Foundation of Rajasthan
Rajasthan was inhabited long before 2500 BC and the Indus Valley
Civilisation had its foundation here in north Rajasthan itself. The Bhil
and the Mina tribes were the earliest dwellers of this area.
Around 1400 BC the Aryans paid a visit and settled forever in the area.
The local population
was pushed down south and towards the east. Afghans, Turks, Persians and
Mughals followed in mixing their blood, first in war then in peace, with
the existing original inhabitants. This blending gave the martial
lineage to the Rajputs.
From the times of Harsha (7 AD) to the founding of the Delhi Sultanate,
Rajasthan was fragmented in competing kingdoms. Perhaps it was during
this era by their influence through wealth and power the Rajputs
persuaded the Brahmins to link them with the sun, the moon and the fire
With the passage of time they were divided into 36 royal clans.
Rajasthan finally settled for a long and lasting reign under the
colourful and vibrant Rajputs. and it’s a surprise that they lasted as
long as they did. Considering that they were at a constant state of
aggression; if not with a foe, then with each other. After the 14th
century their influence declined in the area.
In came the Mughals who gained control of the region through the clever
strategy of Akbar, the Mughal Emperor. He performed matrimonial
alliances with the Rajputs where faced military failure and thus turned
them from fearsome foes to faithful friends. This proud but very divided
race was thus brought to some order under the imperial Mughals, by the
some deft mixing of marital and martial relations. Akbar gave high
offices to many Rajput princes after seeking reconciliation through
marriage to a Rajput princess, Jodha Bai, the daughter of the Maharaja
of Amber. However, the spunk of the Rajput soul was never really
captured, till the spread of the British colonial power. However, when
the Mughals weakened they were quick to reassert their dominance. The
Rajputs as a community thus has outlived the somewhat tribal Delhi
Sultanate, the grand Mughals and the war-like Marathas. In fact to this
day their descendants, though stripped of their titles and kingdoms, are
revered as rulers by the common man.
The Origin of Rajputs
The origin of the Rajputs remains somewhat in doubt. That they were of
foreign origin is suggested by the elaborate genealogies that the
Brahmins (the priest of the Indian Varna or caste system) created to
accord them the Kshatriya (warrior) caste. Which status they always
insisted upon with almost undue vehemence. The Rajputs traced their
lineage from a mythical fire atop Mt Abu, a mountain in Rajasthan, (Agni
Kula or the Fire Family), the sun (Suryavanshi or the Sun Family) and
the moon (Chandravanshi or the Moon Family).
Whatever their lineage, the Rajputs certainly were the living image of
the knightly noble; handsome, brave – almost foolhardily so – and living
within an elaborate code of honour and chivalry. Even then the attitude
towards the British rule were varied and after the quashing of the 1857
Mutiny and the establishment of the British Indian Empire, the Rajput
Princely States gained importance with 21 gun salutes, royal polo
matches and durbars, just as they lost its meaning. Yet today the spirit
and the heroic exploits of famous Rajput warrior-kings, like Prithviraj
Chauhan, Rana Kumbha, and Bhappa Rawal, continue to echo in the golden
sands of Rajputana in the people’s folklore, music and dance.
When India became independent 23 princely states were combined to form
the State of Rajasthan or the abode of rajas and now has become the
foremost destination in India.
The families :
the first and now
The Sun Family :
Sisodias of Marwar (Chittaur & Udaipur)
Rathores of Jodhpur and Bikaner
Kachhwahas of Amber and Jaipur
The Moon family:
Bhattis of Jaisalmer
The Privy Purses
The privy purses were compensatory financial packages given to the
Maharajas of the various independent states of India when they gave up
their titles and chose to join the Indian union. However in 1971 Prime
Minister Indira Gandhi, who was well known for her socialist ideologies,
abolished the privy purses alongwith all titles in what is still viewed
as a controversial move.