Rai Dynasty

Rai Dynasty

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The Rai Dynasty was an Aryan
Aryan
Aryan is an English language loanword derived from Sanskrit ārya and denoting variously*In scholarly usage:**Indo-Iranian languages *in dated usage:**the Indo-European languages more generally and their speakers...

 dynasty of Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

, from c. 489–690 AD. The influence of the Rai empire extended from Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

 in the east, Makran
Makran
The present day Makran is a semi-desert coastal strip in the south of Sindh, Balochistan, in Iran and Pakistan, along the coast of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. The present day Makran derived its name from Maka, a satrap of Achaemenid Empire....

 and Debal (Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

) port in the west, Surat
Surat
Surat , also known as Suryapur, is the commercial capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat. Surat is India's Eighth most populous city and Ninth-most populous urban agglomeration. It is also administrative capital of Surat district and one of the fastest growing cities in India. The city proper...

 port in south, Kandahar
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

, Sistan
Sistan
Sīstān is a border region in eastern Iran , southwestern Afghanistan and northern tip of Southwestern Pakistan .-Etymology:...

, Suleyman, Ferdan and Kikanan hills in the north, ruling an area of over 600,000 square miles.

The Emperors of this dynasty were great patrons of Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

 and Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

. They established a formidable temple of Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

 in present-day Sukkur
Sukkur
Sukkur, or Sakharu , formerly Aror and Bakar, is the third largest city of Sindh province, situated on the west bank of Indus River in Pakistan in Sukkur District. However, the word Sakharu in Sindhi means "superior", which the spelling of the city's name in Sindhi suggests is the origin of the...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, derived from original Shankar
Shankar
Shankar or Shamkar is a Sanskrit noun, and means "Beneficent" or "Giver of Bliss". It generally refers to a Hindu descriptions of one of the chief gods, Lord Shiva.It may also refer to:-People:...

, close to their capital in Al-ror
Alor (Sukkur)
- History :Aror was the ancient capital of Sindh, now modern Rohri adjacent to Sukkur, Sindh, Pakistan. In 711 AD, Aror was captured by the army of Muslim general Muhammad bin Qasim. In 962 it was hit by a massive earthquake that changed the course of the Indus River...

. This is consistent with the historical accounts from the times of Emperor Ashoka
Ashoka
Ashok Maurya or Ashoka , popularly known as Ashoka the Great, was an Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from ca. 269 BC to 232 BC. One of India's greatest emperors, Ashoka reigned over most of present-day India after a number of military conquests...

 and Harsha
Harsha
Harsha or Harsha Vardhana or Harshvardhan was an Indian emperor who ruled northern India from 606 to 647 AD. He was the son of Prabhakara Vardhana and younger brother of Rajya Vardhana, a king of Thanesar, Haryana...

 because India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n monarchs never sponsored a state religion and usually patronized more than one faith.

Sources of Information


B. D. Mirchandani writes, "Our knowledge of the Rai dynasty, which is not a great deal, is derived entirely from three Muslim chronicles of Sind." For the history of the Rai and Brahman dynasties we are, therefore, almost entirely dependent on the Muslim chronicles, especially the Chachanama and Shahnama.

The history of the Rai dynasty are entirely based upon Muslim chronicles such as the Chach Nama
Chach Nama
Chach Nama also known as the Fateh nama Sindh ,and also known as Tarekh-e-Hind wa Sindh Arabic is a book about the history of Sindh, chronicling the Chacha Dynasty's period, following the demise of the Rai Dynasty and the ascent of Chach of Alor to the throne, down to the Arab conquest by...

 and the Shahnameh
Shahnameh
The Shahnameh or Shah-nama is a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c.977 and 1010 AD and is the national epic of Iran and related societies...

, thereby dating them to about the 5th century. The libraries that contained literature on their history were burnt down by the Arab-Islamic plunder of their cities, destroying the majority Zoroastrian faith that existed in the region at the time.

They rise to power in the time period of shifting political scene with the wane of the Sassanid influence in the wake of the Hepthalite (White Hun/Huna
Huna
For other uses, see HunaHuna is a Hawaiian word adopted by Max Freedom Long in 1936 to describe his theory of metaphysics which he linked to ancient Hawaiian kahuna...

) invasions, and with the rulers issuing silver coins bearing their likeness by the 7th century.

Background


The Rai dynasty is recorded as ruling Sindh, from their capital Aror upon the banks of the Indus River
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

, north to Kashmir for a period spanning 202 years. They may have originally arrived from the Central Asian steppe on horses and chariots. .

The Chachnama provides a detail of the extant of Rai Sahiras domain .

Chronology of Rai rulers of Sindh


Wink reports on the possibility of the corruption of the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 names and renders them as related in parenthesis in the following chronology of the Rai rulers of Sindh:
  • Rai Diwa ji (Devaditya)
He was a powerful chief who forged alliances and extended his rule east of Makran
Makran
The present day Makran is a semi-desert coastal strip in the south of Sindh, Balochistan, in Iran and Pakistan, along the coast of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. The present day Makran derived its name from Maka, a satrap of Achaemenid Empire....

 and west of Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

, south to the port of Karachi
Karachi
Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

 and north to Kandahar
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

.
  • Rai Sahiras (Shri Harsha)
  • Rai Sahasi (Sinhasena)
  • Rai Sahiras II
Died battling the King of Nimroz.
  • Rai Sahasi II

The rule of Rai Sahasi II


Rai Meharsan second had a war with Nimruz of Fars in which he was killed due to injury of an arrow in his throat. After him Rai Sahasi second became the king. He ordered the appointed four Governors (Maliks) in his kingdom to protect the interests of the country and the people, to look after the repairs of the (State) buildings, and to keep the feudal assignees and estate-holders happy. In his whole dominion, there was not a single refractory or rebellious head who perversely opposed the measures passed by him or (transgressed) the boundaries fixed by him. Owing to his excellent policy and majestic dignity, Rai Sáhasi brought the kingdom under his firm control. The subjects and original residents of the country enjoyed much respect, and lived a happy life.

He had a wazir, by name chamberlain Rám. Rám was well acquainted with the various departments of knowledge. Once, when the chamberlain Ram, the Brahman wazir, had come to his office, a Brahman named Chach, son of Selaij, came to visit him to pay respects to the chamberlain Ram . The wazir was impressed by the talents of Chach and appointed him assistant. In a short time, he became prominent in the correspondence department of the Council.

Once Sahasi Rai second fell ill. Some letters from the district of Siwistan having arrived, the Secretary Rám was called. But he had not yet come to the Council office. The minister sent his munshi (book-keeper) Chach for this purpose. The wisdom of Chach of Alor
Chach of Alor
Chach is the name of the Brahmin Chamberlain and Secretary to Rai Sahasi the Second, of the Rai Dynasty who succeeded him to the throne of Sindh. The history of Chach is related in the Chach Nama as part of the history of Sind. Several places along the Sindhu river are named after the adored king...

 influenced the king and he appointed Chach to look after the palace as Assistant Secretary. This way he got free entry into the palace. After the death of Ram, Rai Sáhasi called Chach to himself and conferred on him the office of Chamberlain and Secretary.

In 644
644
Year 644 was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 644 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Asia :* The Tang dynasty of China begins the invasion...

, after Conquering Persian Empire, Rashidun army
Rashidun army
The Rashidun Caliphate Army or Rashidun army was the primary military body of the Rashidun Caliphate's armed forces during the Muslim conquests of the 7th century, serving alongside the Rashidun Navy...

 entered Makran
Makran
The present day Makran is a semi-desert coastal strip in the south of Sindh, Balochistan, in Iran and Pakistan, along the coast of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. The present day Makran derived its name from Maka, a satrap of Achaemenid Empire....

 and defeated the army of Raja Rasil in a decisive Battle of Rasil
Battle of Rasil
Battle of Rasil was fought between Rai Kingdom of Sindh and Rashidun Caliphate in early 644. It was first encounter of Rashidun Caliphate with Indian subcontinent...

, and annexed Makran and eastern Balochistan
Balochistan (region)
Balochistan or Baluchistan is an arid, mountainous region in the Iranian plateau in Southwest Asia; it includes part of southeastern Iran, western Pakistan, and southwestern Afghanistan. The area is named after the numerous Baloch tribes, Iranian peoples who moved into the area from the west...

. Caliph Umar
Umar
`Umar ibn al-Khattāb c. 2 November , was a leading companion and adviser to the Islamic prophet Muhammad who later became the second Muslim Caliph after Muhammad's death....

 (634-644) however for the time being, disapproved of any incursion beyond the Indus river
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

 and ordered his commander to consolidate their position west of indus. During the reign of Caliph Uthman ibn Affan (644-656) Muslims captured Qanzabil, a main military garrison of Rai dynasty in northern Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 and until 662
662
Year 662 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 662 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* The regent Grimuald usurps the kingship of...

, when during Ummayad Caliphate it was retaken by Rai kingdom, it served as eastern most garrison town of Rashidun army
Rashidun army
The Rashidun Caliphate Army or Rashidun army was the primary military body of the Rashidun Caliphate's armed forces during the Muslim conquests of the 7th century, serving alongside the Rashidun Navy...

.

End of the Rai Dynasty


After the Arabs defeated the Sassanid allies of Persia (641 AD), the Arabs prepared for the Islamic conquest of the Indo-Persian region, an area where Buddhism, Hinduism and Zoroastrianism flourished.

The Rai Emperors fought many battles with the invading Muslims, resisting invasion of the Indo-Persia region. The numerous wars left a drain on the economy and the empire disappeared. Dr. R.S Sharma suggests in Shahnameh
Shahnameh
The Shahnameh or Shah-nama is a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c.977 and 1010 AD and is the national epic of Iran and related societies...

 the dynasty retreated to the Himalayan mountains with Hepthalite allies during the Islamic conquest where the rest of their history in Indian literature remains a mystery.


See also

  • Chach Nama
    Chach Nama
    Chach Nama also known as the Fateh nama Sindh ,and also known as Tarekh-e-Hind wa Sindh Arabic is a book about the history of Sindh, chronicling the Chacha Dynasty's period, following the demise of the Rai Dynasty and the ascent of Chach of Alor to the throne, down to the Arab conquest by...

  • Shahnameh
    Shahnameh
    The Shahnameh or Shah-nama is a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c.977 and 1010 AD and is the national epic of Iran and related societies...

  • Jat
  • Punjab
    Punjab region
    The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

  • Persia
  • Sikandar
    Sikandar
    Sikandar is the Persian version of the name Alexander, after Alexander the Great. It is used as male first name in Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia...

  • India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

  • Scythia
    Scythia
    In antiquity, Scythian or Scyths were terms used by the Greeks to refer to certain Iranian groups of horse-riding nomadic pastoralists who dwelt on the Pontic-Caspian steppe...

  • Aryan
    Aryan
    Aryan is an English language loanword derived from Sanskrit ārya and denoting variously*In scholarly usage:**Indo-Iranian languages *in dated usage:**the Indo-European languages more generally and their speakers...

  • Vedas
    Vedas
    The Vedas are a large body of texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism....

  • Aishwarya Rai
    Aishwarya Rai
    Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is an Indian film actress. She worked as a model before starting her acting career, and ultimately won the Miss World pageant in 1994...


External links