History of Rajasthan


One of the most vibrant, attractive ad popular places in India is the state of Rajasthan. The magnificent ancient palaces, camels, beautiful sand dunes and warm people clad in their traditional dresses are few of the things that are exclusively found in Rajasthan and nowhere else in India. This place also has a very rich history that has culminated to become their culture and custom. The historians have said that human settlement in this desert state started around 5000 years ago, when Rajasthan was still a part of the Indus Valley Civilization.

Before it came to be known as Rajasthan given the numerous royal families in here, it was called the Rajputana since the brave warrior community Rajputs lived here and still does. Even before that it was a part of the bigger state called the Gujratra for the region was ruled by Gurjars. The past of the Rajasthan can actually be understood in 3 different eras. First is the ancient history, then the second is the medieval history and

finally the modern history. The early record of a king who ruled over Rajasthan is the Jat king called Harshavardhan who ruled almost the whole of India including Rajasthan. It was from his time the word ‘Rajput’ came to be used and hence his descendents started calling themselves as Rajputs.

Then between 3500 to 1750 BC parts of Rajasthan was also under the Indus Valley Civilization which is proven by the excavations near the River Saraswati. Then there was also a time when it came under the influence of the Aryans around 1400 BC as proved by evidences found in Dhundar Region. The historical findings also show that there was a Kshatriya Tribe called Matsya who lived in Rajasthan and called their state Meena, which roughly corresponds to former state of Jaipur. Its capital was the present Bairat which was called Viratnagar in those days. They ruled the area until around 11th century. Sometime around 321 to 184 BC Rajasthan was also under the rule of the Mauryan Empire. Southern Rajasthan was under the Guptas as is proved by the markings and drawings in the Buddhist caves and stupas.

The medieval period of Rajasthan saw great king called Prithiviraj Chauhan who made history in battle against the Afghan Emperor Muhammad Ghori. He was tricked and was defeated and then the parts of Rajasthan like Nagaur and Ajmer was under the rule of the Muslim Rulers. Then most of North India was under the Afghan rule but then a mighty king called Vikramaditya was able to defeat them and brought back the pride of Rajasthan. This period also saw great king such as Maharana Pratap who fought a great battle at Haldighat.

When the Mughal Empire started to decline, the Marathas started penetrating and took control of Ajmer. Later Rajput kings made treaties with British and accepted British sovereignty in return for local autonomy. Much later when India got its independence, there were 19 princely states in Rajasthan. Indian government took great interest to reform the Rajasthan which they could only after 7 stages and thus today we have the Rajasthan as was reformed.