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PRATIHARAS




PRATIHARAS

Overview
  • The Pratiharas ruled much of northern India from the 6th to the 11th centuries CE
  • Also known as Gurjara Pratiharas, they are associated with the Gujjar tribe and are considered to be Rajputs clans
  • The capital city of the Pratiharas were Kannauj and Avanti.
  • The Pratiharas used Sanskrit, Marwari and Malwi as official languages
  • The Pratiharas were in continuous conflict with the Rashtrakutas and the Palas for more than two centuries
  • The Pratiharas are credited with repulsing Arab invasions in western India in the 7th and 8th centuries CE
  • The Pratiharas weakened over a period of time, due to having to fight the Palas and Rashtrakutas as well as Arab armies from the west
Extent and lineage
  • The Pratihara dynasty is said to have been founded by Harichandra in the 6th century
  • Nagabhata I (730-756 CE) was the first important ruler. He defeated the advancing Arab armies at the Battle of Rajasthan (738 CE)
  • Vatsaraja (775-805 CE) sought to capture Kannauj, which brought them into conflict with the Palas and the Rashtrakutas. His attempts were unsuccessful
  • Nagabhata II (805-833 CE) rebuilt the great Shiva temple at Somnath which had been earlier destroyed by Junaid of Sind
Conflict with Arab invaders
The Rashtrakutas, Pratiharas and Palas were in continuous conflict for over two centuries. The focal point of the conflict was the Kannauj Triangle.
The Rashtrakutas, Pratiharas and Palas were in continuous conflict for over two centuries. The focal point of the conflict was the Kannauj Triangle.
  • The Sind region had been captured by Muhammad bin Qasim in 710 CE
  • His successor and Governor of Sind, Junaid, led an invasion into western and northern India in 738 CE
  • Junaid was defeated by the Rashtrakutas at Navsari (Gujarat) and by the Pratihara king Nagabhata I at Avanti
  • Nagabhata pursued the Arab armies as far as the Indus river ensuring that the Arabs remained on the other side of the Indus
  • The Pratiharas acted as a buffer against Arab armies from the west for the next two centuries and are credited with checking Arab advances into India
THE KANNAUJ TRIANGLE
  • The Rashtrakutas, Palas and Pratiharas were locked in continuous conflict between the 8th and 10th centuries CE
  • This tripartite struggle was primarily over control of Kannauj and the fertile Gangetic plains around it
  • The earliest known reference to the struggle is from the late 8th century: Dharmapala defeated the Pratihara king Indraraja and captured Kannauj, only to be defeated by the Pratihara Vatsaraja, who was himself defeated by the Rashtrakuta Dhruva. Dharmapala retrieved Kannauj from the Rashtrakutas, but Kannauj was once again conquered by the Pratihara Nagabhata
  • The area around Kannauj, called the Kannauj triangle kept changing hand throughout the tripartite struggle
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