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Rajputana (Jaisalmer)

Jaisalmer was one of the Rajput kingdoms of Rajasthan which emerged in sixteenth century India in the modern north-west of the country. It was centred around the city of Jaisalmer, in south-western Rajasthan. It has been nicknamed the 'Golden City' thanks to its yellow sandstone structures and the gold-coloured desert surrounding them. It was once the royal seat of the Bhatti Rajputs (the Yaduvanshi), a sect which had one or two notable warrior leaders. Today's Jaisalmer Rajputs claim descent from these, including early medieval kings such as Jaisimha, Devraj (considered to be the founder of the Jaisalmer royal line), Rawal Jaisal (who established the city of Jaisalmer in 1156), and Rawal Jethsi (who faced an eight year siege by Sultan Aladin Khilji if Delhi around 1294).

The Rajputs who inherited the territory were Hindu warrior clans, and the word 'rajput' itself literally means 'the son of the king', with the people being known for their valour. There were a number of small Rajput kingdoms which emerged between the sixth and thirteenth centuries, including Amer, Bikaner, Bundi, Jodhpur, Malwa, Kannauj, Mewar, and all were eventually conquered by the Moghuls.

Patiala, in the south-eastern area of the modern Indian state of Punjab, was a Jat Sikh state which was founded by Sardar Baba Ala Singh. The line of kings traces its ancestry to Rawal Jaisal, the founder of the city of Jaisalmer.

(Information by Abhijit Rajadhyaksha.)

Jaisimha

Notable chieftain and early Bhatti Rajput warrior.

While the genealogy of the Bhatti Rajputs is known, it does seem to be approximate, and is poorly dated. Only a few names stand out and can be linked to historical events, and not reliably so until the twelfth century.

Jaisalmer fort

Jaisalmer fort was built by Rawal Jaisal in the twelfth century

Bahubal

Subahu

Son.

Rajh

Son.

Gaj

Son.

Salivahan

Son.

Baland

Son.

Bhati

Son. Ruled from Lahore in Punjab.

Mangal Rao

Son.

Majam Rao

Son.

fl 731

Kehar / Ehar I

Son. Founded Tanot in 731.

c.806 - 821

Tano

Son.

c.821 - 853

Bijairai I

Son.

c.853 - 908

Deoraj / Devraj

Son. Founder of the Jaisalmer royal line. Made Lodorva the capital.

908 - 979

Mund / Mundh

Son.

979 - 1044

Bachera / Bachharajat / Bijairaj II

Son.

1044 - 1123

Dusaj

Son.

Lanja

Son.

Bhojdev / Bhojdeo

Son.

fl 1156

Rawal Jaisal

Uncle. Established the city of Jaisalmer.

The early Bhatti capital at Lodorva (Ludarva) is ransacked and laid waste by Shihab ud-Din Muhammad (Shihabuddin), the Afghan chief of Ghor. Nevertheless, he and Jaisal patch up their differences and Jaisal goes on to kill his own brother and nephew in battle with the help of Shihab ud-Din Muhammad. A new capital is established when Jaisal founds the city of Jaisalmer.

Shalivahan II

Son. Encouraged the arts in his kingdom.

fl c.1200

Bijal / Baijal

Son. His brother Mokal was said to be a great general.

Chachack Deo I

Tej Rao

fl 1294

Rawal Jethsi

Bhatti Rajput.

1293/4 - 1301/2

The Bhatti Rajput leader Jethsi faces an eight year siege by Sultan Aladin Khilji of Delhi. Tradition has it that when the Bhatti Rajputs are sure of their impending defeat, they kill their womenfolk, with some committing 'Jauhar' by jumping into the fire lest they be defiled by the enemy. The males, the warriors, march from the fort, heading straight for their enemy and a final massacre. Eventually some surviving Bhattis reoccupy the fort.

Karan Singh I

Mulraja I

Ratan

Lakhan Sen

Dudar

c.1350s-1380s

The second Jauhar takes place under similar circumstances, this time against Sultan Ferozshah of Delhi.

Kanar

Punpal

Kehar II

Adopted.

Somji

Lachman

Kailan

Kilkaran

? - 1436

Satal

Founded Satalmer.

1436 - 1448

Bersi

1448 - 1457

Chachack Deo II

1457 - 1497

Devidas

1497 - 1530

Jaitsi II

Karan Singh II

1530 - 1551

Rawal Lunakaran

The third Jauhar takes place when a local Afghan chief by the name of Amir Ali attacks Jaisalmer, one of many Afghans settled in north-western India. This time around the army of Jaisalmer is victorious in its defence. Lunakaran also fights Moghul emperor, Humayun as the emperor passes through on his way to Ajmer.

1551 - 1562

Rawal Maldev / Maldeo

Son.

1562 - 1578

Rawal Harraj

Son.

by 1570

The Moghul emperor, Akbar, gains the submission of Jaisalmer, along with the other Rajputs of Bikaner, Bundi, and Jodhpur.

1578 - 1624

Rawal Bhim Singh

Son.

Bhim Singh forms a matrimonial alliance with the Moghuls when he marries his daughter to Raja Raj Singh of Bikaner. The raja's own daughter is married to Prince Salim, son of Akbar (later to be the Emperor Jehangir).

1624 - 1634

Rawal Kalyandas

1634 - 1648

Rawal Manohardas

Son.

1648 - 1651

Rawal Ramchandra

1651 - 1661

Rawal Sahal Singh

Sahal Singh assists Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in his Peshawar campaign. He also extends his kingdom and comes into conflict with the Bikaner Rathors.

1661 - 1702

Maharawal Amar Singh

Son. Warded off an attack by Anup Singh of Bikaner.

1702 - 1708

Maharawal Jaswant Singh

Son. m daughter of Jai Singh of Mewar.

1708 - 1722

Maharawal Budha Singh

Son.

1722 - 1762

Maharawal Akhai Singh

Brother. Concluded peace with Bikaner.

1762 - 1819

Maharawal Mulraj Singh II

Son. m daughter of Ajit Singh of Jodhpur.

Attacks by the Jodhpur Rathors begin during the reign of Mulraj Singh II. Mulraj Singh signs a treaty with the British for protection.

1819 - 1846

Maharawal Gaj Singh

Grandson.

1846 - 1864

Maharawal Ranjit Singh

Son.

1864 - 1891

Maharawal Bairisal Singh

1891 - 1914

Maharawal Shalivahan Singh III Bahadur

Adopted son.

1914 - 1949

Maharawal Sir Jawahir Singh Bahadur

Adopted son. Acceded to the Indian union.

1948 - 1949

India achieves independence from Britain and begins the process of taking control of the princely states. Mewar is one of the first of the princely states to merge with the new dominion. Later in 1949, twenty-two princely states of Rajasthan merge to form the Union of Greater Rajasthan, acknowledging the maharana of Udaipur in Mewar as their head.

Shalivahan III of Jaisalmer
Shalivahan III was one of the last independent Rajput rulers of Jaisalmer

1949 - 1950

Maharawal Girdhar Singh Bahadur

Son.

1950 - 1982

Maharawal Raghunath Singh

Son.

1956

On 1 November, the state of Rajasthan comes into being. The Rajasthan rulers give up their sovereignty but enjoy privy purses.

1970 - 1971

In 1970 the Indian Parliament decides to abolish the institution of royalty, and the following year the rulers of the former princely states are de-recognised and their privy purses and titles snatched away from them.

1982 - Present

Maharawal Brijraj Singh

Son.