Monday, August 17, 2009

The Ror Suryavanshi kshatriyas

The Ror community hails primarily from a few small pockets in the Indo-Gangetic plains, in the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand in North India. It would be rather optimistic to put the total population of the Ror at one million and it would be fairer to assign a total head count of 750,000 to the community. The community is fairly small and well-knit; as of today, they hold nearly 270 villages in Haryana and 52 more in Western Uttar Pradesh and the Haridwar district of Uttaranchal.
In his famed work, "A Glossary of the Tribes and castes of Punjab and North-West Frontier Provinces", H.A. Rose says that the Ror are fine, stalwart men. Quoting from the third volume, Rose says:[2]
The real seat of the Ror is the great Dhak jungles of Thanesar. They hold 84 villages and Amin is the "Tika" or head village. They also hold 12 villages south of Kaithal and the gotra there is Turan. Again, there are 12 more villages of the Ror beyond the Ganges. The immediate place of origin of the Rors seems to be Badli in Jhajjar tehsil of Rohtak district and all of them unanimously claim to have come from there.
In the Archaeological Survey of India Report for the year 1871-72, A.C.L. Carlleyle says about the image of a Ror warrior found at the site of Kaga Ror or Kagarol:[3]
The features of the face are fine and manly, of the handsomest Hindu type. The warrior has his right knee raised; on his right arm he presents a shield in defense and in the left hand he brandishes a straight sword of huge dimensions over his head. In a belt round his waist he wears a dagger with a cross-shaped hilt at his left side. The hair of the head is full but drawn back in straight lines on the head. Evidently, its a figure of a warrior of great strength.

Ror clans historically ruled from Rori, the capital of Sind for a long time. Rori has been known by names such as Roruka and Rorik since antiquity. Buddhist Jataka stories talk about exchanges of gifts between King Rudrayan of Roruka and King Bimbisara of Magadh [4]. Divyavadana, the Buddhist chronicle has said that Rori historically competed with Patliputra in terms of political influence.[5] The importance of this town can not be underestimated as evident in the following JSTOR article. [5]The scholar T.W. Rhys Davids has mentioned Roruka as one of the most important cities of India in the seventh century B.C.[6]
Roruka was founded and established for the first time by King Ruruk, who was the fifth Ikshvaku dynasty ruler in the lineage after Raja Harishchandra of Kashi [6]. An idea about the age of the city can be had by exploring the time line of the Ikshvaku dynasty. King Ruruk happened 29 generations before Sri Ram and should be dated to around 2500 BC using the most conservative estimates.[7] If we believe the traditional Puranic time-line for the Indian Civilization, King Ruruk may have lived around 5500 BC.[7]Thus, it can be seen that Roruka in the historical Sindhu-Sauvira area is quite an ancient seat of civilization dating back to the third millennium BC certainly.
The ancient city of Rori was also a major pilgrimage center where famous personalities like "Sant" Bhrithari, elder brother of the great King Vikramaditya, came to pay their respects to Shankar Bhagwan. After the Arab conquest of Sind, the invaders pulled down the ancient temple of Shiva but Rori still remains very important as a religious destination for the Sindhis..

The first few centuries of the Christian Era and a couple of centuries prior to that constitute the golden age of Ror history. Not only did Rors have ruling seats of power in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Sindh; during the times of Rai Dewaji in the 5th century AD, they consolidated their influence in the entire region from Afghanistan to Kanauj in India.[9]
The fort at BhainsRor in Southern Rajasthan is supposed to have come up in the 2nd century B.C. and the Kagarol (Kaga Ror)[10] ruins near present-day Agra have also pointed to a similar time-line for another branch of Rors who ruled from there. The coins found in the Agra circle by Sir Alexander Cunningham [8] seem to indicate a close relationship between the Ror rulers of the area and the rulers of Hastinapur and Indraprastha. A few coins found close to the site have been dated to the 3rd century CE by Cunningham as a result of the general style of the coins and the type of Sanskrit used.

Kachwaha Clane of Suryavanshis

The Kushwaha (also spelled as Kachavāhā,Kachawaha,Kacchavahas, Kachhawa, Kuchhwaha,Kachhawaha, & Kushwaha, Keshwala including Kacchapghata, Kakutstha, and Kurma) are a Suryavanshi Rajput clan who ruled a number of kingdoms and princely states in India such as Alwar, Maihar, Talcher, while the largest kingdom was Jaipur (Jainagara) which was founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727. The Maharaja of Jaipur is regarded as the head of the extended Kachwaha clan.
Outside of Rajasthan Kachwahas are found in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, but are chiefly found in Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Muttra, Agra and Cawnpore. A number of Kachwaha adventurers from the Gwalior also emigrated to Jalaun, where settlements were established in Etawah. Kachwahas from Bulandshahr are said to have descended from Narwar, while the Kachwahas of Muzaffarnagar call themselves Jhotiyana.

The Kachhawas(Kushwaha) belong to the Suryavanshi lineage, which claims descent from the Surya (Sun Dynasty) or Suryavansha of the ancient Kshatriyas. Specifically, they claim descent from Kusha[1] eldest of the twin sons of Rama, hero of the Ramayana, to whom patrilineal descent from Surya is in turn ascribed. Indeed, the name Kachawaha is held by many[2] to be a patronymic derived from the name "Kusha". However, it has been suggested that Kachwaha is a diminutive of the Sanskrit conjoint word 'Kachhahap-ghata' or 'Tortoise-killer'; Tortoise in Sanskrit being Kashyapa, although there may be several connotations for the interpretation of these terms.
According to Vishnu Purana[1], bardic chronicles and popular tradition; Sumitra was the last king of this dynasty in Ayodhya. In the fourth century BC Mahapadma Nanda of Nanda Dynasty included Ayodhya in his empire and Kushwahas were forced to leave. Kurma was son of Sumitra thus migrated from their parental abode and established them self at the bank of the river son, where they constructed a fort called the Rohtas (Rahatas) fort.
T.H. Henley, states in his Rulers of India and the Chiefs of Rajputana (1897) that the Kachwaha clan is believed to have settled in an early era at Rohtas(Rahatas) on the son river in present-day Bihar. He notes however that their notable seats of power were Kutwar, Gwalior, Dubkhund, Simhapaniya and Narwar (Nalapura), all in present-day Madhya Pradesh. This second westwards migration to Madhaya Pradesh is said to have been initiated under Raja Nala, the legendary founder of Narwar.
James Tod, has recorded the view as being prevalent in his time, that the clan occupied Narwar in the 10th century and remained there until Narwar was captured by Parihara Rajputs in the 12th century, however local history suggests that the Kachwahas were in Narwar several centuries earlier than the date given by Tod's arbitrary view. Many historians aver that the Kacchapaghatas, like the Chandellas and Paramaras, originated as tributaries of the preceding powers of the region. They point out that it was only following the downfall, in the 8th-10th century, of Kannauj (the regional seat-of-power, following the break-up of Harsha's empire), that the Kacchapaghata state emerged as a principal power in the Chambal[2] valley of present-day Madhya Pradesh. This view is largely supported by archaeological artefacts[3] and Kacchapaghata coinage (minted in Gupta-fashion)[4] discovered in Madya pradesh, as also by inscriptions of Gopasetra (Willis). It is interesting to note that according to popular legend,[5] the rise of the Kachwahas in Madhya Pradesh is closely associated with Suraj/Surya Sen, a Kachwaha prince of the 8th century, whom is said to have been responsible for the building of Gwalior fort and the founding of that city[3][4]. In the oldest section of Gwalior fort there still exists a sacred pond known as the Suraj-Kund [5]. It may thus be logical that the Kachwaha rule in Chambal valley predates the dates ascribed in the Sas-Bahu inscription.
According to an inscription in the Sas-Bahu temple within Gwalior fort, Vajradaman (Vazradaman) (964-1000 AD), the successor of the Kacchapaghata ruler Laksmana (940-964 AD) "put down the rising power of the ruler of Gandhinagara (Kannauj) and his proclamation-drum resounded on the fort of Gopadri (Gwalior)." Lakshmana father of Vajradaman was son of Dhola or Salhkumar (It is thus believed that Vajradaman was grandson of Dhola or Salhkumar).
According to bardic chronicles and popular legend, Vazradaman was succeeded by his son Mangalraja. Mangalraja had two sons Kirtiraj(Kirtirai) and Sumitra. While Sumitra got Narwar in succession, Kirtiraj got Gwalior. Kirtiraj, also founded the temple city of Simhapaniya (present-day Sihonia),[6] there he had a Shiva temple constructed to fulfil the wish of his queen Kakanwati. Built between 1015 to 1035 A.D., the Kakan Math temple is 115 ft (35 m). high and rivals in splendour the temples of Khajuraho.[7] Interestingly Simphaniya like present day Jaipur, was a flourishing center of Jainism. The affix of Pal was adopted by the Kachwaha rulers of Narwar for many centuries, and it was 8 centuries later that this epithet was changed to Singh.
After Sumitra, Madhubramh, Kanh, Devanik, and Isha Singh ruled Narwar. The Sas-Bahu inscription is dated to 1093 AD and it gives the genealogy of the ruling family up to Mahipal who died sometime before 1104 AD.

Raghuvamsa Vs Suryavanshm

Raghuvamsa is believed to be a lineage of warrior kings tracing its ancestry to Surya. Kalidasa's famous work, Raghuvamsha describes the greatness of this race. This was a race which produced great kings like Harishchandra, Dileepa, Raghu, Aja, Dasaratha and Rama. Lord Rama's father was Dasaratha, who was born to Aja. Aja's father was the great king Raghu, after whom the dynasty was known as Raghuvamsa, or the dynasty of Raghu. Raghu's father was emperor Dileepa.

Arakhs The Suryavanshi

The Arakhs are a martial Suryawanshi kshatriya tribe who at one time ruled large areas of Awadh. The heroes of Arakh clan include sun-worshipper Maharaja Tilok Chand (who captured the throne of Delhi in 918 A.D. by defeating king Vikrampal), Salhia Singh (who established the town of Sandila), Malhia Singh (who eastablished the town of Malhiabad) and Maharaja Khadagsen (who established Khaga town in Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh).

Arakhs claim themselves to be the ancient-most kshatriya tribe of Indian origin. They claim their descent from ancient Suryawanshi kshatriya clan to which Lord Rama belonged. 'Arakh' is said to be the distorted form of 'Arka' 'अर्क' (a Sanskrit word meaning sun). 'Arkawanshi' (अर्कवंशी) is a synonym of 'Suryawanshi'. Thus a clan of Suryawanshis was also called as 'Arkawanshi'. The founder of Suryavansha Vaivasvat Manu was also known 'Arka Tanaya' (अर्क तनय) meaning 'the son of Arka'. 'Arkawanshi' became 'Arka' (अर्क) and later 'Arak' (अरक) and 'Arakh' (अरख) in locally spoken dialects. Arakhs have been the worshipper of sun god (Arka-अर्क) and Lord Shiva. Arkawanshis also have different sub-clans as Khangars, Gauds, Bachhals and Adhiraj.

Ramayana on suryavansha

The Ramayana is an ancient Sanskrit epic. It is attributed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu canon (smṛti). The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India, the other being Mahabharata. It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king.
The name Ramayana is a tatpurusha compound of Rāma and ayana "going, advancing", translating to "Rama's Journey". The Ramayana consists of 24,000 verses in seven books, and 500 cantos (kāṇḍas),[2] and tells the story of Rama (an incarnation of the Hindu preserver-god Vishnu), whose wife Sita is abducted by the demon (Rakshasa) king of Lanka, Ravana. Thematically, the epic explores themes of human existence and the concept of dharma.[3]
Verses in Ramayana are written in a 32-syllable meter called anustubh. The epic was an important influence on later Sanskrit poetry and Indian life and culture, primarily through its establishment of the shloka meter. Like its epic cousin the Mahābhārata, however, the Ramayana is not just an ordinary story: it contains the teachings of ancient Hindu sages and presents them through allegory in narrative and the interspersion of the philosophical and the devotional. The characters of Rama, Sita, Lakshmana, Bharata, Hanuman and Ravana (the villain of the piece) are all fundamental to the cultural consciousness of India.

Ikshvaku of suryavansh

Ikshvaku (Sanskrit: इक्ष्वाकु "Sugarcane", pāli: Okkāka) was the first king of the Ikshvaku dynasty and founder of the Solar Dynasty of Kshatriyas in Vedic civilization in ancient India.

Ikshvaku was the first King to implement the Manusmriti, or the religious rules of Hindu living composed through divine inspiration and from the Vedas by his father. He is remembered in Hindu scriptures as a righteous and glorious king. In some versions, he is the son of Vaivasvata Manu (formerly the Emperor Satyavrata of Dravida), one of the two central characters along with the Lord Matsya incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the Matsya Purana. He is born to Manu after the deluge which sends the King's ship to the top of the Malaya Mountains in the Dravida country.

Ayodhya and suryavanshis

In the 7th century CE, Xuanzang (Hiuen Tsang), the Chinese monk, recorded spotting many Hindu temples in Ayodhya. In the epic Ramayana, the city of Ayodhya is cited as the birthplace of Lord Sri Rama, a Hindu deity who was worshipped as Lord Vishnu's seventh incarnation. Ayodhya became a famous pilgrimage destination in the 1400s when Ramananda, the Hindu mystic, established a devotional sect of Rama.
The Thai kingdom and city of Ayutthaya, and the Indonesian sultanate of Yogyakarta, were named after Ayodhya, reflecting the common Southeast Asian practice of adopting place names from Hindu kingdoms.[citation needed]

United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, showing 'Ajodhia', 1903 map
The Atharva Veda called Ayodhya "a city built by gods and being as prosperous as paradise itself".
According to an 11th century Korean chronicle the Samguk Yusa, the wife of King Suro of the ancient Korean kingdom of Geumgwan Gaya was a princess who travelled by boat from a faraway land called Ayuta to Korea in 48 CE. It is commonly thought that Ayodhya is the foreign land referred to in the Korean chronicles, but some scholars believe that the foreign land may have been Ayutthaya of Thailand. The Koreans know the princess as Heo Hwang-ok, who was the first queen of Geumgwan Gaya and is considered an ancestor by several Korean lineages.
Ayodhya, like other Indian cities, was the victim of pillage and sacking during the Ghaznavi raids and Ghori invasions. Hindu temples were allegedly looted or destroyed. The cultural fabric was totally destroyed. With Muslim rulers established around the city under Mohammed of Ghor, it lost its strategic and economic importance to Lucknow and Kanpur.Ayodhya today is a small, rustic city with ancient Hindu architecture predominating, and with some Mughal influence. Its population is mostly Hindu with a minority of Muslims, Jains and Buddhists. However, its history and heritage hold an unequivocal importance for Hindus.
The 16th century witnessed a shift in power with Ayodhya coming under the rule of the Mughal Empire. Ayodhya was annexed in 1856 by the British rulers. Between 1857 and 1859, this place was one of the main centers where the sparks of the first war of Indian Independence originated. These sparks later led to a nationwide revolt of the Indian soldiers in opposition to the British East India Company that began in Calcutta.

Hindu tradition and scriptures state that, this place and other places in Ayodhya were discovered, excavated and rebuilt by the king Vikramaaditya as it was during the tenure of Lord Rama. It is said that Lord Rama appeared in king Vikramaditya's dreams and showed him the very powerful and prosperous city of Ayodhya with all its glory and richness during his times. He then instructed the king to rebuild the city of Ayodhya as it was. King Vikramaditya expressed his inability to rebuild such a magnificent city again with all its riches but promised to rebuild this city as per his abilities. He then, as per the lords instructions, carried out large scale archeological excavations, at different locations in Ayodhya and reinstalled the temples and other places of importance in Ayodhya. The city of Ayodhya holds immense historical and spiritual importance.

Source of the lineage of suryavanshis

The Puranas, particularly Vishnu Purana,The Ramayana by Valmiki and the Mahabharata by Vyasa gives accounts of this dynasty.The Raghuvamsha of Kalidasa also mentions the names of some of the kings of this dynasty.[2][3][4], other important sources are the Mahabharat and the Ramayana
[edit]The List of Monarchs
The following is the list, in chronological order, of the monarchs of the solar dynasty.

King Sagar's great-great-grandson, Bhagiratha in penance.
Brahma created 10 Prajapatis [5], one of whom was Marichi.
Kashyapa is the son of Marichi and Kala. Kashyapa is regarded as the father of humanity. His sons from Aditi, the sky goddess, and the daughter of Daksha Prajapati are called Adityas (Sons of Aditi), they were, Aṃśa, Aryaman, Bhaga, Dhūti, Mitra, Pūṣan, Śakra, Savitṛ, Tvaṣṭṛ, Varuṇa, Viṣṇu, and Vivasvat or Vivasvan [6].
Vivasvan or Vaivasvata (one of the sons of Lord Sun) - the Sun God, progenitor of the clan. His parents were the sage Kashyapa, father of all beings, and Aditi, Aditi's 12 sons, the Adityas, are the sun deities, and both Vivaswan and Aditya mean sun. Therefore another name for Vivaswan is Surya or the Sun, hence the name, Suryavansha. Vivaswan's sons include Shrraaddev and Shanishchar. The river Tapi was named after Vivaswan's sister Tapti.
Manu or Vaivasvata Manu - the King of all mankind and the first human being. (According to Hindu belief there are 14 Manvantaras; in each, Manu rules. Vaivasvata Manu was the seventh Manu [7]. Manu is referred to as a Rajan (King) in the Shatapatha Brahmana scripture. He had nine sons, Vena, Dhrishnu, Narishyan, Nabhaga, Ikshvaku, Karusha, Saryati, Prishadhru, Nabhagarishta and one daughter, Ila, who was married to Budha of the Lunar Dynasty). He left the kingdom to the eldest male of the next generation, Ikshvaku, who was actually the son of Manu's brother Shraaddev.
Ikshvaku - the first prominent monarch of this dynasty, giving the dynasty its another name the Ikshvaku dynasty.
Vikukshi - He is said to have eaten the meat of a rabbit at the time of Shraddha and was known as Shasad. (Some records claim him to be grandson of Ikshvaku.) His son was Kakuthsa or Puranjay.
Kakutstha or Puranjaya - He was a brave king and fought in the Devasur Sangram. His original name was Puranjaya. But after he annihilated Asuras (demons) (or "Ahuras" ie Persians)while sitting on the hump (Kukud) of a bull, he was known as Kakuthstha, which means seated on the hump. His dynasty was also known as Kakuthstha after him.
Anena or Anaranya
Ardra or Chandra
Yuvanashva I
Shravast - He founded the town of Shravasti near Kosala.
Kuvalashva - He killed a Rakshasa named Dhundh. It is said that Dhundhar region and the Dhund river are named after Dhund. Eighteen of Kuvalashva's sons died in the battle with Dhund. Thereafter, Kuvalashva was called "Dhundhumara".
Haryashva I
Prasenjit I - His daughter Renuka was married to sage Jamdgni. She was mother of Parashurama.
Yuvanashva II - He was married to Gori, daughter of the Chandravanshi king Matinaar.
Mandhata - He became a famous and Chakravarti (ideal universal ruler) king. He defeated most of the other kings of his time. He married Bindumati, a daughter of the Chandravanshi king.
Ambarisha - Great devotee of Vishnu.
Purukutsa & Harita - Purukutsa performed the Ashwamedha Yajna (horse sacrifice). He married Nagkanya "Narmada". He helped Nagas in their war against the Gandharvas. Harithasa gotra linage starts from here.
Anaranya II
Haryashva II
Satyavrata or Trishanku - His original name was Satyavrata, but he committed three (tri) sins, and hence got the name Trishanku. First, while he was a prince, he misbehaved and was temporarily exiled from the kingdom. Next, he killed the milch cow of his preceptor Vasishta. His third sin was that he used the unsanctified meat of his kill as food. Trishanku also had a desire to ascend to heaven in his mortal body. After Vashistha refused him this boon, since it is against nature to ascend into heaven as a mortal, the sage Vishwamitra, Vashistha's rival, created another heaven for him, called "Trishanku's Heaven", and located in mid-air. His sons were Dhundumara, and Harishchandra, who was borh of the princess of "Kaikaya" named "Satyaraksha".
Harishchandra - He is known for his honesty, truth and devotion to duty or Dharma.
Rohitashva - He was the son of Harishchandra. He founded town of Rohtas Garh in Rohtas district, Bihar and Rohtak, originally Rohitakaul, meaning from the Kul (family) of Rohit
Bahu or Asit - He was attacked and defeated by another clan of Kshatriyas. After this, he left Ayodhya and went to the Himalaya mountains to live as an ascetic with his queens. At that time Yadavi queen was pregnant with Sagara.
Sagara - He recaptured Ayodhya from the "Haihaya" and "Taljanghi" Kshtriyas. He then attempted to perform the horse sacrifice, Ashwamedha Yajna. However, the sacrificial horse was stolen by the god Indra on the south eastern shores of the ocean, which was at that time an empty bed with no water in it. At least sixty of Sagara's sons died attempting to recover the horse, also causing great destruction by their reckless search. Puranic legends say the number of his sons was 60 thousand.
Asmanja - Sagara's surviving son was not made king due to his bad conduct.
Anshuman - He was the grandson of Sagara, and his successor as king. He did penance in an attempt to bring the holy river Ganges to earth, that she might wash away the sins of his ancestors.
Dileepa I - He also tried to bring Ganges to earth, but also failed.
Bhagiratha - Sagara's great-grandson, after strenuous penances, at last succeeded in bringing Ganga down from heaven. When she flowed over the remains of his ancestors, their souls were redeemed, and the ocean was refilled. Ganga also bears the name "Bhagirathi", in honour of his deed.
Ambarish - According to Buddhist legends, he went to Tapovana to be a renunciant but after a public outcry returned and ruled for some time.
Sindhu Dweep
Saudas or Mitrasah - He performed the Ashwamedha Yajna, but as the rituals were concluding a Rakshasa tricked him into serving human meat to Brahmin,s including Rishi Vashishta. He was then cursed by the Brahmins. He wanted to curse them back, but his wife prevented him. He spent twelve years in exile in the forest.
Sarvakama II
Ananaranya III
Raghu I
Khatwang Dileepa
Raghu II or Dirghbahu - He was a famous king, who conquered most of India. The great epic Raghuvamsa describes his victories. After him the Sun dynasty was also known as the dynasty of Raghu.
Rama - He is considered the seventh Avatar of the god Vishnu. He is worshiped by every Hindu. Many Hindus include his name in either their first or last name. Rama's story before he became king of Ayodhya is recounted in the Ramayana. After he ascended the throne, he performed the Ashwamedha Yajna. Bharata, his younger brother, won the country of Gandhara and settled there, where his two sons, Taksha and Pushkal, founded the cities of Taksashila and Pushkalavati, now known as Taxila and Peshawar. Rama's third brother, Lakshmana, founded Lakshmanpur, now known as Lucknow, and his youngest brother Shatrughna, Lakshmana's twin, was given Madhura which is now known as Mathura.
Lava and Kusha - They were the twin sons of Rama and his wife Sita. Lava ruled south Kosala while Kusha ruled north Kosala, including Ayodhya. Kusha married "Nagkanya" "Kumuddhati", sister of Kumuda. After Kusha the following kings of the solar dynasty ruled Ayodhya:
Ahinagu, Roop and Rooru
--(unknown name)
Prasenjit I
Takshaka - Laid the foundation of Naagvansh
Brihadbal - He fought in Battle of Kurukshetra (see Mahabharata) on the Kaurava side and was killed in battle.
Prasenjit II - He was a contemporary of Gautama Buddha and King Bimbisara of Magadha. His sister, Koushala Devi, was married to Bimbisara. The city of Kashi (Varanasi) was given as a dowry to her. After Bimbisara was murdered by his own son Ajatshatru, Prasenjit undertook a long series of wars with Ajatshatru. He also respected Buddha, who was also a Kshatriya from solar dynasty. In Buddhist literature he is addressed as "Pasenadi".
Sumitra - He was the last king of Ayodhya from solar dynasty. In the fourth century BC, emperor Mahapadma Nanda of the Nanda Dynasty forced Sumitra to leave Ayodhya. He went to Rohtas with his sons. His son Kurma established his rule over Rohtas.

Introduction to suryavanshis

The Sun Dynasty or Solar Dynasty (Sūrya-vaṃśa) is one of the most prominent dynasties in the history of Hinduism, along with the "Chandra-vaṃśa" or Lunar Dynasty.
"Suryavanshi" means a person belonging to this dynasty. This clan was the oldest and biggest kshatriya clan of India which was also known by many synonyms as Adityavamsha, Mitrawamsha, Arkawamsha, Raviwamsha, etc. It was the most prosperous clan in ancient India till the rise of Magadh in the 6th century BCE. The early Suryavanshis considered Sun-god ('Surya', 'Aditya' or 'Arka') as their kul-devta (clan God) and mainly practised sun-worship.
The clan founder, Vivasvan or Vaivaswat Manu, also known as Arka-tanaya (अर्क तनय) or son of Arka (Surya), is supposed to have lived coeval with the origin of the world. The name Vivaswan literally means master of the rays. That is, The Sun or Sun God. The first historically important king of this dynasty was Vivaswan's grandson Ikshvaku, so the dynasty is also known as the Ikshvaku dynasty [1].
The solar clan is especially associated with Rama, the King of Ayodhya whose story is told in the Ramayana. Rama was the rightful heir according to the rule of primogeniture, but because his father had made a promise to his second queen, Kaikeyi, who asked for Rama to be exiled to the forest for 14 years and her own son crowned in Rama's place, Rama was disqualified from ruling, however, Kaikeyi's son Bharata never accepted the throne but ruled as regent till Rama came back from exile.
The last important king of Ayodhya was Brihdbal, who was killed by Abhimanyu in the Kurukshetra war. The last ruling king of the dynasty at Ayodhya was Sumitra in the 4th century BC, who, after being forced out of Ayodhya by emperor Mahapadma Nanda of Magadha's Nanda Dynasty, continued the royal line at Rohtas.
As laid down by Manu, the kings of the solar dynasty followed the rule of primogeniture. Only the eldest male offspring of the king could succeed to the throne, unless disqualified by the priests for being physically disabled or some other reason. The younger sons also produced many prominent historical Kshatriyas and Vaishyas, but these are not included in the following list of monarchs. The list, however, does include some rightful heirs who were disqualified by the priests.