History of Rohilla Rajputs
History of Rohilla Rajputs
The following content in its entirety is adapted from the book, "History of Rohilla Rajputs" by Dr. K. C. Sen.
The electronic version of this book is made possible by the efforts of Mr. Ramesh Rohilla.
1. Sources of the History of Hindu Rohillas:
For years, the history of the Hindu Rohillas, found in the eastern districts of the
Consequent on a general awakening in the country some educated and enterprising members of the Rohilla community set up a Sabha in Delhi and started in ernest the task of regenerating their community and enquiring into its origin and its past. Under its auspices a short history of the community was produced, but the author of the work “Rohilla Tank Mimansa” reached conclusions which were not convincing and failed to explain the term “Rohilla” attached to the community. This praiseworthy work of the Delhi Sabha did not satisfy the more thoughtful of the community with the result that efforts to trace their true history continued unabated with a singleless of purpose and persistence. Fortunately, a scholar of Uttar Pradesh, Thakur Paul Singh Rathor, wrote a tract entitled “84 Gotras” of the Rohillas, which was based on his unpublished work “Rohilla Vansh Pradeep” where- in he advanced the view that the Hindu Rohillas were originally inhabitants of Roh Desh or the modern Afghanistan. The view, though plausible, was not substantiated by facts and authorities. But the way was shown and it remained for others to prove the fact.
Time passed on and more and more researches in history brought many obscure and unknown facts to light. Enthusiastic members of the Rohilla community did not rest satisfied with what had been done in connection with their history. They accordingly began to contact the Bhats of the Rajputs in Rajputana and their efforts soon bore fruits. One Shri Bhim Raj of Jaipur undertook to compile the history of the community and ultimately rendered a very valuable service to the community and historical research by publishing a book entitled “Rohila Kshatriya Jati Nirnaya.”
In writing this book the author took help from the bardic records in his possession as also those of other bards. He advanced the view that the Rohillas were Kshatriyas descended from Sabahu bearing the Gotra “Chind”. He also wrote that the ancestors of the Rohillas had conquered
There is another book “Kshatriya Vartman” by Thakur Ajit Singh Parihar of Balaghat, Madya Pradesh, in which ,we find a mention of a clan called ‘Rohil’. Two verses by an unknown Hindi Poet have been given therein. They are reproduced
(i) “The Yadavas, Chandels, Jhala, Tomars and Koch Rohil Banafar belong to the Chandra Vansh” Page 97.
(ii) “Yadavas, Chandels, Jhala, Tomar and koh Randhel Banafar are from the Chandra Vansh” – Page 263.
The verses above clearly refer to the existence of Rohilla and Randhel clans in
The exploits of Alla and Udal of Mahoba are sung all over the western districts of Uttar Pradesh and eastern ones of the
There is another book by Pandit Jai Chand Vidhya ALankar “Bharat Bhumi Aur Use Ke Nivasi” on page 230 of which we read: “
The above extracts from the works of a famous historian need no comments. They establish beyond doubt the fact that long before the advent of the Rohilla Afghans, there lived in India also Rohilla Rajputs.
There is another article written by the writer quoted above. It is “Mandlik Kavya”, which appeared in the ‘Nagri Pracharni Patrika’ – Part III, Vol. 3, pages 335 to 369. On page 352, Pandit Jai Chand discusses the relations of the Rajas of Gujarat (
There is an inscription in Veraval Pattan near Charvar on a
In his history of Rajputana Volume-1 Dr. Gauri Shankar Ojha refers to some inscriptions which throw a flood of light upon the Rohillas and their home in Marwar. We shall refer to them later.
In the history of Aroras, a caste found in the Punjab, by Hakim Raj Rup Kasur, we read on pages 128 and 129 a reference to ‘Relas’ or ‘Rohilla’.
Historical words like “Tod’s Annals of Rajasthans”, “Hindu Medieval India” by C.V.Vaidya, “Ancient India” by Majumdhar, “Raj Tarangi”, etc. , have been throughly gone through to write the history of our community about which very little was hither to known.
Ruh Desh or Afghanistan
2. Roh Desh or Afganistan, The Original Home of Rohillas:
The original home of the Rohilla Kshatriyas was Afghanist an called Roh in the Middle Ages. The political boundries of Bharat have varied in different ages; and a study of races, language and civilization, points to the fact that
From the above it can be concluded that
Yule indentifies the HohLohu, that is perhaps Rahu of this passage, with Ragh, still an important fief of Badkhshan between tha Kokcha and the
Even today Roh is a part of
The author of the extract given above is of the opinion that the Afghans are semitic akin to the Jews in race. But this is not a fact, as
In the Basant Number of the “Daily Milap”, 1930, there appeared an article on the Geography and ancient history of
3. Ancient History of Roh Desh:
The original home of the Rohillas is Roh Desh; and after their advent into
His daughter Ila had a son called Pururavas who became the progenitor of the “Lunar” dynasty. Manu’s seventh son was Narsheyant who established his kingdom between the river
The descendants of the Solar Prince Narsheyant were enterprising. They crossed the
(i) The Parvajans who came to be called Parthians;
(ii) The Kambhoj;
(iii) Pahlvi from whom have descended the Iranians,.
(iv) the Yavanas or the Greeks:
Roh Desh and Chandra Vanshi Kshatriyas:
For a very long time the Kshatriyas of the Solar Race exercised their sway over Roh Desh and the land beyond. The descendants of Pururava were in possession of the tract between the Vindhyas and the
These Druhyas has a famous King Prachuyata who had one hundered sons, who extended their expire and overran the countries of the Malchhas (Barbarians) ruling over the regions in the North-west. It is said that when the Kshatriyas in
For a long time
Then came the period when Shri Rama ruled over Ayodhia. At that Roh was ruled by the Lunar Kings. The conquest of
Descended from Pushkar was one Raja Hans Dhaj whose descendant Daulat Rao founded Kanuaj.
Bhim Raj the author of “Rohilla Kshatriyas Jati Nirnaya”, wirtes that Shatrughan, the younger brother of Rama, had two sons Sruti Sen and Sabahu. The descendant of the latter settled down in the region of the North-west. From Sabahu originated the famous Rajput clan of Chindaks or Chind. As already remaeked elsewhere, these Kshatriyas conquered lands beyond
In the descriptive found of inscriptions found in the Central Privinces &Berar (now Madhya Bharat) we read about certain kingdoms existing during the 11th and 12th centuries of the Christian Era, the rulers of which had with their names attached the clan-name viz. Nag Vansh and CHindak. It appears that these Kshatriyas kings must have come from Roh Desh.
In the Sabha Parv of the Mahabharat we read that Arjun in the course of his campaigns in the North-west, had to fight hard against warlike racessuch as Trurusks, Kambhojas and Dards.
Colonel Tod in his “Annals of Rajasthan” Volume-I makes a mention of Taks and Writes: “A new race entered Hindustan led by conqueror termed Shehes Nag, from Sehes Nag Desh, who ascended the Pandu’s throne ans whose line terminates in the descents with Maha Nada od spurious birth”. Sehes Nag Desh is explained by him as the country of the ‘head of the snakes’ Nag or Tak or Takshak being synonymous. This was the abode of the ancient Scythic Tochari of Strabo, the Takurks of the Chinese, the Tajuks of the present-day
“Tak or Takshak” in the words of
Some ancient inscription in the Pali characters discovered in some parts of Rajasthan throw light upon the history of a race called Tusta, Takshak and Tak relating to the tribes known as the Mori, Pramara and their descedants.
In view of the observations of Col. Tod above, we can safely conclude that theAgnikul Rajput clans were immigrants Rajput clans were immigrants into India, and were inhabitants of Sacadwip and hence it is not a matter for wonder that the Rohilla Rajputs contain gotras and branches not only of Takshaks but of the fout Agnikul royal houses.
The North-west Frontier of India and regions beyond have, from very ancient times, been a storm centre and a source of trouble for the kings of India and, therefore, it was why Arjun had to a vigorous and bloody war against the tribes of Afghanistan. As a result of this, his grandson Prikhist had to face an invasion from the North-west made by the Takshaks. The Mahabharat describes the war in its usual allegorical style betweent the Kings of Indrapast abd Nags of the North. King Parikshit was murdered by the Nag leader, and his son Janmeja escaped and carried on a devastating warfare against the enemies of his house, as a result of which the Takshaks must have retired to the hills of the North-west.
By a reference to Kautliya Arth Shastra, we learn that there were tribal republics in
Then came the invasion of Alexander the Great, Which opened a free intercourse between
This Maurya clan to which Chandra Gupta belonged can also be treated as akin to the clan of the founder of Sehes Nag dynasty who came to
The above shows that the Morris of Chitor were Taks who, after their defeat, migrated to Asirgarh over which they ruled for several centuries and were known as Taks when they appeared again for the assistance of khuman Rawal of Chitor to stop the advance of the muslim invaders and beat them back to thei country. These Taks Moris re-appeared from Asirgarh to fight against the Ghori Sultan when Prithvi Raj Chohan of Delhi met him on the field of tarawari. It appears that in later times the ancient Maurya Kshatriya clan of Chandra Gupta came to be known as Taks. Hence we would not much wrong if we state that Chandra Gupta Maurya must have been of the same Nag Vanshi Takshak Clan to which Sehes Nag, the founder of the Magadha Kngdom, had belonged.
After the downfall of the Maurya Empire its North-Western Provinces were conquered by Demetrius, the Greek King of
For sometime the Greeks had internal dissensions and when they were quarrelling among themselves, they were overwhelmed by The Seythians who exterminated their rule in the
4. Roh Desh and the Yadavas:
In remote ages the various communities from the
This Raja Gaj had a son of remarkable ablity. He left
Balund had seven sons, of whom Bhupat had a son named Chakito, whose desendants formed into a tribe known after him as “Chakito” (or Chagitai). Chakito was the viceroy of Gujni and married the daughter of a Muslim from the Uzbeek race and also embranced Islam . He then become the master of
The Rohilla Afghans who entered
Ghazni and the rule of the Surya vanshi Kshtriyas and Bappa Rawal:
Maha Padma Nanda of
Then arose one prince Goha Sen (539-569) . A desecendant of this Prince was Druha Sen II., who was a contemporary of Harsha and who had been subduled by him. But Harsha allowed him to retain his kingdom and gave away his daughter to him in marriage.
Years rolled on and the descendants of Kanak Sen continued to rule Vallabhipur and it was in the year 766 that its last ruler Sitaditya was on the throne. Colonel Tod, on the authority of the bardic traditions, regards Guha as the founder of the Gehlot clan of the Rajputs. But Dr. Majumdhar places him in the second half of the 6th Century A.D.
In this famous dynasty was also born that great warrior known by the name Bapa Rawal, who played a prominent and heroic role in saving Chitor and stemming the tide of muslim advance in
“Tradition has preserved numerous details of Bappa’s (Bappa is not a proper name, it signifies merely a child. He is frequently styled “syeel”, and in inscriptions “Syeel Ahdes”, ‘the mountain lord’) infancy, which resembles the adventures of every hero or founder of a race. The young prince attended the sacred kine, an occupation which was honourable even to the ‘children of the Sun; and which they still pursue: possibly a remnant of their “primitive Scythic habits”. The pranks of the royals heperd are the theme of many a tale. On the JUDJHOOLNI, when swinging is the amusement of the youth of both sexes, the daughter of the Solanki chief Nagda and the village maidens had gone to the groves to enjoy this festivity, but they were unprovided with ropes. Bappa happened to be at hand, and was called by the Rajpoot damsels to forward their support.
He promises to procure a rope if they would first have a game at marriage. One frolic was as good as another, and the scarf of the Solanki was united to the garments of Bappa, the whole of the village lassies joining hands with his as the connecting link, and thus they performed the mystical number of revolutions round an aged tree. This frolic caused his flight from Nagda, and originated his greatness, but at the same time burdened him with all these damsels, and hence a hererogenous issue, whose descendants still ascribe their origin to the prank of Bappa round the old mangotree of Nagda.”
“A suitable offer being shortly after made for the young Solankini’s hand, the family priest of the bridegroom whose duty it was, by his knowledge of palmistry, to investigate the fortunes of the bride, discovered that she was already married : intelligence which threw the family into the greatest consternation. Thought Bappa’s power over his brother shepherds was too strong to create any dread of disclosure as to his being the principal in this affair, yet was it “ too much to except that a secret, in which no less than six hundred of the daughters of Eve were concerned, could remain such ? Bappa’s mode of swearing his companions to secrecy is preserved……. The Solanki chief, however, heard that Bappa was the offender, who, reciveing from his faithful scouts intimation of his danger, sought refuge in one of the retreats which abound in these mountains, and which in aftertimes proved the preservation of his race. The companions of his flight were two Bhils: one of Oondree in the valley of the present capital, the other of Solanki descent, from Oguna Panora, in the western wilds. Their names, Baleo and Dewa, have been handed down with Bappas: and the former had the honour of drawing the teeka of soverignity with his own blood on the forehead of the prince, on the occasion of his taking the crown from the Mori.”
“It is pleasing to trace, through a series of age, the knowledge of a custom still ‘honoured in the observance’ The descendants of Baleo of Oguna and the Oondree Bhil still claim the privileage of performing the teeka on the inauguration of the descendants of Bappa.”
Colonel Tod further states on page184 of the history :-
“Bappa, who was the founder of a line of a ‘hundred kings’, feared as a monarch, adored as more than mortal, and, according to the legend, ‘still living (Chenjiva)’, deserves to have “the source of his preeminent fortune disclosed, which, in Marwar, it were sacrilege to doubt. While he pastured the sacred kine in the valleys of Nagindra, the princely shepherd was suspected of appropriating the milk of a favourite cow to his own use. He was distrusted and watched, and although indignant, the youth admitted that they had reason to suspect him, from the habitual dryness of the brown cow when she entered the pens at even-(Gaodaluk, the time when the cows come home). He watched and traced her to a narrow dell, when he beheld the udder spontaneously pouring its stores amidst the shrubs. Under a thicket of cane a hermit was reponsing in a state of abstraction, from which the impetuosity of the shepherd soon roused him. The mystery was reealed in the phallic symbol of the ‘great God’, which daily received the lacteal shower, and raised such doubts of the veracity of Bappa………
“Bappa related to the sage all knew of himself, receiveing his blessings, and retired: but he went daily to visit him, to wash his feet, carry milk to him, and gather such wild flowers as were acceptable offerings to the deity. In return he received lessons of maorality, and was initiated into the mysterious rites of Siva: and at length he was invested with the triple cordon of faith (teen puwa zinar) by the hands of the sage, who became his spiritual guide and bestowed on his pupil the title of “Regent (Dewan) of Ekitnga.”……..he (Bappa) met with another hermit in the forest of the Tiger Mount, the famed Goruknath, who presented to him the doubleedged sword, which, with the proper incantation, could ‘sever rocks.’ With this he opened the road to fortune leading to the throne of Chetore.”
“Chetore was at this period held by the Mori prince of the pramar race, the ancient lords of Malwa, then paramount sovereigns of
“Bappa’s connection with Mori Bappa’s mother was a pramar, probably from Aboo or Chandrawati, near to Edur; and consequently Bappa was nephew of every pramar in existenceobtained him a good reception; he was enrolled amongst thesamunts or leaders, and suitable estate conferred upon him. The inscription of the Mori prince’s reign, so often alluded to, affords a good idea of his power, and of the feudal manners of his court. He was surrounded by a numerous nobility, holding estates on the tenture of military service, but whom he had disgusted by his neglect, and whose jealousy he had provoked by the superior regard shown to Bappa. A foreign foe appearing at this time, instead of obeying the summons to attend, they threw up their grants, and tauntingly desired him to call on his favourite.”
“Bappa undertook the conduct of the war, and the chiefs, though dispossessed of their estates, accompanied him from a feeling of shame. The foe was defeated and driven out of the country; but instead of returning to Cheetore, Bappa continued his course to the ancient seat of his family, Gajni, expelled the ‘barbarian’ calledSelim, placed on the throne a chief of the Chawura tribe and returned with the discontended nobles. Bappa, on this occasion, is said to have married the daughter of his enemy, The nobles quitted Cheetore, leaving their defiance with their prince. In vain were the spiritual preceptor (Gooru) and fosterbrother (Dabhe) sent as ambassadors; their only reply was that as they had ‘eaten his salt’, they would forbear their vengeance for twelve months, The noble department of Bappa won their esteem, and they transferred to him their service and homage. With the temptation of a crown, the gratitude of the Grohilote was given to the winds. On return they assaulted and carried Cheetore, and in the words of chronicle, “Bappa took Cheetore from the Mori and became himself the Mor (Crown) of the land”. He obtained by universal consent the title of “Sun of the Hindus (Hindua Sooraj), preceptor of princes (Raj Gooru), and universal lord (Chukwa).”
“He had a numerous progency, some of whom returned to their ancient seats in Saurastra, whose descendants were powerful chieftains in that tract so late as Akbar’s reign. Five sons went to Marwar and the ancient Gohils ‘of the land of Kheir’, expelled and driven to Gohilwal, have lost sight of their ancestry and by a singular fatality are in possession of the wreck of “Balabhipoora, ignortant of its history and their connection with it, mixing with Arabs and following marine and mercantile pursuits; and office of the bard having fallen into disrepute, they cannot trace their forefathers beyond kheirdhur.”
“The close of Bappa’s career is the strangest part of the legend and which it might be expected they would be solititos to suppress. Advanced in years, he abdoned his children and his country, carried his arms west to Korasan, and there established himself and married new wives from among the ‘barbarians’ by whom he had numerous offspring.”
Bappa had reached the patriarchal age of one hundred when he died. An old volume of historical anecdotes, belonging to the chief of Dailwara, states that he became an ascetic at the foot of Meru, where he was buried alive after having overcome all the kings of west, as in Ispahan, Kandahar, Kashmere, Irak, Iran, Tooran, and Cafferisthan; all of whose daughters he married, and by whom he had one hundred and thirty sons, called the Nosheyra Pathans. Each of these founded a tribe, bearing the name of the mother. His hindu children were ninetyeight in number, and were called Agnioopasi Sooryavansi, or ‘sunborn fireworshippers’. The chronicles also record that (in like manner as did the subject of the Bactrian king Menander, though from a different motive) the subjects of Bappa quarreled for the disposal of his remains. The Hindu wished the “fire to consume them; the barbarian to commit them to earth; but on raising the pall while the dispute was raging, innumerable flowers of the lotus were found in the place of the remains of morality. These were conveyed and planted in the lake. This is precisely what is related of te end of the Persian Noshirwan.”
In connection with the death of Bappa in the land of the Muslims, Colonel Tod in a footnote on page 186 of his history states: “The reigning prince told the author that there was no doubt of Bappa having ended his days among ‘the Toorks’: a term now applied to all Mahomedans by the Hindu, but at that time confined to the inhabitants of Toorushka of the Poorans, and the Takshac of early inscriptions,”
From this account we may conclude :-
(i) That Bappa and his ancestors had a dominion over Ghazni;
(ii) That Bappa had conquered
(iii) That Bappa had with him his Hindu children who accompanied him in that expedition; and
(iv) That in Ghazni his descendants grew in number and were challenged by Muslims about the manner in which his body was to be disposed of when he was dead.
Rai Bhim Raj in his work “Rohilla Kshatriya Jati Nirnaya” states that Bappa had numerous children and also makesa mention of sixteen from whom sprang up sixteen Gotras found among the Rohilla Rajputs such as Gaddon Nachharak, Sanamar, Sanoeh, Sanadh, Sanjha, Vanshut, Tatwal, Kupat, Musal, Newal, Charakhwal, Nepali, Pataliya, Garg, Panisuff and Pichhar. It was nowhere been stated by Bhim Raj, however, that Bappa had been accompanied by any one of these sixteen sons of
Moreover , some of the Rollia Rajputs also claim that their forefathers were from amongst the Gelhlots of Ghazni who had returned to
In this connection we quote Colonal Tod again, who states at page 202 of his history: “Let us now proceed to nexterruption of the Islamite invaders in the region of khoman from A.D. 812-836. Though this leader of this attack is styled ‘Mahmood Khorasan Put’ it is evident from the catalogue of Hindu Princes who came to defend Chitor, tha t is ‘Lord of Khorasan’ was atleast two centuries before the son of subaktagin; and as the period is in perfect accord with the partition of the Caliphat by Haroon amongst his sons, we can have no hestitation in assigning such invasion to Mohmood, to whose share was allotted Khorasan, Shind and the Indian dependencies.”
Colonel Tod further states that the names of the clans which had come to the rescue of Khuman against the Muslim invader. “Gehlodes arrived from Ghazni or Gajni, The tanks of Asir, the Chohans of Nador, Chalukyas from Reshgarh and other tribes to the rescue of Chitor.”
The above clearly establishes the fact that for the defence of Chitor had come the Tanks of Asirgarh and Gehlots of Ghazni. The Gehlots referred to could not have been other than the descendants of Bappa, who had settled down in Afghanistan; and a tradition among some Rohilla Families still persists that the Gehlots of Ghazni were lede by Kupat Rawal, a military leader, whose exploits against the Muslims made hm so renowned at the time that the clan named after him as Karpat came to be counted among the thirtysix royal houses.
5. Advent of Rohilla Rajputs in
In the Sixth Century A.D. there was born in
Such was the formidable nation which had approached the frontiers of
Later on, the Muslims in the Ninth Century again invaded
General Govind Rai and Mahas Karan:
We now turn to give an account of that clan of the Rohillas which claims descent from Bharat, the brother of Shri Rama. An outline has already been given of how the descendants of Bharat and Shatrughan had settled down in Roh Desh and came to be known as Rohali or Rahakwal. Their Gotra was Kasab. In the Hoshiarpur District are found Rajputs of this gotra and are known as Purkham Rahkwal.
According to Bhim Raj, the descendants of Bharat were called Rahakwals and they were the founders of
Bhim Raj has also referred to another hero Mahas Karan, who held a very high military rank under Prithvi Raj Chohan. His title was Rahakwal Rawal Ghani Samral Chhand. It is said that his clan had migrated to the interior of
(1) THE ADVENT OF RADHEL OR RAHAIL CLAN INTO THE
In the Rohilkhand Division of Uttar Pradesh there lived people who were known by the clan name Randhel or Rahail. They apparently came from Roh Desh. In his “Hindu Medieval India” page 79-Mr C.V. Vaidya writes: “It will not be out of place to consider how far the conclusions about every clan arrived at by Mohan Lal in his Edition of “ Prithvi Raj Rasay” are correct. According to him the same as Chandel. In “Rasau”, the word Chhind bears the same meanings”. According to both Mohan Lal and Bhim Raj, Randhels or Chhinds are of one and the same clan. We have ready mentioned that a Chief named Mahas Karan had borne the same title.
In the descriptive lists of incriptions in the Central provinces & Berar (now Madhya Bharat), we find an inscription on page 150- No; 207 – which states: “ In this plate it is given that on Wednedsday, 5th October 1065, there was Madhu Rantik Dev, Nag Vansh Chhindaks were Nags. These people have also been called “Taks” by Sardar Jhanda Singh, the author of “The History of Tak Kshatriyas”.
On page 250 of the book “Kshatriya Vartman” by Thakur Ajit Singh, it is started: “The ancient home of Rudra-Randhel or Rohail is Bans Bareilly. It is sub-branch of Katehartyas of the Nikumbh Vans descended from Bharat”.
Bhim Raj describes the Rohillas as migrating to this tract and founding the State of Rampur, where they held their sway for eleven generations. During the reign of Naurang Dev, the country was invaded by the Muslims. At first the attempt failed, but later on during the reign of Ranvir Singh the Muslims appeared again. The Army of Ranvir Singh faced the attack successfully and the Muslims leader was captured and taken as a prisoner. He was however, set at liberty after he had made rich presents to the Raja. After some time the Muslims made another attack and took the Raja by surprise at a time when he and his men were long engaged in festivities. The Raja called his brave soldiers to arms, but the wily Muslim General outwitted the Raja and was allowed to escape unscathed. Unfortunately, the Rohilla Raja Ranvir Singh was betrayed and the Muslims again attacked the Fort when the Raja and his men were busy with their celebration of festivities once again. The fighting was heavy and the heroic Rohilla soldiers fought to the last.
After their defeat Ranvir Singh’s brother Surat Singh and his Rohilla Kinsmen left
Also to the fate of the descendants of Raja Ranvir Singh, an article by Dr. Sant Singh Chohan appeared in the “Rajput Gazette” of
6. Alla and Udal of the Rohil Banafar clan:
The exploits of three Rajput heroes, Alla, Usal and Malkhan, are sung in the rural areas of Uttar Pradesh and
Who were these three heroes and which clan did they come from? We have mentioned elsewhere that the Rohilla Rajputs were found across the
Entry of the Rohillas into Marwar and
Elsewhere we have referred to an inscription in Sanskrit on a
The point for consideration now is whether there is any place in Marwar which can be associated with the Rohillas. We cannot name it with definiteness, but in the history of Rajputana (Volume 1) by Pandit Gauri Shankar Ojha, we come across two inscriptions. Pandit Ojha says on Page 166: ‘Mandor is a place four miles away from
Moreover, in Ghatial in Marwar was also a village called Rohinskop, with this inscription can be associated. From what is mentioned in the inscriptions referred to above, we can safely conclude that the Rohilla Rajputs, after their migration from Roh Desh, must have gone as far as Marwar and established themselves there as well.
Rohillas of Mahecha Gotra:
There is a clan among the Rohilla Rajputs, the gotra of which is “Mahecha”. According to Bhim Raj this clan claims descent from one Mohan Das who held a high position in the Army of the King of Ghazni. After his death his brother Sita Ram made his way to
7. Rohillas of the Jaura Gotra Descendants of Guga Chohan:
Bhim Raj, in his book already quoted, writes about the famous Rajput warrior Guga Chohan: “Rana Hara left Sambhal, (Morada bad) and reached Dagdera Fort. His son was Rana Bega whose descendant was Guga Chohan, the son of Jaivar”. Tod, in his book ‘Annals of Rajasthan (Volume 11 popular Edition, page 362)’ writes: “Gugo Chohan was the son of Vacha Raja, a name of same celebrity. He had the whole of the jungle or the forest lands from
Guga and his history are shrouded in mystery, Nothing definite is known as to when he had flourished. He is said to be a contemporary of Mahmud of Ghazni and Mohammad of Ghor. It is, however, certain that he is regaded as Manlik by the Rajputs, and is worshipped by lakhs of people all over
Kokcha and Kushanwal Rohillas:
There are Rohillas who bear a gotra known as Kushanwal and claim to be the descendants of the Kushans who held a sway over
There is another gotra found among these people known as Kokcha. There is a small stream in
Rohilla Rajputs of Takshak Clan:
We have already mentioned that in ancient times there lived a race in
This Nag race, also known as Tak, had come into India from beyond the North-western Frontier of India and Colonel Tod, in his “Annals of Rajasthan (volume II, footnote on Page 1063)” writes: “I have given a sketch of this tribe (Volume I), but since I worte it I have discovered the capital of the Tak, and on the very spot where I should have expected the site of Taxila, the capital of Taxiles, the friend of Alexander. In the sketch, I hesitated not to say that the name was not personal, but arose from his being the head of Takshac or Nag tribe, which is confirmed. It is to Babar or rather to his translator that I am indebted to this discovery, In describing the limiting of Bannu, Babar thus mentions: “And on the west is Desht, which is also called “Bazar and Tak,” to which the translator adds: “Tak is said to have long been the capital of
The quotation above indicates that the home of the Taks was the region in the North-West of India. About the Taks Pandit Gauri Shankar Ojha writes in his History of Rajputana (Volume I, page 261-262). “The Nags existed before the age of Mahabharat. The real meaning of the poetical description of parikhit being ‘bitten to death by a Nag, and the burning of thousands of snakes by his son Janme Jaya,’ is that Parikshit was killed by a Nag Vanshi invader, and as a result thereof his son Janme jaya avenged himself upon the Nag Race in a terrible manner by carrying out their examination in thousands. Mention has also been made of the wonderful power of the Nag Race in the Budhist literature and Raj Tarangni,” Takshak, Karkolak, Dhanajaya, and Muni Nag are the name of the famous kings of old. The descendants of Takshaks came to be known as Tak, Tank, etc. This tribe had spread over a large part of
In connection with these Nags, Shri Kashi Prasad Jaiswal had proved that the Nags of Manju Shri Mul Kalp were from the Bharsiv Vansh about which coins and other historical records tell us a lot. These Bharsiva Princes had the merit of freeing
In the middle ages, these Nag Vanshi Taks had a dominion in the
General Cunningham in his book “Historical Geography of
The people of Sakala are called
It is not quite clear if Takkiya mentioned in the reign of Shankar Varman of Kahmir by Kalhana is the same
In Chacha’s days the
The above account mentions the existence of the Taks in the
Prithvi Raj Chohan and Tak Chiefs:
It appears that as time passed on the Taks penetrated into the interior of
Raja Saharan Of Thanesar, a Tank or Tak Rajput (Who embraced Islam):
In the popular edition of “Annuals of Rajasthan” by Colonel Tod, we read on pages 87-88. “This ancient foe of Janme jaya and the friend of Alexander closed its career in a blaze of splendour. The celebrity of the kings of
With the apostasy of the Tak, the name appears to have been obliterated from the tribes of Rajasthan, nor has any search even discovered one of his name now existing.”
Regarding Tak Sharan, the “Mirat Secundari” gives the ancestory of the apostate for 23 generations, the last of whom was Sehes, the same who introduced the Nag Vansh seven centuries before the Chrisitan era into
The author of the work gives the origin of the name of Tak or Tank from Tarka or explusion from his caste, which he styles Khetri evincing his ignorance of this ancient race.”
The above quotations refr to Raja Saharan who belonged to Tak tribe of the Rajputs, and about whose ancestory, details have been given in “Mirat Secundari”. Saharan was the ruler of Thanesar. He happened to meet Feroz Tughlk to whom he gave away his sister in marriage. After this he embraced Islam, and he and his sons were raised to prominent positions in the State by Feroz Shah Tughlak. His descendants later on founded an independent kingdom in
According to traditions prevalent among the Tak Vanshis the Tak tribe of the apostate Saharan was persecuted, but the courageous spirits among them preferred a life of obscurity and poverty of that of gilded slavery and apostasy. It is a fact that the Tak tribe is still found in some districts of the
“When Alexander invaded the
We have traced the history of Rohillas up to the Tughlak period, but little is known about them after that. This is perhaps due to the fact that they had lead a life of obscurity and did nothing worth recording.
8. The Downfall of the Rohillas:
In the previous pages we have described how the Rohilla Rajputs had to leave their home in Roh Desh and settled down in various parts of Indian. Their settlements and kingdoms were set up in Rohilkhand and Bundelkhand divisions of Uttar Pradesh lunig, entered Gujrat as Head of the Army. The heroic achievement Sanskrit of 1445 Vikram Era, in which a reference to Rohilla Maldeva establishes beyond any shadow of doubt the existence of the Ro illa Rajputs. They played a very important part in the wars fought against the Muslims.
We have also referred to the gallant deeds of the descendants of Bappa Rawal, the Gehlots of Ghazni led by their General Kupat Rawal. Moreover, all over
However, as luck would have it, the Rohilla Rajputs had to reap the consequences of their bold stand against the onslaughts of the Muslim invaders for the preservation of their country’s honour and religion, especially after the fall of Prithvi Raj Chohan and the apostasy of Raja Saharan. No wonder, therefore, that they had to occupy their positions of importance in the social and political field of the country as has always been the fate of the conquered people.
After the loss of their power and independence, however, these brave Rohilla Rajputs preferred a life of obscurity and poverty to that of luxury and affiuence purchased at the cost of their faith and religions. Thus, they were cut off, as time passed on, from those Rajputs who held Jagirs or ruled over small states, mostly under the sovereignty of the Muslims. Pandit Gauri Shanker Ojha wites on page 46 of his “History of Rajputana (Volume 1):” “It is fact that some Rajput families, when they were deprived of Jagirs, became engaged in agriculture or service and lost all contact with aristocratic Rajput houses, with the result that they went down lower in the social scale. The mother of Rana Hamir Singh belonged to the Chandrana tibe, which was looked upon as noble and dignified and was a branch of the Sonigara clan of the Chohans. When they held jagirs and were rich, they were regarded as good Rajputs. At present owing to their engaged in agriculture, they have no relationship with good and noble Rajputs.”
The Rohilla Rajputs, after their downfall had no other alternative but to take to agriculture or handycrafts, and this led to their being formed into a separate community. The proud Rajputs owning land and occupying a higher social position have always looked upon agriculture as an ognoble calling. In support of this view we quote from the book “Rajput Gotras” by Chudhri Mohammad Afzal Khan, Editor, Muslim Rajput,
However, they have been known to have taken to handicrafts to earn their living in adversity and so it ws that most of the Rohilla Rajputs went in for handicrafts, and were thus separated from their main stock.
9. Gotras of the Rohilla Rajputs:
In his book “ The Wonder That Was India”, Dr.A.L.Basham writes on pages 153-155.: “the Hindu social order was complicated by other features which had no original relationship to class or casts but were roughly harmonized with them. These are the institutions of Gotra and Pravara, which were in existence in the late Vedic times and probably earlier and are important to the orthodox Brahman to this day.”
“The original meaning of gotra is “cow shed or a herd of cows” ; in the Atharveda the word first appears with the meaning of a “clan”, which it has retained with a special connotation. Some ancient IndoEuropean peoples such as Roman, and exogamous clans as well as generally endogamous tribes. It may be well that the gotra system is a survival of IndoEuropean origin which had developed special Indian features.”
“Gotra as it existed in historical times was primarily a Brahmanic institution adopted half heartedly by other twiceborn classes and hardly affecting the lower orders. All Brahmans were believed to have descended from one or other Rishi or legendery seer, after whom the Gotras were named. The religious literature generally speaks of seven or eight primieval gotras, those of Kashyapa, vasistha, Bhigru, Gautama, Bhardwaja, Atri and Vishwa Mitra. The eighth gotra, that of Agastya, is named after the sage who is said to have taken the vedic religion beyond the the Vindhyas, and who is a patron saint of Dravidians. His name may have been added to those of the original seven as the South became progressively Aryanized. These primieval gotras were multipled in later times by the inclusion of the names of many other ancient sages.”
“Though the gotras perhaps evolved from local units within the Aryan tribe, they had quite lost their tribal character by historical times, and Brahmans from farthest parts of
“As imposed on nonBrahmanic families, the system was quite artificial. NonBrahman families were expected to take the parvara of their domestic priests, but the rule counted for the little. The real gotra of the Kshatriyas and the Vaishyas were secular (Laukika) ones. Founded by lengendary eponymous ancestors. Legal literature takes little note of those Secular gotras, but numerous references in inscriptions show that the term was used in the sense of Sept or clan, and that many non-Brahman gotras existed which donot occur in the lists of any of the law books.”
The above quotation shows that the Brahmans alone had gotras and those too were not limited to eight only, but multipled as time passed on. The real gotras of the Kshatriyas and the Vaishyas had secular or Laukika ones founded by legendary or historical ancestors, although the gotras of the family priests were not discarded altogether. Moreover, in course of time, even a famous person became the founder of gatras and vanshes. Mr. C.V.Vaidya, the famous historian, remarks that in course of time the clans of the Rajputs came to be known by their gotras, such as Gohil Gotra or Pratikar Gotra, etc.
There are about 84 gotras as shown in the aphendisc found among the Rohillas, a close examination of which reveals the fact that most of them are not the same as are found among Brahmans. This shows that these people had their own gotras, traceable to their ancestors. Some of them have been mentioned in the previous pages. We shall give here a brief account of a few more.
Jhojha Branch of the Chohans:
Among the Rohillas is found a gotra known as Jhola and is a branch of the Chohans.
Cont and Contwal Rohillas:
A branch of the Panwar clan is Omvat or Oont, and this is also found among the Rohillas.
Regarding this Omvat branch of the Panwar Rajputs, Chaudhri Mohammad Afzal Khan writes in this book “Rajputs Gotras” on page 114 : “There is a branch of the Panwar clan. It is said that at one period they started trading in camels and came to be Oont and afterwards were known Umvat. In
There are Rohillas who bear Lakhmara Gotra about which Rai Bhim Raj Writes in his Book “Rohilla Kshatriya Jati Niranaya”. “There once flourished a Raja Lakhast of the Panwar clan, whose descendant was Hari Chand who erected in the district of Hissar a fort. In his family were born two persons Virkal and Jagat Mal, who were defeated by Raghu Ji after which their ancestral fort was lost. The wife of Virkal peformed the rite of Sati after him. Traditions prevailing among the Lakhmaras relate that thousands of Rohillas lost their life in defence of their State against Raghuji. After this terrible event, the Rohillas began to call themselves Lakhmara and even today after the lapse of centuries, the Lakhmaras look upon a trip to Hansi and Hissar as highly ominous. Such was the grave disaster which befell these people at Hansi.
According to Bhim Raj, Pandla Gotra of the Rohillas is connected with Pundir found among other Rajputs. The author of “Kshatriya Vartman” calls the Pundhirs a branch of Dahima Clan. Owing to the changes of fortune, the Dahima clanhas lost its grow importance. There was a time when it was famous for its deeds of valour.
In the forgeoing pages we have tried to throw light on the origin and history of a people who were quite ignorant of it hitherto, nor could they ever explain as to why they were called “Rohillas”. This appears to have been due to the fact that after their ruin at the hands of Muslims they got sunk in obscurity and in order to escape persecution at the hands of their conquerors they concealed their true origin. Thus, Rohillas as a people fell into ignorance and forgot their glorious past.
However, this humble attempt on the part of the writer of this short history will enable the Rohillas to prove worthy of their cast and stimulate further research into it.
special thanks to neeraj rohilla,feedback him @-firstname.lastname@example.org