Rajputana


Rajputana

Rājputāna, also called Rājwār, was the name of present Rājasthān state, the largest state of the Republic of India in terms of area, before its formation in 1949 CE.

It was a region of western India, which now makes up the greater part of Rajasthan and the entire land falling in the territory was ruled by Rajputs, since seventh and eighth century; hence “land of the Rājputs.” is the meaning of its name.

Characteristics and history

By any standards, Rajputana is an area with an extraordinarily high density of historic fortifications, and even to this date it is a common sight in Rajasthan to see a fortified structure of some sort scattered through the landscape. Following the decline of the Mughal Empire, one more state was established in the eastern part (the area known in the local language as Dhundhar), this was the state of Bharatpur, which was ruled by the Jats.

During the British Raj in the 19th century, two more states were created, Dholpur and Tonk, which were land taken from the Rajput states. Only Ajmer was the area which fell directly under Muslim rule after the defeat and death of Prithviraj Chauhan in 1192 CE.

More or less Ajmer continued to be under central rule since then. The region was organized as the Rajputana Agency, made up of a number of princely states, whose rulers enjoyed local autonomy from the advent of the Mughal empire until the end of the British Raj.

Upon Indian independence in 1947, the local rulers acceded to India, and in 1950 Rajputana was combined a little later with the former British province of Ajmer-Merwara to become the Indian state of Rajasthan.

Geography

The area of Rajputana is estimated to be 132,559 square miles (343,328 square km) and breaks down into two geographic divisions:
* An area northwest of the Arāvalli Range including part of the Great Indian (Thar) Desert, with characteristics of being sandy and unproductive.
* An higher area southeast of the range, which is fertile by comparison.The whole area forms the hill and plateau country between the north Indian plains and the main plateau of peninsular India.

References

#Low, Sir Francis (ed.) "The Indian Year Book & Who’s Who 1945-46", The Times of India Press, Bombay.
#Sharma, Nidhi "Transition from Feudalism to Democracy", Aalekh Publishers, Jaipur, 2000 ISBN 81-87359-06-4.
#Tod, James "Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan" (in two volumes), Rupa, New Delhi, 1997 ISBN 81-7167-366-X (set).
#Webb, William Wilfrid "The Currencies of the Hindu States of Rajputana", Archibald Constable & Co., Westminster, 1893.
# [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9062533/Rajputana Rajputana] , Encyclopædia Britannica.


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