PERIOD FROM (647 A.D. TO 1200 A.D. ) continued...

The Senas

After the fall of the Palas, the Senas came to prominence in Bengal. They are said to have been from the Brahmana Kshatriya caste. They are said to have originally come from Karnataka in South India. Having settled in Northern Orissa they gradually extended their kingdom to the North. Samantsena was the founder of this dynasty. He was succeeded by Hemant Sena  who could not consolidate his position in Bengal. 

Vijayasena succeeded Hemantasena and ruled from (1095-1158). In his rule of sixty years he defeated the Palas and brought almost the whole of Bengal under control. He concluded an alliance with Kalinga and defeated the rulers of Kotatavi and Kausambi., Govinda Chandra the ruler of Kannauj and Nangadeva, the ruler of Methila. The last Pala ruler Madanapala was also defeated by him. After defeating Bhoja Varman he annexed the territories of East Bengal thus bringing the whole of Bengal under his rule. Bihar too came under his dominion after the defeat of Madanapala the last Pala ruler. Vijayasena was an able administrator who was an ardent supporter of peace and prosperity. Besides bring economic prosperity he also promoted art and literature. Vijayasena was succeeded by his son Balalsena who ruled from 1158 to 1178 AD. Having inherited a consolidated empire he devoted most of his time to stabilizing and maintaining peace. He is also said to have added parts of Bihar and Mithila to the Sena Empire. He is also known for reorganizing the caste system in Bengal. He also was a reputed scholar and author of his times and is famous for his two works Dansegara and Adyuta Sagara.

Lakhmanasena was the next successor to the Sena throne, who ruled from 1179 to 1205AD. Despite his old age of sixty when he succeeded to the throne he had proved to be a great warrior and had led to the subjection of Kamarupa, defeat of the Gahadavale King of Kannauj. Even after coming to the throne of the Sena Kingdom he defeated the ruler of Kannauj. Jaya Chandra, brought large parts of Bihar under his control and also resisted of Kalachuris. At the later stages of his rule his kingdom began to disintegrate with some nobles and chiefs declaring themselves independent in South and East Bengal. During this period, Bengal was invaded by Muhammad-bin-Bakhtya Khilji. Lakshmansena was defeated and had to flee. He died in 1205AD. After his death his successors could not resist the onslaught of the Muslim invaders after the later half of the thirteenth century.

The Senas had given political stability to Bengal after the fall of the Palas. Hinduism is also said to have flourished during their rule. With the development of Sanskrit literature, eminent poets like Jayadeva the author of the Gita Govinda were patronised during the rule of the Senas.

The Chauhans

The Chauhans were a clan of the Rajputs. They are said to have ruled from 700AD upto 1200AD over parts of Rajasthan near Ajmer. The founder of this dynasty was Vasudeva. The influence of the Pratiharas upon this dynasty had made them subordinates are reduced them to a feudatory. In the 9th century AD Vakpatiraja, a ruler of the Chauhans caused a change in the supremacy of the Pratiharas. He established the independent status of the dynasty and paved the way for further glory.


His name in the history of the Chauhans is well known for defeating the successors of Mahmud Ghaznavi and occupying the whole of Delhi, Bundelkhand and a part of Punjab. He was murdered by his son Jagdeva. Jagdeva was murdered by his younger brother Vigraharaja IV. He is said to have ruled in the middle of the 12th century. Vigraharaja IV was said to be a brave and powerful ruler, who had fought many battles against both the Muslims and the Hindus rulers. He brought territories of Delhi and Jhansi, Punjab, Rajputana and Western UP under his rule. He resisted the advance of the Muslims in India. He was a good administrator too, besides being a patron of art and literature and also assisted the promotion of education.

Political instability befell the dynasty after Vigraharaja IV. He was succeeded by his son Apara Gangeya who was killed by his own cousin Prithvi Raj II. He was followed by Somadeva who was succeeded by Rai Pithora most commonly known as Prithvi Raj Chauhan. He was one of the most celebrated rulers of the Chauhans. He ruled from 1179-1192AD. The first task of Prithvi Raj Chauhan was to consolidate his position. Mohammed Ghori who had annexed western Punjab posed a serious threat to his rule. Besides this the internal strife and jealousy among the Rajput princes added to the difficulties of Prithvi Raj Chauhan. Prithvi Raj Chauhan extended the boundaries of his kingdom by conquests. He defeated the Chandelas and conquered the territory of Bundelkhand. Mohammed Ghori proposed a peace treaty of Prithvi Raj Chauhan while invading other parts of the country. His expansionist policy had developed several enemies who posed serious threat to his kingdom.

The important battles which Prithvi Raj Chauhan were; 

First Battle of Tarain (1191)

This battle was fought by Prithvi Raj Chauhan to stop Mohammed Ghori's entry into India. In this battle he defeated Mohammed Ghori.

Second Battle of Tarain (1192)

This was the battle which sealed the fate of Prithvi Raj Chauhan. In this battle of Prithvi Raj Chauhan was defeated and killed. With the end of Prithvi Raj Chauhan the dynasty of the Chauhans also came to an end.