Samyukta

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Sanyukta, Sanjukta or Samyukta, was the daughter of Raja Jaichand of Kannauj. She became the wife of Prithviraj Chauhan, the king of Delhi. Prithiviraj was a Rajput who ruled from his twin capitals of Delhi (Pithoragarh) and Ajmer. He is a popular figure of romance and chivalry from the folklore of medieval India, and also a figure of tragedy.

The love between Prithviraj and Sanyukta is one of India's most popular medieval romances. At the peak of his reign, Prithviraj had annexed vast regions of India to his kingdom, and his fame had spread all across the subcontinent and to Afghanistan. Many lesser kings were envious and wary of his power, including Raja Jaichand of Kannauj. Jaichand's daughter, Samyukta, was a headstrong girl who was known for her bewitching beauty.

Sanyukta fell in love with Prithiviraj as his reputation dazzled her. She desired nobody but him. For his part, Prithviraj had heard of Sanyukta's loveliness and fell in love with her as well.

However, Jaichand and Prithviraj belonged to rival Rajput clans.

On finding out about the affair, Raja Jaichand was outraged that a romance had been budding behind his back. Jaichand decided to insult Prithiviraj and arranged a Swayamvara for his daughter. He invited royalty from far and wide to the ceremony, every eligible prince and king - except Prithiviraj. He then commissioned a clay statue of Prithiviraj, which served as doorman (dwarpala) to Jaichand's court.

Prithviraj, on hearing about the impending swayamvara,...
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