In the book Dulha Rai's Conquest of Dausa, Maharaj Devraj Singh talks about the inception of the kingdom of Dhaundar and the rise of the Kachwaha dynasty during the reign of Dulha Rai.
Dulha Rai's Conquest of Dausa is a book based on the legends and stories of the bridegroom prince of the erstwhile state of Jaipur. Set against the backdrop of the early 10th and 11th centuries in Dhaundhar (now Jaipur), Rajasthan, India, it delves into how the Kachaphaghatas of the Rajput dynasty rose to power during that time. Written by Maharaj Devraj Singh, the grandson of Jaipur's last ruling Maharaja, Sawai Man Singh II, and his wife, Maharani Gayatri Devi, the book also seeks to uncover the life of Dulha Rai.
Setting the tone
The early chapters of the book provide a brief history of life during the early medieval period in North India. This summary lays the groundwork for Gopakshetra, a cul-de-sac (an area closed at one end) the region termed the reigning area of the Kachaphaghatas.The Kachwahas chose this location due to its strategic positioning: surrounded by rivers on three sides and enclosed on one end, making it difficult for enemies to launch attacks.
Tortoise and the association with the name
Since it's a book based on history, the writer has tried to keep some interesting anecdotes as well. One such section highlights the origin of the clan's name. The original name, 'Kachaphaghatas,' is believed to have been derived from the term 'Kaccha,' which means marshy land and refers to the tortoises that inhabited the bog lands of Gopakshetra. The most recent name 'Kachwahas' and the earlier version 'Kurmba' which is the vernacularization of the Sanskrit word 'Kurma' literally translates to a tortoise (highly found in the Chambal region where the clan ruled).
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Dulha Rai and Dausa
Moving forward, the book states the encounters of the Kachawas with other dynasties and clans like Palas, Prathiharas, and Rashtrakutas. It discusses their rise and fall from the 11th to 12th century, their alliance with clans like Chandelas, and some of the most notable moments that made their mark in the history of Rajputs. All these chronicles are taken from the clues and writings of some of the famous inscriptions like the Sas-Bahu, Kachhawan Ri Vanshavali, and Nainsi ri Khyat.
All of this also reveals the life of the bridegroom Prince Dulha Rai, who is credited with the capture of the prominent Dausa Fort. Isha Singh, the king of Gwalior, in his old age, once consulted a Brahman (priest) about how he could ensure the everlasting nature of his kingdom. Following the priest's suggestion, he handed his kingdom to Jai Sing, his maternal nephew, while leaving his son Sodhadev to live there. Later, when Jai Singh raised objections, Sodhadev left Gwalior with his son Dulha Rai and settled in a village named Nidravali. He sought the advice of Silarasi Chauhan of Pachwar, whose daughter was married to Dulha Rai, for a suitable place to live. Based on Silarasi's counsel, Dulha Rai embarked on an invasion of Dausa, marking the beginning of his era.
The book gives a sneak peek into the captures and subsequent life of Dulha Rai and Dausa and could be an interesting read if you are interested in revealing the tales of the bygone era.