Legend and early history The Kachhawas or kushwaha belong to the Suryavanshi lineage, which claims descent from the Surya and Sun Dynasty of the ancient Kshatriyas. Specifically, they are descent from Kusha younger 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 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, Bardic chronicles and popular tradition; Sumitra was the last king of this dynasty in Ayodhya. In 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 themself 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 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 valley of present-day Madhya Pradesh. This view is largely supported by archaeological artefacts and Kacchapaghata coinage (minted in Gupta-fashion) discovered in Madya pradesh, as also by inscriptions of Gopasetra (Willis). It is interesting to note that according to popular legend, 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. In the oldest section of Gwalior fort there still exists a sacred pond known as the Suraj-Kund . It may thus be logical that the Kachwaha rule in Chambal valley predates the dates ascribed in the Sas-Bahu insription. 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 Vajradamana was son of Dhola or Salhkumar (It is thus believed that Vajradamana 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. Kirtiraja, also founded the temple city of Simhapaniya (present-day Sihonia), 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.vals in splendour the temples of Khajuraho. Interestingly Simphaniya like present day Jaipur, was a flourishing center of Jainism. 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. Prior to the adoption of the Pachrang (five coloured) flag by Raja Man Singh I of Amber, the original flag of the Kachwahas was known as the ”Jharshahi” (tree-marked) flag. The flag is based on the archaic flag of Ayodhya, the ”Kanchnar-dhavaj” flag of Rama, which is composed of the figure of a Kachnar tree on a white cloth. The Famous 7th century, Sanskrit poet Bhavabhuti whom was a resident of Padmavati, near Narwar, the abode of the Kachwahas at the time, also gives mention to this flag in his celebrated drama ”Uttara Ramacharita”.