Timeline of History of Rajasthan

2600 BC: Mature Harappan phase of the Indus Valley Civilization begins covering the city of Kalibangan

700 AD: Chinese traveler visits a few cities in Rajasthan

734: Bappa Rawal establish Mewar dynasty at Chittor Garh

1018: Muhammad Gajnavi attacks

1031: Vimalshah constructs Dilwara temple

1113:  Ajay raj establishes Ajaymeru (Ajmer)

1137: Kachwaha set up Dhundhar

1156:  Rao Jaisal Singh establishes Jaisalmer state

1191: First Tarain war

1192: Second Tarain war

1230:  Tejpal and Vastupal build Neminath temples at Dilwara

1234:  Rao Jait Singh defeats Iltutmish

1237:  Rao Jait Singh defeats Balban

1301: Alauddin Khalji captures Ranthambhor defeating Hamir

1303: Chittorgarh falls to Khilji, Rani Padmini’s Jauhar

1311:  Khilji defeats Kanhad deo and captures Jalore

1326:  Rana Hamir re takes Chittorgarh

1433: Maharana Kumbha becomes king

1439: Maharana Kumbha builds Vijay Stambha

1459:  Rao Jodha founded Jodhpur

1465:  Rao Bika set up Bikaner

1527:  Battle of Khanwa

1544: War at Jaitaran between Raja Maldeo and Sher Shah Suri

1559: Udaipur is founded by Maharana Udai singh

1576:  Battle of Haldighati

1727: Sawai Jai Singh II founded city of Jaipur

1733: Maharaja Suraj Mal establishes Jat state at Bharatpur

1818: Many rulers signed treaties with East India Company

1857:  first independence movement, Nasirabad

1949: Heera Lal Shastri becomes the chief minister

1956: Rajasthan state reorganised

The state of Rajasthan in India has a history dating back thousands of years. It was the site of the Indus Valley Civilization. The history of human settlement in Rajasthan is almost as old as any other part of India.

The early medieval period saw the rise of the Mughal Empire. The Mughals granted high positions to Rajput rulers who allied with them. However, some Rajput kingdoms did not accept Mughal suzerainty and were constantly at war with them. The Mughal rule effectively ended in the 18th century, when the Maratha Empire conquered much of the subcontinent.

Maratha rule was soon replaced by British rule in India. The British also made allies out of local rulers, who were allowed to rule their princely states. This period was marked by famines and economic exploitation. However, the British period also saw the growth of railways, telegraph and modern industry in the region. After Indian Independence in 1947, the various princely states of Rajasthan were integrated into India.

A survey of the Banas and its tributaries the Gambhiri, the Viraj, and Wagan has provided evidences that man lived along the banks of these rivers at least 100,000 years ago. The present day districts of Jhunjhunu and Sikar, along with other areas of Jaipur district bordering south Haryana, formed the part of Vedic state of Brahmavarta. Excavations at Kalibanga in northern Rajasthan revealed the existence of human settlements of Harappan times on the banks of a river, Saraswati.

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.

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. 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 Mughal Emperor Akbar expanded the empire into Rajputana in the 16th century CE. He laid siege to Chittor and defeated the Kingdom of Mewar in 1568. He also laid siege to Ranthambore and defeated the forces of Surjan Hada in the same year.

Maharana Pratap, a Rajput ruler. Mughal emperor Akbar sent many missions against him. However, he survived and ultimately gained control of all areas of Mewar excluding fort of Chittor.

Akbar also arranged matrimonial alliances to gain the trust of Rajput rulers. He himself married the Rajput princess Jodha Bai. He also granted high offices to a large number of Rajput princes, and maintained cordial relations with them, such as Man Singh, one of the Navaratnas. However, some Rajput rulers were not ready to accept Akbar’s dominance and preferred to remain independent. Two such rulers were Udai Singh of Mewar and Chandra sen Rathore of Marwar. They did not accept Akbar’s supremacy and were at constant war with him. This struggle was continued by Rana Pratap, the successor of Udai Singh. His army met with Akbar’s forces at the Battle of Haldighati where he was defeated and wounded. Since then he remained in recluse for twelve years and attacked the Mughals from time to time.

The arrival of the British East India Company in the region led to the administrative designation of some geographically, culturally, economically and historically diverse areas, which had never shared a common political identity, under the name of the Rajputana Agency. This was a significant identifier, being modified later to Rajputana Province and lasting until the renaming to Rajasthan in 1949. The Company officially recognized various entities, although sources disagree concerning the details, and also included Ajmer-Merwara, which was the only area under direct British control. Of these various areas, Marwar and Jaipur were the most significant in the early 19th century, although it was Mewar that gained particular attention from James Tod, a Company employee who was enamored of Rajputana and wrote extensively, if often uncritically, of the people, history and geography of the Agency as a whole.

The name of Rajasthan was probably popularized by Tod and during his lifetime some people believed that he had coined it. Although he claimed that it was the classical name for the region, the term seems first to be documented in an inscription dating from 1708 and to have become popular by his time.

It took seven stages to form Rajasthan as defined today. In March 1948 the Matsya Union consisted of Alwar, Bharatpur, Dhaulpur and Karauli was formed. Also, in March 1948 Banswara, Bundi, Dungarpur, Jhalawar, Kishangarh, Kota, Pratapgarh, Shahpura and Tonk joined the Indian union and formed a part of Rajasthan. In April 1948 Udaipur joined the state and the Maharana of Udaipur was made Rajpramukh. Therefore in 1948 the merger of south and southeastern states was almost complete. Still retaining their independence from India were Jaipur State and the desert kingdoms of Bikaner, Jodhpur, and Jaisalmer. From a security point of view, it was claimed that it was vital to the new Indian Union to ensure that the desert kingdoms were integrated into the new nation. The princes finally agreed to sign the Instrument of Accession, and the kingdoms of Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur acceded in March 1949. This time, the Maharaja of Jaipur, Man Singh II, was made the Rajpramukh of the state and Jaipur became its capital. Later in 1949, the United States of Matsya, comprising the former kingdoms of Bharatpur, Alwar, Karauli and Dholpur, was incorporated into Rajasthan. On January 26, 1950, 18 states of united Rajasthan merged with Sirohi to join the state leaving Abu and Dilwara to remain a part of Greater Bombay and now Gujarat.

Gurumukh Nihal Singh was appointed as first governor of Rajasthan. Hiralal Shastri was the first nominated chief minister of the state, taking office on 7 April 1949. He was succeeded by two other nominated holders of the office before Tika Ram Paliwal became the first elected chief minister from 3 March 1951.

In November 1956, under the provisions of the States Re-organisation Act, the erstwhile part ‘C’ state of Ajmer, Abu Road Taluka, former part of Sirohi princely state (which were merged in former Bombay), State and Sunel-Tappa region of the former Madhya Bharat merged with Rajasthan and Sirohi sub district of Jhalawar was transferred to Madhya Pradesh, Thus giving the existing boundary Rajasthan. Today with further reorganisation of the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, Rajasthan has become the largest state of the Indian Republic.

Do You Know?

  • The Umaid Bhawan Palace is one of the largest royal residences in the world. It was built in the early 20th century in a fusion of Beaux Arts and traditional Rajasthani architectural styles. It now houses a luxury hotel and a museum.
  • Ghateshwara Mahadeva temple at the Baroli Temple Complex. The temples were built between the 10th and 11th Centuries CE by the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty.

For convenience/easy and quick understanding, History of Rajasthan has been divided into three sections mentioned below:

  1. Ancient History (Till 1200 CE)
  2. Medieval History (1200 A.D. – 1707 A.D)
  3. Modern History (1707 – 1947)
General studies of Rajasthan (History, Polity, Geography, Art, Culture and Economy of Rajasthan)

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