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Rajputs of India (Part II)

Rajput (Sanskrit raja-Putra 'son of a king') is a large multi-component cluster of castes, an ideology of genealogical descent originating from the Indian subcontinent.


Rajputs of India (Part II)



Origin of the Wadiyars

Archaeologists and Historians like P. V. Nanjaraj Urs, Shyam Prasad, Nobuhiro Ota, David Leeming, and Aya Ikegame among others strongly believe that the Wadiyars originated from a set of local feudal lords who adopted puranic legend to claim themselves as direct descendants of the legendary Lunar Dynasty. The Lunar dynasty is a legendary principal house of a warrior–ruling caste mentioned in ancient Indian texts. This legendary dynasty was said to be descended from moon-related deities, hence the name. 

History of the Wadiyars

The Wadiyar dynasty is a prominent late-medieval South Indian Hindu royal family descending from the kings of Mysore. It is believed they trace their roots to the Urs clan which is based in Mysore city, modern-day Karnataka.

As the then Maharajas of Mysore, the Wadiyars ruled the Kingdom of Mysore from somewhere around the late 1300s up until the mid-1900s. Various members of the Wadiyar-Urs clan have also known to have served as royal advisers, referred to as Diwans, to their reigning siblings, cousins and distant relatives among others. Additionally, some relatives were also entrusted with the responsibility of commanding army divisions as dalvoys (commander-in-chief) for their reigning monarch.

The Wadiyar’s hold on power has been tempestuous, to say the least. Sometime around the late fourteenth century, the family at first acted poleygars, defending the regions in and around Mysore town for the Vijayanagara Empire, their feudal overlords. But with the change in their fortunes post the decline and fall of the empire in the seventeenth century, the Wadiyars declared independence when Raja Wadiyar seized the nearby town of Srirangapattana, the seat of Tirumala, Sriranga II's viceroy, in 1610.  Between 1766 and 1799, when Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan dictated the kingdom, the Wadiyar rulers as maharajas were largely nominal without any actual powers, which marked a turbulent time for the dynasty.  After Tipu Sultan's execution in 1799, the British Crown which by then was the de facto ruler of  India restored the kingdom back to the Wadiyars under yet another subsidiary alliance. After India's independence from the erstwhile British Empire, the ruling Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wadiyar ceded the kingdom to the newly formed Dominion of India, thereby bringing down the curtains on a six-hundred-old dynasty. 




Origin of the Jadejas

Jadeja (Gujarati: Jāḍejā,) is a Rajput clan that predominantly inhabits the western Indian state of Gujarat. They claim to have descended from the legendary Jamshed of Iran. Jamshid was the fourth Shah of the mythological Pishdadian dynasty of Iran according to Shahnameh. Other sections of the clan claim descent from Lord Krishna. They believe they originated from pastoral communities and laid a claim on the Rajput identity after marriages with Sodha Rajput women. 

History of the Jadejas

The origin of Jadejas can be traced to the tradition of oral history. Oral sources place the emergence of the Jadejas as being sometime in the late ninth century when kingdoms were established in parts of Kutch and Saurashtra by Lakho Ghuraro and Lakho Phulani who in turn were descendants of Jam Jada, the forbear of the clan. However, available written sources claim the emergence of the Jadejas only in the fourteenth century. 

After the Arab conquest of Sindh, various migrant communities from Sindh (Pakistan), apart from the Arabs settled in Kutch (India). That is what prompted historian Anisha Saxena to postulate that the Jadejas might be the Hindu branches of the Samma dynasty of Sindh whose leaders had adopted the title of Jam, settling in Kutch. 

An equally popular alternative view is that the Sammas were a pastoral community from which the Jadejas originated. Sociologist Lyla Mehta puts forth the suggestion that the Jadejas might have been the Hindu descendants of a Muslim tribe that had migrated from Sindh to Kutch. Once they began wielding political power, Jadeja started following in the footsteps of the Rajputs of Rajasthan, which included also marrying Rajput women. A Jadeja dynasty ruled the princely state of Kutch between 1540 and 1948, at the tail end of which India became a republic. This state had been formed by king Khengarji I, who gathered under him twelve Jadeja noble landowning families, who were also related to him, as well as two noble families of the Waghela tribe. Among other princely states ruled by Jadeja before the independence of India, were Malia, and Rajkot among others. 



Vaghela, also referred to as the Baghel,  is a Rajput clan that are descendants from the Vaghela dynasty of Gujarat, which was an offshoot of the Chaulukya, a Solanki dynasty, ruling Gujarat in the 13th century CE. It is believed they were among the last set of  Hindu-Rajput dynasties to rule Gujarat before the Muslim conquest of the region that ended Hindu predominance for a considerable period of time. 

Early members of the Vaghela family served the Chaulukyas in the 12th century and claimed to be a branch of that dynasty. In the 13th century, during the reign of the weak Chaulukya king Bhima II, the Vaghela general Lavanaprasada and his son Viradhavala gained a large amount of power in the kingdom, although they continued to nominally acknowledge Chaulukya suzerainty. In the mid-1240s, Viradhavala's son Visaladeva usurped the throne, and his successors ruled Gujarat until Karna Vaghela was defeated by Alauddin Khalji of the Delhi Sultanate in 1304 CE, and lost Gujarat, thereby making the end of their dynastic rule. 



The Sodhas are an Rajput clan primarily residing in the regions of Western India and Eastern Pakistan. 

They consider themselves an off-shoot of the Parmara Rajputs, who once controlled parts of Malwa and later North-Western Rajasthan. The area around Suratgarhand southeast Bhatner was once occupied by the Sodha Rajputs before they were evicted from these regions by Bhati Rajputs. The Sodhas thereafter moved their base to Thar desert.  Sodha Rajputs, based in Umerkot district of Pakistan's Sindh, are one of the clans, which are off-shoots of the Parmar Rajput dynasty that reigned over Malwa in central India from the ninth century up until the thirteenth century. 

Sodhas in India: Sodha Rajput population in India is found mostly around North West regions of Rajasthan. In the Kutch district, Sodhas are the most recent migrants from Sindh, Pakistan. Due to the 1971 India-Pakistan war, the Sodhas fled Sindh and were settled into government village camps in the Rapar and Bacchau districts of Kachchh where they continue to live. Sodhas are one of several sub-groups of the larger Hindu Rajput community in the region. 

Sodhas in Pakistan: Amarkot was the only area with a Hindu majority population of Sodha Rajputs, including the ruling family that acceded to the newly formed state of Pakistan. Rana Chandra Singh, the chieftain of the Hindu Sodha Rajput clan, was one of the founding members of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), eventually elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan from Umarkot, seven times with PPP between 1977 and 1999, when he founded the Pakistan Hindu Party (PHP). Today, Sodha Rajputs are one of the few Hindu Rajput clans still living in Pakistan. 


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