INTRODUCTION TO THE RAJPUTS !
A Rajput is a member of one of the landowning patrilineal clans of central and northern India. Rajputs consider themselves descendants of one of the major ruling warrior groups of the Hindu Kshatriya varna ( social order ) in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India. The Rajputs rose to prominence during the 6th to 12th centuries, and until the 20th century Rajputs ruled in the “overwhelming majority” of the princely states of Rajasthan and Saurashtra, where the largest number of princely states were found. They are divided into three major lineages. The Rajput empire spread in many countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Southeast Asia and some parts of Tibet. The four Agnivanshi clans namely the Pariharas (Pratihara), Solankis (Chalukya dynasty) Paramaras and Chahamanas rose to prominence first, establishing territories and creating kingdoms. The Rajputs were mainly feudal lords under the over-lordship of the rulers belonging to Pratiharas – a dynasty that ruled until the 10th century. Gradually, they attained the status of independent rulers. Their dominion spread over most parts of north India. In the north-west region known as Rajputana, which comprises the present day Rajasthan and parts of Pakistan. The Rajput community comprised of the Chauhans of East Punjab, Northern Rajasthan and Delhi, the Rathores of Uttar Pradesh, the Paramaras of Central India and the Tomars of Gwalior and later, Delhi. Of these the Chauhans and the Rathores were dominant clans. The Rajput though brave and chivalrous often succumbed to inter-clan rivalries, which proved advantageous for the Muslim rulers during the medieval period. The Rajputs being a dominant Hindu clan offered heavy resistance to the Muslim rulers who spread their rule over India during the medieval period. The Rajput princes maintained their own independent princely kingdoms. Some of the brave Rajput rulers who have been made their names eternal in...
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