The father in law of a Khotanese king in Gosthana Vyakarana - this single line tells much about Lalitaditya Muktapida than anything else except Kalhana's Rajatarangini. But, there is no mention of Lalitaditya here. What do we know of him and his achievements?
Next bit of information, from Petech's Kingdom of Ladakh. No reference to Lalitaditya even here!!
Rajatarangini over Lalitaditya
Now, do a combined reading of these three. What do we get? Chinese fighting Tibet in Tarim Basin and Gilgit, Khotan-Shahi marital alliance and Lalitaditya fighting Tibetans. And then, have the 751 Battle of Talas - Arabs, Tibetans and Qarluqs on one side and Chinese on the other.
Suluk Khagan killed in 738 - this made China and Arabs neighbours.
Phrom Kesar(739-746)
Vijaya Sangrama(745-764)
Palola Shahi Kingdom was snuffed out by Tibet in 747
Battle of Talas 751
So, what was happening? In the West, it was Shahi-Arab fight. In the North, it was Arab-Turkic fight. In the East, it was China-Tibet fight, with centre of action being Tarim Basin extending to Baltistan on one side and Ferghana on the other.
Alliances were knit - Kashmir-Gilgit-Khotan-Kabul Shahi aligned with Qarluqs and China on one side and Tibet and Arabs on the other side. A majority of Lalitaditya's and Phrom Kesar's Central Indian victories are from that campaign.
What other information to we have? Comments from Ranjan Pandit's Rajatarangini translation. Ignore the dates.
This hints at a vassalage but I really doubt it. Because had it been vassalage and utter dependency on Chinese, we wouldn't have seen the Shahis and Kashmir holding fort even after Talas.
The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia - René Grousset
No invasion of Kashmir during the reigns of Lalitaditya or his successor are known and the Arab invasion wave of 754-775 was trashed by the Shahis. In fact, Talas didn't change anything much - Umayyad Caliphate collapsed in 750, An Lushan Rebellion ripped China apart from 755
and Tibet which started to flex muscles because of this twin chaos fragmented less than a century after this - never to rise again. And Arabs retreated by 820. The only ones who benefited are the local converted turks - the Saffrids and the Uyghur.
Now, this...a Tang Princess sent to Tibet in 710 want an escape way out and sends a secret message to Kashmir of all places, and Zabul notes it!!
And another. These two are the daughters of Phrom Kesar's daughter married to Khotan and they land up in Kashmir. What sort of an alliance is this, and between whom and whom?
Shahis in Kashmir. Who are they? Kabul or Palola or someone else?

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More from @cbkwgl

7 Apr
Abdur Rahman's The last two dynasties of the Sahis is considered to be the best book over Shahis. But, I am not getting any confidence over this. Compare these two sets.
I am interested to know how knowledged this gentleman is, on Sanskrit original of Rajatarangini and other Hindu/Buddhist books on the topic.
One should be realistic enough. Pakistan has fought three wars with India and no Indian will have access to Chhota Lahore or Hund. All they can quote is from some other reference or from historic memory.
Read 66 tweets
4 Apr
I don't know how many times I told this story before. This is the story of the end of the mighty Kabul Shahis. When Trilochanapala became the king, Mahmud of Ghazni decided to invade the kingdom for another round of plunder.
Trilochanapala anticipated it and asked his father-in-law Tunga, the defacto ruler of Kashmir to help. Tunga marched to Nandana but on hearing the news that the passes are blocked and Mahmud can't cross the Khyber, he returned back. Eventually, Mahmud came.
Trilochanapala sent his son to hold Mahmud as long as he can and went to Kashmir to get an army. Trilochanapala's son Bhimapala, immortalized in history as Nidar Bhim took his stand in Margalla Hills blocking Mahmud's way. A spirited defence it was, Mahmud was stuck for more than
Read 24 tweets
3 Apr
Afonso de Albuquerque, during the Portuguese conquest of Malacca writes to his king that he seized a map from a Javanese pilot near Malacca. The map had details of areas almost till Antarctica(1000 km south of Tasmania) and even parts of Americas.
This begs one to pose a much bigger question. What do we know of the sea exploits of these thalassocracies, especially Srivijaya, Mataram and Majapahit, and the Indians, Chinese and Japanese. Clearly, their achievements are not mean -
Srivijaya invaded Zanzibar and populated Madagascar, Maldives is as good as a part of India, Chandravasi is the name for the Papuan Bird of Paradise in Indonesian. There are hints, but do we have information?
Read 15 tweets
2 Apr
All I say is this. A secular government has no business with temples. And if freeing temples is a tricky subject, I would want governments to extend HRCE laws to all religions and cap govt expenses to a percentage of what govt gets from that religion.
In two words, if govts see fleecing and running down Hindu temples as a source of income, the same should be applicable to every religion and in the same proportion. No ifs and buts.
If Tirumala Temple lost 5000+ sqkm of area, why shouldn't a church face the same? If Muslims can contract temple lands, why shouldnt Hindus get rights over Waqf lands? When priests get as less as 100 rupees per month and are sacked for taking a Dakshina of 15 rupees,
Read 4 tweets
1 Apr
Vairagya always killed kingdoms. Rome collapsed never to rise again because they preferred to be monks than soldiers after the kingdom converted to Christianity. Kalinga ended 40 years after Chaitanya made a saint out of it's warrior king.
Majapahit almost collapsed - the Queen who is supposed to take charge became a Bhikshu. An Uyghur king refused to convert to Buddhism by saying Buddhism teaches compassion and a king can't afford to be compassionate. His descendants converted to Islam.
In fact, even the Christian prayer cults in India are derived from Hindu Bhakti cults prevalent in the Tamil country. In two words, Vairagya at the age of Vanaprastha never helped anyone. And the only one who recognized that is Yeshe O who built the Tibetan Warrior Monk Guilds.
Read 6 tweets
24 Mar
There are very few events in the world which mark a tectonic shift in narrative - and generally, we don't know about most of them. Let me take one such - French Conquest of Algeria. Why is it special? It is probably the first time after Crusades
(ignore Russia's Caucasus and Central Asian exploits) that a Christian Country invaded a Muslim country and tried to annex it to it's home territory. Colonization of Muslim territories were there as like in Philippines or in Indonesia but it was just a distant army using locals
to run the show. Now, back to Algeria. Algeirs is one of the main seats of Barbary Pirates who feasted on European shipping - in fact, even as late as 1800, USA had to shell out 20% of it's annual income as protection money!!
Read 31 tweets

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