History of the Jats/Chapter IV
|Wikified by:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)|
Printed at the Jaitly Printing Press, 147, Lajpat Rai Market,Delhi-6
1967 (Eng Tr by Lieutenant Colonel Dal Singh)
- 1 Raja Virabhadra
- 2 Jat rulers:Satyarth Prakash
- 3 Buddhist influence on the Jats
- 4 Jat Kingdoms of Buddhist Period
- 5 Alexander's Invasion
- 6 Maurya Jat Dynasty
- 7 Maharaja Ashoka
- 8 Jat Rulers of Northern Frontiers Of India
- 9 Maharaja Kanishka
- 10 Bharshiva Dynasty (150 To 234 AD)
- 11 Lichhavi Jat Dynasty (1 to 340 AD)
- 12 Origin of Gupta Dynasty
- 13 Gupta Rule
- 14 Virk Dynasty of Malwa
- 15 Yashodharman Virk
- 16 Harsh Vardhan (Bhatti Jat)
- 17 References
It has already been stated that Raja Vir Bhadra was the ruler of the area known as Shiv Ki Jata. He was of Puru Vansh and ancestor of seven Jat gotras. In the same dynasty, the Jat gotras Midh, Midhan, Mel and Ajmel claim their descent from Raja Hasti of Hastinapur. Therefore, the continuous chain of Jat rule is traced back to Raja Yudhishtra, ruler of Hastinapur and Indraprastha, later known as Delhi. The third ruling Jat dynasty in this line was Dhillon whose descendants are the present Jat gotras Dhillon, Dhilwal and Dhill.
Jat rulers:Satyarth Prakash
Swami Dayanand Saraswati has, in his book Satyarth Prakash, quoted from the famous book Chadrika Pushtika that from Yudhishtra to Harsh Vardhan, 124 rulers ruled for 4257 years 9 months and 14 Days. Six dynasties ruled during this period. The first three dynasties had their capitals in Hastinapur, Indraprastha and Kausambi. During the reign of the fourth generation, the capital was changed to Magadh. It is also mentioned that during the reign of the fourth
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The names of various rulers of first three dynasties and the duration of their rule from about 3000 BC is reproduced below:
|Name of ruler||Yrs||Months||Days|
Akchhemak was assassinated by Pradhan Bisrwae who became the ruler. In this line 14 rulers ruled for 600 years three months and 17 days.
|Name of ruler||Yrs||Months||Days|
16 rulers ruled in this period.
|Name of ruler||Yrs||Months||Days|
Aditya Ketu was killed by Dharan Dhar who then became the ruler and shifted his capital to Magadh. It may be noticed as a matter of interest from the above account that after Mahabharat, life span gradually and continuously declined, the average ruling period being 60 years for the first dynasty, 30 years for the second and 27 years for the third. No details are available of the history of the Jats upto 800 B.C.
However, from the establishment of Dhillon rule in 800 BC to the rule of Harsh Vardhan, the historical events can be traced in chronological order and in fair detail. The Majmal-ut-Twarikh Waqiate Panj Hazar Sala, is a book in Persian, which was translated into Urdu in 1898 by Shri Banke Lal? This book describes the Dhillon Jat rule from 800 B.C. To 350 BC. Dhillon is a big Jat gotra and is not found in any other community. A major part of this gotra adopted the Sikh faith.
Buddhist influence on the Jats
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inter Aryan war wrought untold havoc and put a brake to the advancement of Aryan civilization. Evils multiplied and corruption was rampant in all directions. Brahmins, taking advantage of this degeneration, commercialized religion. Castes took the place of Varnas, which were based on profession. Awe inspiring superstitions and complicated rituals were introduced to psychologically compel the people to give offerings and raise the value of priest-hood. Jainism and Buddhism were born in this period with a view to clearing the religious debris. Gautam Buddha was born in 567 BC. Buddhism caught up with the masses particularly with the Jats due to its simplicity, denouncement of untouchability, and the principle of Ahimsa, and it spread quickly from India to Afghanistan, Iran, Tibet, China, and Japan. The Jats contributed a great deal to the advancement of Buddhism.
Brahmanism, however, did not die out and remained dormant and forever harboring ill feelings against Buddhism. Buddhist rulers gave the Brahmins their due respect but whenever a Brahmin ruler came to power he never hesitated in persecuting Buddhists. Buddhism declined its influence after it split into two sects. Thereafter, Brahmins never missed an opportunity to malign the followers of Buddhism.
Jat Kingdoms of Buddhist Period
Darius I, the ruler of Iran, invaded the Jat Kingdom of Sindh in about 600 BC. He has also been called Oss. It is possible that Darius was only a title. Another Darius fought Alexander in the third Century BC. He had good relations with the Sindhu Jat Kingdom and Sindhu Jats joined forces with Darius against Alexander. Alexander's historian Arrian writes that Alexander's army also consisted of a large number of Dahiya Jats, who had a fierce battle with Sindhu Jats.
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In conspiracy with the Queen of Magadh, who was infatuated with him, he killed and the prince and ascended the throne. In Puranas he is known to be born of a Shudra Woman. The Greek writers called him the offspring of a barber. He was an avowed enemy of the Kshatriyas and treacherously killed a number of them. Chandragupta, who was a Jat, was his commander in chief Padmananda banished Chandragupta who established a powerful kingdom of his own in Punjab and eventually defeated Padmanananda.
Alexander invaded India in 326 BC and came upto the River Beas. After crossing the River Indus at Attock, he had to fight with a series of Jat Kingdoms. Alexander's historian Arrian writes that Jats were the bravest people he had to contest with in India.
Alexander's first encounter was with Porus who was defeated. Alexander was impressed with his dignified behavior even after defeat and reinstated him on the throne.
Alexander's next encounter was with Sobti republic whose territory extended up to, the Salt Ranges. Arrian has a lot of praise for the administration of the Kingdom. Swyamvara (self-selection of the marriage partner) was
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prevalent, and thus a woman had a right to choose her husband. Every child was examined two months after birth. If the child was found deformed or suffering from any disability he was put down.
After Sobti, Alexander had to face the Youdheya Jat republic, when Alexander heard of their valour he was very disheartened. They were supposed to know the 'Avijay' mantra and were thus never defeated. They had a large army. They had an assembly of 6000 members, each of whom presented an elephant to the head of the State. This republic was situated on the banks of River Satluj. Alexander did not venture to fight them.
The next Jat tribe to face Alexander was the Kushanas who were 40,000 strong. Alexander had a severe clash with the Jat republics of Jeest and Jatroti. Alexander overwhelmed them. When they lost hope of victory they killed their women and children and fought to the last man.
Alexander's Historian Arrian has recorded his observations on the Jats. The system of Sati was prevalent. They respected beauty and believed in Polygamy. Most of them were followers of Buddhism. They also worshipped the pipal tree some of them still lived in the jungles and covered themselves with barks of trees.
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There are numerous legends about the Maurya dynasty, as Ashoka of this dynasty was an ardent follower of Buddhism, Brahmin writers have, in the Puranas, called it a Shudra dynasty. It has, however, been established that Maurya was an old dynasty ruling in the Northern Hills. King Padmananda of the Nanda Dynasty failed in his efforts to conquer this State. Ultimately, his wily minister Shaktar succeeded where Padmananda had failed. As a result of a clever conspiracy the whole ruling family was killed except one pregnant queen who escaped and started living in Magadha as a beggar. One night she delivered a boy and put him in a garbage heap in front of a potter's house. When the potter's wife heard the child's cry, she came out and saw that the boy was handsome as a moon. She took him in her care and named him Gupta Chandra i.e. hidden moon. His mother resolved to reign the Mauryan kingdom one day. She got a job as a maid in the palace so that she could remain in touch with the affairs of the State, She, also kept an eye on her son who displayed signs of greatness.
The Sheshnaga rulers who earlier had their capital at Rajgiri, shifted to Patliputra on the confluence of Rivers Ganga and Sone. The ambitions Nanda killed their last ruler and annexed the State. Nanda also conquered the Kaushal kingdom.
One day King Nanda happened to laugh. The maid who was attending on him also laughed. The king, considering her action impertinent, sentenced her to death. He however agreed to pardon her if she
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could tell why he had laughed. At night she went to the dry well and gave food and water to the starving Shaktar. He was grateful and on hearing of her problem, gave her the correct answer. She repeated it to the king the next morning. The king was surprised and asked her how she found the right answer. She told the truth. The king was impressed and ordered Shaktar to be released and reinstated. Shaktar, however, never forgave him and started plotting his destruction.
Vishnu Gupta, well known as Chanakya or Kautilya was educated at the University of Taxila. He was learned but ugly. One day a shoot of spear grass pricked his foot. He said aloud that he would destroy the grass. Shaktar who happened to be passing by told him not to worry, as he would get it destroyed. By royal servants. The two became friends after that.
Once Chanakya had gone to a feast given to Brahmins by Nanda on his father's death anniversary. Nanda could not stand Chanakya's ugliness and got him thrown out. Thus Chanakya was harboring a grudge against Nanda. He started looking for some one whom he could train to be capable of destroying Nanda. One day he spotted Chandra Gupta holding a mock-up court of a group of shepherds. He asked him some questions and was impressed by his intelligent answers. Chanakya took Chandra Gupta in his care and trained him so well that with the connivance of Shaktar he became Nanda's C-in-C. He became very popular. Unfortunately the conspiracy leaked out and Chandra Gupta and Chanakya were banished from the country. They migrated to Punjab. At the time of Alexander's invasion they managed to get a number of small states to get together and marshaled a sizable army under the command of Chandra Gupta. He defeated Alexander's General Seleucus who gave him his daughter Helen in marriage and retired to Greece. Chandra Gupta became the ruler of most of the Punjab with Chanakya as his Prime Minister. Chandra Gupta conquered Magadha thus fulfilling Chanakya's long cherished aim of destroying Nanda. Chandra Gupta's son Bindusara was killed in 272 BC. He is not well known in history.
Ashoka was a very capable ruler and administrator. After the massacre at Kalinga he felt deep remorse and became a follower of Buddhism. He had built up a larger empire than any ruler before him had. He contributed a great deal to the expansion of Buddhism. His son and daughter became Bhikshus for the propagation of Buddhism. Unfortunately his successors were not capable. His son Kunal was blind. His grandsons Dashratha and Sam Vrate were weak. Pushyamitra, a minister, killed the last Maurya ruler and usurped the throne. This Brahmin ruler was very cruel. He embarked upon mass persecution of Buddhists. According to the book Dev Vidhan he awarded 100 Dinars to any one producing a head of Buddhist monk. His dynasty ruled for 112 years till its last ruler was killed by another Brahmin named Kanva whose descendants ruled for another 45 years.
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Jat Rulers of Northern Frontiers Of India
After some time Greek ruler Yechdemus drove out the descendants of Antigonus, crossed the Hindukush Mountains into India and occupied the Indus valley. Demetrius has been called Dattamitra in Puranas and he belonged to Yucchi (Yuti) race. His grandson Menander expanded the kingdom to include Nagor, Chittor, Ayodhya, Punjab and Sindh. His capital was at Sialkot.
According to various writers, this king belonged to Kushana dynasty. He ruled for 23 years near about 45 AD. He was an ardent follower of Buddhism and contributed a great deal towards its expansion. His empire included the whole of Northern India extending to the Southern borders of China.
In Chinese History he is also described as belonging to Yuehchi (Yuti) race. His successors were Vushishka, Huvishka and Vasudeva. This dynasty ruled for 95 years. The last ruler gave up Buddhism and adopted Vaishnavism. He lost control of Kabul. Then, in about 4th Century AD, Nagas conquered their entire territory and made Mathura their capital.
Bharshiva Dynasty (150 To 234 AD)
According to a story in Matsya Puran, quoted in chapter X of a book India of the Dark Ages the Nagas ruled for 100 years as renegades (this because they were Buddhist). Later, it is said they purified them
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The facts are, however, different. This dynasty belonged to Madrak Jat gotra of Yadav Vansh and was devotees of Shiva. They had a number of ruling dynasties such as Takshak Nag, Bachhik Nag, Kilkil Nag, all of which are Jat gotras. Mathura, Padmavati and Kantipur were capitals of Naga dynasty. Nags of Padmavati were called Tank, which is also a Jat gotra, and are found in 24 villages near Sonepat.
In chapter 29 of "India of the Dark Ages" the ancestor of Tanks is mentioned as Raja Gajvkatra. In chapter 42 of the same book it is mentioned that Malla Jat Republic extended from Eastern Punjab to the Ganga and Yodhya republic extended into Rajasthan. Nagpur belonged to the Nags. Nagar Brahmins also originated from there.
Lichhavi Jat Dynasty (1 to 340 AD)
Dr. K. P. Jaiswal has mentioned, on the basis of some stone tablets unearthed earlier, and with reference to the Puranas that Patliputra and Magadha were the capitals of Lichhavi Bharshiva Jats. According to a rock edict of Raja Jai Dev, found in Nepal, his ancestors had ruled on Patliputra in the first century AD, for 100 years after having come from the Punjab. The Lichhavi dynasty originated in Peshawar. Upto 300 A.D. They ascended and relinquished the throne of Magadh many a time.
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Origin of Gupta Dynasty
In the beginning of 4th Century AD, Sunder Verma ruled Patliputra (Patna). He was from Koot dynasty also called Rashtra Koot or Rathee (Rathee is a present Jat Gotra), and Vaishnavite by religion. Having no heir, he adopted Chandra Sen, A Lichhavi Prince who was a follower of Buddhism. As providence would have it, Sunder Verma's queen gave birth to a son -who was the legal heir. Chandra Sen had to quit. He however, never forgot his once promised goal, and finally, with the Lichavi's army, killed Sunder Verma and seized the throne. The public became averse to this outrage and prominent citizens started a damaging propaganda against him, using his Buddhist faith as the anchor.
In 340 AD, they invited and aided an invasion by Raja Kalva Verma, a Kakatak. Chandra Sen appreciating the public opposition, used his discretion and left the country. However, later in 344 AD he organized a force of Lichhavis and with it he recaptured the throne of Patliputra. Thereafter, the name of the ruling dynasty was changed from Lichhavi to Gupta.
Puranas have referred to this Gupta dynasty as the Golden Kshatriyas under whom religion prospered a great deal. This is because this dynasty, due to internal political pressures, adopted Vaishnava faith. Lichhavis have, however, been described as low caste.
According to the research of Hem Chandra, Lichhavis belonged to Madrak dynasty and were called Karskar or Kakkar because of their origin from Kar. Shale, Shal, Shi, all originating from Sialkot are also Madrak. In Sanskrit Scripture they have been called Jatra or Jatrali meaning Jat.
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Hem Chandra has argued that if Karaskars were low caste. Raja Sundar Verma would never have adopted Chandra Sen as his son. In any case, there was no low or high caste as far as Madraks went. It is mentioned in Mahabharata that Madraks did not recognize the institution of 'Varnas'.
According to Dr. Jaiswal, the founder of Gupta dynasty was Raj Gupta. On pages 116 and 116 of his book, he has proved this dynasty as Karaskar Jats who are also called Kakkar or Khokar. The Khokar Jats had a large 'Khaap' (republic) in Multan. They intercepted Mohammad Ghori and severed his head. Another branch of the Kakkars is Kakkar Rai Baluch and Pathans of Baluchistan.
A large number of Guptas are Baniyas. It is, however doubtful whether they are the descendants of this dynasty, or of the famous astrologer Brahm Gupta. The daughter of Chandra Gupta II, who was married to Ugrasen II, gave her gotra as Dharan. It is possible that Dharan was a branch or an associate gotra of Karskar.
He was succeeded by his son Ghatotkacha.
Ghatotkach ascended the throne in 320 AD. It has been called Chandra Gupta I. He married a Lichhavi princess and extended his rule. According to Puranas, Lichhavi Kingdom extended upto Bihar. He was succeeded by his son Samudra Gupta.
Samudra Gupta conquered the whole of Punjab
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and a major part of India. The clans defeated by him included Malaya who ruled Malva named after their gotra. Arjunyayan who ruled Mewat and Jaipur; Yodhdya whose rule included Bikaner and Bahawalpur; Madrak whose capital was Sialkot; Abir who ruled Badaun, and the Betwa Basin now called Ahirwara; Vir Arjun clan who ruled Narisinghpur; Sankanank who territory was present Gwalior; Karsker or Kak wgose rule extended into present Mathura, Aligarh (there are 80 villages of these Jats in this area at present) and Kharyarak.
Samudra Gupta also subjugated the powerful Shaka and Kushana dynasties. In keeping with ancient traditions he performed Asvamedh Yagya (Horse sacrifice ceremony). He was not only an eminent soldier but also a poet and musician of omen calibre. Inspite of being a Jat he has not been maligned by Brahmin historians of Rajput era. He died in 365 A.D. [? The date of his death is accepted by all historians as 375 A.D.]
He was a coward. Out of fear he agreed to let his beautiful wife Dhruva Devi to the chambers of the Shaka king. His brother could not take it. Disguised as a maid, he accompanied Dhruva Devi and killed the Shaka king. Next he killed Ram Gupta seized the throne and married Dhruva Devi. The public lauded his act. He came to be called Vikramaditya or Chandra Gupta II.
He annexed Gujrat and Kathiawar and extended the already large Gupta Empire. He created the famous Iron pillar at Mehrauli, (New Delhi) which, apart from commemorating his rule, is a fine example of sophisticated metallurgy.
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The following inscription has been made on the Iron Pillar, -
- (The King) whose sword had eternal glory. He subjugated the enemy in Bengal and ruined them who had congregated against the king. He has crossed the seven riverbeds of Indus and conquered the country. The breeze of Southern Sea has been full of fragrance due to his chivalry. He left the world for eternal abode reluctantly. He reached the Paradise created by his own noble deeds. His name is surviving in the world due to this glory. His blood drawn might' has not yet subsided from the earth like. The heat of "huge and tangled jungle fire. He maintained his emperorship for ages, which he achieved with his might. His name 'Chander' having a moon likes bloom on his face. He was an Emperor, of this world and was a staunch 'Bhakta of Vishnu God. He put' this huee pillar as a symbol of Vishnu on the hill (Vishnu Pad).
He was the son of Dhruva Devi. He ascended the throne in 414 A D. The Huns invaded during his rule. In 454 AD Skanda Gupta defeated the Huns. The Gupta rule was however reduced by attrition in prolonged warfare.
A number of important events occurred during his rule. Buddhism split into two groups and consequently weakened in influence. The famous Ved Dhanwantari lived and wrote his famous book on medicine during his rule.
Kalidas prospered during his reign and wrote his famous dramas.
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The History of this period for the next 150 years after his rule is clouded and little is known of this area.
Mahajan, in his History of Ancient India has called this dynasty Mokhari. The founder of this dynasty was Sangh Verma, The capital was Mandsor. They ruled during the period Gupta from 335 to 385 AD Two famous princes of this family were Chandra Verma and Nar Verma. Chandra Verma left Malwa and established his own Kingdom of Pusharen, Nar Verma ruled Mandsor. According to a tablet excavated at Ganga Dhar, his son Vishnu Verma was a ruler of independent ideas. His sons were Bandhu Verma and Bhim Verma. When Gupta power rose, Bhim Verma accepted their suzerainty and carried on as the Vassal of Kausambi.
Three edicts of this period were excavated at Mandsor.
These read as follows: -
"Even the Mighty ruler Mehrkul bows before him."
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The Guptas joined forces with Yashodharman and defeated the Huns. On a memorial pillar elected by Yashodharman at Biana, it is inscribed that Yashodharman's father Vishnu Vardhan had gained the title of Maharana. This is confirmed by what has been printed on Page 342 of a book Nagri Pracharni Patrika. In the same book are also mentioned the atrocities committed by the Huns.
Huns clashed with the Jats in continents, Europe and Asia. Huns were responsible for destruction of Jat Power Nevertheless they were not let off lightly. They invaded, they destroyed, but they never ruled. In Europe they rolled their way upto Italy where they met Jats, who have been called Goths in historical records, and were bounced back. In India Yashodharman who consequently conquered the whole of Northern India had repulsed them.
Yashodharman's son Siladitya was a follower of Buddhism. Chinese Pilgrim Huen Tsang writes about him that a Vaisnavite king drove him out of his kingdom. Siladitya took asylum with the king of Kashmir. After some time, with the help of king Paro sen, he re conquered his lost kingdom.
After the death Siladitya, his kingdom splintered into small groups and disintegrated.
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Harsh Vardhan (Bhatti Jat)
Raja Harsh Vardhan was from the royal family of Thaneswar whose gotra was Bhatti. His father Prabhakar Vardhan had adopted the title of Parm Bhatti. The history of this dynasty before Harsh Vardhan back to his great grand father has been considered as lost. However, Harsh Charitra written by Kavi Bana throws ample light on it. Certain stone tablets excavated from Madhuban also reveal facts about the ancestors of Harsh Vardhan. The Chinese traveler Huen Tsang has recorded an account of the administration of Harsh Vardhan.
The early ancestors of Harsh Vardhan were Nar Vardhan, Raj Vardhan and Aditya Vardhan all of whom ruled small kingdoms with their capital in Thaneswar. Harsh Vardhan's father Prabhakar Vardhan expanded his territory. He established friendly and matrimonial relations with Guptas and the rulers of Malwa. With the increase of his power he gained the title of Param Bhatt. His mother was the daughter of Damodar Gupta, ruler of Magadha. His wife Yashomati was the daughter of King Yashodharman of Malwa. His daughter Rajeshwari was married to prince Grah Vardhan, heir apparent to the throne of Kanauj. Thus the three main ruling Jat dynasties i.e. Karaskar, Virk and Bhatti were closely related to each other.
It is mentioned on page 16 of "Imperial Gazetteer of India, Bombay presidency- First Edition that Raja Harsh Vardhan put new life into Gupta rule by establishing relations with them.
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and had killed Rajeshwari's husband Grah Vardhan. Rajeshwari escaped into the jungles. When Raj Vardhan heard of his sister's plight he invaded Kanauj with a large force and defeated the King Sasank who had established himself there. He, however, managed to get Raj Vardhan treacherously murdered. When the tidings of his death reached. Thaneswar, his brother Harsh Vardhan was proclaimed King. He was very brave and spirited. He sent his Commander-m-Chief with a large force to Kanauj, With handful of selected fighters he, himself set forth in search of his sister in the jungle. He found, her-but in a miserable condition and when she was just preparing to burn herself to death. She had lost her husband and her kingdom. She had fled to save her honour. When she heard of the death of her dear brother she could think of nothing but to kill herself. She got a funeral pyre prepared. Just as she was to step into it, she beard the clatter of hoofs and sawdust kicked up by galloping horses. She was awed. Soon the glowing face of her brother appeared before her eyes. She was overwhelmed with emotions. Harsh Vardhan persuaded Rajeshwari come to Thaneswar.
Harsh Vardhan invaded Kanauj and defeated Sasank and took over the rule of Kanauj. He then conquered Malwa and the entire Northern India and gained the title of Maharaja. He wanted to conquer the whole of India. Pulkeshin Solanki, ruler of south India foresaw his expansionist ambition, faced him with large army and blunted his ambitions.
With the intention of removing religious dissension and misunderstandings, Harsh Vardhan arranged public declamations between Vaishnavites and Buddhists. He preferred Buddhism and like Ashoka and Kanishka encouraged its propagation. After his death his Prime Minister succeeded him. His reign marked the climax of Jats in India and their rule covered the entire country.
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