Medieval Indian History - The Rajputs


  • The Rajputs always insisted that they were of the kshatriya caste and they were divided into clans.

  • The Rajput kings belonged to ordered family, which connected them with either the sun-family (surya-vamshi) or the moon-family (chandra-vamsha) of ancient Indian kings. However, there were four clans who claimed that they had not descended from either of these two families, but rather from the fire-family (agni-kula).

Rajput Clans

  • The four clans, namely −

    • Pratiharas, (or Pariharas),

    • Chauhans (or Chahamanas),

    • Solankis (or Chaulukyas), and

    • Pawars (or Paramaras).

  • These four agni-kula clans established their power in western India and parts of central India.

    • The Pariharas ruled in the region of Kanauj;

    • The Chauhans were strong in central Rajasthan;

    • Solanki power rose in the region of Kathiawar and the surrounding areas, and

    • The Pawars established themselves in the region of Malwa with their capital at Dhar near Indore.

  • Besides, some other minor rulers also became powerful and gradually built small kingdoms in various parts of northern India, for example −

    • Nepal,

    • Kamarupa (in Assam),

    • Kashmir, and

    • Utkala (in Orissa).

  • Many of the hill states of the Punjab also developed during the early phase of medieval period; such as −

    • Champaka (Chamba),

    • Durgara (Jammu), and

    • Kuluta (Kulu) in Himachal.

  • Some other worth noting kingdoms of central India (contemporary to the Rajputs) were −

    • The Chandelles in Bundelkhand,

    • The Guhilas in Mewar to the south of the Chauhans, and

    • The Tomaras in Haryana and the Delhi region.

Prithviraj III
  • Over a period of time, the Chauhans defeated the Tomaras and annexed their kingdom.

  • Prithviraj III, the prince of Chauhan dynasty, was the most powerful king of that period in northern India. Chandbardai, the Hindi poet of his (Prithviraj’s) court had written the famous poem ‘Prithviraja-raso.’