Fathered by Nagadit and mothered by Kamlavati, Bappa was born Kaalabhoja as a direct descendant of the Guhilote Dynasty. The Guhilote dynasty traces its lineage to Luv, the son of Sri Ram. It later went on to become the mighty Sisodia dynasty that ruled Mewar uninterrupted for 1400 years and even today, adorns the royal line of Udaipur.
Bappa had a very tormented and deprived childhood and was taken by her mother to the safety of the jungles of Bhinder ,where he was protected by the Bhils of Yadu descent .
Thus the association of Bheels with the Mewar royal line starts at its inception and it continued for the next thousand years .
Bappa is said to have met a Shaiva mystic Harit Sadhu who revealed to him the mysteries of Shaiv Tantra , principles of morality and lessons in humility along with a plan to lead the Hindu resistance to Islam by winning Chittor and re-establishing Sisodiya Rajput control over Mewar .
As happens with a lot of ancient figures, Bappa’s history too is littered with a lot of miracles which are not a matter of focus for the writer.
It was with the Mystic Sadhu only that Bappa developed a deep devotion to Bhagwan Eklinga Ji, a form of Shiva, and Eklinga Ji till today is the presiding deity of the Mewar royal house.
Bappa has visions of Goddess Bhawani, who blessed him and instructed him to serve the Mori dynasty of Chittor, which was the most powerful center of sovereign Hindustan at that time.
Bappa was received well by the Mori King, designated a Saamant, and granted a suitable estate.
It was at this time in words of Colonel Tod, that the arms of Islam, for the first time, crossed the Indus.
Mohammad Bin Qasim, all 17 years of age came from Arabia and attacked Raja Dahir Sen Of Sindh. Several attempts by Qasim were repulsed by Dahir and his valorous brother.
Then the Buddhists Of Sindh, who were alienated from Dahir aligned with Qasim and gave him entry to the Hindu king’s garrison and Dahir’s army was defeated and Dahir and his brother beheaded and Dahir’s daughters taken as sex slaves by Qasim and taken back to the then Caliph of Arabia, Khaled Bin Walid.
Qasim, armed with the loot of the riches of Sindh was able to raise an army of mercenaries and moved Eastwards to attack Mewar.
Bappa was leading the Mewar army and he struck alliances with the brave Nagabhatta of the Pratihara dynasty ruling Malwa region of today’s Madhya Pradesh . Bappa also allied with Pulakesiraja and Jayabhat of Gujarat and the joint Hindu forces fought with the Arab Muslim invaders .
Bappa was a fierce military man with a deep understanding of human brain . He also understood the nature of threat of Qasim’s invasion because Raja Dahir’s son had escaped the attack of Qasim on Sindh and taken refuge with Mewar , informing Bappa of the religious zeal and cruelty of Arabs .
Bappa mode is swearing loyalty and secrecy by his companions is still preserved in Mewar .
Digging a small pit and taking a small pebble in his hand, he would roar “ Swear secrecy and obedience to me in good and in evil; that you will reveal all to me that you hear, and failing, that the good deeds of your forefathers may, like this pebble fall into the Washerman’s well. ( Dropping the pebble into the pit )
They all took the oath .
The Arabs mercenaries were decimated by Bappa and his alliance and Qasim fled back to his home via Saurashtra, Gujarat, and Sindh.
Bappa did not relent and chased the invader upto Iran .
Bappa found the city of Gajni in Afghanistan in possession of a Selim , a governors posted by Qasim . Bappa defeated and captured Selim and married his daughter .
Bappa also put his nephew in charge of the city and thus secured Afghanistan as a Hindu kingdom for centuries to come .
Bappa erected check posts at regular intervals on his way back from Arabia and this was instrumental in stalling further attacks by Islamic armies for the next four hundred years .
Bappa’s Arab campaign catapulted him to the status of a miraculous warrior and he annexed Chittor from the Mori dynasty in the year 726 AD and established the present-day Mewar dynasty as we know it proclaiming himself as Maharao Bappa Rawal.
According to the chronicles available in Chittor , “ Bappa took Chittor from the Mori and himself became the Mor ( crown ) of the land “ ; Bappa was also named ‘ Sun of the Hindus ( Hindua Sooraj ), and protector of princes ( Raj Guru ) , titles which are attached to the royal family of Mewar , even today .
Bappa’s campaign had another positive side effect in the Hindu kingdoms of Lahore and Peshawar too . In 761 AD , the Afghans Of Kirman and Peshawar who were originally a Coptic colony from Egypt , crossed the Indus to come Eastwards and attack the Hindu king of Lahore .
In five months , seventy battles were fought with varied outcomes .
In the last one , the Rajput Hindu prince of Lahore carried his arms to Peshawar and truce was signed .
Thus happened a union of interests and all of Kohistan west of Indus was ceded to them , on the condition of guarding this barrier into Hindusthan against any invasion .
The Rajputs erected the fortress of Khyber in the chief pass of Koh – i – Damaun . For two long centuries after this , peace prevailed in upper Sindh and Punjab of today and Hindustan was left accessible only through Southern Sindh this narrowing the options of Islamic invaders to attack Hindustan .
Bappa thus sowed the seeds of Hindu Muslim conflict for his generations by clearly identifying the alien nature of Islam vis a vis Hinduism and established non-reconciliation with barbaric values of Islam as a norm for his progeny to follow, and laid the ground for armed resistance against the imperialistic designs of Islam.
What Bappa Rawal did was to recognize the vile nature of Arab theological expansionism and forged alliances with fellow Hindu kingdoms to not only conclusively defeat them but make such arrangements that Islamic invaders could not defeat Hindu kings for the next three centuries.
Bappa’s reach upto Afghanistan and Iran and making matrimonial bonds with the locals there meant continuance of Hinduism for centuries to come .
The impact of Bappa’s victorious campaign can be assessed by the fact that inspite of relentless attacks by Arabs and Turks for the next 14 centuries , there are still Hindus living in today’s Afghanistan and Pakistan .
Though heavily depleted in numbers , the fire of Hinduism could not be totally extinguished by the Islamic invaders because of the confidence and loyalty that warriors like Bappa established into the hearts and minds of Hindu populations .
The single biggest statement of Bappa Rawal’s reach beyond the Western frontiers of Rajasthan is that even today , the capital of the Islamic Republic Of Pakistan is the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi .
Inspite of decades of hatred against Hindus , even the state of Pakistan has it’s main Cantonment city named after a Hindu king who was loved and cherished by the people of that land .
Considering the meticulous execution of his victorious campaign against Arabs , it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to state that Bappa Rawal is the only reason Vedic Civilisation still pulsates in the Indian subcontinent .
Arab imperialist thugs who took less than ten years to completely devour Persia , Mesopotamia and Egypt converting the local population and making Persia and Iraq out of these lands , were not only halted by Bappa and his confederation but chased back to the lands of their origin .
Isn’t it time we stop wondering how Hinduism survived inspite of 1400 years of attack by these barbarians . It took brave and visionary leaders like Maharao Bappa Rawal to defeat the barbarians and keep the light of Dharma burning in India ?
If Bappa Rawal could do it 1400 years ago , what stops us to fight for Dharma when we are so well equipped today ?
That is the question every Hindu must find an answer to .
Bappa Rawal after ruling Mewar from Chittor for 27 years heeded to his spiritual bent of being and went off to jungles around Eklingji temple 30 kms North of today’s Udaipur and lived the life of an ascetic till his death at the age of 100 years.
Bappa Rawal was succeeded by various rulers of Mewar for the next three hundred years of whom, Shakti Kumar and Khumaan 1, Khumaan 2, and Khumaan 3 continued the expansion of the Mewar kingdom. Khumaan 2 and his victory in warding off another onslaught by the Islamists on Mewar, will be covered in the next article.
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