Chauhan Dynasty: Origin, Rulers & Decline

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Chauhan Dynasty

Chauhan is a powerful dynasty of rulers who ruled the western parts of India between the 6th and 12th centuries. Their rule was effectively observed in Rajasthan and Delhi. They are also known to be the vassals of the Rajput families of today. Rajputs believe them to be from the Agnikula Rajput clans who emerged from the ‘Agnikund’ – a sacrificial fire-pit. Here are the details about the dynasty of the Chauhans. 

Origin of Chauhans

In 551 AD, the Cahuhans began their reign with the coming of Vasudev Chauhan, the founder of the Chauhan Dynasty. Chauhans played a very important role in the political structure of India. They also acted as feudal lords of the Pratihars even during the Arab invasion. 

According to the Chauhans scriptures, a legend called Chahamana was their common ancestor though there is little light shed on his life and era. There are various stories of the origin of Chahamana, some texts say that he is of solar or lunar origin, while others argue he was born from the eye of Indra. Some also associate him with the Ishvaku dynasty and Lord Rama. 

Also Read: Chalukya Dynasty: Founder, Legacy and Decline 

The Chauhans ruled their region of Sambhar Lake for over 400 years and made a powerful enemy for anyone to defeat. Three other important Rajput clans of that time were Pratiharas, Paramaras, and Chalukyas. They maintained their supremacy from Jaipur and Ajmer to Delhi and parts of Uttar Pradesh. 

Also Read: The Nanda Empire: Rise, Reign, and Fall

Famous Rulers of the Chauhan Dynasty 

Some of the most prominent rulers of the Chauhan Dynasty were; 

  • Vasudev Chauhan (around 551 AD) – First ruler and the founder of the Chauhan Dynasty. 
  • Vigraharaj II (about 956 AD) – He is known to have defeated the Chalukya king Mulraj I of Anhilpatan and forced him to pay taxes. 
  • Ajaydev Chauhan (around 1113 AD) – Also known as Ajayraj, he was the one to settle the city of Ajmer by the name of Ajaymeru in 1113 AD.
  • Arnoraj (circa 1133 to 1153 AD) – He fiercely defeated the Turkish invaders and built Anasagar Lake in Ajmer and Varaha temple in Pushkar. 
  • Vigraharaj IV Bisaldev (about 1153 to 1163 AD) – Vigharaj IV expanded the Chauhan Kingdom a lot. He defeated the ruler of Ghazni and the Tomar ruler of Delhi. His reign is popular as the ‘Golden Age’ of Chauhan’s rule.
  • Prithviraj III (1178-1192 AD) – He took the entire administration of the kingdom under his control at the tender age of 11 years. He was also known as Dalpangul (World Conqueror) as he defeated the enemies around him. 
Source: Navbharat Times

Also Read: Lodi Dynasty- Exploring India’s Medieval History

Decline of the Chauhans

The decline of the Chauhans began after the second battle of Tarain. In that battle, Prithviraj Chauhan was defeated and the kingdom was divided into Satyapura and Devda branches. Their kingdom was also losing unity at this time. Moreover, the following battles completely turned the battle in favour of Mohammad Ghori who captured and looted India. The Slave Dynasty was the next one to come to power after the Chauhans. Qutub-ud-din Aibak was the one to come to power after this. 


Who was the founder of Chauhan dynasty?

The Chauhan Dynasty was founded by Vasudeva Chauhan in 551 AD. According to historical records, Vasudeva is the earliest known ruler of the Sapadalaksha lineage.

Who was the last ruler of Chauhan dynasty?

Prithviraj Chauhan was the last ruler of the Chauhan dynasty. He was killed by Muhammad of Ghor.

Where is Chauhan dynasty located?

The Chahamanas were based in the present-day Rajasthan region, with their core territory being known as Sapadalaksha (IAST: Sapādalakṣa) or Jangala-desha (IAST: Jangaladeśa). The term Jangladesha, meaning “rough and arid country,” appears to be older and is mentioned in the Mahabharata.

Who was the most powerful Chauhan ruler?

Prithviraja III is considered one of the most famous Chahamana rulers. He once in 1191, defeated Sultan Muhammad of Ghor. But eventually, in 1192, he was defeated by Ghori.

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