Pratihara and Rashtrakutas

Pratihara and Rashtrakutas- Important Points:


  • Belong to the 36 Rajput clans and are a branch of Gurjaras, nomadic Central Asian tribes.
  • Nagabhatta I founded the dynasty after he successfully defended Western India from the Arab Invasions.
  • The Tripartite struggle, between Prathiharas, Rashtrakutas and Palas, began during Vatsaraja’s region. He defeated Dharmapala of Bengal but was defeated by Dhruva of Rashtrakutas.
  • Nagabhatta II defeated Dharmapala and also expelled his protege, Chakrayuddha from Kannauj. But was defeated by Govinda III of Rashtrakutas.
  • His exploits are recorded in the Gwalior inscription of his grandson.
  • The Pratihara power reached glory under Bhoja I or Mihira Bhoja, who was enthroned in Kannauj in 836 A.D. He won over Bundelkhand, Jodhpur Pratiharas and Kalachuris.
  • But his expansion was checked by Sankarvarman of Kashmir, Rashtrakuta Krishna II and Devapala.
  • Mihira Bhoja was a devotee of Vishnu and adopted the title Adivaraha.
  • The Chandellas and the Arabs of Sind acknowledged his supremacy and Sulaiman the Arab traveller visited the kingdom and Al Masudi called him King Baura.
  • Mahendrapala I extended his power up to Magadha and Bengal.
  • His court poet was Rajasekhara who wrote Karpuramanjari, Balaramayana, Balabharata, Kavyamimamsa, Vidhasalabhanjika, Bhrinjika, Bhurarakosha-Haravilasa.
  • Mahipala was defeated by Rashtrakuta king Indra III.
  • During Mahmud Ghazni’s raid on Kannauj, Rajapala fled from the battlefield.
  • Yashpala was the last ruler of the dynasty and by A.D. 1090 the Garhwalas conquered Kannauj.


  • The term Rashtrakutas means designated officers- incharge of territorial divisions called ‘Rashtra’. And they were the feudatories of Chalukyas of Badami.
  • The founder was Dantidurga, a feudatory of Vikramaditya II, who made Manyakhet his capital- after defeating the Chalukya King, Kirtivarman. He constructed the Dashavatara temple at Ellora.
  • Succeded by his Uncle Krishna I who gave the final blow to the Chalukya power.
  • He got the Kailasa temple constructed in Ellora, which is a magnificent rock-cut monolithic temple.
  • Dhruva defeated Pratihara king, Vatsaraja and Pala King, Dharmapala and thus was the first Rashtrakuta ruler to decisively intervene in the tripartite struggle.
  • Amoghavarsha I (814-878) fought long-drawn battles with Eastern Chalukyas and Gangas.
  • He wrote Kavirajamarga which is the earliest Kannada work on Poetics. He also wrote Prasnottaramalika.
  • Jinasena was patronzied by him who wrote Adipurana.
  • Indra III (915-927) defeated Pratihara Mahipala I and was called by the Arab traveller, Al Masudi as ‘the greatest king of India’.
  • Krishna III (939-965) defeated the Chola King, Parantaka I in the battle of Takkolam.
  • Karka II (974-75) was overthrown by Taila II who founded the Chalukya kingdom of Kalyani.
  • Rashtrakutas patronized Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Jainism and allowed Islam to persist- highlighting their spirit of religious tolerance.
  • In Literature they patronized Sanskrit, Prakrit, Apabhramsa, a forerunner of many modern Indian languages and Kannada.
The Slave Dynasty (1206 – 1290)Indus Valley Civilization
The Khilji Dynasty (1290-1320)Buddhism
Tughlaq Dynasty (1320-1414)Jainism
Sayyids & LodhisMauryan Empire
Disintegration of Delhi SultanateGupta Empire
Vijayanagar Empire (1336-1649)India Between AD 750-1200– NIOS

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