulate the most conspicuous princes, with their dates, is established by synchronical events in the annals of other states, or by inscriptions ; and then proceed with the history of the Haras as members of the great commonwealth of India.
1 In Mahomedan authors, Hadouty.
[p.426]: Napooji, a name of no small note in the chronicles of Haravati, succeeded Samarsi. Napooji had married a daughter of the Solanki chief of Thoda, the lineal descendant of the ancient kings of Anhulwarra. While on a visit to Thoda, a slab of beautiful marble attracted the regard of the Hara Rao, who desired his bride to ask it of her father. His delicacy was offended, and he replied, "he supposed the Hara would next ask him for his wife;" and desired him to depart. Napooji was incensed, and visited his anger upon his wife whom he treated with neglect and even banished from his bed. She complained to her father. On the 'kajuli tees,' the joyous third of the month Sawun, when a Rajpoot must visit his wife, the vassal of Boondi were dismissed to their homes to keep the festival sacred to " the mother of births." The Thoda Rao, taking advantage of the unguarded state of Boondi, obtained admittance by stealth, and drove his lance through the head of the Hara Rao. He retired without observation, and was relating to his attendants the success of his revenge, when, at this moment, they passed one of the Boondi vassals, who, seated in a hollow taking his uml-pani (opium-water), was meditating on the folly of going home, where no endearing caresses awaited him from his wife, who was deranged, and had determined to return to Boondi. While thus absorbed in gloomy reflections, the trampling of horses met his ear, and soon was heard the indecent mirth of the Thoda Rao's party, at the Hara Rao dismissing his vassals and remaining unattended. The Chohan guessed the rest, and as the Thoda Rao passed close to him, he levelled a blow, which severed bis right arm from his body and brought him from his horse. The Solanki's attendants took to flight, and the Chohan put the severed limb, on which was the golden bracelet in
" Kishore Sagur." His son w»as Kandul, who had Bhonungsi, who lost and regained Kotah in the following manner. Kotah was seized by two Pathans, Dhakur and Kesar Khan. Bhonung, who became mad from excessive use of vine and opium, was banished to Boondi, and his wife, at the head of his house-hold vassals, retired to Keytoon, around which the Haras held three hundred and sixty villages. Bhonung, in exile, repented of his excesses ; he announced his amendment and his wish to return to his wife and kin. The intrepid Rajpootni rejoiced at his restoration, and laid a plan for the recovery of Kotah in which she destined him to take part. To attempt it by force would law been to court destruction, and she determined to combine stratagem and courae. When the jocund festival of spring approached, when even decorum is for a while cast aside in the Rajpoot Saturnalia, she invited herself, with all the youthful damsels of Keytoon, to play the Holi with the Pathans of Kota. The libertine Pathans received the invitation with joy, happy to find the queen of Keytoon evince so much amity. Collecting three hundred of the finest Hara youths, she disguised them in female apparel, and Bhonung, attended by the old nurse, each with a vessel of the crimson abir, headed the band. While the youths were throwing the crimson powder amongst the Pathans, the nurse led Bhonung to play with their chief. The disguised Hara broke his vessel on the head of Kesar Khan. This was the signal for action : the Rajpoots drew their swords from beneath their ghagras (petticoats), and the bodies of Kesar and his gang strewed the terrace. The masjid of Kesar Khan still exits within the walls. Bhonung was succeeded by his son Doongursi, whom Rao Soorajmull dispossessed and added Kotah to Boondi.
[p. 427]: his scarf, and proceeded back to Boondi. Here all was confusion and sorrow. The Solanki queen, true to her faith, determined to mount the pyre with the murdered body of her lord ; yet equally true to the line whence she sprung, was praising the vigour of her brother's arm, " which had made so many mouths,1 that she wanted 'hands to present a pan to each'. At the moment she was apostrophising the dead body of her lord, his faithful vassal entered, and undoing the scarf presented to her the dissevered arm, saying, ' perhaps this may aid you." • She recognized the bracelet, and thrugh, as a Sati, she had done with this world, and should die in peace with all mankind, she could not forget, even at that dread moment, that " to revenge a feud" was the first of all duties. She sailed for pen and ink, and before mounting the pyre wrote to her brother, that if he did not wipe off that disgrace, his seed would be stigmatized as the issue of " the one-handed Solanki" When he perused the dying words of his sati sister, he was stung to the soul, and being incapable of revenge, immediately dashed out his brains against a pillar of the hall.
Napooji had three sons, Hamooji, Norung (whose descendants are Norangpotas, Thurud (whose descendants are Thurud Haras), and Hamoo, who succeeded in S. 1440. We have already mentioned the separation of the branches, when Hur-raj retained Bumaoda, at the period when his father established himself at Boondi. Aloo Hara succeeded ; but the lord of the Pathar had a feud with the Rana, and he was dispossessed of his birth-right. Bumaoda was levelled, and he left no heirs to his revenge.
The princes of Cheetore, who had recovered from the shock of Alla's invasion, now re-exerted their strength, the first act of which was the reduction of the power of the great vassals, who had taken advantage of their distresses to render themselves independent: among these they included the Haras. But the Haras deny their vassalage, and allege, that though they always acknowledged the supremacy of the gadi of Mewar, they were indebted to their swords, not his puttas, for the lands they conquered on the Alpine Pathar. Both to a certain degree are right. There is no room to doubt that the fugitive Hara from Aser owed his preservation, as well as his establishment, to the Rana, who assuredly possessed the whole of the Plateau till Alla's invasion. But then the Seesodia power was weakened ; the Bhomias and aboriginal tribes recovered their old retreats, and from these the Haras obtained them by conquest. The Rana,however,who would not admit that a temporary abeyance of his power sanctioned any encroachment upon it, called upon Hamoo "to do service for Boondi." The Hara conceded personal homage in the grand festivals of the Dussera and Holi, to acknowledge his supremacy and receive the tika of installation ; but he rejected at once the claim of unlimited attendance. Nothing less, however, would satisfy the king of Cheetore, who resolved to compel submission,
1 "Poor dumb mouths."
[p.428]: or drive the stock of Dewa from the Pathar. Hamoo defied, and determined to brave, his resentment. The Rana of Mewar marched with all his vassals to Boondi, and encamped at Neemairo, only a few miles from the city. Five hundred Haras, "the sons of one father," put on the saffron robe, and rallied round their chief determined to die with him. Having no hope but from an effort of despair, they marched out at midnight, and fell upon the Rana's camp, which was completely surprised ; and each Seesodia sought safety in flight. Hamoo made his way direct to the tent of Hindupati ; but the sovereign of the Seesodias was glad to avail himself of the gloom and confusion to seek shelter in Cheetore, while his vassals fell under the swords of the Haras.
Humiliated, disgraced, and enraged at being thus foiled by a handful of men, the Rana reformed his troops under the walls of Cheetore, and swore he would not eat until he was master of Boondi. The rash vow went round; but Boondi was sixty miles distant, and defended by brave hearts. His chiefs expostulated with the Rana on the absolute impossibility of redeeming his vow ; but the words of kings are sacred : Boondi must fall, ere the king of the Gehlotes could dine. In this exigence, a childish expedient was proposed to release him from hunger and his oath ; " to erect a mock Boondi, and take it by storm." Instantly the mimic town arose under the walls of Cheetore ; and, that the deception might be complete, the local nomenclature was attended to, and each quarter had its appropriate appellation. A band of Haras of the Pathar were in ihe service of Cheetore, whose leader, Koombo-Bairsi, was returning with his kin from hunting the deer, when their attention was attracted by this strange bustle. The story was soon told, the Boondi must fall ere the Rana could dine. Koombo assembled his brethren of the Pathar, declaring, that even the mock Boondi must be defended. All felt the indignity to the clan, and each bosom burning with indignation, they prepared to protect the mud walls; the pseudo Boondi from insult. It was reported to the Rana that Boondi was finished. He advanced to the storm : but what was his surprise when, instead of the blank-cartridge he heard a volley of balls whiz amongst them ! A messenger was despatched, and received by Bairsi at the gate, who explained the cause of the unexpected salutation, desiring him to tell the Rana that "not even the mock capital of a Hara should be dishonored." Spreading a sheet at the little gateway, Bairsi and the Kaswunts invited the assault and at the threshold of " Gar-ca-Boondi" (the Boondi of day) they gave up their lives for the honour of the race.1 The Rana wisely
1 Somewhat akin to this incident is the history of that summer abode of the kings of France in the Bois do Boulogne at Paris, called, Madrid. When Francis I, was allowed to return to his capital, he pledged his parole that would return to Madrid. But the delights of liberty and Paris were too much for honour : and while he wavered, a hint was thrown out similar to that suggested to the Rana when determined to capture Boondi. A mock Madrid arose in the Bois de Boulogne, to which Francis retired.
[p.429]: remained satisfied with this salvo to his dignity, nor sought any further to wipe off the disgrace incurred, at the real capial of the Haras, perceiving the impolicy of driving such a daring clan to desertation, whose services he could command on an emergency.
Hamoo, who ruled sixteen years, left two sons ; 1st, Birsing, and had, Lalla, who obtained Khutkur, and had two sons, Novarma and Jaita, each of whom left clans called after them Novarma-pota and Jaitawut.
Birsing ruled fifteen years, and left three sons ; Biroo, Jubdoo, who founded three tribes,1 and Nima, descendants Nimawats.
Biroo, who died S. 1526, ruled fifty years, and had seven sons ; 1, Rao Bando ; 2, Sando ; 3, Ako ; 4, Oodoh ; 5, Chanda ; 6, Samarsing; 7, Umursing : the first five founded clans named after them Acawut, Oodawut, Chondawut, but the last two abandoned their faith for that of Islam.
Bando has left a deathless name in Rajwarra for his boundless (Parities, more especially during the famine which desolated that country in S. 1542 (A. D. 1486). He was forewarned, says the bard, in a vision, of the visitation. Kal (Time or the famine personified) appeared riding on a lean black buffalo. Grasping his sword and shield, the intrepid Hara assaulted the apparition. " Bravo, "Bando Hara," it exclaimed ; " I am Kal (Time) ; on me your sword will fill in vain. Yet you are the only mortal who ever dared to oppose me. Now listen : I am Biailees (forty-two) ; the land will become a desert ; fill your granaries, distribute liberally, they will never empty." Thus saying, the spectre vanished. Rao Bando obeyed the injunction ; he collected grain from every surrounding state One year passed and another had almost followed, when the periodical rains ceased, and a famine ensued which ravaged all India, Princes far and near sent for aid to Boondi, while his own poor had daily portions served out gratis : which practice is still kept up in memory of Rao Bando, by the name of Lungur-ca-googari, or 'anchor of Bando'.
Bando's two brothers Samarsi & Umarsi adopt muslim faith
But the piety and charity of Rao Bando could not shield him from adversity. His two youngest brothers, urged by the temptation of power, abandoned their faith, and with the aid of the royal power expelled him from Boondi, where, under their new titles of Samarcandi and Umurcandi, they jointly ruled eleven years.
Narayn had grown up to manhood in this retreat ; but no sooner was he at liberty to act for himself, than he assembled the Haras of the Pathar, and revealed his determination to obtain Boondi, or perish in the attempt. They swore to abide his fortunes. After the days of matum (mourning) were over, he sent to his Islamite uncles
1 Jubdoo had three sons ; each founded clans. The eldest, Bacha, had two sons Sewagi and Seranji. The former had Meoji ; the latter had Sawunt whose descendants are styled Meoh and Sawunt Haras.
[p.430]: a complimentary message, intimating his wish to pay his respects to them ; and not suspecting danger from a youth brought up in obscurity, it was signified, that he might come.
With a small but devoted band, he reached the chowk (square), where he left his adherents, and alone repaired to the palace. He ascended to where both the uncles were seated almost unattended. They liked not the resolute demeanour of the youth, and tried to gain a passage which led to a subterranean apartment ; but no sooner was this intention perceived, than the khanda, or 'double-edged sword,' of Bando's son cut the elder to the ground, while his lance reached the other before he got to a place of security. In an instant, he severed both their heads, with which he graced the shrine of Bhavani, and giving a shout to his followers in the chawk, their swords were soon at work upon the Mooslems. Every true Hara supported the just cause, and the dead bodies of the apostates and their crew were hurled with ignominy over the walls. To commemorate this exploit and the recovery of Boondi from these traitors, the pillar on which the sword of the young Hara descended, when he struck down Samarcandi, and which bears testimony to the vigour of his arm, is annually worshipped by every Hara on the festival of the Dussera.1
Narayndas became celebrated for his strength and prowess. He was one of those undaunted Rajpoots who are absolutely strangers to the impression of fear, and it might be said of danger and himself, " that they were brothers whelped the same day, and he the elder." Unfortunately, these qualities were rendered inert from the enormous quantity of opium he took, which would have killed most men; for it is recorded "he could at one time eat the weight of seven pice."2 The consequence of this vice, as might be expected, was a constantstupefaction, of which many anecdotes are related. Being called said the Rana Raemull, then attacked by the Pathans of Mandoo, he set out at the head of five hundred select Haras. On the first day march, he was taking his siesta, after his usual dose, under a tree, his mouth wide open, into which the flies had unmolested ingress when a young tailani3 came to draw water at the well, and on learning that this was Boondi's prince on his way to aid the Rana in his distress, she observed, "If he gets no other aid than his, alas for my prince !" " The umuldar (opium-eater) has quick ears, though " no eyes," is a common adage in Rajwarra. "What is that you say, " rand (widow) ?" roared the Rao, advancing to her. Upon her endeavouring to excuse herself, he observed, "do not fear, but repeat it." In her hand she had an iron crow-bar, which the Rao, taking it from her, twisted until the ends met round her neck. " Wear this
1. Though called a pillar, it is a slab in the staircase of the old palace, which I have seen.
2. The copper coin of Boondi, equal to a halfpenny. One pice weight is common dose for an ordinary Rajpoot, but would send the uninitiated to eternal sleep.
3. Wife or daughter of a taili, or oilman.
[p.431]: garland for me," said he, " until I return from aiding the Rana, unless in the interim you can find some one strong enough to unbind it"
Cheetore was closely invested ; the Rao moved by the intricacies of the Pathar, took the royal camp by surprise, and made direct for the tent of the generalissimo, cutting down all in his way. Confusion and panic seized the Mooslems, who fled in all directions. The Boondi nakarras (drums) struck up; and as the morning broke, the besieged had the satisfaction to behold the invaders dispersed and their auxiliaries at hand. Rana Raemull came forth, and conducted his deliverer in triumph to Cheetore. All the chiefs assembled to do honour to Boondi's prince, and the ladies "behind the curtain" felt so little alarm at their opium-eating knight, that the Rana's niece determined to espouse him, and next day communicated her intentions to the Rana. " The slave of "Narayn" was too courteous a cavalier to let any fair lady die for his love; the Rana was too sensible of his obligation not to hail with joy any mode of testifying his gratitude, and the nuptials of the Hara and Ketu were celebrated with pomp. With victory and his bride, he returned to the Bando valley; where, however, 'the flower of gloomy Dis' soon gained the ascendant even over Camdeo, and his doses augmented to such a degree, that " he scratched his lady instead of himself, and with such severity that he marred the beauty of the Mewari." In the morning, perceiving what had happened, yet being assailed with no reproach, he gained a reluctant victory over himself, and " consigned the opium-box to her keeping." Narayndas ruled thirty-two years, and left his country in tranquilliiy, and much extended, to his only son.
Soorujmull ascended the gadi in S. 1590 (A.D. 1534). Like his father, he was athletic in form and dauntless in soul ; and it is said possessed in an eminent degree that unerring sign of a hero, long arms, his (like those of Rama and Pirthi Raj) " reaching far below his bees."
The alliance with Cheetore was again cemented by intermarriage. Sooja Bae sister to Soorujmull, was espoused by Rana Rutna, who besowed his own sister on the Rao. Rao Soojo, like his father, was too partial to his uml. One day, at Cheetore, he had fallen asleep in the Presence, when a Poorbia chief felt an irresistible inclination to disturb him, and "tickled the Hara's ear with a straw." He might as well have jested with a tiger : a back stroke with his khanda stretched the insulter on the carpet. The son of the Poorbia treasured up the feud, and waited for revenge, which he effected by making the Rana believe the Rao had other objects in view, besides visiting his sister Sooja Bae, at the Rawula. The train thus laid, the slightest incident inflamed it. The fair Sooja had prepared a repast, to which she invited both her brother and her husband : she had not only attended the culinaiy process herself, but waited on these objects of her love to drive the flies from the food. Though
[p.432]: the wedded fair of Rajpootana clings to the husband, yet she is ever more solicitous for the honor of the house from whence she sprang, than that into which she has been admitted ; which feeling has engendered numerous quarrels. Unhappily, Sooja remarked, on removing the dishes, that "her brother had devoured his share like a tiger, while her husband had played with his like a child (balak)" The expression, added to other insults which he fancied were pat upon him, cost the Rao his life, and sent the fair Sooja an untimely victim to Indraloca. The dictates of hospitality prevented the Rana from noticing the remark at the moment, and in fact it was more accordant with the general tenor of his character to revenge the affront with greater security than even the isolated situation of the brave Hara afforded him. On the latter taking leave, the Rana invited himself to hunt on the next spring festival in the rumnas or preserves of Boondi. The merry month of Phalgoon arrived; the Rana and his court prepared their suits of amowah (green), and ascended the Pathar on the road to Boondi , in spite of the anathema of the prophetic Sati, who, as she ascended the pyre at Bumaoda, pronounced that whenever Rao and Rana met to hunt together tt the Aihara, such meeting, which had blasted all her hopes, would always be fatal. But centuries had rolled between the denunciation of the daughter of Aloo Hara and Sooja Bae of Boondi ; and the prophecy, though in every mouth, served merely to amuse the leisure hour ; the moral being forgotten, it was only looked upon as 'a tale that was past'.
The scene chosen for the sport was on the heights of Nandta, not far from the western bank of the Chumbul, in whose glades every species of game, from the lordly lion to the timid hare, abounded. The troops were formed into lines, advancing through the jungles with the customary noise and clamour, and driving before them a promiscuous herd of tenants of the forest, — lions, tigers, hyena, bears, every species of deer, from the enormous bara-singa Nilgae to the delicate antelope, with jackals, foxes, hares, and little wild dog. In such an animated scene as this, the Rajpoot forgets even his opium ; he requires no exhilaration beyond the stimulus before him ; a species of petty war, not altogether free from danger.
It was amidst the confusion of such a scene that the dastard Rana determined to gratify his malice. The princes had convenient stations assigned them, where they could securely assail the game as it passed, each having but one or two confidential attendants. With the Rana was the Iago of his revenge, the son of the Poorbia, whom the Hara prince had slain. " Now is the moment," said the Rana to his companion, " to slay the " boar," and instantly an arrow from the bow of the Poorbia, sped at the Rao. " With an eagle's eye he saw it coming, and turned it off with his bow." This might have been chance, but another from the foster-brother of the Rana convinced him there was
[p.433]: treacheiy. Scarcely had he warded off the second, when the Rana parted at him on horseback, and cut him down with his khanda, the Rao fell, but recovering, took his shawl and tightly bound up the wound, and as his foe was making off, he called aloud, Escape you may, but you have sunk Mewar." The Poorbia, who followed his prince, when he saw the Rao bind up his wound, said, "the work is but half done;" and like a coward, Rutna once more charged the wounded Rao. As his arm was raised to finish the seed of shame, like a wounded tiger, the Hara made a dying effort. Caught the assassin by the robe, and dragged him from his steed, together they came to the ground, the Rana underneath. The Rao nelt upon his breast, while, with preternatural strength, with one and he grasped his victim by the throat, with the other he searched for his dagger. What a moment for revenge ! He plunged the weapon into his assassin's heart, and saw him expire at his feet The Rao was satisfied ; there was no more life left him than sufficed for revenge, and he dropped a corpse upon the dead body of his foeman.
The tidings flew to Boondi, to the mother of the Rao, that her son was slain in the Aikara, " Slain !" exclaimed this noble dame, bat did he fall alone ? Never could a son, who has drunk at this breast, depart unaccompanied ;" and as she spoke, "maternal feeling caused the milk to issue from the fount with such force, that it rent the slab on which it fell."
The dread of dishonour, which quenched the common sympathies nature for the death of her son, had scarcely been thus expressed, then a second messenger announced the magnitude of his revenge, the Rajpoot dame was satisfied, though fresh horrors were about to follow. The wives of the murdered princes could not survive, and the pyres were prepared on the fatal field of sport. The fair Sooja piated her jest, which cost her a husband and a brother, in the kines, while the sister of Rana Rutna, married to the Rao, in accordance with custom or affection, burned with the dead body of her lord. The cenotaphs of the princes were reared where they fell ; while that of Sooja Bae was erected on a pinnacle of the Pass, and aids to the picturesque beauty of this romantic valley, which assesses a double charm for the traveller, who may have taste to admire the scene, and patience to listen to the story.
Soortan succeeded in S. 1591 (A.D. 1535), and married the daughter of the celebrated Sukta, founder of the Suktawuts of Mewar. He became an ardent votary of the blood-stained divinity for war, Kal-Bhiroo, and like almost all those ferocious Rajpoots who resign themselves to his horrid rites, grew cruel and at length ..eranged. Human victims are the chief offerings to this brutalized epersonification of war, though Soortan was satisfied with the eyes of his subjects, which he placed upon the altar of " the mother of war." It was then time to question the divine right by which he ruled. The assembled nobles deposed and banished him from
[p.434]: Boondi, assigning a small village on the Chumbul for his residence, to which he gave the name Soortanpoor, which survives to bear testimony to one of many instances of the deposition of their princes by the Rajpoots, when they offend custom or morality. Having no offspring, the nobles elected the son of Nirboodh, son of Rao Bando, who had been brought up in his patrimonial village of Matoonda.
Rao Arjoon, the eldest of the eight sons1 of Nirboodh, succeeded his banished cousin. Nothing can more effectually evince the total extinction of animosity between these valiant races, when once a feud is balanced,' than the fact of Rao Arjoon, soon after his accession, devoting himself and his valiant kinsmen to the service of the son of that Rana who had slain his predecessor. The memorable attack upon Cheetore by Bahadoor of Guzzerat, has already been related,2 and the death of the Hara prince, and his vassals at the post of honour, the breach. Rao Arjoon was this prince, who blown up at the Cheetore boorj (bastion). The Boondi bard makes a striking picture of this catastrophe, in which the indomitable courage of their prince is finely imagined. The fact is also confirmed by the Annals of Mewar:
"Seated on a fragment of the rock, disparted by the explosion of the mine, Arjoon drew his sword, and the world beheld his departure with amazement"3
Soorjun, the eldest of the four sons4 of Arjoon, succeeded in S. 1689 (A.D. 1633).
2 See Vol. I, p. 261.
- " Sor na kea bohut jor
- " Dhur purbut ori silld
- " Teen kari turwar
- "Ad patia, Hara Uja.(1)
4 Ram Sing, clan Rama Hara ; Akhiraj, clan Akhirajpota ; Kandil clan, Jessa Hara.
(1) Uja, the familiar contraction for Arjoona.
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