About Kushwaha

The Kuchwaha (also spelled as Kachavaha,Kachawaha,Kacchavahas, Kachhawa, Kuchhwaha,Kachhawaha, & Keshwala including Kacchapghata, Kakutstha, and Kurma) are a Suryavanshi Kshatriya clan who ruled a number of kingdoms and princely states in India such as Alwar, Maihar, Talcher, while the largest kingdom was Jaipur (Jainagara) which was founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727. The Maharaja of Jaipur is regarded as the head of the extended Kachwaha clan.

Outside of Rajasthan Kachwahas are found in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, but are chiefly found in Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Muttra, Agra and Cawnpore. A number of Kachwaha adventurers from the Gwalior also emigrated to Jalaun, where settlements were established in Etawah. Kachwahas from Bulandshahr(chhtari village) are said to have descended from Narwar, while the Kachwahas of Muzaffarnagar called themselves Jhotiyana


Overall, sub-clans of the Kachwaha number around 71. Prominent sub-clans of the Kachhawa clan include: Rajawat, Shekhawat, Jamwal Sheobramhpota, Naruka, Nathawat, Khangarot and Kumbhani, Taroliya. Raja Prithiviraj organised his clan and accepted twelve main houses which were regarded as distinguished system. Among twelve houses nine were his sons and grandsons and three houses from his forefathers. They are known as the Bara Kotris.

There is a saying in the honour of Kachawa Rajputs-

कछवाहा री कीर्ती, सारी सदा सवाय l जसधारी बणिया जगत, जय माता जमवाय ll

English version of this poetic phrase:

(The fame of Kachwaha is always a quarter more, They were famed in the world,I praise mother goddess Jamvay.)

Legend and early history The Kachhawas belong to the Suryavanshi lineage, which claims descent from the Surya (Sun Dynasty) or Suryavansha of the ancient Kshatriyas. Specifically, they claim descent from Kusha eldest of the twin sons of Rama, hero of the Ramayana, to whom patrilineal descent from Surya is in turn ascribed. Indeed, the name Kachawaha is held by many to be a patronymic derived from the name "Kusha". However, it has been suggested that Kachwaha is a diminutive of the Sanskrit conjoint word 'Kachhahap-ghata' or 'Tortoise-killer'; Tortoise in Sanskrit being Kashyapa, although there may be several connotations for the interpretation of these terms.

According to Vishnu Purana, bardic chronicles and popular tradition; Sumitra was the last king of this dynasty in Ayodhya. In the fourth century BC Mahapadma Nanda of Nanda Dynasty included Ayodhya in his empire and Kushwahas were forced to leave. Kurma was son of Sumitra thus migrated from their parental abode and established them self at the bank of the river son, where they constructed a fort called the Rohtas (Rahatas) fort.

T.H. Henley, states in his Rulers of India and the Chiefs of Rajputana (1897) that the Kachwaha clan is believed to have settled in an early era at Rohtas (Rahatas) on the son river in present-day Bihar. He notes however that their notable seats of power were Kutwar, Gwalior, Dubkhund, Simhapaniya and Narwar (Nalapura), all in present-day Madhya Pradesh. This second westwards migration to Madhaya Pradesh is said to have been initiated under Raja Nala, the legendary founder of Narwar.

James Tod has recorded the view as being prevalent in his time, that the clan occupied Narwar in the 10th century and remained there until Narwar was captured by Parihara Rajputs in the 12th century, however local history suggests that the Kachwahas were in Narwar several centuries earlier than the date given by Tod's arbitrary view. Many historians aver that the Kacchapaghatas, like the Chandellas and Paramaras, originated as tributaries of the preceding powers of the region. They point out that it was only following the downfall, in the 8th-10th century, of Kannauj (the regional seat-of-power, following the break-up of Harsha's empire), that the Kacchapaghata state emerged as a principal power in the Chambal valley of present-day Madhya Pradesh. This view is largely supported by archaeological artefacts and Kacchapaghata coinage (minted in Gupta-fashion) discovered in Madya pradesh, as also by inscriptions of Gopasetra (Willis). It is interesting to note that according to popular legend, the rise of the Kachwahas in Madhya Pradesh is closely associated with Suraj/Surya Sen, a Kachwaha prince of the 8th century, whom is said to have been responsible for the building of Gwalior fort and the founding of that city. In the oldest section of Gwalior fort there still exists a sacred pond known as the Suraj-Kund. It may thus be logical that the Kachwaha rule in Chambal valley predates the dates ascribed in the Sas-Bahu inscription.

According to the speculation of Dr.Rudolf Hoernle(1905), Kachhwahas are related to the Gurjara-Pratiharas. Interestingly Dr.Hoernle goes on to identify the similarities between the names of the line ruling kings of Kanauj (mid 10th) century with the recorded line of eight Kachwaha rulers of Gwalior (based on the sas-bahu' inscription of Mahipal). According to the inscription in the Sas-Bahu temple within Gwalior fort, Vajradaman (Vazradaman) (964-1000 AD), the successor of the Kacchapaghata ruler Laksmana (940-964 AD) "put down the rising power of the ruler of Gandhinagara (Kannauj) and his proclamation-drum resounded on the fort of Gopadri (Gwalior)." Lakshmana father of Vajradaman was son of Dhola or Salhkumar (It is thus believed that Vajradaman was grandson of Dhola or Salhkumar).

According to bardic chronicles and popular legend, Vazradaman was succeeded by his son Mangalraja. Mangalraja had two sons Kirtiraj(Kirtirai) and Sumitra. While Sumitra got Narwar in succession, Kirtiraj got Gwalior. Kirtiraj, also founded the temple city of Simhapaniya (present-day Sihonia), there he had a Shiva temple constructed to fulfil the wish of his queen Kakanwati. Built between 1015 to 1035 A.D., the Kakan Math temple is 115 ft (35 m). high and rivals in splendour the temples of Khajuraho. Interestingly Simphaniya like present day Jaipur, was a flourishing center of Jainism. The affix of Pal was adopted by the Kachwaha rulers of Narwar for many centuries, and it was eight centuries later that this epithet was changed to Singh.

After Sumitra, Madhubramh, Kanh, Devanik, and Isha Singh ruled Narwar. The Sas-Bahu inscription is dated to 1093 AD and it gives the genealogy of the ruling family up to Mahipal who died sometime before 1104 AD.

Advent of the Kachwahas in Dhundhar

Vajradamana (Vazradama) the kachhawah ruler was ruling Narawar and Gwalior in 10th century AD. He fought Mahmud Gazanavi with Anangpal Tomara I, ruler of Delhi and was killed in this battle in 1000 AD. After Vazradama, his son Mangalraja sat on the throne.

Jaigarth, the invincible Fort of Amber and sacred sanctuary of the Kachhawas.Mangalraja had two sons Kirtirai and Sumitra. While Kirtirai succeeded at Gwalior, Sumitra got Narwar in succession.In this dynasty Isha Singh became the king of Narwar.Isha Singh had a son named Sodh Dev and Dulah Raya was son of Sodh Dev. The Kachwaha prince Dulah Raya (Popular name) as he was bridegroom in the area he ruled. His original name was Tejkaran wed a daughter of Ralhan, the Chauhan ruler of Ajmer. He received Dausa, which was part of the Dhundhar region of present-day Rajasthan as dowry, its location is the territory west from the Kachwahas domain of Narwar and Gwalior. Dausa was at the time was ruled partly by the Chauhans, and partly by the Bargujar/Birgoojur Rajputs. It was also surrounded by Meenas strongholds. Following his matrimonial alliance, Raja Duhaladeva initiated his conquest of neighbouring Meenas strongholds at Manchi, which he renamed Ramgarh, this was the beginning of the clan's westwards migration into Rajasthan. The year agreed upon by most sources gives the date of this event at around 967AD. This was followed by further annexation of Khoh and other strongholds of the Bargujar Rajputs.

Todate, the 10th century, Jamwa Devi temple built by Dūhaladeva (Dulhe Rai) to commemorate his victory over the Meenas is still worshipped by the Kachhawas. Kākaladeva (popularly known as Raja Kākil Dev) further consolidated and organised the Kachhawa rule in Dhundhar. Following his suppression of the Meenas, the Birgoojurs and the Yadava Rajputs in Dhundhar, around the year 1037AD Raja Kākil Dev moved his capital from Ramgarh westwards to Amber (Ambikeshwar/Ambawati). There he built the original Fort of Amber, on the site which to the present day is known as Jaigarh fort and it is possible that he also built or expanded the Ambikeshwar Mahadev Temple. Hanutdeva came to the throne in 1129. According to bardic chronicles and local history, Hanutdeva died in a battle with the Meenas. His son Jahnadadeva (popularly known as Janad Dev) also fought battles with Meenas. According to local tradition, the Meenas stopped Janad Dev while he was on his way to get married, thus a battle ensued and the Meenas were defeated by Janad Dev.

By the time of Pajawan (Pradhyumn Singh or Pujjuna) the son of Jahnadadeva, the Kachhawas had become the undisputed sovereign of Dhundhar, with the Meenas as their close allies, and keepers of their forts. Nevertheless they were destined to have lost most of their ancestral domain in present day Madhya Pradesh by the early 12th century, save but the area which todate constitutes the Rajawati chiefdoms that still dots the area adjoining the former Jaipur state and Madhya pradesh (being the area around Sawai Madhopur/Narwar). The original capital of the state in Dhundhar (and in Rajputana) was thus Dausa then Ramgarh, prior to the shift to Amber and Jaipur respectively.

Another alliance with the Chauhan was forged through the marriage of Pajawan with a sister of Prithviraj III of Delhi as recorded in the chronicles of the Prithviraj_Raso. Raja Pradhyumn Singh or Pajawan/Pajjuna fought valiantly alongside (his brother in law), Prithviraj Chauhan. At the time of Swayamvar of Samyogita at Kannauj in 1185, Pajjuna was trusted general of Prithviraj chauhan III. When Samyogita garlanded the statue of Prithviraj Chauhan, Prithviraj came out from his refuge and took the Samyogita with him. Jaichand of Kannauj ordered his forces to pursue Prithviraj, but the forces were stopped and engaged in a battle with Pajjuna. Thus Prithviraj III was able to reach safety in his capital.

In this battle, Pajawan's three brothers Palansi, Jaitsi, and Kansi and two sons Balbhadra, Bhinvsi were killed. Pajawan is believed to have been killed in the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192. Following the capture and death of Prithviraj Chauhan, Pajawan's son Malaya Si succeeded his father having fought bravely and suffered wounds in the battle with which his father and brothers lost their lives. The Kachwahas remained a threat to the neighboring Islamic Sultanate of Delhi, their kingdom also stood on major trade and (Islamic) pilgrimage routes leading to the shrines of Ajmer and the ports of Gujarat.

The successor of Malaya Si was Bijaladeva, whom in 1226 extended his matrimonial alliance through the marriage of his daughter to Raja Veernarain Chauhan of Ranthambhore. Bijaladev was succeeded by his son Rajadeva (Rajdev). During the siege of Ranthambore by the Khilji invaders, Rajadeva is said to have given his support to Rana Hamir of Mewar. Rajadeva is also said to have added much fortifications, temples and water tanks to his capital of Amber. Another important event of this period is the disjunction of the Shekhawats and the founding of the Shekhawati territory by the great warrior Rao Shekha, the distinguished great grandson of Raja Udayakarna (Udaykarana) of Amber. Amber

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