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Mewar as Focus of Guhila State (Part-XX)

As the Guhila State grew it forged socio-political and economic bonds with locally important communities including the Bhils of Mewar. — Prof. Nandini Kapur Sinha


Here I give a detailed account of the family based on this record: In the Tämarâda family, there was a man named Uddhârana who, being able to protect the good and punish the wicked, was made the talarakºa of Nägadrahapura by the King Mâthanasimha, and who had eight sons, he eldest of whom was Yogaraja, who in turn was made talâra in the eity by the King Padmasimha. His (Yogarâja’s) younger brother was Ratabhû, whose son was Kelhana. Kelhana’s son was Udayi, whose Son was Karmana. Yogarâja had four sons, namely Pamarâja, Mahendra, Campaka and Kºema, of whom Pamarâja was killed fighting the army oF Suratrâna (Sultan) near Bhûtâlâ, while Nâgadrahapura was destroyed. Mahendra had three sons named Bäla (Bâlaka), Alhâdana and Vãyaja. Balaka’s son was Pehaka, whose son was Sâmanta, a worshipper of Visnu. While Kotadâka was being taken and a battle with Rânã Tribhuvana was being fought, Bâlaka was killed fighting in front of the King Jaitrasirmha.203 His clever wife Bholi, being unable to bear the pains of separation of her husband, became sati. Campaka had a son named Räjasimha whose son was Bhacumda. Through the favour of the King Jaitrasimha, Kºema secured the post of talarakºaka of Citrakûa. His son named Ratna was killed along with Bhimasimha in a battle fought at the foot of the fortress of Citrakûta. Ratna’s son was Läla and his brother was Madana. The latter proved his valour in the battle field of Utthinaka. Jaitramnalla’s son Râjasimha on being made a minister, paid him (Madana) much respect. Through the favour of the King Samarasimha, he (Madana) succeeded his father to the post of talaraksaka of Citrakûa, when he worshipped Siva in the temple of Tribhuvananârãyaòa built by King Bhoja. Madana’s son was Mohana. Surrounded by hills and beautiful sights, the village Cirakûpa is situated near Nâgdâ and was given as a gift by the King Padmasimha to Yogar·ja serving in his army. The latter built there the temples of Yogeúvara and Yogeúvari which were restored later on by Madana who granted Some land near the lake Kâlelãya for the maintenance of these temples. Another beautiful temple of Visnu called Uddhârana Svâmi had formerly been built there by Uddhãrana. Vâyaraka, Pâaka, Munda, Bhuvana, 1eja, Sämanta, Ariyâputra, Madana and their descendants were urged to preserve the grant fully.

Here is a clear instance of a process in which a local family of a non- Rajput and a non-Jain, social background attained upward social mobility. Functioning as talaraksaka of Nâgdâ in itself is evidence of the family’s Prior importance in the locality of Nãgdâ. The record clearly states that Uddharana was famous for ‘protecting the good and punishing the wicked’. Appointments by royal authority benefited both the Tâmtarâda family and the state. The family’s career prospects grew in the service of the state as its members graduated from the post of talaraksaka of Nâgdâ to that of the capital town, Chittaurgarh, and as they became captains in Mewar’s army. On the other hand, the state not only expanded and strengthened its base by crossing the Rajput-Brähmana-Jain barriers by integrating a locally important family of an entirely different social background through various important administrative and military appointments; but also checked the growing influence of the locally entrenched Rajput families.

The village of Cirakûpa not only took care of remunerations for their services but also expanded the social base of the state in the Nagdã belt. During the course of the thirteenth century, the Tämarâda family had undoubtedly emerged as a focal point in the local elite network.

The other influential social group in thirteenth-century Mewar seems to have been that of the kâyasthas. However, even if they had already figured as wealthy, local notables in the seventh century and as officials in the tenth century, we do not have records mentioning any kâyastha functionaries in the thirteenth century. However, their prosperity in general is evident from the discovery of a record of a kâyastha family of Chittaurgarh. A Chittaurgarh Pillar Inscription, dated AD 1287, of the reign of Samarasirmha records the grant of few dramma coins to the temple of Vaidyanâtha, situated on the bank of Citrânga lake, by Vijada, son of Kâyastha Pacasiga. The record is too short to throw light on Vijada’s ancestral home. We do not know whether he was a migrant or originally belonged to Chittaurgarh. Like the family of Vijada, a few more Kâyastha families might have emerged as prosperous families in Chittaurgarh in this period. At least the family of Vijada must have been part of the local elite and thus may have functioned as a link between the state and other Kâyastha families. Their status is evident from the wealth they possessed which seems to have distinguished them.

The Bhils in the State Formation of Mewar 

In my discussion of the Bhil-Guhila relationship between the seventh and tenth centuries, I remarked on the political implications of B legends relating to the settlement of the early Guhilas in Mewar hills indicating a possibly violent transfer of power as well as on Guhila records suggesting the peasantization of core-area Bhils. The long drawn out relationship between the Guhilas and the Bhils of the Oghna-Panarwa and the Undri (see Map 9) seems to have reached a significant stage in the period between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries. The latter part of the period seems to have coincided with the incorporation of the local Bhíl chíefs into the political structure of the Guhila state. The problems of integration demanded that the Bhil chiefs of the core-e be conferred with a suitable political rank. The prestigious title of rânã (status equivalent to the royal kinsmen) was conferred upon the Bhil chief of Oghna-Panarwa. This Bhil chief was one of the autochthonous chiefs. The earliest documented evidence of the title of ränâ for the chief of Panarwa comes from the Sisodiyãn ri Khyãt of he seventeenth century. Nainsi refers to Rânâ Dayâldas Bhil, the chief of Panarwa. It is equally significant that Nainsi also refers to Ravat Narasinhadâs, the Bhil chief of Nahesar, the area of Jura (south-west of Panarwa). Since different Bhil chiefs bore different titles - rãnã and rãvat, the possibility that these political titles were conferred on the Bhil chiefs by the state is strong. Nainsi also reports that Panarwa was the ‘place’ for refuge for the Bhils which belonged to the mahârânã. Hence an important historical source of the seventeenth century points to traditions of close alliance between the Bhils of Panarwa and the Guhilas.

(to be continued...)

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