Rai dynasty

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Rai Dynasty

راءِ
524–632
CapitalAror
Religion
Hinduism
Buddhism[1]
GovernmentAbsolute Monarchy
Emperor 
Historical eraClassical India
• Established
524
• Disestablished
632
Area
c. 6001,553,993 km2 (600,000 sq mi)
Succeeded by
Brahmin dynasty

The Rai Dynasty (c. 524–632 CE)[2] was a power during the Classical period on the Indian subcontinent, which originated in the region of Sindh, later part of Pakistan.[1] The dynasty at its height ruled much of the Northwestern regions of the Indian subcontinent. The influence of the Rai's extended from Kashmir in the east, Makran and Debal port (modern Karachi) in the west, Surat port in the south, and the Kandahar, Sulaiman, Ferdan and Kikanan hills in the north.[1] It ruled an area of over 600,000 square miles (1,553,993 km2), and the dynasty reigned a period of 143 years.[1]

The Battle of Rasil in 644 played a crucial role in their decline. The battle resulted in the Rashidun Caliphate annexing the Makran coast .[3][4] The book Chach Nama chronicles the final demise of the Rai dynasty and the ascent of the Hindu Chach of Alor to the throne.

Rai emperors were patrons of Buddhism. They established a formidable temple of Shiva in present-day Sukkur, Pakistan, close to their capital in Aror. This is consistent with the historical accounts from the times of Ashoka and Harsha, as numerous monarchs from the subcontinent never sponsored a state religion and typically patronized all Dharmic religions.[5]

History[edit]

B. D. Mirchandani stated, "Our knowledge of the Rai dynasty, which is not a great deal, is derived entirely from three Muslim chronicles of Sind."[6] The history of the Rai and Brahman dynasties is almost entirely derived from the Muslim chronicles, especially the Chachnama and Shahnama.[5] The dynasty was launched by Adi Rai in the year 3044 of the Kaliyuga era, i.e., 58 B.C. He is said to have been contemporary of Vikramaditya of Dharanagari, Ujjain, to whom he professed allegiance. His son Dev Rai succeeded him after 48 years.[7] Sukh Dev Singh Charak rose to power in the shifting political scene with the wane of the Sassanid influence in the wake of the Hepthalite (White Hun/Huna) invasions. Rulers issued silver coins bearing their likeness by the 7th century.[5]

The Chachnama describes the Rai dynasty as a significant power of the time, as well as the extent of Rai Sahiras' domain:

The limits of his dominions extended on the east to the boundary of Kashmir, on the west to Makran, on the south to the coast of the sea and Debal, and on the north to the mountains of Kurdan and Kíkánán. He had appointed four Governors (Maliks) in his kingdom: one at Brahminabad; and the fort of Nerun and Debal, Luhánah, Lákhah. Sammah and the river were left under his management. Another at the town of Siwis-tán; and Ladhia, Chingán, the skirts of the hills of Rojhán up to the boundary of Makrán, were given into his charge. The third at the fort of Iskandah; and Báhíah, Stwárah, Jajhór, and the supplementary territories of Dhanód were given in his possession; and the fourth at the town of Multan; and the towns of Sikkah, Karnd, Ishthar, and Kíh up to the boundary of Kashmir were en¬trusted to him. The king himself had his headquarters in the city of Aror, retaining Kurdán, Kíkánán, and Bar-Hamas directly under his sway.[8]

Demise[edit]

According to the Chachnama, the last Rai emperor, Rai Sahasi II, died through illness without issue. By that time, Chach was in complete control of the affairs of the kingdom. When Rai Sahasi II was near death, Suhanadi explained to Chach that the kingdom would pass to other relatives of the dying king in the absence of any direct heir. Consequently, they hid the news of the king's death until claimants to the throne were killed through conspiracy. Following this, Chach declared himself a ruler and later married Suhandi. This ended the Rai Dynasty and began the dynasty of another Brahmin dynasties called Chach dynasty.[9]

Six months after death of Rai Sahasi his brother, Rana Maharath of Chittor, challenged Chach in combat, claiming to be rightful ruler of the Rai Dynasty. Chachnama states that Maharath was killed as the two engaged in a duel, in which it was forbidden to mount a horse or any other animal. During the duel Chach mounted a horse in order to kill his rival.[9][10]

Rulers[edit]

Andre Wink reports on the possibility of the corruption of the Sanskrit names and renders them as related in parenthesis in the following chronology of the Rai rulers of Sindh:[5]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Harsha and His Times: A Glimpse of Political History During the Seventh Century A.D. , Page 78 by Bireshwar Nath Srivastava (Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, 1976)
  2. ^ Al- Hind: The slave kings and the Islamic conquest, Volume I. Brill. p. 152.
  3. ^ Peter Crawford, The War of the Three Gods: Romans, Persians and the Rise of Islam, (Pen & Sword, 2013), 192.[1]
  4. ^ André Wink, Al-hind: The Making of the Indo-islamic World, Vol. I, (E.J. Brill, 1990), 133.[2]
  5. ^ a b c d Wink, Andre (1996). Al Hind: The Making of the Indo-Islamic World. BRILL. p. 152. ISBN 90-04-09249-8.
  6. ^ Mirchandani, B. D.; Glimpses of Ancient Sind[page needed]
  7. ^ A Short History of Jammu Raj: From Earliest Times to 1846 A.D.p.44.Ajaya Prakashan, 1985.
  8. ^ The Chachnamah: ancient history of Sind. Translated from the Persian by Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg. Commissioner's Press (1900).[page needed]
  9. ^ a b "Chach Nama - The queen falls in love with Chach who becomes the Ruler through her love", Packhum.org
  10. ^ "Chach fights with Maha-rat and kills him by a strategem", Packhum.org
Preceded by
Ror Dynasty
Rai Dynasty
489–690 AD
Succeeded by
Islamic Invasion / Chach of Alor


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