History of Rajasthan

The beautiful state of Rajasthan is a part of the North Western frontier region of India. Rajasthan remained independent and free from the great empires trying to consolidate their strong hold in this part of the subcontinent in the early periods. Even the great Mauryan Kingdom had little impact on the state's political environment during those times. According to the ancient scriptures, there is mention of Rajasthan especially Pushkar in Mahabharata and the Ramayana.

As per the Hindu Mythology the Rajputs are the true descendants of the Kshatriyas warriors of the Vedic times. During the period of 6th to the 7th century the Rajputs came into existence. The ancestry of the Rajputs can be divided into Suryavanshi and Chandravanshi. The solar or Suryavanshi were the descendents of Lord Rama while the lunar or the Chandravanshi claimed their descendant from Lord Krishna. Divided in to thirty six races, the Rajputs had twenty one kingdoms giving rise to the dynasties like Sisodias of Mewar in Udaipur, the Kachhwahas of Amber in Jaipur, the Rathors of Marwar in Jodhpur and Bikaner, the Hadas of Kota and Bundi with the Chauhans of Ajmer and Delhi.

Emergence of the Rajputs
The fall of the Gupta Empire brought a period of instability after a strong hold of about 300 years in the early part of the 5th century. The stability was restored by the Gurjara ( Foreigners)- Pratiharas, the earliest of the Rajputs dynasties who came to possess ultimate powers in the whole of Southern Rajputana. From these clans came the name of Rajputana. There is evidence that some of the Rajput clan traces their emergence of the arrival of foreign invaders such as the white Huns and other invaders settled from central Asia.

The Warrior legacy of the Rajputs
The control of Sind by the Arab in 1713 came as a shock to the honor of the Rajput and they tried to defend their dignity, but slowly there surfaced more threats from the Turks as well Mahmud of Ghazni who occupied Afghanistan adjacent to the state of Rajasthan. The cruelest fate of the Rajput was at the hands of Mahmud of Ghazni towards the end of the 12th century. Later the whole of Delhi and Ajmer came under the hold of the Muslim rulers under the leadership of Mohammad Ghori.

The Rajputs vs the Mughal
India was then ruled by various Rajput dynasties. The Rajputs were well known for their bravery and heroism. There were many causes of the success of the Muslims and the defeat of the Hindu rulers which led to the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate. Firstly in the 11th and 12th centuries, India was divided into so many states which were always quarrelling with each other. As such there was no powerful empire which would face the Muslim invaders effectively. The Rajput were defeated by the mighty Mughals which shook the confidence of the Rajputs. Akbar was the great ruler who won the faith of Rajputs by having matrimonial alliances and respecting their religion whereas the last ruler of Mughals, Aurangzeb was just opposite to him which proved fatal for the Muslim empire.

The British Raj
The East India company was taken over by the British Goverment. Their dominance moved to greater areas with the small feudal fights between the small Rajput rulers. The Marathas also continued to mount pressure on the Rajput by attacking the small provinces. The British finally eliminated the Marathas and reduced the Rajput rulers to puppets in the hands of the British Government.

Emergence of Rajasthan
After independence, the boundaries of the state was defined in 1948 comprising the south and south eastern state of Rajputana. With the merger of Mewar, Udaipur was entrusted with the responsibility of control and was made the capital of the state. Later, in the year 1949 the united provinces of Matsya that has the kingdom of Bharatpur, Alwar,Karauli and Dholpur was merged in to the state of Rajasthan.

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