ALTERNATE NAMES: Ksatriya caste
LOCATION: India (Rajasthan state)
POPULATION: 120 million
LANGUAGE: Language or dialect of their region
"Rajput" identifies numerous ksatriya or warrior castes in northern and western India. The term "Rajput" comes from rajaputra, which means "son of kings." Rajputs are famed for their fighting abilities and once ruled numerous Indian princely states. The British grouped many of these states into the Rajputana Province. Today, it is the Indian state of Rajasthan.
Most believe Rajputs come from tribes in central Asia such as the Parthians, Kushans, Shakas, and Huns. These groups entered India as conquerors and became kings or rulers. They often married high-caste Hindu women or converted to Hinduism. By the ninth century, Rajputs controlled an empire that extended from Sind to the lower Ganges Valley, and from the Himalayan foothills to the Narmada River.
In 1192, Prithviraj Chauhan led the Rajputs against the Muslim Mughal ruler Muhammad Ghuri (d. 1206) who defeated them at the second battle of Tarain, near Delhi. This firmly established Muslim power and ended Rajput dominance. The only Rajput kingdoms that could challenge Mughal rule were those in the great Thar Desert.
In the eighteenth century, many Rajput states came under control of Marathas and, by the early nineteenth century, the British. Many Rajput kings retained a status as rulers of princely states under the British. This ended when India gained its independence in 1947.
About 120 million people in India call themselves Rajputs. They live throughout northern India, although Rajasthan is considered their cultural homeland.
Rajputs speak the language or dialect of their region. In Rajasthan, Rajputs speak one of the dialects of Rajasthani, which sounds a little like Hindi. Some Rajasthani dialects include Jaipuri, spoken in Jaipur, and Marwari, spoken in Marwar.
Many folktales describe Rajput exploits. In one story, a ksatriya (warrior) clan leader decided to kill all Brahman (priest and scholar) men after learning a Brahman had killed his father. This meant Brahman females had to marry ksatriya men and gave rise to various Rajput dynasties. In another story, gods created some ksatriya clans on Mount Abu in Rajasthan to help fight Buddhists and foreigners. These Rajputs were known as the agnikula ("fire-race") and were the ancestors of clans such as the Chauhan, Solanki, and Ponwar Rajputs. Other Rajput clans trace their ancestry to the Sun or Moon.
Most Rajputs are Hindu. They were known for protecting Hinduism against Buddhism and Islam. Today, in their religious practices, Rajputs differ little from other high-caste Hindus. They use Brahmans (priests and scholars) for ceremonial and ritual purposes. They worship all major Hindu deities. Most Rajputs are devotees of the god Shiva. Many also worship Surya (the Sun God), and Durga as Mother Goddess. In addition, nearly every Rajput clan has its own patron god to whom it turns for protection.
Rajputs celebrate all major Hindu holy days. Of particular importance is Dasahara, a festival dedicated to Durga (the Mother Goddess). It is customary for Rajputs to sacrifice a buffalo to the goddess, in commemoration of her victory over buffalo-demon Mahisha. The animal is beheaded with one stroke of a sword. The meat is usually distributed to servants or lower caste groups.
Rajputs celebrate major stages in life with twelve ceremonies called karams.
When a boy is born, a family Brahman (member of the highest social class) records details for the infant's horoscope. A family barber informs relatives and friends of the birth, and there is much celebration. The Brahman chooses a favorable day to name the infant. When the child is about two years old, a head-shaving ritual takes place. Many Rajputs regard the birth of a daughter as a misfortune and observe the day with little ceremony.
One important rite of passage for Rajput boys is tying of the janeu or sacred thread. As death approaches, a sick person is placed on a bed of sacred kusa grass on a spot that has been circled by cow dung. A sprig of tulsi plant, a piece of gold, or a few drops of Ganges River water are placed in the mouth to delay messengers of Yama, god of death. A cow is brought to the side of the dying person so that he or she can grasp its tail and be carried safely to the other world. After death, the corpse is washed and prepared for cremation. The body is placed on a funeral pyre, facing north. The eldest son lights the fire, and later cracks open the skull so the soul can leave the body.
Rajput greeting practices vary by region.
Rajputs traditionally formed landowning classes. In the past, Rajput rulers of princely states such as Kashmir, Jaipur, and Jodhpur were known for their splendid courts. Rajput Maharajas (kings) often lived luxuriously in ornate palaces. After India's independence, however, the princes lost their titles and privileges.
In Rajput homes, men's quarters consist of a courtyard containing a platform about four to six feet (about one to two meters) high, reached by a series of steps and often shaded by trees. Men often gather on these platforms to chat and perhaps smoke the hukka (a pipe). At one end of the platform is a roofed porch. Men usually sleep behind this porch. Smaller side rooms are used for storage.
Women's quarters are enclosed by walls, with rooms facing an inner courtyard. A fireplace is built against one wall for cooking. Stairs provide access to the roof. The interconnecting roofs of the houses let Rajput women visit each other without being seen by men.
A distinctive feature of Rajput society is its clans. More than 103 clans have been identified in all. Among the more important ones are the Chauhans, whose former capital was Ajmer; the Gehlots of Mewar; the Rathors of Marwar; and the Kachhwaha of Jaipur.
Rajputs marry outside their clan. They also try to marry their daughters into clans of higher rank than their own, while accepting daughters-in-law from clans of lower rank. The Rajput clans in Rajasthan have the highest standing, so families with sons in Rajasthan often are sought by those with daughters.
Rajput marriages are arranged. Marriages are occasions for great ceremony and feasting. The groom, accompanied by friends and relatives, rides in a barat (procession) to the bride's house. Mounted on a horse, he is dressed in colorful robes, with turban and sword. Sometimes, he rides a decorated elephant. Gifts and money are distributed to those who gather. A piece of cloth is tied to the edge of the bride's sari and groom's coat. The couple walks around a sacred fire while Brahmans (priests and scholars) chant prayers. This is known as agni puja (fire-worship ceremony). Several days of celebration follow.
In 1303, when the fort of Chitor in Rajasthan was about to fall to Muslims, the Rajput Rani and all the women in the fort burned themselves to death to avoid being taken prisoners. Women who practiced this act of sati were revered as saints and stone sati memorials exist in Rajasthan. Despite abundant folklore surrounding this tradition, it was never widely practiced.
Rajput men wear the dhoti (loincloth consisting of a long piece of white cotton wrapped around the waist and then drawn between the legs and tucked into the waist), often with a cotton tunic. Rajput men may also wear a short jacket, or angarhkha, that fastens on the right side. Rajput men wear turbans that are tied to represent their particular clan. Rajput women wear either the sari (a length of fabric wrapped around the waist, with one end thrown over the right shoulder) or loose, baggy pants with a tunic. The lengha (long, flowing skirt) is also associated with the traditional dress of Rajasthan.
Rajputs' dietary patterns vary by region. In drier parts of India, their staple diet consists of various unleavened breads (roti) , pulses (legumes), and vegetables. Rice (chawal) and milk products are also important. Rajputs are fond of hunting and enjoy eating venison and game birds such as goose, duck, partridge, and grouse.
Formal education used to be of little significance among ruling and landowning Rajput clans. Boys were brought up in the traditions of Rajput culture, trained in martial arts and in a code of conduct based on valor and honor. The sons of Rajputs became huntsmen, polo players, horsemen, and swordsmen.
An educational institution of particular note is Mayo College in Ajmer, Rajasthan. The British founded the college in the early 1870s as a school for the sons of princes. Though many Rajputs still attend the school, it has become an exclusive private school for upper class Indian children.
India's Rajput heritage is vibrant. Rajputs are seen as champions of Hindu dharma (faith). They have left a strong mark on India, particularly in Rajasthan. Members of the Bhat caste keep family records and can trace a Rajput genealogy to a clan's mythical ancestors. Member of the Charan caste record deeds and accomplishments of Rajput rulers. Rajput courts were centers of culture where literature, music, dance, painting, and sculpture flourished with support of the Rajput elite. A specific style of Rajput painting—often focusing on religious themes, portraiture, or miniatures—emerged at Rajput courts in the Himalayas (the Pahari school) and in the western desert (the Rajasthani school). Bardic literature such as Prithviraj Raso recounts deeds of Rajput heroes. Mira Bai, a poet born in the fifteenth century, was a Rajput princess who is known for her contributions to Hindu bhakti (devotional) literature.
Rajputs built irrigation canals, dams, and reservoirs. The beautiful temples at Khajuraho were built in the tenth and eleventh centuries, and some Rajput groups built many well-known temples in Gujarat and western Rajasthan. Many palaces and forts represent a pleasing blend of Hindu and Muslim architectural styles. Among the more notable are forts at Chitor, Gwalior, and Jodhpur, and the Palace of the Winds in Jaipur. Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed astronomical observatories in Jaipur and Delhi in the early eighteenth century.
Rajputs continue to be landowners and soldiers. Agriculture is the group's primary work today, but many Rajputs serve in the Rajput Rifles or other branches of the armed services. They also pursue careers as police officers.
Rajputs used to hunt tiger, panther, deer, and game birds. Also popular was pig-sticking, the dangerous sport of riding on horseback to hunt wild boar by sticking them with a lance. Polo sharpened riding skills.
Historically Rajputs have taken great pleasure in the elaborate rituals and ceremonies associated with their religion and community. Weddings and other festive occasions are observed with much enthusiasm and are often celebrated with feasting, and sometimes with nautch (dancing) girls.
Rajput folk traditions include string puppet shows and ballads told by traveling storytellers known as bhopas. In one such ballad, Pabuji, a thirteenth-century chieftain, borrows a horse from a woman to ride to his wedding. Before he does so, he promises the woman he will protect her cows. Soon after the wedding ceremony has begun, Pabuji learns that the thieves are making off with the cows. He leaves his wedding to keep his word and recovers all but one calf. He risks another battle for the calf and is killed by the enemy. His bride then leaves her handprint on the gate of Pabuji's residence and commits sati (burns herself to death, a saintly act in Rajasthan).
As landowners, Rajputs do not face the social discrimination and problems of poverty that confront many others in India. While some may have fallen on hard times, Rajputs as a community are prosperous. One of the biggest challenges they face is adjusting to India's democratic environment. As former kings and members of the former ruling class, their power and prestige today is of less importance than in the past. Their economic resources have been threatened by government attempts to redistribute wealth. They have faced challenges from castes seeking economic and political independence from Rajput control. Rajputs lack the unity that would give them a powerful voice in modern Indian politics.
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this article is realy helpful for my project i have to do on the rajputs and it has every thing i need. even the bibliography which i can write down!!!!!!. anyways alli wanted to say was that is is a great article and please don't mind my speling .
THE INFO IS TO GOOD AND IT IS UP TO THE MARK.
TO GET INFO ON THIS TOPIC I SAY TO NET USERS PL COME ON THIS SITE ITS TO WONDERFUL..
I did like this information about The Rajputs. I learnt lots of new things n to tell the truth im interested in it=) Thanks a lot for help!
Rajput ki pahchan
1 Jubaan ka pakka - Always keeps his words at any cost.
2 Gives Respect and take respect
i am Subhanjib Sinha Roy.i am a bengali rajput.this article is very true and well narrated.
The horse is as much a mystery as a legend.
The horse is distinctive with his curvy rotating ears, height, majesty of bearing and extreme intelligence and loyalty. He can rise on his rear legs and
land the front ones on the sides of an elephant, for his master to engage in battle. When he leaps, he spans 12 feet! He learns easily, is hardy and ever
willing .The Marwari became the battle-horse of the Rajputs and a beloved native breed.
The legend of Chetak, that loyal horse of the redoubtable Maharana Pratap of Mewar is alive even today in Rajasthan. At the battle of Haldi Ghati,
near Udaipur in 1546, the Maharana waded into battle against the huge Moghul forces of Akbar. As his fortunes waned, he fought on, atop a severely
wounded Chetak. When the battle seemed lost, Chetak began the journey remembered to this day by teary-eyed folks of Rajasthan: Chetak carried its
master to safety and then, - only then-, died in his ar
The princes lead the come back
The non-formal effort has largely been by Rajputs, both princes and other elite. In the thirties, the late Maharaja Umaid Singh of Jodhpur began
buying up the horses he could identify as being representative. At about the same time in Udaipur, Maharana Bhagwat Singh of Mewar started the
Chetak Trust. This stemmed the ebbing tide, the 'discovery' of Rajasthan by the post-modern world! Here was a land that can take you back even
today, to the old world of valour, chivalry and elegance! As tourists began to arrive, princes turned their palaces into their stately homes. The Rajput's
first love: the Marwari horse.
The Rajput love of horses.
I am Nasir Shahzad from Pakistan Belong to Rajput Faimaly.This artical is good for introduce Rajput to others.
this article is very informative for those who do not try to understand the contribution of rajput in creating a strong india . rajput fought with everyone who tried to attack india . this is the region that neither muslim nor english could convert india in to their religion.
THANKS TO THE PUBLISHER
I REQUEST ALL RAJPUTS TO BE UNITED SO THAT WE CAN GAIN GOOD POSITION TO EXECUTE OUR COUNTRY
TODAY GOVT. IS NOT CONSIDERING US BECAUSE WE R NOT YET UNITED AS OTHERS R.PERHAPS GOVT IS FORGETTING THE SACRIFICES OF OUR ANCESTORS
I REQUEST AGAIN TO BE UNITED AND BE PROUD TO BE DECENDENTS OF D ROYAL RAJPUT FAMILY
Thanks I like it.this is very helpful.
To admin the infornation you provided is seriously very helpful and will help our community to grow .
I truly love this sight and is very helpful...
now I can give perfect final touch to my presentation topic on my culture
hopefully it will impress my lecturer
Such a lovely wording. This website explains everything about What we are. Being Rajput Hindu from Gujarat India I did not know some of these things which I came to know today. This website will help up coming generation, who we are and why?
There are some modern rajput family who got married in inter caste but some are very strict with their believes. They also think about the society first like what will say and think about our family.
Proud of being a Rajput.
Here is the brief intro and history of chhaukar rajputs
There are 78 villages of Chhokar Rajputs in Bulandshahr, Gautam Budh Nagar district . This belt of Rajput Chhokar's villages goes to Palwal , Faridabad, Gurgaon. There are also 52 villages of Chhokar Rajputs in Aligarh, Hathras, Mathura. Some villages of Chhokar Rajput lie near Kama and Bharatpur, Rajasthan.The villages of Rajput and Jaat Chhaukars are found near Agra Mathura and in Kama and Bharatpur, Rajasthan.Samalkha segment and Panipat district of Haryana is dominated by Chhokars Gurjars.There are 24 villages of Chhokars in this region. Also there are 12 villages of Chhokars in Saharanpur district of UP.
GOD-Lord Krishna, MATA-Anusuiya, DEVI-Chandi Kelavati, GOTRA-Attri, CLAN-Mardhwani, WEAPON-Khadag, VEDA-Yajurveda, VRIKSHA-Neemdev, HORSE-Shyamvarn(Black), COLOUR-Kesariya( Saffron), FLAG-Panchranga(Penta Coloured)
They are generally married with the girls of Raghav, Tomar, Pundir, Chauhan, Solanki, Sikarwar, Gahlot, Parmar ,Shishodia, Bhati rajputs.
The history of Chhaukar Rajputs was enlightened from Maharaja Attri and his wife Mata Anusuiya. His elder son Maharaja Som ruled over the empire of Pratishthanpur. That's why they belong to Somvansh or Chandravansh. In this stream, there borned a great emperor Maharaja Yayati. His elder son Yadu separated his clan and his descendents were entitled as Yaduvanshi Kshatriyas. Lord Krishna, the great son of Maharaja Vasudev and Maharani Devaki was the 48th king of this yaduvanshi stream and he established the kingdom of Dwarikapuri. His existence as God on this earth is admitted by all the religions in this world. His son Aniruddha and grandson Pradyumna were next to this empire.
After a long passage of time a descendent of this stream Maharaja Karanpal established kingdom of Karauli in Rajasthan and Maharaja Moharpal made Mehrauli in Delhi. In the supervision of Maharaja Karanpal, his great grandsons Helraj and Salwahan ruined the Mevati Muslims around Jewar and conquered whole of the estate in thirteenth century AD. The first village settled by Chhaukars after this battle was Mundreh. Now a days there are 78 villages of Chhaukar Rajputs around Jewar.
I want to learn & speak there Language.
can u please help me
Has anyone got any idea of what was the costumes of the Kingdom of Kanauj? or any books which describes it?
The real definition of a Rajput- A member of a HINDU military caste of the Kshatriya varna. Our ancestors were ancient Aryan Kshatriyas. We are NOT HUNS and NEVER were we Turks. Rather we were the ones who stood against the Muslims (who are of Turkic origins).
We know who we are, what our identity is, but we really don't know who â€œMuslimâ€ Rajputs really are, and what their intentions are by claiming they are Rajput. We have ZERO connection with them. Besides, Pakistanis who are my CLOSEST FRIENDS (I DO NOT HATE PAKISTAN, I HAVE PAKISTANI FRIENDS TOO) have even literally told me that there are millions of people with Rajput titles, but they have no connection to it. They just adopt these names.
In the same way, millions of Pakistanis use "Khan", but do they have anything to do with Genghis Khan?? However, we are 100% aware and NEVER deny that during the Islamic era, many Rajputs were forced to convert to Islam. But this was 500+ years ago. Do you really think a Muslim will retain their Rajput pride after getting tortured by Mughals 500 years later??? Mughals and Rajputs were like hard core enemies, and a Mughal will probably execute a Muslim who is expressing Rajput culture.
How can you know if you are a Rajput?
The conversion happened 500+ years ago.
Besides, Rajputs by definition are HINDU.
Most probably, you guys adopted our culture and titles. Besides, Pakistanis told me the same thing.
STOP STEALING OUR IDENTITY/HISTORY!!!
Only those people can call them self rajput who have the royal clan last names others can not even claim to be a Kshatriya ,Rajput is far cry .