Rai dynasty

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Rai Empire
489–690
Capital Aror
Religion Hinduism
Government Absolute Monarchy
Emperor Rai Diwa
Rai Sahiras
Rai Sahasi I
Rai Sahasi II
Historical era Classical India
 -  Established 489
 -  Disestablished 690

Rai (c. AD 489–690) was a dynasty of Sindh, in modern Pakistan. The influence of the Rai Empire extended from Kashmir in the east, Makran and Debal port (modern Karachi) in the west, Surat port in Gujarat the south, and the Kandahar, Sistan, Suleyman, Ferdan and Kikanan hills in the north. This is consistent with the historical accounts from the times of Emperor Ashoka and Harsha because Indian monarchs never sponsored a state religion and usually patronized more than one faith.The Dynasty ruled for a period of 202 years.[1]

Rule of Rai Sahasi II[edit]

King Rai Meharsan II was killed by arrow during a war with Nimruz of Fars. Following this Rai Sahasi II became ruler of the Rai Dynasty. Rai Sahasi appointed four Governors (Maliks) to protect the interests of his kingdom and people, to facilitate repairs to state buildings, and to manage feudal assignees and estate-holders. His kingdom and subjects, which he ran with firm control, showed no opposition or challenge to his measures or defined boundaries.[citation needed]

Rai Sáhasi's chamberlain (wazir) Rám, a Brahman, was considered widely-knowledgeable. Rám's assistant was fellow-Brahman Chach, son of Selaij; Chach had impressed Rám with his talents. Chach later became Sahasi Rai's assistant secretary, and following Rai Sáhasi's death, he was appointed Sahasi Rai's chamberlain and secretary.[citation needed]

End of the Rai Dynasty[edit]

After the Muslim Arabs defeated the Sassanid Persia (641 CE), they prepared for the Islamic conquest of the Indian Subcontinent, an area where Hinduism and Buddhism flourished. In 644, following the Muslim conquest of Persia, the Rashidun Army entered Makran and defeated the army of Raja Rasil in a decisive Battle of Rasil, and annexed Makran and eastern Balochistan. Caliph Umar (634-644), disapproved of any incursion beyond the Indus river and ordered his commander to consolidate their position west of Indus.[2] During the reign of Caliph Uthman ibn Affan (644-656), Muslims captured Qanzabil in northern Sindh, which held a major military garrison of the Rai Dynasty, which from that point served as the eastern-most garrison town for the Rashidun Army. In 662, during the Ummayad Caliphate, Qanzabil was retaken by the Rai kingdom.

The Rai Emperors fought numerous battles with Muslims, resisting the north-west Subcontinent invasion. The numerous wars drained the Rai economy and the Empire disappeared. Dr. R. S. Sharma suggests, in Shahnameh,[clarification needed] that the dynasty retreated to the Himalayan mountains with Hepthalite allies during the Islamic conquest, and that Rai history from that point was lost to Indian literature.[citation needed]

According to Chachnama, the last Rai emperor Rai Sahasi II died through illness without any issue. By that time Chach was in complete control of the affairs of the kingdom. However, when Rai Sahasi II was near to death, Suhanadi explained to Chach that the kingdom would pass to other relatives of the dying king in absence of any direct heir to the kingdom. Consequently, they kept secret the news of the king's death until claimants to the throne were killed through conspiracy. Following this, Chach declared himself ruler and later married Suhandi. This ended the Rai Dynasty and began the dynasty of Chach.[3] 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.[3][4]

Chronology of Rai rulers of Sindh[edit]

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:[1]

Name Notes
Rai Diwa ji (Devaditya) He was a powerful chief who forged alliances and extended his rule east of Makran and
west of Kashmir, south to the port of Karachi and north to Kandahar.[5]
Rai Sahiras (Shri Harsha)
Rai Sahasi (Sinhasena)
Rai Sahiras II Died battling the King of Nimroz.[6]
Rai Sahasi II The last Rai ruler of Sindh.
Preceded by
Ror Dynasty
Rai Dynasty
489–690 AD
Succeeded by
Islamic Invasion / Chach of Alor

Sources[edit]

B. D. Mirchandani writes, "Our knowledge of the Rai dynasty, which is not a great deal, is derived entirely from three Muslim chronicles of Sind."[7] The history of the Rai and Brahman dynasties is almost entirely dependent on the Muslim chronicles, especially the Chachanama and Shahnama.[8]

The history of the Rai dynasty is entirely based upon Muslim chronicles such as the Chach Nama and the Shahnameh, thereby dating them to about the 5th century.[1]

They rise to power in the time period of shifting political scene with the wane of the Sassanid influence in the wake of the Hepthalite (White Hun/Huna) invasions, and with the rulers issuing silver coins bearing their likeness by the 7th century.[1]

The Chachnama describes the extant 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 head-quarters in the city of Aror, retaining Kurdán, Kíkánán, and Bar-hamas directly under his sway.[9]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Wink pg.152
  2. ^ "Digital South Asia Library: History", Imperial Gazetteer of India, volume 6, p. 275. Uchicago.edu. Retrieved April 14, 2013
  3. ^ a b "Chach Nama - The queen falls in love with Chach who becomes the Ruler through her love", Packhum.org
  4. ^ "Chach fights with Maha-rat and kills him by a strategem", Packhum.org
  5. ^ Elliot. p. 405
  6. ^ Khusru Naushirwan and Khusru Parvis have both been postulated however it more likely that it was a governor of Fars. Elliot. p. 405
  7. ^ Mirchandani, B. D.; Glimpses of Ancient Sind[page needed]
  8. ^ Wink, André; Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World P. 152
  9. ^ The Chachnamah: an ancient history of Sind. Translated from the Persian by Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg. Commissioner's Press (1900).[page needed]
  • The Chach-nama. English translation by Mirza Kalichbeg Fredunbeg. Delhi Reprint, 1979.
  • Wink, Andre, Al Hind the Making of the Indo Islamic World, Brill Academic Publishers, January 1, 1996, ISBN 90-04-09249-8 pg.
  • Elliot, Henry Miers, The History of India, as Told by Its Own Historians. The Muhammadan Period. Volume 1, Adamant Media Corporation, ISBN 0-543-94726-2

External links[edit]