Emergence of Rajputs
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In northern India, the smaller states were ruled by people known as Rajputs. With the breakup of Pratihara empire, a number of Rajput states came into existence in north India. The period between 647 AD and 1192 AD i.e. 500 years is known as the Rajput period in the history of India.
Origin : There is no agreement among modern scholars regarding the origins of Rajputs. According to one tradition, the Rajputs are the descendants of the ancient Kshatriyas belonging to either sun family (Suryavansha) or moon family (Chandravansha) mentioned in the Mahabharata.
Rajputs Ruling Dynasties : The most important Rajputs dynasties were the Gahadavalas of Kanauj, the Paramaras of Malwa, and the Chauhans of Ajmer. There were other smaller dynasties in different parts of the country, such as the Kalachuris in the are around modern Jabalpur, the Chandellas of Mahoha in Bundelkhand, the Chalukyas of Gujarat, the Tomars of Delhi etc.
Chandradeva and Govindachandra were the famous rulers of the Ghadavala family. The Paramara ruler, was a great patron of art and literature. He himself was a great poet and scholar. Prithvijar Chauhan or Rai Pithora was the famous Chauhan ruler. He defeated Muhammad Ghori in the first battle of Tarain(1191). However, Ghori defeated him in the second battle of Tarain(1192). Dhanga was the most powerful king of the Chandella family.
Rajputs Clans : The basis of Rajputs society was the clan. Every clan traced its descent from a common ancestor, real or imaginary. The clans generally dominated a compact territory. Sometimes, these settlements were based on units of 12 or 24 or 48 or 84 villages.
| The four Agnikula Rajputs Clans
- The Parihara :Also known as Pratihara, based themselves in southern Rajasthan.
- The Chauhans:Helped Pratihara against Arabs, based in eastern Rajasthan.
- The Solankis :Also called Chalukayas of Gujarat, based in Kathiwara.
- The Pawars of Parmars :Established their control in Malwa with their capital at Dhar near Indore.
Rajputs Society : The Feudal order was strongly established among the Rajputs. The Rajputs rulers divided the Kingdoms among landed units called Jagirs and distributed them among faithful nobles. The Rajputs were Hindus and were known as Kshatriyas, beign a warrior class. They celebrated the major Hindu festivals and invoked goddess like Durga or Bhavani for strength and valour. Rajputs women were respected in society but did not enjoy the same position as men.
Rajputs Art and Architecture : The fort structure reached perfection under the Rajputs. The palaces of Jaipur and Udaipur and the forts of Chittor, Mandu, Jodhpur and Gwalior are fine specimens of Rajputs architecture. Dilwara temples at Mount Abu, the Vimla Vasahi and the Luna Vasahi were built by Solankis of Gujarat.
Rajputs Paintings : The Rajputs paintings are divided into the Rajput School of Art and the Pahari School of Art. The Rajasthani School flourished in Mewar, Bikanar, Jaipur, Jodhpur adn Jaisalmer and specialized in depicting scenes from Krishna Lila, Nayika Veda and Ritu Charita. The Pahari School was patronized by the rulers of Himalayan states especially in the regions of Basoli, Mandi, Jammu, Kangra and Garhwal.