The Origin of Rajputs

Rajput, (from Sanskrit raja-putra,”son of a king”), were known for their courage, loyalty and royalty. They were the warriors who fought in battles and took care of all the governing functions. The Rajputs originated from western, eastern, northern India and a few parts of Pakistan. Rajputs enjoyed their eminence from sixth century to twelfth century. until twentieth century Rajputs ruled in trounce majority in the princely states of Rajasthan and Surashtra.

During the sixth century India was divided into caste systems which consisted of The Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and shudras. The Brahmins were known as the upper class Hindus who were only responsible for the scared works. The Kshatriyas were the warriors who fought in the battles and took care of the governing functions. The Vaishyas were the agriculturalists, landowners, traders and money-lenders and the shudras kown as the lower class Hindus who had to serve the above three castes. The Rajputs fall in the category of Kshatriyas. Throughout their rule in the northern parts of India, they built remarkable shrines, castles and forts and were great supporters of art.

The Rajputs had a widespread population, almost the entire subcontinent especially in the north, west and central India. They were found in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Surashtra, Jammu, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar. The origin of Rajputs is a topic of argument till date. Authors, such as V.P. Malik and M.S. Naravane, consider that the period was not given to any specific community till the sixth century A.D, as there is no reference of the period in the historical records. Leaders and aristocrats from the intruders were called as Kshatriya in the Hindu caste system, though others who trailed and helped them- such as the Jats, Ahirs and Gurjars- were ranked as Shudra. At the same time, few congenital communities were regarded as Rajput. A few examples of these are the Chandels, Rathors and Bundelas. Aydogdy Kurbanov says that the integration was precisely, between the Hepthalites, Gurjars, and folks from northwestern India. Although, some researchers, such as C.V. Vaidya and Gauri Shankar Ojha did not accept these integration philosophies.

Rajputs are divided into vansh and vamsha. The vansh is further divided into Suryavanshi which means ” House of Sun”, who are descendants of Lord Ram, Chandravanshi which means “House of Moon”, descendants of Lord Krishna and lastly Agnivanshi meaning “Family of Fire God.” Under the vansh category there further subcategories which are, kul or shakh (branch), khamp or khanp (twig) and nak (twig tip). Kul serves as the primary identity among Rajputs and each one of them worships and is protected by their family goddess known as kuldevi. The Suryavanshi clans are Bais, Chattar, Gaur, Kachwaha, Minhas, Pakhral, Patial, Pundir, Naru, Rathore and Sisodia. In Chandravanshi we have Bhati, Chandelas, Bhangalia, Chudasama, Jadauns, Jadeja, Jarral, Katoch, Pahore, Som and Tomaras. In Agnivanshi we have Bhaal, Chauhan, Dodiya, Chavda, Mori, Naga, Paramara and Solanki.

When the British arrived in India, the Rajput states became colonies which in turn ended the reign of Rajputs forever. After India’s independence (1947), most of the Rajput states were merged to form the state of Rajasthan within the Indian union.

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