The Thirty-six Royal Races
of Rajput

(by Brig. A. Mason, M.C., R.E.)

The Rajputs proper were of mixed origin – pre-Muslim invaders such as Scythians, Bactrians, Parthians, Hunas and Gurjaras who came in before, say, the end of the 7th century. They were reputed descendants of the Kshatrinjas (warriors and rulers) mentioned in the Rig Veda (Rajanya), the occupational caste of all clans of Hindus who undertook the act of Government. They were derived from three sources, the sun, the moon and fire, and should be of warrior status from princely lineage. So far we have only found four tribes from each source. Legend says that when Rama with the Axe destroyed all Kshatrinjas, the gods went to Mount Abu and from the sacred fire-pit produced five fire-born tribes.

In Page 8, line 13, Kipling mentions two of them, Chohan (Chouhan) and Rahtor, who became sworn enemies, the latter holding Kananj on the Ganges river some 200 miles S.E. of Delhi, until it became too large to hold against the Chohans. The last known of this dynasty of Rajput Kings of Ajmir was Rai Pithora or Prithiraj, who was defeated, captured and executed by the Moslems In 1192 A.D. at Tarain.

Tod increased his five original states to seven by adding Bikanir and Jodhpur in the desert. These he broke up not only into 36 races, but also into tribes numbering three figures. Dotah became Kotah, but was combined with Bundi to make Haravati the state of the Haras. Jaipur, which Kipling describes, is the modern capital of Dhundar, the home of the race of Kachwahas or children of Kush, the second son of Rama, the hero of legend and of the epic Ranmayana which has been transformed into one of the Hindu scriptures.

Those who would like to know more are referred to Tod’s two volumes of 1829, Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan.


©A Mason 2007 All rights reserved