Prithviraja Vijaya

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Prithviraja Vijaya (IAST: Pṛthvīrāja Vijaya, "Prithviraja's Victory") is an eulogistic Sanskrit epic poem on the life of the Indian Chahamana king Prithviraja III (better known as Prithviraj Chauhan in the vernacular folk legends). It is believed to have been composed around 1191-1192 CE by Jayanaka, a Kashmiri poet-historian in the court of Prithviraja.


  • Visnu - my dwelling place Puskara has been overcome with terror of the matangas [Turks]. The place where I myself performed the final ablutions after the great sacrifice of world creation, the mleccha army now uses to refresh themselves after their violent destruction of temples and brahman settlements.
    • Prithviraja Vijaya, quoted in Jain, M. (2010). Parallel pathways: Essays on Hindu-Muslim relations, 1707-1857. chapter V.

Quotes about the Prithviraja Vijaya[edit]

  • In the last few pages I have repeatedly referred to Prthvīrāja Vijaya, the only surviving literary text from the king’s reign. Much of what we know about Prithviraj’s predecessors comes from Prthvīrāja Vijaya, whose more detailed genealogy agrees quite closely with the genealogies contained in Chahamana inscriptions. Among the deeds narrated are the founding of Ajmer and the construction of various temples and tanks there. The text repeatedly situates the royal family in Ajmer and praises the city’s beauty, as well as nearby Pushkar’s holiness.
    • Cynthia Talbot - The Last Hindu Emperor_ Prithviraj Chauhan and the Indian Past, 1200-2000-Cambridge University Press (2015)
  • These few points, plus some details on Prithviraj’s ancestors, are the main political facts to be gleaned from Prthvīrāja Vijaya, but the text is more interesting and informative when it comes to cultural attitudes towards the Muslim enemies of the Chahamanas. We have already seen that it describes Shihab al-Din as a wicked eater of cows, portrays his ambassador as alien in appearance to the point of extreme ugliness, and castigates the “Goris” for their destructive nature. At the outset of the poem, Brahma makes a plea to Vishnu to be born on earth in order to rectify the Muslim desecration of Pushkar, the holy site dedicated to Brahma that is near Ajmer – the answer to his prayer is our hero Prithviraj, frequently identified in the text as a form of Vishnu. Subsequently, we are told that King Arnoraja had a lake created in order to cleanse the earth of impurity from the many Muslim deaths that occurred during the course of an assault on the Chahamana capital. The Chahamana kings are hence firmly placed on the side of the gods, fighting against the forces of evil, in these flattering scenarios.
    • Cynthia Talbot - The Last Hindu Emperor_ Prithviraj Chauhan and the Indian Past, 1200-2000-Cambridge University Press (2015)

External links[edit]

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