Rajputana is celebrated as the land of outstanding warriors-
of remarkable men who changed the destiny of their land by
virtue of their bravery, strength of character and
achievements. One such distinguished hero is Maharana
Kumbhakaran, better known as Kumbha, who ascended the
throne of Mewar in 1433. Of Surya Vamsha lineage,
Maharana Kumbha came from the glorious Guhilot clan,
which ruled Mewar continuously for fourteen centuries.
This book, first published in 1917, recounts the life and
times of the ruler and some of his immediate predecessors.
Based on old inscriptions, coins and records, it is an
authoritative commentary on the multifaceted Maharana
Kumbha. Apart from being an accomplished ruler and
soldier, he was also an illustrious scholar. He was well-versed
in the Vedas, wrote poems, dramas, treatises on music and
commentaries on classic poetry.
A well-known social reformer and scholar, Har Bilas Sarda
was born in Ajmer, in 1867. After his Matriculation and
Intermediate from Ajmer, he completed BA with Honours
in English from Agra College in 1888. After a few teaching
and translation assignments, he worked with the Maharaja of
Jaisalmer. In 1902, he reverted to Government service as
Vernacular Superintendent of the Commissioner's Office,
Ajmer. He was later appointed to the judicial service. He
retired in 1924 as officiating District and Sessions Judge,
Ajmer-Mewar. He was elected to the Central Legislative
Assembly in 1922, 1927 and 1930. Sarda sponsored the
Child Marriage Restraint Bill, passed in 1929 and known as
the Sarda Act. The titles of Rai Bahadur and Dewan Bahadur
were bestowed on him in 1921 and 1929 respectively. He
died in 1952.
Sarda's other works include Hindu Superiority, Ajmer:
Historical and Descriptive, Maharaja Sanga, Shankaracharya
and Dayanand and Life of Swami Dayanand Saraswati.
The first edition of this book was published on A.D. 1917. The present work is practically a new book: many new chapters have been added, and old chapters have been re-written and enlarged.
The accounts of life and times of Maharana Kumbha's tune are describes in Chapter XV; but for facility of reference, I have given in the Appendix (pp. 205-224) the full text of the Ranpur Chaumukha Temple Inscription, and all portions of (a) the Kumbhalgarh, (b) the Chitorgarh Kirtisthambha, (c) the Shringirishi, (d) the Eklingji Temple and (e) the Samiddeshwar Temple Inscriptions, and (f) the Eklinga Mahatmya, to which reference have been made in the various chapters of the book. Many of these are being published for the first time.
In writing the book, I have left untapped no source of information available at the present time. I have examined, in the light of inscriptions, coins and contemporary records, the accounts given in the Persian and HIndi histories of the events that occurred during the perod with which the book deals. The following pages give an accurate account of the life of Maharana Kumbha as disclosed by these sources of information.
Colonel James Tod's monumental work, The annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, published in A.D. 1829-32 was written at a time when the history of Rajputana was practically a sealed book to the public. A century has since passed, yet such are the intrinsic merits of 'that it still remains the chief source in the English language, to which a student of Rajput history has to turn for enlightenment and knowledge. It is a book which should read by everyone who belongs to Rajputana or who has Rajput blodd in his veins. It shoud be taught to the student of the Mayo College, Ajmer, and in schools in the Rajput states. Cpies of it should be freely given as prize books.
Rajputana has produced several remarkable men, who by their character and achievements, have made the name Rajput, a synonym of chivalry and heroism, and the history of this province is the brightest page in the history of Mediaval India. Their heroic lives and chivalrous deeds are a source of perennial inspiration and interest to Indians.
My sincere obligations are due to Mahamahopadhyaya Pandit Gauri Shankar Ojha, hwose unique knowledge of Indian History and vast collection of epigraphic finds have always been available to me. I have received most valuable assistance from him in preparing the Appendix.
the illustration of Maharana Kumbha whic appears as Frontispiece to this book is from a photographic copy of an old portrait taken away from Mewar and deposited in the British Museum, London.
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