Visaldeva Chauhan

Vigrahara IV (Visaladeva) : the Chauhan King who finished Islamic rulers in India & restored AryaVarta

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Many of our ancient and medieval warriors who protected the nation from the wrath of invaders at every cost haven’t found their places in our history textbooks. The history of the valor, indomitable courage and heroics of the Rajputs, Marathas, Sikhs, the Guptas, Vijayanagar Empire, and many more have been forgotten.

Invasion led by the Arabs, Turks, and the British were bravely repulsed at every corner of our country. In this article, we will cover the untold and forgotten story of a brave Rajput king Vigrahara IV or Visaldev Chauhan who crushed the later Ghaznavids and freed northwestern India from the Turks and the mlecchas.   

Vigrahara IV also known as Visaladeva Chauhan (Chahamans of Shakambhari) was the son of the great Rajput king Arnoraja Chauhan. After the death of Arnoraja Chauhan by his son Jagdev (Jaggadeva) Chauhan, Vigrahara IV (Visaladeva) came to the throne of Ajmer in 1151.

The period of Vigrahara IV is considered the Golden Age of The Chauhan Dynasty. His period witness an immense rise in the field of Military power and art. He is also remembered for his tolerant policy towards other religions like Jainism and Buddhism.

Note: Raja Vigrahara IV (Visaladeva) was the devotee of SHIVA. He had a deep interest in Sanskrit and was famous for his tolerant policies. One example of his tolerant policies was that at the request of Jain teacher Dharmaghosha Suri he banned the killing of animals on the day of Ekadasi.  

After becoming king, Vigrahara IV defeated several neighboring kings and established his authority over them. He defeated Kumarpala (Kumarapala) of the Chalukya dynasty. The same ruler of the Chalukyas i.e. Kumarpala defeated Arnoraja and many historians agree that this was the main reason behind the expedition of Vigrahara IV against the Chalukyas. He annexed Jalore, Nagaur, and Pali.

He then launched his expedition on northern Indian territories. This was perhaps the first time when the Chauhans decided to follow the Expansionist policy. He defeated the Tomars and captured Delhi from them.

Note: According to historian R.B.Singh, Hansi at this time was under Muslim rule which was later freed by king Vigrahara IV. But many historians also believe that Hansi was under the rule of the Tomars and was annexed the Vigrahara IV.

Destruction of Mlechas (Islamic rulers) from India by Visaldeva Chauhan

During the reign of Vigrahara IV, the power of the Ghaznavids started to decline due to the weak successors. The two later Ghaznavid rulers were Khusra Shah and Khusrau Malik. These later Ghaznavid rulers or sultans were repeatedly defeated by the great Vigrahara raja Chauhan.

The Delhi-Siwalik pillar inscription mentions the achievements of this Chahaman king. The inscription is known as Firuz Shah Lat, which tells us about the success of the great Vigrahara IV against the Turks (Turushkas) and mlecchas.

Note: Prabandha Kosa described Vigrahara IV as the Conqueror of the Muslims.

Due to the conquest of Delhi and Hansi, the empire of the king stretched to the Himalayas region and he also captured the area between Yamuna and Sutlej. This was the main reason for conflict between the Chahamans and the Yamini Turks.

The name of the Ghaznavid ruler is believed to be Hammira or Amir Khusrau Shah who collided against the wrath of the Rajputs. Although the actual date and details of the battle are unavailable it is true that the brave Rajputs under their Charismatic leader defeated and chased the Ghaznavids out of the Indian territories.

Note: According to the Delhi Shiwalik inscription all territories south of river Sutlej was freed from the muslim rule by the great Vigrahara IV.

Vigrahara IV’s repeated victories the Yamini Turks led him to adopt the title of Aryavarta.

Golden age of Chauhans Under Visaldeva Chauhan

Apart from his military success, Vigrahara IV is also remembered for his contribution to art and cultural activities. He was himself a poet who had written the famous play known as HARIKELI NATAKA. He also founded several cities like Visalapura (The City of Visala).

Vigrahara IV coins in British Museum
Vigrahara IV coins in British Museum

In Ajmer, he constructed a lake known as Vislya or Bisalia in Ajmer. Due to the above mention success of Vigrahara IV, his reign is considered the Golden Age of the Chauhans.

Bisaldeo Temple
Bisaldeo Temple, Rajasthan built during the Chauhan Golden Age

The most important structure that was built by Vigrahara IV was the Sanskrit College at Ajmer. Later the same Sanskrit college which was the symbol of Knowledge and education was destroyed by the slave of Moh Ghori i.e Qutub ud din Aibak after the second battle of Tarain in 1192.

Later Qutub ud din Aibak converted it into a mosque- Adhai Din ka Jhopra.

Adhai Din ka Jhopra ,which was a sanskrit palace of learning and was later converted into a mosque by Wutub ud din aibak |The wall with Sanskrit style architecture at the now-mosque
Adhai Din ka Jhopra ,which was a sanskrit palace of learning and was later converted into a mosque by Qutub ud din aibak |The wall with Sanskrit style architecture at the now-mosque | Wikipedia


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