Maharaja Suheldev | 17 Feb 2021

Why in News

The Prime Minister has laid the foundation stone of a Maharaja Suheldev memorial and the development work of Chittaura lake in Uttar Pradesh’s Bahraich district.

Key Points

  • About Maharaja Suheldev:
    • He was the erstwhile ruler of Shravasti in Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) Bahraich district, who ruled in the 11th century.
    • He is known in history for waging guerrilla warfare against Mahmud Ghazni’s large army.
    • Suheldev was deeply moved by the loot and destruction of the magnificent Somnath temple by invader Mahmud Ghazni that he decided to gather heads of different communities like Tharu and Banjara as well as small kings to block the invasion.
      • His army defeated and killed Ghazi Salar Masud, the nephew of Mahmud Ghazni, at Bahraich.
    • Raja Suheldev finds mention in ‘Mirat-i-Masudi’, a 17th century Persian-language historical account.
      • ‘Mirat-i-Masudi’ is the biography of Salar Masud, written by Abd-ur-Rahman Chishti during the reign of the Mughal emperor Jahangir (1605–1627).
    • In local folklore, Suheldev is said to be a Rajbhar.
    • He is popular as a caste icon among the Rajbhars (OBC) and the Pasis (second largest Dalit caste in UP), both of whom have been competing for his legacy and are predominantly found in central and eastern UP.
  • Chittaura Lake:
    • The Chittaura Jheel is located in the Bahraich District near the village Chittaur in Uttar Pradesh.
    • Teri Nadi, a small river originates from this lake which is a home to many migratory birds.
    • Being a Hindu pilgrimage site, many fairs are held near this lake during Kartik Purnima and Vasant Panchami.
    • There is an ashram where Muni Ashtwarka used to live and this site also witnessed the epic fight between Ghazi Salar Masud and Raja Suheldev in the year 1033.
    • There is a temple complex with the statue of Raja Suheldev and temple dedicated to Goddess Durga situated here.

Source: IE