(Last Updated on : 16/09/2010)
History supports the fact that the Rajputs of Chandella dynasty are the descendants of the sage Chandratreya who was born of the moon. Their capital city was Khajuraho which was later changed to Mahoba. The former capital city was a part of Pratihara kingdom. Nannuk, a ruler of small kingdom was the founder of Chandella Dynasty. Khajuraho was a strong hold of Nannuk who was considered as the chief of his clan. Vakapati succeeded his father in the first quarter of tenth century. Vakapati had to often assist Pratiharas in the battle field, as he was a vassal of them. Some inscriptions prove that his territory extended till Vindhya hills. Jaishakti, the elder son, succeeded the throne and was successful in extending his empire. He was succeeded on the throne by his younger brother, Vajaishakti. According to inscriptions, Vijaishakti conquered a number of neighboring areas. Rahil, the son of Vijaishakti, lead the throne after him. The village Rahilya which is situated in south west of Mohaba was named after him. He had ruled for twenty years. He was succeeded by his son Harshdev around 900 A.D. He extended his dominion in his twenty five years of rule. During his reign, Rashtrakuta King Indra III, invaded and captured Kannauj. He had helped the Pratihara King Mahipal I to get back Kannauj. He further strengthened his position by marrying Kanchuka, a princess of a Chauhan clan of the Malwa region.
After Harshdev`s death Yashorvarman, son of Harshdev succeeded him. He began to annex the neighbouring areas of the Rashtrakuta kingdom. He proved to be an able general and a brave warrior. He captured Kalinjar and extended his empire in the north and in the south. He reached the banks of the Yasmuna in one direction and the borders of Chedi and Malwa in the other. Chandellas became gained supremacy by these military conquests.
Dhangdev ruled over Khajuraho from 945 A.D. to 1002 A.D. Chandellas reached the pinnacle of their power during his reign by expanding the territory and keeping intact of whatever his father had bequeathed to him. He annexed the eastern part of Pratihara`s kingdom lying north of the Yamuna. Kalinjar had attained great importance after Khajuraho and was regarded as the second capital of the kingdom. He was a great patron of art and literature. After the death of Dhangdev, Gand ascended the throne of Khajuraho. Though he ruled for fifteen years only it was a reign was of peace and prosperity. Vidyadhar succeeded his father Gand. Muslim invaders had started attacking and plundering India. Vidyadhar gathered all his strength in defending his country against the attack of Mahmud Ghazni. Vidyadhar was followed by his son Vijaipal. Kalchuris took away some of the Chandela territory.On a whole Vijaipal was able to maintain his remaining kingdom. Devvarman was the successor of Vijaipal, his son though not much information is available regarding him.
Kirtivarman, the brother of Dev Varman succeeded the throne and regained the territory which was taken away by Kalchuri. Kirtivarman`s successor was his son Sallakshan Varman reigned for a short period of time.
Jaivarman, his son succeeded him. He was possibly defeated by the Gaharwar ruler Govind Chandra, who conquered a part of the Chandela territory. Prithvivarman, his uncle, ascended the throne of Khajuraho after him which was again for a short duration of ten years.
Madanvarman, his son fought battles to regain the lost reputation of the Chandelas. He was a strong ruler of Kalinjar, Mahoba, Ajaigarh and Khajuraho. The temples building activity was once again seen in Khajuraho. Yashovarman II succeeded Madanvarman but had a very brief reign. After Yashovarman II died, Parmardidev, his son, occupied the throne. As the last of the greater Chandella rulers, he was crowned when he was a child. He ruled for a period of nearly thirty five years. The first few years of his reign were of peace. The storm came in the shape of a conflict with Prithviraj Chauhan
The Muslims were again trying to annex it. Kalinjar still remained in the hands of the Chandelas but Virvarman and Bhojvarman, were local chieftains. The last glimpse is afforded by the romantic history of the princess Durgavati, daughter of the Chandela Raja of Mahoba, who married the Gond Raja Dalpat Sa of Mandla, and was killed in battle with Asaf Khan.
This ends the legend of bravery, patrons of art and culture, rich and pious kings of the Chandella dynasty who ruled over central India for almost half a millennium. The outstanding contribution of the Chandellas was to build the famous temples of Khajuraho between the mid-10th and mid-11th centuries. The temples provide an example of north Indian temple architecture of that era. Chandellas are known to have endowed a large number of Jain and Hindu temples.