Rajasthan was inhabited long before 2500 BC and the Indus Valley
Civilisation had its foundation here in north Rajasthan itself. The Bhil
and the Mina tribes were the earliest dwellers of this area.
Around 1400 BC the Aryans paid a visit and settled forever in the area.
The local population was pushed down south and towards the east.
Afghans, Turks, Persians and Mughals followed in mixing their blood,
first in war then in peace, with the existing original inhabitants. This
blending gave the martial lineage to the Rajputs.
From the times of Harsha (7 AD) to the founding of the Delhi Sultanate,
Rajasthan was fragmented in competing kingdoms. Perhaps it was during
this era by their influence through wealth and power the Rajputs
persuaded the Brahmins to link them with the sun, the moon and the fire
With the passage of time they were divided into 36 royal clans.
Rajasthan finally settled for a long and lasting reign under the
colourful and vibrant Rajputs. and itís a surprise that they lasted as
long as they did. Considering that they were at a constant state of
aggression; if not with a foe, then with each other. After the 14th
century their influence declined in the area.
In came the Mughals who gained control of the region through the clever
strategy of Akbar, the Mughal Emperor. He performed matrimonial
alliances with the Rajputs where faced military failure and thus turned
them from fearsome foes to faithful friends. This proud but very divided
race was thus brought to some order under the imperial Mughals, by the
some deft mixing of marital and martial relations. Akbar gave high
offices to many Rajput princes after seeking reconciliation through
marriage to a Rajput princess, Jodha Bai, the daughter of the Maharaja
of Amber. However, the spunk of the Rajput soul was never really
captured, till the spread of the British colonial power. However, when
the Mughals weakened they were quick to reassert their dominance. The
Rajputs as a community thus has outlived the somewhat tribal Delhi
Sultanate, the grand Mughals and the war-like Marathas. In fact to this
day their descendants, though stripped of their titles and kingdoms, are
revered as rulers by the common man.
Ancient Period, upto 1200 AD
Rajput clans emerged and held their sway over different parts of
Rajasthan from about 700 AD. Before that, Rajasthan was a part of
several republics. It was a part of the Mauryan Empire. Other major
republics that dominated this region include the Malavas, Arjunyas,
Yaudhyas, Kushans, Saka Satraps, Guptas and Hunas.
The Rajput clans ascendancy in Indian history was during the period from
the eighth to the twelfth century AD. The Pratihars ruled Rajasthan and
most of northern India during 750-1000 AD. Between 1000-1200 AD,
Rajasthan witnessed the struggle for supremacy between Chalukyas,
Parmars and Chauhans.
Medieval Period, 1201 - 1707
Around 1200 AD a part of Rajasthan came under Muslim rulers. The
principal centers of their powers were Nagaur and Ajmer. Ranthanbhor was
also under their suzerainty. At the beginning of the 13th century AD,
the most prominent and powerful state of Rajasthan was Mewar.
Modern Period, 1707 - 1947
Rajasthan had never been united politically until its domination by
Mughal Emperor - Akbar. Akbar created a unified province of Rajasthan.
Mughal power started to decline after 1707. The political disintegration
of Rajasthan was caused by the dismemberment of the Mughal Empire. The
Marathas penetrated Rajasthan upon the decline of the Mughal Empire. In
1755 they occupied Ajmer. The beginning of the 19th Century was marked
by the onslaught of the Pindaris.
In 1817-18 the British Government concluded treaties of alliance with
almost all the states of Rajputana. Thus began the British rule over
Rajasthan, then called Rajputana.
The erstwhile Rajputana comprised 19 princely states and two chiefships
of Lava and Kushalgarh and a British administered territory of Ajmer-Merwara.
Rajasthan State was heterogeneous conglomeration of separate political
entities with different administrative systems prevailing in different
places. The present State of Rajasthan was formed after a long process
of integration which began on March 17, 1948 and ended on November 1,
1956. Before integration it was called Rajputana; after integration it
came to be known as Rajasthan. At present there are 32 districts
(including the new district of Karauli), 105 sub-divisions, 241 tehsils,
37889 inhabited villages and 222 towns in the State.