History of Rajasthan
Rajasthan, land of princes, comprised many small kingdoms ruled over by clans who warred constantly for supremacy and individually tried to stem the tide of the Islamic invasions. The clans were all Rajputs
According to the Hindu Mythology, the Rajputs of Rajasthan were the descendants of the Kshatriyas or warriors of Vedic India. The emergence of the Rajput warrior clans was in the 6th and 7th centuries. Rajputs ancestry can be divided into two: the "solar" or suryavanshi-those descended from Rama, the hero of the epic Ramayana, and the "lunar" or chandravanshi, who claimed descent from Krishana, the hero of the epic Mahabharata. Later a third clan was added, the agnikula or fire-born, said to have emerged from the flames of a sacrificial fire on Mt Abu.
It has been accepted that the Rajputs were divided into thirty-six races and twenty-one kingdoms. The Rajput clans gave rise to dynasties like Sisodias of Mewar (Udaipur), the Kachwahas of Amber (Jaipur), the Rathors of Marwar (Jodhpur & Bikaner), the Hadas of Jhalwawar, Kota & Bundi, the Bhattis of Jaisalmer, the Shekhawats of Shekhawati and the Chauhans of Ajmer.
Some popular rulers have been listed and given below according to period:
Ancient Period, upto 1200 Century
Rajput clans emerged and held their sway over different parts of Rajasthan from about 700 AD. Before that, Rajasthan was a part of several republics. It was a part of the Mauryan Empire. Other major republics that dominated this region include the Malavas, Arjunyas, Yaudhyas, Kushans, Saka Satraps, Guptas and Hunas.
The Rajput clans ascendancy in Indian history was during the period from the eighth to the twelfth century AD. The Pratihars ruled Rajasthan and most of northern India during 750-1000 AD. Between 1000-1200 AD, Rajasthan witnessed the struggle for supremacy between Chalukyas, Parmars and Chauhans.
Bappa Rawal (713 - 753)
Bappa Rawal was one of the most powerful and famous rulers of the Mewar Dynasty. Although a surviving member of the Guhilot clan, Prince Kalbhoj (his actual name) did not continue the family name of seven generations when he came to the throne; instead, he established the Mewar Dynasty, naming it for the kingdom he had just taken.
Prithvi Raj Chauhan (1168 - 1192)
Prithvi Raj Chauhan was the second last Hindu king to sit upon the throne of Delhi (the last Hindu king being Hemu). He succeeded to the throne in 1179 CE at the age of 11, and ruled from the twin capitals of Ajmer and Delhi. He controlled much of Rajasthan and Haryana, and unified the Rajputs against Muslim invasions ...more on Prithvi Raj Chauhan
Medieval Period, 1201 - 1750 Century
Around 1200 AD a part of Rajasthan came under Muslim rulers. The principal centers of their powers were Nagaur and Ajmer. Ranthanbhor was also under their suzerainty. At the beginning of the 13th century AD, the most prominent and powerful state of Rajasthan was Mewar.
Some of the rulers have been listed below.
Rana Kumbha (1419 - 1469)
His reign was one of expansion and consolidation. Kumbha was a remarkable ruler. He was a great general and defeated the Sultans of Malwa and Gujarat. He built the forts at Kumbalgarh, Achalgarh, and Mandalgarh. He erected the Tower of Victory at Chittor and built innumerable temples. He was a scholar of Sanskrit and a fine musician. He wrote several commentaries on musical treatises. He was a tolerant ruler and during his reign the beautiful Jain temples at Ranakpur were built.
Maharana Pratap (1540 - 1597)
Maharana Pratap belonged to the Sisodia clan of Suryavanshi Rajputs. The epitome of fiery Rajput pride and self-respect, Pratap has for centuries exemplified the qualities that Rajputs
Pratap, eldest of 25 brothers and 20 sisters, was born at Kumbhalgarh to Maharana Udai Singh II and Maharani Javanta Bai Songara (Chauhan). Maharana Pratap was born in Pali-Marwar. His birthplace is known as Juni Kacheri.
Maharana Udai Singh (1542 - 1572)
Maharana Udai Singh was a king of Mewar and the founder of the city of Udaipur in the present day Rajasthan He was the 53rd ruler of the Mewar dynasty. He was the fourth and posthumous son of Maharana Sangram Singh and Rani Karmavati, a princess of Bundi.
Mirza Raja Jai Singh (1611 - 1667)
He was ruler of the kingdom of Amber (later called Jaipur). His father was Maha Singh the Raja of Garha, and his mother was Damayanti, a princess of Mewar.
At the tender age of 10 Jai Singh I became the Raja of Amber and the head of the Kachwaha Rajputs. His military career spans the full reign of Shah Jahan and the first half of Aurangzeb's reign. Jai Singh's first step in his rise to greatness took place on the accession of Shah taking advantage of this change of sovereigns.
Rao Bika was the founder of the city and principality of Bikaner. He was a son of Rao Jodha, founder of the city and principality of Jodhpur.
Rao Bika left Marwar (Jodhpur) to create his own kingdom. Rao Jodha supported Bika in his endeavours in return in return for which he made Bika promise never to try and take the throne of Mewar.Some valuable family heirlooms which would legitimize his right to found a kingdom were promised to Bika.
Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh (1688-1743)
During his time Amber proved too small for the growing power of the state. He built the new capital of Jaipur (1712) and being a great diplomat maintained equitable relations with the bigoted Emperor Aurangzeb.
Due to the policy of appeasement, the matrimonial alliances and the solid military support offered by Amber-Jaipur to the Moghuls, this state escaped the sacking and constant warfare which disrupted other Rajput principalities. As a result, the state of Jaipur was the most advanced at the time of Indian independence (1947)
Jaipur as a matter of course became the capital of the newly formed state of Rajasthan. Its ruler, Sawai Man Singh II became Rajpramukh of Rajasthan. His wife, now Rajmata Gayatri Devi entered politics and is a member of parliament. Sawai Man Singh was a great polo player. His son and heir Bhavani Singh is an officer in the Indian Army and won the Mahavira Chakra for conspicuous bravery in the 1971 war with Pakistan thus maintaining the martial traditions of the Rajputs.
Modern Period, 1750 - 1947
Rajasthan had never been united politically until its domination by Mughal Emperor - Akbar. Akbar created a unified province of Rajasthan. Mughal The political disintegration of Rajasthan was caused by the dismemberment of the Mughal Empire. The Marathas penetrated Rajasthan upon the decline of the Mughal Empire. In 1755 they occupied Ajmer. The beginning of the 19th Century was marked by the onslaught of the Pindaris.
The erstwhile Rajputana comprised 19 princely states and two chiefships of Lava and Kushalgarh and a British administered territory of Ajmer-Merwara. Rajasthan State was heterogeneous conglomeration of separate political entities with different administrative systems prevailing in different places.
The present State of Rajasthan was formed after a long process of integration which began on March 17, 1948 and ended on November 1, 1956. Before integration it was called Rajputana; after integration it came to be known as Rajasthan. At present there are 33 districts (including the new district of Pratapgarh) in the State.
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