Siddhraj Jaisinh (king of Gujarat)
13/05/2010 by mahesh
The one name stand out in the Solanki dynasty is Siddhraj Jaysinh (1094-1143) also known as Siddhraj Solanki who was considered as the most prominent Solanki king. Siddhraj is said to have ascended the throne of Patan after the death of his Father Karandev. Patan’s condition was worse in the last days of Karandev. The successors from his grand father Bhimdev’s first wife Bauladevi tried their best to acquire the throne from child Jaysinh. His mother Minaldevi, Maha Mantri Santu and Munjal Mehta initially played a great part to deter the internal revolt and in establishing his rule and stability to Patan in Gujarat. Jaysinh came on throne in 1096. So the years between his father’s death and his actual takeover might have been guarded by his mother and his mantris. In those initial days his mother along with child Jaysinh took shelter in Saurashtra in the guise of yatra to Somnath leaving administration of Patan to Mantri Shantu. Malav king Narvarma attacked Patan in those days. Mantri accepted Narvarma’s Kingship for Jaysinh as Samant of Malva. Jaysinh afterwards strengthened himself getting rid of unwanted involvement of grandma’s maternal side relatives, useless samants as well as mantris. He also weakened the successors from his grand father Bhimdev’s first wife Bauladevi. He was after the life of Kumarpal, then successor of queen Bauladevi and probable candidate for patan’s throne. Kumarpal hid himself from Jaysinh for more than 30 years. Apart from Saurashtra and Kachchh, Siddhraj Jaysinh had also conquered the Malwa defeating king Yashovarma and south Gujarat. The popular conception of Siddhraj mixes greatness and medieval callousness. One of the most prominent legends of the Gujarat bards is woven round the siege of Junagadh by Siddhraj’ Jaysinh. Siddhraj wanted to marry the princess Ranakdevi, but his vassal, Ra Khengar, the Chief of Junagadh, married her before he could do so. An enraged Siddharaj attacked the mountain-fortress of Junagadh. It fell after Ra Khengar’s nephews betrayed him. Ranakdevi refused Siddharaj’s advances for marriage after he had killed her husband and two sons. She was forcibly brought to Wadhwan where she committed the ritual of Sati at this place to protect her honour. It is believed that her curse made Bhogavo, a local river, waterless, forever. Some historians doubt the authenticity of the story. He adorned the title of “Barbarak Jishnu” and also “Siddhraj” after controlling Bhil king Barbarak. He became Chakravarti after acquiring total control of the region under old Gurjar Chakravarti kings. He renovated and widened the lake constructed by Durlabhraj and named it as Sahastraling Lake. He constructed two lakes in the memory of his mother. He also renovated Rudramahal. He also features in the legend of Jasma Odan, a beautiful woman of the tank diggers’ community-oudes, who were digging a new tank in Patan. Already married, she refused Siddhraj’s advances and committed sati to protect her honour. It is believed that her curse made this tank waterless and the king without an heir to the kingdom of Gujarat. During Patan flourished in education, religion and commerce. He gave shelter to many scholars of different religion and castes. Other notable figures of his time included his, Prime Minister Munjal Mehta, Kak and leading Courtier Udayan Mehta. Siddhraj Jaysinh died in 1143. The throne remained without King for 18 days. Thereafter Kumarpal was suddenly declared King of Patan.