There were several branches of the Chahamanas dynasty. The main branch of rules in Shakambhari modern sambhar in Jaipur and the other ruling in different places were collateral. Some of these were unquestionably the feudatories of the Pratiharas.
Early Rulers of the Chahamanas Dynasty
- Vasudeva founded the mainline in the middle of the 6th-century A.D. with Ahichchhatra as the seat of his power.
- Taking advantage of the weakness of the Pratiharas consequent to their struggle with the Rashtrakutas.
- The next important ruler Vakapatiraja defied the authority of the Pratiharas.
- During his reign, the Chahamana family acquired a distinctly hire status as is revealed by his assumption of the title Maharaja.
- He built Pushkar temple for Shiva, Vakapati had three sons- Simharaja, Vatsaraja, and Lakshmana.
Simharaja and Vigraharaja-II of Chahamanas Dynasty
- Simharaja was the first prince of the family who assumed the title of Maharajadhiraja.
- This indicates that he made himself independent of the Imperial Pratiharas of Kannauj.
- Simharaja son and successor Vigraharaja-II was the real founder of the future greatness of the family.
- He overran and Gujarat forced the Chalukya Mularaja to take refuge at Kanthakot in Kutch.
- He extended his conquest as far south as the Narmada.
Prithviraja-I and Ajayaraja-II
- Prithviraja-I is reputed to have killed a body of 700 Chalukyas who had come to Pushkar to rob the brahmins.
- From the time of his son and successor Ajayaraja-II, the Chahamanas begin to purpose an aggressive Imperial policy.
- He founded the city of Ajayamery or Ajmer and enlarged and decorated it with magnificent palaces.
- Ajayaraja was succeeded by his son Arnaraja.
- He had to acknowledge the suzerainty of his daughter in marriage with him.
- The matrimonial Alliance established peace for a short duration but hostilities broke out afresh with the accession of Kumarapala to the Chalukya Throne.
Vigraharaja-III of the Chahamanas Dynasty
- He was a great conqueror of the Chahamanas dynasty and extended the frontiers of his Kingdom in different directions.
- He conquered Delhi from the Tomaras and took possession of Hansi in the Hisar District in Punjab.
- In the south, he plundered the Chalukya Dominion of Kumarapala and thus Avenged the defeat inflicted upon his father by the Chalukyas.
- His Kingdom included perhaps a substantial portion of Punjab lying between the Sutlej and the Yamuna.
- In the northeast, a portion of the north Gangetic plain formed a part of his Empire.
- Vigraharaja was an author of repute.
- He composed the celebrated drama Harikely Nataka.
- Among the many temples built by him at Ajmer, the Saraswati mandir is undoubtedly the best.
Prithviraja-II and Somesvara of the Chahamanas Dynasty
- During the rule of Prithviraja-II, a grandson of Arnoaja, the age-long conflict with the Muslims was renewed.
- Prithviraj-II was succeeded by his uncle Someshwara son of Arnoraja.
- While staying at Kumarapala’s court marriage a Kalachuri princess Kapuradevi
- gave birth to two sons Prithviraja-III and Hariraja.
Prithviraja-III of the Chahamanas Dynasty
- One of the early exploits of Prithviraja-III of the Chahamanas dynasty was to suppress the revolt of his cousin Nagarjuna.
- He then invaded the Chandela Kingdom and defeated its King Paramardi.
- Thereafter he invaded the Chalukya Kingdom of Gujarat and forced Chalukya Bhima-II to conclude a Treaty.
- Prithviraja-III also entered into hostility with Jayachandra Ghahadwala ruler of Kannauj.
- It is related that Jayachandra organized a svayamvara ceremony for the marriage of his beautiful daughter Sanyogita.
- Prithviraj was not invited.
- Prithviraja succeeded in carrying off the Ghahadvala Princess by force.
- It was not till the capture of the strong Fort of Tabarhindah identified with Sirhind, by Shihab- Ud-din the Prithviraja become conscious of the gravity of the situation Prithviraja met the Enemy At the fateful field of Tarain in 1190-91.
- The first battle of Tarain was disastrous for the Sultan.
- Despite this victory, Prithviraja-III did not take adequate steps to guard the North Western Frontier of his empire and allowed himself to dissipate his energy in fighting the Gahadwala king Jayachandra.
- Meanwhile, Shihab-Ud-din came to Tarain in 1192 practically unopposed by passing through Multan and Lahore.
- 100000 shoulders were killed in the battle including Govindaraja chief of Delhi.
- Prithviraja himself was taken Prisoner and executed thereafter.
- Many distinguished scholars and poets from different parts of the country gathered around the court of king Prithviraja-III himself to become the theme of two great poems, Prithviraja Vijay and Prithviraja Raso written by his Court poets Jayanaka and Chandra (Chandrabardai) respectively.