Tomara dynasty

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Tomara dynasty
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{{short description|Indian dynasty who ruled parts of present-day Delhi and Haryana during 9th-12th century}}{{for|the 14th-16th century dynasty|Tomaras of Gwalior}}{{redirects|Tomara|the clan|Tomar clan|the genus of moth|Tomara (moth)|the town of ancient Lydia|Tomara (Lydia)}}{{Use dmy dates|date=November 2016}}{{Use Indian English|date=November 2016}}

The Tomara (also called Tomar in modern vernaculars because of schwa deletion) were an Indian dynasty who ruled parts of present-day Delhi and Haryana during 9th-12th century. Their rule over this region is attested to by multiple inscriptions and coins. In addition, much of the information about them comes from medieval bardic legends, which are not historically reliable. They were displaced by the Chahamanas of Shakambhari in 12th century.


(File:Haryana in India (claims hatched).svg|thumb|right|Location of Haryana in present-day India)The Tomara territory included parts of the present-day Delhi and Haryana.{{sfn|Upinder Singh|2008|p=571}} A 13th century inscription states that the Tomaras ruled the Hariyanaka (Haryana) country before the Chahamanas and the Shakas (Muslims in this context). A 14th century inscription states that they built the Dhillika (Delhi) city in the Hariyana (Haryana) state, and that their rule was followed by that of the Chahamanas and the mlechchha Sahavadina (Shihab ad-Din).{{sfn|D. C. Ganguly|1981|p=704}}


The Tomaras are known from some inscriptions and coins. However, much of the information about the dynasty comes from medieval bardic legends, which are not historically reliable. Because of this, the reconstruction of the Tomara history is difficult.{{sfn|D. C. Ganguly|1981|p=704}}

As feudatories

The earliest extant historical reference to the Tomaras occurs in the Pehowa inscription issued during the reign of the Gurjara-Pratihara king Mahendrapala I (r. c. 885-910 CE).{{sfn|Sailendra Nath Sen|1999|p=339}} This undated inscription states that Jaula of the Tomara family became prosperous by serving an unnamed king. His descendants included Vajrata, Jajjuka, and Gogga. The inscription suggests that Gogga was a vassal of Mahendrapala I. It records the construction of three Vishnu temples by Gogga and his step-brothers Purna-raja and Deva-raja. The temples were located at Prithudaka (IAST: Pṛthūdaka; Pehowa), on the banks of the river Sarasvati.{{sfn|Dilip Kumar Ganguly|1984|pp=116-117}}No information is available about the immediate successors of Gogga.{{sfn|D. C. Ganguly|1981|p=705}} The Pehowa inscription suggests that this particular Tomara family was settled around the Karnal area. However, F. Kielhorn suggested that this Tomara family actually resided in Delhi: they may have visited Pehowa on pilgrimage, and built a temple there.{{sfn|Dilip Kumar Ganguly|1984|p=117}}

As sovereigns

As the Pratihara power declined, the Tomaras established a sovereign principality around Delhi by the 10th century.{{sfn|Swati Datta|1989|p=102}} The medieval bardic literature names the dynasty as "Tuar", and classifies them as one of the 36 Rajput clans.{{sfn|D. C. Ganguly|1981|p=704}} According to the bardic tradition, the dynasty's founder Anangapal Tuar (that is Anangapala I Tomara) founded Delhi in 736 CE.{{sfn|Sailendra Nath Sen|1999|p=339}} However, the authenticity of this claim is doubtful.{{sfn|D. C. Ganguly|1981|p=704}} A 1526 CE source names the successors of Anangapala as Tejapala, Madanapala, Kritapala, Lakhanapala and Prithvipala. The Dravya-Pariksha (1318 CE) of Thakkura Pheru mentions the coins of Madanapala, Prithvipala and another ruler, Chahadapala.{{sfn|Buddha Prakash|1965|p=182}}Soon after gaining independence, the Tomaras became involved in conflicts with their neighbours, the Chahamanas of Shakambhari. According to a 973 CE inscription of the Chahamana king Vigraharaja II, his ancestor Chandana (c. 900 CE) killed the Tomara chief Rudrena (or Rudra) in a battle.{{sfn|Swati Datta|1989|p=102}} The Harsha stone inscription states that Chandana's descendant Simharaja (c. 944-971 CE) defeated a Tomara leader called Lavana or Salavana. Historian R. B. Singh identifies the defeated ruler as Tejapala.{{sfn|R. B. Singh|1964|pp=100-102}} Another fragmentary Chahamana prashasti (eulogistic inscription), now at the Ajmer museum, mentions that the Chahamana king Arnoraja invaded the Haritanaka country. This country is identified with the Tomara territory. According to the inscription, Arnoraja's army rendered the waters of the Kalindi river (Yamuna) muddy and the women of Hartinaka tearful.{{sfn|H. A. Phadke|1990|p=87}}The writings of the medieval Muslim historians suggest that a king named Mahipala was ruling Delhi in the 11th century. Although these medieval historians do not mention the dynasty of this king, he is identified as a Tomara ruler by some modern historians. Some coins featuring crude depictions of a horseman and a bull, and bearing the name "Mahipala", have been attributed to this king. These coins are similar to those of Mawdud of Ghazni (r. 1041-50 CE), confirming that Mahipala must have ruled in the 11th century. The horseman-and-bull were a characteristic of the Kabul Shahi coinage; Mawdud probably adopted this style after capturing the Shahi territories. Mahipala probably imitated the same style after capturing Hansi and Thaneshvara regions from Mawdud. Some fragmentary Tomara inscriptions have been discovered from Mahipalpur near Delhi. Historian Y. D. Sharma theorizes that Mahipala established a new capital at Mahipalapura (now Mahipialpur).{{sfn|P. C. Roy|1980|pp=93-94}}File:Suraj Kund.jpg|thumb|The construction of the Suraj KundSuraj KundThe Suraj Kund reservoir is said to have been commissioned by a Tomara king named Surajpala.{{sfn|Upinder Singh|2008|p=570}}Multiple (three) Tomara kings seem to have shared the name "Anangapala" (IAST: Anaṅgapāla). One of these is said to have established the Lal Kot citadel in the Mehrauli area. The construction of the Anang Tal tank and the Anangpur Dam is also attributed to him.{{sfn|Upinder Singh|2008|p=570}} His coins also feature the horseman-and-bull figure, and bear the title "Shri Samanta-deva". These coins are very similar to those of the Shakambhari Chahamana kings Someshvara and Prithviraja III, indicating that Anangapala was a contemporary of these 12th century kings.{{sfn|P. C. Roy|1980|p=95}} One of the several inscriptions on the Iron Pillar of Delhi mentions Anangapala. A medieval legend mentioned in a copy of Prithviraj Raso mentions a legend about the pillar: a Brahmin once told Anangapala (alias Bilan Deo) that the base of the pillar rested on the head of the Vasuki serpent, and that his rule would last as long as the pillar stood upright. Out of curiosity, Anangapala dug out the pillar, only to find it smeared with the blood of Vasuki. Realizing his mistake, the king ordered it to be re-instated, but it remained loose ("dhili"). Because of this, the area came to be known as "Dhilli" (modern Delhi). This legend is obviously a myth.{{sfn|Upinder Singh|2008|p=570}}


The bardic legends state that the last Tomara king, Anangpal Tomar (also known as Anangapala), handed over the throne of Delhi to his son-in-law Prithviraj Chauhan (Prithviraja III of the Chahamana dynasty of Shakambhari; r. c. 1179-1192 CE). However, this claim is not correct: the historical evidence shows that Prithviraj inherited Delhi from his father Someshvara.{{sfn|D. C. Ganguly|1981|p=704}} According to the Bijolia inscription of Someshvara, his brother Vigraharaja IV had captured Dhillika (Delhi) and Ashika (Hansi). He probably defeated the Tomara ruler Anangapala III.{{sfn|Dilip Kumar Ganguly|1984|p=117}}

List of rulers

Various historical texts provide different lists of the Tomara kings:{{sfn|Alexander Cunningham|1871|p=141-145}}
  • Khadag Rai's history of Gwalior (Gopācala ākhyāna) names 18 Tomara kings, plus Prithvi Pala (who is probably the Chahamana king Prithviraja III). According to Khadag Rai, Delhi was originally ruled by the legendary king Vikramaditya. It was deserted for 792 years after his death, until Bilan Dev [Veer Mahadev or Birmaha] of Tomara dynasty re-established the city (in 736 CE).
  • The Kumaon-Garhwal manuscript names only 15 rulers of "Toar" dynasty, and dates the beginning of their rule to 789 CE (846 Vikram Samvat).
  • Abul Fazl's Ain-i-Akbari (Bikaner manuscript, edited by Syed Ahmad Khan) names 19 Tomara kings. It places the first Tomara king in 372 CE (429 Vikram Samvat). It might be possible that the era mentioned in the original source used by Abul Fazl was Gupta era, which starts from 318-319 CE; Abul Fazl might have mistaken this era to be Vikrama Samvat. If this is true, then the first Tomara king can be dated to 747 CE (429+318), which is better aligned with the other sources.
As stated earlier, the historians doubt the claim that the Tomaras established Delhi in 736 CE.{{sfn|D. C. Ganguly|1981|p=704}}{| class="wikitable"Alexander Cunningham|1871|p=149}}{{sfn|Jagbir Singh|2002|p=28}}! rowspan="2" | #! rowspan="2" | Abul Fazl's Ain-i-Akbari / Bikaner manuscript! rowspan="2" | Gwalior manuscript of Khadag Rai! rowspan="2" | Kumaon-Garhwal manuscript! rowspan="2" | Ascension year in CE (according to Gwalior manuscript)! colspan="3" | Length of reign! Years! Months! Days
| 0
| 18
| 28
| 19
| 28
| 9
| 11
| 13
| 16
| 5
| 4
| 15
| 10
| 3
| 18
Anangpal Tomar>Ananga Pāla (or Anek Pāla) Ananga Pāla Anek Pāla 1051 29 6 18
| 6
| 23
| 15
Prithviraj Chauhan>Prithivi Raja (Chahamana) Prithvi Pala 1151




{{ref begin}}
  • BOOK, Alexander Cunningham, Archaeological Survey of India: Reports 1862-1884, I, 1871, Archaeological Survey of India,weblink 421335527, harv,
  • BOOK, Buddha Prakash, Aspects of Indian History and Civilization,weblink 1965, Shiva Lal Agarwala, 6388337, harv,
  • BOOK, D. C. Ganguly, R. S. Sharma, A Comprehensive History of India (A. D. 300-985), 3, Part 1,weblink 1981, Indian History Congress / Orient Longmans, harv,
  • BOOK, Dilip Kumar Ganguly, History and Historians in Ancient India,weblink 1984, Abhinav, 978-0-391-03250-7, harv,
  • BOOK, H. A. Phadke, Haryana, Ancient and Medieval,weblink 1990, Harman, 978-81-85151-34-2, harv,
  • BOOK, Jagbir Singh, The Jat Rulers of Upper Doab: Three Centuries of Aligarh Jat Nobility, Aavishkar, 2002,weblink 9788179100165, harv,
  • BOOK, P. C. Roy,weblink The Coinage of Northern India, Abhinav, 1980, 9788170171225, harv,
  • BOOK, R. B. Singh, History of the Chāhamānas, N. Kishore, 1964,weblink 11038728, harv,
  • BOOK, Sailendra Nath Sen,weblink Ancient Indian History and Civilization, New Age, 1999, 9788122411980, harv,
  • BOOK, Swati Datta, Migrant Brāhmaṇas in Northern India,weblink 1989, Motilal Banarsidass, 978-81-208-0067-0, harv,
  • BOOK, Upinder Singh, Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century,weblink 2008, Pearson Education India, 978-81-317-1120-0, harv,
{{ref end}}

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