Place:Rajasthan, India

Watchers


NameRajasthan
Alt namesRajastansource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) II, 770
Rajputanasource: Times Atlas of World History (1993) p 354
Rajputana Agencysource: Times Atlas of World History (1993) p 354
Rājasthānsource: Getty Vocabulary Program
Rājputanasource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) IX, 908-909
Union of Rajasthansource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) II, 770
TypeState
Coordinates26.0°N 74.0°E
Located inIndia     (1956 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Rajasthan ( ; literally, "Land of Kings")[1] is a state in northern India.[2] The state covers an area of or 10.4 percent of the total geographical area of India. It is the largest Indian state by area and the seventh largest by population. Rajasthan is located on the northwestern side of India, where it comprises most of the wide and inhospitable Thar Desert (also known as the "Rajasthan Desert" and "Great Indian Desert") and shares a border with the Pakistani provinces of Punjab to the northwest and Sindh to the west, along the Sutlej-Indus river valley. Elsewhere it is bordered by five other Indian states: Punjab to the north; Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the northeast; Madhya Pradesh to the southeast; and Gujarat to the southwest.

Major features include the ruins of the Indus Valley Civilisation at Kalibanga and Balathal; the Dilwara Temples, a Jain pilgrimage site at Rajasthan's only hill station, Mount Abu, in the ancient Aravalli mountain range; and, in eastern Rajasthan, the Keoladeo National Park near Bharatpur, a World Heritage Site known for its bird life. Rajasthan is also home to three national tiger reserves, the Ranthambore National Park in Sawai Madhopur, Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar and Mukundra Hill Tiger Reserve in Kota.

The state was formed on 30 March 1949 when Rajputanathe name adopted by the British Raj for its dependencies in the regionwas merged into the Dominion of India. Its capital and largest city is Jaipur. Other important cities are Jodhpur, Kota, Bikaner, Ajmer and Udaipur.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Ancient

Parts of what is now Rajasthan were partly part of the Vedic Civilisation and Indus Valley Civilization. Kalibangan, in Hanumangarh district, was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilization.. Another archeological excavation at Balathal site in Udaipur district shows a settlement contemporary with the Harrapan civilization dating back to 3000 - 1500 BC.

Stone Age tools dating from 5,000 to 200,000 years were found in Bundi and Bhilwara districts of the state.

Matsya Kingdom of the Vedic civilisation of India, is said to roughly corresponded to the former state of Jaipur in Rajasthan and included the whole of Alwar with portions of Bharatpur. The capital of Matsya was at Viratanagar (modern Bairat), which is said to have been named after its founder king Virata.

Bhargava identifies the two districts of Jhunjhunu and Sikar and parts of Jaipur district along with Haryana districts of Mahendragarh and Rewari as part of Vedic state of Brahmavarta. Bhargava also locates the present day Sahibi River as the Vedic Drishadwati River, which along with Saraswati River formed the borders of the Vedic state of Brahmavarta. Manu and Bhrigu narrated the Manusmriti to a congregation of seers in this area only. Ashrams of Vedic seers Bhrigu and his son Chayvan Rishi, for whom Chyawanprash was formulated, were near Dhosi Hill part of which lies in Dhosi village of Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan and part lies in Mahendragarh district of Haryana.

The Western Kshatrapas (405–35 BC), the Saka rulers of the western part of India, were successors to the Indo-Scythians, and were contemporaneous with the Kushans, who ruled the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. The Indo-Scythians invaded the area of Ujjain and established the Saka era (with their calendar), marking the beginning of the long-lived Saka Western Satraps state.

Classical

Gurjars

Gurjars ruled for many dynasties in this part of the country, the region was known as Gurjaratra. Up to the 10th century AD, almost all of North India acknowledged the supremacy of the Gurjars, with their seat of power at Kannauj.

Gurjara-Pratihara

The Gurjar Pratihar Empire acted as a barrier for Arab invaders from the 8th to the 11th century. The chief accomplishment of the Gurjara-Pratihara Empire lies in its successful resistance to foreign invasions from the west, starting in the days of Junaid. Historian R. C. Majumdar says that this was openly acknowledged by the Arab writers. He further notes that historians of India have wondered at the slow progress of Muslim invaders in India, as compared with their rapid advance in other parts of the world. Now there seems little doubt that it was the power of the Gurjara Pratihara army that effectively barred the progress of the Arabs beyond the confines of Sindh, their only conquest for nearly 300 years.

Medieval and Early Modern

Historical tribes

Traditionally the Rajputs, Gurjars, Jats, Meenas, Bhils, Rajpurohit, Charans, Yadavs, Bishnois, Meghwal, Sermals, PhulMali (Saini) and other tribes made a great contribution in building the state of Rajasthan. All these tribes suffered great difficulties in protecting their culture and the land. Millions of them were killed trying to protect their land. Bhils once ruled Kota. Meenas were rulers of Bundi, Hadoti and the Dhundhar region.[3]

Major rulers

  • Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, the Hindu Emperor, was born in the village of Machheri in Alwar District in 1501. He won 22 battles against Afghans, from Punjab to Bengal including states of Ajmer and Alwar in Rajasthan, and defeated Akbar's forces twice at Agra and Delhi in 1556 at Battle of Delhi before acceding to the throne of Delhi and establishing the "Hindu Raj" in North India, albeit for a short duration, from Purana Quila in Delhi. Hem Chandra was killed in the battlefield at Second Battle of Panipat fighting against Mughals on 5 November 1556.
  • Maharana Pratap of Mewar resisted Akbar in the famous Battle of Haldighati (1576) and later operated from hilly areas of his kingdom. The Bhils were Maharana's main allies during these wars. Most of these attacks were repulsed even though the Mughal forces outnumbered Mewar Rajputs in all the wars fought between them. The Haldighati war was fought between 10,000 Mewaris and a 100,000-strong Mughal force (including many Rajputs like Kachwahas from Dhundhar).
  • Jat king Maharaja Suraj Mal (February 1707 – 25 December 1764) or Sujan Singh was ruler of Bharatpur in Rajasthan. A contemporary historian has described him as "the Plato of the Jat people" and by a modern writer as the "Jat Odysseus", because of his political sagacity, steady intellect, and clear vision.

Rajput martial history

Rajput families rose to prominence in the 6th century AD. The Rajputs put up resistance to the Islamic invasions with their warfare and chivalry for centuries. During the 12th century, the Turks and Afghans were able to get a firm grip on Punjab, Delhi and Bengal. The Rana's of Mewar led other kingdoms in its resistance to outside rule. Rana Hammir Singh, defeated the Tughlaq dynasty and recovered a large portion of Rajasthan. The indomitable Rana Kumbha defeated the Sultans of Malwa and Gujarat and made Mewar the most powerful Rajput Kingdom in India. The ambitious Rana Sanga united the various Rajput clans and fought against the foreign powers in India. Rana Sanga defeated the Afghan Lodi Empire of Delhi and crushed the Turkic Sultanates of Malwa and Gujarat. Rana Sanga then tried to create an Indian empire but was defeated by the first Mughal Emperor Babur at Khanua. The defeat was due to betrayal by the Tomar king Silhadi of Raisen. After Rana Sangas death there was no one who could check the rapid expansion of the Mughal Empire.

During Akbars reign most of the Rajput kings accepted Mughal Suzerainty, but the rulers of Mewar (Rana Udai Singh II) and Marwar (Rao Chandrasen Rathore) refused to have any form of alliance with the Mughals. To teach the Rajputs a lesson Akbar attacked Udai Singh and killed Rajput commander Jaimal of Chitor and the citizens of Mewar in large numbers. Akbar killed 20 – 25,000 unarmed citizens in Chittor on the grounds that they had actively helped in the resistance.

Maharana Pratap took an oath to avenge the citizens of Chittor, he fought the Mughal empire till his death and liberated most of Mewar apart from Chittor itself. Maharana Pratap soon became the most celebrated warrior of Rajasthan and became famous all over India for his sporadic warfare and noble actions. According to Satish Chandra, "Rana Pratap's defiance of the mighty Mughal empire, almost alone and unaided by the other Rajput states, constitutes a glorious saga of Rajput valour and the spirit of self-sacrifice for cherished principles. Rana Pratap's methods of sporadic warfare was later elaborated further by Malik Ambar, the Deccani general, and by Shivaji".

Rana Amar Singh I continued his ancestors war against the Mughal's under Jehangir, he repelled the Mughal armies at Dewar. Later an expedition was again sent under leadership of Prince Khurram, which caused much damage to life and property of Mewar. Many temples were destroyed, several villages were put on fire and ladies and children were captured and tortured to make Amar Singh accept surrender.

During Aurangzebs rule Rana Raj Singh I and Veer Durgadas Rathore were chief among those who defied the intolerant emperor of Delhi. They took advantage of the Aravalli hills and caused heavy damage on the Mughal armies that were trying to occupy Rajasthan.

After Aurangzebs death Bahadur Shah I tried to subjugate Rajasthan like his ancestors but his plan backfired when the three Rajput Raja's of Amber, Udaipur and Jodhpur made a joint resistance to the Mughals. The Rajputs first expelled the commandants of Jodhpur and Bayana and recovered Amer by a night attack. They next killed Sayyid Hussain Khan Barha, the commandant of Mewat and many other Mughal officers. Bahadur Shah I, then in the Deccan was forced to patch up a truce with the Rajput Rajas.


Over the years, the Mughals began to have internal disputes which greatly distracted them at times. The Mughal Empire continued to weaken, and with the decline of the Mughal Empire in the late 18th century, Rajputana came under the influence of the Marathas. The Maratha Empire, which had replaced the Mughal Empire as the overlord of the subcontinent, was finally replaced by the British Empire in 1818.

In the 19th century the Rajput kingdoms were exhausted, they had been drained financially and in manpower after continuous wars and due to heavy tributes exacted by the Maratha Empire. In order to save their kingdoms from instability, rebellions and banditry the Rajput kings concluded treaties with the British in the early 19th century, accepting British suzerainty and control over their external affairs in return for internal autonomy.


Modern

Modern Rajasthan includes most of Rajputana, which comprises the erstwhile nineteen princely states, two chiefships, and the British district of Ajmer-Merwara. Jaisalmer, Marwar (Jodhpur), Bikaner, Mewar (Chittorgarh), Alwar and Dhundhar (Jaipur) were some of the main Rajput princely states. Bharatpur and Dholpur were Jat princely states whereas Tonk was a princely state under a Muslim Nawab.

Rajasthan's formerly independent kingdoms created a rich architectural and cultural heritage, seen even today in their numerous forts and palaces (Mahals and Havelis), which are enriched by features of Rajput and Jain architecture.

The development of frescos in Rajasthan is linked with the history of the Marwaris (Jodhpur-pali), who played a crucial role in the economic development of the region.

Research Tips


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Rajasthan. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.