TRIPARTITE STRUGGLE | Medieval history for UPSC by Tirthankar Roychowdhary | EDEN IAS
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AGE OF THREE EMPIRES (TRIPARTITE STRUGGLE):
Kannauj located in the central Gangetic valley was a very important center for trade and commerce. Hence obviously all the dominant dynasties of the time fought for power and control over this area. The dominant dynasties of this time were Gurjara-Pratiharas, Palas and Rashtrakutas. Historians often describe this fight between the three dominant dynasties of 8th century as the tripartite struggle.
Palas ruled the eastern parts of India and Pratiharas dominated western India and Rashtrakutas controlled Deccan regions of India. The tripartite struggle ultimately ended in favor of Nagabhata II, Gurjara –Pratihara ruler.
Causes of tripartite sruggle
• Kannauj was the erstwhile capital of Harshavardhana Empire in North India. The following were the causes which provoked tripartite struggle,
• Kannauj was the symbol of prestige and power during early medieval period.
• Control of Kannauj also implied control of Central Gangetic valley which had plenty of resources and thus it was both strategically and commercial important.
• This center was best for trade and commerce as it was connected to silk route.
Beginning of tripartite struggle :
The Pratihara ruler named Vatsaraja was very ambitious about Kannauj. Similarly Dharmapala, the Pala ruler also wanted to rule over Kannauj. And thus these two rulers were into a conflict. Vatsaraja defeated Dharmapala in a battle at Gangetic Doab. And at the same time Vatsaraja was defeated by the Rashtrakuta king Dhruva. Dhruva also defeated Dharmapala. Finally this pronounced enmity led to Tripartite Struggle between Palas, Rashtrakutas and Pratiharas.
Course of tripartite struggle:
After the attack by Dhruva, Dharmapala could manage to get back control over his territory and placed Chakrayudha on the throne of Kannauj. But soon Nagabhata II, the successor of Pratihara ruler Vatsaraja conquered Kannauj and drove away Chakrayudha. Later Nagabhata II also defeated Dharmapala.
The struggle for Kannauj became more severe after the Nagabhata II exercised control over it. During the rule of Rashtrakuta ruler Krishna III, there was successful campaign against the Cholas. The Rashtrakutas also formed a matrimonial relationship with other feudal kings. However, by the end of the 9th Century the power of the Rashtrakutas started to decline along with the Palas. And by the end of the tripartite struggle, the Pratiharas emerged victorious and established themselves as the rulers of central India.
Result of tripartite of struggle:
Tripartite struggle led to weakening of all the three empires which eventually resulted into their decline. This resulted in lack of centralised political power in northen India and rise of small feudal states.
THE AGE OF CONFLICTS AND INVASION:
Invasions of GHAZNI:
Mahmud of Ghazni was the first independent ruler of the Ghaznavid dynasty, ruling from 999 to 1030.
Reasons for invasions of GHAZNI:
• He wanted to establish the glory of Islam by destroying the images of the Hindu gods and spreading Islam.
• He wanted to loot the wealth of India.
• He wanted wealth also to meet the cost of the army and warfare for he wanted the expansion of his empire.
• He wanted to satisfy his ego as one of the greatest conquerors of the world.
Course of his invasions:
In 1001 Mahmud of Ghazni first invaded modern day Afghanistan and Pakistan and then parts of India. Mahmud defeated, captured, and later released the Shahi ruler Jayapala, who had moved his capital to Peshawar (modern Pakistan). Jayapala killed himself and was succeeded by his son Anandapala. In 1005 Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Bhatia (probably Bhera), and in 1006 he invaded Multan, at which time Anandapala's army attacked him. The following year Mahmud of Ghazni attacked and crushed Sukhapala, ruler of Bathinda (who had become ruler by rebelling against the Shahi kingdom). In 1013, during Mahmud's eighth expedition into eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Shahi kingdom (which was then under Trilochanapala, son of Anandapala) was overthrown.
In 1014 Mahmud led an expedition to Thanesar. The next year he unsuccessfully attacked Kashmir. In 1018 he attacked Mathura and defeated a coalition of rulers there while also killing a ruler called Chandrapala. In 1021 Mahmud supported the Kannauj king against Chandela Ganda, who was defeated. That same year Shahi Trilochanapala was killed at Rahib and his son Bhimapala succeeded him. Lahore (modern Pakistan) was annexed by Mahmud. Mahmud besieged Gwalior, in 1023, where he was given tribute. Mahmud attacked Somnath in 1025, and its ruler Bhima I fled. The next year, he captured Somnath and marched to Kachch against Bhima I.