Medieval History of Rajasthan

Around 1200 AD a part of Rajasthan came under Muslim rulers. The principal centers of their powers were Nagaur and Ajmer. Ranthambore was also under their suzerainty. At the beginning of the 13th century AD, the most prominent and powerful state of Rajasthan was Mewar.

The Gurjar Pratihar Empire acted as a barrier for Arab invaders from the 8th to the 11th century. The chief accomplishment of the Gurjara-Pratihara Empire lies in its successful resistance to foreign invasions from the west, starting in the days of Junaid. Historian R. C. Majumdar says that this was openly acknowledged by the Arab writers. He further notes that historians of India have wondered at the slow progress of Muslim invaders in India, as compared with their rapid advance in other parts of the world. Now there seems little doubt that it was the power of the Gurjara Pratihara army that effectively barred the progress of the Arabs beyond the confines of Sindh, their only conquest for nearly 300 years.

Rajput king of Delhi and Ajmer Prithviraj Chauhan defeated the invading Muhammad Ghori in the First Battle of Tarain in 1191. In 1192 CE, Muhammad Ghori decisively defeated Prithviraj at the Second battle of Tarain. After the defeat of Chauhan in 1192 CE, a part of Rajasthan came under Muslim rulers. This defeat mark a watershed moment in medieval India’s history.

.The principal centers of their powers were Nagaur and Ajmer. Ranthambhore was also under their suzerainty. At the beginning of the 13th century, the most prominent and powerful state of Rajasthan was Mewar. The Rajputs resisted the Muslim incursions into India, although a number of Rajput kingdoms eventually became subservient to the Delhi Sultanate.

The Rajputs put up resistance to the Islamic invasions with their warfare and chivalry for centuries. The Rana’s of Mewar led other kingdoms in its resistance to outside rule. Rana Hammir Singh defeated the Tughlaq dynasty and recovered a large portion of Rajasthan. The indomitable Rana Kumbha defeated the Sultans of Malwa and Gujarat and made Mewar the most powerful Rajput Kingdom in India. The ambitious Rana Sanga united the various Rajput clans and fought against the foreign powers in India. Rana Sanga defeated the Afghan Lodi Empire of Delhi and crushed the Turkic Sultanates of Malwa and Gujarat. Rana Sanga then tried to create an Indian empire but was defeated by the first Mughal Emperor Babur at Khanua. The defeat was due to betrayal by the Tomar king Silhadi of Raisen. After Rana Sangas death there was no one who could check the rapid expansion of the Mughal Empire.

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Medieval History of Rajasthan: Rise of Rajput Era

What we know about Rajasthan today, is the impression or the essence of the much-acclaimed Rajput Era that rose to power during the 9thcentury. Among all the clans and rulers that ruled over this part of India, Rajput rulers are still revered as the most influential and considered as the pioneer is shaping up modern-day Rajasthan.

Though the Rajput dynasty started flourishing in the Thar Desert by early 8thcentury, it was the 9th century when they rose to supremacy and hold command over the entire of Rajasthan. By 12thcentury, this clan divided into a total of thirty-six different clans and around twenty-one dynasties. Their visionary knowledge, taste for excellence, undefeatable spirit, and patriotism finally made them the most influential rulers across the great Thar Desert.

Medieval History of Rajasthan: Rise of Chauhan Era

While the Rajput rulers reached the zenith of power and control over the Thar Desert, India had foreign invaders from countries like Afghanistan, Kabul, and other Muslim countries. Though most of the inland rulers stood against these foreign rulers, most of them perished with them against the wrath of the war techniques and massive forces of the foreigners.

The growing fume of the outsiders gave birth to a pact between the Rajput and Chauhan rulers by 10th century where the former helped the latter to build their empire in Rajasthan. With this treaty in place, the Land of Kings survived all the attacks and came out victorious in most of the battles against the Muslim rulers and other foreign powers. The battler of ‘Tarain’ fought between Prithviraj Chauhan and Muhammad Ghori in 1191 was the most significant one among these attacks.

Medieval History of Rajasthan: Rise and fall of Mughal Era

Tasting defeat in the battle of Tarain, Muhammad Ghori reattacked Prithviraj Chauhan in 1192, and established the first Muslim Empire in Rajasthan. This eventually marked the downfall of the Chauhan dynasty and helped Muslim rulers to strengthen and recreate the history of Rajasthan.

As the Chauhan dynasty perished into the sands of time, Muslim supremacy started sprawling and took over almost the entire of Rajasthan till a ruler from Northern-India stood against the Muslim Empire in 1553. It was the valorous ruler named Hem Chandra Vikramaditya (also known as ‘Hemu’ by historians), who crushed the then empire and hoisted his flag in Rajasthan.

Hemu’s rule over Rajasthan crashed down into the hands of Mughal emperor Akbar in the battle of ‘Panipat’ in 1556. Defeating Hemu, Akbar showed his interest in forming alliance with the Rajput rulers; he even married ‘Jodha Bai’, a Rajput Princess from Jodhpur. Though most of the existing rulers supported and greeted Akbar’s alliance, there were rulers like Raja Maan Singh from Mewar, who stood against the supremacy of Akbar.

Growing disagreement and rivalry between the two rulers resulted in a fierce battle among the two. With this battle, Akbar established his rule all over Rajasthan while having most of the Rajput rulers as his faithful allies.

Maharana Pratap; son of Raja Maan Singh, once again rose against the Mughal empire and called for the battle of ‘Haldighati’ against Akbar in 1576. The result of the battle went against Maharana Pratap and forced him to go into exile for almost 12 years while continuing his fight against the Mughal emperor valorously until he succeeded in 1588 in the battle of ‘Dewar’.

Akbar’s defeat into the hands of Rana Pratap caused the downfall of Mughal Empire for the first time in the history of Rajasthan. This downfall also gave birth to a new chivalry system among the existing Rajput and Chauhan ruler, and continued for a significant period of time.

Medieval History of Rajasthan: Rise of Maratha Empire

Early 1700 witnesses the rise of Maratha Empire in Rajasthan when Peshwa Baji Rao I from Pune started marching the North. With this, Rajasthan came under the influence of Maratha rulers who were the close aides to Holkars and Scindhia rulers. With every battle, Maratha Empire started expanding their base and finally took most of the prominent Rajput rulers under their control. It was the time, when Pune (also called the ‘Cultural Capital’ of Maharashtra) became the centre of power.

Medieval History of Rajasthan: Rise of East India Company

Rajasthan’s history witnessed a whole new change and dimension after the arrival of East India Company during 19th century. As the entire of the state was then ruled by different rulers, it gave the British government to enroot their policies and sovereignty among the rulers. The newly arrived foreign company implemented ‘divide-and-rule’ policy and was significantly successful in carrying out their operations.

Within this period Rajasthan witnessed the establishment of cities like Jaipur and Marwar region along with Bharatpur, Dhaulpur, Karauli and others. East India Company finally proposed the Rajput ruler’s safety and protection from their enemies and asked them to come under British suzerainty. Present day Ajmer city became the base of British Raj, while the other princely states were ruled by the Rajput rulers.

The term ‘Rajasthan’ was coined under British Raj after nineteen different Rajput rulers signed treaty to come under a single pact.

Medieval History of RajasthanClick here – download

Topic Covered

  1. Gurjar-Pratihar of Bhinmal
  2. Guhil Dynasty of Mewar
  3. Sisodiya Dynasty of Mewar
  4. Rathod Dynasty of Marwar
  5. Rathod of Bikaner
  6. Kachwaha of Amber
  7. Chauhan Dynasty
  8. Chauhan of Ranthambore
  9. Chauhan of Jalore
  10. Hada Chauhan of Bundi
  11. Hada Chauhan of Kota
  12. Parmar of Abu

History of Rajasthan Complete Study Notes with Practice MCQ

General Studies of Rajasthan: RPSC RAS RSMSSB and Other Competitive Exams