Solanki dynasty

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This article is about dynasty which ruled Gujarat. For clan name, see Solanki (clan).
Solanki dynasty

c. 960–1243

Capital Anhilwad (modern Patan, Gujarat
Religion Shaivism, Jainism
Government Monarchy
 •  940- Mularaja
Bhimdev I
 •  -1096 Karandev I
 •  1096-1143 Siddharaj Jaisinh
 •  1143-1172 Kumarapala
 •  1172-1243 Bal Mulraj
 •  Established c. 960
 •  Disestablished 1243

The Solanki dynasty once ruled parts of what is now Gujarat, and Kathiawar, India (950-1300). They are also known as the Chalukyas of Gujarat or as the Solanki Rajputs. The dynasty ended when Alauddin Khalji conquered Gujarat.[1]

Gujarat was a major center of Indian Ocean trade, and their capital at Anhilwara (modern Patan, Gujarat) was one of the largest cities in India, with population estimated at 100,000 in the year 1000. In 1026, the temple complex of Somnath in Gujarat was destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni. After 1243, the Solankis lost control of Gujarat to their feudatories, of whom the Vaghela dynasty of Dholka came to dominate Gujarat. After 1292, the Vaghelas became tributaries of the Seuna dynasty of Devagiri in the Deccan Plateau.


Historians D. R. Bhandarkar and Hoernle hold the view that Chalukyas, i.e., Solankis, were one of the ruling clans of Gurjaras (or Gujjars), citing the name change of Lata province to Gurjaratra during the reign. Bhandarkar explains that If the Chalukyas had not been Gurjars, it is inconceivable how that province could have named Gurjaratra (country ruled or protected by Gurjars) when it was up-till their advent known as Lata. However, according to the scholar D. P. Dikshit, the Chalukyas ruled over that part of country formerly known as Lata and taken as Gurjaratra or Gujarat implied the Chalukyas made a change in the nomenclature because of their close association with the region.[2] V. A. Smith and A. M. T. Jackson also endorsed the view that Chalukyas were a branch of famous Gurjar (or Gujjars).[3]

Solanki rule[edit]


Main article: Mularaja

Mularaja supplanted the last Chavda king of Gujarat and founded an independent kingdom with his capital in Anahilapataka in 940-941 AD.[1] He was a Shaiva king operating within Brahmanical and Vedic paradigms of kingship. He built Mulavasatika (Mula's residence) temple for Digambaras and the Mulanatha-jinadeva (the Jina who is Mula's lord) temple for the Svetambaras.[4]

Bhimdev I[edit]

Sun Temple of Modhera built by Bhimdev I

Bhimdev I succeeded Mulraj. He built Sun Temple, of Modhera. His wife Udaymati built the Rani ki vav step-well in his memory.

The guardian family deity of the Solanki was Somnath at Prabhas. It was during the Solanki's rule that the scared shrine was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni.

Karandev I[edit]

Bhimdev's successor Karandev I defeated a Bhil chieftain and founded Karnavati which is now known as Ahmedabad. Karandev married Minaldevi by whom he begot Siddhraj Jaisinh.

Siddharaj Jaisinh[edit]

Siddharaj Jaisinh ruled for half a century starting in 1094 and enlarged the kingdom to become an empire. The Rudra Mahakala Temple at Siddhapur is an architectural expression of his rule.[1]

Hemachandra, a Jain monk, rose to prominence and had good relation with the king. Apart from Saurashtra and Kutch, Jaysinh also conquered Malwa. One of the favourite legends of the Gujarat bards is woven around the siege of Junagadh by Jaysinh. The fort was ultimately captured by him along with Ranakdevi, wife of the Chudasama ruler Ra Khengar. Ranakdevi preferred to commit sati rather than remarry Jaisinh and he was persuaded to allow her to burn herself on a pyre at Wadhwan. Ranakdevi Temple still stands in Wadhwan at the site of her death.[citation needed]


Siddhraj's successor Kumarpal's reign lasted for 31 years from 1143 to 1174 AD. He too had good relationship with Hemchandracharya and he propagated Jainism during his rule in Gujarat. He rebuilt Somnath temple. During Kumarpal's reign, Gujarat's prosperity was at its peak.

Bal Mulraj[edit]

Bal Mulraj successfully repelled the incursions of Mahmud of Ghor who had the ambition of repeating the act performed by Mahmud Ghazni.


Main article: Vaghela dynasty

After the fall of Solanki rule, the Hindu Vaghela dynasty, who had been in the service of the Solankis, established a short-lived (76 years) but powerful dynasty. The rulers of this dynasty were responsible for consolidating the stabilising the prosperity of Gujarat after the fall of the Solankis but the last of them, Karandev, was defeated and overthrown by Alauddin Khilji in 1297. With his defeat, Gujarat became part of the Delhi Sultanate.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Sen, Sailendra (2013). A Textbook of Medieval Indian History. Primus Books. p. 28-29. ISBN 978-9-38060-734-4. 
  2. ^ D. P. Dikshit (1980). Political History of the Chalukyas of Badami. Abhinav Publications. 
  3. ^ N. Jayapalan (2001). History of India. Atlantic Publishers & Distri. p. 146. ISBN 978-81-7156-928-1. 
  4. ^ Cort 1988, p. 87.