How Sankhla Panwars shaped Jangladesh

Genes of gallantry and hardihood persisted for generations long after the Parmar empire’s fragmentation

Roon in Nagaur was once in the domain of Sankhlas. Here ruled mighty Seehad Deo when Alauddin Khilji was the emperor at Delhi. Khilji was once passing through Nagaur with large contingent, when someone with malafide intentions informed him about the extremely beautiful daughter of the Sankhla, and pleaded that she should be ruling from Delhi rather than living at such an insignificant place. The misguided emperor sought her hand but the holder of high dignity, Seehad abhored the very idea of any such alliance. However, he had limited men power then and wanted some time to gather more. He sent his charan to Khilji, who engaged the emperor in poetry, winning the Sankhla time to garner a small force of fearless and devoted men. With this gallant contingent Seehad Deo challenged Khilji in battlefield, after the then in vogue jauhar of the womenfolk. Alauddin paid heavy price for heeding the advice of the one who instigated him to deviate his march to capital.

Seehad Deo Sankhla’s brother was Raisi, who had moved to Janglu, then being ruled by the Dahiyas. Raisi helped by Dahiya’s aggrieved minister Kesoji dethroned the Dahiya and occupied Janglu. Khinvsi and Kunwarsi were descendents of Raisi. In the same lineage was born Mahesh Sankhla, although the house lost their dominance over Janglu, reducing to mere vassalage of the Rathores of Bikaner.

Rao Jaitsi was the ruler of Bikaner then, who had defeated Babur’s son Kamran in the battle of Rati Ghati. His growing influence alerted Rao Maldeo of Jodhpur, who was on a winning spree, afforded by the many valourous chiefs of Marwar. He moved his forces against Jaitsi and sent message for accepting subordination of Jodhpur. The most powerful king of the time put Jaitsi in dilemma. Although they shared common blood, Bikaner had its own identity and was established by a progenitor as great as the one who founded Jodhpur. He called for a meeting of his chiefs. Most nobles shunned the idea of countering a much more powerful prince of their clan.

There were two dissidents in the court though - Mahesh Sankhla and Bhojaraj Rupawat, the latter a descendent of Rao Ridmal of Marwar. Their view of upholding the pride of a state raised and maintained by the sacrifices of their ancestors prevailed finally. It was resolved Bikaner will not give in without fight. Jaitsi camped in front of that of Maldeo, to combat the next day, leaving the charge of fort to Bhojaraj and Mahesh. By turn of some events, Jaitsi happened to enter the opposite camp before sunrise, where he was killed in a unceremonious manner, defying Rajput traditions. When the news of Jaitsi’s demise thus spread, Bikaner camp was shocked and lost ground. Jodhpur proceeded to occupy the fort, but the same was defended by the vassals who held it’s charge. It was only after the departure of these gallant and faithful sons of soil that Jodhpur could lay their hand on this stronghold.

Credit: Girdhardan Ratnu.