Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Where God came to seek refuge

I often wonder that why Mewar is called so great, that its patrons, the Maharanas called themselves Hindupati, Chattis Kul Sringar (gem among 36 clans of Rajputs). After becoming familiar with its history i came to know the reason.

Mewar is the place in whole of the Rajputana, where almost all of the rajput clans came over the centuries, becoming nobles here, making it much respected among all others Rajput states. Whether it is Chauhan, Rathore, Solanki, Bhati, Jhala, Panwar, Tanwar, you will find their names in history of Mewar. These clans came from different areas where they themselves werShrinathjie rulers, but with different reasons they came to settle in Mewar. They fought and made sacrifices in every single battle fought for Mewar. You name a battle and you'll find these people in it. Some even sacrificed their whole clan, with not even a single child living to carry on their names, like Ramshah Tanwar of Gwalior. That makes it great, that makes Maharana Chattis Kul Sringar.

It is not like that only Rajputs came to settle in Mewar, even God themselves came to seek refuge here. When Mughal Aurangzeb (1658-1707) came to power in Delhi, he became notorious for zealous destruction of Hindu (infidel) shrines and icons throughout India. He also outlawed the worship of Krishna. Anticipating a raid on the northern holy city of Mathura, traditional birthplace of the god, one of the faithful removed a famous black-stone statue of the deity (Khesavdeva, a form of Krishna).

Rana Raj Singh welcoming Shrinathji in MewarThis statue came to Kota, Rampura and Jodhpur, but no one was able to give refuge to their own god. Nobody had the dare to fight with Aurangzeb. Then at last in 1671, the idol came to Mewar. As, no other Rajput state was able to give refuge to the God, the priest asked Maharana Raj Singh, that can he accept the idol of Lord Krishna? Rana replied, " Maharaj, i cannot guarantee that aurangzeb can't touch or destroy the idol, but i can guarantee that he will be able to do it after treading over the bodies of my one lakh Rajputs.". No wonder Maharanas were called Hindupati. Atleast Maharana Raj Singh truly deserved it.

The legend says the cart carrying the idol got stuck in the mud at the village of Sihar in the fief of Delwara. A sanguni (augur or prophet) interpreted this accident as the pleasure of the god in that he desired to dwell there and from there the statue was duly removed from its chariot. Overjoyed at this decided manifestation of favour, the Delwara chieftain hastened to make a perpetual gift of the village and its lands, which was speedily confirmed by Maharana Raj Singh, who gave the land to the village, in perpetuity as requested. Rana Raj SinghTwenty years later the famous temple that now houses the black marble statue was built, and the village was renamed Nathdwara. After more than 300 years, Nathdwara has become one of the biggest temple in the country in terms of earnings. Lakhs of people come every year, and make offerings.

It is not like that Aurangzeb didn't came to Mewar, he did, but every time he came, he was beaten, his army getting killed and looted, but that's a different story.

Maharana Raj Singh and his nobles showed that whatever people think about Mewar is true in every respect and it is still great.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Journey from Chalukya to Solanki

Chalukya - the name without which no part of India's ancient history is complete.
There are many beliefs regarding the origin of the name "CHALUKYA".
One says, it is the name of the warrior who was born from the Agnikund of Abu,
and thus his descendent's were called Chalukyas. This beliefs is based on the concept
of Agnikula Rajputs.

Second theory, which is also based on fiction as the first one, says that, Lord Brahma has created a warrior by taking Gangajal in his "chuluk" (palm) and ordered him to protect
mankind from the "Asurs". Being created from Brahma's chuluk, he was called Chalukya. Most south Indian Kings belonging to Chalukyan family had followed this belief.

Another theory which is not much famous, but is believed to be near true says that, in the lineage of Arjun,the famous warrior from Mahabharat, there was a King named Chalukya, and after his name, his descedents were called Chalukyas. This theory gets some support from history of Solankis of Gujarat, which also mentions lunar race of Solankis, descendents of Arjun.

Gaurishankar Ojha, most famous historian of Rajputana after Col. James Tod, had written a book "Early history of Solankis". In this book, he had given many accounts of ancient Chalukyan inscriptions which says that Chalukyas are of Lunar race ("Chandra Vanshis").

In history of both Chalukya families(South and Gujarat) mentions that their ancestors were ruling in the northern part of India, near Ayodhya and from there they had migrated to South and Central India. Chalukyan King Rajraj's inscription says that "After Udayan, there were 59 Chakravarti Kings in Ayodhya, then King Vijayaditya,of this lineage attacked Southern king Trilochan Pallav. Vijayaditya was killed in the battle, his queen, was given sheltered by a Brahmin, where Vijayaditya's son Vishnuvardhan was born. From Visnhuvardhan, all southern Chalukya kings were descended.

History of Gujarat mentions that Raj and Beej, both came from Kalyani. Most historians have mistakenly took this Kalyani as the famous Kalyani, capital of a strong Chalukyan Kingdom in Southern India. Researchers have shown that there exist a place Kalyankataka, mentioned in Prabandchintamani, Ratnamala and many other books, is believed to be in Vindya ranges in Central India. The bard of Roopnagar, the Jagir Solanki Rajputs in Mewar, traces lineage of his masters to the kings, who ruled near banks of Soram river, which is in central India.Inscriptions of Kaluchari Kings of Central India describes that this place was under the supremacy of Chalukyan Kings. Thus, the belief that Chalukya of Gujarat and Southern India, shares a common lineage and both were migrated from North-central India. Though they have got separated many years before, but shares their title.

The Chalukya brothers from Kalyankataka, migrated to Gujarat and established a dynasty, which was one of the most powerful and famous dynasty of Indian history. This dynasty had changed the future of Gujarat and its surrounding areas.

In the western India, people pronounces "Cha" as "Sa". When the Chalukya Kings migrated to Gujarat, the name Chalukya was pronounced in local language "Salukya, Saluki", and later got changed to Solanki. There are many maratha families in Maharasthra which still have their title as "Saluki or Salunke". In the inscription, which were written in Sanskrit, it was spelled correct "Chalukya", but in local language it got variations and now got a common pronounciation "Solanki". From the period, when the history was started to be written in local languages and the name was written as it was spelled "Solanki".

There are some difference in the Southern and Northern Chalukyas, as the gotra of Southern Chalukyas is "Manavya" and of Northern Chalukya is "Bhardwaj". The family insignia is also different. The clan deity is also different, Southern family worhips Lord Vishnu as their clan deity and the Northern family worhsipped Lord Somnath as their clan deity. But these difference occured due to their different ruling areas. Their is a large difference in both the cultures, thus these differences can occur. Besides these differences, both the families share a common thing, a "Shwet Chattra" which is believed to be their ancient insignia. Though, now a days, the trace of southern family is hard to find, but the northern family is still holding much of its patrimony, mostly in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and in Rajasthan, especially in Mewar.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Desuri comes into Marwar

Godwar pargana lies in between the Mewar and Marwar, thus the most disputed land for both of them. Earlier, during the reign of Rana Kumbha, both Rana Kumbha of Mewar and Rao Jodha of Marwar had agreed on that where the anwal (a tree in the hilly tract of Mewar) was, would be the Mewar boundary. Where the banwal was, would be Marwar. This gave birth to the proverb "Anwal Anwal Mewar, Banwal Banwal Marwar" . Anwal is the yellow flower plant and is found in most of the godwar, thus Mewar controls the most of the Godwar area. During the year 1771 A.D. (1827 V.S.), Rana Ari Singh- II was the ruler of Mewar and Maharaja Vijay Singh was the ruler of Marwar. Ari Singh was not able to control Ratan Singh, allegedly posthumous son of Rana Raj Singh-II, who has acquired the control of Kumbhalgarh Fort. Rana wrote Mahraja Vijay Singh for help to recapture Kumbhalgarh. Rana Ari Singh-II offered the lagaan of the whole Godwar pargana to Vijay Singh, for the time he is fighting to conquer the fort. Marwar forces came into all of the Godwar, upto the Nathdwara in Mewar. The place where the Marwar army were residing is now known as Lal Bagh. Vijay Singh was not able to capture Kumbhalgarh. He tried for three years, but could not able to make it. This fort is the only fort in the whole India, which is never taken by enemies by battle. Only once it was taken by combined forces of Mughals, Marwar and Jaipur forces, when it was deserted by Rana Pratap. This occupation was too for the brief period, as Rana Pratap was able to recapture it. In 1771 A.D. Vijay Singh decided not to give back the Godwar and took control over it. Ari Singh-II asked Vijay Singh to keep his words and return Godwar as he is not able to capture the fort. One of Vijay Singh's noble replied, "Godwar is now tied to neck of 50,000 rathores, if you can take it, then it will be yours." Ari Singh again asked for honouring the words said by Vijay Singh. But Vijay Singh didn't replied. At that time, Mewar was under civil war, Choondawats were supporting Ratan Singh, Saktawats were in support of Ari Singh-II and all of the Mewar treasury was depleted. So Ari Singh was not able to retaliate for Godwar. Thus, treacherously Rathores gained the Godwar.
Major Thikanas of Godwar, which were earlier under Mewar accepted the Marwar rule. The main were Thakur Veeramdeo of Ghanerao, Thakur Umaid Singh of Khod and Thakur Visan Singh of Chanod. Umaid Singh
of Khod deposited 80,000 rupees as his peskas. Only Thakur Veeramdeo Solanki -II, of Desuri decided not to surrender to Rathores . He was left alone to fight against Marwar for Godwar, as all three Thikanas have surrendered. All of these three and many other Rajputs of Godwar advised Thakur Veeramdeo to accept the rule of Jodhpur Maharaja, but Thakur Veeramdeo, just like his ancestors, was a true loyal Rajput, he could die but cannot betray his masters. Thakur Veeramdeo replied to the advise Veeramdeo knew that there is no chance of victory against the massive army of Jodhpur, and if defeated, he will lose most of his territory, but he kept his ancestral patrimony of self prestige and loyalty. This decision was about to affect the future of more than 150 villages of Solanki Rajputs in Godwar, especially in Desuri region. Thakur Veeramdeo -II prepared for the battle in the Fort of Desuri. Fort of Desuri, is situated on an isolated small rocky hill, being visible from a far distance. Vijay Singh sent Singhvi Shivchand to capture Desuri. DESURI FORTSinghvi Khoobchand was also sent to strengthen the Marwar forces. Solankis were left alone as there were no support from the neighbouring Thikanas, this time were part of Mewar and neither from Ari Singh-II himself. It was an attempt to protect the land whose owner himself has deserted it. Thakur Veeramdeo said "What if Ranaji has forgot us, we will not forget our duty." The battle started fiercely, and forces realised that it is not easy to take Desuri. Annals of Marwar speaks about the bravery of Solankis during the battle. Marwar forces took many days, but could not able to conquer the small fort of Desuri. Then, Vijay Singh sent Shambhuvaan, a large cannon, still displayed at Jodhpur fort. With Shambhuvaan, Dyodhidaar Aaidan and Champawat Jait Singh KhusalSinghot were sent to capture Desuri. Solankis were not having artillery support. So it as advantage for Marwar. Shambuvaan destroyed the strong wall of the fort, and Marwar army was able to get into the fort. Solankis fight till their last breath, but was not able to stop fort being taken. JaitSingh called off the ongoing battle, as they have entered into the fort, and it is worthless to kill Rajputs for nothing. JaitSingh honoured the bravery of Veeramdeo, ordered a safe passage to Thakur Veeramdeo. Thakur Veeramdeo-II and the remaining warriors left Desuri and went to Roopnagar adjoining Aravalis. Vijay Singh appointed Singhvi Shivchand as the hakim of Desuri. The fort of Roopnagar, built by Thakur Veeramdeo-I, is situated on the highest peak of this area, just overlooking Desuri. Veeramdeo-II still didn't gave up. He said, "if Desuri is not of Solankis, it will never be of any other Rajput." In this vow lies the promise of Prince Prithviraj, son of Rana Raimal, who gave the Jagir of Desuri with over 300 villages with a promise that, "till the Ranas are ruling in Mewar, Desuri will be of Solankis." Thakur Veeramdeo-II and his descendants continued to raid their ancestral patrimony with 800 lancemen, so that Desuri will never be an Thikana of any other Rajput. Veeramdeo's name is still remembered by his people, as this popular saying in Godwar saysThree generations later, until British arrived, Solankis never let the Jodhpur Maharaja a feeling of relief in Desuri. Col. James Tod,who was a close friend of Thakur Ratan Singh Solanki of Roopnagar, mentioned these facts in his Annals of Rajasthan. The vow of Thakur Veeramdeo-II, was kept by his descendants and they continued to raid Desuri to make sure Desuri never be the capital of any other rajput clan, if not of them.
After independence, Desuri is now a Tehsil headquarter in Pali District. In Desuri fort, now under the HH Gaj Singh-II of Johdpur, the darikhana part was used for District Court, recently it is shifted to new building, and in other part, a Rajput Girls hostel is running.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mertiya Rathore - Khod


Visandasot Mertiyas, Descendents of Visandas, grandson of the legendary warrior of 3rd Sack of Chittor, Jaimal Rathore. 

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jhunje Auwa

By the year 1843, the royal lineage of Rathores of Marwar was lapsed without a heir after the death of Man Singh. Takhat Singh was adopted from Ahmadnagar (Gujarat), following the demise of Man Singh. Takhat Singh was a very loyal king to British. Even he had given Sambhar Lake to British government. He was popular for having more than 130 ladies in his harem, including queens, concubines. Most of the time, king was busy in Janan Khana. The administration was run by other people under the influence of British. Being adopted from Gujarat, most of nobles (Sardars) were unhappy from the King, another reason was he had given major posts to gujarati peoples who came along with him from Ahmednagar. Also, the British had become more important than the Sardars. Rajputs of Marwar were not in the favour of British control of power. They frequently disobeyed orders of Takhat Singh and the British.

In the year 1857, the revolt against the British started, the King had issued the orders not to indulge in any such activities and also not to give shelter to any revolutionary. Revolutionary army from Neemuch Cantt tookm shelter at Auwa Thakur Khushal Singh, a premier noble of Marwar. Jodhpur State sent its force under Kiledar Anar Singh Panwar of Mokala to crush the rebels at Auwa and teach Khushal Singh a lesson. Thakur of Auwa was joined by forces of Thakurs of Asop, Lasani, Lambian, Banta, Bhimanlia, Badsan, Rajoda, Sonei Koopawatan, Radawas, Shapuni, Sovaniya, Sela and Nerawas, Roopnagar, Salumbar, Alniyawas etc. Overall there were more than 5000 rajputs in Auwa. Fierced battle took place near the village of Bithuda, where forces of Auwa defeated Jodhpur State forces and Kiledar Anar Singh was killed in the battle. Remaning force of Jodhpur ran away. Despite this humiliating defeat, Takhat Singh was not satisfied. Again, he sent forces having assistance from British. Lt. General Lawrence, who was the A.G.G. (Agent of Governor General) at Ajmer for Rajputana, also came with some forces to attack Auwa. His three different attacks were repulsed with determination. The Jodhpur state forces failed to succeed again, as Auwa was protected on the west, to some extent on the North by a fortification wall on the East was protected by a high earth mound, so the outside attack by cannons could not do any damage, as the cannonballs were absorbed by the earthen mound. Capt. Mason, who was the British Residency Officer at Jodhpur, arrived Auwa with his artillery, but he lost his way to British camp and came straight towards the Rajput camp. He was shot dead and his head was cut-off and was hanged at the fort-gate (in pic.).

The siege of Auwa lasted from September 1857 to January 1858. When in January 1858, Holmes invaded Auwa with a huge army consisting of nearly 30,000 troops on the 20th January 1858 to suppress the revolt, Auwa Thakur made defence preparations and walls of Auwa fort were equipped with 50 artillery pieces. The fighting went on four days. Auwa had lost many warriors. Thakur Kushal Singh had gone out from the east side which was safer to venture out to get more help from the Rajputs, Rawat and Bhil tribes living in the Aravali hills about 15 to 16 Km to the east and from his in-laws, Solankis of Roopanagar (Mewar). The fighting continued six days, the besieged were reduced to sheer helplessness and, the stratagem organised by the Jodhpur troops who persuaded the Kiledar of Auwa (Bhan Singh Champawat) to betray, the fort gates were opened.

They plundered the village mercilessly, killed all survivors, the fort and the palace were burnt. The Jodhpur State and British troops were not satisfied merely with the occupation of the fort. Even the temples and their statues were not spared. So fierce was the spirit of vengeance that even trees were cut down, to destroy any sign to recall the memories of Auwa. They destroyed everything to erase the battle of Auwa from history, but still the spirit of the Rajputs of Auwa, Asop, Alniyawas, Roopnagar, Salumbar, Lasani, Banta and many others, villagers of Auwa is alive in the memories of their people, who faught and gave their life but refused to give away their land to British unlike their King Takhat Singh. To their honour, people in the villages of Godwar, generations after generations still recite this story and the brave fight put up by Thakur Kushal Singh, against the British, to their children and singing songs during spring festival of Holi (in pic), about Capt. Mason’s head being strung at the fort gate, and about Thakur Kushal Singh’s glorious battles with the British and Jodhpur state forces. Generations after generations, these songs still mark the patriotism and the bravery of these warriors and ensure that their sacrifice is not forgotten and their memory still lives in the heart of their people.
।। झल्लै आऊवो ।।

वणिया वाली गोचर मांए, काळो लोग पडियो ओ ,

राजाजी रै भेळो तो फिरंगी लडियो ओ,

काळी टोपी रो ।

हे ओ काळी टोपी रो, फिरंगी फैलाव कीधो ओ,

काळी टोपी रो ।

बारली तोपां रा गोला धूडगढ में लागे ओ ।

मांयली तोपां रा गोलां तंबू तोडे ओ,

झल्लै आऊवो ।

हे ओ झल्लै आऊवो, आऊवो धरती रो थांबो ओ,

झल्लै आऊवो ।

मांयली तोपां तो छूटै आडावळौ धजै ओ,

आऊवे रो नाथ तो सुगाळी ने पूजै ओ ,

झगडो आदरियो ।

हे ओ झगडो आदरियो, आऊवो झगडा ने बांको ओ,

झगडो आदरियो ।

राजाजी रा घोडलिया काळा रै लारै दौडै ओ।

आऊवा रा घोडा तो पछाडी तोडे ओ,

झगडो व्हैण दो

ढोल बाजे, थाली बाजे, भेळौ बाजै बांकियो ओ,

अजंट ने मारने दरवाजे नांकियो ओ,

जूंझे आऊवो ।

हे ओ जूंझे आऊवो, आऊवो मुलकां मे चावो ओ,

जूंझे आऊवो ।

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sub-clans of Solankis

Solanki Rajput clan is divided into several sub-clans, of which some are very rare to be found. Most of the sub-clans belong to Rajputana, Gujarat and Baghelkhand. After learning the whole lineage, their explanation will be clear. But this place is too small to give the detailed lineage, thus only small discription is given for popular clans, rest only are only mentioned.

1. Balnot - Descendants of Balan, son of Kirtipal (elder brother of King Kumarpal). They live in Toda,Tordi in Rajatshan, Ghargaon,Dahi,Dharmraj(near Indore) in Madhya Pradesh.

2. Mehalgota - Descendants of fourth descendant of Balan, Mahelu. Their Jagir was Kekadi(Ajmer).

3. Kherada - Descendants of Bheem (4th descendant of Balan) ruled the area of Kherada in Jahajpur(Mewar), thus called Kherada. Mandalgadh fort was in their occupation during Akbar's campaign on Chittor.

4. Nathawat - Descendants of 9th descdendant of Balan, Nathaji. Mostly they are holding Jagirs in Bundi State. Main thikanas are Patanra, Naingaon,Hungori. They are having seats in Davi Misal(left seats) of Bundi Court.

5. Veerpura -
3rd descendant of Balan was Veerbhanu, who established the princely state of Lunawada (9 gun salute during British occupation). Other than Lunawada, Veerpura Solanki holds Jagir of Pawagadh, Sutrampur, Radhanpur.

6. Bhojawat - Direct descendants of King Tribhuvanpal- II of Gujarat, in direct bloodline of 7 generations. After 7 generation of Tribhuvan, Bhoja became the king, ruling in Rajputana. His descendants are Bhojawat Solankis. It is the most powerful, dominating and famous sub-clan which existed after rule of Gujarat. Most of Thikanas of Solankis in Mewar are of Bhojawat Solankis.
  1. Shankarot - Great grandson of Bhoja, Shanker Singh was granted Thikana of Jhilwara. His descendants live in Jhilwara and many other villages in Mewar.
  2. SavantSinghot - Younger brother of Shaker Singh was Savant Singh. He was granted Thikana of Desuri and his descdendant are Savantsinghot. The Patvi Thikana is Roopanagar, one of Bada 32 Thikanas of Mewar and also ohter Thikanas are Jojawar and many other villages in Mewar and Marwar.
  3. KhetSinghot - Son of SavantSingh was Khet Singh. He was died in battle of Balisa. His descendants were granted Siryari but that was taken by Marwar forces and they were granted Thikana of Sansari and Mani.
  4. HamirSinghot - Descendants of son of SavantSingh, Hamir Singh. They live in Somesar.
  5. Dela - Son of Savant Singh, Dela established his territory in Javara in Malwa. His title was Rawat and his descendants are holding Jagir of Abarwada,Khojan Kheda, Alot and Khadgun in Malwa.
Second son of Bhoja was Gauda. Gauda's son Sultan Singh, captured Panarwa. His descendant was R Punja, who is famous in History of Mewar in Battle of Haldighati and for helping Maharana Pratap. They also have holdings of Bhom of Augana.

7. Baghela - Descendant of Sarang (Son of King Bhimdev - I) are Baghelas. They ruled the area of BaghelKhand with capital of Rewa. Many popular thikanas of Baghels are Baran, Churhat, Rampur, tala, Chamu, Itavan, Devra, Solagpur, Nigvani, Jaitpur, Chandiya, Baikunthpur, Kalyanpur, Mehsana, Ranpura and Devgadh.

Rest of the sub-clans are-
Malra, Khodera, Bhangota, Kathwad, Tejawat, Barwasian, Bharsunda, Salawat, Beda, Uniyariya, Halawat, Chajawat, Bahela, Modawat, Karmawat, Amawat, Katariya, Tatawat, Surjanpota, Banveerpota, Achalpota,Rawatka, Khinyawat, Harrajot, Bairisalot, Baghawat, Gangawat, Balramot, Kamawat, Narhardasot, Rudraka, Vishnuka, Jagganathka, Madhodaska, Dayaldaska, Jagrupka, Kalacha, Bhale Sultan, Swarnman, Bhutta, Bhureva, Kalmer, Solake, Tantiya, Peethapur, Sojathiya, Togaru, Beeku.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Rajput Clan's Utan (Oldest Place of Family Division)

Historically, there are 36 clans of Rajputs, thus called chattis-kul.

Rajputs are known by the place they belong. Some clans even took their names by the place they used to rule, as Sisodiya(from Sisoda), Sonigara Chauhan(from Svarngiri Fort, Jalore) and many others. Rajputs are mostly identified by the place they belond or used to belong or ruled. According to the historical books, Utan of the different Rajput clans are-

Dhar,Abu - Parmar
Jayal - Khichi
Sambhar,Nadol - Chauhan
Parbatsar - Dahiya
Tunk-Toda - Solanki
Mandore - Parihar
Patan - Chavda
Kannauj - Rathore
Narvar - Kachhwaha
Delhi - Tanwar
Bhatner,Lodurva - Bhati
Bundi - Hada
Jalore - Sonigara Chauhan
Chittor - Mori
Halvad-Patdi - Jhala
Janglu - Sankhla
Bandhogarh - Baghela
Merta - Mertiya Rathore.

There are many small sub-clans in different Rajput clans which are having their name took from the place they used to rule but it will produce an messed up list here, so are avoided.