(Last Updated on : 16-09-2010)
The circumstances which led to the establishment of Gahadvala dynasty are still shrouded in mystery. After the fall of Pratihara Empire an adventurer named Chandravela Gahadvala conquered Kanauj from Rashtrakuta King Gopala and founded this dynasty. Some scholars consider the Gahadvalas as a sub branch of the Rashtrakutas while others regard it as separate dynasty. According to tradition, after the decline of Kannauj, Jayachandra's brother Manakchanda went to Bijapur and there he founded the Gahadvala dynasty.
Gahadvala dynasty owed its success in administration and conquests to a number of valiant kings. Chandradeva, the founder of this dynasty, followed an expansion policy conquering Delhi, Ayodhya, and Varanasi. His dominion included the whole of modern Uttar Pradesh
. He is also known to protect the upper places of India. Chandradeva's known date is 1085 -1100 A.D. His empire of extended to Kasi
, north Kosala and Indraprastha. Chandradeva attacked the eastern India and fought against Rampala of Pala dynasty
but was defeated.
Madanpala was the son and successor Chandradeva. It has been learnt from some inscriptions that when he ascended the throne, there had been a Muslim invasion and the ruler of Kannauj was made a prisoner. Madanpala got rid of them by giving them a lot of money. At the time when Madanpala was fighting against the Muslims, he had also to fight against king Rampala of Pala dynasty in the east. Thus Madanpala defended and preserved the kingdom inherited by his father. According to some historians, he left the work of administration in 1109 A.D. though he died in 1114 A.D.
Govindchandra was the next crowned king. He was the greatest ruler who laid the basis of Gahadvala power in Madhyadesh. He had shifted his capital to Varanasi
. His dominion was extended to united provinces and larger parts of Bihar. He became very powerful by defeating the Muslim invaders. He had also tried to occupy parts of east India. He had conquered the Gonda district. In the west he had occupied Eastern Malwa from chandellas. He also invaded Magadha in the south.
He had maintained diplomatic relationship with many kings in the west and south India. Even in Kashmir
he had preserved a tactful rapport with Lohara Dynasty. He successfully defended the holy places from Turk invasion. His ruling span was between 1115 - 1154 A.D.
Govindchandra handed over the administration responsibility to his son Vijaychandra. He had revolted the invasion of Khusrav Malik. According to Prithviraj raso', he had conquered king Mukundadeva of Katak, Anangpal, the ruler of Delhi and king Bholabhima, the ruler of Pattanapura. He had established his authority over Tilangana, Karnataka
and Konkan regions.
Jayachandra was considered the last powerful ruler of the Gahadvalas. His empire included entire Uttar Pradesh and a part of Bihar. He tried to extend his empire further towards east but was defeated and checked by Lakshmanasena, the then ruler of Bengal. He kept his paternal kingdom intact facing all obstacles. He extended his empire upto Gaya
Due to lack of cooperation and inner conflicts among Rajputs Muizzuddin Muhammad Ghuri invaded kingdom of Delhi. He marched against Jayachandra who was consequently killed in the Etawah
Kannauj was occupied by the Muslims. Harichandra, son of Jayachandra tried to recover Kannauj from the hands of the Muslims but failed. He was appinted as Ghuri's vassal on the throne of Kannauj. It is not known as to how many years Harish Chandra ruled but it is certain that after him the Gahadvala dynasty came to an end.