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IAS Prelims : GS Medieval History : The Pratiharas

Feb 25, 2015 17:45 IST

    They were also called Gurjara- Pratihars, because they originated from Gurjarata or south-western Rajasthan. They ruled over western India and parts of northern India from mid-7th century to 11th century.

    Prominent Rulers

    The earliest well-known king of this dynasty was Nagabhatta I. However, the real founder and the greatest ruler of the Pratihara dynasty was Bhoja. He became successful in consolidating the empire. He also tried to extend his kingdom is east and south, but he was resisted by the Palas in the east and Rashtrakutas in the south. Following the death of the Pala ruler Devapala and the weakening of the Pala Empire, Bhoja was able to extend his empire in the east.

    Bhoja was a devotee of Vishnu and adopted the title of ‘Adivaraha’ which has been found inscribed in some of his coins.

    Bhoja was succeeded by his son Mahendrapala I. He extended his empire in further east over Magadha and north Bengal.

    Arab travelers tell us about the power and prestige of the Pratihara rulers and the vastness of their empire The Pratihara rulers had the best cavalry in India.

    Art and Architecture

    The Pratiharas were great patrons of art, architecture and literature. They built many fine buildings and temples. The great Sanskrit poet an dramatist, Rajashekhar, lived at the court of Mahipala, a grandson of Bhoja.

    Decline

    Feudal conflicts, attacks from Rashtrakutas and passing of Gujarat into the hands of Rashtrakutas were some of the reasons for decline of the Pratihara Empire.

    Important Points

    1.    The Pratiharas originated from Gurjarata or south-western Rajasthan.

    2.    They ruled over western India and parts of northern India from mid-7th century to 11th century.

    3.    The real founder and the greatest ruler of the Pratihara dynasty was Bhoja.

    4.    Bhoja was a devotee of Vishnu and adopted the title of ‘Adivaraha’.

    5.    The great Sanskrit poet an dramatist, Rajashekhar, lived at the court of Mahipala, a grandson of Bhoja.

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