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veyed the annual tribute, recognising the King of Persia, informed Vasdew of the circumstance. The Raja, descending from his throne, seated the stranger upon it, and after giving him his daughter in marriage, furnished him with a suitable escort, which attended him back to Persia. Vasdew died after reigning seventy years; during which time the fort of Kalpy was built. He left thirty-two sons, who disputed the succession with each other for two years: the throne was at length ascended by Ramdew Rahtore, the general of the late Vasdew. Having reduced the rebellious officers and rajas of his country, Ramdew marched to the province of Marwar, from whence he expelled the tribe of Kutchwaha, and established that of Rahtore, which has remained there ever since ; while that of Kutch. waha removed to the neighbourhood of Rohtas. On his return to Kunowj, he marched against Bengal, and taking possession of the capital, he obtained great treasures, after having been absent from Kunowj for three years.
Four years after this event, proceeding to Malwa, he reduced it, and built many towns and cities in that kingdom ; among which was Nurwur, where having left a garrison of rahtories, he deputed an embassy to Shew Ray, Raja of Beejanuggur, soliciting his daughter in marriage. That Prince, dreading the power of Ramdew, sent her with valuable presents, along with the ambassador. Ramdew remained for two years in peace and happiness, after which, attacking the rajas of Sewalik, he extorted from them annual tribute. In that war, Ramdew was opposed by the Raja of Ku- . maoon (who inherited his country and crown from a long line of ancestors that had ruled upwards of 2000 years): a sanguinary battle took place, which lasted during the whole of one day, from sunrise to sunset, wherein many thousands were slain on both sides ; till at length the Raja of Kumaoon was defeated with the loss of all his elephants and treasures, and fled to the hills. Ramdew having subsequently compelled his enemy to give him his daughter in marriage, left him in possession of his country, and marching towards Nugrakote, plundered it, and at length arrived at a place called Shewkote Pindy*, where (on account of his veneration for the idol Doorga, which is situated at a small distance on the top of a neighbouring hill at Nagrakote,) he halted, and summoned the raja to appear before him. The Raja would by no means consent, but agreed to meet Ramdew at the temple, wherein the idol was placed. Thus the two princes met at the temple, when the Raja having given his daughter in marriage to the son of Raindew, the latter proceeded from thence to the fort of Jummoo. The Raja of Jummoo opposed him in the woods, but was eventually defeated. Ramdew pursued him to the fort of Jummoo, which he attacked, and subdued. At length the Raja consented to become tributary, and gave his daughter to another of Ramdew's sons. Ramdew being then in the vicinity of the Behut, a river which takes its rise in the hilly tract of Kashmeer, and flows through the territory of the Punjab, proceeded through Bengal as far as the sea-shore, where the Sewalik mountains have their termination.
* This place is written differently in various manuscripts, and is not down in any of the maps I have consulted.
Ramdew was employed five months in making the journey, having subjected, during that period, upwards of five hundred rajas, after which he returned to his capital, where he gave presents to his soldiers, and celebrated a feast on the occasion. Ramdew reigned for upwards of fifty-four years, and then died : he was contemporary with Feroze, the Sassanian, whose son Keikobad succeeded him, to both of which monarchs annual tribute was paid by India. After the death of Ramdew, his numerous sons all disputing the succession, civil wars ensued. Purtab Chund, the general of Ramdew, of the tribe of Sesodia, taking advantage of these events, and collecting a force, ascended the throne, in spite of the endeavours of the princes, whom he seized and put to death, and thus established his authority. Having raised himself to the same elevation as his predecessor, Purtab Chund refused to pay tribute to Persia, and the ambassador of Nowsherwan returned empty-handed. In consequence of this defection, the Persian troops invaded Mooltan and Punjab; and Purtab Chund sent peace-offerings both to the generals and to the Persian King himself, to prevent further devastation. From this, he transmitted the annual tribute as usual. After the death of Purtab Chund each of his generals seized on a province; while his
progeny, flying from Kunowj, occupied a small tract of country in the hills of Koombulmere, in the
* The term Sewalik seems synonymous with Himalaya.
neighbourhood of Chittoor and Mundsoor; the descendants of whom at present hold it in sovereignty. They are distinguished by the appellation of Rana, significant of a petty prince.
Among the other generals and rajas who became powerful after the death of Purtab Chund, was Anund-dew Rajpoot, of the tribe of Beis. Having collected a large force in Malwa, he conquered the countries of Nehrwala and Marhatt, in the Deccan. He built also the forts of Ramgir and Mahoor in Berar, as well as the fort of Mando in Malwa. He lived in the age of Khoosrow Purvees, and died after a reign of sixteen years.
At this time a Hindoo named Maldew, having collected a force in the Dooab, attacked and seized the cities of Dehly and Kunowj. He made the latter city his residence, which attained a condition so flourishing that it has seldom been equalled An idea of its population may be formed, when it is stated that Kunowj contained 30,000 shops for the sale of pant, and 60,000 families of public dancers and singers. After having reigned forty-two years, Maldew died; but leaving no sons fit to succeed him, anarchy and civil war every where prevailed. From that time till the Mahomedan invasion no single raja ruled over India ; for when
• The Sisodia family, the head of which is styled Rana, still reigns over Chittoor and Oodypoor; and its descendants have given rajas to the principalities of Dongurpoor and Purtabghur. – Vide Sir J. Malcolm's Report on Malwa, vol. i. pp. 504-506. Ferishta is in error when he asserts that Rana signifies a petty prince: it always has been borne by the highest Hindoo kings, and is distinctive of pre-eminence.
+ Pan, an aromatic leaf, much eaten by the Indians.
Sooltan Mahmood Ghizny invaded it, the country was divided into principalities, as follows:
Kunowj Koowur Raj.
Jeipal, the son of Hutpal. Thus also Malwa, Guzerat, Ajmeer, Gualiar, &c. had each separate rajas.
* A village on the left bank of the Jumna, about ten miles below Mutra, is supposed to be the spot here alluded to.