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The Chalukyan legacy - (A solanki AAR)

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Stories & Tales' started by adhiraj.bose, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    Damn.. I like that feature :p . At least for high growth cities with low production, its a boon ! The cities the Gujaratis start out with are great 'whip worthy' cities, but alas ! I could not use them :( . I'd have a much larger army much more quickly.
     
  2. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    The sailors of Surat had set sail three years ago, now some have returned with news of a long and rich coastline west of Sindh. This is the land of the Paradas of yore, a warlike race on a harsh desert land, but with rich coastline. In the course of this voyage, the sailors encountered fishing vessels which came from the South in a land of palm trees and pearls. The natives of this Parad land have long been in contact with these strange Mleccha traders, but for us they were a new foreign race. The sailors were directed to continue tracing a route across the Western sea till they found the kingdom of these people who come with the promise of great wealth and trade.

    Spoiler :


    Four years later, the sailors had still not found the route to this kingdom, they reached a point in the western sea where the lands on either side close in and a the ships could turn to the South. Now they began their sail along the mysterious and unknown Southern coast of the Western sea.

    Spoiler :


    Raja Karandev felt frustrated at the slow progress of these explorations. He like his forefather would rarely come to me for advise, but in times of frustration and doubt, it would not be unusual for the kings of Gujarat to come to me. He asked me, "These stories that you heard, what most of my ministers deemed as fantasical wives tales by a clever conman, is there any truth to them ?" seldom do I ever reveal the extent of my knowledge of the world passed down from a millennia and half, when I do I am cautious not to reveal more than is needed. All that I said to the king, was "yes, there is truth in them."

    Though his exploratory project seemed to go nowhere, he found success in his projects at home. The 'Rani ki vav' which had been built and expanded upon over decades now, was expanding at a faster pace than ever before. Anhilwara was growing, by now it had become the largest city in Bharatvarsh, and yet it was still growing.

    Spoiler :


    Gujarat was now stronger and more prosperous than ever before. Vast networks of roadways linked Anhilwara to Surat and Dwarka. Large plantations produced spices, dyes and the mines of the Aravallis to the North produced metal. Rich farmlands and salt mines and fisheries provided food and replenishment to sustain this prosperity. The subjects undoubtedly revered Raja Karandev I for his work.

    Six years since the discovery of the straits on the edge of the Western sea, the sailors from Surat had finally discovered the route to one of the fabled wealthy Mleccha kingdoims of the West, but it was not the one that they had expected. This kingdom was located far to the South of the Southern land, at the other end of the Western sea.

    Spoiler :


    This kingdom did not have a king, the mlecchas of this land chose from among them a priest to lead them. The Priests of this land ruled together in council, and at the helm of this council was the Imam Hamzah. The sailors were led to this land by fishermen they encountered in the Parad coastline years ago, and they led them to treat with the imam. The imam was unlike other Mlecchas, he was keen on the furthering the prosperity of his dominion, for this he wished an exchange. Word of this offer was brought before Raja Karandev who was elated at the discovery of these far off lands. The Imam Hamzah of Zaidi (as he called his kingdom) offered knowledge of religious philosophy in exchange for our superior knowledge of agricultural sciences which allowe us to bring fertility to the harsh lands of Gujarat.

    Spoiler :


    This was the first contact between our kingdom and the distant kingdoms of the west, but it would not be our last. Raja Karandev issued a commandment directing the sailors to sail further west and find the 'Erythraean sea' of yore from whence the Yavana traders came to our land. It was believed that many more nations would exist along these shores which could bring new opportunities to the people of our land.

    Spoiler :


    And so many years passed in this manner, sailors from Surat would conduct a yearly expedition into the Erythraean sea exploring more of its shores, scholars would come from the kingdom of Zaidi to study agriculture from Gujarat, Anhilwara continued to work on the rani ki vav and Surat and Dwarka expanded. For many years Raja Karandev had been building the military strength of Gujarat in preparation for the inevitable conflict with Chittor.

    After a prolonged siege by the armies of Ajmer and Malwa, the garrison of Chittor had been weakened. Siege weapons were readied, swords and shields were forged, an army of 10000 was trained for the assault on Chittor. "It is time" the king said, "We march to war."

    Spoiler :


    After two days' march the army of Gujarat came before the citadel of Chittor. The king invited me to march with him. I could tell that this mighty citadel bore the scars of war. The once proud and arrogant strength of Chittor had been humbled, the army of Gujarat could take it without much resistance, or so Raja Karandev thought.

    When our messenger arrived before the Rana of Chittor, bearing a message of peaceful surrender, the Rana sent in reply to us his headless body with a blood stained parchment hanging from his shoulders dangling before his chest. That parchment bore the message " To those who seek to conquer Chittor, conquer he must at the point of a blade or not at all. " Scouts would later report that the garrison of Chittor was stronger than previously thought. Fortifications in the inner fort were still strong and if we were to go on a head on collision with them, most if not all our forces would be massacred.

    Yet again, Raja Karandev withdrew from an attack, but he did not withdraw his army. For the next several years they would surround the outlying areas of the fort battling against Chittori militias and taking village after village. Many peasants were enslaved and sold to worker guilds to improve the lands of Gujarat. The king withdrew with me to Anhilwara to tend to other matters, "this battle can wait."

    Spoiler :


    Three years passed and the war against Chittor continued and the fort still held, despite a daily bombardment from Catapults. The King brooded on his throne thinking of ways to bring about an end to this war and return to a state of normalcy. His military advisers suggested only that he be patient while the walls are weakened enough to storm the citadel of Chittor. Meanwhile, sailors from Surat continued their expedition westward. Twelve years since the meeting with the Imam of Zaidi, we met with yet another Mleccha kingdom.

    Spoiler :


    In an earlier time, the emperor of the Mleccha had fought wars with the Pratihara emperor. The kingdom we found far into the North of the Erythraean sea, was the descendant of that emperor. The sailors had not known of them when they first came in contact, but when they identified the sailors as 'hindu kafir', these Mlecchas became familiar. It was with a sense of fear and apprehension that the explorers treated with the emperor who was then seated in his provincial capital in the West. Their fears notwithstanding the Mleccha emperor sought peace at the end.

    Like the Imam of Zaidi before him, the Mleccha emperor sought our wisdom in the agricultural sciences, but curiously wished to learn the ways of the varna system. A scholar was sent to our shores to study our ways, in return for this knowledge he demonstrated the methods of construction that the Mleccha knew. Among his demonstrations was the creation of a giant catapult which could fling weights farther and harder than our normal catapults. This invention caught the attention of Raja Karandev and his military advisers. The scholar was offered a place in the Royal Academy beside the wisest in all of Gujarat.

    Spoiler :


    That same year, the sailors on their journey back home, were contacted by yet another western kingdom. This kingdom was located in the land of Misr, a land long forgotten in time and whose existence was thought to have been nothing more than lore. Yet there he was, the king of the Fatimid sultanate, as the kingdom was known.

    Spoiler :


    Whilst still of Mleccha stock, these appeared to be rivals of the Northern Mlecchas. In some ways this king received us more openly and was more willing to trade with us. Stories had already been told of travellers from a prosperous kingdom on the Western sea and many were eager to trade with us and share in our knowledge. The lands along the coasts of this sea were barren desert, the people looked on us with awe when they heard that we had taken such a barren land and made it bloom with fertility. It was understandable then why the two rivals were so keen on meeting with our men.

    As our sailors sailed to the South, another mysterious race greeted them. This was the kingdom of Makuria, whose people bore a dark skin not unfamiliar to the dravidas.

    Spoiler :


    Theirs was a poorer, distant, backward kingdom which lacked ports along the coastline. Their cities were located far westward in the dark continent from where incense is said to come. Yet, they treated us well and we reciprocated. Peace was agreed upon between our two nations. Perhaps in time, we may meet them yet again. For now, our travellers contented themselves with having explored the entire stretch of the Erythraean sea and mapped out the coastline of the land of the Mlecchas.

    Raja Karandev had much to be happy about the following year. It was year 1067 of the Vikram Samvat calendar. His reign had now gone on for 45 years. The young warrior prince was now an old man, youthful zeal had given way to tempered wisdom. In this year, the king would celebrate the completion of the expansion of the Rani ki Vav. Now the stepwell had reached its zenith and could store water for over a hundred thousand citizens. The common folk of the capital at Anhilwara and of the other cities of the kingdom rejoiced at this accomplishment, at last the dream of Queen Udayamati was fulfilld.

    Spoiler :


    For seven long years Gujarat prospered in peace, but in the North war waged on against the kingdom of Chittor. Raja Karandev was feeling the burden of old age, he often mused "When I was young I reveled at the thought of waging war. It was an adventure for me. Yet now that I hold the sword in my hand, all I feel is a burden. For ten long years have I tried to subdue the kingdom of Chittor, to no avail. The invincible citadel still holds, would I live to see it fall ? Would I live to see this war end ?" My consolations were unheeded. It seemed to me then, that Raja Karandev would have made up his mind. In the year 1074 of the Vikram samvat, Raja Karandev Solanki the first of his name led the army of Gujarat to battle.

    I have witnessed a dozen battles large and small, but I cannot recall a siege that was more bloody and grueling than the siege of Chittor. Legions after legions of men stormed through the battered gates of Chittor, boulders hurling through the air, against the defending troops. The defenders would fire so many arrows against us, that the sun itself seemed shaded. But fiercest of all were the rajput swordsmen. Though outnumbered, though outmaneuvered, and outgunned, the defenders of Chittor fought to their last breath. The Rana of Chittor himself came down to battle, at the end, the soldiers stood witness to a fight between the warrior king of Chittor, and the enlightened king of Gujarat. It seemed a cruel twist of destiny that Raja Karandev should have to fight a war when he had been robbed of every fighting skill. Yet, such was the plan of providence, that King Karandev would die fighting an opponent who was still in his form as a warrior.

    Spoiler :



    With his sacrifice Raja Karandev Solanki, the first of his name made a kingdom into an empire.
     
  3. SouthernKing

    SouthernKing crickety cricket

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    I love SoI. Subbed.
     
  4. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    Tomorrow will come the next update.

    Thanks for your patronage SouthernKing :D . I also see you like Daler Mehendi :p
     
  5. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    In the chronicles of Acharya Mrityunjay : 1074-1094

    A victorious army marches triumphantly, it is believed, a victorious army marches with its head held high, so it was said, but there was no triumphant glory in this army, their heads were bowed down. The army that won Chittor, returned home in sorrow bringing with them their fallen king.

    Karandev's son Prince Ambhi assumed administration of the city on behalf of his father when he had left for battle. "I will return victorious" his father had said, but it was never expected that he would return martyred. The whole of Anhilwara was in mourning for their king, the most noblest of kings to grace the rule of Gujarat.

    As his funeral pyre burnt the citizens of the capital looked to the crown prince for leadership. He inherited the burden of an expanded and powerful kingdom that had grown far beyond its humble beginnings. Upon assuming the throne of Gujarat, Prine Karan assumed the name of his father declaring to the masses that he would carry on his father's legacy. Now began the reign of King Karandev, the second of that name, fourth in the line of the Solanki kings.

    After the end of the war on Chittor, the main task was that of assimilating the fallen citadel and the surrounding region. Karandev II was ever the administrator as much as his father was a warrior, he handled this task with ease, yet perhaps his greatest achievement would be in the field of diplomacy and science.

    Not six months had passed since the death of Karandev I, that his son would get the first opportunity to prove his skills in diplomacy and science. The imam of Yemen, now of feeble age had sailed the distance from his far off Mleccha kingdom and came to Anhilwara having heard the news of his father's demise. The imam of zaidi came before Karandev II and spoke with gratitude of his father, "He was an honorable man, and I had hoped that some day I would come to meet him someday before my own life passes. Alas! I was not fortunate enough. I come now to treat with you, his son who bears his name, King Karandev, the second of that name." close behind him was an entourage of scholars and artists. One of them brought with them a plaque, this plaque bore a beautiful design created with tiles. 'This is the art of zaid o honorable king. We give you these plaques as a gift along with ten maunds of gold that shall be unloaded at the docks of Surat."

    The king was pleased at this gesture, he came down from his throne to bow before the imam of zaid, "Much is said about the mleccha and their ways, but so little was known of them that could make such beautiful art on stone." he clapped his hands and summoned his dasis to bring his gifts. Several reams of fine cotton garments were brought to the imam on silver plates. "In exchange for the generous gift from Zaid, I give to thee a token of Gujarat's crafts. These are the produce of our textiles." The imam and his entourage were thrilled by the beautiful cotton garments and the art woven on them. In time both nations would learn from these gifts, Yemen created its own textiles from these garments while Gujarat would build fine wonders with the mosaic art of Yemen.

    Spoiler :


    Two years into his reign, Gujarat's strength had become both a subject of fear and envy. The fall of Chittor had showed to the rest of Bharatvarsh, that Gujarat under the Solanki dynasty was by far the most capable of the hindu nations. The king of Malwa raja Udayaditya Parmar, was first to recognize this. Malwa which had been plagued by invaders from the South and East sought allies with which to protect itself. Who would be more capable than the mighty Solankis of Gujarat ?

    Spoiler :


    The momentous event was marked by festivity and grand parades at the capital at Anhilwara. Raja Udayaditya and Raja Karandev raised their hands in tandem before the gathering numbering in the thousands with people from Gujarat and Malwa gathered at the palace grounds.

    The treaty of protection, which would be called the Paramara-Solanki treaty, stipulated that both nations would open and deepen their trade and that Malwa shall be ever ready to partake in the wars of Gujarat by sending men and money while Gujarat shall be ever ready to defend the boundaries of Malwa and defend its economic integrity when called upon to do so. A clause however, was made in secret that would not be known to the people of Gujarat or Malwa, that Raja Udayaditya shall also be ever ready to pay any manner of tribute that Gujarat shall demand from Malwa. With this unequal and overbearing treaty, the union of Gujarat and Malwa was forged. In an instant the kingdom of Gujarat emerged as the Solanki empire.

    Five years passed since the signing of the Paramara-Solanki treaty, while the Solanki empire prospered, trouble was brewing in the North. For long the kingdoms of Gandhar and those along the Sindhu had been harassing the nation of Rajputana. The kingdom of Ajmer had held out for centuries against these attackers and their forbears fought alongside our forbears in driving the first Mleccha invaders beyond the Sindhu to the fort city of Mansura. Yet, under relentless pressure, Ajeya meru, the unconquered mountain, finally succumbed.

    Spoiler :


    While the army of Ajmer was fighting attackers from Dhillika, raiders attacked the capital city from across the Thar and overwhelmed its defenders. With the fall of their capital, the kingdom fell into chaos. The remnants of the standing army dispersed into banditry around the countryside. The once prosperous and powerful kingdom, fell into civil war. Raja Karandev saw these events with concern and envisioned the need for a strong army to defend the integrity of the empire.

    Two additional divisions of axemen were planned to be trained at the barracks of Anhilwara. One had already been ready for war, another was being trained. These were dark days for Bharat, most of the prosperous North was under the throes of chaos and entropy even as invaders saw it with envious eyes. The Solanki empire stood out as a beacon of hope in a sea of woes.

    The next two years passed in peace. The most significant progress during these years was in the realm of science where the acharyas of the royal academy were on the verge of completing their research on crop rotation. Once established it would reveal the long hidden techniques of spreading farmlands into forested regions. The villages near the capital were slated to be the first lands to implement the new agricultural policy that was being framed out by Raja Karandev II.

    However, the time was not yet ripe for these reforms to be introduced. This truth would be brought forth by a most stark reminder. While Anhilwara was prosperous it was also exceedingly crowded. Its forges were built crammed beside one other in very precarious ways. An inn was built beside one such forge such that it was hard to tell where the forge began and the inn ended. A place of inflammable drinks stood right beside a place of fire. It was not unsurprising then that a disastrous fire took place nearly gutting the forges.

    Spoiler :


    The fires were the first disaster that the city endured, some feared a curse lingering on their king Raja KarandevII much like his grandfather Raja Bhimdev whose reign was marked with multiple calamities. Raja Karandev II responded with great urgency in putting fires under control and rebuilding the forges with urgency. Emergency funds were made available and the forges were rebuilt within a few months of their destruction. The new complex was built with a view towards safety, it thus goes without saying that the inn was closed down much to the disappointment of the working folk of the city.

    Spoiler :


    The year that followed, saw the initiation of the Raja's agricultural reforms based on the crop rotational techniques discovered at the Royal Academy. For long, Gujarat's agrarian sciences had been the envy of the world, so when the techniques of crop rotation were discovered, it was but obvious that the nations of the west would come forth to propose an exchange of knowledge. A foreign traveler arrived to the court of Raja Karandev II, who announced that he is from the fairest of nations, that belonging to the Buyid.

    Spoiler :


    Around this time, sailors from Surat driven by a wanderlust explored the waters of the western seas. They crossed beyond the straits of Parasika into a wide gulf with land on either side separated by a wide sea. That is where the Buyid had made contact with the adventurers. Theirs was a Mleccha nation in the same vein as the ones that had made their dominion over Gandhar. They were a warlike people full of spite and arrogance. The traveller was unlike those who resided in Misr or Mesopotamia, they came with humility and behaved with decorum, this traveller however, 'refused to bow before a kafir'.

    It was against the decorum of a king who ruled by the laws of dharma, to insult a dignitary of a sovereign nation, here again Raja Karandev II proved his diplomatic skill in
    averting any confrontation and ensured peace with this kingdom. The traveller was sent on his way, with only the knowledge that the 'kafir' kingdom of Gujarat could sow a garden in the desert while their people were still be forced to hunt for for survival.

    Explorations continued thereafter, but no contact was made for long. Though a route would soon be discovered at the far end of the western sea where the great ports of the Abbasid mlecchas were established. In the meantime, the mainland continued to prosper but threats remained.

    Spoiler :


    An incident occurred in the North Western pastures of Anhilwara, where the army of Gujarat was posted for the defense of the capital and its sources of food. A large band of raiders from the Thar of the same stock as those who had brought ruin to Ajmer had made an incursion on the territories of the empire. The well trained warriors of Gujarat had made quick work of these raiders, proving their martial skills once more.

    After the fall of Chittor, this would be the only military affair that Gujarat had to deal with and the only fight that the armed forces of the empire had to face under the reign of Raja Karandev II.

    Several years later, the Abbasid Mlechhas would come to the court of the Solanki king once more. This time, it was the emperor of Misr, he of the Fatimid clan, who had come to effect an exchange of ideas. The knowledge of our crop rotation techniques had come to them from the Buyid, they brought word of this knowledge to Misr who today have come to our shores to gain this wisdom for themselves.

    The Mleccha emissary came laden with gold, all of 60 maunds in weight. Yet despite the splendor he arrived with he showed every manner of respectable humility before Raja Karandev II and impressed the king with knowledge of various religions. Most striking was the depth of his perception when he argued the oneness of God. Raja Karandev was enthralled by the wisdom of this emissary. Keen to know more about the philosophies of Misr, Raja Karandev sent his scholars to the Mleccha kingdom across the Erythraean sea. They would return much wiser than they began.

    Spoiler :



    This exchange would be the last act of Raja Karandev II. During his final years on the throne, an illness took him that depleted him of his strength. He conducted affairs of the state with the aid of his son and his wife. Prince Siddharaj Jaisingh Solanki was announced the heir to the throne a full decade earlier and as such was assigned duties of administration. Showing skills as a warrior and an administrator he was assigned the defense of Anhilwara and command of the Army of Gujarat. It was him that successfully kept raiders at bay, and it was him that had strengthened the army of Gujarat. Following in his grandfather's footsteps he envisioned an invasion of Sindh. That time was about to dawn upon him.
     
  6. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    I'm still writing the above post be back from dinner :)
     
  7. CaterpillarKing

    CaterpillarKing Conqueror of Cacoons

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    Impressive little kingdom you got there :)
     
  8. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    I'm only just started :D . My goal is to control directly or indirectly the whole of India and Afghanistan. Not a fixed goal, but that is what I'm trying to aim for nonetheless.
     
  9. SouthernKing

    SouthernKing crickety cricket

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    Nice update. Those Buyids shall know their place when the Rajputs terrorize Mesopotamia! or something.



    You could say that :p
     
  10. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    I am definitely working on the next updates tomorrow :) .
     
  11. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    I got all the pictures ready and sorted. Its time to write the reign of Siddharaj Jaisingh ! :D
     
  12. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    In the chronicles of Acharya Mrityunjay - (1094-1140)

    Prince Siddharaj Jaisingh was crowned King on the dark fortnight of the month of Posh. The stars had come to an alignment which suggested a time of glory would come to Gujarat, but that this glory will come at great cost and great struggle. Siddharaj Jaisingh was destined to leave his mark on the dynasty and on this land. Yet, his was but a lone light in a dark tunnel.

    The king had inherited a strong empire that stretched from the coast of the western sea to the lands of the Malwa, but as is with all empires, there was peril. Not two years passed under the reign of the new king, that crisis had struck the throne of Malwa. The reigning monarch of the Paramara dynasty had died of a sudden illness which left the court in a state of confusion. The new ruler was weak and incompetent, he could not hold his sway over the rebellious lords of the Paramara realm. So when the rajput army from Ajeya meru launched their invasion into Paramara lands and Gujarati lands, the weak monarch of Malwa was caught unawares.

    Spoiler :


    The army of Gujarat was posted on the border of Chittor and Ajeya meru, their gaze fixed on the raiders coming from the North. There was little time or resources that could be devoted to the defense of the town of Bundi. Before long, the small garrison found itself overwhelmed and defeated.

    Spoiler :


    It was a crisis that the Raja of Gujarat could do little to diffuse. The army of Gujarat was strong, but not strong enough to reign in on the combined strength of all the feudatories of Malwa. Over the two years since the defeat of Bundi, the Paramara king fought and fled from the chaos that ensued as each lord rebelled against his rule, setting up his own dominion. By the year of Vikram Samvat 1097, the kingdom of Malwa was no more.

    Spoiler :


    The empire of the Solankis was falling apart almost as soon as it was built, and Siddharaj Jaisingh was faced with his first challenge, to restore order and Solanki rule to the lands of Malwa and punish the Rajput invaders.

    The king had made his skills at war known since the time of his father's reign, and this would not be his first battle in the bloodied land of Rajputana. The Army of Gujarat had been put to task defending the Northern borders of Chittor, now they would be mobilized for a task of an entirely different nature. The army had successfully repelled several raids from Ajeya meru, now it was time to attack. The city of Bundi had fallen three years ago, now the Maharaj Siddharaj Jaisingh sent an army of redemption.

    Spoiler :


    In the year 1100 of the Vikram Samvat, Bundi was annexed to the dominions of the Solanki. An intense battle was fought over the cities, but the siege weapons breached the defenses of the invading rajput forces and the expert skill of the kshatriya warriors prevailed over the weakened army of Ajeyameru. The army lost several hundred men in the siege, but the enemy lost in the thousands. Their stores were looted and their weapons siezed. This was Siddharaj Jaisingh's first big battle and there would be more to come.

    There was however, more than just war that was on the mind of the king. For long Gujarat was ruled by the strict rule of dharma, the divisions of the caste were strictly enforced and laws were referred to the laws of Manu before being brought in force. As prince, Jaisingh had never truly agreed to these laws. He had seen the fighting skills of bhil and kohl tribals from the Deccan hills, and he had seen their courage in the face of war. Yet by the laws of Manu they were to be deemed untouchable under-castes unable to carry a weapon.

    As a prince he had confronted his father and his brahman courtiers on the recruitment of these men to fight the mleccha. He had his way then, and he would have his way now. For long many of the mleccha nations of the west were unwilling to open their borders for us, for the sole reason that their traders were deemed lower caste and deprived of any protection to trade. Siddharaj Jaisingh in his fourth year as king sought to change this permanently. He decreed in the year Vikram Samvat 1099, "The empire of the Solankis shall no longer discriminate, nor between high caste and low caste, nor between foreigners and natives. All shall be allowed equal opportunity to advance on their own merit. Foreign traders from the mleccha kingdom shall given the protection any foreign trader deserves."

    Spoiler :


    It was not an easy decision to make. Traders, peasants and lower castes celebrated it, while the brahman priests and kshatriya warlords hated it. It was not merely a question of loss of privilege but a question of defiling ancient well rooted traditions in society. They took to rebellio, Anhilwara was witness to the worst of the bloodshed. Hundreds died in the course of the battle and hundreds more were executed in the aftermath. The raja intended to put a quick end to this affair, and in this he succeeded. A compromise was reached where the brahmans were assured that their courtly privileges would not be taken away, and the kshatriya were assured that no sudra would be allowed to rise to the level of a commander. In return, they were willing to concede recruitment of tribals and sudras into the armed forces and accepted trading privleges to mleccha traders as long as these are confined to the ports.

    The peace from the compromised allowed the raja once more to focus on military and administrative affairs. The fall of Bundi and the defeat of the rajput served to stabilize his rule after the anarchy of the transition. Word of the raja's far reaching reforms had reached out almost as soon as they were brought in force, traders from these western shores flocked to Gujarat to take advantage of the new opportunities presented to them. A set of new treaties were signed under an open borders agreement between all the mleccha nations in contact with Gujarat.

    Spoiler :


    The open borders treaty with Sindh was especially valuable for the Raja. Hindus suffering under the alien rule of the mleccha vassals, sought to seek refuge in the Solanki domains, but could not do so with the boundaries being closed. Now that borders were open they had an avenue for escape. The refugees came back with stories of discrimination and humiliation that drove many proud hindus to tears, the call for war against the sultan of Sindh was louder than ever before.

    All was not well in the kingdom, though peace was achieved through the king's skill, and trade with the mlechhas brought much prosperity to the traders of Gujarat, there was still resentment, not the least emerging out of the stories of persecution in the west. But perhaps Raja Siddharaj intended for it to happen, often he would ask me about politics the samrats of Magadh from ancient times. Among the king's favorite story was of Sri Satakarni. Citing it one day, he told me, "I had not intended for such resentment among my people, but I sense this creates the right conditions for war. It will lead to economic strain, but hate will prepare the people for hard times."

    Perhaps the Raja was right, or perhaps not. On the 12th day of the month of magh, in the year vikram samvat 1108, his beliefs, and his rule would be put to test. On this day, a violent cyclone emerged from the seas and wreaked havoc on the city of Dwarka. Houses along the docks were devastated, and all of the city's lighthouses were destroyed along with hundreds of fishermen. The disaster did not augur well for Raja Jaisingh, seditious holy men roamed the realm and spoke of him as a mleccha at heart, a heathen king whose lack of piety has brought disaster upon the people of Gujarat. They said, should his reign continue more disasters would surely come. When asked how he would like them punished, all the king said was, "Let them be."

    In retrospect this act of forgiveness was well thought of. The conditions were not ripe to enact a harsh punishment, it would only solidify opposition against his rule. He could not risk instability at home when the enemies of the dynasty were amassing troops on the empire's Northern borders.

    Spoiler :


    The destruction of the cyclone affected fishing along the Gujarati coast. That in turn stunted the city's growth. It pained the king to see such suffering, but there was little that could be done. Those who lost their homes were compensated with new homes, but the lighthouses could not be rebuilt just yet. The resources of the empire had to be used for an overarching immediate concern. Gujarat was preparing for war and boosting its defenses. The Rajput cities of Chittor and Bundi were being tasked with building defenses and siege weapons.

    A decade passed in this manner, the kingdom of Gujarat was strengthening its military as it found itself surrounded by hostile nations in every corner. It was a shaky period, but Raja Jaisingh Solanki guided the kingdom through these troubled times and left it stronger than he had inherited it. Whilst the workshops and weapon smiths worked on building weapons for the army, the acharyas of Anhilwara and sailors of Surat worked on new techniques of sailing. The King would often say, that Gujarat's true salvation is in command of the western sea. He saw it as his nation's inheritance. The invention of the stern rudder would allow the shipwrights of the empire to build new faster and stronger ships that could match those of the west. However, it would be well over a decade before the research was ready. For now, more urgent matters needed tending to.

    Spoiler :


    Taking advantage of the chaotic conditions in the borderlands, a muslim bandit party from the deserts of Thar infiltrated deep into our territories and pillaged the copper mines North of Anhilwara. A legion of axemen dispatched to relieve the region had failed. The task now fell on a division of kshatriya warriors newly trained in the city of Chittor recruited from former tribals. The battle was won and the bandits were vanquished, this victory was the final verdict on Raja Siddharaj Jaisingh's reforms.



    To be continued in part II - below
     
  13. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    Continued from above -

    Even as the boundaries of the empire were challenged by banditry from the North, trade relations with the Mleccha empires in the west were expanding. But it was not just the mleccha nations beyond the western seas that found opportunities for trade in Gujarat's thriving ports, a new ruling dynasty of the Parasikas found their way to our borders as well.

    Spoiler :



    The emissary who came to the court of Anhilwara explained to us, that he served the line of the 'brave lion'. Their empire spread over a vast land straddling the deserts of the Turkushas in the North and the Parasik hills to the South. Their strength, valor and wealth was known throughout the world and had been made theirs by the force of arms. It was an empire built on horseback, not unlike the empire of the Kushans over a millennia ago. The Raja Jaisingh greeted them with respect and humility, such that the emissary was charmed. The grandeur of the capital and its magnificent stepwell was the envy of the world, the Seljuk king was said to be enthralled by the stories brought back from this far eastern land. At the end of his visit, the king signed a treaty of trade which opened the borders between the two empires, the empire of the Seljuk and the empire of the Solanki.

    By now, virtually all the known world of islam was open to trade with the Solanki empire. Only one nation remained untouched by Raja Jaisingh's policy, the greatest mleccha empire of all, which bore the name of Abbas. In the 36th year of Siddharaj Jaisingh's reign, they too accepted.

    Spoiler :


    The years thereafter were spent in relative peace as the rajput raids were thwarted, ravaged lands were re-improved. Trade brought with it prosperity and prosperity brought with it scientific advancement. The research on stern rudders were now nearing its completion and in the year vikram samvat 1135, the technology was made fully available for usage in shipbuilding.

    Over three decades ago, an obscure Turk visited Gujarati shores. Fascinated by the wealth and agrarian sciences of the empire, he was apalled at the primitive manner in which the docks were organized. All of Gujarat's potential for shipbuilding was squandered according to him, and Dwarka in particular could harness far more productivity than it did. Drawing upon his research of Dwarka's ports, he had drawn a plan for a great port facility which would increase Dwarka's productivity and efficiency tenfold. However, much of his words seemed like strange babbling to most. Even Raja Jaisingh was unwilling to grant him an audience.

    Spoiler :


    The architect was unperturbed by this rejection. He took upon himself a challenge, and worked day and night to establish a center of learning in the port city of Dwarka. His disciples learnt of his skills and drew upon his plans for a great port at Dwarka. With the discovery of the stern rudder, the mysteries of the turk's science was finally revealed. The Turk's disciples later approached Siddharaj Jaisingh with their proposal. In retrospect I would say that the king should have accepted their plan. The means and knowledge was available to the empire to build their great dockyard project. The progress of this fair city was thrown back by several years, only by the King's insistence on preparing for the 'great liberating war' as he called it.

    Spoiler :


    The Army of Gujarat had a new general. A brilliant young man who had fought in the battles against the mleccha raiders who destroyed the copper mines north of Anhilwara. General Govinda was rumored to have killed over 100 raiders single handedly. Most importantly, it was his knowledge of the terrain and skills in guerilla warfare is what distinguished him as a military leader. On the lead of the Army of Gujarat, he was more than eager to wage war against the sultanate of Sindh.

    Spoiler :


    These were years of frantic preparation. Siddharaj Jaisingh had allocated huge funds and resources for the mobilization of the army of Gujarat. In the four years between year 1135 and 1139 of the Vikram Samvat the army moved and positioned itself for the invasion of Sindh at the border of Kutch. In the same year, the exploratory fleet had returned to Gujarati waters. With the knowledge of stern rudders, the raja ordered the equipping of the fleet with this new technology.

    Spoiler :


    "The time is near" he said that day, a year later. "It is time for the righteous invasion. Today we launch the dharma yuddh against the mleccha usurpers!" it was a thrilling moment that day, when Siddharaj Jaisingh addressed thousands of troops of the army of Gujarat readying them for a great invasion of Sindh. The first target would be the port city of Thatta. Here the army would strike the hardest.

    Spoiler :


    Siddharaj's army was unlike the army of old. This was battle hardened with veteran soldiers, recruited from every walk of life and every caste. The army was strengthened with new siege weaponry, the likes of which no other army in all of Bharatvarsh could posses. The army crossed over the deserts and salt flats of the Kutch, a gruelling march that would take days to complete, before reaching the city of Thatta on the banks of the Sindhu.

    It was said that the battle came with an ill omen. The common folk, the poor and underprivileged loved Jaisingh Solanki, they affectionately called him 'Siddharaj maharaj' , the great king whose reign was prosperous. It was his capable diplomacy and reforming zeal that had brought prosperity to the kingdom and made possible new scientific discoveries, but he could not help committing Gujarat's resources to war. The brahmans and nobility detested him, yet they envied his skills. On the day of that the army of Gujarat had completed its march to Thatta, news reached the king who was then with the army in enemy lands, that a great flood had destroyed many improvements in Anhilwara, destroying the temple his forefathers had built. The news spread among the soldiers, creating fear and doubt in their minds, was the war effort cursed ?

    Spoiler :
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
  14. SanJose

    SanJose Chieftain

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    Its new NES?
     
  15. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    @SanJose - No its the old version. I don't know if any new NES was made or not.
     
  16. Spirictum

    Spirictum Immortal

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    Sindh must fall!
     
  17. adhiraj.bose

    adhiraj.bose Chieftain

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    My plan is to eventually conquer all the way up to Multan along the Sindh and conquer up to Vijayanagar in the South and acquire the title of Vikramaditya. It won't be anytime soon though, my main concern is to not get isolated from the other nations in the world, but it seems like that bridge has been burnt.
     
  18. SanJose

    SanJose Chieftain

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    Very bad that in SoI are not represented Rashtrakuta dynasties with Ellora Caves(WW), Jainism(as company for Hindu), The Charminar (WW), poor land in Karnataka and Maharashtra:(
     
  19. Spirictum

    Spirictum Immortal

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    Is there a 'SoI++'-like that has those? That sounds interesting
     
  20. Moai_Spammer

    Moai_Spammer Nihilandros

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    subbed
     

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