Sunday, April 26, 2009

Journey from Chalukya to Solanki

Chalukya - the name without which no part of India's ancient history is complete.
There are many beliefs regarding the origin of the name "CHALUKYA".
One says, it is the name of the warrior who was born from the Agnikund of Abu,
and thus his descendent's were called Chalukyas. This beliefs is based on the concept
of Agnikula Rajputs.

Second theory, which is also based on fiction as the first one, says that, Lord Brahma has created a warrior by taking Gangajal in his "chuluk" (palm) and ordered him to protect
mankind from the "Asurs". Being created from Brahma's chuluk, he was called Chalukya. Most south Indian Kings belonging to Chalukyan family had followed this belief.

Another theory which is not much famous, but is believed to be near true says that, in the lineage of Arjun,the famous warrior from Mahabharat, there was a King named Chalukya, and after his name, his descedents were called Chalukyas. This theory gets some support from history of Solankis of Gujarat, which also mentions lunar race of Solankis, descendents of Arjun.

Gaurishankar Ojha, most famous historian of Rajputana after Col. James Tod, had written a book "Early history of Solankis". In this book, he had given many accounts of ancient Chalukyan inscriptions which says that Chalukyas are of Lunar race ("Chandra Vanshis").

In history of both Chalukya families(South and Gujarat) mentions that their ancestors were ruling in the northern part of India, near Ayodhya and from there they had migrated to South and Central India. Chalukyan King Rajraj's inscription says that "After Udayan, there were 59 Chakravarti Kings in Ayodhya, then King Vijayaditya,of this lineage attacked Southern king Trilochan Pallav. Vijayaditya was killed in the battle, his queen, was given sheltered by a Brahmin, where Vijayaditya's son Vishnuvardhan was born. From Visnhuvardhan, all southern Chalukya kings were descended.

History of Gujarat mentions that Raj and Beej, both came from Kalyani. Most historians have mistakenly took this Kalyani as the famous Kalyani, capital of a strong Chalukyan Kingdom in Southern India. Researchers have shown that there exist a place Kalyankataka, mentioned in Prabandchintamani, Ratnamala and many other books, is believed to be in Vindya ranges in Central India. The bard of Roopnagar, the Jagir Solanki Rajputs in Mewar, traces lineage of his masters to the kings, who ruled near banks of Soram river, which is in central India.Inscriptions of Kaluchari Kings of Central India describes that this place was under the supremacy of Chalukyan Kings. Thus, the belief that Chalukya of Gujarat and Southern India, shares a common lineage and both were migrated from North-central India. Though they have got separated many years before, but shares their title.

The Chalukya brothers from Kalyankataka, migrated to Gujarat and established a dynasty, which was one of the most powerful and famous dynasty of Indian history. This dynasty had changed the future of Gujarat and its surrounding areas.

In the western India, people pronounces "Cha" as "Sa". When the Chalukya Kings migrated to Gujarat, the name Chalukya was pronounced in local language "Salukya, Saluki", and later got changed to Solanki. There are many maratha families in Maharasthra which still have their title as "Saluki or Salunke". In the inscription, which were written in Sanskrit, it was spelled correct "Chalukya", but in local language it got variations and now got a common pronounciation "Solanki". From the period, when the history was started to be written in local languages and the name was written as it was spelled "Solanki".

There are some difference in the Southern and Northern Chalukyas, as the gotra of Southern Chalukyas is "Manavya" and of Northern Chalukya is "Bhardwaj". The family insignia is also different. The clan deity is also different, Southern family worhips Lord Vishnu as their clan deity and the Northern family worhsipped Lord Somnath as their clan deity. But these difference occured due to their different ruling areas. Their is a large difference in both the cultures, thus these differences can occur. Besides these differences, both the families share a common thing, a "Shwet Chattra" which is believed to be their ancient insignia. Though, now a days, the trace of southern family is hard to find, but the northern family is still holding much of its patrimony, mostly in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and in Rajasthan, especially in Mewar.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Desuri comes into Marwar

Godwar pargana lies in between the Mewar and Marwar, thus the most disputed land for both of them. Earlier, during the reign of Rana Kumbha, both Rana Kumbha of Mewar and Rao Jodha of Marwar had agreed on that where the anwal (a tree in the hilly tract of Mewar) was, would be the Mewar boundary. Where the banwal was, would be Marwar. This gave birth to the proverb "Anwal Anwal Mewar, Banwal Banwal Marwar" . Anwal is the yellow flower plant and is found in most of the godwar, thus Mewar controls the most of the Godwar area. During the year 1771 A.D. (1827 V.S.), Rana Ari Singh- II was the ruler of Mewar and Maharaja Vijay Singh was the ruler of Marwar. Ari Singh was not able to control Ratan Singh, allegedly posthumous son of Rana Raj Singh-II, who has acquired the control of Kumbhalgarh Fort. Rana wrote Mahraja Vijay Singh for help to recapture Kumbhalgarh. Rana Ari Singh-II offered the lagaan of the whole Godwar pargana to Vijay Singh, for the time he is fighting to conquer the fort. Marwar forces came into all of the Godwar, upto the Nathdwara in Mewar. The place where the Marwar army were residing is now known as Lal Bagh. Vijay Singh was not able to capture Kumbhalgarh. He tried for three years, but could not able to make it. This fort is the only fort in the whole India, which is never taken by enemies by battle. Only once it was taken by combined forces of Mughals, Marwar and Jaipur forces, when it was deserted by Rana Pratap. This occupation was too for the brief period, as Rana Pratap was able to recapture it. In 1771 A.D. Vijay Singh decided not to give back the Godwar and took control over it. Ari Singh-II asked Vijay Singh to keep his words and return Godwar as he is not able to capture the fort. One of Vijay Singh's noble replied, "Godwar is now tied to neck of 50,000 rathores, if you can take it, then it will be yours." Ari Singh again asked for honouring the words said by Vijay Singh. But Vijay Singh didn't replied. At that time, Mewar was under civil war, Choondawats were supporting Ratan Singh, Saktawats were in support of Ari Singh-II and all of the Mewar treasury was depleted. So Ari Singh was not able to retaliate for Godwar. Thus, treacherously Rathores gained the Godwar.
Major Thikanas of Godwar, which were earlier under Mewar accepted the Marwar rule. The main were Thakur Veeramdeo of Ghanerao, Thakur Umaid Singh of Khod and Thakur Visan Singh of Chanod. Umaid Singh
of Khod deposited 80,000 rupees as his peskas. Only Thakur Veeramdeo Solanki -II, of Desuri decided not to surrender to Rathores . He was left alone to fight against Marwar for Godwar, as all three Thikanas have surrendered. All of these three and many other Rajputs of Godwar advised Thakur Veeramdeo to accept the rule of Jodhpur Maharaja, but Thakur Veeramdeo, just like his ancestors, was a true loyal Rajput, he could die but cannot betray his masters. Thakur Veeramdeo replied to the advise Veeramdeo knew that there is no chance of victory against the massive army of Jodhpur, and if defeated, he will lose most of his territory, but he kept his ancestral patrimony of self prestige and loyalty. This decision was about to affect the future of more than 150 villages of Solanki Rajputs in Godwar, especially in Desuri region. Thakur Veeramdeo -II prepared for the battle in the Fort of Desuri. Fort of Desuri, is situated on an isolated small rocky hill, being visible from a far distance. Vijay Singh sent Singhvi Shivchand to capture Desuri. DESURI FORTSinghvi Khoobchand was also sent to strengthen the Marwar forces. Solankis were left alone as there were no support from the neighbouring Thikanas, this time were part of Mewar and neither from Ari Singh-II himself. It was an attempt to protect the land whose owner himself has deserted it. Thakur Veeramdeo said "What if Ranaji has forgot us, we will not forget our duty." The battle started fiercely, and forces realised that it is not easy to take Desuri. Annals of Marwar speaks about the bravery of Solankis during the battle. Marwar forces took many days, but could not able to conquer the small fort of Desuri. Then, Vijay Singh sent Shambhuvaan, a large cannon, still displayed at Jodhpur fort. With Shambhuvaan, Dyodhidaar Aaidan and Champawat Jait Singh KhusalSinghot were sent to capture Desuri. Solankis were not having artillery support. So it as advantage for Marwar. Shambuvaan destroyed the strong wall of the fort, and Marwar army was able to get into the fort. Solankis fight till their last breath, but was not able to stop fort being taken. JaitSingh called off the ongoing battle, as they have entered into the fort, and it is worthless to kill Rajputs for nothing. JaitSingh honoured the bravery of Veeramdeo, ordered a safe passage to Thakur Veeramdeo. Thakur Veeramdeo-II and the remaining warriors left Desuri and went to Roopnagar adjoining Aravalis. Vijay Singh appointed Singhvi Shivchand as the hakim of Desuri. The fort of Roopnagar, built by Thakur Veeramdeo-I, is situated on the highest peak of this area, just overlooking Desuri. Veeramdeo-II still didn't gave up. He said, "if Desuri is not of Solankis, it will never be of any other Rajput." In this vow lies the promise of Prince Prithviraj, son of Rana Raimal, who gave the Jagir of Desuri with over 300 villages with a promise that, "till the Ranas are ruling in Mewar, Desuri will be of Solankis." Thakur Veeramdeo-II and his descendants continued to raid their ancestral patrimony with 800 lancemen, so that Desuri will never be an Thikana of any other Rajput. Veeramdeo's name is still remembered by his people, as this popular saying in Godwar saysThree generations later, until British arrived, Solankis never let the Jodhpur Maharaja a feeling of relief in Desuri. Col. James Tod,who was a close friend of Thakur Ratan Singh Solanki of Roopnagar, mentioned these facts in his Annals of Rajasthan. The vow of Thakur Veeramdeo-II, was kept by his descendants and they continued to raid Desuri to make sure Desuri never be the capital of any other rajput clan, if not of them.
After independence, Desuri is now a Tehsil headquarter in Pali District. In Desuri fort, now under the HH Gaj Singh-II of Johdpur, the darikhana part was used for District Court, recently it is shifted to new building, and in other part, a Rajput Girls hostel is running.