Jaipur the pink city of India once served as the capital of the great Kachwaha kingdom. Known for their chivalry the Kachwaha Rajputs traced its lineage from Lord Shri Ram. For centuries this part of Rajputana witnessed the prosperity of the Suryavanshi which had given many of the bravest warriors to Indian history.
We had briefly covered the story of the military exploits of the Jaipur/Amer/Amber/Kachwaha kingdom and had shed light on their forgotten tales of their gallantry. In this article, we will uncover their origin and delve into their early history and how they shaped the history of Rajputana and consequently India.
Origin of the Kingdom of Jaipur:
The Kingdom of Jaipur comprised the regions of Tonk, Dausa, Sawai Madhopur Jaipur, etc, and was the home of some of the bravest clans of the Rajput. Raja Man Singh, Mirza Raja Jai Singh, Sawai Jai Singh, etc were some of the rulers who took this kingdom to its prominence.
When we delve into the question of their origin it is suggested that the Kachwahas trace their origin from the descendants of Lord Rama’s son Kush.
Note: An inscription had been recovered from Jaipur that dates back to 1612 CE according to which the Rajputs of Jaipur referred to as the Suryavanshis.
Raja Nal who was the direct descendant of Kush established himself in the region referred to as Narwar(a place located in modern-day Madhya Pradesh). This region later became the Kingdom of Narwar. Note: The reign of Raja Nal is believed to have started from somewhere in 826 CE.
Raja Dulhe Rai
King Dulhe Rai the ruler of Narwar whose reign is believed to have started from 1096 and lasted till 1136. Several kings ruled from here but after his demise, his widowed queen left the kingdom with her child who was threatened by the court nobles.
According to the writings of G.S. Ojha, it was in 1137 when Dulhe Rai first arrived at Rajputana. King Dulhe Rai is believed to be the twenty-first descendant and thirty-third ruler of Narwar. The queen reached as far as what today is referred to as Jaipur.
The region at that period was ruled by the powerful tribe of Meenas. The Meena king granted the queen and his son refuge where the young infant grew to prominence. When Dulhe Rai turned 14 he was sent as a representative of the Meena king in the Delhi court.
But after his return, he usurped the throne of the Meena king and made himself the master of the land. After becoming king he tried to expand his influence over the neighboring chiefs. He set up marriage alliances with the local rulers of Dausa and Ajmer.
This strengthened his kingdom and with the aid of the local chief Dulhe Rai conquered the region of Manch from the Meenas and renamed it Ramgarh. The Kachwaha had an intense rivalry against the Meenas and even after the death of Duleh Rai his successor fought several battles against the spirited Meenas.
Rai Kankal the son and successor of Duleh Rai conquered the Meena territory of Dhundhar. Furthermore, Maidal the son of Rai Kankal later took established Kachwaha supremacy over Amber.
Several rulers ruled Amer after Rai Kankal which provided the kingdom the necessary stability. Rao Punjadeva the successor of Kankal had amicable ties with the great Prithviraj Chauhan of Delhi. Rao Punja was married to the sister of Prithviraj and aided the Chauhan king in several battles including against Mohammad Ghori of Afghanistan.
Later Shekhji a descendant of Rao Punjadeva founded another branch called as Shekhawats which ruled the present districts of Sikar, Churu, and Jhunjhunu. The Shekhawat Rajputs had cordial relations with the Kachwahas.
Another prominent ruler of the Kachwahas was Rao Prithviraj Singh. He is believed to have divided his kingdom among his twelve sons, establishing the famous Bara Kotri or the Twelve Houses of Amber.
Rao Prithviraj also aided the great Maharana Sanga of Mewar who emerged as the paramount Hindu power during the early 16th century. It was Rao Prithviraj Singh who carried the wounded Maharana of Mewar during the retreat from the battle of Khanwa in 1527.
After Rao Prithviraj several eminent kings ascended the throne of Amer. Some of them were: Raja Man Singh a staunch Hindu and a great military general who led and won many battles for the Mughals both in India and in Afghanistan.
Mirza Raja Jai Singh: A great military leader who led the famous campaigns against another formidable Hindu power the Marathas. Swai Jai Singh the founder of Jaipur city and the builder of the scientific observatory of Mathura, Delhi, Jaipur, etc. The kingdom of Jaipur/Amer/Amber emerged as a prosperous Rajput regime.
They had a significant cultural and architectural prowess that embellished their kingdom for centuries. Jaipur today serves as the capital city of Rajasthan due to its historical importance and its contribution in preserving the rich heritage of Rajputs.
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