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The Solanki dynasty were an Agnivanshi rajput clan. Gujarat was a major center of Indian Ocean trade, and their capital at Anhilwara (Patan) was one of the largest cities in India, with population estimated at 100,000 in the year 1000. In 1026, the Somnath temple in Gujarat was destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni. After 1243, the Solankis lost control of Gujarat to their feudatories, of whom the Vaghela chiefs of Dholka came to dominate Gujarat. In 1292 the Vaghelas became tributaries of the Yadava dynasty of Devagiri in the Deccan.
Early Gujrat (Gurjara Des) ruling clans
Dadda, the founder of Pratihara dynasty, established rule at Nandipur (Nandol). Dadda III wrested Broach from the Maitraks whose citadel had started shaking. In fact, there were three powerful dynasties which were ruling different parts of Gujarat: the rajputs had their sway over the north, the Chalukyas ruled the south and the Maitraks were saddled in Saurashtra. The vacuum created by the fall of the Maitraka dynasty was filled up by the Pratiharas from the north and Rashtrakutas from the south.
As vassals of the Valabhis, or Chavdas held their sway over parts of north Gujarat. They assumed independent control after the fall of Valabhi. Vanraj Chavda, the most prominent of the eight Chavada kings, founded Chavda dynasty and the new capital at Anhilpur Patan. he reconquered his father's lost territories and founded the Chapa Dynasty which lasted a shade under a century.
The guardian family deity of the Solanki was Somnath at Prabhas. Ironically, it was during the Solanki's rule that the scared shrine was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni who defiled and despoiled the fabulously rich shrine and put 50,000 Hindus to sword. The temple was destroyed with its Linga during the regime of Bhimdev I.
Jaisinh Solanki, known by the title "Siddharāja", succeeded Karandev I and ruled for 47 years starting in 1094. 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.sidharaj also had a daughter named harivardhini who was exceptionally good at war stratergies and strong determined nature. however no records are found what happened to this princess in records after ranakdevi's death .
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 successfully repelled the incursions of Mahmud of Ghor who had the ambition of repeating the act performed by Mahmud Ghazni.
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 ].
- Vincent A. Smith. 'White Hun' Coin of Vyaghramukha of the Chapa Dynasty of Bhinmal:Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Volume 1999. Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland. p. 926. JSTOR 25210490.
The chavadas seems to have been a branch of the Gurjara des ruling [Parmaras] who extended the power of the race in the south
- Chintaman Vinayak Vaidya (1979). History of mediaeval Hindu India, Volume 1. Cosmo Publications. p. 355.