Historical Importance of Rajatarangni

Rayees Ul Haq


We have study in detail the importance of Kashmir in the field of historical compositions in ancient times. The Nilamatpurna is a story of pre-historic Kashmir. Kalhan’s Rajatarangni occupies a unique position as the only work on history in Sanskrit with a scientific approach of modern historians. Yet Kalhana was not the first in this line. He mentions the works of 11 proceeding historians whose compositions he consulted in producing his famous work. Among the early historians, whose work unfortunately cannot be traced, were Helaraja, Padmamihara, Chavillakara, Suvrata and Kshemendra. Kalhana’s tradition was continued by others in this line Junaraja, Srivara, Prajyabhata and Suka. The Kashmiri writer’s possessed a historical sense is proved by Bilhana’s Vikraman Kadevacharita which though composed in the ‘Kavya’ style was yet superior in historical approach to the work of Bana and Hemachandra. The technique of chronology helps us in applying the tests that Kalhana follows. It is evident that the result of a scruting of this chronological system must have an important bearing on our views regarding the historical value of the narrative itself for which that system forms as it were the frame work. It hence seems justified that an examination of the characteristic features of Kalhana’s chronology should precede our critical inquiry into the traditions and records contained in his chronicle.

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