Patan, Gujarat

Patan is a city in Gujarat state of western India. It is the administrative seat of Patan District.

Patan Gujarat – History

   Patan is an ancient fortified town, founded in 746 by Vanraj Chavda, the most prominent king of the Chavda Kingdom. He named the city Anhilpur Patan after his close friend and Prime Minister Anhil. The city was also known as Anhilwara in the Middle Ages. Patan enjoyed a privileged status of capital of Gujarat, for about 600 years from 746 to 1411. The major Rajput clans of Chavdas (746-942), Solankis (942-1244) and Vaghelas (1244-1304) ruled the Hindu Kingdom of Gujarat from Patan. Patan was the home of the great scholar and author Hemachandra, a Jain Acharya who lived duing (1089 -1172).

   Historian Tertius Chandler estimates that Anhilwara was the tenth-largest city in the world in the year 1000, with a population of approximately 100,000.         

Muhammad of Ghor attacked the city in the 1180’s, but was rebuffed by the Solankis; Muhammed’s general (and later Sultan of Delhi) Qutb-ud-din Aybak sacked the city between 1200 and 1210, and it was destroyed by the sultans in 1298. After the collapse of the Delhi Sultanate at the end of the 14th century Gujarat became an independent Sultanate, and Sultan Ahmed Shah moved the capital to Ahmedabad.         

   The modern town of Patan later sprung up near the ruins of Anhilwara, and contains many Jain temples. Patan was part of the Maratha state of Baroda from the mid-eighteenth century until India’s independence in 1947, when Baroda became part of Bombay state,  which in 1960 was separated into Gujarat and Maharashtra.         

Patan Gujarat – Current

   Presently, Patan is home to the Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University. Patan is a prominent medical centre in the north Gujarat with almost 200 practicing medical professionals. Patan serves as a central market place for local farmers.

   Patan is also a tourist destination with a rich religious and cultural history and landmarks. Patan has numerous Hindu and Jain temples as well as Muslim mosques.

Cultural Land of Patan

   This city of Anhillpur-an abode of religion, a place of logic and embraced by Saraswati for all time is like a Saraswatika.

   People of this city (Anhillpur) play a leading role in bravery, in shastras, in self-control,, in meditation, in six schools of philosophy and in six angas of the vedas.

   Who would not be curious to know about the history of this city – Patan, the glory of which the great genius and know-all in Kaliyug Acharya Hemchandra, has praised so brilliantly?

   History of Patan is full of great variety. There are events of heroism, thrilling adventures of suspense and romantic love episodes.

   Kings and queens of Patan were of unique personality. The scholars of this city have cintributed literature of the purest ray to the world. The architecture of Chaulukya period has earned a glorious name for the city and has kept its head high among the architectural works of the world. Because of the step-well of queen Udayamati, Rudra Mahalaya, Lake Sahasralinga, Sun-temple of Modhera, Kumar Vihar, Temple of Panchasara Parsvanth etc. Chaulukya period is called the golden period in this history of Gujurat.

   Ministers like Damodar Mehta, Munjal Mehta, Udayan Mehta, Vastupal, Tejpal etc., of whatever sect, shaiv or jain, had equal feeling for the welfare of Patan.  Amatyas (ministers) of Patan were not only connoisseur of politics but were also valiant soldiers, priests, archaryas, men of charity, prostitutes etc., of Patan had the quality of greatness.

   The sovereign kings of Patan were not only rulers but were men of metaphysics also. The events of stepping down from the throne of a kingdom are rare in the history of any country. But it has happened six times in the history of Gujarat. Six kings of Gujarat had left the throne to lead a pious life on the divine path. The six kings were:

  • Mulraj
  • Chamundaraj
  • Durlabhraj
  • Bhimdev
  • Kshemraj
  • Karandev

  These kings who led the rest of their lives for realization of Self and God were the torch-bearers of Indian culture.

  Anhillipur Patan was the seat of learning and culture. This city has contributed considerably in making Gujaray a cultured state. It has done the same for western and southern regions of India also. History has recorded this.

  Anhillipur Patan was founded in V.S. 802 remained under Rajput rule upto V.S. 1360. It had a glorious duration of 558 years as the capital of Gujarat. Who would not be eager to know about a city that remained capital for more than five and a half centuries under Rajput rules?

Chavada Dynasty-746 A.D to 942 A.D

  The Chavda or Chawda or Chowra clan settled down in Gujarat and later Saurashtra. The first king of the Chavda Kingdom was Jayshikhari Chavda. Jayshikhari Chavda, whose capital city was at Panchasar in North Gujarat, was assassinated before his son Vanraj Chavda was born. Vanraj Chavda went on to be the most successful Chavda ruler, founding historical cities such as Anhilpur Patan and Champaner. There were five Chavda kings after Vanraj, the last of whom, Samantsinh Chavda, did not have any children. He adopted his nephew Mulraj Solankiwho          overthrew him in 942 and set up what came to be known as the Solanki dynasty.

Rulers of Chavada Dynasty

Seven Kings in Chavada Dynasty

  • Vanaraj: From V.S. 802 to V.S. 862 reigned for 60 years and died in V.S. 862.
  • Yogaraj: Vanaraj was succeeded by his son Yogaraj in V.S. 862. He ruled for 35 years and at the age of 120 years stepped down the throne and died offering himself to fire.
  • Kshemaraj: Yogaraj was succeeded by his son Kshemaraj in V.S. 897. He ruled for 25 years.
  • Bhuyad: Kshemaraj was succeeded by his son Bhuyad in V.S. 922. He ruled for 29 years.
  • Virsinh: Bhuyad was succeeded by his son Virsinh. He ruled for 25 years.
  • Ratnaditya: Virsinh was succeeded by his son Ratnaditya. He ruled for 15 years.
  • Samantsinh: After Ratnaditya, Samantsinh, the last king of Chavada dynasty came to the throne in V.S. 991 and ruled for seven years only.


The Solanki are Hindu Kshatriya clan who ruled parts of western and central India between the 10th and 13th centuries. Solankis are descended from 6th Centuary Badami Chalukya. The name Solanki comes from Chalukya the ancient Indian dynasty. During 543-566,Pulakesi I, established the kingdom at Vatapi (present-day Badami, Bagalkot District in North Karnataka of Karnataka). The Solanki clan-name is found within the Rajput and Gurjar community of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Historians like Vincent Smith, Dr. K. Jamanadas, K. M. Munshi etc states that solanki along with other agnikula Kshatriyas are of Gurjarorigin Dr. Dashrath sharma states that Solankis were of Brahmin origin, though from the work of other scholars it has been shown that Solankis were descendents of the Gujjars who came to india from pre-islamic Persia in large numbers.

In Gujarat, Anhilwara (modern Siddhpur Patan) served as their capital. Gujarat was a major center of Indian Ocean trade, and Anhilwara was one of the largest cities in India, with population estimated at 100,000 in the year 1000. The Solankis were patrons of the great seaside temple of Shiva at Somnath Patan in Kathiawar; Bhima Dev helped rebuild the temple after it was sacked by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1026. His son, Karandev, conquered the Bhil king Ashapall or Ashaval, and after his victory  established a city named Karnavati on the banks of the Sabarmati River, at the site of modern Ahmedabad.

Solanki rulers of Gujarat

  • Mulraj I (942/960-995/997).
  • Chamundaraj (c.995 -c.1010).
  • Vallabharaj (c.1010).
  • Durlabhraj (1009-1021).
  • Bhimdev I (1021-1063). Son of Naagraj and Nephew of Durlabhraj.
  • Karnadev I (1063-1093). Son of Bhimdev I.
  • “Siddhraj” Jaysinh I (1093-1143)
  • Kumarpal (1143-1173). Descendant of Karandev I.
  • Ajavapal. Nephew of Kumarpal. (c.1171-c.1176).
  • Mulraj II (c.1176-c.1178).
  • Bhimdev II (c.1178-1242).
  • Jaysinh II (c. 1223) -co-ruler of Bhimdev II
  • Tribuvanpal (1242-1244).


Vaghela Dynasty – 1244 A.D to 1304 A.D

   The Vaghelas were an Indian dynasty of Gujarat. The Vaghelas were based in the town of Dholka, and were feudatories of the Solanki dynasty, who ruled Gujarat from the 10th to the 13th centuries.         

   The Solanki went into decline in the thirteenth century, and by 1243 the             Vaghelas were firmly in control of Gujarat. They restored stability to Gujarat for the latter half of the 13th century, and the Vaghela kings and officials were dedicated patrons of the arts and temple-building. They established a rather short-lived (76 years) but powerful dynasty.

   The two rulers of this dynasty, Virdhaval and Vishaldev, were responsible for consolidating the stabilizing the prosperity of Gujarat after the fall of the Solankis. Virdhaval was the first Vaghela king, and two of his Jain minister brothers, who were also his two distinguished Dewans (chief ministers), Vastupal and Tejpal, built the exquisite Dilwara Temples on Mount Abu inRajasthan, and temples at the Girnar and Shetrunjay hills. His successor Vishaldev built temples at Dabhoi and founded Vishalnagar. Karandev was the last Vaghela king and also the last Hindu ruler of Gujarat,             who died in the 1304 conquest of Gujarat by Ala-ud-din Khilji, Sultan of Delhi. With his defeat Gujarat not only became part of the Muslim empire but the Rajput hold over Gujarat lost for ever.

List of Vaghela kings

  • Virdhaval (Visala) (c. 1243 – c. 1262)
  • Arjuna (Vishaldev) (c. 1262 – c. 1275)
  • Sarangadev (c. 1275 – c. 1297)
  • Karandev (II) (c. 1297-1304)

   Vaghela is a Kshatriya name. It is one of the four varnas (Social Orders) in Hinduism. It constitutes the military and noble order of the traditional Vedic-Hindu social system as outlined by the Vedas and the Laws of Manu. Lord Rama, Lord Krishna, Lord Buddha and Lord Mahavira all belonged to this social order.

   Initially in ancient Vedic society, this positions was achieved on the merits of a person’s aptitude (guna), conduct (karma), and nature (swabhava). Over the years it became hereditary. 


The Mughal Empire was the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent between the mid-16th century and the early 18th century. Founded in 1526, it officially survived until 1858, when it was supplanted by the British Raj.         

   The dynasty is sometimes referred to as the Timurid dynasty as Babur was descended from Timur.         

   The Mughal dynasty was founded when Babur, hailing from Ferghana (Modern Uzbekistan),  invaded parts of northern India and defeated Ibrahim Shah Lodhi, the ruler of Delhi, at the First Battle of Panipat in 1526. The Mughal Empire superseded the Delhi Sultanate as rulers of northern India. In time, the state thus founded by Babur far exceeded the bounds of the Delhi Sultanate, eventually encompassing a major portion of India and earning the appellation of Empire. A brief interregnum (1540-1555) during the             reign of Babur’s son, Humayun, saw the rise of the Afghan Suri Dynasty under Sher Shah Suri, a competent and efficient ruler in his own right. However, Sher Shah’s untimely death and the military incompetence of his successors enabled Humayun to regain his throne in 1555. However, Humayun died a few months later, and was succeeded by his son, the 13-year-old Akbar the Great.         

    The greatest portions of Mughal expansion was accomplished during the reign of Akbar (1556-1605). The empire was maintained as the dominant force of the present-day Indian subcontinent for a hundred years further by his successors Jahangir, Shah  Jahan, and Aurangzeb. The first six emperors, who enjoyed power both ‘’de jure’’ and ‘’de facto’’, are usually referred to by just one name, a title adopted upon his accession by each Emperor.         

   Akbar the Great initiated certain important policies, such as religious liberalism (abolition of the jizya tax), inclusion of Hindus in the affairs of the empire, and political alliance/marriage with the Hindu Rajput caste, that were innovative for his milieu; he also adopted some policies of Sher Shah Suri, such as the division of the empire into sarkars, in his administration of the empire. These policies, which undoubtedly served to maintain the power and stability of the empire, as the fiercely proud Hindu populace had shown stiff resistance and no signs of meekly converting to the whims of Islamic conquest in its years in the Indian subcontinent. These were preserved by his two immediate successors but were discarded by Aurangzeb, who followed a more strict interpretation of Islam and followed a stricter policy of intolerance to the practice of religions than his own. Furthermore, Aurangzeb spent nearly his entire career seeking to expand his realm into theDeccan and south India, Assam in the east; this venture sapped the resources of the empire while provoking strong resistance from theMarathas, Sikhs of Punjab, Ahoms of Assam and some elements within Hindu Rajputs. Ahoms in Assam successfully resisted the mughal invasions, the last battle being the Battle of Saraighat. It is interesting to note in this regard that while the Mughals ruled India for a nearly three hundred years they never really ruled the complete geographical extent of the subcontinent that is known as India in the modern day context. The power was mostly centered around Delhi which was for historical reasons considered a strategic stronghold but there always existed strong independent Hindu kingdoms which maintained their sovereignty and offered stiff resistance to Mughal expansionist fantasies.

Additional Information

The Gaekwad or Gaikwad (once rendered as Guicowar, also given (incorrectly) as Gaekwar) was a Maratha dynasty that ruled theprincely state of Baroda in western India from the mid-eighteenth century until 1947. The ruling prince was known as the Maharaja Gaekwad of Baroda, or more commonly as the Gaekwad. Pilajirao Gaekwar had established his head-quarters at Songadh in south. But his son Damajirao-2 (1732-68 A.D.), when got Vadodara and Patan in accession shifted his head-quarters from Songadh to Patan (1706 A.D.). After his death Vadodara was made capital of the state (1768 A.D.). At that time Ahmedabad was jointly administered by Peshvas and Gaekwars.