(Last Updated on : 08/07/2011)
The Solanki dynasty comprised of a royal Hindu Indian empire that ruled parts of western and central India during the 10th century to the 13th century AD. This was the last Hindu dynasty. This dynasty was established by Mulraja I in 942. He was the adopted son of Samantsinh, the last ruler of the Chavada dynasty whose members were the previous rulers of the region.
The name Solanki originates from Chalukya the ancient Indian dynasty. During the period of 543-566, Pulakesi I established the kingdom at Vatapi which is presently known as Badami, Bagalkot District in North Karnataka
. Within the Rajput and Gurjar community of Rajasthan
the name of the Solanki clan can be traced.
Mulraj Solanki was the first ruler of the Solanki Dynasty. He established the dynasty after overthrowing Samantsinh Chavda in 942. Mulraj Solanki's father was Raji who ruled in Gurjaratra region. He married Samantsinh Chavda's daughter. Mulraj was from Bhardwaj Gotra and Agnivanshi Kula. He lost his kingdom to Rashtrakut king Krishna III in 940 which forced him to move southward. Mulraj then annexed Anhilvad Patan from Chavda rulers in 942. He later married Madhavi, daughter of King Chauhan Bhoj. Mulraj's administration pattern resembled with that of the Gupta's. He welcomed many learned Brahmins-Brambhatta and other castes to settle in Saraswat mandal. Mulraj also established several temples and initiated construction of Rudra Mahalaya in Siddhpur. He was a kind hearted and brave ruler. His kingdoms included Saraswat and Satyapur Mandals, Kutch and some territories of Saurashtra. He died in 996.
Mulraj Solanki's reign marked the beginning of a period when the Gujarati culture flourished. The art, architecture, language and script of Gujarat also prospered under the rule of the Solankis. It is described as the golden period of Gujarat's history.
After Mulraj, Chamund ascended to the throne. He could not extend his kingdom. Later he was dethroned by his sister Chachinidevi who placed her son Vallabhraj on the throne. After Vallabhraj his brother Durlabhraj became the king. He married the sister of Chauhan Baliraj's son Mahendra of Naddul. After his death, his nephew Bhimdev became king in 1022.
Bhimdev I was the son of Nagraj and Laxmidevi. He had to conceal himself in the Kanthkot fort in Kutchh when Sultan Mahmud of Gazani attacked Anhilpur pattan in 1025. He also demolished the Somnath temple
. Later when he was chased out Bhimdev I reconstructed the Somnath temple. Apart from his own kingdom, Bhimdev I also ruled over Saurashtra, Kutchh, Abu and some parts of Khetak mandal and Mahimandals. He was married to Udaymati, a princess of Saurastra Narvahan Khengar from whom he had a son, Karndev. He had also married to Bauladevi from whom he had two sons named Xemraj and Mulraj. Bhimdev I is credited with constructing of famous temples like the Modhera Sun Temple and Stepwell of Udaymati. Bhimdev died in 1064 and Karndev ascended to the throne.
Karndev, son of Bhimdev proved to be a successful king. He had made an alliance with King Someshwar of Kalyani. He had extended his territories to Konkan in south and Naddul in north. He had married Karnataka's king Tribhuvanmalla's friend Jaykeshi's daughter Mayanalladevi. Karndev is credited with building many temples, lakes and cities. He was killed in the battle with Shakambhari's king Dushshal Chauhan.
Siddhraj Jaysinh, also known as Siddhraj Solanki was the next king to ascend to the throne. He is considered as the most prominent Solanki king. Jaysinh came on throne in 1096 at a very early age. Thus during his childhood the kingdom was protected by his mother and other mantris. Later when he ascended to the throne he conquered the Malwa defeating king Yashovarma and south Gujarat
. Siddhraj Jaysinh was bestowed with the title of 'Barbarak Jishnu' and 'Siddhraj.' He became Chakravarti after acquiring total control of the region under old Chakravarti kings. He undertook the construction of many lakes. He also renovated Rudramahal. Siddhraj died in 1143. Thereafter Kumarpal was declared the King of Patan
Kumarpal was the decedent of Bhimdev. He had fled from Siddhraj for a span of 30 years but later Udayan Mehta and Hemchandracharya helped him during his exile. Kumarpal had adopted the Jain religion in 1160 along with Shiv religion. He had been instrumental in banning animal slaughter and himself became a vegetarian.
He built 1440 Jain Vihars and also renovated the Somnath temple. In his old age he reduced interest in administration and left it to his faithful samants and mantries. Perhaps Kumarpal died in early 1174 due to poison given to him.
Ajaypal was the nephew of Kumarpal. Ajaypal proved to be a cruel and ruthless king. Under the leadership of Amrabhatt the group coupled with Hemchandracharya revolted against Ajaypal. Under the rule of Ajaypal the borders of Patan stretched from Gwaliar State to Narmada River
. He died in 1176 due to an injury caused by a pratihar named Vayjaldev. He had injured Ajaypal with a dagger. After Ajaypal his son Mulraj II became the next king. He ruled for two years and died in 1178. He was succeeded by his brother Bhimdev II.
Bhimdev proved to be a mighty ruler. During his rule many kingdoms like Gahadwal of Kanoj, Chandelas of Jejabhukti, Yadavs of Devgiri and Kalyani's Chalukyas turned to be Bhimdev's stern enemies. Bhimdev however along with his strong army kept his kingdom guarded against them. In 1197 Kutubuddin Aibak defeated the Gujarat army hence Bhimdev concealed himself in a safe place. In 1199, he defeated Aibak. Bhimdev died in 1241. His son, Tribhuvan pal, was the next king who ruled from 1241-1244.
During his reign the kingdom passed on to Visaldev with which the Solanki Dynasty came to an end. Visaldev was a decedent from Arnoraj Vaghela's son Lavanprasad. The Vaghela dynasty ruled Patan there after.