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History of Marwad Rajasthan  


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History Of Marwad

Founder of Jodhpur Rao Jodha

Present Jodhpur and Adjoining Districts was known as the ancient kingdom of Marwad (Marwar) the Land of Death, the largest kingdom in Rajputana and the third largest of the Indian Kingdoms, after Kashmir and Hyderabad. Jodhpur, former capital of Marwad state, retains much of its medieval character. Beginning in 1549, when the city was called Jodhagarh, the Rathor clan of Rajputs fought and ruled from the virtually impregnable fort until their territory covered some 35,000 sq. miles making it the largest Rajput state.

According to Rathor tradition, the clan traces its origins back to the Hindu god, Rama, hero of the epic Ramayana, and thence to the sun. So the Rathors belong to the Suryavansha (solar race) branch of the Kshatriyas, the warrior caste of Hindus. Later, breaking into historical reality, in 470 A.D. Nayal Pal conquered the kingdom of Kanauj, near modern Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. The Rathor capital for seven centuries, Kanauj fell in 1193 to the Afghan invader's led by Muhammad Ghori.

FortThe fleeing ruler, Jai Chand, drowned in the Ganga. But his son or grandson, Siyaji, had better luck. An expedient marriage alliance between the Rathore Sihaji and the sister of a local prince enabled the Rathores to consolidate themselves in this region. In fact, they prospered to such a degree that they managed to oust the Pratiharas of Mandore, nine km to the north of present day Jodhpur.He later set himself up as an independent ruler around the wealthy trading center of Pali, just south of Jodhpur. His descendants flourished, battled often, won often, and in 1381 Rao Chanda ousted the Parihars from Mandore which then became the Rathore seat of government.Rathore fortunes then turned. Rao Chanda's son and heir, Rainmal, won praise for his capture of Ajmer and was then entrusted with the care of his orphaned nephew, destined to inherit the Mewar throne of Chittor. Rainmal may well have had his eyes on this fine, hilltop fort. Rainmal knew of the location, and wanted it very much for himself. But court intrigue and treachery stopped him. In 1438 he was doped with opium, and finally shot dead. This triggered bitter feuds, ending with Mewar and Marwar becoming separate states.Rathor legend continues in various versions. One is that Jodha, one of Rainmal's 24 sons, fled Chittor and finally, 15 years later, recaptured Mandore in 1453. Five years later he was acknowledged as ruler. A holy man sensibly advised him to move his capital to hilltop safety.

By 1459, it became evident that a more secure headquarters was required. The high rocky ridge nine km to the south of Mandore was an obvious choice for the new city of Jodhpur, with the natural enhanced by a fortress of staggering proportions, and to which Rao Jodha's successors added over the centuries.

   Coat-of-Arms

MEWAD AND THE MUGHULS. Rao Ganga Singh of Jodhpur (reigned 1516-32) fought alongside the army of the great warrior king of Mewar, Rana Sanga, against the first Mughal emperor, Babur.But over the next half century or so, the rulers of Jodhpur allied themselves with Babur's grandson, Akbar. Several rulers of Jodhpur became trusted lieutenants of the Mughals, such as Raja Surender, who conquered Gujarat and much of the Deccan for Akbar, and Raja Gaj Singh, who put down the rebellion of the Mughal prince, Khurram, against his father, Jahangir. With the support of the Mughals, the court of Jodhpur flourished and the kingdom became a great center of the arts and culture. In the 17th century Jodhpur became a flourishing center of trade for the camel caravans moving from Central Asia to the parts of Gujarat and vice versa. In 1657, however, Maharaja Jaswant Singh (reigned 1638-78) backed the wrong prince in the great war of succession to the Mughal throne. He was in power for almost twenty-five years with Aurangzeb before he was sent out to the frontier as viceroy in Afghanistan. Aurangzeb then tried to seize his infant son, but loyal retainers smuggled the little prince out of his clutches, hidden, they say, in a basket of sweets.

Political Strife: The kingdom of Jodhpur then formed a triple alliance with Udaipur and Jaipur, which together threw off the Mughal yoke. As a result,the Maharajas of Jodhpur finally regained the privilege of marrying Udaipur princesses something they had forfeited when they had allied themselves with the Mughals. A condition of these marriages, however, was that the sons born of the Udaipur princesses would be first in line to the Jodhpur throne. This soon led to considerable.jealousy. Nearly a century of turmoil followed, culminating in Jodhpur falling under the influence of, first, the Marathas, and then, in 1818, the British. The state of affairs was such that a young Rathor prince, when asked ,where Jodhpur was, simply pointed to the sheath of his 'dagger and said, "Inside here".

Sir Pratap Singh Present HisHighness SIR PRATAP SINGH. :In the 1870's, a remarkable man came to the fore in Jodhpur: Sir Pratap Singh (left) .A son of Maharaja of Jodhpur, he himself ruled a neighboring kingdom called Idar, abdicated to become Regent of Jodhpur, which he ruled, in effect, for nearly fifty years. Sir Pratap Singh was a great warrior and the epitome of Rajput chivalry. He became an intimate friend of three British sovereigns. At Queen Victoria's durbar he is said to have presented her not with mere jewels, like everyone else, but with his own sword, his most valuable possession as aRajput warrior. Sir Pratap Singh laid the foundation of a modern state in Jodhpur, which Maharaja Umaid Singh (reigned 1918-47) built upon. The of Jodhpur was not merely the largest of the Rajput states, but also one of the most progressive. In 1949, after the independence of India, it was merged into the newly created state of Rajasthan.

 

 
     
    
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