Major dynasties of Rajasthan and its rulers through the Ages and their cultural achievements (1000 – 1800 A.D.)

Major dynasties of Rajasthan and its rulers through the Ages and their cultural achievements (1000 – 1800 A.D.): The history of human settlement in the West Indian state of Rajasthan dates back to about 5,000 years ago. Around 1400 BC, the Matsya tribe occupied the region. Parts of Rajasthan also belonged to the site of the Indus Valley Civilization. Rajasthan is a state in northern India. The History of Rajasthan is about 5000 years old. The history of Rajasthan can be classified into three parts owing to the different epochs- Ancient, Medieval and Modern. Rajput clans emerged and held their sway over different parts of Rajasthan from about 700 CE.

Rajputana “land of the Rajputs” was Rajasthan’s old name under the British Raj. When India became independent, 23 princely states were consolidated to form the state of Rajasthan, “Home of Rajas”. Rajputana, meaning “Land of the Rajputs”, was a region in the Indian subcontinent that included mainly the present-day Indian state of Rajasthan, as well as parts of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, and some adjoining areas of Sindh in modern-day southern Pakistan.

Hindu Rajput kingdoms in the Northern and Western Indian subcontinent tried to resist the Muslim invasion of India, beginning with the Umayyad campaigns entering from the Middle East and the Ghaznavid Turks from Ghazni.

During the medieval and later feudal/colonial periods, many parts of the Indian subcontinent were ruled as sovereign or princely states by various dynasties of Rajputs.

Ancient Civilizations of Rajasthan with special reference to Mesolithic (Late Stone Age) sites in Rajasthan i.e. Nimbahera, Bagor and Mandia.

Major dynasties of Rajasthan

Following is a list of dynasties and rulers, which ruled or origin from Rajasthan from Ancient period to Modern period:

Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty

  • Pratiharas of Mandavyapura (Mandore)
  • Pratiharas of Bhinmal and Kannauj

Pratiharas of Mandavyapura (Mandore)

Rudolf Hoernle assumed a period of 20 years for each generation, and placed the dynasty’s founder Harichandra in c. 640 CE. Baij Nath Puri placed Harichandra in c. 600 CE. R. C. Majumdar, on the other hand, assumed a period of 25 years for each generation, and placed him in c. 550 CE. The following is a list of the dynasty’s rulers (IAST names in brackets) and estimates of their reigns, assuming a period of 25 years:

  • Harichandra (Haricandra) alias Rohilladhi (r. c. 550 CE)
  • Rajilla (r. c. 575 CE)
  • Narabhatta (Narabhaṭa) alias Pellapelli (r. c. 600 CE)
  • Nagabhata (Nāgabhaṭa) alias Nahada (r. c. 625 CE)
  • Tata (Tāta) and Bhoja (r. c. 650 CE)
  • Yashovardhana (Yaśovardhana) (r. c. 675 CE)
  • Chanduka (Canduka) (r. c. 700 CE)
  • Shiluka (Śīluka) alias Silluka (r. c. 725 CE)
  • Jhota (r. c. 750 CE)
  • Bhilladitya alias Bhilluka (r. c. 775 CE)
  • Kakka (r. c. 800 CE)
  • Bauka (Bāuka) (r. c. 825 CE)
  • Kakkuka (r. c. 861 CE)

Bauka and Kakkuka were sons of Kakka from different mothers. The Jodhpur and Ghantiyala inscriptions of the two step-brothers give same genealogy of the family, except the last two names. Since these two inscriptions were found not far from each other, it appears that Bauka succeeded Kakka (rather than the two dividing Kakka’s kingdom).

Pratiharas of Bhinmal and Kannauj

List of Imperial Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty rulers:

Serial No.RulerReign (CE)
1Nagabhata I730–760
2Kakustha and Devaraja760–780
4Nagabhata II800–833
6Mihira Bhoja or Bhoja I836–885
7Mahendrapala I885–910
8Bhoja II910–913
9Mahipala I913–944
10Mahendrapala II944–948
13Mahipala II955–956
14Vijayapala II956–960

The Empire of Gujjara-Pratiharas extended from the foothills of the Himalayas to Ujjain in the south and from Gujarat in the west to Mongyr in the east. Actually Pratiharas were a branch of Gujjara tribe who entered India in large numbers during the invasion of Hunas. Few ancient records show the association of Pratiharas and Gujjaras. The most import among these records by the Kanarese poet Pampa. He calls Mahipala as Gujjara-raja.

Pratihara actually mean door keeper. They are actually called so as their ancestor Lakshmana served as a door keeper to his elder brother Lord Rama. This is confirmed by an inscription found at Jodhpur. However, modern historians believe that the name Pratihara was derived from one of the ancestor king who served the office of Pratihara in Rashtrakuta court. Pratihara kings initially founded various kingdoms in Rajasthan and Gujarat. These kings together formed Gurjaradesa.

The earliest Pratihara dynasty was founded by Harichandra near modern Jodhpur in the middle of sixth century. But Prachakaravardhana, ruler of Thaneshwar did not like this. Finally this resulted in a conflict between them.

According to Gwalior inscription of Bhoja, the most important ruling family was founded by Nagabhatta I at Malwa with Ujjain as the capital. This inscription also mentions that king Nagabhatta defeated a powerful Mlechchha kings (Arabs).

The following is the description about the important rules of this empire,

Nagabatta I

  • He is the founder of this dynasty.
  • He defended western India from Arabs. He extended the boundary of Pratiharas up to Broach.
  • He died in 760 AD and then was succeeded by his brother Kakustha and then Devaraja. Both these rulers have no individuality or the charm of a king.


  • He ruled from 775 AD to 800 AD
  • He is the grandnephew of Nagabatta I
  • Vatsaraja is the son and successor of Devaraja.
  • He has been praised as a mighty ruler and distinguished Kshatriya.
  • He is named as Ranahastin Vatsaraja in Kuvalayamala (composed in 778 AD), a famous Jaina work.
  • Vatsaraja defeated Bhandi clan represented by Indrayudha. Indrayudha exercised imperial power with the authority of Kannauj.
  • He defeated Dharmapala with the help of Chahamana feudatory. But later he suffered defeat in the hands of Rashtrakuta king Dhurva.
  • Finally with this defeat Pratiharas lost their hold on Malwa region. Vatsaraja was forced to take shelter at Rajasthan. Consequently, Rajasthan became the center of the political activities of Pratiharas.

Nagabatta II

  • He ruled from 805 AD to 833 AD.
  • Vatsaraja was succeeded by his son Nagabatta II. He made Pratiharas as the toughest power of North India.
  • About 816 AD, he defeated Chandrayudha, Dharmapala and made Kannauj as the capital of Pratiharas.
  • The Gwalior inscription of Bhoja describes all the victories of Nagabatta II.
  • Nagabatta II also defeated Sultan Vega Varisha. This victory over Arabs is mentioned in Prabhandakosha. The Dholpur inscription of Chahamana chief, Chandramahasena claims that Nagabatta II was respected even by Arab rulers.
  • He tried to revive all the lost fortunes of this family. But he could not do so.
  • The areas under Pratihara Empire during Nagabatta II comprised of Rajputana, Uttar Pradesh, Central India, Northern Kathiawar and adjacent places.

Mihira Bhoja

  • He ruled from 836 AD to 880 AD.
  • He was the son and successor of Ramabhadra and the greatest Pratihara king. With his succession the Pratihara power reached new heights.
  • Mihira Bhoja re-established the supremacy of his family in Bundelkhand and conquered the Jodhpur Pratiharas.
  • The kingdom under him included Eastern Punjab, most parts of Rajputana, Uttar Pradesh and few regions of Gwalior.
  • Daulatpura copper plate of Bhoja refers to victories of the king in the central and eastern Rajputana.
  • Mihira Bhoja was defeated by Pala king Devapala. Later he defeated the successor of Devapala and annexed western part of the Pala kingdom
  • He adopted the titles Prabhasa, Adivaraha and Mihira.
  • Mihira was also defeate by Rastrakuta ruler Dhruva II. This defeat is recorded in Bagumra plates.
  • The acheivements of Mihira are mentioned in Rajatarangini
  • His guardian deity was goddess Bhagawati.
  • His coins are known as ‘Adi-varaha-dramma’
  • It is interesting to note that the Arab merchant Sulaiman described Mihira Bhoja as the greatest enemy of Muhammadan faith. He also mentioned that no other Indian king has so fine cavalry.

Mahendrapala I

  • He ruled from 880 AD to 910 AD.
  • Mihira Bhoja was succedded by Mahendrapala I. This succession is mentioned in Gwalior inscription.
  • He is also known as Mahendrayudha, Nirbhaya-narendra or Nirbhaya Raja
  • The most notable achievements of Mahendrapala was the conquest of Magadha and northern Bengal.
  • His guru was the famous poet and dramatist Rajashekara. Some of the distinguished works of Rajashekara are Karpuramanjari, Kavyamimamsa, Bala-Bharata, Bala-Ramayana, Bhuvana-Kosha and Harivilasa.
  • Mahendrapala had two queens-Dehanagadevi and Mahadevi.


  • Mahendrapala was followed by two weak rulers namely Bhoja II and Mahipala.
  • Mahipala is referred to as Marajudhiraj of Ayavart by Rajasekhara.
  • Al Masudi, an Arab traveller visited India in around 915-916 AD referred to the wide extent of Pratihara empire and rich resources of its rulers. He mentioned that the king is rich in horses and camels. Kings used to maintain four armies in four directions.
  • Rashtrakuta ruler Indira III invaded Pratihara Empire, conquered Ujjaini and devastated the city of Kannauj.
  • Mahipala also faced invasion of another Rashtrakuta ruler, Krishna III

Rulers after Mahipala

  • The successor of Mahipala was Mahendrapala II. He was the son of Mahipala.
  • He was able to maintain the unity and strength of the empire but he received a shattering blow from Devapala.
  • This process of decline which started during the reign of Devapala speeded with the reign of Vijayapala. Finally the Empire declined by the middle of 11th century AD.
  • Vijayapala was succeeded by Rajyapala when Mahmud Ghazni invaded India. In 1018 AD Ghazni invaded Mathura and reached Kannauj. During this time Rajyapala fled away.
  • Chandella ruler of Bundelkhand killed Rajyapala due to jis disgraceful failure to resist Ghazni. He placed his son Trilochanapala on the throne.
  • Yashapala was the last ruler of the Pratihara line. His name is mentioned in the inscriptions of 1036 AD.

Mewar dynasty

  • Guhila dynasty
  • Sisodia dynasty

The Kingdom of Mewar, sometimes known as Udaipur State, was an independent kingdom in Rajputana region of India, ruled by the Sisodia dynasty. It was established around the 7th century by the minor rulers of the Nagada-Ahar region of Udaipur and later, in the 10th century, it transformed into an independent state under Rawal Bharttripatta II.

In 1303, the kingdom was invaded; its capital fort Chittorgarh was besieged and taken by Alauddin Khalji killing the entire main branch of the family known as the Rawal Branch. A junior branch of the family called the Ranas later regained the control of the kingdom in 1326 and under them; the kingdom became the most powerful state in the Northern India.

  • The Kingdom was engaged in multiple battles against the sultanates of Gujarat, Malwa, Nagor and Delhi.
  • At its peak it controlled parts of Sindh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
  • The kingdom declined after the Battle of Khanwa with the Mughals.
  • The kingdom under Udai Singh II and Maharana Pratap was constantly engaged in a struggle with the Mughals and continued through the kingdom accepting Mughal suzernity in 1615 and ended around 1707 when Aurangzeb died.
  • In 1818, it accepted British suzerainty and in 1947, Bhupal Singh signed the Instrument of Accession to India and joined the Union of India.

Guhila dynasty

The Guhilas from the 8th century acknowledged the suzerainty of the Gurjara-Pratiharas. In the 10th century, Bharttripatta II became an independent ruler and broke ties with the Pratihara empire and assumed the title Maharajadhiraja. His successor Allata killed Devapala, the ruler of the Gurjara Pratihara at that time.

The Guhilas was controlled by the Parmaras in the 11th century and by the Chahamanas in the 12th century. Guhila ruler Samantsingh established another branch of Guhilas in Vagad and also fought alongside the defeated Prithviraja III of Ajmer in Second Battle of Tarain against Muizzuddin Muhammad Ghuri.

Through the 13th century, the Guhilas started getting more powerful and became independent of the Chahamana rule. It had to resist multiple invasions by Turkic invaders. Eventually, in 1303 Sultan of Delhi, Alauddin Khalji invaded Mewar, besieged Chittor. In the siege, Rana Lakhan with his seven sons died in the battle and the women committed Jauhar. Although, Ajay Singh survived the disaster who later brought up Hammir.

Sisodia dynasty

Maharana Hammir

Following the invasion by Alauddin Khalji in 1303, the entire family branch was killed. In 1326, Hammir Singh, who descendant of Rahapa, son of Ranasimha, regained control of the region after marrying the daughter of Chahaman chief Maldev who assigned him some territories, although a firm hold was established after he repulsed an army of Delhi Sultanate at the Battle of Singoli and started using the title ‘Rana’. Thus he founded the Sisodia clan.

Maharana Kshetra

He greatly enlarged the kingdom. He captured Ajmer and Jahazpur, re-annexed Mandalgarh, Mandsor, and the whole of the Chappan to Mewar. He obtained a victory over the King of Delhi, who was utterly defeated at Bakrole. Kshetra Singh took the King of Gujrat prisoner in a battle. The Kumbhalgarh Inscription says that ” he captured Zafar Khan, King of Patan” (the first independent Sultan of Gujrat), The Khan remained in imprisonment with other Rajas ; Rana Kshetra Singh defeated and killed Ami Shah and the Mussalman ruler of Malwa trembled in his dreams when lie saw the Rana. He defeated many Rajas and humbled the pride of the ruler of Malwa.

Maharana Lakha

Rana Kshetra was succeded by his son Lakha who was one of the greatest rulers of his time. He expanded Mewar by conquering Merwara from Mers and the destruction of its cheif stronghold Berahtgarth on the ruins of which he founded Badnore. It was in his time that the tin and silver mines of Jawar were discovered. With the revenues thus augmented he rebuilt the palaces and temples destroyed by Ala-ud-din, excavated reservoirs and lakes, raised immense ramparts to dam their waters, and constructed a number of forts. He defeated the Rajputs of shekhawati and merged it with his domain. Following the leagcy of his father he defeated the Sultan of Delhi at Badnore possibly Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq. He died figting in Gaya to secure the pillegrmage tax on Hindus.

Maharana Mokal

Lakha’s son Mokal Singh became the Rana at a very young age, so his mother Hansa Bai acted as a regent for him. Mokal’s brother Chunda left the fort because of conflicts between him and Hansa bai. During Mokal’s rule, the kingdom was invaded by Sultan of Nagaur but the Sultan was driven away. It was also invaded twice by Ahmad Shah of Gujarat, who was driven out once.

Mokal anexed the areas of Ajmer and sambhar from the Sultan of Delhi. He also conquered jalore. Mokal was assassinated by his uncles Chacha and Mera.

Maharana Kumbha

After his father’s assassination, Rana Kumbha ascended to the throne in 1433. He first dealt with this father’s assassins and killed them.

  • By the support of King of Marwar Rao Ranmal Rathore whom his father had helped to become the king.
  • As one of the assassins of Mokal, Mahpa Panwar was sheltered by the Sultan of Mandu, a demand for his person was made by the Maharana, but Mahmud Khilji refused to surrender the refugee.

The Maharana prepared for hostilities and advanced to attack Mandu. The Sultan advanced with a powerful army to meet Kumbha.

After a severe engagement the sultan’s army was defeated and sultan was forced to flee to the fort of Mandu, following the victory Rana Kumbha laid siege to the fort of Mandu and captured the sultan. Who was later freed. Rana captured the areas of Gagron, Ranthambore Sarangpur, Dungarpur, Banswara and Raisen from the Malwa Sultanate He also annexed region of Hadoti. Due to the growing power of Ranmal, Rana had Ranmal assainated and Rana Kumbha captured Marwar too.

In coming years Sultan made several attempts to revenge his defeats in the battle of Mandalgarh and Banas but every time he was defeated. Rana Kumbha started the conquest of Nagore due the harsh treatment of Hindus there. Shams Khan Son of sultan of Nagore fled to Maharana Kumbha for shelter and help.

Rana Kumbha, who had long designs on Nagaur, gladly embraced this opportunity of carrying them out, and agreed to place Shams Khan on the throne of Nagaur on the condition that he acknowledged Rana Kumbha’s supremacy by demolishing a part of the battlements of the fort of that place. Shams Khan accepted the terms.

Rana Kumbha marched with a large army to Nagaur, defeated Mujahid, who fled towards Gujarat, and placed Shams Khan on the throne of Nagaur, and demanded of him the fulfillment of the condition. But Shams Khan humbly prayed to the Maharana to spare the fort, for otherwise his nobles would kill him after the Maharana was gone. He promised to demolish the battlements himself later on. The Maharana granted this prayer and returned to Mewar.

No sooner, however, had Rana Kumbha reached Kumbalgarh when he got the news that Shams Khan instead of demolishing, began to strengthen the fortification of Nagaur. This brought Kumbha on the scene again with a large army. Shams Khan was driven out of Nagaur, which passed into Kumbha’s possession. The Maharana now demolished the fortification of Nagaur and thus carried out his long-cherished design. With the conquest of Nagore areas of Janglaudesha and Sapdalpaksha also came under him. Shams Khan fled to Ahmedabad, taking with him his daughter, whom he married to Sultan Qutub-ud-din Ahmad Shah II.

The Sultan thereupon espoused his cause and sent a large army under Rai Ram Chandra and Malik Gadday to take back Nagaur. Rana Kumbha allowed the army to approach Nagaur, when he came out, and after a severe engagement, inflicted a crushing defeat on the Gujarat Sultanate army, annihilating it. Only remnants of it reached Ahmedabad, to carry the news of the disaster to the Sultan.

The Sultan now took the field in person, determined to wrest Nagor back from the Maharana. The Maharana advanced to meet him and came to Mount Abu. In S. 1513 (A.D. 1456) the Sultan of Gujarat “despairing of reducing Chittor” arrived near Abu and sent his Commander-in-Chief, Malik Shaaban Imad-ul-Mulk, with a large army, to take the fort of Abu, and himself marched upon the fortress of Kumbhalgarh.

Kumbha, aware of this plan, came out, attacked and “defeated Imad-ul-Mulk with great slaughter,” and He by forced marched Kumbhalgarh before the Sultan arrived there. He also conquered regions of Abu and Sirohi After getting repeatedly defeated by Kumbha Sultans of Gujarat, Malwa and Nagor prepared to take joint actions against Mewar and divide the spoils. Sultan of Gujarat move towards Kumbhalgarh but was defeated there. Nagor was also defeated. Sultan of Malwa took Mewar territories upto Ajmer but after seeing defeats of sultans of Gujarat and Nagor allowed Rana Kumbha to recapture his lost territories.

Maharana Sanga

Rana Sanga (1482–1528) reunited the Rajput clans to form a powerful Rajput confederation during the early 16th century. At its peak, his dominion covered present-day Rajasthan, northern Gujarat and

After his father’s death, Sangram Singh ascended on the throne in 1509. Around 1517, in the Sultanate of Malwa under the Sultan Mahmud Khilji II, too much power landed in the hands of Medini Rai which upset a lot of Muslim nobles.

Eventually, Mahmud himself asked for help from the Sultan of Gujarat to get rid of Medini Rai. The war started as the two sultans besieged Mandu where Rai’s son died. Sanga supported Medini Rai and in turn attacked and captured Gagron where he appointed Medini Rai to govern as a replacement to his prior holdings in Malwa.

In 1518, Ibrahim Lodhi ascended to the throne of Delhi. He engaged with Sanga in two major battles when he realized Sanga had been encroaching on land in the Sultanate. The sultan was defeated at Khatoli and Dholpur; as a result, Sanga was able to capture the entire North-East Rajputana up to Chanderi. This defeat was a humiliating setback for the new sultan as he lost much territory to an internal conflict in his empire. In the Battle of Khatoli, a sword injured Sanga’s arm, and his leg was injured by an arrow, making him lame.

In 1518 Mahmud Khilji II collected another massive army and invaded Mewar through Gagron. In the ensuing battle, the Maharana won decisively; he took Khilji captive, appointed a physician to care for Khilji, and later escorted him back to his kingdom to Mandu. In 1520, Sangram decided to attack Idar and the Sultanate of Gujarat after a furious exchange with him. In the ensuing campaign, the Rana not only completely captured Idar, but also raided Ahmadabad and returned with massive wealth looted.

After looting Ahmadnagar, the Sultan of Malwa and Gujarat mobilized heavily in 1521 against the Rana, who joined forces with the entire Rajputana. In the end, the heavy mobilization was of no use, and Sanga could use his brilliant diplomatic skills to scare the Sultana. The same year, Ibrahim Lodhi tried to attack the Rana but failed again. It is around this time that Sanga’s power is at its zenith. He had thoroughly defeated Gujarat and Delhi, largely captured Malwa, and allied with the remaining parts of Rajputana.

In 1526, Babur invaded, defeated and killed Ibrahim Lodhi. Thus, the foundation of the Mughal Empire is from the Lodhi Empire’s remains. After successful skirmishes, Sanga suffered a serious reverse despite the numerical superiority because of the use of Gun powder by the Mughals. He was wounded in battle and was removed in an unconscious state by Prithviraj Kachwaha of Amber. His generals eventually poisoned him for not leaving a desire to defeat Babur after being defeated in Khanwa.

After Sangram’s death, his son Ratan Singh II was placed on the throne by the generals. Mahmud Khilji, whom Sangram badly defeated, tried to cash the opportunity of a week Rana and invaded but was badly defeated and was also defeated in a counterattack.

In 1531, he was killed in battle. His brother Rana Vikramaditya succeeded him at a young age, and was unpopular. During his reign, Mewar was invaded by Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. His cousin Vanvir Singh Kelwa assassinated Mewar, usurped the throne in 1534, and kept it for six years. Vanvir also attempted to kill Vikramaditya’s brother Udai. However, Udai’s nurse Panna Dhai placed her son in Udai’s bed, getting him killed and saving the heir to the throne.

In 1540, an older Udai took over Chittor and let Vanvir walk away. He became Udai Singh II.

Battles against the Mughals

Siege of Chittorgarh (1567–1568) and Battle of Haldighati

Udai Singh II

Early into his reign, Maldev Rathore unsuccessfully invaded Mewar. In 1557, he was defeated by a joint invasion by Haji Khan and Maldeo Rathore in the Battle of Haramada. He is most known for establishing the city of Udaipur. The city was designed with the use of gun powder by Persian invaders in India. He settled people in the city and constructed forts as well.

During his reign, Akbar, Babur’s grandson, made great efforts to get the Maharana to accept his suzerainty by sending emissaries and envoys. When Udai Singh rejected all offers, Akbar considered invading Mewar. Udai Singh had faith in his forts as they had defended the rulers for decades in the past and was very strong. He was advised by his generals to make adequate arrangements for defence and then retire to the hilly areas of Chittor, which he heeded.

Siege of Chittor (1567)

Akbar laid siege to the fort of Chittor and started making direct attacks. When these attacks failed to do any damage, he ordered construction of Sabats. The Rajput defenses showered the constructors of these Sabats with arrows and cannonballs but eventually the sabats’ construction was complete.

Explosives were set on these sabats for breaching the sturdy Chittor walls and explosions were able to break some walls but the Rajputs quickly filled those cavities. The explosions killed hundreds of Mughal soldiers and threw rocks miles away and were heard in towns very distant. Several other Sabats were built in front of other walls. These explosions disheartened many Mughal soldiers and Akbar himself but the siege kept going.

While fighting, Jaimal Rathore, the commander of Mewari forces was shot dead by Akbar, soon after which the doors of Chittor were breached and Rajput soldiers fought to death. Women of the fort committed Jauhar. Soon the fort was taken over and Akbar commanded a slaughter of around 30,000 inhabitants of the fort. Udai Singh II died 4 years later in 1572.

Maharana Pratap Singh

Udai wanted his second son Jagmal to succeed him, but after his death, his eldest son, Pratap was enthroned by the generals. The order of damage inflicted by Mughal forces in 1568 to Chittor meant that Pratap was not willing to make any concessions to Akbar. He saw Mughals as invaders who were resisted by his father and grandfather. Within 1 year, diplomatic missions by top Mughal officials like Man Singh, Bhagwant Das, and Todar Mal failed to convince Pratap to accept Mughal dominance, appear in Mughal court, pay tribute and enlist as a Mansabdar.

Battle of Haldighati

Pratap soon started to prepare for a big battle. He retired from his fortress until Chittor was recaptured, forbade the use of silver and gold in the kingdom, and forbade sowing of crops to prevent Mughal forces from acquiring supplies from his own land. The big battle came in the form of the Battle of Haldighati with Akbar sending Man Singh against the forces of Mewar headed by Pratap.

Pratap first attacked on the center wing of the army which forced Mughals to retreat. Mewar army was also able to break the left and right wing of the Mughal Army. It was appearing that Mewar would win but slowly Mewari army started getting exhausted and Mihtar Khan on the Mughal side started beating the kettle-drums and spread a rumour about the arrival of the Emperor’s army reinforcements, which raised the morale of the Mughal army and turned the battle in their favour. The Mewari soldiers starting deserting in large numbers, finding the day lost and eventually Pratap was injured and had to leave the battlefield.

A Jhala chieftain called Man Singh took the Rana’s place and donned some of his royal emblems by which the Mughals mistook him for the Rana. Man Singh Jhala was eventually killed; however his act of bravery gave the Rana enough time to safely retreat.

Next year in 1577, Akbar’s forces under Shahbaz Khan attacked the fort of Kumbhalgarh, one of the most important forts for the Rajputs. During the fierce siege, Pratap had to leave the fort to his generals who defended it till April 1578 and lost to the Mughals after a heavy fight. After the fall of Kumbhalgarh, Pratap was chased by Shahbaz khan for several years, trying to capture him but he escaped multiple times. It was later through his general Bhamashah’s help, that he was able to replenish his army.

Battle of Dewair

After a few years’ preparations, Pratap’s son prince Amar was able to defeat Mughal Commander Sultan Ghori at the Battle of Dewair in 1582 and Kumbhalgarh was taken by Pratap from Abdullah Khan in 1583. Over the next few years, Akbar’s pursuit for Pratap loosened and he started focusing on his own empire. Pratap was able to capture all important forts in Mewar accept Chittorgarh and Mandalgarh which remained under his reign for the rest of his life. He died in 1597.

Amar Singh

Pratap’s 38 year old son Amar succeeded him. In 1600, his kingdom was invaded by Akbar’s son Salim in which Mughals were defeated and their top generals like Sultan Khan Ghori were killed. Akbar tried to make another attempt to invade Mewar in 1605 but the invasion was cut short by his death. After Akbar, his son Salim succeeded as Jahangir and sent a large force under his son Pervez to invade Mewar. To defend against Pervez, Amar built a new capital at Chawand, a hilly location in Mewar. Then preparations were made to defend against the Mughals. In 1606, in the Battle of Dewair, Mughals were badly defeated. During this time, Amar’ son Sagar defected from Rajputs to Mughals and was appointed at Chittor by Jahangir.

In 1608, a massive army under Mahabat Khan was sent to Mewar through Mandal and Chittor. This army was badly defeated and had to retreat because of continuous raids by Rajput forces. In 1609, Mahabat Khan was replaced with Abdullah Khan who was able to defeat Mewar in several battles from 1609 to 1611. In an attack by Abdullah Khan, Amar Singh was forced to abandon the capital of Chawand.

The Mughals continued to chase the Maharana for several years but no one was able to capture the Rana. After this, in 1613, Jahangir himself came to Rajputana to supervise the campaign. His son Khurram led the campaign on the ground. Rajputs were easily able to seek refuge in the hilly tracks of Rajputana and the Mughals largely failed to penetrate it. They were finally able to penetrate it in 1614 when they engaged with Mewar forces and established outposts. Many attempts were made by Jahangir to make settlements with the Maharana and the final attempt in 1615 succeeded when Amar Singh agreed to meet with Prince Khurram.

Treaty with Mughals

In February 1615, Khurram and Amar Singh met in Gogunda. Tributes were exchanged between the Maharana and the Prince. Following terms were accepted by both the parties.

• Maharana’s eldest son would serve under the Emperor.

• Maharana would provide a 1000 horsemen contingent in the Mughal Army.

• Maharana would never try to return to Chittorgarh.

Ranks were provided to Maharana’s heir Karan. Other official honors and ranks were also exchanged. Jahangir got marble statues of Amar and Karan Singh constructed in Deccan and installed in a garden in Agra.

Throughout the rest of his life, Amar spent time in Udaipur, making administrative reforms to his kingdom and restoring it. He died in 1620 at the age of 60.

After treaty Mughals

Karan succeeded his father Amar in 1620. He reformed his kingdom and repaired several temples including the Ranakpur Jain temple damaged by Mughal commanders. Karan also helped prince Khurram and gave him refuge when he had rebelled against his father in 1623. Karan also supported Mahabat Khan, who rebelled against Jahangir. Khurram stayed for 4 months and exchanged turbans with the Maharana which is still stored in Pratap Museum. When Jahangir died in 1627, Khurram passed through Mewar and met with Karan again. Khurram was crowned the Mughal emperor as Shah Jahan. Karan died 2 months later.

After Karan’s death, his son Jagat succeeded him in 1628. He was sent a robe of honor by Shah Jahan. Jagat invaded Dungarpur because it enlisted itself in the Mughal Mansabdari system. In the resulting war, Dungarpur lost and its ruler was killed. He get the famous Jag Mandir constructed during his reign.

Spoiled relations with Mughals

Jagat Singh died after a 24 year long reign and was succeeded by his son Raj. Towards the end of Jagat’s reign, Mughal-Mewar relations had been strained. Shah Jahan sent a robe of honor for Raj Singh as well but the relations could not be restored. Raj continued making restorations to the Chittor fort, going against the Mughal-Mewar treaty of 1615.

Maharana had constructed walls around the fort and had reduced the contingent size given to the Mughals. Maharana then sent a diplomatic mission to the Mughals to settle the issue. But eventually Shah Jahan ordered his son Aurangzeb and grandson Mahmud to invade Chittor and demolish the new wall in 1654. Eventually Shah Jahan withdrew Mughal forces and letters of settlement and assurances were exchanged.

War of succession

In 1658, the Mughal war of succession was going on and Raj Singh took an advantage and invaded the Mughals and successfully loot and plunder in adjacent areas. Throughout the war, Raj Singh remained neutral among the fighting brothers but he disliked Darra Shikoh and liked Aurangzeb. He maintained contact and good relations with Prince Aurangzeb and sent his emissaries when Aurangzeb won the war of succession. After the war of succession, Raj Singh was able to win the favor of Aurangzeb and was awarded territories of Mandal and Banswara and he was granted ranks.

In 1658, Raj Singh embarked on his own expeditions using pretence of a ceremonial “Tikadaur”, traditionally taken in enemy land. The Maharana swooped down on various Mughal posts in 1658. Levies were imposed on outposts and tracts like Mandal, Banera, Shahpura, Sawar, Jahazpur, Phulia etc. which were then under Mughal control, and some areas were annexed. He next attacked Pargana of Malpura, Tonk, Chaksu, Lalsot and Sambhar. He expanded the Mewar kingdom to bigger heights than before.

Mughal Mewar relations worsened further when in 1660, Raj Singh eloped with Charumati, who was going to be married to Aurangzeb. This was seen as a hostile act and several territories were confiscated from Mewar. Attempts were made to stop this confiscation but all attempts failed.

Oppressions of Hindus

When in the 1660s, Aurangzeb ordered demolitions of several important Hindu temples, Raj Singh made several efforts to secure safety of Hindu Symbols. Famous symbols rescued include the Shrinathji installed in Nathdwara in Udaipur in 1662. In 1679, when Jaziya was imposed on non-muslims in the Mughal empire, Raj Singh possibly protested against Aurangzeb by writing him a letter. Such events further spoiled relations with the Mughal emperor. During this period, Maharana continued to raid and loot adjacent territories.

Rajput-Mughal war 1679 – 1707

During the 1670s, Aurangzeb was engaging with his rivals, the Rathores. In 1679, Raj granted 12 villages to Ajit Singh Rathore. Aurangzeb begged Raj to remain loyal to him and not support Ajit, but this was not heeded by Raj Singh.

Aurangzeb sent multiple of his generals to fight with the Rana but Raj Singh defeated all of them and then Aurangzeb himself came down to the battleground. On the suggestion of his war council, Raj depopulated Udaipur and abandoned the city. In January 1680, Mughals reached Udaipur and damaged the city heavily. A major force of Mughals under Hasan Ali Khan was defeated at Nainwara. Finding it difficult to defeat Rajputs in hilly tracks, Aurangzeb left Udaipur in 1680. Raj Singh carried out sudden raids on Mughal and Malwa forces keeping them terrified. Such raids often created heavy disruption in Mughal forces.

At the height of the Rajput-Mughal war in 1680, Raj Singh died, possibly due to poisoning by Aurangzeb loyalists or by illness and fever. He was succeeded by his son Jai Singh. Under Jai, sudden attacks on Mughals continued. Mughal forces under Dilair Khan were defeated by Mewar in the same year.

Raj had made attempts to sponsor a rebellion in the Mughal Empire by tempting Aurangzeb’s son Akbar. His attempt was cut short by his death, but was successfully carried out by Jai in 1681. Aurangzeb overcame this by writing a false letter to his son telling him to continue deceitful collaboration with Rajputs in order to destroy them. This was intercepted by Rajputs who were tricked into believing that Akbar’s alliance with them was a hoax and distanced themselves with him.

Soon, in the same year, Aurangzeb was able to strike a settlement with Jai through his son Muhammad Azam to prevent the Akbar’s rebellion to grow big. In 1681, Jai Singh agreed to pay Jaziya, send a contingent to the Deccan under the Mughals and they were granted several territories in adjacent regions in a meeting with Muhammad Azam. Following the settlement, ranks and honors were exchanged. Jai Singh wasn’t handed the possession of the granted territories and over the next one decade, he would penalize the emperor by stopping the payment of Jaziya and the Aurangzeb would penalize him for defaulting on Jaziya in other instances by taking away other territories.

Jai died in 1698 and his son Amar Singh II succeeded him in 1699. In 1699, right after Amar Singh II ascended to the throne, he invaded Durganpur, Banswara and Devaliya. Rulers of these regions appealed to Mughal court for justice but in most cases, Maharana prevailed.

In 1707, Aurangzeb died and his sons started the war of succession. During this war, Amar supported Prince Muazzam who later won the war and was crowned Bahadur Shah I. Taking advantage of the war; Amar also captured the granted cities that were under Mughal control like Pur, Mandal and Shahpura.

Chauhan dynasty

Chauhans originally known as Chahamanas is the Rajput dynasty. The earliest Chauhan dynasty was Chahamanas of Shakambhari that ruled territory known as Sambhar.

  • Chahamanas of Sambhar, Ajmer and Delhi
  • Chahamanas of Naddula
  • Chahamanas of Jalore
  • Chahamanas of Ranastambhapura

Kachwaha dynasty

Kachwahas king Sorha Dev and Dulha Rao defeated Meena of Dhundhar kingdom between 950 and 966 CE and established Kingdom of Amber.

Bhati dynasty

Bhati dynasty ruled present Jaisalmer from 600s CE. Bhati is a clan of Rajputs. The Bhati dynasty historically ruled over Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

  • Early rulers
  • Rawals
  • Maharawals
  • Titular kings

Jadaun dynasty

Jadaun dynasty ruled over Karauli. Jadaun or Jadon is a Rajput clan.

Rathore dynasty of Marwar

The Rathore or Rathor is an Indian Rajput dynasty belonging to the clan that has historically ruled over parts of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Marwar is a region of western Rajasthan state in North Western India. It lies partly in the Thar Desert. The word ‘Maru’ is Sanskrit for desert. In Rajasthani languages, “wad” means a particular area. English translation of the word ‘Marwar’ is ‘the region of desert.’

  • Rathore rulers of Pali and Mandore
  • Rathore rulers of Jodhpur
  • Rathore dynasty of Bikaner

Sinsinwar Jat dynasty

Sinsinwar Jats of Bharatpur & Deeg (1683–1947). Bharatpur State, which is also known as the Jat State of Bharatpur historically known as the Kingdom of Bharatpur, was a Hindu Kingdom in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. It was ruled by the Sinsinwar clan of the Hindu Jats.

The whole or parts of present-day Rajasthan were ruled by Bactrian (Indo-Greek) kings in the 2nd century BCE, the Shaka satraps (Scythians) from the 2nd to the 4th century CE, the Gupta dynasty from the early 4th to the late 6th century, the Hephthalites (Hunas) in the 6th century, and Harsha (Harshavardhana), a Rajput ruler, in the early 7th century.

Several Rajput dynasties arose between the 7th and 11th centuries, including that of the Gurjara-Pratiharas, who kept the Arab invaders of the Sindh area (now in southeastern Pakistan) at bay. Under Bhoja I (or Mihira Bhoja; 836–885), the territory of the Gurjara-Pratiharas stretched from the foothills of the Himalayas southward to the Narmada River and from the lower Ganges (Ganga) River valley westward to Sindh. With the disintegration of that empire by the late 10th century, several rival Rajput clans came to power in Rajasthan.

The Guhilas, feudal lords of the Pratiharas, asserted their independence in 940 and established control of the region around Mewar (present-day Udaipur). By the 11th century the Chauhans (Chahamanas), with their capital at Ajmer and later at Delhi, had emerged as the major power in the eastern region. In the following centuries other clans—such as the Kachwahas, Bhattis, and Rathores—succeeded in establishing independent kingdoms in the area.

The second of a series of encounters known as the Battles of Taraori (Tarain), fought near Delhi in 1192, initiated a new period in Rajasthan’s history. Muḥammad Ghori’s victory over a Rajput army under Prithviraja III not only led to the destruction of Rajput power in the Indo-Gangetic plain but also firmly established the Muslim presence in northern India.

As Muslim forces pushed south and then west along the traditional routes to the Kathiawar Peninsula (Saurashtra; now part of the state of Gujarat), the Rajput kingdoms of what is now Rajasthan were encircled. Over the next four centuries there were repeated, though unsuccessful, attempts by the central power based in Delhi to subdue the Rajput states of the region.

The Rajputs, however, despite common historical and cultural traditions, were never able to unite to inflict a decisive defeat on their opponents.

Rajput strength reached its zenith at the beginning of the 16th century under Rana Sanga (Rana Sangram Singh) of Mewar, but he was defeated in a fierce battle by the Mughal invader Babur, and the brief splendour of a united Rajput polity waned rapidly. It is largely from that period of Rajasthan’s history that the romantic view of the Rajput as a valiant warrior is derived.

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