The Pratiharas are generally thought to be descended from the Gurjara clan, who appeared in northern India in the aftermath of the Hephthalite or Huna invasion at the end of the fifth century. In the sixth century the Pratiharas established a state based at Mandor, near modern Jodhpur, that grew to dominate Rajasthan.
Nagabhata I (730-756) extended his control east and south from Mandor, conquering Malwa as far as Gwalior and the port of Bharuch in Gujarat. He established his capital at Ujjain in Malwa, and checked the expansion of the Arabs, who had established themselves in Sind.
Nagabhata I was followed by two weak successors, who were in turn succeeded by Vatsaraja (775-805). Vatsaraja sought to capture Kanauj, which had been the capital of the seventh-century empire of Harsha. His ambitions brought the Pratiharas into conflict with the Pala dynasty of Bengal and the Rashtrakutas of the northern Deccan, with whom they would contest for primacy in northern India for the next two centuries. Vatsaraja unsuccessfully challenged the Pala ruler Dharmapala (c. 775-810) for control of Kanauj. In about 786 the Rashtrakuta ruler Dhruva (c. 780-793) crossed the Narmada River into Malwa, and from there tried to capture Kanauj. Vatsaraja was defeated by Dhruva around 800, and died in 805.
Vatsraja was succeeded by Nagabhata II (805-833). Nagabhata II was initially defeated by the Rashtrakuta king Govinda III (793-814), but later recovered Malwa from the Rashtrakutas, conquered Kanauj and the Ganges plain as far as Bihar from the Palas, and again checked the Muslims in the west. He rebuilt the great Shiva temple at Somnath in Gujarat, which had been demolished in an Arab raid from Sind. Kanauj became the center of the center of the Pratihara state, which covered much of northern India during the peak of their power, c. 836-910.
Rambhadra (833-c. 836) briefly succeeded Nagabhata II. Bhoja I or Mihirbhoj (c. 836-886) suffered some initial defeats by the Pala king Devapala (810-850), but recovered to expand the Pratihara dominions west to the border of Sind, east to Magadha, and south to the Narmada. His son Mahendrapala I (885-910) expanded further eastwards in Magadha, Bengal, and Assam.
Bhoja II (910-912) was overthrown by Mahipala (912-914). Several feudatories of the empire took advantage of the temporary weakness of the Pratiharas to declare their independence, notably the Paramaras of Malwa, the Chandelas of Bundelkhand, and the Kalachuris of Mahakoshal. The Rashtrakuta king Indra III (c.914-928) briefly captured Kanauj in 916, and although the Pratiharas regained the city, their position continued to weaken in the tenth century, partly as a result of the drain of simultaneously fighting off Turkic attacks from the west and the Pala advances in the east. The Pratiharas lost control of Rajasthan to other Rajput clans, and the Chandelas captured the strategic fortress of Gwalior c. 950. By the end of the tenth century the Pratihara domains had dwindled to a small kingdom centered on Kanauj. Mahmud of Ghazni sacked Kanauj in 1018, and the Pratihara king Rajapala fled. The Chandela ruler Gauda captured and killed Rajapala, placing Rajapala's son Trilochanpala on the throne as a proxy. Jasapala, the last Pratihara king of Kanauj, died in 1036.
|MIDDLE KINGDOMS OF INDIA|
|Timeline:||Northern empires||Southern Kingdoms||Foreign kingdoms|
6th century BCE