Origin of Rajputs

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Origin of Rajputs| Foreign Origin Theory, Kashtriya Theory of Origin, Mixed Origin Theory, Agnikula Theory

The word Rajputs derived from Sanskrit word Rajaputra, which means son of a king. Rajputs rose to prominence during the 6th to 12th centuries in north Indian history also known as Rajputs era. There are several major subdivisions of Rajputs, known as vansh or vamsha. The Rajput are generally considered to be divided into three primary vansh:
• Suryavanshi or Raghuvanshies (the clans of the Solar dynasty), descended through Rama.
• Chandravanshi or Somavanshies (the clans of the lunar dynasty), descended through Krishna.
• Agnivanshi (the clans of the fire dynasty), descended from Agnipala.

Each of these Vanshas is divided into several clans (kula), who have direct patrilineage from a common male ancestor who supposedly belonged to that Vansha. Some of these 36 main clans are further subdivided into shakhas or “branches”, again based on the same principle of patrilineage.

• Major Suryavanshi clans are Amethiya, Bais, Chattar, Gaur, Kachwaha, Minhas, Pakhral, Patial, Pundir, Naru, Rathore, Sisodias.

• Major Chandravanshi clans are Bachhal, Bhati, Bhangalia, Chandelas, Chudasama, Jadauns, Jadeja, Jarral, Katoch, Pahore, Raijada, Soam, Tomaras.

• Major Agnivanshi clans are Bhaal, Chauhan, Dodiya, Chavda, Mori, Naga, Paramaras, Solankis.

The historians have propounded a number of theories regarding their origin. Main principle theories of their origin are:

Foreign Origin Theory

As per this theory, Rajputs are are descendants of the races like Sakas, Kushanas, Hunas etc. This argument was supported as the Rajputs are also fire worshipers just like the Sakas and Hunas whose main deity was also fire.

• Cunningham described them as the descendants of the Kushanas.

• The Rajputs according to Tod, are of Scythian origin. The term Scythian refers to the Huns and other associated tribes who entered in India during fifth and sixth centuries

• A.M.T. Jackson described that one race called Khajara lived in Arminia in the 4th century. When the Hunas attacked India, Khajaras also entered India and both of them settled here by the later part of the sixth century. These Khajaras were called Gurjaras by the Indians.

• In the 10th century, Gujarat was referred to as Gurjara. Some scholars believed that the Gurjaras entered India through Afghanistan and settled themselves in different parts of India.

Kashtriya Theory of Origin

The foreign theory were not acceptable to Gauri Shankar Ojha, Ved Vyas, and Vaidya.

• In 1926 Gauri Shankar Ojha a Rajastani historian points out that Rajputs rulers of Mewar, Jaipur and Bikaner are pure Aryans and are descendants of the Suryavanshi and Chandravanshi dynasties of the Kshatriyas. They supported their viewpoint through various arguments:

→ The fire worship among the Rajputs came from the Aryans and not from the foreign races.
→ The traditions of Sacrifice and Yajana existed among the Aryans.
→ The physical attribution of Rajputs is like Aryans.

Mixed Origin Theory

Historians like V.A. Smith, Dr. DP Chatterjee concluded that some Rajputs are descendants of foreign races such as Hunas, Sakas, Kushanas, etc while others are descendants of local Kshatriya clans. They could fight better in battlefields with their sword and with the time they transformed their name and started calling themselves Rajputs.

Agnikula Theory

This theory is from the book ‘Prthiviraj Raso’ written by Chandbardai in which he written that the Rajputs originated from a sacrificial fire-place burnt on the Mount Abu Mountains. This was done to protect Brahmins after Parshuram killed all Kashtriyas, there was no Kahstriyas present on the earth to protect them. Thus, the Brahmins burnt holy fire and performed yajna for forty days. Ultimately, god provided them with the Rajputs for their security purpose. Out of that Yajna fire four heroes were born and the descendants of these heroes w ere the four Rajput families

• Pratiharas

• Chauhans

• Solankis

• Paramaras

These four agni-kula clans established their power in western India and parts of central India.

• The Pratiharas ruled in the region of Kanauj.

• The Chauhans were in power in central Rajasthan.

• The Solankis were ruling the region of Kathiawar.

• The Paramaras were in power in the region of Malwa.

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