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.