Jaisalmer

The princely state of Jaisalmer was situated in the south-western Rajputana province during the British Raj. It emerged in the sixteenth century and was nicknamed the ‘Golden City’ thanks to its yellow sandstone structure and gold-colored desert surrounding it. This state was once the royal seat of the Bhatti Rajputs (the Yaduvanshi) which had some quite notable warriors. Jaisalmer is presently a part of Rajasthan state of the Union of India.

The chiefs of Jaisalmer were Rajputs of the Jadon clan and claimed descent from the deified hero Krishna. According to the annals of the state, the tribe became dispersed at the death of Krishna and many of them proceeded northwards beyond the Indus and settled there. Once of their descendents Gaj, is said to have built a fort called Gajni (identified by Tod as the Ghazni of Afghanistan but believed by Cunningham to be in the vicinity of Rawalpindi); but being defeated and killed in a battle with the king of Khorasan, his followers were driven southward into Punjab. Here Salivahan established a new capital which he named after himself called Sialkot.

This chief subsequently defeated the Indo-Scythians in a decisive battle near Kahror within 60 miles of Multan. So great was the fame of this victory that the conqueror assumed the title of Sakari or ‘foe of the Sakas’ (Scythinas). Further to commemorate the event he established the Saka era from the date of the battle (78 AD), an epoch which was used in general throughout India.

Salivahan’s grandson Bhati was a renowned warrior who conquered many of the neighboring chiefs and from him the tribe took the name of Bhati Jadon. Subsequently, the Bhatis were gradually driven southwards where they took refuge in the Indian desert which was their home since then. Here they came in contact with various Rajput clans such as the Butas and Chunnas (extinct), the Barahas (later converted to Islam), the Langahas, and the Sodhas and Lodras (both branches of the Paramaras). Their first capital was at Tanot (in Jaisalmer territory) which was founded in the middle of the eighth century.

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