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Origins and history
Legend has it that a Kshatriya named Vijayasena founded the city around the 3rd century. The Maitrakas, descending from general Bhatarka, a military governor of Saurashtra peninsula during Gupta ruler Skandagupta (455-467), had ruled the peninsula and parts of southern Rajasthan from Vallabhi from the fifth to the eighth centuries. The founder of the dynasty, Senapati (general) Bhatarka, was a military governor of Saurashtra peninsula under Gupta Empire, who had established himself as the independent ruler of Gujarat approximately in the last quarter of 5th century. The first two Maitraka rulers Bhatarka and Dharasena I used only the title of Senapati (general). The third ruler Dronasimha declared himself as the Maharaja. King Guhasena stopped using the term Paramabhattaraka Padanudhyata along his name like his predecessors, which denotes the cessation of displaying of the nominal allegiance to the Gupta overlords. He was succeeded by His son Dharasena II, who used the title of Mahadhiraja. His son, the next ruler Siladitya I, Dharmaditya was described by Hiuen Tsang as a "monarch of great administrative ability and of rare kindness and compassion". Siladitya I was succeeded by his younger brother Kharagraha I. Virdi copperplate grant (616 CE) of Kharagraha I proves that his territories included Ujjain. During the reign of the next ruler, his son Dharasena III north Gujarat was included in this kingdom. Dharasena II was succeeded by another son of Kharagraha I, Dhruvasena II, Baladitya. He married the daughter of Harshavardhana. His son Dharasena IV assumed the imperial titles of Paramabhattaraka Mahrajadhiraja Parameshvara Chakravartin. Sanskrit poet Bhatti was his court poet. The next powerful ruler of this dynasty was Siladitya III. During the reign of Siladitya V, Arabs probably invaded this kingdom. The last known ruler of this dynasty was Siladitya VII. The Maitrakas came under the rule of Harsha in the mid-seventh century, but retained local autonomy, and regained their independence after Harsha's death. Maitraka rule ended with the sacking of Vallabhi by the barbarians in 524, according to James Tod and in second or third quarter of the 8th century by various other scholars. There is no agreement among the scholars as to who these barbarians were.
Vallabhi has been a famous Jain center. It was here in 453 or 466 AD, the Vallabhi council of the Jains produced in writing the religious canon under the head of the shraman Devardhigani. But when the Chinese traveller Xuanzang visited Vallabhi during the second quarter of 7th century, he found its ruler to be a Buddhist follower. When Itsing, another Chinese traveller visited Vallabhi in the last quarter of 7th century, he found the city as a great center of learning including Buddhism. Gunamati and Sthiramati are stated to be two famous Buddhist scholars of Vallabhi at the middle of seventh century. Vallabhi was famous for its catholicity and the students from all over the country, including the Brahmana boys, visited it to have higher education in secular and religious subjects. We are told that the graduates of Vallabhi were given higher executive posts.
Gajni or Gayni is one of the ancient names of port of Vallabhi (Cambay), the ruins of which are about three miles from the modern city. H. A. Rose and several other scholars have identified this Gajni with the Gajni referenced in the traditions of Karnal Kamboj (Garh Gajni Nikaas, Lachhoti Ghaggar). This and some other traditions of Karnal Kamboj seem to connect them with Vallabhi (Kambay) in Saurashtra.
" The barbarians had captured Gajni. The house of Siladitya was left desolate. In its defence, his hero fell; of his seed but the name remains ". This reference seems to connect the ancestors of the Sisodias to the same Gajni as of the Kamboj traditions.
- Roychaudhuri, H.C. (1972). Political History of Ancient India, University of Calcutta, Calcutta, pp.553-4
- Mahajan V.D. (1960, reprint 2007). Ancient India, S.Chand & Company, New Delhi, ISBN 81-219-0887-6, pp.594-6
- Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, Vol I, 2002, pp 177, 187.
- History and Culture of Indian People, Classical age, p 150, (Ed) Dr A. D. Pusalkar, Dr R. C. Majumdar.
- Annals and Antiquities of Mewar, 2002, Vol I, pp pp 178, 202, James Tod.
- Glossary of Tribes, 1914, p 444fn, Sqq., H. A. Rose; Ancient Kambojas, People and the Country, 1981, p 306, Dr J. L. Kamboj; The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, p 416, S Kirpal Singh
- Op cit., p 444fn, Sqq., H. A. Rose; The Kambojas Through the Ages, 2005, pp 416-417, S Kirpal Singh, Ancient Kambojas, People and the Country, 1981, p 305-306, Dr J. L. Kamboj.
- Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, 2002, Vol-I, pp 178, 71, James Tod.