Ancient Rulers of Gujarat

Maitraka dynasty of Gujarat

The Maitraka dynasty ruled Gujarat in western India from the c. 475 to 767. The founder of the dynasty, 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 Maitraka is stated to be not a tribal name but a cognomen only. The name is said to derive from Mithra, the Sun or Sun deity, also a synonym of Mihira, (old Persian Mihr). The Maitrakas, the worshippers of Mitra/Mithra i.e. Sun-worshippers identified with the Mihiras (Zoroastrians) are regarded by one school of scholars as of foreign (Iranian) origin

There is evidence that the Maitraka rulers had switched to Saivism, but when Chinese traveller Hieun-Tsang visited Vallabhi during second quarter of 7th century, he found its ruler to be a Buddhist follower. When I-Tsing, another Chinese traveller, visited Vallabhi in the last quarter of 7th century, he found Vallabhi as a great center of learning including Buddhism. Gunamati and Sthiramati were two famous Buddhist scholars of Vallabhi at the middle of 7th 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 Valabhi were given higher executive posts

The Maitrakas ruled from their capital at Vallabhi. They 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

Establishment of the Solanki dynasty in Gujarat

Mulraj Solanki, who came to power in 942, established what came to be known as the Solanki dynasty. Ambitious as he was, he started expanding his frontiers and established his complete and total hold over Saurashtra and Kachchh by defeating Grahripu of Junagadh (Saurashtra) and Lakho Fulani of Kachchh. Mulraj Solanki's reign marked the start of a period during which Gujarati culture flowered as manifested in art, architecture, language and script. It is described as the golden period of Gujarat's chequered history. Mulraj himself adopted the title of Gurjaresh (King of Gurjardesh) an aristocratic title. The territory under the sway of the Solankis came to be known by different variations of the word Gurjar like Gurjardesh, Gurjara-Rastra and finally Gujarat.

Vaghela dynasty of Gujarat

The Vaghelas were an Indian dynasty of Gujarat. The Vaghelas were based in the town of Dholka, and were feudatories of the Solanki dynasty, who ruled Gujarat from the 10th to the 13th centuries. The Solanki went into decline in the thirteenth century, and by 1243 the Vaghelas were firmly in control of Gujarat. They restored stability to Gujarat for the latter half of the 13th century, and the Vaghela kings and officials were dedicated patrons of the arts and temple-building.Virdhaval was the first Vaghela king, and two of his ministers, Vastupal and Tejpar, built the exquisite Dilwara Temples on Mount Abu in Rajasthan, and temples at the Girnar and Shetrunjay hills. His successor Vishaldev built temples at Dabhoi and founded Vishalnagar. Karandev was the last Vaghela king, who died in the 1304 conquest of Gujarat by Ala-ud-din Khilji, Sultan of Delhi.

Muzaffarid dynasty sultans of Gujarat

The Muzaffarid dynasty were sultans of Gujarat in western India from 1391 to 1583. The founder of the dynasty was Zafar Khan Muzaffar (later Muzaffar Shah I) who was governor of Gujarat under the Delhi Sultanate. Zafar Khan's father was a Rajput convert to Islam. When the Sultanate was weakened by the sacking of Delhi by Timur in 1398, and Zafar Khan took the opportunity to establish himself as sultan of an independent Gujarat. His son, Ahmed Shah I established the capital at Ahmedabad. The dynasty ruled for almost 200 years, until the conquest of Gujarat by the Mughal Empire. The sultanate reached its peak of expansion under Mahmud Shah I Begara, reaching east into Malwa and west to the Gulf of Kutch.

During the Muzaffarid rule, Ahmedabad grew to become one of the largest and wealthiest cities in the world, and the sultans were patrons of a distinctive architecture that blended Islamic elements with Gujarat's indigenous Hindu and Jain architectural traditions. Gujarat's Islamic architecture presages many of the architectural elements later found in Mughal architecture, including ornate mihrabs and minarets, jali (perforated screens carved in stone), and chattris (pavilions topped with cupolas).

Solanki a Hindu clan of Gujarat

The Solanki (from Chalukya, an ancient Indian dynasty) are a Hindu clan who ruled parts of western and central India between the 10th and 13th centuries AD. The Solanki are a branch of the Chalukya dynasty of whose oldest known area of residence was in present-day Karnataka. The Solanki clan-name is found within the Gurjar an Rajput communities.

In Gujarat, Anhilwara (modern Siddhpur Patan) served as their capital. Gujarat was a major center of Indian Ocean trade, and Anhilwara was one of the largest cities in India, with population estimated at 100,000 in the year 1000. The Solankis were patrons of the great seaside temple of Shiva at Somnath Patan in Kathiawar; Bhima Dev helped rebuild the temple after it was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1026. His son Karandev conquered the Bhil king Ashapall or Ashaval, and after his victory established a city named Karnavati on the banks of the Sabarmati River, at the site of modern Ahmedabad