Bappa Rawal

by Bipin Shah

According to the Jaina sources:

Bapa Rawal's ancestor were Maitraka's of Saurashtra, one named Guhasinh or Sen was the father of Bapa Rawal. Maitraka's origin is of dubious nature who describes their early ancestor as Kanaksen (My guess is Kanishka). One Vijaysen, the decendant of Kanaksen became a Governor of Gupta, in charge of Saurashtra after defeat of western Saka. In my opinion, Maitraka as their name suggests, were sun worshiper (Mitra) and are of Khamboj- Saka , Iranian origin. Most of their kings carry the title of Siladitya (Ditya).  They were predominantly followers of Buddhism and intermarried with Parthians. After fall of Gupta they took over Saurashtra and Malwa. Later Siladitya established matrimonial relationship with Harshvardhan who was also Buddhist.

Bapa's Grandfather was believed to be the son of Naushirwan who married to Maitraka's princess. According to Jaina sources, the revolt by Prince against the father Naushirwan led the first sack of Vallabhi as Maitraka family could not keep themselves neutral. It is believed that Parthian controlled Sindh and even Kuchha. Bapa's father Guha fled to Chitore's Mauryan ruler who was his maternal uncle from Naushirwan's advancing Naval force who destroyed Vallabhi. The third and final sack of Vallbhi that occured much later (743 AD) finally ended Maitraka rule. The remnants of Maitraka later reappeared as Vala of "vanthali" and Chudasama of "Girnar-Junagadh" who contributed to later part of Saurashtra's history.

As far as I understand , Paratihara Nagbhatta or his father Vatsa Raja Pala, called "Royal Pratihara" defeated Arabs of Sindh, sometimes around 738 AD or later. It is very likely that Pratihara were related to Bengal's Pala as Pala contested frequently with Rashtrakutas of south for control of Kannauj as both laid claims along with Nagbhatt of Kanauj, the seat of Royal Pratihara. Royal Pratihara distinguished them from other Pratihara branches who really defeated Arabs.

Bapa Rawal in his later age abandoned his rule in favor of his son and migrated back to his ancestral home in Iran. 

This clearly shows very strong connection of Iran and India.