Travel in Rajasthan, India
A Rajasthani Kid is playing "Ek Tara"
Thar Desert Jaisalmer in Background, Rajasthan, India

Experiences of Rajasthan - Ancient History

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Ancient History Pre Independence Period

Rajasthan, land of princes, comprised many small kingdoms ruled over by clans who warred constantly for supremacy and individually tried to stem the tide of the Islamic invasions. The clans were all Rajputs, which means sons of kings, and claimed descent from the early Aryan warriors known as the kshatriyas. Internal rivalries prevented any combined defence against foreign invasion and led eventually to their domination by the Muslims. But they retained a measure of independence as allies of the imperial power at Delhi, till the advent of British rule, when they became figureheads. Their states were finally merged with the Republic of India when they voluntarily relinquished their remaining authority in 1947. In order to understand the historical importance of the Rajput kingdoms it is necessary to know a little of the major periods of history prior to their establishment.

Pre Independence Period

The national struggle for independence won freedom for India under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who became the first Prime Minister in 1947. The country suffered partition, the Muslims obtaining Pakistan which consisted of West Punjab, the North-West Frontier Provinces, Sindh, Baluchistan and East Bengal, now Bangladesh.

In India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Deputy Prime Minister, persuaded the ruling princes of the Indian states to merge their principalities into the Indian Union. The merger of the states was considered a major triumph towards the establishment of a democratic nation. India became a Republic in 1950 and is the largest democracy in the world. Rajasthan is the third largest state in India.

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