The Tripartite Struggle for Kannauj

LurkerBaba

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The Tripartite Struggle for Kannauj is a crucial point in Indian history. Briefly, big chunks of North-West India (Pratiharas), East India (Palas) and South India (Rashtrakutas) were at war for 200 years ! The Pratiharas were ultimately victorious, but it was probably a phyrric victory. After this event we don't see large empires in India for a long time.



IMHO this has parallels with the final Byzantine–Sasanian war between the Eastern Roman empire and Persia. Devastating results. Then the Rashidun Caliphate comes up and gobbles up Persia and some Byzantine territories.

The Tripartite Struggle feels overlooked and not researched enough. Let's use this thread to gather resources on this topic
 
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LurkerBaba

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@Shaitan this extract is by RC Majumdar. Pratiharas ultimately won, but then later went into decline. The last Pratihara king had to flee Kannauj when Mahmud of Ghazni invaded.

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ashdoc

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Of the three rashtrakutas were most powerful. They invaded north many times but their territories in maharashtra and karnataka were not invaded by northerners. Their armies were huge---upto five lakhs in strength.
 

Hijibiji

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Of the three, all were shortsighted (in hindsight ;) )

The gurjar-pratihars were nearest to Kannauj if i consider (or guess) where their kings/ soldiers were from. The Rashtrakutas were away from Kannauj. The Palas were away from Kannauj as well (considering the base and capital city of the Palas). Somehow Kannauj became a "prestige-issue" for them, so all kept fighting. If one of them stopped fighting, the other would think the former as "weak" and thus they continued.

The Palas in their heydays expanded to Kamarupa (ie modern Assam) on the eastern side. Bihar, Kamarupa, Orissa and Bengal mattered for the Palas. (Just as Maharashtra and Karnataka mattered more for Rashtrakutas!). The gurjar-pratihars were more at the receiving end at a place near to their geographical stronghold. So even when they somehow claimed to retain Kannauj in the "long run", they were a spent force (thus leading to "pyrrhic victory")

Palas enjoyed the most fertile land around Ganges as well. Yes, Bengal, Bihar were the most fertile and richest! (That's why "East India Company" was interested in "East India" and not in the deserts and mountains)!

mod edit: irrelevant bits removed
 
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Steven Rogers

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Rastrakutas(Solar dynasty or suryavansh)later became Rathores,Pratihara(Suryavansh later Agnivansh after they protected the Agni yagn)now have diff branches such as Parihar,Sikarwar,Mundadh,Badgujar Rajputs ,after the decline of their power the Pratihars and Parihara concentrated in the villages and cities of now Ujjain while independent Sikarwar and Budgujars are now live majorly in Rajasthan..Palas are Suryavanshi rulers,today they are known as Rajpal,Rajpali,Pali,Baghel Rajput in the northern part..Even though they were fighting,the age was called golden age of India.....
 
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Chimaji Appa

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Baseless conflict, like most of Indian history. Instead of fighting a bloody 200 year long conflict, the Indians should have come up with ways to fortify the frontier as well as retaking the once Hindu kingdoms of Sindh and Multan. Our ancestors were on the defensive too much, and we lost it all in the end.
 

Chimaji Appa

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Of the three rashtrakutas were most powerful. They invaded north many times but their territories in maharashtra and karnataka were not invaded by northerners. Their armies were huge---upto five lakhs in strength.
Heres why:
The Rashtrakutas were never threatened on 3 fronts like the Pratiharas were. In the begining of Mihira Bhojas reign, the Palas invaded Kannauj, the Arabs encroached upon the Sindan fort in Gujarat, and the Rashtrakutas sacked Malwa. They were fighting wars on 3 different fronts.

The Pratiharas also never consolidated their rule in Kannauj by the time the Rashtrakutas invaded. For example, when Vastraja took Kannauj, he had to fight two battles, one with the Kannauj prince, and another with the Palas. After defeating both of these rulers, Dhruva Dhurvasa of the Rashtrakutas invaded an expelled the Pratiharas. Same thing happened during the reigns of Mihira Bhoja and Nagabhata, except both of these rulers were able to check the muslims on the western front.
 

Steven Rogers

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Baseless conflict, like most of Indian history. Instead of fighting a bloody 200 year long conflict, the Indians should have come up with ways to fortify the frontier as well as retaking the once Hindu kingdoms of Sindh and Multan. Our ancestors were on the defensive too much, and we lost it all in the end.
The major problem was to reign superior among other Clans....They didn't consider any foreigners whom our ancestors denoted as malecchas not even worthy of fighting ...
 

AUSTERLITZ

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The pratiharas had the best cavalry,the palas had excellent elephants and infantry but no cavalry except mercenary kambojas.Rastrakutas had also excellent elephants,plus huge numbers and modestly good cavalry.
 

cereal killer

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Baseless conflict, like most of Indian history. Instead of fighting a bloody 200 year long conflict, the Indians should have come up with ways to fortify the frontier as well as retaking the once Hindu kingdoms of Sindh and Multan. Our ancestors were on the defensive too much, and we lost it all in the end.
Yep it is sad really. While I think Britishers would've come regardless & we might have been similar to China in that regard but more developed. Rapid Industrialization may have started in 1900's with few states still having monarchy systems. First world war would've ended Monarchy like Tsars. Hindu religion bigger than Islam & equal to Christianity with Hindu populations in Entire Pakistan, NWFP whole India except few NE states. Myanmar too may have joined India. All this in a parallel world scenario though 🤔
 

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