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Chauhan

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Chauhan
Ruled in Nadol, Jalor, Dhundhar, Ajmer, Delhi, Haryana, Neemrana, Hadoti,[1][full citation needed] Godwar
Territories: Ajmer (7th century - 1365)
Ranthambore (1236–1301)
Princely States: Tulsipur (7th century - 1857), Mainpuri, Devgadh Baria, Bhaddaiyan Raj, Bundi,[1] Sirohi,[1] Kotah[1]

Chauhan, Chouhan or Chohan is a community sometimes described as a tribe and sometimes as a caste. In the medieval period some those associated with it ruled parts of Northern India and one, Prithviraj Chauhan, was the king of Delhi.

Myth of origin

Rajput bardic accounts, which are based on mythology, describe the Chauhans as one of the four Agnikula Rajput clans[a] who claim to have originated from a sacrificial fire-pit (agnikunda) at Mount Abu. These claims of supernatural origin are clearly improbable and unacceptable to the modern mind. However, these have numerous variants and give rise to the Chauhans claiming to be a clan of the Agnivanshi dynasty.[2]

Ethnographic status

Denzil Ibbetson, an administrator of the British Raj, classified the Chauhans as a tribe rather than as a caste. He believed, like Nesfield, that the society of the Northwest Frontier Provinces and Punjab in British India did not permit the rigid imposition of an administratively-defined caste construct as his colleague, H. H. Risley preferred. According to Ibbetson, society in Punjab was less governed by Brahmanical ideas of caste, based on varna, and instead was more open and fluid. Tribes, which he considered to be kin-based groups that dominated small areas, were the dominant feature of rural life. Caste designators, such as Jat and Rajput, were status-based titles to which any tribe that rose to social prominence could lay a claim, and which could be dismissed by their peers if they declined. Susan Bayly, a modern anthropologist, considers him to have had "a high degree of accuracy in his observations of Punjab society ... [I]n his writings we really do see the beginnings of modern, regionally based Indian anthropology."[3]

History

The Chauhans were historically a powerful group in the region now known as Rajasthan. For around 400 years from the 7th century AD their strength in Sambhar was a threat to the power-base of the Guhilots in the south-west of the area, as also was the strength of their fellow Agnivanshi clans.[4] They suffered a set-back in 1192 when their leader, Prithviraj Chauhan, was defeated at the Battle of Tarain but this did not signify their demise.[5]

Ajay Raj (Anuraj)

Chauhans[6] asserted their independence from the Pratiharas, and in the early 11th century, the Sakhambari king Ajaya-Raja founded the city of Ajayameru (Ajmer) in the southern part of their kingdom.[citation needed]

Notable people

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ The other Rajput clans claiming descent from Agnikula are the Chalyuka, the Paramara and the Pratihara.[2]

Citations

  1. ^ a b c d Page 51, Chiefs and leading families in Rajputana By C. S. Bayley
  2. ^ a b Gupta, R. K.; Bakshi, S. R., eds. (2008). Studies In Indian History: Rajasthan Through The Ages: The Heritage Of Rajputs 1. Sarup & Sons. p. 7. ISBN 978-8-17625-841-8. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Bayly, Susan (2001). Caste, Society and Politics in India from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age. Cambridge University Press. pp. 139–141. ISBN 978-0-52179-842-6. 
  4. ^ Gupta, R. K.; Bakshi, S. R., eds. (2008). Studies In Indian History: Rajasthan Through The Ages: The Heritage Of Rajputs 1. Sarup & Sons. p. 95. ISBN 978-8-17625-841-8. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  5. ^ Gupta, R. K.; Bakshi, S. R., eds. (2008). Studies In Indian History: Rajasthan Through The Ages: The Heritage Of Rajputs 1. Sarup & Sons. p. 100. ISBN 978-8-17625-841-8. Retrieved 2 October 2012. 
  6. ^ Radhey Shyam Chaurasia (2002). History of Ancient India: Earliest Times to 1000 A. D. Atlantic Publishers & Distributors. p. 209. ISBN 978-81-269-0027-5. 
  7. ^ Hāṇḍā, Omacanda (2004). Naga Cults and Traditions in the Western Himalaya. New Delhi: Indus Publishing. p. 330. ISBN 978-8-17387-161-0. Retrieved 17 October 2012.