|Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (R)|
Shilahara (सिलाहार) was a clan of rulers who established in northern and southern Konkan, present-day Mumbai and southern Maharashtra (Kolhapur). Kapardin was the founder of the Northern Silhara family around 800 AD. They were followers of Shiva .
Origins & History
The dynasty originally began as vassals of the Rashtrakuta dynasty which ruled the Deccan plateau between the 8th and 10th centuries. Govinda II, a Rashtrakuta king, conferred the kingdom of North Konkan (the modern districts of Thane, Mumbai and Raigad) on Kapardin (Sanskrit: Wearing the kaparda, a peculiar braid or knot of hair - also a term for god Shiva, founder of the Northern Silhara family, around 800. Since then North Konkan came to be known as Kapardi-dvipa or Kavadidvipa. The capital of this branch was Puri, now known as Rajapur in the Raigad District.
Around 1343 the island of Salsette, and eventually the whole archipelago, passed to the Muzaffarid dynasty.
Shilaharas of Southern Maharashtra at Kolhapur was the latest of the three and was founded about the time of downfall of the Rashtrakuta Empire.
All the branches of this family traced their descent from the legendary Vidyadhara prince Jimutavahana, who sacrificed himself to rescue a Naga prince from the clutches of Garuda. The family-name Shilahara (meaning "mountain-peak food" in Sanskrit) is supposed to have been derived from this incident. Even single inscriptions have more than one form of the name; one has the three forms Silara, Shilara and Shrillara.
Lassen suggests that the Shilaharas were of Afghan origin as Silar Kafirs are still found in Afghanistan, but the "Ayya" used in the names of almost all their ministers and the non-Sanskrit names of some of the chiefs support the view that they were of Kannada origin. The Shilaharas of South Konkan were the vassals of Rashtrakutas and ruled from 765 to 1020.
Three branches of Shilaharas
The Shilaharas were split into three branches; one branch ruled North Konkan, the second South Konkan (between 765 and 1029), while the third ruled what is now known as the modern districts of Kolhapur, Satara and Belgaum between 940 and 1215 after which they were overwhelmed by the Yadavas.
North Konkan (Thane branch) : After Rashtrakuta power became weak, the last known ruler of this family, Rattaraja, declared his independence. But Chalukya Jayasimha, the younger brother of Vikramaditya, overthrew him and appropriated his possessions. North Konkan was conquered by the Rashtrakuta king Dantidurga sometime in the second quarter of the eighth century.
As per R Narasimhacharya, names like Vappuvanna, Lasthiyavva, etc. betrayed the Kannada origin of Silaharas of Thana.
Kapardin I was Shilahara ruler of north Konkan branch from c. 800 CE – 825 CE. He was the first known Shilahara king of North Konkan, was placed in charge of the country by the Rashtrakuta king Govinda III. Since then North Konkan came to be known as Kapardi-dvipa or Kavadi-dvipa. The capital of this branch was Puri, after which the country was called Puri-Konkan . Their capital seems to have been Puri and their places of note were Hamjaman probably Sanjan in Dahanu, Thane (Shristhanak), Sopara (Shurparak), Chaul (Chemuli), Lonad (Lavanatata) and than. As the Yadavas call themselves lords of the excellent city of Dvaravatipura or Dwarka and the Kadambas call themselves lords of the excellent city of Banavasipura or Banavasi, so the Shilaharas call themselves lords of the excellent city of Tagarapura or Tagar. This title would furnish a clue to the origin of the Shilaharas it unfortunately, the site of Tagar was not uncertain. From numerous references and grants the Thane Shilaharas seem to have been worshippers of Shiva. (Dept. Gazetteer: 2002)
South Konkan: This house's history is known through one record, the Kharepatan plates of Rattaraja issued in 1008. Rattaraja was the last ruler of this dynasty. The document is extremely important as it not only gives the genealogy of the ten ancestors of Rattaraja but also mentions their exploits. The founder, Sanaphulla, was vassal of the Rastrakuta emperor Krisna I who had established his power over Konkan by 765 and probably handed it to Sanaphulla. The Kharepatan plates declare that Sanaphulla obtained lordship over the territory between Sahya mountain and the sea through the favour of Krisnaraja.
Sana-phulla's son Dhammayira is known to have built a fort at Vallipattana on the Western Coast. Aiyaparaja secured victory at Chandrapuri (Chandor) in Goa. The reign of Avasara I proved to be uneventful. His son Adityavarman, who is described as brilliant as the Sun in valour, offered help to the kings of Chandrapuri and Chemulya (modern Chaul), 30 miles to the south of Bombay, so the influence of the Shilaharas had spread over the whole of Konkan. At this time Laghu Kapardi, the ruler of the Thane branch, was just a boy and the help given to the ruler of Chaul must have been at his expense. Avasara II continued the policy of his father. Indraraja's son Bhima is styled as 'Rahuvadgrasta Chandramandala' because he overthrew the petty ruler of Chandor. At this time the Kadamba ruler Sasthadeva and his son Chaturbhuja were trying to overthrow the Rastrakuta rule. This explains Bhima's opposition to Chandrapuri or Chandor. Avasara III, no doubt, ruled in troubled times, but had no contribution of his to make. Finally, Rattaraja, loyal to the Rastrakutas, was compelled to transfer his allegiance to Taila II.
Soon after the issue of the plates in 1008, the rule of Konkan passed over to the later Chalukyas. (Dept. Gazetteer: Kolaba,1964, Dept. Gazetteer: 2002)
Kolhapur branch: The Shilahara family at Kolhapur was the latest of the three and was founded about the time of the downfall of the Rashtrakuta Empire. They ruled over southern Maharashtra, the modern districts of Satara, Kolhapur and Belgaon. Their family deity was the goddess Mahalakshmi, whose blessing they claimed to have secured in their copperplate grants (Mahalakshmi-labdha-vara-prasada). Like their relatives of the northern branch of Konkan, the Shilaharas of Kolhapur claimed to be of the lineage of the Vidyadhara Jimutavahana. They carried the banner of golden Garuda. One of the many titles used by the Shilaharas was Tagarapuravaradhisvara, or supreme sovereign ruler of Tagara.
The first capital of the Shilaharas was probably at Karad during the reign of Jatiga-II as known from their copper plate grant of Miraj and 'Vikramankadevacharita' of Bilhana. Hence sometimes they are referred as Shilaharas of Karad. Later on although the capital was shifted to Kolhapur, some of their grants mention Valavada, and the hill fort of Pranalaka or Padmanala (Panhala) as the places of royal residence. Even though the capital was shifted to Kolhapur, Karhad retained its significance during the Shilahara period. This branch rose to power during the latter part of the Rashtrakuta rule and so, unlike the kings of the other two branches, those of this branch do not mention the genealogy of the Rashtrakutas even in their early grants. Later on they acknowledged the suzerainty of the later Chalukya for some time. They had used Kannada as the official language as can be seen from their inscriptions. This branch continued to hold the Southern Maharashtra from circa 940 to 1220.
It seems that Bhoja II, the last ruler of this family, was overthrown and dispossessed by Singhana in or soon after 1219-20 (Saka 1131) as is borne out by one of Singhana's inscriptions dated Saka 1160.
Shanti Parva Mahabharata Book XII Chapter 122 tells story of Anga King Vasuhoma residing at Munjaprishtha, addressing to King Mandhatri about doctrines of Vrihaspati, laid down by Usanas. Kapardi (कपर्दि) is mentioned one of names of Shiva in Mahabharata (XII.122.52). ....The master of all the worlds, the lord of all creatures, the puissant and blessed Mahadeva, the god of gods, is always awake. He is called by these names also, viz., Kapardin, Shankara, Rudra, Bhava, Sthanu and the lord of Uma.
Aswamedha Parva, Mahabharata/Book 14 Chapter 8 mentions Names of Shiva]. Kapardi (कपर्दि) is mentioned in Mahabharata (XIV.8.13).....Kapardi, Karala, Haryaksha, Varada, Tryaksha, Pushna, Dantabhida, Vamana, Shiva,......
दलीप सिंह अहलावत लिखते हैं:.... शाल्व-शिलाहार-सालार - महाभारतकाल में भारतवर्ष में इस चन्द्रवंशी जाटवंश के दो जनपद थे (भीष्मपर्व, अध्याय 9)। महाभारत युद्ध में शाल्व सैनिक दुर्योधन की ओर होकर पाण्डवों के विरुद्ध लड़े थे (भीष्मपर्व)। महाभारत विराट पर्व 1-9 और वनपर्व 12-33 में शाल्व वंश का वर्णन मिलता है।
इन शाल्वों की राजधानी सौभनगर समुद्रकुक्षि थी। श्रीकृष्ण जी ने दैत्यपुरी के नाम से प्रसिद्ध सौभनगरी के नरेश का दमन किया था। काशिकावृत्ति 4-2-76 के अनुसार एक वैधूमाग्नि नगरी भी इसी वंश की थी जिसका विधूमाग्नि नामक राजा था। सौभपुराधिपति राजा शिशुपाल का किसी नाते का भाई था (वनपर्व 15-13)। द्वापरान्त में यह वंश 6 भागों में बंट गया था (काशिकावृत्ति 4-1-17)। आठवीं शताब्दि तक इनकी प्रगति लुप्त रही।
843 ई० में बम्बई प्रान्त के थाना जिले में कृष्णागिरि से प्राप्त शिलालेख से प्रमाणित होता है कि थाना जिले पर 800 ई० से 1300 ई० तक इस वंश का राज्य रहा। ये महामण्डलेश्वर क्षत्रिय शिखाचूड़ामणि कहलाते थे। मराठों के सुप्रसिद्ध 96 कुलों में और राजस्थान के ऐतिहासिकों ने 36 राजवंशों में इस वंश की गणना करते हुए चन्द्रवंशी यादवकुलीन लिखा है। इस वंश के 11 राजाओं ने गुजरात पर शासन किया। इसके बाद सिद्धराज जयसिंह सोलंकी ने अनहिलवाड़ा पाटन में शासन स्थिर करके इनको गुजरात से निकाल दिया। (जाटों का उत्कर्ष पृ० 339, लेखक कविराज योगेन्द्रपाल शास्त्री)।
- Dept. Gazetteer: 2002
- Dept. Gazetteer: Thane,1982: Dept. Gazetteer: 2002
- History/001 AncientPeriod.htm "Nasik History - Ancient Period". State Government of Maharashtra
- Dept. Gazetteer: 2002
- Ramanujapuram, Narasimhacharya (1942). History of Kannada Language. Asian Educational Services. pp. 46, 49. ISBN 9788120605596.
- V. V. Mirashi, ed. (1977). Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum. VI: Inscriptions of the Śilāhāras. Archaeological Survey of India. OCLC 5240794. p. xiii.
- Dept. Gazetteer: 2002
- Fleet, J.F. (1896): "The Dynasties of the Kanarese District of The Bombay Presidency", written for The Bombay Gazetteer.
- देवदेवः शिवः शर्वॊ जागर्ति सततं परभुः, कपर्दी शंकरॊ रुद्रॊ भवः स्थाणुर उमापतिः (XII.122.52)
- कपर्दिने करालाय हर्यक्ष्णे वरदाय च, त्र्यक्ष्णे पूष्णॊ दन्तभिदे वामनाय शिवाय च (XIV.8.13)
- जाट वीरों का इतिहास: दलीप सिंह अहलावत, पृष्ठ-297