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Title: Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, v. 1 of 3

Author: James Tod

Editor: William Crooke

Release date: July 4, 2018 [eBook #57374]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by KD Weeks, Emmanuel Ackerman and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at (This
file was produced from images generously made available
by The Internet Archive/American Libraries.)


Transcriber’s Note:

The text is annotated with numerous footnotes, which were numbered sequentially on each page. On occasion, a footnote itself is annotated by a note, using an asterisk as the reference. This distinction is followed here, with those ‘notes on notes’ are given alphabetic sequence (A, B, etc.). Since there are over 1500 notes in this volume, they have been gathered at each chapter’s end, and resequenced for each chapter.

The notes are a combination of those of the author, and of the editor of this edition. The latter are enclosed in square brackets.

Finally, the pagination of the original edition, published in the 1820’s, is preserved for ease of reference by including those page numbers in the text, also enclosed in square brackets.

There are a number of references to a map, sometimes referred to as appearing in Volume I. In this edition, the MAPMAP appears at the end of Volume III.

Crooke’s plan for the renovation of the Tod’s original text, including a discussion of the transliteration of word other than English, is given in detail in the Preface.

Minor errors, attributable to the printer, have been corrected. Given the history of the text, it was thought best to leave all orthography as printed.

Please see the transcriber’s note at the end of this text for details regarding the handling of any textual issues encountered during its preparation.

Any corrections are indicated using an underline highlight. Placing the cursor over the correction will produce the original text in a small popup.

Any corrections are indicated as hyperlinks, which will navigate the reader to the corresponding entry in the corrections table in the note at the end of the text.


(From the bust by Vo. Livi, 1837. By permission of Lt.-Col. E. W.
Blunt-Mackenzie, R.A.).


Lieut.-Col. JAMES TOD
HON. D.SC. OXON., B.A., F.R.A.I.
[Original Dedication of the First Volume.]


The gracious permission accorded me, to lay at the foot of the Throne the fruit of my labours, allows me to propitiate Your Majesty’s consideration towards the object of this work, the prosecution of which I have made a paramount duty.

The Rajput princes, happily rescued, by the triumph of the British arms, from the yoke of lawless oppression, are now the most remote tributaries to Your Majesty’s extensive empire; and their admirer and annalist may, perhaps, be permitted to hope that the sighs of this ancient and interesting race for the restoration of their former independence, which it would suit our wisest policy to grant, may be deemed not undeserving Your Majesty’s regard.

With entire loyalty and devotion, I subscribe myself,
Your Majesty’s
Most faithful subject and servant,
Bird Hurst, Croydon,
June 20, 1829.
vii[Original Dedication of the Second Volume.]


Your Majesty has graciously sanctioned the presentation of the Second Volume of the Annals of Rajputana to the Public under the auspices of Your Majesty’s name.

In completing this work, it has been my endeavour to draw a faithful picture of States, the ruling principle of which is the paternity of the Sovereign. That this patriarchal form is the best suited to the genius of the people may be presumed from its durability, which war, famine, and anarchy have failed to destroy. The throne has always been the watchword and rallying-point of the Rajputs. My prayer is, that it may continue so, and that neither the love of conquest, nor false views of policy, may tempt us to subvert the independence of these States, some of which have braved the storms of more than ten centuries.

It will not, I trust, be deemed presumptuous in the Annalist of these gallant and long-oppressed races thus to solicit for them a full measure of Your Majesty’s gracious patronage; in return for which, the Rajputs, making Your Majesty’s enemies their own, would glory in assuming the “saffron robe,” emblematic of death or victory, under the banner of that chivalry of which Your Majesty is the head.

That Your Majesty’s throne may ever be surrounded by chiefs who will act up to the principles of fealty maintained at all hazards by the Rajput, is the heartfelt aspiration of,

Your Majesty’s
Devoted subject and servant,


No one can undertake with a light heart the preparation of a new edition of Colonel Tod’s great work, The Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan. But the leading part which the Rājputs have taken in the Great War, the summoning of one of their princes to a seat at the Imperial Conference, the certainty that as the result of the present cataclysm they will be entitled to a larger share in the administration of India, have contributed to the desire that this classical account of their history and sociology should be presented in a shape adapted to the use of the modern scholar and student of Indian history and antiquities.

In the Introduction which follows I have endeavoured to estimate the merits and defects of Colonel Tod’s work. Here it is necessary only to state that though the book has been several times reprinted in India and once in this country, the obvious difficulties of such an undertaking have hitherto prevented any writer better qualified than myself from attempting to prepare an annotated edition. Irrespectively of the fact that this work was published a century ago, when the study of the history, antiquities, sociology, and geography of India had only recently started, the Author’s method led him to formulate theories on a wide range of subjects not directly connected with the Rājputs. In the light of our present knowledge some of these speculations have become obsolete, and it might have been possible, without impairing the value of the work as a Chronicle of the Rājputs, to have discarded from the text and notes much which no longer possesses value. But the work is a classic, and it deserves to be treated as such, and it was decided that any mutilation of the original text and notes would be inconsistent with the object of this series of reprints of classical works on Indian subjects. The xonly alternative course was to correct in notes, clearly distinguished from those of the Author, such facts and theories as are no longer accepted by scholars.

It is needless to say that during the last century much advance has been made in our knowledge of Indian history, antiquities, philology, and sociology. We are now in a position to use improved translations of many authorities which were quoted by the Author from inadequate or incorrect versions. The translation of Ferishta’s History by A. Dow and Jonathan Scott has been superseded by that of General J. Briggs, that of the Āīn-i-Akbarī of F. Gladwin by the version by Professor H. Blochmann and Colonel H. S. Jarrett. For the Memoirs of Jahāngīr, the Author relied on the imperfect version by Major David Price, which has been replaced by a new translation of the text in its more complete form by Messrs. A. Rogers and H. Beveridge. For the Laws of Manu we have the translation by Dr. G. Bühler. The passages in classical literature relating to India have been collected, translated, and annotated by the late Mr. J. W. McCrindle. Much information not available for the Author’s use has been provided by The History of India as told by its own Historians, by Sir H. M. Elliot and Professor J. Dowson, and by Mr. W. Irvine’s translation, with elaborate notes, of N. Manucci’s Storia do Magor. Among original works useful for the present edition the following may be mentioned: J. Grant Duff’s History of the Mahrattas; Dr. Vincent A. Smith’s Early History of India, History of Fine Art in India and Ceylon, Asoka, the Buddhist Emperor of India, and Akbar, the Great Mogul; Professor Jadunath Sarkar’s History of Aurangzib, of which only three volumes have been published; Mr. W. Irvine’s Army of the Indian Moghuls; Sir W. Lee-Warner’s Protected Princes of India.

Much historical, geographical, and ethnological information has been collected in the new edition of the Imperial Gazetteer of India, the, the Bombay Gazetteer edited by Sir J. M. Campbell, and, more particularly, in the revised Gazetteer of Rajputana, including that of Mewār and the Western States Residency and Bīkaner Agency by Lieutenant-Colonel K. D. Erskine, and that of Ajmer by Mr. C. C. Watson. Lieutenant-Colonel Erskine’s work, based on the best local information, has been of special value, and it is much to be regretted that this officer, after serving as Consul-General xiat Baghdad, was invalided and died in England in 1914, leaving that part of the Gazetteer dealing with the Eastern States, Jaipur, Kotah, and Būndi, unrevised. For botany, agriculture, and natural productions I have used Sir G. Watt’s Dictionary of the Economic Products of India, and his Commercial Products of India; for architecture and antiquities, J. Fergusson’s History of Indian and Eastern Architecture, edited by Dr. J. Burgess, and The Cave Temples of India by the same writers. In ethnology I have consulted the publications of the Ethnological Survey of India, of which Mr. H. A. Rose’s Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, Mr. Bhimbhai Kirparam’s account of the Hindus and Khān Bahādur Fazalullah Lutfullah’s of the Musalmāns of Gujarāt, published in the Bombay Gazetteer, vol. ix. Parts i. ii., have been specially valuable. Besides the general works to which reference has been made, many articles on Rajputana and the Rājputs will be found in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society and its Bombay branch, in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, and in the Indian Antiquary, and other periodicals. The Reports of the Archaeological Survey of India conducted by Sir A. Cunningham, Dr. J. Burgess, and Sir J. H. Marshall, are of great importance.

I cannot pretend to have exhausted the great mass of new information available in the works to which I have referred, and in others named in the Bibliography; and it was not my object to overload the notes which are already voluminous. To the general reader the system of annotation which I have attempted to carry out may appear meticulous; but no other course seemed possible if the work was to be made more useful to the historian and to the scholar. The editor of a work of this class is forced to undertake the somewhat invidious duty of calling attention to oversights or errors either in fact or theory. But this does not detract from the real value of the work. In some cases I have been content with adding a note of interrogation to warn the reader that certain statements must be received with caution. As regards geography, I have in many cases indicated briefly the position of the more important places, so far as they can be traced in the maps with which I was provided. The Author was so intimately acquainted with the ground, that he assumed in the general reader a degree of knowledge which he does not possess.

xiiThe text and notes, with the exception of a few obvious oversights, have been reprinted as they stood in the first edition, and as the latter is often quoted in books of authority, I have added its pagination for facility of reference. It was decided, after much consideration, to correct the transliteration of personal and place names and other vernacular terms according to the system now adopted in official gazetteers, maps, and reports. This change might have been unnecessary if the transliteration of these words, according to the system in use at the time when the book was written, had been uniformly correct. But this is not the case. At the same time I have preserved the original readings of those names which have become established in popular usage, such as “Mogul,” “Mahratta,” “Deccan,” in place of “Mughal,” “Marhāta,” “Dakkhin.” Following the Author’s example, I have not thought it necessary to overload the text by the use of accents and diacritical marks, which are useless to the scholar and only embarrass the general reader. But in the Index I have accentuated the personal and place names so far as I believed I could do so with safety. Some of these I have been unable to trace in later authorities, and I fear that I may have failed to secure complete uniformity of method.

The scheme of the book, which attempts to give parallel accounts of each State, naturally causes difficulty to the reader. A like embarrassment is felt by any historian who endeavours to combine in a single narrative the fortunes of the Mughal Empire with those of the kingdoms in Bengal, the Deccan, or southern India; by the historian of Greece, where the centre of activity shifts from Athens to Sparta, Thebes, or Macedonia; by the historian of Germany before the minor kingdoms were more or less fully absorbed by the Hohenzollerns. I have endeavoured to assist the reader in dealing with these independent annals by largely extending the original Index, and by the use of page headings and paragraph summaries.

In the dates recorded in the summaries I have generally followed Lieutenant-Colonel Erskine’s guidance, so far as his work was available. In view of the inconsistencies between some dates in the text and those recorded in the summaries, it must be remembered that it was the Author’s habit in adapting the dates of the Samvat to those of the Christian era, to deduct 56, xiiinot 57 from the former, contrary to the practice of modern historians.

I am indebted to many friends for assistance. Captain C. D. M’K. Blunt has kindly given me much help in the record of Colonel Tod’s life, and has supplied a photograph of the charming miniature of the Author as a young officer and of a bust which have been reproduced in the frontispieces. Mr. R. E. Enthoven, C.I.E., has given me the photograph of the Author engaged in his studies with his Jain Guru.[1] The fragments of local ballads scattered through the text were unfortunately copied from very incorrect texts. Dr. L. P. Tessitori, an Italian scholar, who, until the outbreak of the War, was engaged in collecting the local ballads of the Rājputs, has given a correct version of these ballads; and in improving the text of them I have been assisted by Colonel C. E. Luard, his Pandit, and Sir G. Grierson, K.C.I.E. Since the greater part of the following pages was in type, I have received copies of three reports by Dr. L. P. Tessitori, “A Scheme for the Bardic and Historical Survey of Rājputāna,” and two Progress Reports for the years 1915 and 1916, published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (New Series, vol. x. No. 10; xii. No. 3; xiii. No. 4). These contain information regarding the MSS. copies of some ballads and inscriptions, which throw light on the traditions and antiquities of the Rājputs. I regret that I was unable to use these papers, which, however, do not supply much information on questions connected with The Annals. Among other friends who have helped me in various ways I may name the late Sir G. Birdwood; Mr. W. Foster, C.I.E.; Professor A. Keith, F.R.S.; Lieutenant-Colonel Sir D. Prain, F.R.S.; and Dr. Vincent A. Smith, C.I.E.


1. This picture, supposed to be the work of Ghāsi, the Author’s artist, was recently discovered in Rājputāna.



Preface by the Editor ix
Introduction by the Editor xxv
Bibliography xlvii
Author’s Introduction lv
Genealogies of the Rajput princes—The Puranas—Connexion of the Rajputs with the Scythic tribes 23
Genealogies continued—Fictions in the Puranas—Union of the regal and the priestly characters—Legends of the Puranas confirmed by the Greek historians 29
Genealogies continued—Comparisons between the lists of Sir W. Jones, Mr. Bentley, Captain Wilford, and the Author—Synchronisms 39
Foundations of States and Cities by the different tribes 45
The dynasties which succeeded Rama and Krishna—The Pandava family—Periods of the different dynasties 55
Genealogical history of the Rajput tribes subsequent to Vikramaditya—Foreign races which entered India—Analogies between the Scythians, the Rajputs, and the tribes of Scandinavia 68
Catalogue of the Thirty-six Royal Races 97
Reflections on the present political state of the Rajput tribes. 145
Introduction—Existing condition of Rajasthan—General resemblance between the ancient systems of Asia and Europe—Noble origin of the Rajput race—Rathors of Marwar—Kachhwahas of Amber—Sesodias of Mewar—Gradation of ranks—Revenues and rights of the Crown—Barar—Khar Lakar 153
Legislative authority—Rozina—Military service—Inefficiency of this form of government 170
Feudal incidents—Duration of grants 184
Rakhwali—Servitude—Basai—Gola and Das—Private feuds and composition—Rajput Pardhans or Premiers 203
Adoption—Reflections upon the subjects treated 220
Appendix 228
Origin of the Guhilot princes of Mewar—Authorities—Kanaksen the founder of the present dynasty—His descent from Rama—He emigrates to Saurashtra—Valabhipura—Its sack and destruction by the Huns or Parthians 247
Birth of Goha—He acquires Idar—Derivation of the term "Guhilot"—Birth of Bappa—Early religion of the Guhilots—Bappa’s history—Oghana Panarwa—Bappa’s initiation into the worship of Siva—He gains possession of Chitor—Remarkable end of Bappa—Four epochs established, from the second to the eleventh century 258
Alleged Persian extraction of the Ranas of Mewar—Authorities for it—Implied descent of the Ranas from a Christian princess of Byzantium—The Author’s reflections upon these points 271
Intervening sovereigns between Bappa and Samarsi—Bappa’s descendants—Irruptions of the Arabians into India—Catalogue of Hindu princes who defended Chitor 281
Historical facts furnished by the bard Chand—Anangpal—Prithiraj—Samarsi—Overthrow of the Chauhan monarch by the Tatars—Posterity of Samarsi—Rahap—Changes in the title and the tribe of its prince—Successors of Rahap 297
Rana Lakhamsi—Attack on Chitor by Alau-d-din—Treachery of Ala—Ruse of the Chitor chiefs to recover Bhimsi—Devotion of the Rana and his sons—Sack of Chitor by the Tatars—Its destruction—Rana Ajaisi—Hamir—He gains possession of Chitor—Renown and prosperity of Mewar—Khetsi—Lakha 307
Delicacy of the Rajputs—The occasion of changing the rule of primogeniture in Mewar—Succession of the infant Mokalji, to the prejudice of Chonda, the rightful heir—Disorders in Mewar through the usurpations of the Rathors—Chonda expels them from Chitor and takes Mandor—Transactions between Mewar and Marwar—Reign of Mokalji—His assassination 322
Succession of Kumbha—He defeats and takes prisoner Mahmud of Malwa—Splendour of Kumbha’s reign—Assassinated by his son—The murderer dethroned by Raemall—Mewar invaded by the imperial forces—Raemall’s successes—Feuds of the family—Death of Raemall 333
xviiiCHAPTER 9
Accession of Rana Sanga—State of the Muhammadan power—Grandeur of Mewar—Sanga’s victories—Invasions of India—Babur’s invasion—Defeats and kills the King of Delhi—Opposed by Sanga—Battle of Khanua—Defeat of Sanga—His death and character—Accession of Rana Ratna—His death—Rana Bikramajit—His character—Disgusts his nobles—Chitor invested by the King of Malwa—Storm of Chitor—Sakha or immolation of the females—Fall and plunder of Chitor—Humayun comes to its aid—He restores Chitor to Bikramajit, who is deposed by the nobles—Election of Banbir—Bikramajit assassinated 348
The bastard Banbir rules Mewar—Attempted assassination of the posthumous son of Sanga—Udai Singh’s escape and long concealment—Acknowledged as Rana—The Dauna described—Udai Singh gains Chitor—Deposal of Banbir—Origin of the Bhonslas of Nagpur—Rana Udai Singh—His unworthiness—Humayun expelled the throne of India—Birth of Akbar—Humayun recovers his throne—His death—Accession of Akbar—Characters of Akbar and Udai Singh contrasted—Akbar besieges Chitor, which is abandoned by the Rana—Its defence—Jaimall and Patta—Anecdotes of Rajput females—Sakha or Johar—General assault—Chitor taken—Massacre of the inhabitants—Udai Singh founds the new capital Udaipur—His death 367
Accession of Partap—The Rajput princes unite with Akbar—Depressed condition of Partap—He prepares for war—Maldeo submits to Akbar—Partap denounces connexion with the Rajput princes—Raja Man of Amber—Prince Salim invades Mewar—Battle of Haldighat—Partap encounters Salim, is wounded, and saved by the Jhala chief—Assisted in his flight by his brother Sakta—Kumbhalmer taken by Akbar—Udaipur occupied by the Moguls—Partap cuts off Farid and his army—Partap’s family saved by the Bhils—The Khankhanan—Aggravated hardships of Partap—He negotiates with Akbar—Prithiraj of Bikaner—The Khushroz described—Partap abandons Mewar—Departure for the Indus—Fidelity of his minister—Returns—Surprises the Moguls—Regains Kumbhalmer and Udaipur—His successes—His sickness and death 385
Amra mounts the throne—Akbar’s death through an attempt to poison Raja Man—Amra disregards the promise given to his father—Conduct of the Salumbar chief—Amra defeats the Imperial armies—Sagarji installed as Rana in Chitor—Resigns it to Amra—Fresh successes—Origin of the Saktawats—The Emperor sends his son Parvez against the Rana, who is defeated—Mahabat Khan defeated—Sultan Khurram invades Mewar—Amra’s despair and submission—Embassy from England—Amra abdicates the throne to his son—Amra’s seclusion—His death—Observations 407
Rana Karan fortifies and embellishes Udaipur—The Ranas of Mewar excused attendance at court—Bhim commands the contingent of Mewar—Leagues with Sultan Khurram against Parvez—Jahangir attacks the insurgents—Bhim slain—Khurram flies to Udaipur—His reception by the Rana—Death of Karan—Rana Jagat Singh succeeds—Death of Jahangir and accession of Khurram as Shah Jahan—Mewar enjoys profound peace—The island palaces erected by Jagat Singh—Repairs Chitor—His death—Rana Raj Singh—Deposal of Shah Jahan and accession of Aurangzeb—Causes for attachment to the Hindus of Jahangir and Shah Jahan—Aurangzeb’s character; imposes the Jizya or capitation tax on the Rajputs—Raj Singh abducts the intended wife of the emperor and prepares for war—Aurangzeb marches—The valley of Girwa—Prince Akbar surprised—Defeated—Blockaded in the mountains—Liberated by the heir of Mewar—Diler Khan defeated—Aurangzeb defeated by the Rana and his Rathor allies—Aurangzeb quits the field—Prince Bhim invades Gujarat—The Rana’s minister ravages Malwa—United Rajputs defeat Azam and drive him from Chitor—Mewar freed from the Moguls—War carried into Marwar—Sesodias and Rathors defeat Sultan Akbar—Rajput stratagem—Design to depose Aurangzeb and elevate Akbar to the throne—Its failure—The Mogul makes overtures to the Rana—Peace—Terms—The Rana dies of his wounds—His character, contrasted with that of Aurangzeb—Lake Rajsamund—Dreadful famine and pestilence 427
xxRana Jai Singh—Anecdote regarding him and his twin brother—The Rana and Prince Azam confer—Peace—Rupture—The Rana forms the Lake Jaisamund—Domestic broils—Amra, the heir-apparent, rebels—The Rana dies—Accession of Amra—His treaty with the heir of Aurangzeb—Reflections on the events of this period—Imposition of the Jizya or capitation tax—Alienation of the Rajputs from the empire—Causes—Aurangzeb’s death—Contests for empire—Bahadur Shah, emperor—The Sikhs declare for independence—Triple alliance of the Rajput States of Mewar, Marwar, and Amber—They commence hostilities—Death of the Mogul Bahadur Shah—Elevation of Farrukhsiyar—He marries the daughter of the Prince of Marwar—Origin of the British power in India—The Rana treats with the emperor—The Jats declare their independence—Rana Amra dies—His character 456
Rana Sangram—Dismemberment of the Mogul Empire—Nizamu-l Mulk establishes the Haidarabad State—Murder of the Emperor Farrukhsiyar—Abrogation of the Jizya—Muhammad Shah, Emperor of Delhi—Saadat Khan obtains Oudh—Repeal of the Jizya confirmed—Policy of Mewar—Rana Sangram dies—Anecdotes regarding him—Rana Jagat Singh II. succeeds—Treaty of triple alliance with Marwar and Amber—The Mahrattas invade and gain footing in Malwa and Gujarat—Invasion of Nadir Shah—Sack of Delhi—Condition of Rajputana—Limits of Mewar—Rajput alliances—Bajirao invades Mewar—Obtains a cession of annual tribute—Contest to place Madho Singh on the throne of Amber—Battle of Rajmahall—The Rana defeated—He leagues with Malharrao Holkar—Isari Singh of Amber takes poison—The Rana dies—His character 472
Rana Partap II.—Rana Raj Singh II.—Rana Arsi—Holkar invades Mewar, and levies contributions—Rebellion to depose the Rana—A Pretender set up by the rebel chiefs—Zalim Singh of Kotah—The Pretender unites with Sindhia—Their combined force attacked by the Rana, who is defeated—Sindhia invades Mewar and besieges Udaipur—Amra Chand made minister by the Rana—His noble conduct—Negotiates with Sindhia, who withdraws—Loss of territory to Mewar—Rebel chiefs return to their allegiance—Province of Godwar lost—Assassination of the Rana—Rana Hamir succeeds—Contentions between the Queen Regent and Amra—His noble conduct, death, and character—Diminution of the Mewar territory 496
xxiRana Bhim—Feud of Sheogarh—The Rana redeems the alienated lands—Ahalya Bai attacks the Rana’s army—Which is defeated—Chondawat rebellion—Assassination of the Minister Somji—The rebels seize on Chitor—Mahadaji Sindhia called in by the Rana—Invests Chitor—The rebels surrender—Designs of Zalim Singh for power in Mewar—Counteracted by Ambaji, who assumes the title of Subahdar, contested by Lakwa—Effects of these struggles—Zalim obtains Jahazpur—Holkar invades Mewar—Confines the priests of Nathdwara—Heroic conduct of the Chief of Kotharia—Lakwa dies—The Rana seizes the Mahratta leaders—Liberated by Zalim Singh—Holkar returns to Udaipur—Imposes a heavy contribution—Sindhia’s invasion—Reflections on their contest with the British—Ambaji projects the partition of Mewar—Frustrated—Rivalry for Krishna Kunwari, the Princess of Mewar, produces war throughout Rajasthan—Immolation of Krishna—Amir Khan and Ajit Singh—Their villainy—British Embassy to Sindhia’s Court at Udaipur—Ambaji is disgraced, and attempts suicide—Amir Khan and Bapu Sindhia desolate Mewar—The Rana forms a treaty with the British 511
Overthrow of the predatory system—Alliances with the Rajput States—Envoy appointed to Mewar—Arrives at Udaipur—Reception—Description of the Court—Political geography of Mewar—The Rana—His character—His ministers—Plans—Exiles recalled—Merchants invited—Bhilwara established—Assembly of the nobles—Charter ratified; Resumptions of land; Anecdotes of the Chiefs of Arja, Badnor, Badesar, and Amet—Landed tenures in Mewar—Village rule—Freehold (bapota) of Mewar—Bhumia, or allodial vassals: Character and privileges—Great Register of Patents—Traditions exemplifying right in the soil—The Patel; his origin; character—Assessment of land-rents—General results 547


Bust of Colonel James Tod Frontispiece
Section of Country 10
List of Thirty-six Royal Races 98
Salūmbar 216
Sanskrit Grant 232
Palace of Udaipur 247
Palace of Rāna Bhīm 312
Ruins of Fortress of Bayāna 352
Chitor 382
Rājmahall 428
Jagmandir 432
Mahārāja Bhīm Singh 512
Facsimile of Native Drawing 572


James Tod, the Author of this work, son of James Tod and Mary Heatly, was born at Islington on March 20, 1782. His father, James Tod the first, eldest son of Henry Tod of Bo’ness and Janet Monteath, was born on October 26, 1745. In 1780 he married in New York Mary, daughter of Andrew Heatly, a member of a family originally settled at Mellerston, Co. Berwick, where they had held a landed estate for some four centuries. Andrew Heatly emigrated to Rhode Island, where he died at the age of thirty-six in 1761. He had married Mary, daughter of Sueton Grant, of the family of Gartinbeg, really of Balvaddon, who left Inverness for Newport, Rhode Island, in 1725, and Temperance Talmage or Tollemache, granddaughter of one of the first and principal settlers at Easthampton, Rhode Island. He had been forced to emigrate to America during the Protectorate, owing to his loyalty to King Charles I. James Tod, the first, left America, and in partnership with his brother John, became an indigo-planter at Mirzapur, in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.

James Tod, the second, was thus through his father and his uncles Patrick and S. Heatly, both members of the Civil Service of the East India Company, closely connected with India, and in 1798, being then sixteen years old, he obtained through the influence of his uncle, Patrick Heatly, a cadetship in the service of the East India Company. On his arrival at Calcutta he was attached to the 2nd European Regiment. In 1800 he was transferred, with the rank of Lieutenant, to the 14th Native Infantry, from which he passed in 1807, with the same rank, to the 25th Native Infantry. In 1805 he was appointed to the command of the escort of his friend Mr. Graeme Mercer, then Government Agent at the Camp of Daulat Rao Sindhia, who had been defeated xxvtwo years before at the battle of Assaye by Sir Arthur Wellesley. In more than one passage in The Annals Tod speaks of Mr. Graeme Mercer with respect and affection, and by him he was introduced to official life and Rājput and Mahratta politics. His tastes for geographical inquiries led him to undertake surveys in Rājputāna and Central India between 1812 and 1817, and he employed several native surveyors to traverse the then little-known region between Central India and the valley of the Indus.

At this period the Government of India was engaged in a project for suppressing the Pindāris, a body of lawless freebooters, of no single race, the débris of the adventurers who gained power during the decay of the Mughal Empire, and who had not been incorporated in the armies of the local powers which rose from its ruins. In 1817, to effect their suppression, the Governor-General, the Marquess of Hastings, collected the strongest British force which up to that time had been assembled in India. Two armies, acting in co-operation from north and south, converged on the banditti, and met with rapid success. Sindhia, whose power depended on the demoralized condition of Rājputāna, was overawed; Holkar was defeated; the Rāja of Nāgpur was captured; the Mahratta Peshwa became a fugitive; the Pindāris were dispersed. One of their leaders, Amīr Khān, who is frequently mentioned in Tod’s narrative, disbanded his forces, and received as his share of the spoils the Principality of Tonk, still ruled by his descendants.

In the course of this campaign Tod performed valuable services. At the beginning of the operations he supplied the British Staff with a rough map of the seat of war, and in other ways his local knowledge was utilized by the Generals in charge of the operations. In 1813 he had been promoted to the rank of Captain in command of the escort of the Resident, Mr. Richard Strachey, who nominated him to the post of his Second Assistant. In 1818 he was appointed Political Agent of Western Rājputāna, a post which he held till his retirement in June 1822. The work which he carried out in Rājputāna during this period is fully described in The Annals and in his “Personal Narrative.” Owing to Mahratta oppression and the ravages of the Pindāris, the condition of the country, political, social, and economical, was deplorable. To remedy this prevailing anarchy the States were gradually brought under British control, and their relations with xxvithe paramount power were embodied in a series of treaties. In this work of reform, reconstruction, and conciliation, Tod played an active part, and the confidence and respect with which he was regarded by the Princes, Chiefs, and peasantry enabled him to interfere with good effect in tribal quarrels, to rearrange the fiefs of the minor Chiefs, and to act as arbitrator between the Rāna of Mewār and his subjects.

Tod was convinced that the miserable state of the country was chiefly due to the hesitation of the Indian Government in interfering for the re-establishment of order; and on this ground he does not hesitate to condemn the cautious policy of Lord Cornwallis during his second term of office as Governor-General. Few people at the present day would be disposed to defend the policy of non-intervention. “This policy has been condemned by historians and commentators, as well as by statesmen, soldiers, and diplomatists; by Mill and his editor, H. H. Wilson, and by Thornton; by Lord Lake and Sir John Malcolm. The mischief was done and the loss of influence was not regained for a decade. It was not till the conclusion of an expensive and protracted campaign, that the Indian Government was replaced in the position where it had been left by Wellesley. The blame for this weak and unfortunate policy must be divided between Cornwallis and Barlow, between the Court of Directors and the Board of Control.” But it was carried out in pursuance of orders from the Home Government. “The Court of Directors for some time past had been alarmed at Lord Wellesley’s vigorous foreign policy. Castlereagh at the Board of Control had taken fright, and even Pitt was carried away and committed himself to a hasty opinion that the Governor-General had acted imprudently and illegally.”[1]

Tod tells us little of his relations with the Supreme Government during his four years’ service as Political Agent. He was notoriously a partisan of the Rājput princes, particularly those of Mewār and Mārwār; he is never tired of abusing the policy of the Emperor Aurangzeb, and, fortunately for the success of his work, Muhammadans form only a slight minority in the population of Rājputāna. This attitude naturally exposed him to criticism. Writing in 1824, Bishop Heber,[2] while he recognizes that he was xxviiheld in affection and respect by “all the upper and middling classes of society,” goes on to say: “His misfortune was that, in consequence of his favouring the native princes so much, the Government of Calcutta were led to suspect him of corruption, and consequently to narrow his powers and associate other officers with him in his trust till he was disgusted and resigned his place. They are now, I believe, well satisfied that their suspicions were groundless. Captain Todd (sic) is strenuously vindicated from the charge by all the officers with whom I have conversed, and some of whom had abundant means of knowing what the natives themselves thought of him.” The Bishop’s widow, in a later issue of the Diary of her husband, adds that "she is anxious to remove any unfavourable impressions which may exist on the subject by stating, that she has now the authority of a gentleman, who at the time was a member of the Supreme Council, to say, that no such imputation was ever fixed on Colonel Todd´s (sic) character."

Whatever may have been the real reason for the premature termination of his official career at the age of forty, ill-health was put forward as the ostensible cause of his retirement. He had served for about twenty-four years in the Indian plains without any leave; he had long suffered from malaria; and, though he hardly suspected it at the time, an attempt had been made by one of his servants to poison him with Datura; he had met with a serious accident when, by chance or design, his elephant-driver dashed his howdah against the gate of Begūn fort in eastern Mewār. In spite of all this, he retained sufficient health to make, on the eve of his departure from India, the extensive tour recorded in his Travels in Western India. Neither on his retirement, nor at any subsequent period, were his services, official and literary, rewarded by any distinction.

During his seventeen years’ service in Central India and Rājputāna he showed indefatigable industry in the collection of the materials which were partially used in his great work. His taste for the study of history and antiquities, ethnology, popular religion, and superstitions was stimulated by the pioneer work of Sir W. Jones and other writers in the Asiatic Researches. He was not a trained philologist, and he gained much of his information from his Guru, the Jain Yati Gyānchandra, and the Brāhman Pandits whom he employed to make inquiries on his xxviiibehalf. They, too, were not trained scholars in the modern sense of the term, and many of his mistakes are due to his rashness in following their guidance.

His life was prolonged for thirteen years after he left India. In 1824 he attained the rank of Major, and in 1826 that of Lieutenant-Colonel. Much of his time in England was spent in arranging his materials and compiling the works upon which his reputation depends: The Annals, published between 1829 and 1832; and his Travels in Western India, published after his death, in 1839. He was in close relations with the Royal Asiatic Society, of which he acted for a time as Librarian. In this fine collection of books and manuscripts he gained much of that discursive learning which appears in The Annals. He presented to the Society numerous manuscripts, inscriptions, and coins. The fine series of drawings made to illustrate his works by Captain P. T. Waugh and a native artist named Ghāsi, have recently been rearranged and catalogued in the Library of the Society. They well deserve inspection by any one interested in Indian art. He also made frequent tours on the Continent, and on one occasion visited the great soldier, Count Benoit de Boigne, who died in 1830, leaving a fortune of twenty millions of francs.

On November 16, 1826, Tod married Julia, daughter of Dr. Henry Clutterbuck, an eminent London surgeon, by whom he had two sons and a daughter. In 1835 he settled in a house in Regent’s Park, and on November 17 of the same year he died suddenly while transacting business at the office of his bankers, Messrs. Robarts of Lombard Street. The names of his descendants will appear from the pedigree appended to this Introduction.

The Annals of Rajasthan, the two volumes of which were, by permission, dedicated to Kings George IV. and William IV. respectively, was received with considerable favour. A contemporary critic deals with it in the following terms:[3] “Colonel Tod deserves the praise of a most delightful and industrious collector of materials for history, and his own narrative style in many places displays great freedom, vigour, and perspicuity. Though not always correct, and occasionally stiff and formal, it is not seldom highly animated and picturesque. The faults of his work are inseparable from its nature; it would have been almost impossible to mould up into one continuous history the xxixdistinct and separate annals of the various Rajput races. The patience of the reader is thus unavoidably put to a severe trial, in having to reascend to the origin, and again to trace downwards the parallel annals of some new tribe—sometimes interwoven with, sometimes entirely distinct from, those which have gone before. But, on the whole, as no one but Colonel Tod could have gathered the materials for such a work, there are not many who could have used them so well. No candid reader can arise from its perusal without a very high sense of the character of the Author—no scholar, more certainly, without respect for his attainments, and gratitude for the service which he has rendered to a branch of literature, if far from popular, by no means to be estimated, as to its real importance, by the extent to which it may command the favour of an age of duodecimos.”

In estimating the value of the local authorities on which the history is based, Tod reposed undue confidence in the epics and ballads composed by the poet Chānd and other tribal bards. It is believed that more than one of these poems have disappeared since his time, and these materials have been only in part edited and translated. The value to be placed on bardic literature is a question not free from difficulty. “On the faith of ancient songs, the uncertain but the only memorials of barbarism,” says Gibbon, “they [Cassiodorus and Jornandes] deduced the first origin of the Goths.”[4] The poet may occasionally record facts of value, but in his zeal for the honour of the tribe which he represents, he is tempted to exaggerate victories, to minimize defeats. This is a danger to which Indian poets are particularly exposed. Their trade is one of fulsome adulation, and in a state of society like that of the Rājputs, where tribal and personal rivalries flourish, the temptation to give a false colouring to history is great. In fact, bardic literature is often useful, not as evidence of occurrences in antiquity, but as an indication of the habits and beliefs current in the age of the writer. It exhibits the facts, not as they really occurred, but as the writer and his contemporaries supposed that they occurred. The mind of the poet, with all its prejudices, projects itself into the distant past. Good examples of the methods of the bards will appear in the attempt to connect the Rāthors with the dynasty of Kanauj, or to represent the Chauhāns as the founders of an empire in the Deccan.

xxxRecent investigation has thrown much new light on the origin of the Rājputs. A wide gulf lies between the Vedic Kshatriya and the Rājput of medieval times which it is now impossible to bridge. Some clans, with the help of an accommodating bard, may be able to trace their lineage to the Kshatriyas of Buddhist times, who were recognized as one of the leading elements in Hindu society, and, in their own estimation, stood even higher than the Brāhmans.[5] But it is now certain that the origin of many clans dates from the Saka or Kushān invasion, which began about the middle of the second century B.C., or more certainly, from that of the White Huns who destroyed the Gupta empire about A.D. 480. The Gurjara tribe connected with the latter people adopted Hinduism, and their leaders formed the main stock from which the higher Rājput families sprang. When these new claimants to princely honours accepted the faith and institutions of Brahmanism, the attempt would naturally be made to affiliate themselves to the mythical heroes whose exploits are recorded in the Mahābhārata and Rāmāyana. Hence arose the body of legend recorded in The Annals by which a fabulous origin from the Sun or Moon is ascribed to two great Rājput branches, a genealogy claimed by other princely families, like the Incas of Peru or the Mikado of Japan. Or, as in the case of the Rāthors of Mārwār, an equally fabulous story was invented to link them with the royal house of Kanauj, one of the genuine old Hindu ruling families. The same feeling lies at the root of the Aeneid of Virgil, the court poet of the new empire. The clan of the emperor Augustus, the Iulii, a patrician family of Alban origin, was represented as the heirs of Iulus, the supposed son of Aeneas and founder of Alba Longa, thus linking the new Augustan house with the heroes of the Iliad.

One of the merits of Tod’s work is that, though his knowledge of ethnology was imperfect, and he was unable to reject the local chronicles of the Rājputs, he advocated, in anticipation of the conclusions of later scholars, the so-called “Scythic” origin of the race. To make up for the lack of direct evidence of Scythian manners and sociology to support this position, he was forced to rely on certain superficial resemblances of custom and belief, not between Rājputs, Scythians and Huns, but between Rājputs, xxxiGetae or Thracians, or the Germans of Tacitus. In the same way a supposed identity of name led him to identify the Jāts of northern India with the Getae or with the Goths, and finally to bring them with the Jutes into Kent.

A similar process of groping in semi-darkness induced him to make constant references to serpent worship, which, as Sir E. Tylor remarked, "years ago fell into the hands of speculative writers who mixed it up with occult philosophies, druidical mysteries, and that portentous nonsense called the ‘Arkite symbolism,’ till now sober students hear the very name of ophiolatry with a shudder."[6] He repeatedly speaks of a people whom he calls the “Takshaks,” apparently one of the Scythian tribes. There is, however, no reason to believe that serpent worship formed an important element in the beliefs of the Scythians, or to suppose that the cult, as we observe it in India, is of other than indigenous origin.

The more recent views of the origin of the Rājputs may be briefly illustrated in connexion with some of the leading septs. Dr. Vincent A. Smith holds that the term Kshatriya was not an ethnical but an occupational designation. Rājaputra, ‘son of a Rāja,’ seems to have been a name applied to the cadets of ruling houses who, according to the ancient custom of tribal society, were in the habit of seeking their fortunes abroad, winning by some act of valour the hand of the princess whose land they visited, and with it the succession to the kingdom vested in her under the system of Mother Right. Sir James Frazer has described various forms of this mode of succession in the case of the Kings of Rome, Ashanti, Uganda, in certain Greek States, and other places.[7] Dr. Smith goes on to say: “The term Kshatriya was, I believe, always one of very vague meaning, simply denoting the Hindu ruling classes which did not claim Brahmanical descent. Occasionally a rājā might be a Brahman by caste, but the Brahman’s place at court was that of a minister rather than that of king.”[8] This office in Rajputana, as we learn from numerous instances in The Annals, was often taken by members of the Bania or mercantile class, because the Brāhmans of the Desert, by their laxity of xxxiipractice, had acquired an equivocal reputation, and were generally illiterate. The Rājput has always, until recent times, favoured the Bhāt or bard more than the Brāhman.

The group denoted by the name Kshatriya or Rājput thus depended on status rather than on descent, and it was therefore possible for foreigners to be introduced into the tribes without any violation of the prejudices of caste, which was then only partially developed. In later times, under Brāhman guidance, the rules of endogamy, exogamy, and confarreatio have been definitely formulated. But as the power of the priesthood increased, it was necessary to disguise this admission of foreigners under a convenient fiction. Hence arose the legend, told in two different forms in The Annals, which describes how, by a solemn act of purification or initiation, under the superintendence of one of the ancient Vedic Rishis or inspired saints, the “fire-born” septs were created to help the Brāhmans in repressing Buddhism, Jainism, or other heresies, and in establishing the ancient traditional Hindu social policy, the temporary downfall of which, under the stress of foreign invasions, is carefully concealed in the Hindu sacred literature. This privilege was, we are told, confined to four septs, known as Agnikula, or ‘fire-born’—the Pramār, Parihār, Chālukya or Solanki, and the Chauhān. But there is good reason to believe that the Pramār was the only sept which laid claim to this distinction before the time of the poet Chānd, who flourished in the twelfth century of our era.[9] The local tradition in Rājputāna was so vague that in one version of the story Vasishtha, in the other Visvāmitra, is said to have been the officiating priest.

In the case of the Sesodias of Mewār, Mr. D. R. Bhandarkar has given reasons to believe that Gehlot or Guhilot means simply ‘son of Guhila,’ an abbreviation of Guhadatta, the name of its founder.[10] He is said to have belonged to the Gurjara stock, kinsmen or allies of the Huns who entered India about the sixth century of our era, and founded a kingdom in Rājputāna with its capital at Bhilmāl or Srīmāl, about fifty miles from Mount Ābu, xxxiiithe scene of the regeneration of the Rājputs. This branch, which took the name of Maitrika, is said to be closely connected with the Mer tribe, which gave its name to Merwāra, and is fully described in The Annals. The actual conqueror of Chitor, Bāpa or Bappa, is said in inscriptions to have belonged to the branch known as Nāgar, or ‘City’ Brāhmans which has its present headquarters at the town of Vadnagar in the Baroda State. This conversion of a Brāhman into a Rājput is at first sight startling, but the fact implies that the institution of caste, as we observe it, was then only imperfectly established, and there was no difficulty in believing that a Brāhman could be ancestor of a princely house which now claims descent from the Sun. As will appear later on, Bāpa seems to be a historical personage. These facts help us to understand the strange story in The Annals, which tells how Gohāditya received inauguration as chief by having his forehead smeared with blood drawn from the finger of a Bhīl, a form of the blood covenant which appears among many savage tribes.[11] In those days no definite line was drawn between the Bhīls, now a wild forest tribe, and the Rājputs. The Bhīls were the free lords of the jungle, original owners of the soil, and though they practised rites and followed customs repulsive to orthodox Hindus, they did not share in the impurity which attached to foul outcastes like the Dom or the Chandāla. As the Bhīls were believed to be autochthonous, and thus understood the methods of controlling or conciliating the local spirits, by this form of inauguration they passed on their knowledge to the Rājputs whom they accepted as their lords. The relations of the Mīnas, another jungle tribe of the same class, with the Kachhwāhas of Jaipur were of the same kind.

According to the bardic legend given in The Annals, the Rāthors, the second great Rājput clan, owed their origin to a migration of a body of its members to the western Desert when the territory of Kanauj was conquered by Shihābu-d-dīn in A.D. 1193. But it is now certain that the ruling dynasty of Kanauj belonged, not to the Rāthor, but to the Gaharwār clan, and that the first Rāthor settlement in Rājputāna must have occurred anterior to the conquest of Kanauj by the Musalmāns. An inscription, dated A.D. 997, found in the ruins of the ancient town of Hathūndi or Hastikūndi in the Bali Hakūmat of the Jodhpur xxxivState, names four Rāthor Rājas who reigned there in the tenth century.[12] The local legend is an attempt to connect the line of Rāthor princes with the Kanauj dynasty. It has been suggested that the Deccan dynasty of the Rāshtrakūtas which, in name at least, is identical with Rāthor, reigning at Nāsik or Malkhed from A.D. 753 to 973, was connected with the Reddis or Raddis, a caste of cultivators which seem to have migrated from Madras into the Deccan at an early period. But any racial connexion between the Deccan Reddis and the Rāthors of Rājputāna is very doubtful.[13]

The Chandel clan, ranked in The Annals among the Thirty-six Royal Races, is believed to be closely connected with the Bhars and Gonds, forest tribes of Bundelkhand and the Central Provinces. Mr. R. V. Russell prefers to connect them with the Bhars alone, on the ground that the Gonds, according to the best traditions, entered the Central Provinces from the south, and made no effective settlement in Bundelkhand, the headquarters of the Chandels.[14] But there was a Gond settlement in the Hamīrpur District of Bundelkhand, and the close connexion between the Gonds and the Chandels began in what is now the Chhatarpur State.

The results of recent investigations into Rājput ethnology are thus of great importance, and enable us to correct the bardic legends on which the genealogies recorded in The Annals were founded. Much remains to be done before the question can be finally settled. The local Rājput traditions and the ballads of the bards must be collected and edited; the ancient sites in Rājputāna must be excavated; physical measurements, now somewhat discredited as a test of racial affinities, must be made in larger numbers and by more scientific methods. But the general thesis that some of the nobler Rājput septs are descended from Gurjaras or other foreigners, while others are closely connected with the autochthonous races, may be regarded as definitely proved.

One of the most valuable parts of The Annals is the chapter xxxvdescribing the popular religion of Mewār, the festival and rites in honour of Gauri, the Mother goddess. There are also many incidental notices of cults and superstitions scattered through the work. A race of warriors like the Rājputs naturally favours the worship of Siva who, as the successor of Rudra, the Vedic storm-god, was originally a terror-inspiring deity, a side of his character only imperfectly veiled by his euphemistic title of Siva, ‘the blessed or auspicious One.’ In his phallic manifestation his chief shrine is at Eklingji, ‘the single or notable phallus,’ about fourteen miles north of Udaipur city. The Rānas hold the office of priest-kings, Dīwāns or prime-ministers of the god. Their association with this deity has been explained by an inscription recently found in the temple of Nātha, ‘the Lord,’ now used as a storeroom of the Eklingji temple.[15] The inscription, dated A.D. 971, is in form of a dedication to Lakulīsa, a form of Siva represented as bearing a club, and refers to the Saiva sect known as Lakulīsa-Pāsapatas. It records the name of a king named Srī-Bappaka, ‘the moon among the princes of the Guhila dynasty,’ who reigned at a place called Nāgahvada, identified with Nāgda, an ancient town several times mentioned in The Annals, the ruins of which exist at the foot of the hill on which the temple of Eklingji stands. Srī-Bappaka is certainly Bāpa or Bappa, the traditional founder of the Mewār dynasty, which had at that time its capital at Nāgda. From this inscription it is clear that the Eklingji temple was in existence before A.D. 971, and, as Mr. Bhandarkar remarks, “it shows that the old tradition about Nāgendra and Bappa Rāwal’s infancy given by Tod had some historical foundation, and it is intelligible how the Rānas of Udaipur could have come to have such an intimate connexion with the temple as that of high priests, in which capacity they still officiate.” This office vested in them is a good example of one of those dynasties of priest-kings of which Sir James Frazer has given an elaborate account.[16]

The milder side of the Rājput character is represented in the cult of Krishna at Nāthdwāra. The Mahant or Abbot of the temple, situated at the old village of Siārh, twenty-two miles xxxvifrom the city of Udaipur, enjoys semi-royal state. In anticipation of the raid by Aurangzeb on Mathura, A.D. 1669-70, the ancient image of Kesavadeva, a form of Krishna, ‘He of the flowing locks,’ was removed out of reach of danger by Rāna Rāj Singh of Mewār. When the cart bearing the image arrived at Siārh, the god, by stopping the cart, is said to have expressed his intention of remaining there. This was the origin of the famous temple, still visited by crowds of pilgrims, and one of the leading seats of the Vallabhāchārya sect, ‘the Epicureans of the East,’ whose practices, as disclosed in the famous Mahārāja libel case, tried at Bombay in 1861, gave rise to grievous scandal.[17] The ill-feeling against this sect, aroused by these revelations, was so intense that the Mahārāja of Jaipur ordered that the two famous images of Krishna worshipped in his State, which originally came from Gokul, near Mathura, should be removed from his territories into those of the Bharatpur State.

Tod bears witness to the humanizing effect on the Rājputs of the worship of this god, whom he calls “the Apollo of Braj,” the holy land of Krishna near Mathura. He also asserts that the Emperor Akbar favoured the worship of Krishna, a feeling shared by his successors Jahāngīr and Shāh Jahān. Akbar, in his search for a new faith to supersede Islām, of which he was parcus cultor et infrequens, dallied with Hindu Pandits, Parsi priests, and Christian missionaries, and he was doubtless well informed about the sensuous ritual of the temple of Nāthdwāra.[18]

The character of the Rājputs is discussed in many passages in The Annals. The Author expresses marked sympathy with the people among whom his official life was spent, and he expresses gratitude for the courtesy and confidence which they bestowed upon him. This applies specially to the Sesodias of Mewār and the Rāthors of Mārwār, with whom he lived in the closest intimacy. He shows, on the other hand, a decided prejudice against the Kachhwāhas of Jaipur, of whose diplomacy he disapproved. This feeling, we may suspect, was due in part to their hesitation in accepting the British alliance, a policy in which he was deeply interested.

xxxviiThe virtues of the Rājput lie on the surface—their loyalty, devotion, and gallantry; their chivalry towards women; their regard for their national customs. Their weaknesses—though Tod does not enumerate them in detail—are obvious from a study of their history—their instability of character, their liability to sudden outbreaks of passion, their tendency to yield to panic on the battlefield, their inability, as a result of their tribal system, to form a permanent combination against a public enemy, their occasional faithlessness to their chiefs and allies, their excessive use of opium. These defects they share with most orientals, but, on the whole, they compare favourably with other races in the Indian Empire. There is much in their character and institutions which reminds us of the Gauls as pictured by Mommsen in a striking passage.[19] Rājput women are described as virtuous, affectionate, and devoted, taking part in the control of the family, sharing with their husbands the dangers of war and sport, contemptuous of the coward, and exercising a salutary influence in public and domestic affairs.

Strangely enough, Tod omits to give us a detailed account of their marriage regulations and ceremonies. According to Mr. E. H. Kealy,[20] while male children under one year old exceed the females, “the excess is not sufficiently great to justify the conclusion that female babies are murdered, nor is the theory that female infants lost their lives by neglect supported by the statistics. Unhappily the returns show that a high proportion of married women is combined with a very low percentage of females as compared with males between the ages of ten and fourteen, the early stage of married life, and this defect is largely due to premature cohabitation, lack of medical attendance, and of sanitary precautions.” No one can read without horror the many narratives of the Johar, the final sacrifice by which women in the hour of defeat gave their lives to save their honour, and of the numerous cases of Sati. Both these customs are now only a matter of history, but so late as 1879 General Hervey was able to count at the Bikaner palace the handmarks of at least thirty-seven widows who ascended the pyre with their lords.[21]

Much space in The Annals is occupied by a review of the xxxviiiso-called ‘Feudal’ system in Rājputāna. Tod was naturally attracted in the course of his discursive reading by Henry Hallam’s View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages, which first appeared in 1818, four years before Tod resigned his Indian appointment. Hallam himself was careful to point out that “it is of great importance to be on our guard against seeming analogies which vanish away when they are closely observed.”[22] This warning Tod unguardedly overlooked. Hallam recognized that Feudalism was an institution the ultimate origin of which is still, to some extent, obscure. It possibly began with the desire for protection, the rakhwāli of the Rājputs, but it seems to have been ultimately based on the private law of Rome, while the influence of the Church, interested in securing its endowments, was a factor in its evolution. In its completed form it represented the final stage of a process which began under the Frankish conquerors of Gaul. At any rate, it was of European origin, and though it absorbed much that was common to the types of tribal organization found in other parts of the world, it was moulded by the political, social, and economical environment amidst which it was developed. Hence, while it is possible to trace, as Tod has done, certain analogies between the tribal institutions of the Rājputs and the social organization of medieval Europe—analogies of feudal incidents connected with Reliefs, Fines upon alienation, Escheats, Aids, Wardship, and Marriage—these analogies, when more closely examined, are found to be in the main superficial. If we desire to undertake a comparative study of the Rājput tribal system, it is unnecessary to travel to medieval Europe, while we have close at hand the social organization of more or less kindred tribes on the Indian borderland, Pathāns, Afghāns, or Baloch; or, in a more primitive stage, those of the Kandhs, Gonds, Mūndas, or Orāons. It is of little service to compare two systems of which only the nucleus is common to both, and to place side by side institutions which present only a factitious similitude, because the social development of each has progressed on different lines.

The Author’s excursions into philology are the diversions of a clever man, not of a trained scholar, but interested in the subject as an amateur. In his time the new learning on oriental subjects had only recently begun to attract the attention of xxxixscholars, of which Sir W. Jones was the prophet. Tod was a diligent student of The Asiatic Researches, the publication of which began at Calcutta in 1788. While much material of value is to be found in these volumes, many papers of Captain Francis Wilford and others are full of rash speculations which have not survived later criticism. Tod is not to blame because he followed the guidance of scholars who contributed articles to the leading Indian review of his time; because he was ignorant of the laws of Grimm or Verner; because, like his contemporaries, he believed that the mythology of Egypt or Palestine influenced the beliefs of the Indian people. It was his fate that many of his guesses were quoted with approval by writers like T. Maurice in his Indian Antiquities, and by N. Pococke in his India in Greece. It is also well to remember that many of the derivations of the names of Indian deities, confidently proposed by Kuhn and Max Müller a few years ago, are no longer accepted. Tod, at any rate, published his views on Feudalism and Philology without any pretence of dogmatism.

One special question deserves examination—the constant references to the cult of Bāl-Siva, a form of the Sun god. A learned Indian scholar, Pandit Gaurishankar Ojha, who is now engaged on an annotated edition of The Annals in Hindi, states that no temple or image dedicated to this god is known in Rājputāna. It is, of course, not unlikely that Siva, as a deity of fertility, should be associated with Sun worship, but there is no evidence of the cult on which Tod lays special stress. It is almost useless to speculate on the source of his error. It may be based on a reference in the Āin-i-Akbari[23] to a certain Bālnāth, Jogi, who occupied a cell in a place in the Sindh Sāgar Duāb of the Panjāb. At the same time, like many of the writers of his day, he may have had the Semitic Baal in his mind.

It was largely due to imperfect information received from his assistants that he shared with other writers of the time the confusion between Buddhism and Jainism, and supposed that the former religion was introduced into India from Central Asia. His elaborate attempt to extract history and a trustworthy scheme of chronology from the Purānas must be pronounced to be a failure. Recently a learned scholar, Mr. F. E. Pargiter, has xlshown how far an examination of these authorities can be conducted with any approach to probability.[24]

The questions which have been discussed do not, to any important extent, detract from the real value of the work. Even in those points which are most open to criticism, The Annals possesses importance because it represents a phase in the study of Indian religions, ethnology, and sociology. No one can examine it without increasing pleasure and admiration for a writer who, immersed in arduous official work, was able to indulge his tastes for research. His was the first real attempt to investigate the beliefs of the peasantry as contrasted with the official Brahmanism, a study which in recent years has revolutionized the current conceptions of Hinduism. Even if his versions of the inscriptions which he collected fail to satisfy the requirements of more recent scholars, he deserves credit for rescuing from neglect and almost certain destruction epigraphical material for the use of his successors. The same may be said of the drawings of buildings, some of which have fallen into decay, or have been mutilated by their careless guardians. When he deals with facts which came under his personal observation, his accounts of beliefs, folk-lore, social life, customs, and manners possess permanent value.

He observed the Rājputs when they were in a stage of transition. Isolated by the inaccessibility of their country, they were the last guardians of Hindu beliefs, institutions, and manners against the rising tide of the Muhammadan invasions; without their protection much that is important for the study of the Hindus must have disappeared. To avoid anarchy and the ultimate destruction of these States, it was necessary for them to accept a closer union with the British as the paramount power. By this they lost something, but they gained much. The new connexion involved new duties and responsibilities in adapting their primitive system of government to modern requirements. Tod thus stood at the parting of the ways. With the introduction of the railway and the post-office, the disappearance of the caravan as a means of transport, the increase of trade, the growth of new wants and possibilities of development in association with the xliEmpire, the period of Rājput isolation came to a close. To some it may be a matter of regret that the personal rule of the Chief over a people strongly influenced by what they term swāmīdharma, the reciprocal loyalty of subject to prince and of prince to people, should be replaced by a government of a more popular type. But this change was, in the nature of things, inevitable. As an example of this, a statement made by the Mahārāja of Bīkaner, when he was summoned to attend the Imperial Conference in 1917, may be quoted. “In my own territories we inaugurated some years ago the beginnings of a representative assembly. It now consists of elected, as well as nominated, non-official members, and their legislative powers follow the lines of those laid down for the Legislatures of British India in the 1909 reforms. In respect to the Budget they have the same powers as those conferred on the Supreme and Provincial Legislatures in British India by the Lansdowne reforms in force from 1893 to 1909. When announcing my intention of creating this representative body, I intimated that as the people showed their fitness they would be entrusted with more powers. Accordingly, at the end of the first triennial term, when the elections will take place, we are revising the rules of business in the direction of greater liberality and of removing unnecessary restrictions.” It remains to be seen how far this policy will prove to be successful.

It was a happy accident that before the period of transition had begun in earnest, such a competent and sympathetic observer should have been able to examine and record one of the most interesting surviving phases of the ancient Hindu polity.

A soldier and a sportsman, Tod learned to understand the romantic, adventurous side of the Rājput character, and he recorded with full appreciation the fine stories of manly valour, of the self-sacrifice of women, the tragedies of the sieges of Chitor, the heroism of Rānas Sanga and Partāb Singh, or of Durgādās. Many of these tales recall the age of medieval chivalry, and Tod is at his best in recording them. No one can read without admiration his account of the attack of the Saktāwats and Chondāwats on Untāla; of Sūja and the tiger; the tragedy of Krishna Kunwāri; of the queen of Ganor; of Sanjogta of Kanauj; of Gūga Chauhān and Alu Hāra. In many of these tales the Rājput displays the loyalty and valour, the punctilious regard for his xliipersonal honour which in the case of the Spanish grandee have passed into a proverb.

While the Rājput is courteous in his intercourse with those who are prepared to take him as he is, when he meets an English officer he resents any hint of patronage, he is jealous of any intrusion on the secluded folk behind the curtain, and he is often rather an acquaintance than a friend, inclined to shelter himself behind a dignified reserve, unwilling to open his mind to any one who does not accept his traditional attitude towards men of a different race and of a different faith. When he makes a ceremonial visit to a European officer, his conversation is often confined to conventional compliments, or chat about the weather and the state of the crops.

To remove these difficulties which obstruct friendly and confidential intercourse, the young officer in India may be advised to study the methods illustrated in this work. But he will do well to avoid Tod’s openly expressed partisanship. He owed the affection and respect bestowed upon him by prince and peasant, and even by the jealously guarded ladies of the zenanah, to his kindliness and sympathy, his readiness to converse freely with men of all classes, his patience in listening to grievances, even those which he had no power to redress, his impartiality as an arbitrator between the Rāna of Mewār and his people or between individuals or sects unfriendly to each other. He studied the national traditions and usages; he knew enough of religious beliefs and of social customs to save him from giving offence by word or deed; he could converse with the people in their own patois, and could give point to a remark by an apt quotation of a proverb or a scrap of an old ballad.

When, if ever, a new history of the Rājputs comes to be written, it must be largely based on Tod’s collections, supplemented by wider historical, antiquarian, and epigraphical research. The history of the last century cannot be compiled until the recent administration reports, now treated as confidential, and the muniment rooms of Calcutta and London are open to the student. But it is unlikely that, for the present at least, any writer will enjoy, as Tod did, access to the records and correspondence stored in the palaces of the Chiefs.

For the Rājput himself and for natives of India interested in the history of their country, the work will long retain its value. xliiiIt preserves a record of tribal rights and privileges, of claims based on ancient tradition, of feuds and their settlement, of genealogies and family history which, but for Tod’s careful record, might have been forgotten or misinterpreted even by the Rājputs themselves. In the original English text which many Rājputs are now able to study they will find a picture of tribal society, now rapidly disappearing, drawn by a competent and friendly hand. Its interest will not be diminished by the fact that while the writer displays a hearty admiration for the Rājput character, he is not blind to its defects. At any rate, the Rājput will enjoy the satisfaction that his race has been selected to furnish the materials for the most comprehensive monograph ever compiled by a British officer describing one of the leading peoples of India.

1. W. S. Seton Carr, The Marquess Cornwallis, 180, 189 f.

2. Narrative of a Journey through the Upper Provinces, ed. 1861, ii. 54.

3. Quarterly Review, vol. xlviii. Oct.-Dec. 1832, pp. 38 f.

4. Decline and Fall, ed. W. Smith, i. 375.

5. V. A. Smith, Early History of India, 3rd ed. 408; Rhys Davids, Buddhist India, 60 f.

6. Primitive Culture, 2nd ed. ii. 239.

7. Lectures on the Early History of the Kingship, 231 ff.; The Golden Bough, 3rd ed.; The Magic Art, ii. 269 ff.

8. Early History of India, 408.

9. Journal Royal Asiatic Society, 1905, 1 ff. The tradition seems to have started earlier in Southern India, S. Krishnaswami Aiyangar, Ancient India, 1911, 390 ff.

10. Journal Asiatic Society Bengal, 1909, 167 ff. The criticism by Pandit Mohanlal Vishnulal Pandia (ibid., 1912, 63 ff.) is extremely feeble.

11. E. S. Hartland, Primitive Paternity, i. 258 ff.

12. K. D. Erskine, Gazetteer Western Rajput States and Bikaner Agency, A. i. 177.

13. Bombay Gazetteer, I. Part i. 385; Bombay Census Report, 1911, i. 279; Smith, Early History, 413.

14. Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces, iv. 441.

15. D. R. Bhandarkar, Journal Bombay Branch Royal Asiatic Society, 1916, Art. xii.

16. The Golden Bough, 3rd ed.; The Magic Art, i. 44 ff.; Adonis, Attis, Osiris, i. 42 f., 143 ff.

17. Karsandas Mulji, History of the Sect of the Mahārājas or Vallabhāchāryas, London, 1865; Report of the Mahārāj Libel Case, Bombay, 1862; F. S. Growse, Mathura, 3rd ed. 283 f.

18. V. A. Smith, Akbar, The Great Mogul, 162 ff.

19. History of Rome, ed. 1866, iv. 209 ff.

20. Census Report, Rājputāna, 1911, i. 132.

21. Some Records of Crime, ii. 217 f.

22. View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages, 12th ed. 1868, i. 186.

23. ii. 315.

24. “Ancient Indian Genealogies and Chronology,” “Earliest Indian Traditional History,” Journal Royal Asiatic Society, January 1910, April 1914.



  James Tod, Merchant, Bo’ness. = Helen Moir.  
  James Tod, Shipmaster, Bo’ness, b. 1672. = Elizabeth Monteath.  
  Henry Tod, b. 1717. = Janet Monteath.  
  James Tod, Indigo Planter. = Mary Heatly.  
Suetonius Henry Tod, General. = Mary Macdonald,
Sleat, Skye.
JAMES TOD = Julia Clutterbuck, of a Dutch family that came to England in sixteenth century.
Suetonius Macdonald Tod. Ewen Monteath Tod.    
  Grant Heatly Tod-Heatly, ob.s.p. Edward H. M. Tod, ob.s.p. Mary Augusta Tod = Charles Harris Blunt, Major-General, C.B., Bengal Horse Artillery.
Edward Walter Blunt-Mackenzie, Lt.-Col., R.A. =Sibell Lilian, Countess of Cromartie. Charles David Mackinnon. unm. Janet Heatly. unm.
Roderick Grant Francis,
Viscount Tarbat.
Walter Blunt Mackenzie. Isobel.  



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Wilson, J. Indian Caste. 2 vols. Bombay, 1877.

Yule, Sir H.; Burnell, A. C. Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases. 2nd ed. London, 1903.



Much disappointment has been felt in Europe at the sterility of the historic muse of Hindustan. When Sir William Jones first began to explore the vast mines of Sanskrit literature, great hopes were entertained that the history of the world would acquire considerable accessions from this source. The sanguine expectations that were then formed have not been realized; and, as it usually happens, excitement has been succeeded by apathy and indifference. It is now generally regarded as an axiom, that India possesses no national history; to which we may oppose the remark of a French Orientalist, who ingeniously asks, whence Abu-l Fazl obtained the materials for his outlines of ancient Hindu history?[25] Mr. Wilson has, indeed, done much to obviate this prejudice, by his translation of the Raja Tarangini, or History of Kashmir,[26] which clearly demonstrates that regular historical composition was an art not unknown in Hindustan, and affords satisfactory ground for concluding that these productions were once less rare than at present, and that further exertion may bring more relics to light. Although the labours of Colebrooke, Wilkins, Wilson, and others of our own countrymen, emulated by lvmany learned men in France [viii] and Germany,[27] have revealed to Europe some of the hidden lore of India; still it is not pretended that we have done much more than pass the threshold of Indian science; and we are consequently not competent to speak decisively of its extent or its character. Immense libraries, in various parts of India, are still intact, which have survived the devastations of the Islamite. The collections of Jaisalmer and Patan, for example, escaped the scrutiny of even the lynx-eyed Alau-d-din who conquered both these kingdoms, and who would have shown as little mercy to those literary treasures, as Omar displayed towards the Alexandrine library. Many other minor collections, consisting of thousands of volumes each, exist in Central and Western India, some of which are the private property of princes, and others belong to the Jain communities.[28]

If we consider the political changes and convulsions which have happened in Hindustan since Mahmud’s invasion, and the intolerant bigotry of many of his successors, we shall be able to account for the paucity of its national works on history, without being driven to the improbable conclusion, that the Hindus were lviignorant of an art which has been cultivated in other countries from almost the earliest ages. Is it to be imagined that a nation so highly civilized as the Hindus, amongst whom the exact sciences flourished in perfection, by whom the fine arts [ix], architecture, sculpture, poetry, music, were not only cultivated, but taught and defined by the nicest and most elaborate rules, were totally unacquainted with the simple art of recording the events of their history, the characters of their princes, and the acts of their reigns? Where such traces of mind exist, we can hardly believe that there was a want of competent recorders of events, which synchronical authorities tell us were worthy of commemoration. The cities of Hastinapur and Indraprastha, of Anhilwara and Somanatha, the triumphal columns of Delhi and Chitor, the shrines of Abu and Girnar, the cave-temples of Elephanta and Ellora, are so many attestations of the same fact; nor can we imagine that the age in which these works were erected was without an historian. Yet from the Mahabharata or Great War, to Alexander’s invasion, and from that grand event to the era of Mahmud of Ghazni, scarcely a paragraph of pure native Hindu history (except as before stated) has hitherto been revealed to the curiosity of Western scholars. In the heroic history of Prithiraj, the last of the Hindu sovereigns of Delhi, written by his bard Chand, we find notices which authorize the inference that works similar to his own were then extant, relating to the period between Mahmud and Shihabu-d-din (A.D. 1000-1193); but these have disappeared.

After eight centuries of galling subjection to conquerors totally ignorant of the classical language of the Hindus; after almost every capital city had been repeatedly stormed and sacked by barbarous, bigoted, and exasperated foes; it is too much to expect that the literature of the country should not have sustained, in common with other important interests, irretrievable losses. My own animadversions upon the defective condition of the annals of Rajwara have more than once been checked by a very just remark: "when our princes were in exile, driven from hold to hold, and compelled to dwell in the clefts of the mountains, often doubtful whether they would not be forced to [x] abandon the very meal preparing for them, was that a time to think of historical records?"

Those who expect from a people like the Hindus a species of lviicomposition of precisely the same character as the historical works of Greece and Rome, commit the very egregious error of overlooking the peculiarities which distinguish the natives of India from all other races, and which strongly discriminate their intellectual productions of every kind from those of the West. Their philosophy, their poetry, their architecture, are marked with traits of originality; and the same may be expected to pervade their history, which, like the arts enumerated, took a character from its intimate association with the religion of the people. It must be recollected, moreover, that until a more correct taste was imparted to the literature of England and of France, by the study of classical models, the chronicles of both these countries, and indeed of all the polished nations of Europe, were, at a much more recent date, as crude, as wild, and as barren as those of the early Rajputs.

In the absence of regular and legitimate historical records, there are, however, other native works (they may, indeed, be said to abound), which, in the hands of a skilful and patient investigator, would afford no despicable materials for the history of India. The first of these are the Puranas and genealogical legends of the princes, which, obscured as they are by mythological details, allegory, and improbable circumstances, contain many facts that serve as beacons to direct the research of the historian. What Hume remarks of the annals and annalists of the Saxon Heptarchy, may be applied with equal truth to those of the Rajput Seven States:[29] "they abound in names, but are extremely barren of events; or they are related so much without circumstances and causes, that the most profound and eloquent writer must despair [xi] of rendering them either instructive or entertaining to the reader. The monks" (for which we may read “Brahmans”), “who lived remote from public affairs, considered the civil transactions as subservient to the ecclesiastical, and were strongly affected with credulity, with the love of wonder, and with a propensity to imposture.”

The heroic poems of India constitute another resource for history. Bards may be regarded as the primitive historians of mankind. Before fiction began to engross the attention of poets, or rather, before the province of history was dignified by a class of writers who made it a distinct department of literature, the lviiifunctions of the bard were doubtless employed in recording real events and in commemorating real personages. In India Calliope has been worshipped by the bards from the days of Vyasa, the contemporary of Job, to the time of Benidasa, the present chronicler of Mewar. The poets are the chief, though not the sole, historians of Western India; neither is there any deficiency of them, though they speak in a peculiar tongue, which requires to be translated into the sober language of probability. To compensate for their magniloquence and obscurity, their pen is free: the despotism of the Rajput princes does not extend to the poet’s lay, which flows unconfined except by the shackles of the chand bhujanga, or ‘serpentine stanza’; no slight restraint, it must be confessed, upon the freedom of the historic muse. On the other hand, there is a sort of compact or understanding between the bard and the prince, a barter of “solid pudding against empty praise,” whereby the fidelity of the poetic chronicle is somewhat impaired. This sale of “fame,” as the bards term it, by the court-laureates and historiographers of Rajasthan, will continue until there shall arise in the community a class sufficiently enlightened and independent, to look for no other recompense for literary labour than public distinction.

Still, however, these chroniclers dare utter truths, sometimes most [xii] unpalatable to their masters. When offended, or actuated by a virtuous indignation against immorality, they are fearless of consequences; and woe to the individual who provokes them! Many a resolution has sunk under the lash of their satire, which has condemned to eternal ridicule names that might otherwise have escaped notoriety. The vish, or poison of the bard, is more dreaded by the Rajput than the steel of the foe.

The absence of all mystery or reserve with regard to public affairs in the Rajput principalities, in which every individual takes an interest, from the noble to the porter at the city-gates, is of great advantage to the chronicler of events. When matters of moment in the disorganized state of the country rendered it imperative to observe secrecy, the Rana of Mewar, being applied to on the necessity of concealing them, rejoined as follows: “this is Chaumukha-raj;[30] Eklinga the sovereign, I his vicegerent; in him I trust, and I have no secrets from my children.” To this lixpublicity may be partly ascribed the inefficiency of every general alliance against common foes; but it gives a kind of patriarchal character to the government, and inspires, if not loyalty and patriotism in their most exalted sense, feelings at least much akin to them.

A material drawback upon the value of these bardic histories is, that they are confined almost exclusively to the martial exploits of their heroes, and to the rang-ran-bhum, or ‘field of slaughter.’ Writing for the amusement of a warlike race, the authors disregard civil matters and the arts and pursuits of peaceful life; love and war are their favourite themes. Chand, the last of the great bards of India, tells us, indeed, in his preface, “that he will give rules for governing empires; the laws of grammar and composition; lessons in diplomacy, home and foreign, etc.”: and he fulfils his promise, by interspersing precepts on these points in various episodes throughout his work [xiii].

Again: the bard, although he is admitted to the knowledge of all the secret springs which direct each measure of the government, enters too deeply into the intrigues, as well as the levities, of the court, to be qualified to pronounce a sober judgment upon its acts.

Nevertheless, although open to all these objections, the works of the native bards afford many valuable data, in facts, incidents, religious opinions, and traits of manners; many of which, being carelessly introduced, are thence to be regarded as the least suspicious kind of historical evidence.evidence. In the heroic history of Prithiraj, by Chand, there occur many geographical as well as historical details, in the description of his sovereign’s wars, of which the bard was an eye-witness, having been his friend, his herald, his ambassador, and finally discharging the melancholy office of accessory to his death, that he might save him from dishonour. The poetical histories of Chand were collected by the great Amra Singh of Mewar, a patron of literature, as well as a warrior and a legislator.[31]

Another species of historical records is found in the accounts given by the Brahmans of the endowments of the temples, their dilapidation and repairs, which furnish occasions for the introduction of historical and chronological details. In the legends, lxrespecting places of pilgrimage and religious resort, profane events are blended with superstitious rites and ordinances, local ceremonies and customs. The controversies of the Jains furnish, also, much historical information, especially with reference to Gujarat and Nahrwala, during the Chaulukya dynasty. From a close and attentive examination of the Jain records, which embody all that those ancient sectarians knew of science, many chasms in Hindu history might be filled up. The party-spirit of the rival sects of India was, doubtless, adverse to the purity of history; and the very ground upon which the Brahmans built their ascendency was the ignorance of the people. There appears to have been in India [xiv], as well as in Egypt in early times, a coalition between the hierarchy and the state, with the view of keeping the mass of the nation in darkness and subjugation.

These different records, works of a mixed historical and geographical character which I know to exist; raesas or poetical legends of princes, which are common; local Puranas, religious comments, and traditionary couplets;[32] with authorities of a less dubious character, namely, inscriptions ‘cut on the rock,’ coins, copper-plate grants, containing charters of immunities, and expressing many singular features of civil government, constitute, as I have already observed, no despicable materials for the historian, who would, moreover, be assisted by the synchronisms which are capable of being established with ancient Pagan and later Muhammadan writers.

From the earliest period of my official connexion with this interesting country, I applied myself to collect and explore its early historical records, with a view of throwing some light upon a people scarcely yet known in Europe and whose political connexion with England appeared to me to be capable of undergoing a material change, with benefit to both parties. It would be wearisome to the reader to be minutely informed of the process I adopted, to collect the scattered relics of Rajput history into the form and substance in which he now sees them. I began with the sacred genealogy from the Puranas; examined the Mahabharata, lxiand the poems of Chand (a complete chronicle of his times); the voluminous historical poems of Jaisalmer, Marwar, and Mewar;[33] the histories of the Khichis, and those of the Hara princes [xv] of Kotah and Bundi, etc., by their respective bards. A portion of the materials compiled by Jai Singh of Amber or Jaipur (one of the greatest patrons of science amongst the modern Hindu princes), to illustrate the history of his race, fell into my hands. I have reason to believe that there existed more copious materials, which his profligate descendant, the late prince, in his division of the empire with a prostitute, may have disposed of on the partition of the library of the State, which was the finest collection in Rajasthan. Like some of the renowned princes of Timur’s dynasty, Jai Singh kept a diary, termed Kalpadruma, in which he noted every event: a work written by such a man and at such an interesting juncture, would be a valuable acquisition to history. From the Datia prince I obtained a transcript of the journal of his ancestor, who served with such éclat amongst the great feudatories of Aurangzeb’s army, and from which Scott made many extracts in his history of the Deccan.

For a period of ten years I was employed, with the aid of a learned Jain, in ransacking every work which could contribute any facts or incidents to the history of the Rajputs, or diffuse any light upon their manners and character. Extracts and versions of all such passages were made by my Jain assistant into the more familiar dialects (which are formed from the Sanskrit) of these tribes, in whose language my long residence amongst them enabled me to converse with facility. At much expense, and during many wearisome hours, to support which required no ordinary degree of enthusiasm, I endeavoured to possess myself not merely of their history, but of their religious notions, their familiar opinions, and their characteristic manners, by lxiiassociating with their chiefs and bardic chroniclers, and by listening to their traditionary tales and allegorical poems. I might ultimately, as the circle of my [xvi] inquiries enlarged, have materially augmented my knowledge of these subjects; but ill-health compelled me to relinquish this pleasing though toilsome pursuit, and forced me to revisit my native land just as I had obtained permission to look across the threshold of the Hindu Minerva; whence, however, I brought some relics, the examination of which I now consign to other hands. The large collection of ancient Sanskrit and Bhakha MSS., which I conveyed to England, have been presented to the Royal Asiatic Society, in whose library they are deposited. The contents of many, still unexamined, may throw additional light on the history of ancient India. I claim only the merit of having brought them to the knowledge of European scholars; but I may hope that this will furnish a stimulus to others to make similar exertions.

The little exact knowledge that Europe has hitherto acquired of the Rajput States, has probably originated a false idea of the comparative importance of this portion of Hindustan. The splendour of the Rajput courts, however, at an early period of the history of that country, making every allowance for the exaggeration of the bards, must have been great. Northern India was rich from the earliest times; that portion of it, situated on either side the Indus, formed the richest satrapy of Darius. It has abounded in the more striking events which constitute the materials for history; there is not a petty State in Rajasthan that has not had its Thermopylae, and scarcely a city that has not produced its Leonidas. But the mantle of ages has shrouded from view what the magic pen of the historian might have consecrated to endless admiration: Somnath might have rivalled Delphos; the spoils of Hind might have vied with the wealth of the Libyan king; and compared with the array of the Pandus, the army of Xerxes would have dwindled into insignificance. But the Hindus either never had, or have unfortunately lost, their Herodotus and Xenophon.

If “the moral effect of history depend on the sympathy it excites” [xvii], the annals of these States possess commanding interest. The struggles of a brave people for independence during a series of ages, sacrificing whatever was dear to them for the maintenance of the religion of their forefathers, and sturdily lxiiidefending to death, and in spite of every temptation, their rights and national liberty, form a picture which it is difficult to contemplate without emotion. Could I impart to the reader but a small portion of the enthusiastic delight with which I have listened to the tales of times that are past, amid scenes where their events occurred, I should not despair of triumphing over the apathy which dooms to neglect almost every effort to enlighten my native country on the subject of India; nor should I apprehend any ill effect from the sound of names, which, musical and expressive as they are to a Hindu, are dissonant and unmeaning to a European ear: for it should be remembered that almost every Eastern name is significant of some quality, personal or mental. Seated amidst the ruins of ancient cities, I have listened to the traditions respecting their fall; or have heard the exploits of their illustrious defenders related by their descendants near the altars erected to their memory. I have, whilst in the train of the southern Goths (the Mahrattas), as they carried desolation over the land, encamped on or traversed many a field of battle, of civil strife or foreign aggression, to read in the rude memorials on the tumuli of the slain their names and history. Such anecdotes and records afford data of history as well as of manners. Even the couplet recording the erection of a ‘column of victory,’ or of a temple or its repairs, contributes something to our stock of knowledge of the past.

As far as regards the antiquity of the dynasties now ruling in Central and Western India, there are but two the origin of which is not perfectly within the limits of historical probability; the rest having owed their present establishments to the progress of the Muslim arms, their annals are confirmed by those of their conquerors. All the existing [xviii] families, indeed, have attained their present settlements subsequently to the Muhammadan invasions, except Mewar, Jaisalmer, and some smaller principalities in the desert; whilst others of the first magnitude, such as the Pramara and Solanki, who ruled at Dhar and Anhilwara, have for centuries ceased to exist.

I have been so hardy as to affirm and endeavour to prove the common origin of the martial tribes of Rajasthan and those of ancient Europe. I have expatiated at some length upon the evidence in favour of the existence of a feudal system in India, similar to that which prevailed in the early ages on the European lxivcontinent, and of which relics still remain in the laws of our own nation. Hypotheses of this kind are, I am aware, viewed with suspicion, and sometimes assailed with ridicule. With regard to the notions which I have developed on these questions, and the frequent allusions to them in the pages of this volume, I entertain no obstinate prepossessions or prejudices in their favour. The world is too enlightened at the present day to be in danger of being misled by any hypothetical writer, let him be ever so skilful; but the probability is, that we have been induced, by the multitude of false theories which time has exposed, to fall into the opposite error, and that we have become too sceptical with regard to the common origin of the people of the east and west. However, I submit my proofs to the candid judgment of the world; the analogies, if not conclusive on the questions, are still sufficiently curious and remarkable to repay the trouble of perusal and to provoke further investigation; and they may, it is hoped, vindicate the author for endeavouring to elucidate the subject, “by steering through the dark channels of antiquity by the feeble lights of forgotten chronicles and imperfect records.”

I am conscious that there is much in this work which demands the indulgence of the public; and I trust it will not be necessary for me to assign a more powerful argument in plea than that which I have already [xix] adverted to, namely, the state of my health, which has rendered it a matter of considerable difficulty, indeed I may say of risk, to bring my bulky materials even into their present imperfect form. I should observe, that it never was my intention to treat the subject in the severe style of history, which would have excluded many details useful to the politician as well as to the curious student. I offer this work as a copious collection of materials for the future historian; and am far less concerned at the idea of giving too much, than at the apprehension of suppressing what might possibly be useful.

I cannot close these remarks without expressing my obligations to my friend and kinsman, Major Waugh, to the genius of whose pencil the world is indebted for the preservation and transmission of the splendid monuments of art which adorn this work.

25. M. Abel Rémusat, in his Mélanges Asiatiques, makes many apposite and forcible remarks on this subject, which, without intention, convey a just reproof to the lukewarmness of our countrymen. The institution of the Royal Asiatic Society, especially that branch of it devoted to Oriental translations, may yet redeem this reproach.

26. Asiatic Researches, vol. xv. [The Rājatarangini of Kalhana has been translated by M. A. Stein, 2 vols., London, 1910.]

27. When the genius and erudition of such men as Schlegel are added to the zeal which characterizes that celebrated writer, what revelations may we not yet expect from the cultivation of oriental literature?

28. Some copies of these Jain MSS. from Jaisalmer, which were written from five to eight centuries back, I presented to the Royal Asiatic Society. Of the vast numbers of these MS. books in the libraries of Patan and Jaisalmer, many are of the most remote antiquity, and in a character no longer understood by their possessors, or only by the supreme pontiff and his initiated librarians. There is one volume held so sacred for its magical contents, that it is suspended by a chain in the temple of Chintaman, at the last-named capital in the desert, and is only taken down to have its covering renewed, or at the inauguration of a pontiff. Tradition assigns its authorship to Somaditya Suru Acharya, a pontiff of past days, before the Islamite had crossed the waters of the Indus, and whose diocese extended far beyond that stream. His magic mantle is also here preserved, and used on every new installation. The character is, doubtless, the nail-headed Pali; and could we introduce the ingenious, indefatigable, and modest Mons. E. Burnouf, with his able coadjutor Dr. Lassen, into the temple, we might learn something of this Sibylline volume, without their incurring the risk of loss of sight, which befel the last individual, a female Yati of the Jains, who sacrilegiously endeavoured to acquire its contents. [For the temple library at Jaisalmer see IA, iv. 81 ff; for those at Udaipur, ibid. xiii. 31. J. Burgess visited the Pātan library, described by the Author (WI, 232 ff.), and found a collection of palm-leaf MSS., carefully wrapped in cloth and deposited in large chests (BG, vii. 598).]

29. Mewar, Marwar, Amber, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Kotah, and Bundi.

30. Government of ‘four mouths,’ alluding to the quadriform image of the tutelary divinity.

31. [Only portions of the Chand-rāesa or Prithīrāj Rāesa have been translated (Smith, EHI, 387, note; IA, i. 269 ff., iii. 17 ff., xxxii. 167 f).167 f).]

32. Some of these preserve the names of princes who invaded India between the time of Mahmud of Ghazni and Shihabu-d-dīn, who are not mentioned by Ferishta, the Muhammadan historian. The invasion of Ajmer and the capture of Bayana, the seat of the Yadu princes, were made known to us by this means.

33. Of Marwar, there were the Vijaya Vilas, the Surya Prakas, and Khyat, or legends, besides detached fragments of reigns. Of Mewar, there was the Khuman Raesa, a modern work formed from old materials which are lost, and commencing with the attack of Chitor by Mahmud, supposed to be the son of Kasim of Sind, in the very earliest ages of Muhammadanism: also the Jagat Vilas, the Raj-prakas, and the Jaya Vilas, all poems composed in the reigns of the princes whose names they bear, but generally introducing succinctly the early parts of history. Besides these, there were fragments of the Jaipur family, from their archives; and the Man Charitra, or history of Raja Man.



In placing before the public the concluding volume of the Annals of Rajputana I have fulfilled what I considered to be a sacred obligation to the races amongst whom I have passed the better portion of my life; and although no man can more highly appreciate public approbation, I am far less eager to court that approbation than to awaken a sympathy for the objects of my work, the interesting people of Rajputana.

I need add nothing to what was urged in the Introduction to the First Volume on the subject of Indian History; and trust that, however slight the analogy between the chronicles of the Hindus and those of Europe, as historical works, they will serve to banish the reproach, which India has so long laboured under, of possessing no records of past events: my only fear now is, that they may be thought redundant.

I think I may confidently affirm, that whoever, without being alarmed at their bulk, has the patience attentively to peruse these Annals, cannot fail to become well acquainted with all the peculiar features of Hindu society, and will be enabled to trace the foundation and progress of each State in Rajputana, as well as to form a just notion of the character of a people, upon whom, at a future period, our existence in India may depend.

Whatever novelty the inquirer into the origin of nations may find in these [viii] pages, I am ambitious to claim for them a higher title than a mass of mere archaeological data. To see humanity under every aspect, and to observe the influence of different creeds upon man in his social capacity, must ever be one lxviof the highest sources of mental enjoyment; and I may hope that the personal qualities herein delineated, will allow the labourer in this vast field of philosophy to enlarge his sphere of acquaintance with human varieties. In the present circumstances of our alliance with these States, every trait of national character, and even every traditional incident, which, by leading us to understand and respect their peculiarities, may enable us to secure their friendship and esteem, become of infinite importance. The more we study their history, the better shall we comprehend the causes of their international quarrels, the origin of their tributary engagements, the secret principles of their mutual repulsion, and the sources of their strength and their weakness as an aggregate body: without which knowledge it is impossible we can arbitrate with justice in their national disputes; and, as respects ourselves, we may convert a means of defence into a source of bitter hostility.

It has been my aim to diversify as much as possible the details of this volume. In the Annals of Marwar I have traced the conquest and peopling of an immense region by a handful of strangers; and have dwelt, perhaps, with tedious minuteness on the long reign of Raja Ajit Singh and the Thirty Years’ War; to show what the energy of one of these petty States, impelled by a sense of oppression, effected against the colossal power of its enemies. It is a portion of their history which should be deeply studied by those who have succeeded to the paramount power; for Aurangzeb had less reason to distrust the stability of his dominion than we have: yet what is now the house of Timur? The resources of Marwar were reduced to as low an ebb at the close of Aurangzeb’s reign, as they are at the present time; yet did that [ix] State surmount all its difficulties, and bring armies into the field that annihilated the forces of the empire. Let us not, then, mistake the supineness engendered by long oppression, for want of feeling, nor mete out to these high-spirited people the same measure of contumely, with which we have treated the subjects of our earlier conquests.

The Annals of the Bhattis may be considered as the link connecting the tribes of India Proper with the ancient races west of the Indus, or Indo-Scythia; and although they will but slightly interest the general reader, the antiquary may find in them many new topics for investigation, as well as in the Sketch of the Desert, which has preserved the relics of names that once promised immortality.

lxviiThe patriarchal simplicity of the Jat communities, upon whose ruins the State of Bikaner was founded, affords a picture, however imperfect, of petty republics—a form of government little known to eastern despotism, and proving the tenacity of the ancient Gete’s attachment to liberty.

Amber, and its scion Shaikhavati, possess a still greater interest from their contiguity to our frontier. A multitude of singular privileges is attached to the Shaikhavati federation, which it behoves the paramount power thoroughly to understand, lest it should be led by false views to pursue a policy detrimental to them as well as to ourselves. To this extensive community belong the Larkhanis, so utterly unknown to us, that a recent internal tumult of that tribe was at first mistaken for an irruption of our old enemies, the Pindaris.

Haraoti may claim our regard from the high bearing of its gallant race, the Haras; and the singular character of the individual with whose biography its history closes, and which cannot fail to impart juster notions of the genius of Asiatics [x].

So much for the matter of this volume—with regard to the manner, as the Rajputs abhor all pleas ad misericordiam, so likewise does their annalist, who begs to repeat, in order to deprecate a standard of criticism inapplicable to this performance, that it professes not to be constructed on exact historical principles: Non historia, sed particulae historiae.

In conclusion, I adopt the peroration of the ingenuous, pious, and liberal Abu-l Fazl, when completing his History of the Provinces of India; “Praise be unto God, that by the assistance of his Divine Grace, I have completed the History of the Rajputs. The account cost me a great deal of trouble in collecting, and I found such difficulty in ascertaining dates, and in reconciling the contradictions in the several histories of the Princes of Rajputana, that I had nearly resolved to relinquish the task altogether: but who can resist the decrees of Fate? I trust that those, who have been able to obtain better information, will not dwell upon my errors; but that upon the whole I may meet with approbation.”[34]

York Place, Portman Square,
March 10, 1832.

34. [Āīn, ii. 418.]




Boundaries of Rajputana.

—Rajasthan is the collective and classical denomination of that portion of India which is ‘the abode[1] of (Rajput) princes.’ In the familiar dialect of these countries it is termed Rajwara, but by the more refined Raethana, corrupted to Rajputana, the common designation amongst the British to denote the Rajput principalities.

What might have been the nominal extent of Rajasthan prior to the Muhammadan conqueror Shihabu-d-din (when it probably reached beyond the Jumna and Ganges, even to the base of the Himalaya) cannot now be known. At present we may adhere to its restrictive definition, still comprehending a wide space and a variety of interesting races.

Previous to the erection of the minor Muhammadan monarchies of Mandu and Ahmadabad (the capitals of Malwa and Gujarat), on the ruins of Dhar and Anhilwara Patan, the term Rajasthan would have been appropriated to the space comprehended in the map prefixed to this work: the valley of the Indus on the west, and Bundelkhand[2] on the east; to the north, the sandy tracts (south of the Sutlej) termed Jangaldes; and the Vindhya mountains to the south.

2This space comprehends nearly 8° of latitude and 9° of longitude, being from 22° to 30° north latitude, and 69° to 78° east longitude, embracing a superficial area of 350,000 square miles[3] [2].

Although it is proposed to touch upon the annals of all the States in this extensive tract, with their past and present condition, those in the centre will claim the most prominent regard; especially Mewar, which, copiously treated of, will afford a specimen, obviating the necessity of like details of the rest.

The States of Rājputāna.

—The order in which these States will be reviewed is as follows:

History of Geographical Surveys.

—The basis of this work is the geography of the country, the historical and statistical portion being consequent and subordinate thereto. It was, indeed, originally designed to be essentially geographical; but circumstances have rendered it impossible to execute the intended details, or even to make the map[4] so perfect as the superabundant material at the command of the author might have enabled him to do; a matter of regret to himself rather than of loss to the general reader, to whom geographic details, however important, are usually dry and uninteresting.

It was also intended to institute a comparison between the map and such remains of ancient geography as can be extracted from the Puranas and other Hindu authorities; which, however, must be deferred to a future period, when the deficiency of the 3present rapid and general sketch may be supplied, should the author be enabled to resume his labours.

The laborious research, in the course of which these data were accumulated, commenced in 1806, when the author was attached to the embassy sent, at the close of the Mahratta wars, to the court of Sindhia. This chieftain’s army was then in Mewar, at that period almost a terra incognita, the position of whose two capitals, Udaipur and Chitor, in the best existing maps, was precisely reversed [3]; that is, Chitor was inserted S.E. of Udaipur instead of E.N.E., a proof of the scanty knowledge possessed at that period.

In other respects there was almost a total blank. In the maps prior to 1806 nearly all the western and central States of Rajasthan will be found wanting. It had been imagined, but a little time before, that the rivers had a southerly course into the Nerbudda; a notion corrected by the father of Indian geography, the distinguished Rennell.[5]

This blank the author filled up; and in 1815, for the first time, the geography of Rajasthan was put into combined form and presented to the Marquess of Hastings, on the eve of a general war, when the labour of ten years was amply rewarded by its becoming in part the foundation of that illustrious commander’s plans of the campaign. It is a duty owing to himself to state that every map, without exception, printed since this period has its foundation, as regards Central and Western India, in the labours of the author.[6]


The Author’s Surveys.

—The route of the embassy was from Agra, through the southern frontier of Jaipur to Udaipur. A portion of this had been surveyed and points laid down from celestial observation, by Dr. W. Hunter, which I adopted as the basis of my enterprise. The Resident Envoy[7] to the court of Sindhia was possessed of the valuable sketch of the route of Colonel Palmer’s embassy in 1791, as laid down by Dr. Hunter, the foundation of my subsequent surveys, as it merited from its importance and general accuracy. It embraced all the extreme points of Central India: Agra, Narwar, Datia, Jhansi, Bhopal, Sarangpur, Ujjain, and on return from this, the first meridian of the Hindus, by Kotah, Bundi, Rampura (Tonk), Bayana, to Agra. The position of all these places was more or less accurately fixed, according to the time which could be bestowed, by astronomical observation [4].

At Rampura Hunter ceased to be my guide: and from this point commenced the new survey of Udaipur, where we arrived in June 1806. The position then assigned to it, with most inadequate instruments, has been changed only 1´of longitude, though the latitude amounted to about 5´.

From Udaipur the subsequent march of the army with which we moved led past the celebrated Chitor, and through the centre of Malwa, crossing in detail all the grand streams flowing from the Vindhya, till we halted for a season on the Bundelkhand frontier at Khimlasa. In this journey of seven hundred miles I twice crossed the lines of route of the former embassy, and was gratified to find my first attempts generally coincide with their established points.

In 1807, the army having undertaken the siege of Rahatgarh, I determined to avail myself of the time which Mahrattas waste in such a process, and to pursue my favourite project. With a small guard I determined to push through untrodden fields, by the banks of the Betwa to Chanderi, and in its latitude proceed in a westerly direction towards Kotah, trace the course once more of all those streams from the south, and the points of junction of the most important (the Kali Sind, Parbati, and Banas) with the Chambal; and having effected this, continue my journey to Agra. This I accomplished in times very different from the 5present, being often obliged to strike my tents and march at midnight, and more than once the object of plunder.[8] The chief points in this route were Khimlasa, Rajwara, Kotra on the Betwa, Kanyadana,[9] Buradungar,[10] Shahabad, Barah,[11] Puleta,[12] Baroda, Sheopur, Pali,[13] Ranthambhor, Karauli, Sri Mathura, and Agra.

On my return to the Mahratta camp I resolved further to increase the sphere, and proceeded westward by Bharatpur, Katumbar, Sentri, to Jaipur, Tonk, Indargarh, Gugal Chhapra, Raghugarh, Aron, Kurwai, Borasa, to Sagar: a journey of more than one thousand miles. I found the camp nearly where I left it.

With this ambulatory court I moved everywhere within this region, constantly employed in surveying till 1812, when Sindhia’s court became stationary. It was then I formed my plans for obtaining a knowledge of those countries into which I could not personally penetrate [5].

Survey Parties.

—In 1810-11 I had despatched two parties, one to the Indus, the other to the desert south of the Sutlej. The first party, under Shaikh Abu-l Barakat, journeyed westward, by Udaipur, through Gujarat, Saurashtra and Cutch, Lakhpat and Hyderabad (the capital of the Sindi government); crossed the Indus to Tatta, proceeded up the right bank to Sehwan; recrossed, and continued on the left bank as far as Khairpur, the residence of one of the triumvirate governors of Sind, and having reached the insulated Bakhar[14] (the capital of the Sogdoi of Alexander), returned by the desert of Umrasumra to Jaisalmer, Marwar, and Jaipur, and joined me in camp at Narwar. It was 6a perilous undertaking; but the Shaikh was a fearless and enterprising character, and moreover a man with some tincture of learning. His journals contained many hints and directions for future research in the geography, statistics, and manners of the various races amongst whom he travelled.

The other party was conducted by a most valuable man, Madari Lal, who became a perfect adept in these expeditions of geographical discovery, and other knowledge resulting therefrom. There is not a district of any consequence in the wide space before the reader which was not traversed by this spirited individual, whose qualifications for such complicated and hazardous journeys were never excelled. Ardent, persevering, prepossessing, and generally well-informed, he made his way when others might have perished.[15]

From these remote regions the best-informed native inhabitants were, by persuasion and recompense, conducted to me; and I could at all times, in the Mahratta camp at Gwalior, from 1812 to 1817, have provided a native of the valley of the Indus, the deserts of Dhat, Umrasumra, or any of the States of Rajasthan.

The precision with which Kasids and other public conveyers of letters, in countries where posts are little used, can detail the peculiarities of a long line of route, and the accuracy of their distances would scarcely be credited in Europe. I have no hesitation in asserting that if a correct estimate were obtained of the measured [6] coss of a country, a line might be laid down upon a flat surface with great exactitude. I have heard it affirmed that it was the custom of the old Hindu governments to have measurements made of the roads from town to town, and that the Abu Mahatma[16] contains a notice of an instrument for that purpose. Indeed, the singular coincidence between lines measured by the perambulator and the estimated distances of the natives is the best proof that the latter are deduced from some more certain method than mere computation.

I never rested satisfied with the result of one set of my parties, 7with the single exception of Madari’s, always making the information of one a basis for the instruction of another, who went over the same ground; but with additional views and advantages, and with the aid of the natives brought successively by each, till I exhausted every field.

Thus, in a few years, I had filled several volumes with lines of route throughout this space; and having many frontier and intermediate points, the positions of which were fixed, a general outline of the result was constructed, wherein all this information was laid down. I speak more particularly of the western States, as the central portion, or that watered by the Chambal and its tributary streams, whether from the elevated Aravalli on the west, or from the Vindhya mountains on the south, has been personally surveyed and measured in every direction, with an accuracy sufficient for every political or military purpose, until the grand trigonometrical survey from the peninsula shall be extended throughout India. These countries form an extended plain to the Sutlej north, and west to the Indus, rendering the amalgamation of geographical materials much less difficult than where mountainous regions intervene.

After having laid down these varied lines in the outline described, I determined to check and confirm its accuracy by recommencing the survey on a new plan, viz. trigonometrically.

My parties were again despatched to resume their labours over fields now familiar to them. They commenced from points whose positions were fixed (and my knowledge enabled me to give a series of such), from each of which, as a centre, they collected every radiating route to every town within the distance of twenty miles. The points selected were generally such as to approach equilateral [7] triangles; and although to digest the information became a severe toil, the method will appear, even to the casual observer, one which must throw out its own errors; for these lines crossed in every direction, and consequently corrected each other. By such means did I work my way in those unknown tracts, and the result is in part before the reader. I say, in part; for my health compels me reluctantly to leave out much which could be combined from ten folios of journeys extending throughout these regions.

The Author’s Map.

—In 1815, as before stated, an outline map containing all the information thus obtained, and which the 8subsequent crisis rendered of essential importance, was presented by me to the Governor-General of India. Upon the very eve of the war I constructed and presented another, of the greater portion of Malwa, to which it appeared expedient to confine the operations against the Pindaris. The material feature in this small map was the general position of the Vindhya mountains, the sources and course of every river originating thence, and the passes in this chain, an object of primary importance. The boundaries of the various countries in this tract were likewise defined, and it became essentially useful in the subsequent dismemberment of the Peshwa’s dominions.

In the construction of this map I had many fixed points, both of Dr. Hunter’s and my own, to work from; and it is gratifying to observe that though several measured lines have since been run through this space, not only the general, but often the identical features of mine have been preserved in the maps since given to the world. As considerable improvement has been made by several measured lines through this tract, and many positions affixed by a scientific and zealous geographer, I have had no hesitation in incorporating a small portion of this improved geography in the map now presented.[17]

Many surveyed lines were made by me from 1817 to 1822; and here I express my obligations to my kinsman,[18] to whom alone I owe any aid for improving this portion of my geographical labours. This officer made a circuitous survey, which comprehended nearly the extreme points of Mewar, from the capital, by Chitor, Mandalgarh, Jahazpur, Rajmahall, and in return by Banai, Badnor, Deogarh [8], to the point of outset. From these extreme points he was enabled to place many intermediate ones, for which Mewar is so favourable, by reason of its isolated hills.

In 1820 I made an important journey across the Aravalli, by Kumbhalmer, Pali, to Jodhpur, the capital of Marwar, and thence by Merta, tracing the course of the Luni to its source at Ajmer; and from this celebrated residence of the Chauhan 9kings and Mogul emperors; returning through the central lands of Mewar, by Banai and Banera, to the capital.

I had the peculiar satisfaction to find that my position of Jodhpur, which has been used as a capital point in fixing the geography west and north, was only 3´ of space out in latitude, and little more in longitude; which accounted for the coincidence of my position of Bikaner with that assigned by Mr. Elphinstone in his account of the embassy to Kabul.

Besides Udaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer, etc., whose positions I had fixed by observations, and the points laid down by Hunter, I availed myself of a few positions given to me by that enterprising traveller, the author of the journey into Khorasan,[19] who marched from Delhi, by Nagor and Jodhpur, to Udaipur.

The outline of the countries of Gujarat,[20] the Saurashtra peninsula, and Cutch, inserted chiefly by way of connexion, is entirely taken from the labours of that distinguished geographer, the late General Reynolds. We had both gone over a great portion of the same field, and my testimony is due to the value of his researches in countries into which he never personally penetrated, evincing what may be done by industry, and the use of such materials as I have described.

Physiography of Rājputāna.

—I shall conclude with a rapid sketch of the physiognomy of these regions; minute and local descriptions will appear more appropriately in the respective historical portions.portions.

Rajasthan presents a great variety of feature. Let me place the reader on the highest peak of the insulated Abu, ‘the saint’s pinnacle,’[21] as it is termed, and guide his eye in a survey over this wide expanse, from the ‘blue waters’ of the Indus west to the ‘withy-covered’[22] Betwa on the east. From this, the most [9] elevated spot in Hindustan, overlooking by fifteen hundred feet the Aravalli mountains, his eye descends to the plains of Medpat[23] 10(the classic term for Mewar), whose chief streams, flowing from the base of the Aravalli, join the Berach and Banas, and are prevented from uniting with the Chambal only by the Patar[24] or plateau of Central India.

Ascending this plateau near the celebrated Chitor, let the eye deviate slightly from the direct eastern line, and pursue the only practicable path by Ratangarh, and Singoli, to Kotah, and he will observe its three successive steppes, the miniature representation of those of Russian Tartary. Let the observer here glance across the Chambal and traverse Haraoti to its eastern frontier, guarded by the fortress of Shahabad: thence abruptly descend the plateau to the level of the Sind, still proceeding eastward, until the table-mountain, the western limit of Bundelkhand, affords a resting-point.

To render this more distinct, I present a profile of the tract described from Abu to Kotra on the Betwa:[25] from Abu to the Chambal, the result of barometrical measurement, and from the latter to the Betwa from my general observations[26] of the irregularities of surface. The result is, that the Betwa at Kotra is one thousand feet above the sea-level, and one thousand lower than the city and valley of Udaipur, which again is on the same level with the base of Abu, two thousand feet above the sea. This line, the general direction of which is but a short distance from the tropic, is about six geographic degrees in length: yet is this small space highly diversified, both in its inhabitants and the production of the soil, whether hidden or revealed.

To face page 10.

[See Transcriber’s Note for a transcription and annotation of the text.]

11Let us now from our elevated station (still turned to the east) carry the eye both south and north of the line described, which nearly bisects Madhyadesa,[27] ‘the central land’ of Rajasthan; best defined by the course of the Chambal and [10] its tributary streams, to its confluence with the Jumna: while the regions west of the transalpine Aravalli[28] may as justly be defined Western Rajasthan.

Looking to the south, the eye rests on the long-extended and strongly-defined line of the Vindhya mountains, the proper bounds of Hindustan and the Deccan. Though, from our elevated stand on ‘the Saint’s Pinnacle’ of Abu, we look down on the Vindhya as a range of diminished importance, it is that our position is the least favourable to viewing its grandeur, which would be most apparent from the south; though throughout this skirt of descent, irregular elevations attain a height of many hundred feet above such points of its abrupt descent.

The Aravalli itself may be said to connect with the Vindhya, and the point of junction to be towards Champaner; though it might be as correct to say the Aravalli thence rose upon and stretched from the Vindhya. Whilst it is much less elevated than more to the north, it presents bold features throughout,[29] south by Lunawara, Dungarpur, and Idar, to Amba Bhawani and Udaipur.

Still looking from Abu over the tableland of Malwa, we observe her plains of black loam furrowed by the numerous streams from the highest points of the Vindhya, pursuing their northerly course; some meandering through valleys or falling over precipices; others bearing down all opposition, and actually forcing an exit through the central plateau to join the Chambal.

The Aravalli Range.

—Having thus glanced at the south, let us cast the eye north of this line, and pause on the alpine Aravalli.[30] 12Let us take a section of it, from the capital, Udaipur, the line of our station on Abu, passing through Oghna Panarwa, and Mirpur, to the western descent near Sirohi, a space of nearly sixty miles in a direct line, where “hills o’er hills and alps on alps arise,” from the ascent at Udaipur, to the descent to Marwar. All this space to the Sirohi frontier is inhabited by communities of the aboriginal races, living in a state of primeval and almost savage independence, owning no paramount power, paying no tribute, but with all the simplicity of republics; their leaders, with the title of Rawat, being hereditary. Thus the Rawat of the Oghna commune can assemble five thousand bows, and several others [11] can on occasion muster considerable numbers. Their habitations are dispersed through the valleys in small rude hamlets, near their pastures or places of defence.[31]

Let me now transport the reader to the citadel pinnacle of Kumbhalmer,[32] thence surveying the range running north to Ajmer, where, shortly after, it loses its tabular form, and breaking into lofty ridges, sends numerous branches through the Shaikhavati federation, and Alwar, till in low heights it terminates at Delhi.

From Kumbhalmer to Ajmer the whole space is termed Merwāra, and is inhabited by the mountain race of Mer or Mair, the habits and history of which singular class will be hereafter related. The range averages from six to fifteen miles in breadth, 13having upwards of one hundred and fifty villages and hamlets scattered over its valleys and rocks, abundantly watered, not deficient in pasture, and with cultivation enough for all internal wants, though it is raised with infinite labour on terraces, as the vine is cultivated in Switzerland and on the Rhine.

In vain does the eye search for any trace of wheel-carriage across this compound range from Idar to Ajmer; and it consequently well merits its appellation ara, ‘the barrier,’ for the strongest arm of modern warfare, artillery, would have to turn the chain by the north to avoid the impracticable descent to the west.[33]

Views from the Aravalli Hills.

—Guiding the eye along the chain, several fortresses are observed on pinnacles guarding the passes on either side, while numerous rills descend, pouring over the declivities, seeking their devious exit between the projecting ribs of the mountain. The Berach, the Banas, the Kothari, the Khari, the Dahi all unite with the Banas to the east, while to the west the still more numerous streams which fertilize the rich province of Godwar, unite to ‘the Salt River,’ the Luni, and mark the true line of the desert. Of these the chief are the Sukri and the [12] Bandi; while others which are not perennial, and depend on atmospheric causes for their supply, receive the general denomination of rela, indicative of rapid mountain torrents, carrying in their descent a vast volume of alluvial deposit, to enrich the siliceous soil below.

However grand the view of the chaotic mass of rock from this elevated site of Kumbhalmer, it is from the plains of Marwar that its majesty is most apparent; where its ‘splintered pinnacles’ are seen rising over each other in varied form, or frowning over the dark indented recesses of its forest-covered and rugged declivities.

On reflection, I am led to pronounce the Aravalli a connexion of the ‘Apennines of India’; the Ghats on the Malabar coast of 14the peninsula: nor does the passage of the Nerbudda or the Tapti, through its diminished centre, militate against the hypothesis, which might be better substantiated by the comparison of their intrinsic character and structure.

Geology of the Aravallis.

—The general character of the Aravalli is its primitive formation:[34] granite, reposing in variety of angle (the general dip is to the east) on massive, compact, dark blue slate, the latter rarely appearing much above the surface or base of the superincumbent granite. The internal valleys abound in variegated quartz and a variety of schistous slate of every hue, which gives a most singular appearance to the roofs of the houses and temples when the sun shines upon them. Rocks of gneiss and of syenite appear in the intervals; and in the diverging ridges west of Ajmer the summits are quite dazzling with the enormous masses of vitreous rose-coloured quartz.

The Aravalli and its subordinate hills are rich in both mineral and metallic products; and, as stated in the annals of Mewar, to the latter alone can be attributed the resources which enabled this family so long to struggle against superior power, and to raise those magnificent structures which would do honour to the most potent kingdoms of the west.

The mines are royalties; their produce a monopoly, increasing the personal revenue of their prince. An-Dan-Khan is a triple figurative expression, which comprehends the sum of sovereign rights in Rajasthan, being allegiance, commercial duties, mines. The tin-mines of Mewar were once very productive, and yielded, it is asserted, no inconsiderable portion of silver: but the caste of miners is extinct, and political reasons, during the Mogul domination, led to the [13] concealment of such sources of wealth. Copper of a very fine description is likewise abundant, and supplies the currency; and the chief of Salumbar even coins by sufferance from the mines on his own estate. Surma, or the oxide of antimony, 15is found on the western frontier. The garnet, amethystine quartz, rock crystal, the chrysolite, and inferior kinds of the emerald family are all to be found within Mewar; and though I have seen no specimens decidedly valuable, the Rana has often told me that, according to tradition, his native hills contained every species of mineral wealth.

The Patār Plateau.

—Let us now quit our alpine station on the Aravalli, and make a tour of the Patar, or plateau of Central India, not the least important feature of this interesting region. It possesses a most decided character, and is distinct from the Vindhya to the south and the Aravalli to the west, being of the secondary formation, or trap, of the most regular horizontal stratification.

The circumference of the plateau is best explained in the map, though its surface is most unequally detailed, and is continually alternating its character between the tabular form and clustering ridges.

Commencing the tour of Mandalgarh, let us proceed south, skirting Chitor (both on insulated rocks detached from the plateau), thence by Jawad, Dantoli, Rampura,[35] Bhanpura, the Mukunddarra Pass,[36] to Gagraun (where the Kali Sind forces an entrance through its table-barrier to Eklera)[37] and Margwas (where the Parbati, taking advantage of the diminished elevation, passes from Malwa to Haraoti), and by Raghugarh, Shahabad, Ghazigarh, Gaswani, to Jadonwati, where the plateau terminates on the Chambal, east; while from the same point of outset, Mandalgarh, soon losing much of its table form, it stretches away in bold ranges, occasionally tabular, as in the Bundi fortress, by Dablana, Indargarh,[38] and Lakheri,[38] to Ranthambhor and Karauli, terminating at Dholpur Bari.

The elevation and inequalities of this plateau are best seen by crossing it from west to east, from the plains to the level of the Chambal, where, with the exception of the short flat between Kotah and Pali ferry, this noble stream is seen rushing through the rocky barrier.

At Ranthambhor the plateau breaks into lofty ranges, their 16white summits [14] sparkling in the sun; cragged but not peaked, and preserving the characteristic formation, though disunited from the mass. Here there are no less than seven distinct ranges (Satpara), through all of which the Banas has to force a passage to unite with the Chambal. Beyond Ranthambhor, and the whole way from Karauli to the river, is an irregular tableland, on the edge of whose summit are the fortresses of Utgir, Mandrel, and that more celebrated of Thun. But east of the eastern side there is still another steppe of descent, which may be said to originate near the fountain of the Sind at Latoti, and passing by Chanderi, Kanyadana, Narwar, and Gwalior, terminates at Deogarh, in the plains of Gohad. The descent from this second steppe is into Bundelkhand and the valley of the Betwa.

Distinguished as is this elevated region of the surface of Central India, its summit is but little higher than the general elevation of the crest of the Vindhya, and upon a level with the valley of Udaipur and base of the Aravalli. The slope or descent, therefore, from both these ranges to the skirts of the plateau is great and abrupt, of which the most intelligible and simple proof appears in the course of these streams. Few portions of the globe attest more powerfully the force exerted by the action of waters to subdue every obstacle, than a view of the rock-bound channels of these streams in this adamantine barrier. Four streams—one of which, the Chambal, would rank with the Rhine and almost with the Rhone—have here forced their way, laying bare the stratification from the water’s level to the summit, from three to six hundred feet in perpendicular height, the rock appearing as if chiselled by the hand of man. Here the geologist may read the book of nature in distinct character; few tracts (from Rampura to Kotah) will be found more interesting to him, to the antiquarian, or to the lover of nature in her most rugged attire.

The surface of this extensive plateau is greatly diversified. At Kotah the bare protruding rock in some places presents not a trace of vegetation; but where it bevels off to the banks of the Par it is one of the richest and most productive soils in India, and better cultivated than any spot even of British India. In its indented sides are glens of the most romantic description (as the fountain of ‘the snake King’ near Hinglaj), and deep dells, the source of small streams, where many treasures of art,[39] 17in temples and ancient dwellings, yet remain to reward the traveller [15].

This central elevation, as before described, is of the secondary formation, called trap. Its prevailing colour, where laid bare by the Chambal, is milk-white: it is compact and close-grained, and though perhaps the mineral offering the greatest resistance to the chisel, the sculptures at the celebrated Barolli evince its utility to the artist. White is also the prevailing colour to the westward. About Kotah it is often mixed white and porphyritic, and about Shahabad of a mixed red and brown tint. When exposed to the action of the atmosphere in its eastern declivity the decomposed and rough surface would almost cause it to be mistaken for gritstone.

This formation is not favourable to mineral wealth. The only metals are lead and iron; but their ores, especially the latter, are abundant. There are mines, said to be of value, of sulphuret of lead (galena) in the Gwalior province, from which I have had specimens, but these also are closed. The natives fear to extract their mineral wealth; and though abounding in lead, tin, and copper, they are indebted almost entirely to Europe even for the materials of their culinary utensils.

Without attempting a delineation of inferior ranges, I will only further direct the reader’s attention to an important deduction from this superficial review of the physiognomy of Rajwara.

The Mountain System of Central India.

—There are two distinctly marked declivities or slopes in Central India: the chief is that from west to east, from the great rampart, the Aravalli (interposed to prevent the drifting of the sands into the central plains, bisected by the Chambal and his hundred arms) to the Betwa; the other slope is from south to north, from the Vindhya, the southern buttress of Central India, to the Jumna.

Extending our definition, we may pronounce the course of the Jumna to indicate the central fall of that immense vale which has its northern slope from the base of the Himalaya, and the southern from that of the Vindhya mountains.

It is not in contemplation to delineate the varied course of the magnificent Nerbudda, though I have abundant means; for the moment we ascend the summit of the tropical[40] Vindhya, to 18descend into the valley of the Nerbudda, we abandon Rajasthan and the Rajputs for the aboriginal races, the first proprietors of the land. These I shall leave to others, and commence and end with the Chambal, the paramount lord of the floods of Central India [16].

The Chambal River.

—The Chambal has his fountains in a very elevated point of the Vindhya, amidst a cluster of hills on which is bestowed the local appellation of Janapao. It has three co-equal sources from the same cluster, the Chambal, Chambela, and Gambhir; while no less than nine other streams have their origin on the south side, and pour their waters into the Nerbudda.

The Sipra from Pipalda, the little Sind[41] from Dewas, and other minor streams passing Ujjain, all unite with the Chambal in different stages before he breaks through the plateau.

The Kali Sind, from Bagri, and its petty branch, the Sodwia, from Raghugarh; the Niwaz (or Jamniri), from Morsukri and Magarda; the Parbati, from the pass of Amlakhera, with its more eastern arm from Daulatpur, uniting at Pharhar, are all points in the crest of the Vindhya range, whence they pursue their course through the plateau, rolling over precipices,[42] till engulfed in the Chambal at the ferries of Nunera and Pali. All these unite on the right bank.

On the left bank his flood is increased by the Banas, fed by the perennial streams from the Aravalli, and the Berach from the lakes of Udaipur; and after watering Mewar, the southern frontier of Jaipur, and the highlands of Karauli, the river turns south to unite at the holy Sangam,[43] Rameswar. Minor streams contribute (unworthy, however, of separate notice), and after a thousand involutions he reaches the Jumna, at the holy Triveni,[44] or ‘triple-allied’ stream, between Etawa and Kalpi.

19The course of the Chambal, not reckoning the minor sinuosities, is upwards of five hundred miles;[45] and along its banks specimens of nearly every race now existing in India may be found: Sondis, Chandarawats, Sesodias, Haras, Gaur, Jadon, Sakarwal, Gujar, Jat,[46] Tuar, Chauhan, Bhadauria, Kachhwaha, Sengar, Bundela; each in associations of various magnitudes, from the substantive state of the little republic communes between the Chambal and Kuwari[47] [17].

The Western Desert.

—Having thus sketched the central portion of Rajasthan, or that eastward of the Aravalli, I shall give a rapid general[48] view of that to the west, conducting the reader over the ‘Thal ka Tiba,’ or ‘sand hills’ of the desert, to the valley of the Indus.

The Luni River.

—Let the reader again take post on Abu, by which he may be saved a painful journey over the Thal.[49] The most interesting object in this arid ‘region of death’ is the ‘salt river,’ the Luni, with its many arms falling from the Aravalli to enrich the best portion of the principality of Jodhpur, and distinctly marking the line of that extensive plain of ever-shifting sand, termed in Hindu geography Marusthali, corrupted to Marwar.

The Luni, from its sources, the sacred lakes of Pushkar and Ajmer, and the more remote arm from Parbatsar to its embouchure in the great western salt marsh, the Rann, has a course of more than three hundred miles.

In the term Eirinon of the historians of Alexander, we have the corruption of the word Ran or Rann,[50] still used to describe that extensive fen formed by the deposits of the Luni, and the equally saturated saline streams from the southern desert of Dhat. It is one hundred and fifty miles in length; and where broadest, from Bhuj to Baliari, about seventy:[51] in which direction 20the caravans cross, having as a place of halt an insulated oasis in this mediterranean salt marsh. In the dry season, nothing meets the eye but an extensive and glaring sheet of salt, spread over its insidious surface, full of dangerous quicksands: and in the rains it is a dirty saline solution, up to the camels’ girths in many places. The little oasis, the Khari Kaba, furnishes pasture for this useful animal and rest for the traveller pursuing his journey to either bank.

The Mirage.

—It is on the desiccated borders[52] of this vast salt marsh that the illusory phenomenon, the mirage, presents its fantastic appearance, pleasing to all but the wearied traveller, who sees a haven of rest in the embattled towers, the peaceful hamlet,[53] [18] or shady grove, to which he hastens in vain; receding as he advances, till “the sun in his might,” dissipating these “cloud-capp’d towers,” reveals the vanity of his pursuit.

Such phenomena are common to the desert, more particularly where these extensive saline depositions exist, but varying from certain causes. In most cases, this powerfully magnifying and reflecting medium is a vertical stratum; at first dense and opaque, it gradually attenuates with increased temperature, till the maximum of heat, which it can no longer resist, drives it off in an ethereal vapour. This optical deception, well known to the Rajputs, is called sikot, or ‘winter castles,’ because chiefly visible in the cold season: hence, possibly, originated the equally illusory and delightful ‘Chateau en Espagne,’ so well known in the west.[54]


The Desert.

—From the north bank of the Luni to the south, and the Shaikhavat frontier to the east, the sandy region commences. Bikaner, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer are all sandy plains, increasing in volume as you proceed westward. All this portion of territory is incumbent on a sandstone formation: soundings of all the new wells made from Jodhpur to Ajmer yielded the same result: sand, concrete siliceous deposits, and chalk.

Jaisalmer is everywhere encircled by desert; and that portion round the capital might not be improperly termed an oasis, in which wheat, barley, and even rice are produced. The fortress is erected on the extremity of a range of some hundred feet in elevation, which can be traced beyond its southern confines to the ruins of the ancient Chhotan erected upon them, and which tradition has preserved as the capital of a tribe, or prince, termed Hapa, of whom no other trace exists. It is not unlikely that this ridge may be connected with that which runs through the rich province of Jalor; consequently an offset from the base of Abu.

Though all these regions collectively bear the term Marusthali, or ‘region of death’ (the emphatic and figurative phrase for the desert), the restrictive definition applies to a part only, that under the dominion of the Rathor race [19].

From Balotra on the Luni, throughout the whole of Dhat and Umrasumra, the western portion of Jaisalmer, and a broad strip between the southern limits of Daudputra and Bikaner, there is real solitude and desolation. But from the Sutlej to the Rann, a space of five hundred miles of longitudinal distance, and varying in breadth from fifty to one hundred miles, numerous oases are found, where the shepherds from the valley of the Indus and the Thal pasture their flocks. The springs of water in these places have various appellations, tar, par, rar, dar, all expressive of the element, round which assemble the Rajars, Sodhas, Mangalias, and Sahariyas,[55] inhabiting the desert.

22I will not touch on the salt lakes or natron beds, or the other products of the desert, vegetable or mineral; though the latter might soon be described, being confined to the jasper rock near Jaisalmer, which has been much used in the beautiful arabesques of that fairy fabric, at Agra, the mausoleum of Shah Jahan’s queen.

Neither shall I describe the valley of the Indus, or that portion eastward of the stream, the termination of the sand ridges of the desert. I will merely remark, that the small stream which breaks from the Indus at Dara, seven miles north of the insulated Bakhar, and falls into the ocean at Lakhpat, shows the breadth of this eastern portion of the valley, which forms the western boundary of the desert. A traveller proceeding from the Khichi or flats of Sind to the east, sees the line of the desert distinctly marked, with its elevated tibas or sand ridges under which flows the Sankra, which is generally dry except at periodical inundations. These sand-hills are of considerable elevation, and may be considered the limit of the inundation of the ‘sweet river,’ the Mitha Maran, a Scythic or Tatar name for river, and by which alone the Indus is known, from the Panjnad[56] to the ocean [20].

1. Or ‘regal (rāj) dwelling (thān).‘

2. It is rather singular that the Sind River will mark this eastern boundary, as does the Indus (or great Sind) that to the west. East of this minor Sind the Hindu princes are not of pure blood, and are excluded from Rajasthan or Rajwara.

3. [Rājputāna, as now officially defined, lies between lat. 23° 3´ and 30° 12´ N., and long. 69° 30´ and 78° 17´ E., the total area, according to the Census Report, 1911, including Ajmer-Merwāra, being 131,698 square miles.]

4. Engraved by that meritorious artist Mr. Walker, engraver to the East India Company, who, I trust, will be able to make a fuller use of my materials hereafter. [This has been replaced by a modern map.]

5. [James Rennell, 1742-1830.]

6. When the war of 1817 broke out, copies of my map on a reduced scale were sent to all the divisions of the armies in the field, and came into possession of many of the staff. Transcripts were made which were brought to Europe, and portions introduced into every recent map of India. One map has, indeed, been given, in a manner to induce a supposition that the furnisher of the materials was the author of them. It has fulfilled a prediction of the Marquess of Hastings, who, foreseeing the impossibility of such materials remaining private property, “and the danger of their being appropriated by others,” and desirous that the author should derive the full advantage of his labours, had it signified that the claims for recompense, on the records of successive governments, should not be deferred. It will not be inferred the author is surprised at what he remarks. While he claims priority for himself, he is the last person to wish to see a halt in science—

“For emulation has a thousand sons.”

7. My esteemed friend, Graeme Mercer, Esq. (of Maevisbank), who stimulated my exertions with his approbation.

8. Many incidents in these journeys would require no aid of imagination to touch on the romantic, but they can have no place here.

9. Eastern tableland.

10. Sind River.

11. Parbati River.

12. Kali Sind River.

13. Passage of the Chambal and junction of the Par.

14. The Shaikh brought me specimens of the rock, which is siliceous; and also a piece of brick of the very ancient fortress of Sehwan, and some of the grain from its pits, charred and alleged by tradition to have lain there since the period of Raja Bhartarihari, the brother of Vikramaditya. It is not impossible that it might be owing to Alexander’s terrific progress, and to their supplies being destroyed by fire. Sehwan is conjectured by Captain Pottinger to be the capital of Musicanus. [The capital of the Sogdoi has been identified with Alor or Aror; but Cunningham places it between Alor and Uchh. The capital of Mousikanos was possibly Alor, and Sehwān the Sindimana of the Greeks. But, owing to changes in the course of the Lower Indus, it is very difficult to identify ancient sites (McCrindle, Alexander, 157, 354 f.).]

15. His health was worn out at length, and he became the victim of depressed spirits. He died suddenly: I believe poisoned. Fateh, almost as zealous as Madari, also died in the pursuit. Geography has been destructive to all who have pursued it with ardour in the East.

16. A valuable and ancient work, which I presented to the Royal Asiatic Society.

17. It is, however, limited to Malwa, whose geography was greatly improved and enlarged by the labours of Captain Dangerfield; and though my materials could fill up the whole of this province, I merely insert the chief points to connect it with Rajasthan.

18. Captain P. T. Waugh, 10th Regiment Light Cavalry, Bengal.

19. Mr. J. B. Fraser [whose book was published in 1825].

20. My last journey, in 1822-23, was from Udaipur, through these countries towards the Delta of the Indus, but more with a view to historical and antiquarian than geographical research. It proved the most fruitful of all my many journeys. [The results are recorded in Travels in Western India, published in 1839, after the author’s death.]

21. Guru Sikhar.

22. Its classic name is Vetravati, Vetra being the common willow [or reed] in Sanskrit; said by Wilford to be the same in Welsh.

23. Literally ‘the central (madhya) flat.’ [It means ‘Land of the Med tribe.’]

24. Meaning ‘table (pat) mountain (ar).’—Although ar may not be found in any Sanskrit dictionary with the signification ‘mountain,’ yet it appears to be a primitive root possessing such meaning—instance, Ar-buddha, ‘hill of Buddha’; Aravalli, ‘hill of strength.’ Ar is Hebrew for ‘mountain’ (qu. Ararat?) Ὅρος in Greek? The common word for a mountain in Sanskrit, gir, is equally so in Hebrew. [These derivations are out of date. The origin of the word patār is obscure. Sir G. Grierson, to whom the question was referred, suggests a connexion with Marāthi pathār, ‘a tableland,’ or Gujarati pathār (Skr. prastara, ‘expanse, extent’). The word is probably not connected with Hindi pāt, ‘a board.’]

25. The Betwa River runs under the tableland just alluded to, on the east.

26. I am familiar with these regions, and confidently predict that when a similar measurement shall be made from the Betwa to Kotah, these results will little err, and the error will be in having made Kotah somewhat too elevated, and the bed of the Betwa a little too low. [Udaipur city is 1950 feet above sea-level.]

27. Central India, a term which I first applied as the title of the map presented to the Marquess of Hastings, in 1815, ‘of Central and Western India,’ and since become familiar. [Usually applied to the Ganges-Jumna Duāb.]

28. Let it be remembered that the Aravalli, though it loses its tabular form, sends its branches north, terminating at Delhi.

29. Those who have marched from Baroda towards Malwa and marked the irregularities of surface will admit this chain of connexion of the Vindhya and Aravalli.

30. ‘The refuge of strength’ [?], a title justly merited, from its affording protection to the most ancient sovereign race which holds dominion, whether in the east or west—the ancient stock of the Suryavans, the Heliadai of India, our ‘children of the sun,’ the princes of Mewar. [Ārāvalli probably means ‘Corner Line.’]

31. It was my intention to have penetrated through their singular abodes; and I had negotiated, and obtained of these ‘forest lords’ a promise of hospitable passport, of which I have never allowed myself to doubt, as the virtues of pledged faith and hospitality are ever to be found in stronger keeping in the inverse ratio of civilization. Many years ago one of my parties was permitted to range through this tract. In one of the passes of their lengthened valleys ‘The Lord of the Mountain’ was dead: the men were all abroad, and his widow alone in the hut. Madari told his story, and claimed her surety and passport; which the Bhilni delivered from the quiver of her late lord; and the arrow carried in his hand was as well recognised as the cumbrous roll with all its seals and appendages of a traveller in Europe.

32. Meru signifies ‘a hill’ in Sanskrit, hence Komal, or properly Kūmbhalmer, is ‘the hill’ or ‘mountain of Kūmbha,’ a prince whose exploits are narrated. Likewise Ajmer is the ‘hill of Ajaya,’ the ‘Invincible’ hill. Mer is with the long é, like Mère in French, in classical orthography. [Ajmer, ‘hill of Aja, Chauhān.’]

33. At the point of my descent this was characteristically illustrated by my Rajput friend of Semar, whose domain had been invaded and cow-pens emptied, but a few days before, by the mountain bandit of Sirohi. With their booty they took the shortest and not most practicable road: but though their alpine kine are pretty well accustomed to leaping in such abodes, it would appear they had hesitated here. The difficulty was soon got over by one of the Minas, who with his dagger transfixed one and rolled him over the height, his carcase serving at once as a precedent and a stepping-stone for his horned kindred.

34. [“Oldest of all the physical features which intersect the continent is the range of mountains known as the Arāvallis, which strikes across the Peninsula from north-east to south-west, overlooking the sandy wastes of Rājputāna. The Arāvallis are but the depressed and degraded relics of a far more prominent mountain system, which stood, in Palaeozoic times, on the edge of the Rājputāna Sea. The disintegrated rocks which once formed part of the Arāvallis are now spread out in wide red-stone plains to the east” (IGI, i. 1).]

35. Near this the Chambal first breaks into the Patar.

36. Here is the celebrated pass through the mountains.

37. Here the Niwaz breaks the chain.

38. Both celebrated passes, where the ranges are very complicated.

39. I have rescued a few of these from oblivion to present to my countrymen.

40. Hence its name, Vindhya, ‘the barrier,’ to the further progress of the sun in his northern declination. [Skr. root, bind, bid, ‘to divide.’]

41. This the fourth Sind of India. We have, first, the Sind or Indus; this little Sind; then the Kali Sind, or ‘black river’; and again the Sind rising at Latoti, on the plateau west and above Sironj. Sin is a Scythic word for river (now unused), so applied by the Hindus. [Skr. Sindhu, probably from the root syand, ‘to flow.’]

42. The falls of the Kali Sind through the rocks at Gagraun and the Parbati at Chapra (Gugal) are well worthy of a visit. The latter, though I encamped twice at Chapra, from which it was reputed five miles, I did not see.

43. Sangam is the point of confluence of two or more rivers, always sacred to Mahadeva.

44. The Jumna, Chambal, and Sind [triveni, ‘triple braid’].

45. [650 miles.]

46. The only tribes not of Rajput blood.

47. The ‘virgin’ stream.

48. I do not repeat the names of towns forming the arrondissements of the various States; they are distinctly laid down in the boundary lines of each.

49. Thal is the general term for the sand ridges of the desert. [Skr. sthala, ‘firm ground.’]

50. Most probably a corruption of aranya, or desert; [or irina, īrina, ‘desert, salt soil’], so that the Greek mode of writing it is more correct than the present.

51. [The area of the Rann is about 9000 square miles: its length 150, breadth, 60 miles. Bhuj lies inland, not on the banks of the Rann.]

52. It is here the wild ass (gorkhar) roams at large, untamable as in the day of the Arabian Patriarch of Uz, “whose house I have made the wilderness, the barren land (or, according to the Hebrew, salt places), his dwelling. He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver” (Job xxxix. 6, 7).

53. Purwa.

54. I have beheld it from the top of the ruined fortress of Hissar with unlimited range of vision, no object to diverge its ray, save the miniature forests; the entire circle of the horizon a chain of more than fancy could form of palaces, towers, and these airy ‘pillars of heaven’ terminating in turn their ephemeral existence. But in the deserts of Dhat and Umrasumra, where the shepherds pasture their flocks, and especially where the alkaline plant is produced, the stratification is more horizontal, and produces more of the watery deception. It is this illusion to which the inspired writer refers, when he says, “the mock pool of the desert shall become real water” [Isaiah xxv. 7]. The inhabitants of the desert term it Chitram, literally ‘the picture,’ by no means an unhappy designation.

55. Sehraie [in the text], from sahra, ‘desert.’ Hence Sarrazin, or Saracen, is a corruption from sahra, ‘desert,’ and zadan, ‘to strike,’ contracted. Rāhzani, ‘to strike on the road’ (rāh). Rāhbar, ‘on the road,’ corrupted by the Pindaris to labar, the designation of their forays. [The true name is Sahariya, which has been connected with that of the Savara, a tribe in Eastern India. Saracen comes to us from the late Latin Saraceni, of which the origin is unknown; it cannot be derived from the Arabic Sharqi, ‘eastern’ (see New English Dictionary, s.v.).]

56. The confluent arms or sources of the Indus.




The Purānas.

—Being desirous of epitomizing the chronicles of the martial races of Central and Western India, it was essential to ascertain the sources whence they draw, or claim to draw, their lineage. For this purpose I obtained from the library of the Rana of Udaipur their sacred volumes, the Puranas, and laid them before a body of pandits, over whom presided the learned Jati Gyanchandra. From these extracts were made of all the genealogies of the great races of Surya and Chandra, and of facts historical and geographical.

Most of the Puranas[1] contain portions of historical as well as geographical knowledge; but the Bhagavat, the Skanda, the Agni, and the Bhavishya are the chief guides. It is rather fortunate than to be regretted that their chronologies do not perfectly agree. The number of princes in each line varies, and names are transposed; but we recognize distinctly the principal features in each, affording the conclusion that they are the productions of various writers, borrowing from some common original source [21].


Deluge Legend.

—The Genesis[2] of India commences with an event described in the history of almost all nations, the deluge, which, though treated with the fancy peculiar to the orientals, is not the less entitled to attention. The essence of the extract from the Agni Purana is this: “When ocean quitted his bounds and caused universal destruction by Brahma’s command, Vaivaswata[3] Manu (Noah), who dwelt near the Himalaya[4] mountains was giving water to the gods in the Kritamala river, when a small fish fell into his hand. A voice commanded him to preserve it. The fish expanded to an enormous size. Manu, with his sons and their wives, and the sages, with the seed of every living thing, entered into a vessel which was fastened to a horn on the head of the fish, and thus they were preserved.”

Here, then, the grand northern chain is given to which the abode of the great patriarch of mankind approximated. In the Bhavishya it is stated, that “Vaivaswata (sun-born) Manu ruled at the mountain Sumeru. Of his seed was Kakutstha Raja, who obtained sovereignty at Ayodhya,[5] and his descendants filled the land and spread over the earth.”

I am aware of the meaning given to Sumeru, that thus the Hindus designated the north pole of the earth. But they had also a mountain with this same appellation of pre-eminence of Meru, ‘the hill,’ with the prefix Su, ‘good, sacred’: the Sacred Hill.

Meru, Sumeru.

—In the geography of the Agni Purana, the term is used as a substantial geographical limit;[6] and some of 25the rivers flowing from the mountainous ranges, whose relative position with Sumeru are there defined, still retain their ancient appellations. Let us not darken the subject, by supposing only allegorical meanings attached to explicit points. In the distribution of their seven dwipas, or continents, though they interpose seas of curds, milk, or wine, we should not reject strong and evident facts, because subsequent ignorant interpolators filled up the page with puerilities [22].

This sacred mountain (Sumeru) is claimed by the Brahmans as the abode of Mahadeva,[7] Adiswar,[8] or Baghes[9]; by the Jains, as the abode of Adinath,[10] the first Jiniswara, or Jain lord. Here they say he taught mankind the arts of agriculture and civilized life. The Greeks claimed it as the abode of Bacchus; and hence the Grecian fable of this god being taken from the thigh of Jupiter, confounding meros (thigh) with the meru (hill) of this Indian deity. In this vicinity the followers of Alexander had their Saturnalia, drank to excess of the wine from its indigenous vines, and bound their brows with ivy (vela)[11] sacred to the Baghes of the east and west, whose votaries alike indulge in ‘strong drink.’

These traditions appear to point to one spot, and to one individual, in the early history of mankind, when the Hindu and the Greek approach a common focus; for there is little doubt that Adinath, Adiswara, Osiris, Baghes, Bacchus, Manu, Menes designate the patriarch of mankind, Noah.

The Hindus can at this time give only a very general idea of the site of Meru; but they appear to localize it in a space of which Bamian, Kabul, and Ghazni would be the exterior points. The former of these cities is known to possess remains of the 26religion of Buddha, in its caves and colossal statues.[12] The Paropamisan Alexandria is near Bamian; but the Meru and Nyssa[13] of Alexander are placed more to the eastward by the Greek writers, and according to the cautious Arrian between the Cophas and Indus. Authority localizes it between Peshawar and Jalalabad, and calls it Merkoh, or Markoh,[14] "a bare rock 2000 feet high [23] with caves to the westward, termed Bedaulat by the Emperor Humayun from its dismal appearance."[15] This 27designation, however, of Dasht-i Bedaulat, or ‘unhappy plain,’ was given to the tract between the cities beforementioned [24].

The only scope of these remarks on Sumeru is to show that 28the Hindus themselves do not make India within the Indus the cradle of their race, but west, amidst the hills of Caucasus,[16] whence the sons of Vaivaswata, or the ‘sun-born,’ migrated eastward to the Indus and Ganges, and founded their first establishment in Kosala, the capital, Ayodhya, or Oudh.

Most nations have indulged the desire of fixing the source whence they issued, and few spots possess more interest than this elevated Madhya-Bhumi, or ‘central region’ of Asia, where the Amu, Oxus, or Jihun, and other rivers, have their rise, and in which both the Surya and Indu[17] races (Sakha) claim the hill,[18] 29sacred to a great patriarchal ancestor, whence they migrated eastward.

The Rajput tribes could scarcely have acquired some of their still existing Scythic habits and warlike superstitions on the burning plains of Ind.Ind. It was too hot to hail with fervent adoration the return of the sun from his southern course to enliven the northern hemisphere. This should be the religion of a colder clime, brought from their first haunts, the sources of the Jihun and Jaxartes. The grand solstitial festival, the Aswamedha, or sacrifice of the horse (the type of the sun), practised by the children of Vaivaswata, the ‘sun-born,’ was most probably simultaneously introduced from Scythia into the plains of Ind, and west, by the sons of Odin, Woden, or Budha, into Scandinavia, where it became the Hi-el or Hi-ul,[19] the festival of the winter solstice; the grand jubilee of northern nations, and in the first ages of Christianity, being so near the epoch of its rise, gladly used by the first fathers of the church to perpetuate that event[20][25].

1. “Every Purana,” says the first authority existing in Sanskrit lore, “treats of five subjects: the creation of the universe; its progress, and the renovation of the world; the genealogy of gods and heroes; chronology, according to a fabulous system; and heroic history, containing the achievements of demi-gods and heroes. Since each purana contains a cosmogony, both mythological and heroic history, the works which bear that title may not unaptly be compared to the Grecian theogonies” (‘Essay on the Sanskrit and Pracrit Languages,’ by H. T. Colebrooke, Esq.; As. Res. vol. vii. p. 202). [On the age of the Purānas see Smith, EHI, 21 ff.]

2. Resolvable into Sanskrit, janam, ‘birth,’ and is and iswar, ‘lords’ [γένω, γίγνομαι, Skr. root jan, ‘to generate’].

3. Son of the sun.

4. The snowy Caucasus. Sir William Jones, in an extract from a work entitled Essence of the Pooranas, says that this event took place at Dravira in the Deccan.

5. The present Ajodhya, capital of one of the twenty-two satrapies constituting the Mogul Empire, and for some generations held by the titular Vizir, who has recently assumed the regal title. [Ghāziu-d-dīn Haidar in 1819.]

6. “To the south of Sumeru are the mountains Himavan, Hemakūta, and Nishadha; to the north are the countries Nīl, Sveta, and Sringi. Between Hemāchal and the ocean the land is Bhāratkhand, called Kukarma Bhūmi (land of vice, opposed to Āryāvarta, or land of virtue), in which the seven grand ranges are Mahendra, Malaya, Sahya, Suktimat, Riksha, Vindhya, and Paripatra” (Agni Purana).

7. The Creator, literally ‘the Great God.’

8. The ‘first lord.’

9. Baghes, ‘the tiger lord.’lord.’ He wears a tiger’s or panther’s hide; which he places beneath him. So Bacchus did. The phallus is the emblem of each. Baghes has several temples in Mewar. [In identifying Bacchus with a Hindu tiger god the author depended on Asiatic Researches, i. 258, viii. 51. For the Greek story in the text see Quintus Curtius viii. 10; Diodorus iii. 63; Arrian, Anabasis, vii.]

10. First lord.

11. Vela is the general term for a climber, sacred to the Indian Bacchus (Baghes, Adiswara, or Mahadeva), whose priests, following his example, are fond of intoxicating beverages, or drugs. The amarbel, or immortal vela, is a noble climber.

12. [“In the Tūmān of Zohāk and Bāmiān, the fortress of Zohāk is a monument of great antiquity, and in good preservation, but the fort of Bāmiān is in ruins. In the mountain-side caves have been excavated and ornamented with plaster and paintings. Of these there are 12,000 which are called Sumaj, and in former times were used by the people as winter retreats. Three colossal figures are here: one is the statue of a man, 80 yards in height; another that of a woman, 50 yards high, and the third that of a child measuring 15 yards. Strange to relate, in one of the caves is placed a coffin containing the body of one who reposes in his last sleep. The oldest and most learned of antiquarians can give no account of its origin, but suppose it to be of great antiquity. In days of old the ancients prepared a medicament with which they anointed corpses and consigned them to earth in a hard soil. The simple, deceived by this art, attribute their preservation to a miracle” (Āīn, ii. 409 f., with Jarrett’s notes). For Bāmiān see EB, iii. 304 f.]

13. Nishadha is mentioned in the Purana as a mountain. If in the genitive case (which the final syllable marks), it would be a local term given from the city of Nissa. [Nysa has no connexion with Nishadha. It probably lay near Jalalabad or Koh-i Mor (Smith, EHI, 53).]

14. Meru, Sanskrit, and Koh, Persian, for a ‘hill.’

15. Asiatic Researches, vol. vi. p. 497. Wilford appears to have borrowed largely from that ancient store-house (as the Hindu would call it) of learning, Sir Walter Raleigh’s History of the World. He combines, however, much of what that great man had so singularly acquired and condensed, with what he himself collected, and with the aid of imagination has formed a curious mosaic. But when he took a peep into “the chorographical description of the Terrestrial Paradise,” I am surprised he did not separate the nurseries of mankind before and after the flood. There is one passage, also, of Sir Walter Raleigh which would have aided his hypothesis, that Eden was in Higher Asia, between the common sources of the Jihun and other grand rivers: the abundance of the Ficus Indica, or bar-tree, sacred to the first lord, Adnath or Mahadeva.

“Now for the tree of knowledge of good and evil, some men have presumed further; especially Gorapius Bocanus, who giveth himself the honour to have found out the kind of this tree, which none of the writers of former times could ever guess at, whereat Gorapius much marvelleth.”

——“Both together went
Into the thickest wood; there soon they chose
The fig tree; not that kind for fruit renowned,
But such as at this day, to Indians known
In Malabar or Decan, spreads her arms
Branching so broad and long, that in the ground
The bended twigs take root, and daughters grow
About the mother tree, a pillar’d shade
High overarched, and echoing walks between.
There oft the Indian herdsman, shunning heat,
Shelters in cool and tends his pasturing herds.”
——“Those leaves
They gathered, broad as Amazonian targe.”
Paradise Lost, Book ix. 1100 ff.

Sir Walter strongly supports the Hindu hypothesis regarding the locality of the nursery for rearing mankind, and that “India was the first planted and peopled countrie after the flood” (p. 99). His first argument is, that it was a place where the vine and olive were indigenous, as amongst the Sakai Scythai (and as they still are, together with oats, between Kabul and Bamian); and that Ararat could not be in Armenia, because the Gordian mountains on which the ark rested were in longitude 75°, and the Valley of Shinar 79° to 80°, which would be reversing the tide of migration. “As they journeyed from the East, they found a plain, in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there” (Genesis, chap. xi. ver. 2). He adds, “Ararat, named by Moses, is not any one hill, but a general term for the great Caucasian range; therefore we must blow up this mountain Ararat, or dig it down and carry it out of Armenia, or find it elsewhere in a warmer country, and east from Shinar.” He therefore places it in Indo-Scythia, in 140° of longitude and 35° to 37° of latitude, “where the mountains do build themselves exceeding high”: and concludes, "It was in the plentiful warm East where Noah rested, where he planted the vine, where he tilled the ground and lived thereon. Placuit vero Noacho agriculturæ studium in qua tractanda ipse omnium peritissimus esse dicitur; ob eamque rem, sua ipsius lingua, Ish-Adamath:[A] hoc est, Telluris Vir, appellatur, celebratusque est. The study of husbandry pleased Noah (says the excellent learned man, Arius Montanus) in the order and knowledge of which it is said that Noah excelled all men, and therefore was he called in his own language, a man exercised in the earth." The title, character, and abode exactly suit the description the Jains give of their first Jiniswara, Adinath, the first lordly man, who taught them agriculture, even to “muzzling the bull in treading out the corn.”

Had Sir Walter been aware that the Hindu sacred books styled their country Aryavarta,[B] and of which the great Imaus is the northern boundary, he would doubtless have seized it for his Ararat. [Needless to say, these speculations are obsolete.]

A. In Sanskrit, Īsh, ‘Lord,’ ādi, ‘the first,’ matti, ‘Earth.’ [The derivation is absurd: matti, ‘clay,’ is modern Hindi.] Here the Sanskrit and Hebrew have the same meaning, ‘first lord of the earth.’ In these remote Rajput regions, where early manners and language remain, the strongest phrase to denote a man or human being is literally ‘earth.’ A chief describing a fray between his own followers and borderers whence death ensued, says, Meri matti māri, ‘My earth has been struck’: a phrase requiring no comment, and denoting that he must have blood in return.

B. Āryāvarta, or the land of promise or virtue, cannot extend to the flat plains of India south of the Himavat; for this is styled in the Purānas the very reverse, kukarma des, or land of vice. [Āryāvarta is the land bounded by the Himalaya and Vindhya, from the eastern to the western seas (Manu, Laws, ii. 22).]

16. Hindu, or Indu-kush or koh, is the local appellation; ‘mountain of the moon.’ [Hindu-kush is said to mean ‘Hindu-slayer’ or ‘Indian Caucasus.’]

17. Solar and lunar.

18. Meru, ‘the hill,’ is used distinctively, as in Jaisalmer (the capital of the Bhatti tribe in the Western Desert), ‘the hill of Jaisal’; Merwara, or the ‘mountainous region’; and its inhabitants Meras, or ‘mountaineers.’ Thus, also, in the grand epic the Ramayana (Book i. p. 236), Mena is the mountain-nymph, the daughter of Meru and spouse of Himavat; from whom sprung two daughters, the river goddess Ganga and the mountain-nymph Parbati. She is, in the Mahabharata, also termed Saila, the daughter of Sail, another designation of the snowy chain; and hence mountain streams are called in Sanskrit silletee [?]. Saila bears the same attributes with the Phrygian Cybele, who was also the daughter of a mountain of the same name; the one is carried, the other drawn, by lions. Thus the Greeks also metamorphosed Parbat Pamer, or ‘the mountain Pamer,’ into Paropamisan, applied to the Hindu Koh west of Bamian: but the Parbat pat Pamer, or ‘Pamer chief of hills,’ is mentioned by the bard Chand as being far east of that tract, and under it resided Hamīra, one of the great feudatories of Prithwiraja of Delhi. Had it been Paropanisan (as some authorities write it), it would better accord with the locality where it takes up the name, being near to Nyssa and Meru, of which Parbat or Pahar would be a version, and form Paronisan, ‘the Mountain of Nyssa,’ the range Nishadha of the Puranas. [The true form is Paropanisos: the suggested derivation is impossible.]

19. Haya or Hi, in Sanskrit, ‘horse’—El, ‘sun’: whence ἵππος and ἕλιος. Ηλ appears to have been a term of Scythian origin for the sun; and Hari, the Indian Apollo, is addressed as the sun. Hiul, or Jul, of northern nations (qu. Noel of France?), is the Hindu Sankrānti, of which more will be said hereafter. [The feast was known as Hvil, Jul, or Yule, and the suggested derivation is impossible.]

20. Mallet’s Northern Antiquities.


Puranic Genealogies.

—The chronicles of the Bhagavat and Agni, containing the genealogies of the Surya (sun) and Indu (moon) races, shall now be examined. The first of these, by calculation, brings down the chain to a period six centuries subsequent to Vikramaditya (A.D. 650), so that these books may have been remodelled or commented on about this period: their fabrication cannot be supposed.

Although portions of these genealogies by Sir William Jones, Mr. Bentley, and Colonel Wilford, have appeared in the volumes of the Asiatic Researches, yet no one should rest satisfied with the inquiries of others, if by any process he can reach the fountain-head himself.

If, after all, these are fabricated genealogies of the ancient 30families of India, the fabrication is of ancient date, and they are all they know themselves upon the subject. The step next in importance to obtaining a perfect acquaintance with the genuine early history of nations, is to learn what those nations repute to be such.

Doubtless the original Puranas contained much valuable historical matter; but, at present, it is difficult to separate a little pure metal from the base alloy of ignorant expounders and interpolators. I have but skimmed the surface: research, to the capable, may yet be rewarded by many isolated facts and important transactions, now hid under the veil of ignorance and allegory.

Neglect of History by the Hindus.

—The Hindus, with the decrease of intellectual power, their possession of which is evinced by their architectural remains, where just proportion and elegant mythological device are still visible, lost the relish for the beauty of truth, and adopted the monstrous in their writings as well as their edifices. But for detection and shame, matters of history would be hideously distorted even in civilized Europe; but in the East, in the moral decrepitude of ancient Asia, with no judge to condemn, no public to praise, each priestly expounder may revel in an unfettered imagination, and reckon his admirers in proportion to the mixture of the marvellous[1] [26]. Plain historical truths have long ceased to interest this artificially fed people.

If at such a comparatively modern period as the third century before Christ, the Babylonian historian Berosus composed his fictions, which assigned to that monarchy such incredible antiquity, it became capable of refutation from the many historians of repute who preceded him. But on the fabulist of India we have no such check. If Vyasa himself penned these legends as now existing, then is the stream of knowledge corrupt from the fountain-head. If such the source, the stream, filtering through ages of ignorance, has only been increased by fresh impurities. It is difficult to conceive how the arts and sciences could advance, 31when it is held impious to doubt the truth of whatever has been handed down, and still more to suppose that the degenerate could improve thereon. The highest ambition of the present learned priesthood, generation after generation, is to be able to comprehend what has thus reached them, and to form commentaries upon past wisdom; which commentaries are commented on ad infinitum. Whoever dare now aspire to improve thereon must keep the secret in his own breast. They are but the expounders of the olden oracles; were they more they would be infidels. But this could not always have been the case.

With the Hindus, as with other nations, the progress to the heights of science they attained must have been gradual; unless we take from them the merit of original invention, and set them down as borrowers of a system. These slavish fetters of the mind must have been forged at a later period, and it is fair to infer that the monopoly of science and religion was simultaneous. What must be the effect of such monopoly on the impulses and operations of the understanding? Where such exists, knowledge could not long remain stationary; it must perforce retrograde. Could we but discover the period when religion[2] ceased to be a profession [27] and became hereditary (and that such there was these very genealogies bear evidence), we might approximate the era when science attained its height.

The Priestly Office.

—In the early ages of these Solar and Lunar dynasties, the priestly office was not hereditary in families; it was a profession; and the genealogies exhibit frequent instances of branches of these races terminating their martial career in the 32commencement of a religious sect, or gotra, and of their descendants reassuming their warlike occupations. Thus, of the ten sons of Ikshwaku,[3] three are represented as abandoning worldly affairs and taking to religion; and one of these, Kanina, is said to be the first who made an agnihotra, or pyreum, and worshipped fire, while another son embraced commerce. Of the Lunar line and the six sons of Pururavas, the name of the fourth was Raya; “from him the fifteenth generation was Harita, who with his eight brothers took to the office of religion, and established the Kausika Gotra, or tribe of Brahmans.”

From the twenty-fourth prince in lineal descent from Yayati, by name Bharadwaja, originated a celebrated sect, who still bear his name, and are the spiritual teachers of several Rajput tribes.

Of the twenty-sixth prince, Manava, two sons devoted themselves to religion, and established celebrated sects, viz. Mahavira, whose descendants were the Pushkar Brahmans; and Sankriti, whose issue were learned in the Vedas.Vedas. From the line of Ajamidha these ministers of religion were continually branching off.

In the very early periods, the princes of the Solar line, like the Egyptians and Romans, combined the offices of the priesthood with kingly power, and this whether Brahmanical or Buddhist.[4] Many of the royal line, before and subsequent to Rama, passed great part of their lives as ascetics; and in ancient sculpture and drawings the head is as often adorned with the braided lock of the ascetic as with the diadem of royalty.[5]

The greatest monarchs bestowed their daughters on these royal hermits and sages [28]. Ahalya, the daughter of the powerful Panchala,[6] became the wife of the ascetic Gautama. The sage Jamadagni espoused the daughter of Sahasra[7] Arjuna, of 33Mahishmat,[8] king of the Haihaya tribe, a great branch of the Yadu race.

Among the Egyptians, according to Herodotus [ii. 37, 141], the priests succeeded to sovereignty, as they and the military class alone could hold lands; and Sethos, the priest of Vulcan, caused a revolution, by depriving the military of their estates.

We have various instances in India of the Brahmans from Jamadagni to the Mahratta Peshwa, contesting for sovereignty; power[9] and homage being still their great aim, as in the days of Vishvamitra[10] and Vasishtha, the royal sages [29] whom “Janaka 34sovereign of Mithila, addressed with folded hands in token of superiority.”

Relations of Rajputs with Brahmans.

—But this deference for the Brahmans is certainly, with many Rajput classes, very weak. In obedience to prejudice, they show them outward civility; but, unless when their fears or wishes interfere, they are less esteemed than the bards.

The story of the King Vishvamitra of Gadhipura[11] and the Brahman Vasishtha, which fills so many sections of the first book of the Ramayana,[12] exemplifies, under the veil of allegory, the 35contests for power between the Brahmanical and military classes, and will serve to indicate the probable period when the castes became immutable. Stripped of its allegory, the legend appears to point to a time when the division of the classes was yet imperfect; though we may infer, from the violence of the struggle, that it was the last in which Brahmanhood could be obtained by the military.

Vishvamitra was the son of Gadhi (of the race of Kausika), King of Gadhipura, and contemporary of Ambarisha, King of Ayodhya or Oudh, the fortieth prince from Ikshwaku; consequently about two hundred years anterior to Rama. This event therefore, whence we infer that the system of castes was approaching perfection, was probably about one thousand four hundred years before Christ.

Dates of the Genealogies.

—If proof can be given that these genealogies existed in the days of Alexander, the fact would be interesting. The legend in the Puranas, of the origin of the Lunar race, appears to afford this testimony.

Vyasa, the author of the grand epic the Mahabharata, was son of Santanu (of the race of Hari),[13] sovereign of Delhi, by Yojanagandha, a fisherman’s daughter,[14] [30] consequently illegitimate. He became the spiritual father, or preceptor, of his nieces, the daughters of Vichitravirya, the son and successor of Santanu.

The Herakles Legend.

—Vichitravirya had no male offspring. Of his three daughters, one was named Pandaia[15]; and Vyasa, 36being the sole remaining male branch of the house of Santanu, took his niece, and spiritual daughter, Pandaia, to wife, and became the father of Pandu, afterwards sovereign of Indraprastha.

Arrian gives the story thus: "It is further said that he [Herakles][16] had a very numerous progeny of children born to 37him in India ... [31] but that he had only one daughter.[17] The name of this child was Pandaia, and the land in which she was born, and with the sovereignty of which Herakles entrusted her, was called after her name Pandaia" (Indika, viii.).

This is the very legend contained in the Puranas, of Vyasa (who was Hari-kul-es, or chief of the race of Hari) and his spiritual daughter Pandaia, from whom the grand race the Pandavas, and from whom Delhi and its dependencies were designated the Pandava sovereignty.

Her issue ruled for thirty-one generations in direct descents, or from 1120 to 610 before Christ; when the military minister,[18] connected by blood, was chosen by the chiefs who rebelled against the last Pandu king, represented as “neglectful of all the cares of government,” and whose deposition and death introduced a new dynasty.

Two other dynasties succeeded in like manner by the usurpation of these military ministers, until Vikramaditya, when the Pandava sovereignty and era of Yudhishthira were both overturned.

38Indraprastha remained without a sovereign, supreme power being removed from the north to the southern parts of India, till the fourth, or, according to some authorities, the eighth century after Vikrama, when the throne of Yudhishthira was once more occupied by the Tuar tribe of Rajputs, claiming descents from the Pandus. To this ancient capital, thus refounded, the new appellation of Delhi was given; and the dynasty of the founder, Anangpal, lasted to the twelfth century, when he abdicated in favour of his grandson,[19] Prithiviraja, the last imperial Rajput sovereign of India, whose defeat and death introduced the Muhammadans.

This line has also closed with the pageant of a prince, and a colony returned from the extreme west is now the sole arbiter of the thrones of Pandu and Timur.

Britain has become heir to the monuments of Indraprastha raised by the descendants of Budha and Ila; to the iron pillar of the Pandavas, "whose pedestal[20] [32] is fixed in hell"; to the columns reared to victory, inscribed with characters yet unknown; to the massive ruins of its ancient continuous cities, encompassing a space still larger than the largest city in the world, whose mouldering domes and sites of fortresses,[21] the very names of which are 39lost, present a noble field for speculation on the ephemeral nature of power and glory. What monument would Britain bequeath to distant posterity of her succession to this dominion? Not one: except it be that of a still less perishable nature, the monument of national benefit. Much is in our power: much has been given, and posterity will demand the result.

1. The celebrated Goguet remarks on the madness of most nations pretending to trace their origin to infinity. The Babylonians, the Egyptians, and the Scythians, particularly, piqued themselves on their high antiquity, and the first assimilate with the Hindus in boasting they had observed the course of the stars 473,000 years. Each heaped ages on ages; but the foundations of this pretended antiquity are not supported by probability, and are even of modern invention (Origin of Laws).

2. It has been said that the Brahmanical religion was foreign to India; but as to the period of importation we have but loose assertion. We can easily give credit to various creeds and tenets of faith being from time to time incorporated, ere the present books were composed, and that previously the sons of royalty alone possessed the office. Authorities of weight inform us of these grafts; for instance, Mr. Colebrooke gives a passage in his Indian Classes: “A chief of the twice-born tribe was brought by Vishnu’s eagle from Saca Dwipa; hence Saca Dwipa Brahmins were known in Jambu Dwipa.” By Saka Dwipa, Scythia is understood, of which more will be said hereafter. Ferishta also, translating from ancient authorities, says, to the same effect, that “in the reign of Mahraje, King of Canouj, a Brahmin came from Persia, who introduced magic, idolatry, and the worship of the stars”; so that there is no want of authority for the introduction of new tenets of faith. [The passage, inaccurately quoted, is taken from Dow i. 16. See Briggs’s translation, i. Introd. lxviii.]

3. See Table I. [now obsolete, not reprinted].

4. Some of the earlier of the twenty-four Tirthakaras, or Jain hierarchs, trace their origin from the solar race of princes. [As usual, Buddhism confused with Jainism.]

5. Even now the Rana of Mewar mingles spiritual duties with those of royalty, and when he attends the temple of the tutelary deity of his race, he performs himself all the offices of the high priest for the day. In this point a strong resemblance exists to many of the races of antiquity.

6. Prince of the country of Panjab, or five streams east of the Indus. [Panchāla was in the Ganges-Jumna Duāb and its neighbourhood.]

7. The legend of this monarch stealing his son-in-law’s, the hermit’s, cow (of which the Ramayana gives another version), the incarnation of Parasuram, son of Jamadagni, and his exploits, appear purely allegorical, signifying the violence and oppression of royalty over the earth (prithivi), personified by the sacred gao, or cow; and that the Brahmans were enabled to wrest royalty from the martial tribe, shows how they had multiplied. On the derivatives from the word gao, I venture an etymology for others to pursue:

ΓΑῙΑ, γέα, γῆ (Dor. γᾶ), that which produces all things (from γάω, genero); the earth.—Jones’s Dictionary.

ΓΆΛΑ, Milk. Gaola, Herdsman, in Sanskrit. Γαλατικοῖ, Κέλτοι, Galatians, or Gauls, and Celts (allowed to be the same) would be the shepherd races, the pastoral invaders of Europe [?].

8. Maheswar, on the Nerbudda River.

9. Hindustan abounds with Brahmans, who make excellent soldiers, as far as bravery is a virtue; but our officers are cautious, from experience, of admitting too many into a troop or company, for they still retain their intriguing habits. I have seen nearly as many of the Brahmans as of military in some companies; a dangerous error [realized in the Great Mutiny].

10. The Brahman Vasishtha possessed a cow named Savala, so fruitful that with her assistance he could accomplish whatever he desired. By her aid he entertained King Vishvamitra and his army. It is evident that this cow denotes some tract of country which the priest held (bearing in mind that gao, prithivi, signify ‘the earth,’ as well as ‘cow’): a grant, beyond doubt, by some of Vishvamitra’s unwise ancestors, and which he wished to resume. From her were supplied "the oblations to the gods and the pitrideva (father-gods, or ancestors), the perpetual sacrificial fire, the burnt-offerings and sacrifices." This was “the fountain of devotional acts”; this was the Savala for which the king offered “a hundred thousand cows”; this was "the jewel of which a king only should be proprietor."—The subjects of the Brahman appeared not to relish such transfer, and by “the lowing of the cow Savala” obtained numerous foreign auxiliaries, which enabled the Brahman to set his sovereign at defiance. Of these “the Pahlavi (Persian) kings, the dreadful Sakas (Sakai), and Yavanas (Greeks), with scymitars and gold armour, the Kambojas,” etc., were each in turn created by the all-producing cow. The armies of the Pahlavi kings were cut to pieces by Vishvamitra; who at last, by continual reinforcements, was overpowered by the Brahman’s levies. These reinforcements would appear to have been the ancient Persians, the Sacae, the Greeks, the inhabitants of Assam and Southern India, and various races out of the pale of the Hindu religion; all classed under the term Mlechchha, equivalents the ‘barbarian’ of the Greeks and Romans.

The King Vishvamitra, defeated and disgraced by this powerful priest, “like a serpent with his teeth broken, like the sun robbed by the eclipse of its splendour, was filled with perturbation. Deprived of his sons and array, stripped of his pride and confidence, he was left without resource as a bird bereft of his wings.” He abandoned his kingdom to his son, and like all Hindu princes in distress, determined, by penitential rites and austerities, “to obtain Brahmanhood.” He took up his abode at the sacred Pushkar, living on fruits and roots, and fixing his mind, said, “I will become a Brahman.” By these penances he attained such spiritual power that he was enabled to usurp the Brahman’s office. The theocrats caution Vishvamitra, thus determined to become a Brahman by austerity, that “the divine books are to be observed with care only by those acquainted with their evidence; nor does it become thee (Vishvamitra) to subvert the order of things established by the ancients.” The history of his wanderings, austerities, and the temptations thrown in his way is related. The celestial fair were commissioned to break in upon his meditations. The mother of love herself descended; while Indra, joining the cause of the Brahmans, took the shape of the kokila, and added the melody of his notes to the allurements of Rambha, and the perfumed zephyrs which assailed the royal saint in the wilderness. He was proof against all temptation, and condemned the fair to become a pillar of stone. He persevered “till every passion was subdued,” till “not a tincture of sin appeared in him,” and gave such alarm to the whole priesthood, that they dreaded lest his excessive sanctity should be fatal to them: they feared “mankind would become atheists.” “The gods and Brahma at their head were obliged to grant his desire of Brahmanhood; and Vashishtha, conciliated by the gods, acquiesced in their wish, and formed a friendship with Vishvamitra” [Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, Part i. (1858), 75 ff.].

11. Kanauj, the ancient capital of the present race of Marwar. [This is a myth.]

12. See translation of this epic, by Messrs. Carey and Marshman [in verse, by R. T. H. Griffith].

13. Hari-Kula.

14. It is a very curious circumstance that Hindu legend gives to two of their most celebrated authors, whom they have invested with a sacred character, a descent from the aboriginal and impure tribes of India: Vyasa from a fisherman, and Valmiki, the author of the other grand epic the Ramayana, from a Baddhik or robber, an associate of the Bhil tribe at Abu. The conversion of Valmiki (said to have been miraculous, when in the act of robbing the shrine of the deity) is worked into a story of considerable effect, in the works of Chand, from olden authority.

15. The reason for this name is thus given. One of these daughters being by a slave, it was necessary to ascertain which: a difficult matter, from the seclusion in which they were kept. It was therefore left to Vyasa to discover the pure of birth, who determined that nobility of blood would show itself, and commanded that the princesses should walk uncovered before him. The elder, from shame, closed her eyes, and from her was born the blind Dhritarashtra, sovereign of Hastinapura; the second, from the same feeling, covered herself with yellow ochre, called pandu, and henceforth she bore the name of Pandya, and her son was called Pandu; while the third stepped forth unabashed. She was adjudged not of gentle blood, and her issue was Vidura.

16. A generic term for the sovereigns of the race of Hari, used by Arrian as a proper name [?]. A section of the Mahabharata is devoted to the history of the Harikula, of which race was Vyasa.

Arrian notices the similarity of the Theban and the Hindu Hercules, and cites as authority the ambassador of Seleucus, Megasthenes, who says: “This Herakles is held in special honour by the Sourasenoi, an Indian tribe who possess two large cities, Methora and Cleisobora.... But the dress which this Herakles wore, Megasthenes tells us, resembled that of the Theban Herakles, as the Indians themselves admit.” [Arrian, Indika, viii., Methora is Mathura; Growse (Mathura, 3rd ed. 279) suggests that Cleisobora is Krishnapura, ‘city of Krishna.’]

Diodorus has the same legend, with some variety. He says: "Hercules was born amongst the Indians, and like the Greeks they furnish him with a club and lion’s hide. In strength (bala) he excelled all men, and cleared the sea and land of monsters and wild beasts. He had many sons, but only one daughter. It is said that he built Palibothra, and divided his kingdom amongst his sons (the Balika-putras, sons of Bali). They never colonized; but in time most of the cities assumed a democratical form of government (though some were monarchical) till Alexander’s time." The combats of Hercules, to which Diodorus alludes, are those in the legendary haunts of the Harikulas, during their twelve years’ exile from the seats of their forefathers.

How invaluable such remnants of the ancient race of Harikula! How refreshing to the mind yet to discover, amidst the ruins on the Yamuna, Hercules (Baldeva, god of strength) retaining his club and lion’s hide, standing on his pedestal at Baldeo, and yet worshipped by the Suraseni! This name was given to a large tract of country round Mathura, or rather round Surpura, the ancient capital founded by Surasena, the grandfather of the Indian brother-deities, Krishna and Baldeva, Apollo and Hercules. The title would apply to either; though Baldeva has the attributes of the ‘god of strength.’ Both are es (lords) of the race (kula) of Hari (Hari-kul-es), of which the Greeks might have made the compound Hercules. Might not a colony after the Great War have migrated westward? The period of the return of the Heraclidae, the descendants of Atreus (Atri is progenitor of the Harikula), would answer: it was about half a century after the Great War. [These speculations are worthless.]

It is unfortunate that Alexander’s historians were unable to penetrate into the arcana of the Hindus, as Herodotus appears to have done with those of the Egyptians. The shortness of Alexander’s stay, the unknown language in which their science and religion were hid, presented an insuperable difficulty. They could have made very little progress in the study of the language without discovering its analogy to their own.

17. Arrian generally exercises his judgment in these matters, and is the reverse of credulous. On this point he says, “Now to me it seems that even if Herakles could have done a thing so marvellous, he could have made himself longer-lived, in order to have intercourse with his daughter when she was of mature age” [Indika, ix.].

Sandrocottus is mentioned by Arrian to be of this line; and we can have no hesitation, therefore, in giving him a place in the dynasty of Puru, the second son of Yayati, whence the patronymic used by the race now extinct, as was Yadu, the elder brother of Puru. Hence Sandrocottus, if not a Puru himself, is connected with the chain of which the links are Jarasandha (a hero of the Bharat), Ripunjaya, the twenty-third in descent, when a new race, headed by Sanaka and Sheshnag, about six hundred years before Christ, usurped the seat of the lineal descendants of Puru; in which line of usurpation is Chandragupta, of the tribe Maurya, the Sandrocottus of Alexander, a branch of this Sheshnag, Takshak, or Snake race, a race which, stripped of its allegory, will afford room for subsequent dissertation. The Prasioi of Arrian would be the stock of Puru; Prayag is claimed in the annals yet existing as the cradle of their race. This is the modern Allahabad; and the Eranaboas must be the Jumna, and the point of junction with the Ganges, where we must place the capital of the Prasioi. [For Sandrokottos or Chandragupta Maurya see Smith, EHI, 42 ff. He certainly did not belong to the ‘Snake Race.’ The Erannoboas (Skr. Hiranyavaha, ‘gold-bearing’) is the river Son. The Prasioi (Skr. Prāchyās, ‘dwellers in the east’) had their capital at Pātaliputra, the modern Patna (McCrindle, Alexander, 365 f.).]

18. Analogous to the maire du palais of the first races of the Franks.

19. His daughter’s son. This is not the first or only instance of the Salic law of India being set aside. There are two in the history of the sovereigns of Anhilwara Patan. In all adoptions of this nature, when the child ‘binds round his head the turban’ of his adopted father, he is finally severed from the stock whence he had his birth. [For the early history of Delhi see Smith, EHI, 386 ff.]

20. The khil, or iron pillar of the Pandus, is mentioned in the poems of Chand. An infidel Tuar prince wished to prove the truth of the tradition of its depth of foundation: "blood gushed up from the earth’s centre, the pillar became loose (dhili)," as did the fortune of the house from such impiety. This is the origin of Delhi. [The inscription on the pillar proves the falsity of the legend, and the name Delhi is older than the Tuar dynasty (IGI, xi. 233).]

21. I doubt if Shahpur is yet known. I traced its extent from the remains of a tower between Humayun’s tomb and the grand column, the Kutb. In 1809 I resided four months at the mausoleum of Safdar Jang, the ancestor of the present [late] King of Oudh, amidst the ruins of Indraprastha, several miles from inhabited Delhi, but with which these ruins forms detached links of connexion. I went to that retirement with a friend now no more, Lieutenant Macartney, a name well known and honoured. We had both been employed in surveying the canals which had their sources in common from the head of the Jumna, where this river leaves its rocky barriers, the Siwalik chain, and issues into the plains of Hindustan. These canals on each side, fed by the parent stream, returned the waters again into it; one through the city of Delhi, the other on the opposite side. [Cunningham (ASR, i. 207 ff.) proved that the true site of the ancient city, Siri, was the old ruined fort to the north-east of Rāī Pithora’s stronghold, which is at present called Shāhpur. This identification has been disputed by C. J. Campbell (JASB, 1866, p. 206). But Cunningham gives good reasons for maintaining his opinion. The place took its name from Sher Shāh and his son Islām or Salīm Shāh. See also Carr Stephens, Archaeological and Monumental Remains of Delhi (1876), pp. 87 f., 190.]


Princes of the Solar Line.

—Vyasa gives but fifty-seven princes of the Solar line, from Vaivaswata Manu to Rama; and no list which has come under my observation exhibits more than fifty-eight, for the same period, of the Lunar race. How different from the Egyptian priesthood, who, according to Herodotus, gave a list up to that period of three hundred and thirty[1] sovereigns from their first prince, also the ‘sun-born[2] Menes!’

Ikshwaku was the son of Manu, and the first who moved to the eastward, and founded Ayodhya.

Budha (Mercury) founded the Lunar line; but we are not told who established their first capital, Prayag,[3] though we are authorized to infer that it was founded by Puru, the sixth in descent from Budha [33].

A succession of fifty-seven princes occupied Ayodhya from Ikshwaku to Rama. From Yäyati’s sons the Lunar races descend 40in unequal lengths. The lines from Yadu,[4] concluding with Krishna and his cousin Kansa, exhibit fifty-seven and fifty-nine descents from Yayati; while Yudhishthira,[5] Salya,[6] Jarasandha,[7] and Vahurita,[8] all contemporaries of Krishna and Kansa, are fifty-one, forty-six, and forty-seven generations respectively, from the common ancestor Yayati.

Solar and Lunar Genealogies.

—There is a wide difference between the Solar and the Yadu branches of the Lunar lines; yet is that now given fuller than any I have met with. Sir William Jones’s lists of the Solar line give fifty-six, and of the Lunar (Budha to Yudhishthira) forty-six, being one less in each than in the tables now presented; nor has he given the important branch terminating with Krishna. So close an affinity between lists, derived from such different authorities as this distinguished character and myself had access to, shows that there was some general source entitled to credit.

Mr. Bentley’s[9] lists agree with Sir William Jones’s, exhibiting fifty-six and forty-six respectively for the last-mentioned Solar and Lunar races. But, on a close comparison, he has either copied them or taken from the same original source; afterwards transposing names which, though aiding a likely hypothesis, will not accord with their historical belief.

Colonel Wilford’s[10] Solar list is of no use; but his two dynasties of Puru and Yadu of the Lunar race are excellent, that part of the line of Puru, from Jarasandha to Chandragupta, being the only correct one in print.

It is surprising Wilford did not make use of Sir William Jones’s Solar chronology; but he appears to have dreaded bringing down Rama to the period of Krishna, as he is known to have preceded by four generations ‘the Great War’ of the Yadu races.

It is evident that the Lunar line has reached us defective. It is supposed so by their genealogists; and Wilford would have 41increased the error by taking it as the standard, and reducing the Solar to conform thereto.

Mr. Bentley’s method is therefore preferable; namely, to suppose eleven princes omitted in the Lunar between Janmejaya and Prachinvat. But as there is no [34] authority for this, the Lunar princes are distributed in the tables collaterally with the Solar, preserving contemporaneous affinity where synchronisms will authorise. By this means all hypothesis will be avoided, and the genealogies will speak for themselves.

There is very little difference between Sir William Jones’s and Colonel Wilford’s lists, in that main branch of the Lunar race, of which Puru, Hastin, Ajamidha, Kuru, Santanu, and Yudhishthira are the most distinguished links. The coincidence is so near as to warrant a supposition of identity of source; but close inspection shows Wilford to have had a fuller supply, for he produces new branches, both of Hastin’s and Kuru’s progeny. He has also one name (Bhimasena) towards the close, which is in my lists, but not in Sir William Jones’s; and immediately following Bhimasena, both these lists exhibit Dilipa, wanting in my copy of the Bhagavat, though contained in the Agni Purana: proofs of the diversity of the sources of supply, and highly gratifying when the remoteness of those sources is considered. There is also in my lists Tansu, the nineteenth from Budha, who is not in the lists either of Sir William Jones or Wilford. Again; Wilford has a Suhotra preceding Hastin, who is not in Sir William Jones’s genealogies.[11]

Again; Jahnu is made the successor to Kuru; whereas the Purana (whence my extracts) makes Parikshit the successor, who adopts the son of Jahnu. This son is Viduratha, who has a place in all three. Other variations are merely orthographical.

A comparison of Sir William Jones’s Solar genealogies with my tables will yield nearly the same satisfactory result as to original authenticity. I say Sir William Jones’s list, because there is no other efficient one. We first differ at the fourth from Ikshwaku. In my list this is Am-Prithu, of which he makes two names, Anenas and Prithu. Thence to Purukutsa, the eighteenth, the difference is only in orthography. To Irisuaka, the twenty-third in mine, the twenty-sixth in Sir William Jones’s list, one name is above accounted for; but here are two wanting in mine, Trasadasyu 42and Haryaswa. There is, also, considerable difference in the orthography of those names which we have in common. Again; we differ as to the successors of Champa, the twenty-seventh, the founder of Champapur in Bihar. In Sir William’s, Sadeva succeeds, and he is followed by Vijaya; but my authorities state these both to be sons of Champa, and that Vijaya, the [35] younger, was his successor, as the elder, Sadeva, took to religious austerity. The thirty-third and thirty-sixth, Kesi and Dilipa, are not noticed by Sir William Jones; but there is a much more important person than either of these omitted, who is a grand link of connexion, and affording a good synchronism of the earliest history. This is Ambarisha, the fortieth, the contemporary of Gadhi, who was the founder of Gadhipura or Kanauj. Nala, Sarura, and Dilipa (Nos. 44, 45, 54 of my lists) are all omitted by Sir William Jones.

This comparative analysis of the chronologies of both these grand races cannot fail to be satisfactory. Those which I furnish are from the sacred genealogies in the library of a prince who claims common origin with them, and are less liable to interpolation. There is scarcely a chief of character for knowledge who cannot repeat the genealogy of his line. The Prince of Mewar has a peculiarly retentive memory in this way. The professed genealogists, the Bhats, must have them graven on their memory, and the Charanas (the encomiasts) ought to be well versed therein.

The first table exhibits two dynasties of the Solar race of Princes of Ayodhya and Mithila Des, or Tirhut, which latter I have seen nowhere else. It also exhibits four great and three lesser dynasties of the Lunar race; and an eighth line is added, of the race of Yadu, from the annals of the Bhatti tribe at Jaisalmer.

Ere quitting this halting-place in the genealogical history of the ancient races, where the celebrated names of Rama, Krishna, and Yudhishthira close the brazen age of India, and whose issue introduce the present iron age, or Kali Yuga, I shall shortly refer to the few synchronic points which the various authorities admit.

Of periods so remote, approximations to truth are the utmost to be looked for; and it is from the Ramayana and the Puranas these synchronisms are hazarded.


—The first commences with a celebrated name of the Solar line, Harischandra, son of Trisanku, still proverbial for 43his humility.[12] He is the twenty-fourth,[13] and declared contemporary of Parasurama, who slew the celebrated Sahasra-Arjuna[14] of [36] the Haihaya (Lunar) race, Prince of Mahishmati on the Nerbudda. This is confirmed by the Ramayana, which details the destruction of the military class and assumption of political power by the Brahmans, under their chief Parasurama, marking the period when the military class ‘lost the umbrella of royalty,’ and, as the Brahmans ridiculously assert, their purity of blood. This last, however, their own books sufficiently contradict, as the next synchronism will show.


—This synchronism we have in Sagara, the thirty-second prince of the Solar line, the contemporary of Talajangha, of the Lunar line, the sixth in descent from Sahasra Arjuna, who had five sons preserved from the general slaughter of the military class by Parasurama, whose names are given in the Bhavishya Purana.

Wars were constantly carried on between these great rival races, Surya and Indu, recorded in the Puranas and Ramayana. The Bhavishya describes that between Sagara and Talajangha 44“to resemble that of their ancestors, in which the Haihayas suffered as severely as before.” But that they had recovered all their power since Parasurama is evident from their having completely retaliated on the Suryas, and expelled the father[15] of Sagara from his capital of Ayodhya. Sagara and Talajangha appear to have been contemporary with Hastin of Hastinapura, and with Anga, descended from Budha, the founder of Angadesa,[16] or Ongdesa, and the Anga race.


—The Ramayana affords another synchronism; namely, that Ambarisha of Ayodhya, the fortieth prince of the Solar line, was the contemporary of Gadhi, the founder of Kanauj, and of Lomapada the Prince of Angadesa.


—The last synchronism is that of Krishna and Yudhishthira, which terminates the [37] brazen, and introduces the Kali Yuga or iron age. But this is in the Lunar line; nor have we any guide by which the difference can be adjusted between the appearance of Rama of the Solar and Krishna of the Lunar races.

Thus of the race of Krostu we have Kansa, Prince of Mathura, the fifty-ninth, and his cousin Krishna, the fifty-eighth from Budha; while of the line of Puru, descending through Ajamidha and Dvimidha, we have Salya, Jarasandha, and Yudhishthira, the fifty-first, fifty-third, and fifty-fourth respectively.

The race of Anga gives Prithusena as one of the actors and survivors of the Mahabharata, and the fifty-third from Budha.

Thus, taking an average of the whole, we may consider fifty-five princes to be the number of descents from Budha to Krishna 45and Yudhishthira; and, admitting an average of twenty years for each reign, a period of eleven hundred years; which being added to a like period calculated from thence to Vikramaditya, who reigned fifty-six years before Christ, I venture to place the establishment in India Proper of these two grand races, distinctively called those of Surya and Chandra, at about 2256 years before the Christian era; at which period, though somewhat later, the Egyptian, Chinese, and Assyrian monarchies are generally stated to have been established,[17] and about a century and a half after that great event, the Flood.

Though a passage in the Agni Purana indicates that the line of Surya, of which Ikshwaku was the head, was the first colony which entered India from Central Asia, yet we are compelled to place the patriarch Budha as his contemporary, he being stated to have come from a distant region, and married to Ila, the sister of Ikshwaku.

Ere we proceed to make any remarks on the descendants of Krishna and Arjuna, who carry on the Lunar line, or of the Kushites and Lavites, from Kusa and Lava, the sons of Rama, who carry on that of the Sun, a few observations on the chief kingdoms established by their progenitors on the continent of India will be hazarded in the ensuing Chapter [38].

1. Herodotus ii. 99, 100.

2. The Egyptians claim the sun, also, as the first founder of the kingdom of Egypt.

3. The Jaisalmer annals give in succession Prayag, Mathura, Kusasthala, Dwaraka, as capitals of the Indu or Lunar race, in the ages preceding the Bharat or Great War. Hastinapur was founded twenty generations after these, by Hastin, from whom ramified the three grand Sakha, viz. Ajamidha, Vimidha, and Purumidha, which diversified the Yadu race.

4. See Table I. [not reprinted].

5. Of Delhi—Indraprastha.

6. Salya, the founder of Aror on the Indus, a capital I had the good fortune to discover. Salya is the Siharas of Abu-l Fazl. [Āīn, ii. 343.]

7. Jarasandha of Bihar.

8. Vahoorita, unknown yet. [? Bahuratha.]

9. Asiatic Researches, vol. v. p. 341.

10. Ibid. vol. v. p. 241.

11. I find them, however, in the Agni Purana.

12. [The tragical story of Harischandra is told by J. Muir, Original Sanskrit Texts, i. 88 ff.]

13. Sahyadri Khanda of the Skanda Purana.

14. In the Bhavishya Purana this prince, Sahasra-Arjuna, is termed a Chakravartin, or paramount sovereign. It is said that he conquered Karkotaka of the Takshak, Turushka, or Snake race, and brought with him the population of Mahishmati, and founded Hemanagara in the north of India, on his expulsion from his dominions on the Nerbudda. Traditionary legends yet remain of this prince on the Nerbudda, where he is styled Sahasrabahu, or ‘with a thousand arms,’ figurative of his numerous progeny. The Takshak, or Snake race, here alluded to, will hereafter engage our attention. The names of animals in early times, planets, and things inanimate, all furnished symbolic appellations for the various races. In Scripture we have the fly, the bee, the ram to describe the princes of Egypt, Assyria, and Macedonia; here we have the snake, horse, monkey, etc. The Snake or Takshak race was one of the most extensive and earliest of Higher Asia, and celebrated in all its extent, and to which I shall have to recur hereafter. [By the Takshak race, so often referred to, the author seems to mean a body of Scythian snake-worshippers. There are instances of a serpent barrow, and of the use of the snake as a form of ornament among the Scythians; but beyond this the evidence of worship of the serpent is scanty (E. H. Minns, Scythians and Greeks, 328 f., 66 note, 294, 318, 323, etc.). It was really the Takka, a Panjāb tribe (Beal, Si-yu-ki, i. 165 ff.; Cunningham, Ancient Geography of India, 148 ff.; Stein, Rājatarangini, i. 204 f.).]

In the Ramayana it is stated that the sacrificial horse was stolen by “a serpent (Takshak) assuming the form of Ananta.”

15. “Asita, the father of Sagara, expelled by hostile kings of the Haihayas, the Talajanghas, and the Sasa-vindus, fled to the Himavat mountains, where he died, leaving his wives pregnant, and from one of these Sagara was born” (Ramayana, i. 41). It was to preserve the Solar race from the destruction which threatened it from the prolific Lunar race, that the Brahman Parasurama armed: evidently proving that the Brahmanical faith was held by the Solar race; while the religion of Budha, the great progenitor of the Lunar, still governed his descendants. This strengthened the opposition of the sages of the Solar line to Vishvamitra’s (of Budha’s or the Lunar line) obtaining Brahmanhood. That Krishna, of Lunar stock, prior to founding a new sect, worshipped Budha, is susceptible of proof.

16. Angdes, Ongdes, or Undes adjoins Tibet. The inhabitants call themselves Hungias, and appear to be the Hong-niu of the Chinese authors, the Huns (Hūns) of Europe and India, which prove this Tartar race to be Lunar, and of Budha. [Anga, the modern Bhāgalpur, is confounded with Hundes or Tibet.]

17. Egyptian, under Misraim, 2188 B.C.; Assyrian, 2059; Chinese, 2207. [The first Egyptian dynasty is now dated 5500 B.C.; Chinese, 2852 B.C.; Babylonian, 2300 B.C. Any attempt to establish an Indian chronology from the materials used by the Author does not promise to be successful.]



—Ayodhya[1] was the first city founded by the race of Surya. Like other capitals, its importance must have risen by 46slow degrees; yet making every allowance for exaggeration, it must have attained great splendour long anterior to Rama. Its site is well known at this day under the contracted name of Oudh, which also designates the country appertaining to the titular wazir of the Mogul empire; which country, twenty-five years ago, nearly marked the limits of Kosala, the pristine kingdom of the Surya race. Overgrown greatness characterized all the ancient Asiatic capitals, and that of Ayodhya was immense. Lucknow, the present capital, is traditionally asserted to have been one of the suburbs of ancient Oudh, and so named by Rama, in compliment to his brother Lakshman.


—Nearly coeval in point of time with Ayodhya was Mithila,[2] the capital of a country of the same name, founded by Mithila, the grandson of Ikshwaku.

The name of Janaka,[3] son of Mithila, eclipsed that of the founder and became the patronymic of this branch of the Solar race.

Other Kingdoms.

—These are the two chief capitals of the kingdoms of the Solar line described in [39] this early age; though there were others of a minor order, such as Rohtas, Champapura,[4] etc., all founded previously to Rama.

By the numerous dynasties of the Lunar race of Budha many kingdoms were founded. Much has been said of the antiquity of Prayag; yet the first capital of the Indu or Lunar race appears 47to have been founded by Sahasra Arjuna, of the Haihaya tribe. This was Mahishmati on the Nerbudda, still existing in Maheswar.[5] The rivalry between the Lunar race and that of the Suryas of Ayodhya, in whose aid the priesthood armed, and expelled Sahasra Arjuna from Mahishmati, has been mentioned. A small branch of these ancient Haihayas[6] yet exist in the line of the Nerbudda, near the very top of the valley at Sohagpur, in Baghelkhand, aware of their ancient lineage; and, though few in number, are still celebrated for their valour.[7]


—Kusasthali Dwarka, the capital of Krishna, was founded prior to Prayag, to Surpur, or Mathura. The Bhagavat attributes the foundation of the city to Anrita, the brother of Ikshwaku, of the Solar race, but states not how or when the Yadus became possessed thereof.

The ancient annals of the Jaisalmer family of the Yadu stock give the priority of foundation to Prayag, next to Mathura, and last to Dwarka. All these cities are too well known to require description; especially Prayag, at the confluence of the Yamuna and Ganges. The Prasioi were the descendants of Puru[8] of Prayag, visited by Megasthenes, ambassador of Seleucus, and the principal city of the Yadus, ere it sent forth the four branches from Satwata. At Prayag resided the celebrated Bharat, the son of Sakuntala.

In the Ramayana the Sasavindus[9] (another Yadu race) are inscribed as allied with the Haihayas in the wars with the race of Surya; and of this race was Sisupal[10] (the founder of Chedi[11]), one of the foes of Krishna [40].



—We are assured by Alexander’s historians that the country and people round Mathura, when he invaded India, were termed Surasenoi. There are two princes of the name of Sursen in the immediate ancestry of Krishna; one his grandfather, the other eight generations anterior.anterior. Which of these founded the capital Surpur,[12] whence the country and inhabitants had their appellation, we cannot say.say. Mathura and Cleisobara are mentioned by the historians of Alexander as the chief cities of the Surasenoi. Though the Greeks sadly disfigure names, we cannot trace any affinity between Cleisobara and Surpur.


—The city of Hastinapura was built by Hastin a name celebrated in the Lunar dynasties. The name of this city is still preserved on the Ganges, about forty miles south of Hardwar,[13] where the Ganges breaks through the Siwalik mountains and enters the plains of India. This mighty stream, rolling its masses of waters from the glaciers of the Himalaya, and joined by many auxiliary streams, frequently carries destruction before it. In one night a column of thirty feet in perpendicular height has been known to bear away all within its sweep, and to such an occurrence the capital of Hastin is said to have owed its ruin.[14] As it existed, however, long after the Mahabharata, it is surprising it is not mentioned by the historians of Alexander, who invaded India probably about eight centuries after that event. In this abode of the sons of Puru resided Porus, one of the two princes of that name, opponents of Alexander, and probably Bindusara the son of Chandragupta, surmised to be the Abisares[15] and Sandrakottos of Grecian authorities. Of the two princes named Porus mentioned by Alexander’s [41] historians, one resided in the very cradle of the Puru dynasties; the abode of the other bordered on the Panjab: warranting an assertion that the Pori of Alexander were of the Lunar race, and destroying all the claims various authors[16] have advanced on behalf of the princes of Mewar.[17]

Hastin sent forth three grand branches, Ajamidha, Dvimidha, and Purumidha. Of the two last we lose sight altogether; but Ajamidha’s progeny spread over all the northern parts of India, in the Panjab and across the Indus. The period, probably one thousand six hundred years before Christ.

50From Ajamidha,[18] in the fourth generation, was Bajaswa, who obtained possessions towards the Indus, and whose five sons gave their name, Panchala, to the Panjab, or space watered by the five rivers. The capital founded by the younger brother, Kampila, was named Kampilnagara.[19]

The descendants of Ajamidha by his second wife, Kesini, founded another kingdom and dynasty, celebrated in the heroic history of Northern India. This is the Kausika dynasty.


—Kusa had four sons, two of whom, Kusanabha and Kusamba, are well known to traditional history, and by the still surviving cities founded by them. Kusanabha founded the city of Mahodaya on the Ganges, afterwards changed to Kanyakubja, or Kanauj, which maintained its celebrity until the Muhammadan invasion of Shihabu-d-din (A.D. 1193), when this overgrown city was laid prostrate for ever. It was not unfrequently called Gadhipura, or the ‘city of Gadhi.’ This practice of multiplying names of cities in the east is very destructive to history. Abu-l Fazl has taken from Hindu authorities an account of Kanauj; and could we admit the authority of a poet on such subjects, Chand, the bard of Prithwiraja,[20] would afford materials. Ferishta states it in the early ages to have been twenty-five coss [42] (thirty-five miles) in circumference, and that there were thirty thousand shops for the sale of the areca or beetle-nut only;[21] and this in the sixth century, at which period the Rathor dynasty, which terminated with Jaichand, in the twelfth, had been in possession from the end of the fifth century.

Kusamba also founded a city, called after his own name 51Kausambi.[22] The name was in existence in the eleventh century; and ruins might yet exist, if search were made on the shores of the Ganges, from Kanauj southward.

The other sons built two capitals, Dharmaranya and Vasumati; but of neither have we any correct knowledge.

Kuru had two sons, Sudhanush and Parikhshita. The descendants of the former terminated with Jarasandha, whose capital was Rajagriha (the modern Rajmahal) on the Ganges, in the province of Bihar.[23] From Parikhshita descended the monarchs Santanu and Balaka: the first producing the rivals of the Great War, Yudhishthira and Duryodhana; the other the Balakaputras.

Duryodhana, the successor to the throne of Kuru, resided at the ancient capital, Hastinapura; while the junior branch, Yudhishthira, founded Indraprastha, on the Yamuna or Jumna, which name in the eighth century was changed to Delhi.

The sons of Balaka founded two kingdoms: Palibothra, on the lower Ganges; and Aror,[24] on the eastern bank of the Indus, founded by Sahl [43].

52One great arm of the tree of Yayati remains unnoticed, that of Uru or Urvasu, written by others Turvasu. Uru was the father of a line of kings who founded several empires. Virupa, the eighth prince from Uru, had eight sons, two of whom are particularly mentioned as sending forth two grand shoots, Druhyu and Bhabru. From Druhyu a dynasty was established in the north. Aradwat, with his son Gandhara, is stated to have founded a State: Prachetas is said to have become king of Mlecchhades, or the barbarous regions. This line terminated with Dushyanta, the husband of the celebrated Sakuntala, father of Bharat, and who, labouring under the displeasure of some offended deity, is said by the Hindus to have been the cause of all the woes which subsequently befell the race. The four grandsons of Dushyanta, Kalanjar, Keral, Pand, and Chaul, gave their names to countries.


—Kalanjar is the celebrated fortress in Bundelkhand, so well known for its antiquities, which have claimed considerable notice.


—Of the second, Kerala, it is only known that in the list of the thirty-six royal races in the twelfth century, the Kerala makes one, but the capital is unknown.[25]


—The kingdom founded by Pand may be that on the coast of Malabar, the Pandu-Mandal of the Hindus, the Regia Pandiona of the geographers of the west, and of which, probably, Tanjore is the modern capital.[26]


—Chaul[27] is in the Saurashtra peninsula, and on the coast, towards Jagat Khunt, ‘the world’s end,’ and still retains its appellation.


—The other shoot from Bhabru became celebrated. The thirty-fourth prince, Anga, founded the kingdom of Angadesa, of which Champapuri[28] was the [44] capital, established about the same time with Kanauj, probably fifteen hundred years before Christ. With him the patronymic was changed, and the Anga race became famous in ancient Hindu history; and to this day Un-des still designates the Alpine regions of Tibet bordering on Chinese Tartary.

Prithusena terminates the line of Anga; and as he survived the disasters of the Great War, his race probably multiplied in those regions, where caste appears never to have been introduced.


—Thus have we rapidly reviewed the dynasties of Surya and Chandra, from Manu and Budha to Rama, Krishna, Yudhishthira, and Jarasandha; establishing, it is hoped, some new points, and perhaps adding to the credibility of the whole.

The wrecks of almost all the vast cities founded by them are yet to be traced in ruins. The city of Ikshwaku and Rama, on the Sarju; Indraprastha, Mathura, Surpura, Prayag on the Yamuna; Hastinapura, Kanyakubja, Rajagriha on the Ganges; Maheswar on the Nerbudda; Aror on the Indus; and Kusasthali 54Dwarka on the shore of the Indian Ocean. Each has left some memorial of former grandeur: research may discover others.

There is yet an unexplored region in Panchala; Kampilanagara its capital, and those cities established west of the Indus by the sons of Bajaswa.

Traces of the early Indo-Scythic nations may possibly reward the search of some adventurous traveller who may penetrate into Transoxiana, on the sites of Cyropolis, and the most northern Alexandria; in Balkh, and amidst the caves of Bamian.

The plains of India retain yet many ancient cities, from whose ruins somewhat may be gleaned to add a mite to knowledge; and where inscriptions may be found in a character which, though yet unintelligible, will not always remain so in this age of discovery. For such let the search be general, and when once a key is obtained, they will enlighten each other. Wherever the races of Kuru, Uru, and Yadu have swayed, have been found ancient and yet undeciphered characters.

Much would reward him who would make a better digest of the historical and geographical matter in the Puranas. But we must discard the idea that the history of Rama, the Mahabharata of Krishna and the five Pandava[29] brothers, are [45] mere allegory: an idea supported by some, although their races, their cities, and their coins still exist. Let us master the characters on the columns of Indraprastha, of Prayag and Mewar, on the rocks of Junagarh,[30] at Bijolli, on the Aravalli, and in the Jain 55temples scattered over India, and then we shall be able to arrive at just and satisfactory conclusions.

1. The picture drawn by Valmiki of the capital of the Solar race is so highly coloured that Ayodhya might stand for Utopia, and it would be difficult to find such a catalogue of metropolitan embellishments in this, the iron age of Oudh. "On the banks of the Surayu is a large country called Kosala, in which is Ayodhya, built by Manu, twelve yojans (forty-eight miles) in extent, with streets regular and well watered. It was filled with merchants, beautified by gardens, ornamented with stately gates and high-arched porticoes, furnished with arms, crowded with chariots, elephants, and horses, and with ambassadors from foreign lands; embellished with palaces whose domes resembled the mountain tops, dwellings of equal height, resounding with the delightful music of the tabor, the flute, and the harp. It was surrounded by an impassable moat, and guarded by archers. Dasaratha was its king, a mighty charioteer. There were no atheists. The affections of the men were in their consorts. The women were chaste and obedient to their lords, endowed with beauty, wit, sweetness, prudence, and industry, with bright ornaments and fair apparel; the men devoted to truth and hospitality, regardful of their superiors, their ancestors, and their gods.

“There were eight councillors; two chosen priests profound in the law, besides another inferior council of six. Of subdued appetites, disinterested, forbearing, pleasant, patient; not avaricious; well acquainted with their duties and popular customs; attentive to the army, the treasury; impartially awarding punishment even on their own sons; never oppressing even an enemy; not arrogant; comely in dress; never confident about doubtful matters; devoted to the sovereign.”

2. Mithila, the modern Tirhut in Bengal [including the modern districts of Darbhanga, Champāran, and Muzaffarpur].

3. Kusadhwaja, father of Sita (spouse of Rama), is also called Janaka; a name common in this line, and borne by the third prince in succession after Suvarna Roma, the ‘golden-haired’ chief Mithila.

4. [Rohtās in the modern Shāhābād district; Champapura in Bhāgalpur.]

5. Familiarly designated as Sahasra Bahu ki Basti, or ‘the town of the thousand-armed.’ [In Indore State (IGI, xvii. 8).]

6. The Haihaya race, of the line of Budha, may claim affinity with the Chinese race which first gave monarchs to China [?].

7. Of this I have heard the most romantic proofs in very recent times.

8. Puru became the patronymic of this branch of the Lunar race. Of this Alexander’s historians made Porus. The Suraseni of Methoras (descendants of the Sursen of Mathura) were all Purus, the Prasioi of Megasthenes [see p. 37, n.]. Allahabad yet retains its Hindu name of Prayag, pronounced Prag.

9. The Hares. Sesodia is said to have the same derivation. [From Sesoda in Mewār.]

10. The princes of Ranthambhor, expelled by Prithwiraja of Delhi, were of this race.

11. The modern Chanderi [in the Gwalior State, IGI, x. 163 f.] is said to be this capital, and one of the few to which no Englishman has obtained entrance, though I tried hard in 1807. Doubtless it would afford food for curiosity; for, being out of the path of armies in the days of conquest and revolution, it may, and I believe does, retain much worthy of research. [The capital of the Chedi or Kalachuri dynasty was Tripura or Karanbel, near Jabalpur (IGI, x. 12).]

12. I had the pleasure, in 1814, of discovering a remnant of this city, which the Yamuna has overwhelmed. [The ancient Sūryapura was near Batesar, 40 miles south-east of Agra city. Sir H. Elliot (Supplemental Glossary, 187) remarks that it is strange that the Author so often claims the credit of discovery when its position is fixed in a set of familiar verses. For Sūryapura see A. Führer, Monumental Antiquities and Inscriptions, 69.] The sacred place of pilgrimage, Batesar, stands on part of it. My discovery of it was doubly gratifying, for while I found out the Surasenoi of the Greeks, I obtained a medal of the little known Apollodotus, who carried his arms to the mouths of the Indus, and possibly to the centre of the land of the Yadus. He is not included by Bayer in his lists of the kings of Bactria, but we have only an imperfect knowledge of the extent of that dynasty. The Bhagavat Purana asserts thirteen Yavan or Ionian princes to have ruled in Balichdes [?] or Bactria, in which they mention Pushpamitra Dvimitra. We are justified in asserting this to be Demetrius, the son of Euthydemus, but who did not succeed his father, as Menander intervened. Of this last conqueror I also possess a medal, obtained amongst the Surasenoi, and struck in commemoration of victory, as the winged messenger of heavenly peace extends the palm branch from her hand. These two will fill up a chasm in the Bactrian annals, for Menander is well known to them. Apollodotus would have perished but for Arrian, who wrote the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea in the second century, while commercial agent at Broach, or classically Brigukachchha, the Barugaza of the Greeks. [The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea was written by an unknown Greek merchant of first century A.D. (McCrindle, Commerce and Navigation, Introd. p. 1).]

Without the notice this writer has afforded us, my Apollodotus would have lost half its value. Since my arrival in Europe I have also been made acquainted with the existence of a medal of Demetrius, discovered in Bokhara, and on which an essay has been written by a savant at St. Petersburg.

13. The portal of Hari or Hara, whose trisula or trident is there.

14. Wilford says this event is mentioned in two Puranas as occurring in the sixth or eighth generation of the Great War. Those who have travelled in the Duab must have remarked where both the Ganges and Jumna have shifted their beds.

15. [Abisares is Abhisāra in the modern Kashmīr State (Smith, EHI, 59).]

16. Sir Thomas Roe; Sir Thomas Herbert; the Holstein ambassador (by Olearius); Della Valle; Churchill, in his collection: and borrowing from these, D’Anville, Bayer, Orme, Rennell, etc.

17. The ignorance of the family of Mewar of the fact would by no means be a conclusive argument against it, could it be otherwise substantiated; but the race of Surya was completely eclipsed at that period by the Lunar and new races which soon poured in from the west of the Indus, and in time displaced them all.

18. Ajamidha, by his wife Nila, had five sons, who spread their branches (Sakha) on both sides the Indus. Regarding three the Puranas are silent, which implies their migration to distant regions. Is it possible they might be the origin of the Medes? These Medes are descendants of Yayati, third son of the patriarch Manu; and Madai, founder of the Medes, was of Japhet’s line. Ajamidha, the patronymic of the branch of Bajaswa, is from Aja, ‘a goat.’ The Assyrian Mede, in Scripture, is typified by the goat. [These speculations are worthless.]

19. Of this house was Draupadi, the wife, in common, of the five Pandava brothers: manners peculiar to Scythia.

20. King of Delhi.

21. [Briggs i. 57. The accounts of the size of the city are extravagant (Elphinstone, HI, 332 note; Cunningham, ASR, i. 279 ff.).]

22. An inscription was discovered at Kara on the Ganges, in which Yaspal is mentioned as prince of the realm of Kausambi (As. Res. vol. ix. p. 440). Wilford, in his Essay on the Geography of the Purans, says “Causambi, near Alluhabad” (As. Res. vol. xiv.). [The site is uncertain (Smith, EHI, 293, note).]

23. [Rājgīr in Patna District.]

24. Aror, or Alor, was the capital of Sind in remote antiquity: a bridge over the stream which branched from the Indus, near Dara, is almost the sole vestige of this capital of the Sogdoi of Alexander. On its site the shepherds of the desert have established an extensive hamlet; it is placed on a ridge of siliceous rock, seven miles east of the insular Bakhar, and free from the inundations of the Indus. The Sodha tribe, a powerful branch of the Pramara race, has ruled in these countries from remote antiquity, and to a very late period they were lords of Umarkot and Umrasumra, in which divisions was Aror. Sahl and his capital were known to Abu-l Fazl, though he was ignorant of its position, which he transferred to Debal, or Dewal, the modern Tatta. This indefatigable historian thus describes it: “In ancient times there lived a raja named Siharas (Sahl), whose capital was Alor, and his dominions extended north to Kashmīr and south to the ocean” [Āīn, ii. 343]. Sahl, or Sahr, became a titular appellation of the country, its princes, and its inhabitants, the Sehraes. [See p. 21 above.] Alor appears to have been the capital of the kingdom of Sigerdis, conquered by Menander of Bactria. Ibn Haukal, the Arabian geographer, mentions it; but a superfluous point in writing has changed Aror into Azor, or Azour, as translated by Sir W. Ouseley. The illustrious D’Anville mentions it; but, in ignorance of its position, quoting Abulfeda. says, in grandeur “Azour est presque comparable à Mooltan.” I have to claim the discovery of several ancient capital cities in the north of India: Surpur, on the Jumna, the capital of the Yadus; Alor, on the Indus, the capital of the Sodhas; Mandodri, capital of the Pariharas; Chandravati, at the foot of the Aravalli mountains; and Valabhipura, in Gujarat, capital of the Balaka-raes, the Balharas of Arab travellers. The Bala Rajput of Saurashtra may have given the name to Valabhipura, as descendants of Balaka, from Sahl of Aror. The blessing of the bard to them is yet, Tatta Multān ka Rāo (‘lord of Tatta and Multan,’ the seats of the Balaka-putras): nor is it improbable that a branch of these under the Indian Hercules, Balaram, who left India after the Great War, may have founded Balich, or Balkh, emphatically called the ‘mother of cities.’ The Jaisalmer annals assert that the Yadu and Balaka branches of the Indu race ruled Khorasan after the Great War, the Indo-Scythic races of Grecian authors. Besides the Balakas, and the numerous branches of the Indo-Medes, many of the sons of Kuru dispersed over these regions: amongst whom we may place Uttara Kuru (Northern Kurus) of the Puranas, the Ottorokorrhai of the Greek authors. Both the Indu and Surya races were eternally sending their superfluous population to those distant regions, when probably the same primeval religion governed the races east and west of the Indus. [Much of this is incorrect.]

25. [The Chera or Kerala kingdom comprised the Southern Konkans or Malabar coast, the present Malabar district with Travancore and Cochin, the dynasty being in existence early in the Christian era (Smith, EHI, 447; IGI, x. 192 f.).]

26. [The Pāndya kingdom included the Madura and Tinnevelly districts, with parts of Trichinopoly, and sometimes Travancore, its capitals being Madura, or Kūdal, and Korkai (Smith, op. cit. 449 f.; IGI, xix. 394 f.).]

27. From Chaul on the coast, in journeying towards Junagarh, and about seven miles from the former, are the remains of an ancient city.

28. From the description in the Ramayana of King Dasaratha proceeding to Champamalina, the capital of Lomapada, king of Anga (sixth in descent from the founder), it is evident that it was a very mountainous region, and the deep forests and large rivers presented serious obstructions to his journey. From this I should imagine it impossible that Angadesa should apply to a portion of Bengal, in which there is a Champamalina, described by Colonel Francklin in his Essay on Palibothra. [The Anga kingdom, with its capital at Champapuri, near Bhāgalpur, corresponded to the modern districts of North Monghyr, North Bhāgalpur, and Purnea west of the Mahananda river (IGI, v. 373).]

29. The history and exploits of the Pandavas and Harikulas are best known in the most remote parts of India: amidst the forest-covered mountains of Saurashtra, the deep woods and caves of Hidimba and Virat (still the shelter of the savage Bhil and Koli), or on the craggy banks of the Charmanvati (Chambal). In each, tradition has localized the shelter of these heroes when exiled from the Yamuna; and colossal figures cut from the mountain, ancient temples and caves inscribed with characters yet unknown, attributed to the Pandavas, confirm the legendary tale.

30. The ‘ancient city,’ par eminence, is the only name this old capital, at the foot of, and guarding, the sacred mount Girnar, is known by. Abu-l Fazl says it had long remained desolate and unknown, and was discovered by mere accident. [Āīn, ii. 245. For a description of the place see BG, viii. 487; E. C. Bayley, Local Muhammadan Dynasties, Gujarāt, 182 ff.] Tradition even being silent, they gave it the emphatic appellation of Juna (old) Garh (fortress). I have little doubt that it is the Asaldurga, or Asalgarh, of the Guhilot annals; where it is said that prince Asal raised a fortress, called after him, near to Girnar, by the consent of the Dabhi prince, his uncle.


Having investigated the line from Ikshwaku to Rama, and that from Budha (the parent and first emigrant of the Indu[1] race, from Saka Dwipa, or Scythia, to Hindustan) to Krishna and Yudhishthira, a period of twelve hundred years, we proceed to the second division and second table of the genealogies.

The Suryavansa or Solar Line.

—From Rama all the tribes termed Suryavansa, or ‘Race of the Sun,’ claim descent, as the present princes of Mewar, Jaipur, Marwar, Bikaner, and their numerous clans; while from the Lunar (Indu) line of Budha and Krishna, the families of Jaisalmer and Cutch (the Bhatti[2] and Jareja races), extending throughout the Indian desert from the Sutlej to the ocean, deduce their pedigrees.

Rama preceded Krishna: but as their historians, Valmiki and Vyasa, who wrote the events they witnessed, were contemporaries, it could not have been by many years [46].

The present table contains the dynasties which succeeded these great beacons of the Solar and Lunar races, and are three in number.[3]

1. The Suryavansa, descendants of Rama.Rama.

2. The Induvansa, descendants of Pandu through Yudhishthira.

3. The Induvansa, descendants of Jarasandha, monarch of Rajagriha.

The Bhagavat and Agni Puranas are the authorities for the 56lines from Rama and Jarasandha; while that of Pandu is from the Raja Tarangini and Rajavali.

The existing Rajput tribes of the Solar race claim descent from Lava and Kusa, the two elder sons of Rama; nor do I believe any existing tribes trace their ancestry to his other children, or to his brothers.

From the eldest son, Lava, the Ranas of Mewar claim descent: so do the Bargujar tribe, formerly powerful within the confines of the present Amber, whose representative now dwells at Anupshahr on the Ganges.

From Kusa descend the Kachhwaha[4] princes of Narwar and Amber, and their numerous clans. Amber, though the first in power, is but a scion of Narwar, transplanted about one thousand years back, whose chief, the representative of the celebrated Prince Nala, enjoys but a sorry district[5] of all his ancient possessions.

The house of Marwar also claims descent from this stem, which appears to originate in an error of the genealogists, confounding the race of Kusa with the Kausika of Kanauj and Kausambi. Nor do the Solar genealogists admit this assumed pedigree.

The Amber prince in his genealogies traces the descent of the Mewar[6] family from Rama to Sumitra, through Lava, the eldest brother, and not through Kusa,[7] as in some copies of the Puranas, and in that whence Sir William Jones had his lists [47].

Mr. Bentley, taking this genealogy from the same authority as Sir William Jones, has mutilated it by a transposition, for 57which his reasons are insufficient, and militate against every opinion of the Hindus. Finding the names Vrihadbala and Vridasura, declared to be princes contemporary with Yudhishthira, he transposes the whole ten princes of his list intervening between Takshak[8] and Bahuman.[9]

Bahuman,[10] or ‘the man with arms’ (Darazdasht or Longimanus) is the thirty-fourth prince from Rama; and his reign must be placed nearly intermediate between Rama and Sumitra, or his contemporary Vikrama, and in the sixth century from either.

Sumitra concludes the line of Surya or Rama from the Bhagavat Purana. Thence it is connected with the present line of Mewar, by Jai Singh’s authorities; which list has been compared with various others, chiefly Jain, as will be related in the annals of Mewar.

It will be seen that the line of Surya exhibits fifty-six princes, from Lava, the son of Rama, to Sumitra, the last prince given in the Puranas. Sir William Jones exhibits fifty-seven.

To these fifty-six reigns I should be willing to allow the average of twenty years, which would give 1120 from Rama to Sumitra, who preceded by a short period Vikramaditya; and as 1100 have been already calculated to have preceded the era of Rama and Yudhishthira, the inference is, that 2200 years elapsed from Ikshwaku, the founder of the Solar line, to Sumitra.

Chandravansa or the Lunar Line.

—From the Raja Tarangini and Rajavali the Induvansa family (descendants of Pandu through Yudhishthira) is supplied. These works, celebrated in Rajwara as collections of genealogies and historical facts, by the 58Pandits Vidyadhara and Raghunath, were compiled under the eye of the most learned prince of his period, Sawai Jai Singh of Amber, and give the various dynasties which ruled at Indraprastha, or Delhi, from Yudhishthira to Vikramaditya; and although barren of events, may be considered of value in filling up a period of entire darkness [48].

The Tarangini commences with Adinath[11] or Rishabhdeva,[12] being the Jain[13] theogony. Rapidly noticing the leading princes of the dynasties discussed, they pass to the birth of the kings Dhritarashtra and Pandu, and their offspring, detailing the causes of their civil strife, to that conflict termed the Mahabharata or Great War.

The Pandava Family.

—The origin of every family, whether of east or west, is involved in fable. That of the Pandu[14] is entitled to as much credence as the birth of Romulus, or other founders of a race.

Such traditions[15] were probably invented to cover some great disgrace in the Pandu family, and have relation to the story already related of Vyasa, and the debasement of this branch of the Harikulas. Accordingly, on the death of Pandu, Duryodhana, nephew of Pandu (son of Dhritarashtra, who from blindness could not inherit), asserted their illegitimacy before the assembled kin at Hastinapura. With the aid, however, of the priesthood, and the blind Dhritarashtra, his nephew, Yudhishthira, elder son of Pandu, was invested by him with the seal of royalty, in the capital, Hastinapura.

Duryodhana’s plots against the Pandu and his partisans were 59so numerous that the five brothers determined to leave for a while their ancestral abodes on the Ganges. They sought shelter in foreign countries about the Indus, and were first protected by Drupada, king of Panchala, at whose capital, Kampilanagara, the surrounding princes had arrived as suitors for the hand of his daughter, Draupadi.[16] But the prize was destined for the exiled Pandu, and the skill of Arjuna in archery obtained him the fair, who “threw round his neck the (barmala) garland of marriage.” The disappointed princes indulged their resentment against the exile; but by Arjuna’s bow they suffered the fate of Penelope’s suitors, and the Pandu brought home his bride, who became the wife in common of the five brothers: manners[17] decisively Scythic [49].

The deeds of the brothers abroad were bruited in Hastinapura and the blind Dhritarashtra’s influence effected their recall. To stop, however, their intestine feuds, he partitioned the Pandu sovereignty; and while his son, Duryodhana, retained Hastinapura, Yudhishthira founded the new capital of Indraprastha; but shortly after the Mahabharata he abdicated in favour of his grand-nephew, Parikshita, introducing a new era, called after himself, which existed for eleven hundred years, when it was overturned, and Indraprastha was conquered by Vikramaditya Tuar of Ujjain, of the same race, who established an era of his own.

On the division of the Pandu sovereignty, the new kingdom of Indraprastha eclipsed that of Hastinapura. The brothers reduced to obedience the surrounding[18] nations, and compelled their princes to sign tributary engagements (paenama).[19]

Yudhishthira, firmly seated on his throne, determined to 60signalize his reign and paramount sovereignty, by the imposing and solemn rites of Asvamedha[20] and Rajasuya.

The Asvamedha.

—In these magnificent ceremonies, in which princes alone officiate, every duty, down to that of porter, is performed by royalty.

The ‘Steed of Sacrifice’ was liberated under Arjuna’s care, having wandered whither he listed for twelve months; and none daring to accept this challenge of supremacy, he was reconducted to Indraprastha, where, in the meanwhile, the hall of sacrifice was prepared, and all the princes of the land were summoned to attend.

The hearts of the Kurus[21] burned with envy at the assumption of supremacy by the Pandus, for the Prince of Hastinapura’s office was to serve out the sacred food [50].

The rivalry between the races burst forth afresh; but Duryodhana, who so often failed in his schemes against the safety of his antagonists, determined to make the virtue of Yudhishthira the instrument of his success. He availed himself of the national propensity for play, in which the Rajput continues to preserve his Scythic[22] resemblance. Yudhishthira fell into the snare prepared for him. He lost his kingdom, his wife, and even his personal liberty and that of his brothers, for twelve years, and became an exile from the plains of the Yamuna.

The traditional history of these wanderers during the term of probation, their many lurking places now sacred, the return to their ancestral abodes, and the grand battle (Mahabharata) which ensued, form highly interesting episodes in the legends of Hindu antiquity.

To decide this civil strife, every tribe and chief of fame, from the Caucasus to the ocean, assembled on Kurukshetra, the field 61on which the empire of India has since more than once been contested[23] and lost.

This combat was fatal to the dominant influence of the “fifty-six tribes of Yadu.” On each of its eighteen days’ combat, myriads were slain; for “the father knew not the son, nor the disciple his preceptor.”

Victory brought no happiness to Yudhishthira. The slaughter of his friends disgusted him with the world, and he determined to withdraw from it; previously performing, at Hastinapura, funeral rites for Duryodhana (slain by the hands of Bhima), whose ambition and bad faith had originated this exterminating war. “Having regained his kingdom, he proclaimed a new era, and placing on the throne of Indraprastha, Parikshita, grandson to Arjuna, retired to Dwarka with Krishna and Baldeva: and since the war to the period of writing, 4636 years have elapsed.”[24]

Yudhishthira, Baldeva, and Krishna, having retired with the wreck of this ill-fated struggle to Dwarka, the two former had soon to lament the death of Krishna, slain by one of the aboriginal tribes of Bhils; against whom, from their shattered condition, they were unable to contend. After this event, Yudhishthira, with [51] Baldeva and a few followers, entirely withdrew from India, and emigrating northwards, by Sind, to the Himalayan mountains, are there abandoned by Hindu traditional history, and are supposed to have perished in the snows.[25]

62From Parikshita, who succeeded Yudhishthira, to Vikramaditya, four[26] dynasties are given in a continuous chain, exhibiting sixty-six princes to Rajpal, who, invading Kumaon, was slain by Sukwanti. The Kumaun conqueror seized upon Delhi, but was soon dispossessed by Vikramaditya, who transferred the seat of imperial power from Indraprastha to Avanti, or Ujjain, from which time it became the first meridian of the Hindu astronomy.

Indraprastha ceased to be a regal abode for eight centuries, when it was re-established by Anangpal,[27] the founder of the Tuar race, claiming descent from the Pandus. Then the name of Delhi superseded that of Indraprastha.

63"Sukwanti, a prince from the northern mountains of Kumaun, ruled fourteen [52] years, when he was slain by Vikramaditya;[28] and from the Bharat to this period 2915 years have elapsed."[29]

Such a period asserted to have elapsed while sixty-six princes occupied the throne, gives an average of forty-four years to each; which is incredible, if not absolutely impossible.

In another passage the compiler says: “I have read many books (shastras), and all agreed to make one hundred princes, all of Khatri[30] race, occupy the throne of Delhi from Yudhishthira to Prithwiraja, a period of 4100 years,[31] after which the Ravad[32] race succeeded.”

It is fortunate for these remnants of historical data that they have only extended the duration of reigns, and not added more heads. Sixty-six links are quite sufficient to connect Yudhishthira and Vikramaditya.

We cannot object to the “one hundred princes” who fill the space assigned from Yudhishthira to Prithwiraja, though there is no proportion between the number which precedes and that which follows Vikramaditya, the former being sixty-six, the latter only thirty-four princes, although the period cannot differ half a century.

Let us apply a test to these one hundred kings, from Yudhishthira to Prithwiraja: the result will be 2250 years.

This test is derived from the average rate of reigns of the chief dynasties of Rajasthan, during a period of 633[33] to 663[34] years, or from Prithwiraja to the present date.

Of Mewar 34[35] princes, or 19 years to each reign.
Of Marwar 28   princes, or 23¼     ”        ”
Of Amber 29   princes, or 22½     ”        ”
Of Jaisalmer 28   princes, or 23¼     ”        ”

giving an average of twenty-two years for each reign [53].

It would not be proper to ascribe a longer period to each reign, and it were perhaps better to give the minimum, nineteen, to extended dynasties; and to the sixty-six princes from Yudhishthira and Vikramaditya not even so much, four revolutions[36] and usurpations marking this period.


—The remaining line, that of Jarasandha, taken from the Bhagavat, is of considerable importance, and will afford scope for further speculation.

Jarasandha was the monarch of Rajagriha,[37] or Bihar, whose son Sahadeva, and grandson Marjari, are declared to have been contemporaries of the Mahabharata, and consequently coeval with Parikshita, the Delhi sovereign.

The direct line of Jarasandha terminates in twenty-three descents with Ripunjaya, who was slain, and his throne assumed by his minister, Sanaka, whose dynasty terminated in the fifth generation with Nandivardandhana. Sanaka derived no personal advantage from his usurpation, as he immediately placed his son, Pradyota, on the throne. To these five princes one hundred and thirty-eight years are assigned.

A new race entered Hindustan, led by a conqueror termed Sheshnag, from Sheshnagdesa,[38] who ascended the Pandu throne, 65and whose line terminates in ten descents with Mahanandin, of spurious birth. This last prince, who was also named Baikyat, carried on an exterminating warfare against the ancient Rajput princes of pure blood, the Puranas declaring that since the dynasty of Sheshnag the princes were Sudras. Three hundred and sixty years are allotted to these ten princes.

Chandragupta Maurya.

—A fourth dynasty commenced with Chandragupta Maurya, of the same Takshak race.[39] The Maurya dynasty consisted of ten princes, who are stated to have passed away in one hundred and thirty-seven years. [322-185 B.C.]

Sunga, Kanva Dynasties.

—The fifth dynasty of eight princes were from Sringides, and are said to have ruled one hundred and twelve years, when a prince of Kanvades deprived the last of life and kingdom. Of these eight princes, four were of pure blood, when Kistna, by a Sudra woman, succeeded. The dynasty of Kanvades terminates in twenty-three generations with Susarman[40] [54].


—Thus from the Great War six successive dynasties are given, presenting a continuous chain of eighty-two princes, reckoning from Sahadeva, the successor of Jarasandha, to Susarman.

To some of the short dynasties periods are assigned of moderate length: but as the first and last are without such data, the test 66already decided on must be applied; which will yield 1704 years, being six hundred and four after Vikramaditya, whose contemporary will thus be Basdeva, the fifty-fifth prince from Sahadeva of the sixth dynasty, said to be a conqueror from the country of Katehr [or Rohilkhand]. If these calculations possess any value, the genealogies of the Bhagavat are brought down to the close of the fifth century following Vikramaditya. As we cannot admit the gift of prophecy to the compilers of these books, we may infer that they remodelled their ancient chronicles during the reign of Susarman, about the year of Vikrama 600, or A.D. 546.

With regard to calculations already adduced, as to the average number of years for the reigns of the foregoing dynasties, a comparison with those which history affords of other parts of the world will supply the best criterion of the correctness of the assumed data.

From the revolt of the ten tribes against Rehoboam[41] to the capture of Jerusalem, a period of three hundred and eighty-seven years, twenty kings sat on the throne of Judah, making each reign nineteen and a half years; but if we include the three anterior reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon, prior to the revolt, the result will be twenty-six and a half years each.

From the dismemberment of the Assyrian[42] empire under Sardanapalus, nearly nine hundred years before Christ, the three consequent confluent dynasties of Babylonia, Assyria, and Media afford very different results for comparison.

The Assyrian preserves the medium, while the Babylonish and Median run into extremes. Of the nine princes who swayed Babylon, from the period of its separation from, till its reunion to Assyria, a space of fifty-two years, Darius, who ruled Media sixty [thirty-six] years [55], outlived the whole. Of the line of Darius there were but six princes, from the separation of the kingdoms to their reunion under Cyrus, a period of one hundred and seventy-four years, or twenty-nine to each reign.

The Assyrian reigns form a juster medium. From Nebuchadnezzar to Sardanapalus we have twenty-two years to a reign; but from thence to the extinction of this dynasty, eighteen.

The first eleven kings, the Heraclidae of Lacedaemon, commencing 67with Eurysthenes (1078 before Christ), average thirty-two years; while in republican Athens, nearly contemporary, from the first perpetual archon until the office became decennial in the seventh Olympiad, the reigns of the twelve chief magistrates average twenty-eight years and a half.

Thus we have three periods, Jewish, Spartan, and Athenian, each commencing about eleven hundred years before Christ, not half a century remote from the Mahabharata; with those of Babylonia, Assyria, and Media, commencing where we quit the Grecian, in the eighth century before the Christian era, the Jewish ending in the sixth century.

However short, compared with our Solar and Lunar dynasties, yet these, combined with the average reigns of existing Hindu dynasties, will aid the judgment in estimating the periods to be assigned to the lines thus afforded, instead of following the improbable value attached by the Brahmans.

From such data, longevity appears in unison with climate and simplicity of life: the Spartan yielding the maximum of thirty-two to a reign, while the more luxurious Athens gives twenty-eight and a half. The Jews, from Saul to their exile “to the waters of Babylon,” twenty-six and a half. The Medes equal the Lacedaemonians, and in all history can only be paralleled by the princes of Anhilwara, one of whom, Chawand, almost equalled Darius.[43]

Of the separated ten tribes, from the revolt to the captivity, twenty kings of Israel passed away in two centuries, or ten years each.

The Spartan and Assyrian present the extremes of thirty-two and eighteen, giving a medium of twenty-five years to a reign.

The average result of our four Hindu dynasties, in a period of nearly seven hundred years, is twenty-two years.

From all which data, I would presume to assign from twenty to twenty-two years to each reign in lines of fifty princes [56].

If the value thus obtained be satisfactory, and the lines of dynasties derived from so many authorities correct, we shall arrive at the same conclusion with Mr. Bentley; who, by the more philosophical process of astronomical and genealogical 68combination, places Yudhishthira’s era in the year 2825 of the world; which being taken from 4004 (the world’s age at the birth of Christ) will leave 1179 before Christ for Yudhishthira’s era, or 1123 before Vikramaditya.[44]

1. Indu, Som, Chandra, in Sanskrit ‘the moon’; hence the Lunar race is termed the Chandravansa, Somvansa, or Induvansa, most probably the root of Hindu. [Pers. hindū, Skr. sindhu.]

2. The isolated and now dependent chieftainship of Dhat, of which Umarkot is the capital, separates the Bhattis from the Jarejas. Dhat is now amalgamated with Sind; its prince, of Pramara race and Sodha tribe, ancient lords of all Sind.

3. A fourth and fifth might have been given, but imperfect. First the descendants of Kusa, second son of Rama, from whence the princes of Narwar and Amber: secondly, the descendants of Krishna, from whom the princes of Jaisalmer.

4. In modern times always written and pronounced Kutchwāha.

5. It is in the plateau of Central India, near Shahabad.

6. Whatever dignity attaches to this pedigree, whether true or false, every prince, and every Hindu of learning, admit the claims of the princes of Mewar as heir to ‘the chair of Rama’; and a degree of reverence has consequently attached, not only to his person, but to the seat of his power. When Mahadaji Sindhia was called by the Rana to reduce a traitorous noble in Chitor, such was the reverence which actuated that (in other respects) little scrupulous chieftain, that he could not be prevailed on to point his cannon on the walls within which consent established ‘the throne of Rama.’ The Rana himself, then a youth, had to break the ice, and fired a cannon against his own ancient abode.

7. Bryant, in his Analysis, mentions that the children of the Cushite Ham used his name in salutation as a mark of recognition. ‘Ram, Ram,’ is the common salutation in these Hindu countries; the respondent often joining Sita’s name with that of her consort Rama, ‘Sita Ram.’

8. Twenty-eighth prince from Rama in Mr. Bentley’s list, and twenty-fifth in mine.

9. Thirty-seventh in Mr. Bentley’s list and thirty-fourth in mine; but the intervening names being made to follow Rama, Bahuman (written by him Banumat) follows Takshak.

10. The period of time, also, would allow of their grafting the son of Artaxerxes and father of Darius, the worshipper of Mithras, on the stem of the adorers of Surya, while a curious notice of the Raja Jai Singh’s on a subsequent name on this list which he calls Naushirwan, strengthens the coincidence. Bahuman (see article ‘Bahaman,’ D’Herbelot’s Bibl. Orient.) actually carried his arms into India, and invaded the kingdoms of the Solar race of Mithila and Magadha. The time is appropriate to the first Darius and his father; and Herodotus [iii. 94] tells us that the richest and best of the satrapies of his empire was the Hindu.

11. First lord.

12. Lord of the Bull.

13. Vidhyadhar was a Jain.

14. Pandu not being blessed with progeny, his queen made use of a charm by which she enticed the deities from their spheres. To Dharma Raj (Minos) she bore Yudhishthira; by Pavan (Aeolus) she had Bhima; by Indra (Jupiter Coelus) she had Arjuna, who was taught by his sire the use of the bow, so fatal in the Great War; and Nakula and Sahadeva owed their birth to Aswini Kumar (Aesculapius) the physician of the gods.

15. We must not disregard the intellect of the Amber prince, who allowed these ancient traditions to be incorporated with the genealogy compiled under his eye. The prince who obtained De Silva from Emmanuel III. of Portugal, who combined the astronomical tables of Europe and Asia, and raised these monuments of his scientific genius in his favourite pursuit (astronomy) in all the capital cities of India, while engrossed in war and politics, requires neither eulogy nor defence.

16. Drupada was of the Aswa race, being descended from Bajaswa (or Hyaswa) of the line of Ajamidha.

17. This marriage, so inconsistent with Hindu delicacy, is glossed over. Admitting the polyandry, but in ignorance of its being a national custom, puerile reasons are interpolated. In the early annals of the same race, predecessors of the Jaisalmer family, the younger son is made to succeed: also Scythic or Tatar. The manners of the Scythae described by Herodotus are found still to exist among their descendants: “a pair of slippers at the wife’s door” is a signal well understood by all Eimauk husbands (Elphinstone’s Caubul, vol. ii. p. 251).

18. Tarangini.

19. Paenama is a [Persian] word peculiarly expressive of subserviency to paramount authority, whether the engagement be in money or service: from pae, ‘the foot.’

20. Sacrifice of the horse to the sun, of which a full description is given hereafter.

21. Duryodhana, as the elder branch, retained his title as head of the Kurus; while the junior, Yudhishthira, on the separation of authority, adopted his father’s name, Pandu, as the patronymic of his new dynasty. The site of the great conflict (or Mahabharata) between these rival clans, is called Kurukshetra, or ‘Field of the Kurus.’

22. Herodotus describes the ruinous passion for play amongst the Scythic hordes, and which may have been carried west by Odin into Scandinavia and Germany. Tacitus tells us that the Germans, like the Pandus, staked even personal liberty, and were sold as slaves by the winner [Germania, 24].

23. On it the last Hindu monarch, Prithwiraja, lost his kingdom, his liberty, and life.

24. Rajatarangini. The period of writing was A.D. 1740.

25. Having ventured to surmise analogies between the Hercules of the east and west, I shall carry them a point further. Amidst the snows of Caucasus, Hindu legend abandons the Harikulas, under their leaders Yudhishthira and Baldeva: yet if Alexander established his altars in Panchala, amongst the sons of Puru and the Harikulas, what physical impossibility exists that a colony of them, under Yudhishthira and Baldeva, eight centuries anterior, should have penetrated to Greece? Comparatively far advanced in science and arms, the conquest would have been easy. When Alexander attacked the ‘free cities’ of Panchala, the Purus and Harikulas who opposed him evinced the recollections of their ancestor, in carrying the figure of Hercules as their standard. Comparison proves a common origin to Hindu and Grecian mythology; and Plato says the Greeks had theirs from Egypt and the East. May not this colony of the Harikulas be the Heraclidae, who penetrated into the Peloponnesus (according to Volney) 1078 years before Christ, sufficiently near our calculated period of the Great War? The Heraclidae claimed from Atreus: the Harikulas claim from Atri. Eurysthenes was the first king of the Heraclidae: Yudhishthira has sufficient affinity in name to the first Spartan king not to startle the etymologist, the d and r being always permutable in Sanskrit. The Greeks or Ionians are descended from Yavan, or Javan, the seventh from Japhet. The Harikulas are also Yavans claiming from Javan or Yavan, the thirteenth in descent from Yayati, the third son of the primeval patriarch. The ancient Heraclidae of Greece asserted they were as old as the sun, and older than the moon. May not this boast conceal the fact that the Heliadae (or Suryavansa) of Greece had settled there anterior to the colony of the Indu (Lunar) race of Harikula? In all that relates to the mythological history of the Indian demi-gods, Baldeva (Hercules), Krishna or Kanhaiya (Apollo), and Budha (Mercury), a powerful and almost perfect resemblance can be traced between those of Hindu legend, Greece, and Egypt. Baldeva (the god of strength) Harikula, is still worshipped as in the days of Alexander; his shrine at Baldeo in Vraj (the Surasenoi of the Greeks), his club a ploughshare, and a lion’s skin his covering. A Hindu intaglio of rare value represents Hercules exactly as described by Arrian, with a monogram consisting of two ancient characters now unknown, but which I have found wherever tradition assigns a spot to the Harikulas; especially in Saurashtra, where they were long concealed on their exile from Delhi. This we may at once decide to be the exact figure of Hercules which Arrian describes his descendants to have carried as their standard, when Porus opposed Alexander. The intaglio will appear in the Trans. R.A.S. [The speculations in this note have no authority.]

26. The twenty-eighth prince, Khemraj, was the last in lineal descent from Parikshita, the grand-nephew of Yudhishthira. The first dynasty lasted 1864 years. The second dynasty was of Visarwa, and consisted of fourteen princes; this lasted five hundred years. The third dynasty was headed by Mahraj, and terminated by Antinai, the fifteenth prince. The fourth dynasty was headed by Dudhsen, and terminated by Rajpal, the ninth and last king (Rajatarangini).

27. The Rajatarangini gives the date A.V. 848, or A.D. 792, for this; and adds: “Princes from Siwalik, or northern hills, held it during this time, and it long continued desolate until the Tuars.”

28. 56 B.C. [Cunningham remarks that the defeat of Rāja Pāl of Delhi by Sukwanti, Sukdati, or Sukāditya, Rāja of Kumaun, must be assigned to A.D. 79: but he has little confidence in such traditions, unless supported by independent evidence (ASR, i. 138).]

29. Raghunath.

30. Rājput, or Kshatriya.

31. This period of 4100 years may have been arrived at by the compiler taking for granted the number of years mentioned by Raghunath as having elapsed from the Mahabharata to Vikramaditya, namely 2915, and adding thereto the well-authenticated period of Prithwiraja, who was born in Samvat 1215: for if 2915 be subtracted from 4100, it leaves 1185, the period within thirty years of the birth of Prithwiraja, according to the Chauhan chronicles.

32. Solar.

33. From S. 1250, or A.D. 1194, captivity and dethronement of Prithwiraja.

34. From S. 1212, A.D. 1516, the founding of Jaisalmer by Jaisal, to the accession of Gaj Singh, the present prince, in S. 1876, or A.D. 1820.

35. Many of its early princes were killed in battle; and the present prince’s father succeeded his own nephew, which was retrograding.

36. The historians sanction the propriety of these changes, in their remarks, that the deposed were “deficient in [capacity for] the cares and duties of government.”

37. Rajagriha, or Rajmahal, capital of Magadhades, or Bihar. [In Patna district, IGI, xxi. 72.]

38. Figuratively, the country of the ‘head of the Snakes’; Nag, Tak, or Takshak, being synonymous: and which I conclude to be the abode of the ancient Scythic Tachari of Strabo, the Tak-i-uks of the Chinese, the Tajiks of the present day of Turkistan. This race appears to be the same with that of the Turushka (of the Puranas), who ruled on the Arvarma (the Araxes), in Sakadwipa, or Scythia. [This is a confused reference to the Saisunāga dynasty, which took its name from its founder, Sisunāga, and comprised roughly the present Patna and Gaya districts, its capital being Rājagriha; the modern Rājgīr-Sisunāga means ‘a young elephant,’ and has no connexion with Sheshnāg, the serpent king (Vishnu Purana, 466 f.; Smith, EHI, 31).]

39. [Chandragupta Maurya was certainly not a “Takshak”: he was probably “an illegitimate scion of the Nanda family” (Smith, EHI, 42).]

40. Mr. Bentley (‘On the Hindu System of Astronomy,’ As. Res. vol. viii. pp. 236-7) states that the astronomer, Brahmagupta, flourished about A.D. 527, or of Vikrama 583, shortly preceding the reign of Susarman; that he was the founder of the system called the Kalpa of Brahma, on which the present Hindu chronology is founded, and to which Mr. Bentley says their historical data was transferred. This would strengthen my calculations; but the weight of Mr. Bentley’s authority has been much weakened by his unwarrantable attack on Mr. Colebrooke, whose extent of knowledge is of double value from his entire aversion to hypothesis. [The Sunga dynasty, founded by Pushyamitra, about 185 B.C., lasted till about 73 B.C., when the tenth king, Devabhūti, was slain by his Brāhman minister, Vasudeva, who founded the Kānva dynasty. He was followed by three kings, and the dynasty lasted only forty-five years, the last member of it being slain, about 28 B.C., by a king of the Andhra or Sātāvahana dynasty, then reigning in the Deccan. For the scanty details see Smith, EHI, 198 ff.]

41. 987 years before Christ.

42. For these and the following dates I am indebted to Goguet’s chronological tables in his Origin of Laws.

43. [It is not clear to whom the author refers: Chāmunda Chāvada (A.D. 880-908): or Chāmunda Chaulukya (A.D. 997-1010), (BG, i. Part i. 154, 162).]

44. [The evidence quoted in this chapter by which the author endeavours to frame a chronology for this early period, is untrustworthy. Mr. Pargiter tentatively dates the great Bhārata battle about 1000 B.C., but the evidence is very uncertain (JRAS, January 1910, p. 56; April 1914, p. 294).]


Rajputs and Mongols.

—Having thus brought down the genealogical history of the ancient martial races of India, from the earliest period to Yudhishthira and Krishna, and thence to Vikramaditya and the present day, a few observations on the races invading India during that time, and now ranked amongst the thirty-six royal races of Rajasthan, affording scope for some curious analogies, may not be inopportune.

The tribes here alluded to are the Haihaya or Aswa, the Takshak, and the Jat or Getae; the similitude of whose theogony, names in their early genealogies, and many other points, with the Chinese, Tatar, Mogul, Hindu, and Scythic races, would appear to warrant the assertion of one common origin.

Though the periods of the passage of these tribes into India cannot be stated with exactitude, the regions whence they migrated may more easily be ascertained.

Mongol Origin.

—Let us compare the origin of the Tatars and Moguls, as given by their historian, Abulghazi, with the races we have been treating of from the Puranas.

Mogol was the name of the Tatarian patriarch. His son was Aghuz,[1] the founder of all the races of those northern regions, called Tatars and Mogol [57]. Aghuz had six sons.[2] First, Kun,[3] ‘the sun,’ the Surya of the Puranas; secondly, Ai,[4] ‘the moon,’ 69the Indu of the Puranas. In the latter, Ai, we have even the same name [Ayus] as in the Puranas for the Lunar ancestor. The Tatars all claim from Ai, ‘the moon,’ the Indus of the Puranas. Hence with them, as with the German tribes, the moon was always a male deity. The Tatar Ai had a son, Yulduz. His son was Hyu, from whom[5] came the first race of the kings of China. The Puranic Ayus had a son, Yadu (pronounced Jadon); from whose third son, Haya, the Hindu genealogist deduces no line, and from whom the Chinese may claim their Indu[5] origin. Il Khan (ninth from Ai) had two sons: first, Kian; and secondly, Nagas; whose descendants peopled all Tatary. From Kian, Jenghiz Khan claimed descent.[6] Nagas was probably the founder of the Takshak, or Snake race[7] of the Puranas and Tatar genealogists, the Tak-i-uk Moguls of De Guignes.

Such are the comparative genealogical origins of the three races. Let us compare their theogony, the fabulous birth assigned by each for the founder of the Indu race.

Mongol and Hindu Traditions.

—1. The Puranic. “Ila (the earth), daughter of the sun-born Ikshwaku, while wandering in the forests was encountered by Budha (Mercury), and from the rape of Ila sprung the Indu race.”

2. The Chinese account of the birth of Yu (Ayu), their first monarch. “A star[8] (Mercury or Fo) struck his mother while journeying. She conceived, and gave to the world Yu, the founder of the first dynasty which reigned in China. Yu divided China into nine provinces, and began to reign 2207[9] years before Christ” [58].

Thus the Ai of the Tatars, the Yu of the Chinese, and the Ayus 70of the Puranas, evidently indicate the great Indu (Lunar) progenitor of the three races. Budha (Mercury), the son of Indu (the moon), became the patriarchal and spiritual leader; as Fo, in China; Woden and Teutates,[10] of the tribes migrating to Europe. Hence it follows that the religion of Buddha must be coeval with the existence of these nations; that it was brought into India Proper by them, and guided them until the schism of Krishna and the Suryas, worshippers of Bal, in time depressed them, when the Buddha religion was modified into its present mild form, the Jain.[11]

Scythian Traditions.

—Let us contrast with these the origin of the Scythic nations, as related by Diodorus;[12] when it will be observed the same legends were known to him which have been handed down by the Puranas and Abulghazi.

"The Scythians had their first abodes on the Araxes.[13] Their origin was from a virgin born of the earth[14] of the shape of a woman from the waist upwards, and below a serpent (symbol of Budha or Mercury); that Jupiter had a son by her, named Scythes,[15] whose name the nation adopted. Scythes had two sons, Palas and Napas (qu. the Nagas, or Snake race, of the Tatar genealogy?), who were celebrated for their great actions, and who divided the countries; and the nations were called after them, the Palians (qu. Pali?)[16] and Napians. They led their forces as far as the Nile on Egypt, and subdued many nations. They enlarged the empire of the Scythians as far as the Eastern ocean, 71and to the Caspian and lake Moeotis. The nation had many kings, from whom the Sacans (Sakae), the Massagetae (Getae or Jats), the Ari-aspians (Aswas of Aria), and many other races. They overran Assyria and Media[17] [59], overturning the empire, and transplanting the inhabitants to the Araxes under the name of Sauro-Matians."[18]

As the Sakae, Getae, Aswa, and Takshak are names which have crept in amongst our thirty-six royal races, common with others also to early civilization in Europe, let us seek further ancient authority on the original abodes.

Strabo[19] says: "All the tribes east of the Caspian are called Scythic. The Dahae[20] next the sea, the Massagetae (great Gete) and Sakae more eastward; but every tribe has a particular name. All are nomadic: but of these nomads the best-known are the Asii,[21] the Pasiani, Tochari, Sacarauli, who took Bactria from the Greeks. The Sakae[22] (‘races’) have made in Asia irruptions similar to those of the Cimmerians; thus they have been seen to possess themselves of Bactria, and the best district of Armenia, called after them Sakasenae."[23]

Which of the tribes of Rajasthan are the offspring of the Aswa and Medes, of Indu race, returned under new appellations, we 72shall not now stop to inquire, limiting our hypothesis to the fact of invasions, and adducing some evidence of such being simultaneous with migrations of the same bands into Europe. Hence the inference of a common origin between the Rajput and early races of Europe; to support which, a similar mythology, martial manners and poetry, language, and even music and architectural ornaments, may be adduced.[24]

Of the first migrations of the Indu-Scythic Getae, Takshak, and Asii, into India, that of Sheshnag (Takshak), from Sheshnagdes (Tocharistan?) or Sheshnag, six centuries, by calculation, before Christ, is the first noticed by the Puranas.[25] About this period a grand irruption of the same races conquered Asia Minor, and [60] eventually Scandinavia; and not long after the Asii and Tochari overturned the Greek kingdom of Bactria, the Romans felt the power of the Asi,[26] the Chatti, and Cimbri, from the Baltic shore.

“If we can show the Germans to have been originally Scythae or Goths (Getes or Jits), a wide field of curiosity and inquiry is open to the origin of government, manners, etc.; all the antiquities of Europe will assume a new appearance, and, instead of being traced to the bands of Germany, as Montesquieu and the greatest writers have hitherto done, may be followed through long descriptions of the manners of the Scythians, etc., as given by Herodotus. Scandinavia was occupied by the Scythae five hundred years before Christ. These Scythians worshipped Mercury (Budha), Woden or Odin, and believed themselves his progeny. The Gothic mythology, by parallel, might be shown 73to be Grecian, whose gods were the progeny of Coelus and Terra (Budha and Ella).[27] Dryads, satyrs, fairies, and all the Greek and Roman superstition, may be found in the Scandinavian creed. The Goths consulted the heart of victims, had oracles, had sibyls, had a Venus in Freya, and Parcae in the Valkyrie.”[28]

The Scythian Descent of the Rajputs.

—Ere we proceed to trace these mythological resemblances, let us adduce further opinions in proof of the position assumed of a common origin of the tribes of early Europe and the Scythic Rajput.

The translator of Abulghazi, in his preface, observes: "Our contempt for the Tatars would lessen did we consider how nearly we stand related to them, and that our ancestors originally came from the north of Asia, and that our customs, laws, and way of living were formerly the same as theirs. In short, that we are no other than a colony of Tatars.

"It was from Tatary those people came, who, under the successive names of Cymbrians,[29] Kelts, and Gauls, possessed all the northern part of Europe. What were the Goths, Huns, Alans, Swedes, Vandals, Franks, but swarms of the same hive? The Swedish chronicles bring the Swedes[30] from Cashgar, and [61] the affinity between the Saxon language and Kipchak is great; and the Keltick language still subsisting in Britany and Wales is a demonstration that the inhabitants are descended from Tatar nations."

74From between the parallels of 30° and 50° of north latitude, and from 75° to 95° of east longitude, the highlands of Central Asia, alike removed from the fires of the equator and the cold of the arctic circle, migrated the races which passed into Europe and within the Indus. We must therefore voyage up the Indus, cross the Paropanisos, to the Oxus or Jihun, to Sakatai[31] or Sakadwipa, and from thence and the Dasht-i Kipchak conduct the Takshaks, the Getae, the Kamari, the Chatti, and the Huns, into the plains of Hindustan.

We have much to learn in these unexplored regions, the abode of ancient civilisation, and which, so late as Jenghiz Khan’s invasion, abounded with large cities. It is an error to suppose that the nations of Higher Asia were merely pastoral; and De Guignes, from original authorities, informs us that when the Su invaded the Yueh-chi or Jats, they found upwards of a hundred cities containing the merchandise of India, and with the currency bearing the effigies of the prince.

Such was the state of Central Asia long before the Christian era, though now depopulated and rendered desert by desolating wars, which have raged in these countries, and to which Europe can exhibit no parallel. Timur’s wars, in more modern times, against the Getic nation, will illustrate the paths of his ambitious predecessors in the career of destruction.

If we examine the political limits of the great Getic nation in the time of Cyrus, six centuries before Christ, we shall find them little circumscribed in power on the rise of Timur, though twenty centuries had elapsed [62].

Jāts and Getae.

—At this period (A.D. 1330), under the last prince of Getic race, Tughlak Timur Khan, the kingdom of Chagatai[32] was bounded on the west by the Dasht-i Kipchak, and 75on the south by the Jihun, on which river the Getic Khan, like Tomyris, had his capital. Kokhand, Tashkent, Utrar,[33] Cyropolis, and the most northern of the Alexandrias, were within the bounds of Chagatai.

The Getae, Jut, or Jat, and Takshak races, which occupy places amongst the thirty-six royal races of India, are all from the region of Sakatai. Regarding their earliest migrations, we shall endeavour to make the Puranas contribute; but of their invasions in more modern times the histories of Mahmud of Ghazni, and Timur abundantly acquaint us.

From the mountains of Jud[34] to the shores of Makran,[35] and along the Ganges, the Jat is widely spread; while the Takshak name is now confined to inscriptions or old writings.

Inquiries in their original haunts, and among tribes now under different names, might doubtless bring to light their original designation, now best known within the Indus; while the Takshak or Takiuk may probably be discovered in the Tajik, still in his ancient haunts, the Transoxiana and Chorasmia of classic authors; the Mawaru-n-nahr of the Persians; the Turan, Turkistan, or Tocharistan of native geography; the abode of the Tochari, Takshak, or Turushka invaders of India, described in the Puranas and existing inscriptions.

The Getae had long maintained their independence when Tomyris defended their liberty against Cyrus. Driven in successive wars across the Sutlej, we shall elsewhere show them preserving their ancient habits, as desultory cavaliers, under the Jat leader of Lahore, in pastoral communities in Bikaner, the Indian 76desert and elsewhere, though they have lost sight of their early history. The transition from pastoral to agricultural pursuits is but short, and the descendant of the nomadic Getae of Transoxiana is now the best husbandman on the plains of Hindustan[36] [63].

The invasion of these Indu-Scythic tribes, Getae, Takshaks, Asii, Chatti, Rajpali,[37] Huns, Kamari, introduced the worship of Budha, the founder of the Indu or Lunar race.

Herodotus says the Getae were theists,[38] and held the tenets of the soul’s immortality; so with the Buddhists.

Before, however, touching on points of religious resemblance between the Asii, Getae, or Jut of Scandinavia (who gave his name to the Cimbric Chersonese) and the Getae of Scythia and India, let us make a few remarks on the Asii or Aswa.

The Aswa.

—To the Indu race of Aswa (the descendants of Dvimidha and Bajaswa), spread over the countries on both sides the Indus, do we probably owe the distinctive appellation of Asia. Herodotus[39] says the Greeks denominated Asia from the wife of Prometheus; while others deduce it from a grandson of Manes, indicating the Aswa descendants of the patriarch Manu. Asa,[40] Sakambhari,[41] Mata,[42] is the divinity Hope, ‘mother-protectress of the Sakha,’ or races. Every Rajput adores Asapurna, ‘the fulfiller of desire’; or, as Sakambhari Devi (goddess protectress), she is invoked previous to any undertaking.

The Aswas were chiefly of the Indu race; yet a branch of the Suryas also bore this designation. It appears to indicate their celebrity as horsemen.[43] All of them worshipped the horse, which they sacrificed to the sun. This grand rite, the Asvamedha, on 77the festival of the winter solstice, would alone go far to exemplify their common Scythic origin with the Getic Saka, authorising the inference of Pinkerton, “that a grand Scythic nation extended from the Caspian to the Ganges.”

The Asvamedha.

—The Asvamedha was practised on the Ganges and Sarju by the Solar princes [64], twelve hundred years before Christ, as by the Getae in the time of Cyrus; “deeming it right,” says Herodotus [i. 216] “to offer the swiftest of created to the chief of uncreated beings”: and this worship and sacrifice of the horse has been handed down to the Rajput of the present day. A description of this grand ceremony shall close these analogies.

The Getic Asii carried this veneration for the steed, symbolic of their chief deity the sun, into Scandinavia: equally so of all the early German tribes, the Su, Suevi, Chatti, Sucimbri, Getae, in the forests of Germany, and on the banks of the Elbe and Weser. The milk-white steed was supposed to be the organ of the gods, from whose neighing they calculated future events; notions possessed also by the Aswa, sons of Budha (Woden), on the Yamuna and Ganges, when the rocks of Scandinavia and the shores of the Baltic were yet untrod by man. It was this omen which gave Darius Hystaspes[44] (hinsna, ‘to neigh,’ aspa, ‘a horse’) a crown. The bard Chand makes it the omen of death to his principal heroes. The steed of the Scandinavian god of battle was kept in the temple of Upsala, and always “found foaming and sweating after battle.” “Money,” says Tacitus, “was only acceptable to the German when bearing the effigies of the horse.”[45]

In the Edda we are informed that the Getae, or Jats, who entered Scandinavia, were termed Asi, and their first settlement As-gard.[46]

Pinkerton rejects the authority of the Edda and follows Torfaeus, who “from Icelandic chronicles and genealogies concludes Odin to have come into Scandinavia in the time of Darius Hystaspes, five hundred years before Christ.”

78This is the period of the last Buddha, or Mahavira, whose era is four hundred and seventy-seven years before Vikrama, or five hundred and thirty-three before Christ.

The successor of Odin in Scandinavia was Gotama; and Gautama was the successor of the last Buddha, Mahavira,[47] who as Gotama, or Gaudama, is still adored from the Straits of Malacca to the Caspian Sea.

“Other antiquaries,” says Pinkerton, “assert another Odin, who was put as the supreme deity one thousand years before Christ” [65].

Mallet admits two Odins, but Mr. Pinkerton wishes he had abided by that of Torfaeus, in 500 A.C.

It is a singular fact that the periods of both the Scandinavian Odins should assimilate with the twenty-second Buddha [Jain Tirthakara], Neminath, and twenty-fourth and last, Mahavira; the first the contemporary of Krishna, about 1000 or 1100 years, the last 533, before Christ. The Asii, Getae, etc., of Europe worshipped Mercury as founder of their line, as did the Eastern Asi, Takshaks, and Getae. The Chinese and Tatar historians also say Buddha, or Fo, appeared 1027 years before Christ. “The Yuchi, established in Bactria and along the Jihun, eventually bore the name of Jeta or Yetan,[48] that is to say, Getae. Their empire subsisted a long time in this part of Asia, and extended even into India. These are the people whom the Greeks knew under the name of Indo-Scythes. Their manners are the same as those of the Turks.[49] Revolutions occurred in the very heart of the East, whose consequences were felt afar.”[50]

The period allowed by all these authorities for the migration of these Scythic hordes into Europe is also that for their entry into India.

The sixth century is that calculated for the Takshak from Sheshnagdesa; and it is on this event and reign that the Puranas declare, that from this period “no prince of pure blood would be 79found, but that the Sudra, the Turushka, and the Yavan, would prevail.”

All these Indu-Scythic invaders held the religion of Buddha: and hence the conformity of manners and mythology between the Scandinavian or German tribes and the Rajputs increased by comparing their martial poetry.

Similarity of religious manners affords stronger proofs of original identity than language. Language is eternally changing—so are manners; but an exploded custom or rite traced to its source, and maintained in opposition to climate, is a testimony not to be rejected.

Personal Habits, Dress.

—When Tacitus informs us that the first act of a German on rising was ablution, it will be conceded this habit was not acquired in [66] the cold climate of Germany, but must have been of eastern[51] origin; as were “the loose flowing robe; the long and braided hair, tied in a knot at the top of the head”; with many other customs, personal habits, and superstitions of the Scythic Cimbri, Juts, Chatti, Suevi, analogous to the Getic nations of the same name, as described by Herodotus, Justin, and Strabo, and which yet obtain amongst the Rajput Sakhae of the present day.

Let us contrast what history affords of resemblance in religion or manners. First, as to religion.


—Tuisto (Mercury) and Ertha (the earth) were the chief divinities of the early German tribes. Tuisto[52] was born of the Earth (Ila) and Manus (Manu). He is often confounded with Odin, or Woden, the Budha of the eastern tribes, though they are the Mars and Mercury of these nations.

Religious Rites.

—The Suiones or Suevi, the most powerful Getic nation of Scandinavia, were divided into many tribes, one of whom, the Su (Yueh-chi or Jat), made human sacrifices in their consecrated groves[53] to Ertha (Ila), whom all worshipped, and whose chariot was drawn by a cow.[54] The Suevi worshipped Isis (Isa, Gauri, the Isis and Ceres of Rajasthan), in whose rites the figure of a ship is introduced; “symbolic,” observes Tacitus, “of its foreign origin.”[55] The festival of Isa, or Gauri, wife of Iswara, at Udaipur, is performed on the lake, and appears to be exactly that of Isis and Osiris in Egypt, as described by Herodotus. On this occasion Iswara (Osiris), who is secondary to his wife, has a stalk of the onion in blossom in his hand; a root detested by the Hindus generally, though adored by the Egyptians.

Customs of War.

—They sung hymns in praise of Hercules, as well as Tuisto or Odin, whose banners and images they carried to the field; and fought in clans, using the feram or javelin, both in close and distant combat. In all maintaining [67] the resemblance to the Harikula, descendants of Budha, and the Aswa, offspring of Bajaswa, who peopled those regions west of the Indus, and whose redundant population spread both east and west.

The Suevi, or Suiones, erected the celebrated temple of Upsala, in which they placed the statues of Thor, Woden, and Freya, the triple divinity of the Scandinavian Asii, the Trimurti of the Solar and Lunar races. The first (Thor, the thunderer, or god of war) is Hara, or Mahadeva, the destroyer; the second (Woden) is Budha,[56] the preserver; and the third (Freya) is Uma, the creative power.

The grand festival to Freya was in spring, when all nature revived; then boars were offered to her by the Scandinavians, and even boars of paste were made and swallowed by the peasantry.

As Vasanti, or spring personified, the consort of Hara is worshipped by the Rajput, who opens the season with a grand 81hunt,[57] led by the prince and his vassal chiefs, when they chase, slay, and eat the boar. Personal danger is disregarded on this day, as want of success is ominous that the Great Mother will refuse all petitions throughout the year.

Pinkerton, quoting Ptolemy (who was fifty years after Tacitus), says there were six nations in Yeutland or Jutland, the country of the Juts, of whom were the Sablingii (Suevi,[58] or Suiones), the Chatti and Hermandri, who extended to the estuary of the Elbe and Weser. There they erected the pillar Irmansul to “the god of war,” regarding which Sammes[59] observes: “some will have it to be Mars his pillar, others Hermes Saul, or the pillar of Hermes or Mercury”; and he naturally asks, “how did the Saxons come to be acquainted with the Greek name of Mercury?”

Sacrificial pillars are termed Sula in Sanskrit; which, conjoined with Hara,[60] the Indian god of war, would be Harsula. The Rajput warrior invokes Hara with his trident (trisula) to help him in battle, while his battle-shout is ‘mar! mar!’ The Cimbri, one of the most celebrated of the six tribes of Yeutland, derive their name from their fame as warriors [68].[61]

Kumara[62] is the Rajput god of war. He is represented with seven heads in the Hindu mythology: the Saxon god of war has six.[63] The six-headed Mars of the Cimbri Chersonese, to whom was raised the Irmansul on the Weser, was worshipped by the Sakasenae, the Chatti, the Siebi or Suevi, the Jotae or Getae, and the Cimbri, evincing in name, as in religious rites, a common origin with the martial warriors of Hindustan.

Rajput Religion.

—The religion of the martial Rajput, and the rites of Hara, the god of battle, are little analogous to those of 82the meek Hindus, the followers of the pastoral divinity, the worshippers of kine, and feeders on fruits, herbs, and water. The Rajput delights in blood: his offerings to the god of battle are sanguinary, blood and wine. The cup (kharpara) of libation is the human skull. He loves them because they are emblematic of the deity he worships; and he is taught to believe that Hara loves them, who in war is represented with the skull to drink the foeman’s blood, and in peace is the patron of wine and women. With Parbati on his knee, his eyes rolling from the juice of the phul (ardent spirits) and opium, such is this Bacchanalian divinity of war. Is this Hinduism, acquired on the burning plains of India? Is it not rather a perfect picture of the manners of the Scandinavian heroes?

The Rajput slays buffaloes, hunts and eats the boar and deer, and shoots ducks and wild fowl (kukkut); he worships his horse, his sword, and the sun, and attends more to the martial song of the bard than to the litany of the Brahman. In the martial mythology and warlike poetry of the Scandinavians a wide field exists for assimilation, and a comparison of the poetical remains of the Asi of the east and west would alone suffice to suggest a common origin.


—In the sacred Bardai of the Rajput we have the bard of our Saxon ancestry; those reciters of warlike poetry, of whom Tacitus says, “with their barbarous strains, they influence their minds in the day of battle with a chorus of military virtue.”

A comparison, in so extensive a field, would include the whole of their manners and religious opinions, and must be reserved for a distinct work.[64] The Valkyrie [69], or fatal sisters of the Suevi or Siebi, would be the twin sisters of the Apsaras, who summon the Rajput warrior from the field of battle, and bear him to “the mansion of the sun,” equally the object of attainment with the children of Odin in Scandinavia, and of Budha and Surya in the 83plains of Scythia and on the Ganges, like the Elysium[65] of the Heliadae of Greece.

In the day of battle we should see in each the same excitements to glory and contempt of death, and the dramatis personae of the field, both celestial and terrestrial, move and act alike. We should see Thor, the thunderer, leading the Siebi, and Hara (Siva) the Indian Jove, his own worshippers (Sivseva); in which Freya, or Bhavani, and even the preserver (Krishna) himself, not unfrequently mingle.

War Chariots.

—The war chariot is peculiar to the Indu-Scythic nations, from Dasaratha,[66] and the heroes of the Mahabharata, to the conquest of Hindustan by the Muhammadans, when it was laid aside. On the plains of Kurukshetra, Krishna became charioteer to his friend Arjun; and the Getic hordes of the Jaxartes, when they aided Xerxes in Greece, and Darius on the plains of Arbela,[67] had their chief strength in the war chariot.

The war chariot continued to be used later in the south-west of India than elsewhere, and the Kathi,[68] Khuman, Kumari of 84Saurashtra have to recent times retained their Scythic habits, as their monumental stones testify, expressing their being slain from their cars [70].

Position of Women.

—In no point does resemblance more attach between the ancient German and Scandinavian tribes, and the martial Rajput or ancient Getae, than in their delicacy towards females.

“The Germans,” says Tacitus [Germania, viii.], “deemed the advice of a woman in periods of exigence oracular.” So does the Rajput, as the bard Chand often exemplifies; and hence they append to her name the epithet Devi (or contracted De), ‘god-like.’ “To a German mind,” says Tacitus, “the idea of a woman led into captivity is insupportable”; and to prevent this the Rajput raises the poignard against the heart which beats only for him, though never to survive the dire necessity. It is then they perform the sacrifice ‘johar,’ when every sakha (branch) is cut off: and hence the Rajput glories in the title of Sakha-band, from having performed the sakha; an awful rite, and with every appearance of being the sacaea of the Scythic Getae, as described by Strabo.[69]



—In passion for play at games of chance, its extent and dire consequences, the Rajput, from the earliest times, has evinced a predilection, and will stand comparison with the Scythian and his German offspring. The German staked his personal liberty, became a slave, and was sold as the property of the winner. To this vice the Pandavas owed the loss of their sovereignty and personal liberty, involving at last the destruction of all the Indu [71] races; nor has the passion abated. Religion even consecrates the vice; and once a year, on ‘the Festival of Lamps’ (Diwali), all propitiate the goddess of wealth and fortune (Lakshmi) by offering at her shrine.

Destitute of mental pursuits, the martial Rajput is often slothful or attached to sensual pleasures, and when roused, reckless on what he may wreak a fit of energy. Yet when order and discipline prevail in a wealthy chieftainship, there is much of that patriarchal mode of life, with its amusements, alike suited to the Rajput, the Getae of the Jihun, or Scandinavian.

Omens, Auguries.

—Divination by lots, auguries, and omens by flights of birds, as practised by the Getic nations described by Herodotus, and amongst the Germans by Tacitus, will be found amongst the Rajputs, from whose works[70] on this subject might have been supplied the whole of the Augurs and Aruspices, German or Roman.

Love of Strong Drink.

—Love of liquor, and indulgence in it to excess, were deep-rooted in the Scandinavian Asi and German tribes, and in which they showed their Getic origin; nor is the 86Rajput behind his brethren either of Scythia or Europe. It is the free use of this and similar indulgences, prohibited by ordinances which govern the ordinary Hindu, that first induced me to believe that these warlike races were little indebted to India.

The Rajput welcomes his guest with the munawwar piyala, or ‘cup of request,’ in which they drown ancient enmities. The heroes of Odin never relished a cup of mead more than the Rajput his madhu;[71] and the bards of Scandinavia and Rajwara are alike eloquent in the praise of the bowl, on which the Bardai exhausts every metaphor, and calls it ambrosial, immortal.[72] “The bard, as he sipped the ambrosia, in which sparkled the ruby seed of the pomegranate, rehearsed the glory of the race of the fearless.[73] May the king live for ever, alike bounteous in gifts to the bard and the foe!” Even in the heaven of Indra, the Hindu warrior’s paradise, akin to Valhalla [72], the Rajput has his cup, which is served by the Apsaras, the twin sister of the celestial Hebe of Scania. “I shall quaff full goblets amongst the gods,” says the dying Getic warrior;[74] “I die laughing”: sentiments which would be appreciated by a Rajput.

A Rajput inebriated is a rare sight: but a more destructive and recent vice has usurped much of the honours of the ‘invitation cup,’ which has been degraded from the pure ‘flower’[75] to an infusion of the poppy, destructive of every quality. Of this pernicious habit we may use the words which the historian of German manners applies to the tribes of the Weser and Elbe, in respect to their love of strong drink: “Indulge it, and you need not employ the terror of your arms; their own vices will subdue them.”

87The cup of the Scandinavian worshippers of Thor, the god of battle, was a human skull, that of the foe, in which they showed their thirst of blood; also borrowed from the chief of the Hindu Triad, Hara, the god of battle, who leads his heroes in the ‘red field of slaughter’ with the khopra[76] in his hand, with which he gorges on the blood of the slain.

Hara is the patron of all who love war and strong drink, and is especially the object of the Rajput warrior’s devotion: accordingly blood and wine form the chief oblations to the great god of the Indus. The Gosains,[77] the peculiar priests of Hara, or Bal, the sun, all indulge in intoxicating drugs, herbs, and drinks. Seated on their lion, leopard, or deer skins, their bodies covered with ashes, their hair matted and braided, with iron tongs to feed the penitential fires, their savage appearance makes them fit organs for the commands of the blood and slaughter. Contrary, likewise, to general practice, the minister of Hara, the god of war, at his death is committed to the earth, and a circular tumulus is raised over him; and with some classes of Gosains, small tumuli, whose form is the frustrum of a cone, with lateral steps, the apex crowned with a cylindrical stone [73].[78]

Funeral Ceremonies.

—In the last rites for the dead, comparison will yield proofs of original similarity. The funeral ceremonies of Scandinavia have distinguished the national eras, and the ‘age of fire’ and ‘the age of hills,’[79] designated the periods when the warrior was committed to mother earth or consumed on the pyre.

Odin (Budha) introduced the latter custom, and the raising of tumuli over the ashes when the body was burned; as also the practice of the wife burning with her deceased lord. These 88manners were carried from Sakadwipa, or Saka Scythia, “where the Geta,” says Herodotus [v. 5], “was consumed on the pyre or burned alive with her lord.” With the Getae, the Siebi or Suevi of Scandinavia, if the deceased had more than one wife, the elder claimed the privilege of burning.[80] Thus, “Nanna was consumed in the same fire with the body of her husband, Balder, one of Odin’s companions.” But the Scandinavians were anxious to forget this mark of their Asiatic origin, and were not always willing to burn, or to make “so cruel and absurd a sacrifice to the manes of their husbands, the idea of which had been picked up by their Scythian ancestors, when they inhabited the warmer climates of Asia, where they had their first abodes.”[81]

“The Scythic Geta,” says Herodotus [iv. 71], “had his horse sacrificed on his funeral pyre; and the Scandinavian Geta had his horse and arms buried with him, as they could not approach Odin on foot.”[82] The Rajput warrior is carried to his final abode armed at all points as when alive, his shield on his back and brand in hand; while his steed, though not sacrificed, is often presented to the deity, and becomes a perquisite of the priest.


—The burning of the dead warrior, and female immolation, or Sati, are well-known rites, though the magnificent cenotaphs raised on the spot of sacrifice are little known or visited by Europeans; than which there are no better memorials of the rise and decline of the States of the Rajput heptarchy. It is the son who raises the mausoleum to the memory of his father; which last token of respect, or laudable vanity, is only limited by the means of the treasury. It is commemorative [74] of the splendour of his reign that the dome of his father should eclipse that of his predecessor. In every principality of Rajwara, the remark is applicable to chieftains as well as princes.

Each sacred spot, termed ‘the place of great sacrifice’ (Mahasati), is the haunted ground of legendary lore. Amongst the altars on which have burned the beauteous and the brave, the harpy[83] takes up her abode, and stalks forth to devour the hearts 89of her victims. The Rajput never enters these places of silence but to perform stated rites, or anniversary offerings of flowers and water to the manes (pitri-deva[84]) of his ancestors.

Odin[85] guarded his warriors’ final abode from rapine by means of “wandering fires which played around the tombs”; and the tenth chapter of the Salic law is on punishments against “carrying off the boards or carpets of the tombs.” Fire and water are interdicted to such sacrilegious spoliators.

The shihaba,[86] or wandering meteoric fires, on fields of battle and in the places of ‘great sacrifice,’ produce a pleasing yet melancholy effect; and are the source of superstitious dread and reverence to the Hindu, having their origin in the same natural cause as the ‘wandering fires of Odin’; the phosphorescent salts produced from animal decomposition.

The Scandinavian reared the tumulus over the ashes of the dead; so did the Geta of the Jaxartes, and the officiating priests of Hara, the Hindu god of battle.

The noble picture drawn by Gibbon of the sepulture of the Getic Alaric is paralleled by that of the great Jenghiz Khan. When the lofty mound was raised, extensive forests were planted, to exclude for ever the footsteps of man from his remains.

The tumulus, the cairn, or the pillar, still rises over the Rajput who falls in [75] battle; and throughout Rajwara these sacrificial monuments are found, where are seen carved in relief the warrior on his steed, armed at all points; his faithful wife (Sati) 90beside him, denoting a sacrifice, and the sun and moon on either side, emblematic of never-dying fame.

Cairns, Pillars.

—In Saurashtra, amidst the Kathi, Khuman, Bala, and others of Scythic descent, the Paliya, or Jujhar (sacrificial pillars), are conspicuous under the walls of every town, in lines, irregular groups, and circles. On each is displayed in rude relief the warrior, with the manner of his death, lance in hand, generally on horseback, though sometimes in his car; and on the coast ‘the pirates of Budha’[87] are depicted boarding from the shrouds. Amidst the Khuman of Tatary the Jesuits found stone circles, similar to those met with wherever the Celtic rites prevailed; and it would require no great ingenuity to prove an analogy, if not a common origin, between Druidic circles and the Indo-Scythic monumental remains. The trilithon, or seat, in the centre of the judicial circle, is formed by a number sacred to Hara, Bal, or the sun, whose priest expounds the law.

Worship of Arms. The Sword.

—The devotion of the Rajput is still paid to his arms, as to his horse. He swears ‘by the steel,’ and prostrates himself before his defensive buckler, his lance, his sword, or his dagger.

The worship of the sword (asi) may divide with that of the horse (aswa) the honour of giving a name to the continent of Asia. It prevailed amongst the Scythic Getae, and is described exactly by Herodotus [iv. 62]. To Dacia and Thrace it was carried by Getic colonies from the Jaxartes, and fostered by these lovers of liberty when their hordes overran Europe.

The worship of the sword in the Acropolis of Athens by the Getic Attila, with all the accompaniments of pomp and place, forms an admirable episode in the history of the decline and fall of Rome; and had Gibbon witnessed the worship of the double-edged sword (khanda) by the prince of Mewar and all his chivalry, he might even have embellished his animated account of the adoration of the scymitar, the symbol of Mars.

Initiation to Arms.

—Initiation to military fame was the same with the [76] German as with the Rajput, when the youthful candidate was presented with the lance, or buckled with the sword; a ceremony which will be noticed when their feudal 91manners are described; many other traits of character will then be depicted. It would be easy to swell the list of analogous customs, which even to the objects of dislike in food[88] would furnish comparison between the ancient Celt and Rajput; but they shall close with the detail of the most ancient of rites.

Asvamedha, the Horse Sacrifice.

—There are some things, animate and inanimate, which have been common objects of adoration amongst the nations of the earth, the sun, the moon, and all the host of heaven; the sword; reptiles, as the serpent; animals, as the noblest, the horse. This last was not worshipped as an abstract object of devotion, but as a type of that glorious orb which has had reverence from every child of nature. The plains of Tatary, the sands of Libya, the rocks of Persia, the valley of the Ganges, and the wilds of Orinoco, have each yielded votaries alike ardent in devotion to his effulgence:
Of this great world both eye and soul.

His symbolic worship and offerings varied with clime and habit; and while the altars of Bal in Asia, of Belenus among the Celts of Gaul and Britain, smoked with human sacrifices, the bull[89] bled to Mithras in Babylon, and the steed was the victim to Surya on the Jaxartes and Ganges.

The father of history says that the great Getae of Central Asia deemed it right to offer the swiftest of created to the swiftest of non-created beings. It is fair to infer that the sun’s festival with the Getae and Aswa nations of the Jaxartes, as with those of Scandinavia, was the winter solstice, the Sankrant of the Rajput 92and Hindu in general. Hi, Haya, Hywor, Aswa denote the steed in Sanskrit and its dialects. In Gothic, hyrsa; Teutonic, hors; Saxon, horse. The grand festival of the German tribes of the Baltic was the Hiul, or Hiel (already commented on), the Asvamedha[90] of the children of Surya, on the Ganges.

The Asvamedha Ceremonies.

—The ceremonies of the Asvamedha are too expensive, and attended with too great risk, to be attempted by modern princes. Of its fatal results we have many historical records, from the first dawn of Indian history to the last of its princes, Prithwiraja. The Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the poems of Chand all illustrate this imposing rite and its effects.[91]

The Ramayana affords a magnificent picture of the Asvamedha. Dasaratha, monarch of Ayodhya, father of Rama, is represented as commanding the rite: “Let the sacrifice be prepared, and the horse[92] liberated from the north bank of the Sarju!”[93] A year being ended, and the horse having returned from his wanderings,[94] The sacrificial ground was prepared on the spot of liberation.

93Invitations were sent to all surrounding monarchs to repair to Ayodhya: King Kaikeya,[95] the king of Kasi,[96] Lomapada of Angadesa,[97] Kosala of Magadhadesa,[98] with the kings of Sindhu,[99] Sauvira,[100] and Saurashtra [78].[101]


When the sacrificial pillars are erected, the rites commence. This portion of the ceremony, termed Yupochchraya, is thus minutely detailed: "There were twenty-one yupas, or pillars,[102] of octagonal shape, each twenty-one feet in height and four feet in diameter, the capitals bearing the figure of a man, an elephant, or a bull. They were of the various sorts of wood appropriated to holy rites, overlaid with plates of gold and ornamented cloth, and adorned with festoons of flowers. While the yupas were erecting, the Adhvaryu, receiving his instructions from the Hotri, or sacrificing priest, recited aloud the incantations.

94"The sacrificial pits were in triple rows, eighteen in number, and arranged in the form of the eagle. Here were placed the victims for immolation; birds, aquatic animals, and the horse.

"Thrice was the steed of King Dasaratha led round the sacred fire by Kosala, and as the priests pronounced the incantations he was immolated[103] amidst shouts of joy.

"The king and queen, placed by the high priest near the horse, sat up all night watching the birds; and the officiating priest, having taken out the hearts, dressed them agreeably to the holy books. The sovereign of men smelled the smoke of the offered hearts, acknowledging his transgressions in the order in which they were committed.

"The sixteen sacrificing priests then placed (as commanded in the ordinances) on the fire the parts of the horse. The oblation of all the animals was made on wood, except that of the horse, which was on cane.

“The rite concluded with gifts of land to the sacrificing priests and augurs; but the holy men preferring gold, ten millions of jambunada[104] were bestowed on them” [79].

Such is the circumstantial account of the Asvamedha, the most imposing and the earliest heathen rite on record. It were superfluous to point out the analogy between it and similar rites of various nations, from the chosen people to the Auspex of Rome and the confessional rite of the Catholic church.

The Sankrant,[105] or Sivaratri (night of Siva), is the winter solstice. On it the horse bled to the sun, or Balnath.

95The Scandinavians termed the longest night the ‘mother night,’[106] on which they held that the world was born. Hence the Beltane, the fires of Bal or Belenus; the Hiul of northern nations, the sacrificial fires on the Asvamedha, or worship of the sun, by the Suryas on the Ganges, and the Syrians (Σύροι) and Sauromatae on the shores of the Mediterranean.

The altars of the Phoenician Heliopolis, Balbee[107] or Tadmor,[108] were sacred to the same divinity as on the banks of Sarju, or Balpur, in Saurashtra, where "the horses of the sun ascended from his fountain (Surya-kund)," to carry its princes to conquest.

From Syria came the instructors of the Celtic Druids, who made human sacrifices, and set up the pillar of Belenus on the hills of Cambria and Caledonia.

When “Judah did evil in the sight of the Lord, and built them high places, and images, and groves, on every high hill and under every tree,” the object was Bal, and the pillar (the lingam) was his symbol. It was on his altar they burned incense, and “sacrificed unto the calf on the fifteenth[109] day of the month” (the sacred Amavas of the Hindus). The calf of Israel is the bull (nandi) of Balkesar or Iswara; the Apis of the Egyptian Osiris [80].

Sacred Trees.

—The ash was sacred to the sun-god in the west. The asvattha (or pipal)[110] is the ‘chief of trees,’ say the books 96sacred to Bal in the East: and death, or loss of limb, is incurred by the sacrilegious mutilator of his consecrated groves,[111] where a pillar is raised bearing the inhibitory edict.

We shall here conclude the analogy between the Indo-Scythic Rajput races and those of early Europe. Much more might be adduced; the old Runic characters of Scandinavia, the Celtic, and the Osci or Etruscan, might, by comparison with those found in the cave temples and rocks in Rajasthan and Saurashtra, yield yet more important evidence of original similarity; and the very 97name of German (from wer, bellum)[112] might be found to be derived from the feud (vair) and foe-man (vairi) of the Rajput.

If these coincidences are merely accidental, then has too much been already said; if not, authorities are here recorded, and hypotheses founded, for the assistance of others [81].

1. Query, if from Mogol and Aghuz, compounded, we have not the Magog, son of Japhet, of Scripture?

2. The other four sons are the remaining elements, personified: whence the six races of Tatars. The Hindus had long but two races, till the four Agnikula made them also six, and now thirty-six!

3. In Tatar, according to Abulghazi, the sun and moon.

4. De Guignes.

5. Sir W. Jones says the Chinese assert their Hindu origin; but a comparison proves both these Indu races to be of Scythic origin. [Yadu was son of Yayāti, and Haya was Yadu’s grandson, not son. The comparison of Mongol with Hindu tradition is of no value.]

6. [For the Mongol genealogy see Howorth, History of the Mongols, Part i. 35. Abu-l Fazl (Akbarnāma, trans. H. Beveridge, i. 171 f.) gives the names as follows: Aghūz Khān, whose sons were—Kūn (Sun); Ai (Moon); Yūlduz (Star); Kok or Gok (Sky); Tāgh (Mountain); Tangīz (Sky)].

7. Naga and Takshak are Sanskrit names for a snake or serpent, the emblem of Budha or Mercury. The Naga race, so well known to India, the Takshaks or Takiuks of Scythia, invaded India about six centuries before Christ.

8. De Guignes, Sur les Dynasties des Huns, vol. i. p. 7.

9. Nearly the calculated period from the Puranas.

10. Tauth, ‘father’ in Sanskrit [? tāta]. Qu. Teuths, and Toth, the Mercury of Egypt?

11. [The author seems to confuse Budha (Mercury) with Gautama Buddha, the teacher. Buddhism arose in India, not in Central Asia, and Jainism was not a milder form of it, but an independent, and probably earlier, religion.]

12. Diodorus Siculus book ii.

13. The Arvarma of the Puranas; the Jaxartes or Sihun. The Puranas thus describe Sakadwipa or Scythia. Diodorus (lib. ii.) makes the Hemodus the boundary between Saka-Scythia and India Proper.

14. Ila, the mother of the Lunar race, is the earth personified. Ertha of the Saxons; ἔρα of the Greeks; ard in Hebrew [?].

15. Scythes, from Sakatai, ‘Sakadwipa,’ and is, ‘Lord’: Lord of Sakatai, or Scythia [?].

16. Qu. Whether the Scythic Pali may not be the shepherd invaders of Egypt [?]. The Pali character yet exists, and appears the same as ancient fragments of the Buddha inscriptions in my possession: many letters assimilate with the Coptic.

17. The three great branches of the Indu (Lunar) Aswa bore the epithet of Midia (pronounced Mede), viz. Urumidha, Ajamidha, and Dvimidha. Qu. The Aswa invaders of Assyria and Media, the sons of Bajaswa, expressly stated to have multiplied in the countries west of the Indus, emigrating from their paternal seats in Panchalaka? [Mīdha means ‘pouring out seed, prolific,’ and has no connexion with Mede, the Madai of Genesis x. 2; the Assyrian Mada.]

18. Sun-worshippers, the Suryavansa.

19. Strabo lib. xi. p. 511.

20. Dahya (one of the thirty-six tribes), now extinct.

21. The Asii and Tochari, the Aswa and Takshak, or Turushka races, of the Puranas, of Sakadwipa [?]. “C’est vraisemblablement d’après le nom de Tachari, que M. D’Anville aura cru devoir placer les tribus ainsi dénommées dans le territoire qui s’appelle aujourdhui Tokarist’han, situé, dit ce grand géographe, entre les montagnes et le Gihon ou Amou” (Note 3, liv. xi. p. 254, Strabon).

22. Once more I may state Sakha in Sanskrit has the aspirate: literally, the ‘branches’ or ‘races.’ [Saka and Sākha have no connexion; see Smith, EHI, 226.]

23. “La Sacasene étoit une contrée de l’Arménie sur les confins de l’Albanie ou du Shirvan” (Note 4, tome i. p. 191, Strabon). “The Sacasenae were the ancestors of the Saxons” (Turner’s History of the Anglo-Saxons).

24. Herodotus (iv. 12) says: “The Cimmerians, expelled by the Massagetae, migrated to the Crimea.” Here were the Thyssagetae, or western Getae [the lesser Getae, Herodotus iv. 22]; and thence both the Getae and Cimbri found their way to the Baltic. Rubruquis the Jesuit, describing the monuments of the Comani in the Dasht-i Kipchak, whence these tribes, says: “Their monuments and circles of stones are like our Celtic or Druidical remains” (Bell’s Collection). The Khumān are a branch of the Kāthi tribe of Saurashtra, whose paliyas, or funeral monumental pillars, are seen in groups at every town and village. The Chatti were one of the early German tribes. [Needless to say, the German Chatti had no connexion with the Kāthi of Gujarāt.]

25. [The reference, again, is to the Saisunāga dynasty, p. 64 above.]

26. Asi was the term applied to the Getes, Yeuts, or Juts, when they invaded Scandinavia and founded Yeutland or Jutland (see ‘Edda,’ Mallet’s Introduction).

27. Mercury and earth.

28. Pinkerton, On the Goths, vol. ii. p. 94. [All this is obsolete.]

29. Camari was one of the eight sons of Japhet, says Abulghazi: whence the Camari, Cimmerii, or Cimbri. Kamari is one of the tribes of Saurashtra. [Kymry = fellow-countrymen (Rhys, Celtic Britain, 116).]

30. The Suiones, Suevi, or Su. Now the Su, Yueh-chi, or Yuti, are Getes, according to De Guignes. Marco Polo calls Cashgar, where he was in the sixth century, the birthplace of the Swedes; and De la Croix adds, that in 1691 Sparvenfeldt, the Swedish ambassador at Paris, told him he had read in Swedish chronicles that Cashgar was their country. When the Huns were chased from the north of China, the greater part retired into the southern countries adjoining Europe. The rest passed directly to the Oxus and Jaxartes; thence they spread to the Caspian and Persian frontiers. In Mawaru-l-nahr (Transoxiana) they mixed with the Su, the Yueh-chi, or Getes, who were particularly powerful, and extended into Europe. One would be tempted to regard them as the ancestors of those Getes who were known in Europe. Some bands of Su might equally pass into the north of Europe, known as the Suevi. [The meaning of Suevi is uncertain, but the word has no connexion with that of any Central Asian tribe.]

31. Mr. Pinkerton’s research had discovered Sakatai, though he does not give his authority (D’Anville) for the Sakadwipa of the Puranas! “Sakitai, a region at the fountains of the Oxus and Jaxartes, styled Sakita from the Sacae” (D’Anville, Anc. Geog.). The Yadus of Jaisalmer, who ruled Zabulistan and founded Ghazni, claim the Chagatais as of their own Indu stock: a claim which, without deep reflection, appeared inadmissible; but which I now deem worthy of credit.

32. Chagatai, or Sakatai, the Sakadwipa of the Puranas (corrupted by the Greeks to Scythia), “whose inhabitants worship the sun and whence is the river Arvarma.” [For the Chagatai Mongols see Elias-Ross, History of the Moghuls of Central Asia, Introd. 28 ff.]

33. Utrar, probably the Uttarakuru of ancient geography: the uttara (northern) kuru (race); a branch of Indu stock.

34. Jadu ka dang, the Joudes of Rennell’s map; the Yadu hills high up in the Panjab, where a colony of the Yadu race dwelt when expelled Saurashtra. [The Salt Range in the Jhelum, Shāhpur, and Miānwāli districts of the Panjāb, was known to ancient historians as Koh-i-Jūd, or ‘the hills of Jūd,’ the name being applied by the Muhammadans to this range on account of its resemblance to Mount Al-Jūdi, or Ararat. The author constantly refers to it, and suggests that the name was connected with the Indian Yadu, or Yādava tribe (IGI, xxi. 412; Abu-l Fazl, Akbarnāma, i. 237; Elliot-Dowson, ii. 235, v. 561; Āīn, ii. 405; ASR, ii. 17; Hughes, Dict. of Islām, 23).]

35. The Numri, or Lumri (foxes) of Baluchistan, are Jats [?]. These are the Nomardies of Rennell. [They are believed to be aborigines (IGI, xvi. 146; Census Report, Baluchistan, 1911, i. 17).]

36. [There is no evidence, beyond resemblance of name, to connect the Jats with the Getae.]

37. Royal pastors [?]

38. [iv. 59.] The sun was their ‘great deity,’ though they had in Xamolxis a lord of terror, with affinity to Yama, or the Hindu Pluto. “The chief divinity of the Fenns, a Scythic race, was Yammalu” (Pinkerton’s Hist. of the Goths, vol. ii. p. 215).

39. iv. 45 [Asia probably means ‘land of the rising sun.’]

40. Āsa, ‘hope.’

41. Sakambhari: from sakham, the plural of sakha, ‘branch or race,’ and ambhar, ‘covering, protecting.’ [The word means ‘herb nourishing.’]

42. Mata, ‘mother.’

43. Aswa and haya are synonymous Sanskrit terms for ‘horse’; asp in Persian; and as applied by the prophet Ezekiel [xxxviii. 6] to the Getic invasion of Scythia, A.C. 600: “the sons of Togarmah riding on horses”; described by Diodorus, the period the same as the Takshak invasion of India.

44. [Hystaspes is from old Persian, Vishtāspa, ‘possessor of horses.’ The author derives it from a modern Hindi word hīnsna, ‘to neigh,’ possibly from recollection of the story in Herodotus iii. 85.]

45. [He possibly refers to the statement (Germania, v.), that their coins bore the impress of a two-horse chariot.]

46. Asirgarh, ‘fortress of the Asi’ [IGI, vi. 12].

47. The great (maha) warrior (vir). [Buddha lived 567-487 B.C.: Mahāvīra, founder of Jainism, died about 527 B.C.]

48. Yeutland was the name given to the whole Cimbric Chersonese, or Jutland (Pinkerton, On the Goths).

49. Turk, Turushka, Takshak, or ‘Taunak, fils de Turc’ (Abulghazi, History of the Tatars).

50. Histoire des Huns, vol. i. p. 42.

51. Though Tacitus calls the German tribes indigenous, it is evident he knew their claim to Asiatic origin, when he asks, “Who would leave the softer abodes of Asia for Germany, where Nature yields nothing but deformity?”

52. In an inscription of the Geta or Jat Prince of Salindrapur (Salpur) of the fifth century, he is styled “of the race of Tusta” (qu. Tuisto?). It is in that ancient nail-headed character used by the ancient Buddhists of India, and still the sacred character of the Tatar Lamas: in short, the Pali. All the ancient inscriptions I possess of the branches of the Agnikulas, as the Chauhan, Pramara, Solanki, and Parihara, are in this character. That of the Jat prince styles him “Jat Kathida” (qu. of (da) Cathay?). From Tuisto and Woden we have our Tuesday and Wednesday. In India, Wednesday is Budhwar (Dies Mercurii), and Tuesday Mangalwar (Dies Martis), the Mardi of the French.

53. Tacitus, Germania, xxxviii.

54. The gau, or cow, symbolic of Prithivi, the earth. On this see note, p. 33.

55. [Germania, ix.]

56. Krishna is the preserving deity of the Hindu triad. Krishna is of the Indu line of Budha, whom he worshipped prior to his own deification.

57. ‘Mahurat ka shikar.’

58. The Siebi of Tacitus.

59. Sammes’s Saxon Antiquities.

60. Hara is the Thor of Scandinavia; Hari is Budha, Hermes, or Mercury.

61. Mallet derives it from kempfer, ‘to fight.’ [The name is said to mean ‘comrades’ (Rhys, Celtic Britain, 116). Irmansūl means ‘a colossus,’ and has no connexion with Skr. sūla (Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, i. 115).]

62. Ku is a mere prefix, meaning ‘evil’; ‘the evil striker (Mar).’ Hence, probably, the Mars of Rome. The birth of Kumar, the general of the army of the gods, with the Hindus, is exactly that of the Grecians, born of the goddess Jahnavi (Juno) without sexual intercourse. Kumāra is always accompanied by the peacock, the bird of Juno. [Kumāra probably means ‘easily dying’; there is no connexion with Mars, originally a deity of vegetation.]

63. For a drawing of the Scandinavian god of battle see Sammes.

64. I have in contemplation to give to the public a few of the sixty-nine books of the poems of Chand, the last great bard of the last Hindu emperor of India, Prithwiraja. They are entirely heroic: each book a relation of one of the exploits of this prince, the first warrior of his time. They will aid a comparison between the Rajput and Scandinavian bards, and show how far the Provençal Troubadour, the Neustrienne Trouveur, and Minnesinger of Germany, have anything in common with the Rajput Bardai. [For Rajput bards on horseback, drunk with opium, singing songs to arouse warriors’ courage, see Manucci ii. 437 f.]

65. Ἥλυσιος, from Ἥλιος, ‘the sun’; also a title of Apollo, the Hari of India. [The two words, from the accentuation, can have no connexion.]

66. This title of the father of Rama denotes a ‘charioteer’ [‘having ten chariots.’ Harsha (A.D. 612-647) discarded the chariot (Smith, EHI, 339)].

67. The Indian satrapy of Darius, says Herodotus [iii. 94], was the richest of all the Persian provinces, and yielded six hundred talents of gold. Arrian informs us that his Indo-Scythic subjects, in his wars with Alexander, were the élite of his army. Besides the Sakasenae, we find tribes in name similar to those included in the thirty-six Rajkula; especially the Dahae (Dahya, one of the thirty-six races). The Indo-Scythic contingent was two hundred war chariots and fifteen elephants, which were marshalled with the Parthii on the right, and also near Darius’s person. By this disposition they were opposed to the cohort commanded by Alexander in person. The chariots commenced the action, and prevented a manœuvre of Alexander to turn the left flank of the Persians. Of their horse, also, the most honourable mention is made; they penetrated into the division where Parmenio commanded, to whom Alexander was compelled to send reinforcements. The Grecian historian dwells with pleasure on Indo-Scythic valour: “there were no equestrian feats, no distant fighting with darts, but each fought as if victory depended on his sole arm.” They fought the Greeks hand to hand [Arrian, Anabasis, iii. 15].

But the loss of empire was decreed at Arbela, and the Sakae and Indo-Scythae had the honour of being slaughtered by the Yavans of Greece, far from their native land, in the aid of the king of kings.

68. The Kathi are celebrated in Alexander’s wars. The Kathiawar Kathi can be traced from Multan (the ancient abode) [mūlasthāna, ‘principal place’]. The Dahya (Dahae), Johya (the latter Hunnish), and Kathi are amongst the thirty-six races. All dwelt, six centuries ago, within the five streams and in the deserts south of the Ghara. The two last have left but a name.

69. The Sakae had invaded the inhabitants on the borders of the Pontic Sea: whilst engaged in dividing the booty, the Persian generals surprised them at night, and exterminated them. To eternize the remembrance of this event, the Persians heaped up the earth round a rock in the plain where the battle was fought, on which they erected two temples, one to the goddess Anaītis, the other to the divinities Omanus and Anandate, and then founded the annual festival called Sacaea, still celebrated by the possessors of Zela. Such is the account by some authors of the origin of Sacaea. According to others it dates from the reign of Cyrus only. This prince, they say, having carried the war into the country of the Sakae (Massagetae of Herodotus) lost a battle. Compelled to fall back on his magazines, abundantly stored with provisions, but especially wine, and having halted some time to refresh his army, he departed before the enemy, feigning a flight, and leaving his camp standing full of provisions. The Sakae, who pursued, reaching the abandoned camp stored with provisions, gave themselves up to debauch. Cyrus returned and surprised the inebriated and senseless barbarians. Some, buried in profound sleep, were easily massacred; others occupied in drinking and dancing, without defence, fell into the hands of armed foes: so that all perished. The conqueror, attributing his success to divine protection, consecrated this day to the goddess honoured in his country, and decreed it should be called ‘the day of the Sacaea.’ This is the battle related by Herodotus, to which Strabo alludes, between the Persian monarch and Tomyris, queen of the Getae. Amongst the Rajput Sakha, all grand battles attended with fatal results are termed sakha. When besieged, without hope of relief, in the last effort of despair, the females are immolated, and the warriors, decorated in saffron robes, rush on inevitable destruction. This is to perform sakha, where every branch (sakha) is cut off. Chitor has to boast of having thrice (and a half) suffered sakha. Chitor sakha ka pap, ‘by the sin of the sack of Chitor,’ the most solemn adjuration of the Guhilot Rajput. If such the origin of the festival from the slaughter of the Sakae of Tomyris, it will be allowed to strengthen the analogy contended for between the Sakae east and west the Indus. [For the Sacaea festival see Sir J. Frazer, The Golden Bough, The Dying God, 113 ff. It has no connexion with the Rajput Sākha, ‘a fight,’ which, again, is a different word from Sākha, ‘a branch, clan.’]

70. I presented a work on this subject to the Royal Asiatic Society, as well as another on Palmistry, etc.

71. Madhu is intoxicating drink, from madhu, ‘a bee,’ in Sanskrit [madhu, ‘anything sweet’]. It is well known that mead is from honey. It would be curious if the German mead was from the Indian madhu (bee): then both cup (kharpara) and beverage would be borrowed. [Madhu does not mean ‘a bee’ in Sanskrit.]

72. Amrita (immortal), from the initial privative and mrit, ‘death.’ Thus the Immurthal, or ‘vale of immortality,’ at Neufchatel, is as good Sanskrit as German [?].

73. Abhai Singh, ‘the fearless lion,’ prince of Marwar, whose bard makes this speech at the festal board, when the prince presented with his own hand the cup to the bard.

74. Regner Lodbrog, in his dying ode, when the destinies summon him.

75. Phūl, the flower of the mahua tree, the favourite drink of a Rajput. Classically, in Sanskrit it is madhūka, of the class Polyandria Monogynia [Bassia latifolia] (see As. Res. vol. i. p. 300).

76. A human skull; in the dialects pronounced khopar: Qu. cup in Saxon? [Cup, in Low Latin cuppa.]

77. The Kanphara [or Kanphata] Jogis, or Gosains, are in great bodies, often in many thousands, and are sought as allies, especially in defensive warfare. In the grand military festivals at Udaipur to the god of war, the scymitar, symbolic of Mars, worshipped by the Guhilots, is entrusted to them [IA, vii. 47 ff.; BG, ix. part i. 543].

78. An entire cemetery of these, besides many detached, I have seen, and also the sacred rites to their manes by the disciples occupying these abodes of austerity, when the flowers of the ak [Calatropis gigantea] and leaves of evergreen were strewed on the grave, and sprinkled with the pure element.

79. Mallet’s Northern Antiquities, chap. xii.

80. Mallet chap. xii. vol. i. p. 289.

81. Edda.

82. Mallet’s Northern Antiquities, chap. xii. The Celtic Franks had the same custom. The arms of Chilperic, and the bones of the horse on which he was to be presented to Odin, were found in his tomb.

83. The Dakini (the Jigarkhor of Sindh) is the genuine vampire [Āīn, ii. 338 f.]. Captain Waugh, after a long chase in the valley of Udaipur, speared a hyena, whose abode was the tombs, and well known as the steed on which the witch of Ar sallied forth at night. Evil was predicted: and a dangerous fall, subsequently, in chasing an elk, was attributed to his sacrilegious slaughter of the weird sister’s steed.

84. Pitri-deva, ‘Father-lords.’

85. Mallet chap. xii.

86. At Gwalior, on the east side of that famed fortress, where myriads of warriors have fattened the soil, these phosphorescent lights often present a singular appearance. I have, with friends whose eyes this will meet, marked the procession of these lambent night-fires, becoming extinguished at one place and rising at another, which, aided by the unequal locale, have been frequently mistaken for the Mahratta prince returning with his numerous torch-bearers from a distant day’s sport. I have dared as bold a Rajput as ever lived to approach them; whose sense of the levity of my desire was strongly depicted, both in speech and mien: “men he would encounter, but not the spirits of those erst slain in battle.” It was generally about the conclusion of the rains that these lights were observed, when evaporation took place from these marshy grounds impregnated with salts.

87. At Dwarka, the god of thieves is called Budha Trivikrama, or of triple energy: the Hermes Triplex, or three-headed Mercury of the Egyptians. [No such cult is mentioned in the account of Dwārka, BG, viii. 601.]

88. Caesar informs us that the Celts of Britain would not eat the hare, goose, or domestic fowl. The Rajput will hunt the first, but neither eats it, nor the goose, sacred to the god of battle (Hara). The Rajput of Mewar eats the jungle fowl, but rarely the domestic.

89. As he did also to Balnath (the god Bal) in the ancient times of India. The baldan, or gift of the bull to the sun, is well recorded. [Baldān, balidāna does not mean the offering of a bull: it is the daily presentation of a portion of the meat to Earth and other deities.] There are numerous temples in Rajasthan of Baalim [?]; and Balpur (Mahadeo) has several in Saurashtra. All represent the sun—

Peor his other name, when he enticed
Israel in Sittim, on their march from Nile.
Paradise Lost, book i. 412 f. [77].

The temple of Solomon was to Bal, and all the idolaters of that day seem to have held to the grosser tenets of Hinduism.

90. In Aswa (medha signifies ‘to kill’) we have the derivation of the ancient races, sons of Bajaswa, who peopled the countries on both sides the Indus, and the probable etymon of Asia [?]. The Assakenoi, the Ariaspai of Alexander’s historians, and Aspasianae, to whom Arsaces fled from Seleucus, and whom Strabo terms a Getic race, have the same origin; hence Asigarh, ‘the fortress of the Asi’ (erroneously termed Hansi), and Asgard were the first settlements of the Getic Asi in Scandinavia. Alexander received the homage of all these Getic races at ‘the mother of cities,’ Balkh, ‘seat of Cathaian Khan’ (the Jat Kathida of my inscription), according to Marco Polo, from whom Milton took his geography.

91. The last was undertaken by the celebrated Sawai Jai Singh of Amber; but the milk-white steed of the sun, I believe, was not turned out, or assuredly the Rathors would have accepted the challenge.

92. A milk-white steed is selected with peculiar marks. On liberation, properly guarded, he wanders where he listeth. It is a virtual challenge. Arjuna guarded the steed liberated by Yudhishthira; but that sent round by Parikshita, his grandson, “was seized by the Takshak of the north.” The same fate occurred to Sagara, father of Dasaratha, which involved the loss of his kingdom.

93. The Sarju, or Gandak, from the Kumaun mountains, passes through Kosalades, the dominion of Dasaratha.

94. The horse’s return after a year evidently indicates an astronomical revolution, or the sun’s return to the same point in the ecliptic. This return from his southern declination must have been always a day of rejoicing to the Scythic and Scandinavian nations, who could not, says Gibbon, fancy a worse hell than a large abode open to the cold wind of the north. To the south they looked for the deity; and hence, with the Rajputs, a religious law forbids their doors being to the north.

95. Kaikeya is supposed by the translator, Dr. Carey, to be a king of Persia, the Kaivansa preceding Darius. The epithet Kai not unfrequently occurs in Hindu traditional couplets. One, which I remember, is connected with the ancient ruins of Abhaner in Jaipur, recording the marriage of one of its princes with a daughter of Kaikamb.

Tu beti Kaikamb ki, nam Parmala ho, etc. ‘Thou art the daughter of Kaikamb: thy name Fairy Garland.’ Kai was the epithet of one of the Persian dynasties. Qu. Kam-bakhsh, the Cambyses of the Greeks? [Cambyses, Kābuzīya or Kambūzīya, possibly ‘a bard’ (Rawlinson, Herodotus, iii. 543).]

96. Benares.

97. Tibet or Ava [N. Bengal]

98. Bihar.

99. Sind valley.

100. Unknown to me [W. and S. Panjab and its vicinity].

101. Peninsula of Kathiawar.

102. I have seen several of these sacrificial pillars of stone of very ancient date. Many years ago, when all the Rajput States were suffering from the thraldom of the Mahrattas, a most worthy and wealthy banker of Surat, known by the family name of Trivedi, who felt acutely for the woes inflicted by incessant predatory foes on the sons of Rama and Krishna, told me, with tears in his eyes, that the evils which afflicted Jaipur were to be attributed to the sacrilege of the prince, Jagat Singh, who had dared to abstract the gold plates of the sacrificial pillars, and send them to his treasury: worse than Rehoboam, who, when he took away from the temple “the shields of gold Solomon had made,” had the grace to substitute others of brass. Whether, when turned into currency, it went as a war contribution to the Mahrattas, or was applied to the less worthy use of his concubine queen, ‘the essence of camphor,’ it was of a piece with the rest of this prince’s unwise conduct. Jai Singh, who erected the pillars, did honour to his country, of which he was a second founder, and under whom it attained the height from which it has now fallen. [Some sacrificial pillars (yūpa) were recently found in the bed of the Jumna near Mathura, with inscriptions dated in the twenty-fourth year of Kanishka’s reign, about A.D. 102.]

103. On the Nauroz, or festival of the new year, the Great Mogul slays a camel with his own hand, which is distributed, and eaten by the court favourites. [A camel is sacrificed at the Īdu-l-azha festival (Hughes, Dict. Islām, 192 ff.).]

104. This was native gold, of a peculiarly dark and brilliant hue, which was compared to the fruit jambu (not unlike a damson). Everything forms an allegory with the Hindus; and the production of this metal is appropriated to the period of gestation of Jahnavi, the river-goddess (Ganges), when by Agni, or fire, she produced Kumara, the god of war, the commander of the army of the gods. This was when she left the place of her birth, the Himalaya mountain (the great storehouse of metallic substances), whose daughter she is: and doubtless this is in allusion to some very remote period, when, bursting her rock-bound bed, Ganga exposed from ‘her side’ veins of this precious metal.

105. Little bags of brocade, filled with seeds of the sesamum or cakes of the same, are distributed by the chiefs to friends on this occasion. While the author writes, he has before him two of these, sent to him by the young Mahratta prince, Holkar.

106. Sivaratri would be ‘father night’ [?]. Siva-Iswara is the ‘universal father.’

107. Ferishta, the compiler of the imperial history of India, gives us a Persian or Arabic derivation of this, from Bal, ‘the sun,’ and bec, ‘an idol.’ [This has not been traced in Dow or Briggs.]

108. Corrupted to Palmyra, the etymon of which, I believe, has never been given, which is a version of Tadmor. In Sanskrit, tal, or tar, is the ‘date-tree’; mor signifies ‘chief.’ We have more than one ‘city of palms’ (Talpur) in India; and the tribe ruling in Haidarabad, on the Indus, is called Talpuri, from the place whence they originated. [Tadmor is Semitic, probably meaning ‘abounding in palms.’ The suggested derivation is impossible.]

109. 1 Kings xiv. 23.

110. Ficus religiosa. It presents a perfect resemblance to the popul (poplar) of Germany and Italy, a species of which is the aspen. [They belong to different orders.] So similar is it, that the specimen of the pipal from Carolina is called, in the Isola Bella of the Lago Maggiore, Populus angulata; and another, in the Jardin des Plantes at Toulon, is termed the Ficus populifolia, ou figuier à feuilles de peuplier. The aspen, or ash, held sacred by the Celtic priests, is said to be the mountain-ash. ‘The calf of Bal’ is generally placed under the pipal; and Hindu tradition sanctifies a never-dying stem, which marks the spot where the Hindu Apollo, Hari (the sun), was slain by the savage Bhil on the shores of Saurashtra. [This is known as the Prāchi Pīpal, and death rites are performed close to it (BG, viii. 271, note 2).]

111. The religious feelings of the Rajput, though outraged for centuries by Moguls and mercenary Pathans, will not permit him to see the axe applied to the noble pipal or umbrageous bar (Ficus indica), without execrating the destroyer. Unhappy the constitution of mind which knowingly wounds religious prejudices of such ancient date! Yet is it thus with our countrymen in the East, who treat all foreign prejudices with contempt, shoot the bird sacred to the Indian Mars, slay the calves of Bal, and fell the noble pipal before the eyes of the native without remorse. He is unphilosophic and unwise who treats such prejudices with contumely: prejudices beyond the reach of reason. He is uncharitable who does not respect them; impolitic, who does not use every means to prevent such offence by ignorance or levity. It is an abuse of our strength, and an ungenerous advantage over their weakness. Let us recollect who are the guardians of these fanes of Bal, his pipal, and sacred bird (the peacock); the children of Surya and Chandra, and the descendants of the sages of yore, they who fill the ranks of our army, and are attentive, though silent, observers of all our actions: the most attached, the most faithful, and the most obedient of mankind! Let us maintain them in duty, obedience, and attachment, by respecting their prejudices and conciliating their pride. On the fulfilment of this depends the maintenance of our sovereignty in India: but the last fifteen years have assuredly not increased their devotion to us. Let the question be put to the unprejudiced, whether their welfare has advanced in proportion to the dominion they have conquered for us, or if it has not been in the inverse ratio of this prosperity? Have not their allowances and comforts decreased? Does the same relative standard between the currency and conveniences of life exist as twenty years ago? Has not the first depreciated twenty-five per cent, as half-batta stations and duties have increased? For the good of ruler and servant, let these be rectified. With the utmost solemnity, I aver, I have but the welfare of all at heart in these observations. I loved the service, I loved the native soldier. I have proved what he will do, where devoted, when, in 1817, thirty-two firelocks of my guard attacked, defeated, and dispersed a camp of fifteen hundred men, slaying thrice their numbers.[A] Having quitted the scene for ever, I submit my opinion dispassionately for the welfare of the one, and with it the stability or reverse of the other.

A. What says the Thermopylae of India, Corygaum? Five hundred firelocks against twenty thousand men! Do the annals of Napoleon record a more brilliant exploit? Has a column been reared to the manes of the brave, European and native, of this memorable day, to excite to future achievement? What order decks the breast of the gallant Fitzgerald, for the exploit on the field of Nagpur? At another time and place his words, “At my peril be it! Charge!” would have crowned his crest! These things call for remedy! [Korēgāon in Poona District, where Captain Staunton defeated a large force of Mahrattas on January 1, 1818 (Wilson-Mill, Hist. of India, ii. (1846), 303 ff.).]

112. D’Anville’s derivation of German, from wer (bellum) and manus. [Possibly O. Irish, gair, ‘neighbour,’ or gairm, ‘battle-cry’ (New Eng. Dict. s.v.).]


Having discussed the ancient genealogies of the martial races of Rajasthan, as well as the chief points in their character and religion analogous to those of early Europe, we proceed to the catalogue of the Chhattis Rajkula, or ‘thirty-six royal races.’[1]

The table before the reader presents, at one view, the authorities on which this list is given: they are as good as abundant. The first is from a detached leaf of an ancient work, obtained from a Yati of a Jain temple at the old city of Nadol, in Marwar. The second is from the poems of Chand,[2] the bard of the last Hindu king of Delhi. The third is from an estimable work 98contemporary with Chand’s, the Kumarpal Charitra[3] or “History of the Monarchy of Anhilwara Patan.” The fourth list is from the Khichi bard.[4] The fifth, from a bard of Saurashtra.

From every one of the bardic profession, from all the collectors and collections of Rajasthan, lists have been received, from which the catalogue No. 6 has been formed, admitted by the genealogists to be more perfect than any existing document. From it, therefore, in succession, each race shall have its history rapidly sketched; though, as a text, a single name is sufficient to fill many pages.

The first list is headed by an invocation to Mata Sakambhari Devi, or mother-goddess, protectress of the races (sakha) [the mother of vegetation].

Each race (sakha) has its Gotracharya,[5] a genealogical creed, describing [82] the essential peculiarities, religious tenets, and pristine locale of the clan. Every Rajput should be able to repeat this; though it is now confined to the family priest or the genealogist. Many chiefs, in these degenerate days, would be astonished if asked to repeat their gotracharya, and would refer to the bard. It is a touchstone of affinities, and guardian of the laws of intermarriage. When the inhibited degrees of propinquity have been broken, it has been known to rectify the mistake, where, however, “ignorance was bliss.”[6]

RACES OF RAJASTHAN.—Om! Sakambhari Mata
  Ikshwaku.   Ravya or Surya.
  Surya.   Sahsa or Soma.
  Soma or Chandra.   Yadu.
  Yadu.   Kakustha.
5 Chahuman (Chauhan). 5 Pramara.
  Pramara.   Chauhan.
  Chalukya or Solanki.   Chalukya.
  Parihara.   Chandak.
  Chawara.   Silar.
10 Dudia. 10 Abhira.
  Rathor.   Makwahana.
  Gohil.   Gohil.
  Dabhi.   Chapotkat.
  Makwahana.   Parihara.
15 Norka. 15 Rathor.
  Aswaria.   Deora.
  Salar or Silara.   Tak.
  Sinda.   Sindhu.
  Sepat.   Ananga.
20 Hun or Hūn. 20 Patak.
  Kirjal.   Pritihara.
  Haraira.   Didiota.
  Rajpali.   Karitpal.
  Dhanpali.   Kotpala.
25 Agnipali. 25 Hul.
  Bala.   Gaur.
  Jhala.   Nikumbha.
  Bhagdola.   Rajpalaka.
  Motdan.   Kani.
30 Mohor. 30 Kalchorak or Kurkara.
36 Salala.    
Sanskrit Edition—MSS. Gujarati Dialect—MSS.
  Ikshwaku.   Gotchar Gohil.
  Soma.   Ani Gohil.
  Yadu.   Kathi.
  Pramara.   Kaser.
5 Chauhan. 5 Nikumbha.
  Chalukya.   Barbeta.
  Chandak.   Bawariya.
  Silar (Raj Tilak)   Maru.
  Chapotkat.   Makwahana.
10 Pritihara. 10 Dahima.
  Sakranka.   Dudia.
  Kurpala.   Bala.
  Chandal.   Baghel.
  Ohil.   Yadu.
15 Palaka. 15 Jethwa.
  Maurya.   Jareja.
  Makwahana.   Jat.
  Dhanpala.   Solanki.
  Rajpalaka.   Pramara.
20 Dahya. 20 Kaba.
  Turandalika.   Chawara.
  Nikumbha.   Chaurasima.
  Hun.   Khant.
  Bala.   Khyera.
25 Harial. 25 Rawali.
  Mokar.   Masania.
  Pokara.   Palani.
    30 Daharia.
      Sarweya "Chhattrya
      tin Sar."
  Guhilot.   Ikshwaku, Kakutstha, or Surya.
  Pramara.   Anwai, Indu, Som, or Chandra.
  Chauhan.   Grahilot or Guhilot 24 Sakha.
  Solanki.   Yadu. 4  
  Rathor. 5 Tuar. 17  
  Tuar.   Rathor. 13  
  Bargujar.   Kushwaha or Kachhwaha.    
  Parihara.   Pramara. 35  
  Jhala.   Chahuman or Chauhan. 26  
10 Yadu. 10 Chalukya or Solanki. 16  
  Kachhwaha.   Parihara. 12  
  Gaur.   Chawara. Single.
These subdivide: the   Tak, Tāk, or Takshak.    
following do not, and are   Jat or Geta.    
called Yaka, or single. 15 Hun or Hūn.    
  Sengar.   Kathi.    
  Bala.   Bala.    
15 Kharwar.   Jhala. 2  
  Chawara.   Jethwa or Kamari.    
  Dahima. 20 Gohil.    
  Dahya.   Sarweya.    
  Bais.   Silar.    
20 Gaharwal.   Dabhi.    
  Nikumbha.   Gaur 5  
  Dewat. 25 Doda or Dor.    
  Johya.   Gaharwal.    
  Sikarwal.   Bargujar 3  
25 Dabhia.   Sengar. Single.
  Doda.   Sikarwal. do.  
  Maurya. 30 Bais do.  
  Mokara.   Dahia.    
  Abhira.   Johya.    
30 Kalchorak (Haya race).   Mohil.    
  Agnipala.   Nikumbha.    
  Aswaria or Sarja.   Rajpali.    
  Hul. 36 Dahima. do.  
  Malia.   Extra.    
36 Chahil.   Hul.    

t.1. The author, after the invocation to “the mother protectress,” says, “I write the names of the thirty-six royal tribes.”

t.2. The bard Chand says, “Of the thirty-six races, the four Agnipalas are the greatest—the rest are born of woman, but these from fire.”

t.3. As the work is chiefly followed with the exploits of Kumarpal, who was of Chauhan tribe, the author reserves it for a peroration to the last “of all the mightiest is the Chauhan.”

t.4. By name Moghji.

99Most of the kula (races) are divided into numerous branches[7] (sakha), and these sakha subdivided into innumerable clans (gotra),[8] the most important of which shall be given. A few of the kula never ramified: these are termed eka, or ‘single’; and nearly one-third are eka.

A table of the ‘eighty-four’ mercantile tribes, chiefly of Rajput origin, shall also be furnished, in which the remembrance of some races are preserved which would have perished. Lists of the aboriginal, the agricultural and the pastoral tribes are also given to complete the subject.

Solar and Lunar Races.

—In the earlier ages there were but two races, Surya and Chandra, to which were added the four Agnikulas[9]; in all six. The others are subdivisions of Surya and Chandra, or the sakha of Indo-Scythic origin, who found no difficulty in obtaining a place (though a low one), before the Muhammadan era, amongst the thirty-six regal races of Rajasthan. The former we may not unaptly consider as to the time, as the Celtic, the latter as the Gothic, races of India. On the generic terms Surya and Chandra, I need add nothing [83].

Grahilot or Guhilot.

Pedigree[10] of the Suryavansi Rana, of royal race, Lord of Chitor, the ornament of the thirty-six royal races.

By universal consent, as well as by the gotra of this race, its princes are admitted to be the direct descendants of Rama, of the Solar line. The pedigree is deduced from him, and connected 100with Sumitra, the last prince mentioned in the genealogy of the Puranas.

As the origin and progressive history of this family will be fully discussed in the “Annals of Mewar,” we shall here only notice the changes which have marked the patronymic, as well as the regions which have been under their sway, from Kanaksen, who, in the second century, abandoned his native kingdom, Kosala, and established the race of Surya in Saurashtra.

On the site of Vairat, the celebrated abode of the Pandavas during exile, the descendant of Ikshwaku established his line, and his descendant Vijaya, in a few generations, built Vijayapur.[11]

They became sovereigns, if not founders, of Valabhi, which had a separate era of its own, called the Valabhi Samvat, according with S. Vikrama 375.[12] Hence they became the Balakaraes, or kings of Valabhi; a title maintained by successive dynasties of Saurashtra for a thousand years after this period, as can be satisfactorily proved by genuine history and inscriptions.

Gajni, or Gaini, was another capital, whence the last prince, Siladitya (who was slain), and his family, were expelled by Parthian invaders in the sixth century.

A posthumous son, called Grahaditya, obtained a petty sovereignty at Idar. The change was marked by his name becoming the patronymic, and Grahilot, vulgo Guhilot, designated the Suryavansa of Rama.

With reverses and migration from the wilds of Idar to Ahar,[13] the Guhilot was changed to Aharya, by which title the race continued to be designated till the twelfth century, when the elder brother, Rahup, abandoned his claim to "the [84] throne of Chitor," obtained[14] by force of arms from the Mori,[15] and settled at Dungarpur, 101which he yet holds, as well as the title Aharya; while the younger, Mahup, established the seat of power at Sesoda, whence Sesodia set aside both Aharya and Guhilot.

Sesodia is now the common title of the race; but being only a subdivision, the Guhilot holds its rank in the kula.

The Guhilot kula is subdivided into twenty-four sakha,[16] or ramifications, few of which exist:

1. Aharya   At Dungarpur.
2. Mangalia   In the Deserts.
3. Sesodia  Mewar.
4. Pipara  In Marwar.
5. Kalam rbracket_250In few numbers, and mostly now unknown.
6. Gahor
7. Dhornia
8. Goda
9. Magrasa
10. Bhimla
11. Kamkotak
12. Kotecha
13. Sora
14. Uhar
15. Useba
16. Nirrup
17. Nadoria rbracket_170 Almost extinct.
18. Nadhota
19. Ojakra
20. Kuchhra
21. Dosadh
22. Betwara
23. Paha
24. Purot[85]

Yadu, Yādava.

—The Yadu was the most illustrious of all the tribes of Ind, and became the patronymic of the descendants of Budha, progenitor of the Lunar (Indu) race. Yudhishthira and Baladeva, on the death of Krishna and their expulsion from Delhi and Dwaraka, the last stronghold of their power, retired by Multan across the Indus. The two first are abandoned by 102tradition; but the sons of Krishna, who accompanied them after an intermediate halt in the further Duab[17] of the five rivers, eventually left the Indus behind, and passed into Zabulistan,[18] founded Gajni, and peopled these countries even to Samarkand.

The annals of Jaisalmer, which give this early history of their founder, mix up in a confused manner[19] the cause of their being again driven back into India; so that it is impossible to say whether it was owing to the Greek princes who ruled all these countries for a century after Alexander, or to the rise of Islamism.

Driven back on the Indus, they obtained possession of the Panjab and founded Salivahanpur. Thence expelled, they retired across the Sutlej and Ghara into the Indian deserts; whence expelling the Langahas, the Johyas, Mohilas, etc., they founded successively Tanot, Derawar, and Jaisalmer,[20] in S. 1212,[21] the present capital of the Bhattis, the lineal successors of Krishna.

Bhatti was the exile from Zabulistan, and as usual with the Rajput races on any such event in their annals, his name set aside the more ancient patronymic, Yadu. The Bhattis subdued all the tracts south of the Ghara; but their power has been greatly circumscribed since the arrival of the Rathors. The Map defines their existing limits, and their annals will detail their past history.

Jāreja, Jādeja is the most important tribe of Yadu race next to the Bhatti. Its history is similar. Descended from Krishna, and migrating simultaneously with the remains of the Harikulas, there is the strongest ground for believing that their range was not so wide as that of the elder branch, but that they settled themselves in the valley of the Indus, more especially on the west shore in Seistan; and in nominal and armorial distinctions, even in Alexander’s time, they retained the marks of their ancestry [86].

Sambos, who brought on him the arms of the Grecians, was in 103all likelihood a Harikula; and the Minnagara of Greek historians Samanagara (‘city of Sama’), his capital.[22]

The most common epithet of Krishna, or Hari, was Shama or Syama, from his dark complexion. Hence the Jareja bore it as a patronymic, and the whole race were Samaputras (children of Sama), whence the titular name Sambos of its princes.[23]

The modern Jareja, who, from circumstances has so mixed with the Muhammadans of Sind as to have forfeited all pretensions to purity of blood, partly in ignorance and partly to cover disgrace, says that his origin is from Sham, or Syria, and of the stock of the Persian Jamshid: consequently, Sam has been converted into Jam[24]; which epithet designates one of the Jareja petty governments, the Jam Raj.

These are the most conspicuous of the Yadu race; but there are others who still bear the original title, of which the head is the prince of the petty State of Karauli on the Chambal.

This portion of the Yadu stock would appear never to have strayed far beyond the ancient limits of the Suraseni,[25] their ancestral abodes. They held the celebrated Bayana; whence expelled, they established Karauli west, and Sabalgarh east, of the Chambal. The tract under the latter, called Yaduvati, has been wrested from the family by Sindhia. Sri Mathura[26] is an independent fief of Karauli, held by a junior branch.

The Yadus, or as pronounced in the dialects Jadon, are scattered over India, and many chiefs of consequence amongst the Mahrattas are of this tribe.

There are eight sakha of the Yadu race:

1. Yadu   Chief Karauli.
2. Bhatti   Chief Jaisalmer.
3. Jareja   Chief Cutch Bhuj.
4. Samecha   Muhammadans in Sind.
1045. Madecha  
6. Bidman Unknown [87].
7. Badda  
8. Soha  
1. Yadu   Chief Karauli.
2. Bhatti   Chief Jaisalmer.
3. Jareja   Chief Cutch Bhuj.
4. Samecha  Muhammadans in Sind.
5. Madecharbracket_80Unknown [87].
6. Bidman
7. Badda
8. Soha

Tuar, Tonwar, Tomara.

—The Tuar, though acknowledged as a subdivision of the Yadu, is placed by the best genealogists as one of the ‘thirty-six,’ a rank to which its celebrity justly entitles it.

We have in almost every case the etymon of each celebrated race. For the Tuar we have none; and we must rest satisfied in delivering the dictum of the Bardai, who declares it of Pandu origin.

If it had to boast only of Vikramaditya, the paramount lord of India, whose era, established fifty-six years before the Christian, still serves as the grand beacon of Hindu chronology, this alone would entitle the Tuar to the highest rank. But it has other claims to respect. Delhi, the ancient Indraprastha, founded by Yudhishthira, and which tradition says lay desolate for eight centuries, was rebuilt and peopled by Anangpal Tuar, in S. 848 (A.D. 792), who was followed by a dynasty of twenty princes, which concluded with the name of the founder, Anangpal, in S. 1220 (A.D. 1164),[27] when, contrary to the Salic law of the Rajputs, he abdicated (having no issue) in favour of his grandchild, the Chauhan Prithviraja.

The Tuar must now rest on his ancient fame; for not an independent possession remains to the race[28] which traces its lineage to the Pandavas, boasts of Vikrama, and which furnished the last dynasty, emperors of Hindustan.

It would be a fact unparalleled in the history of the world, could we establish to conviction that the last Anangpal Tuar was the lineal descendant of the founder of Indraprastha; that the issue of Yudhishthira sat on the throne which he erected, after a lapse of 2250 years.years. Universal consent admits it, and the fact is 105as well established as most others of a historic nature of such a distant period: nor can any dynasty or family of Europe produce evidence so strong as the Tuar, even to a much less remote antiquity.

The chief possessions left to the Tuars are the district of Tuargarh, on the right bank of the Chambal towards its junction with the Jumna, and the small [88] chieftainship of Patan Tuarvati in the Jaipur State, and whose head claims affinity with the ancient kings of Indraprastha.


—A doubt hangs on the origin of this justly celebrated race. The Rathor genealogies trace their pedigree to Kusa, the second son of Rama; consequently they would be Suryavansa. But by the bards of this race they are denied this honour; and although Kushite, they are held to be the descendants of Kasyapa, of the Solar race, by the daughter of a Daitya (Titan). The progeny of Hiranyakasipu is accordingly stigmatized as being of demoniac origin. It is rather singular that they should have succeeded to the Lunar race of Kusanabha, descendants of Ajamidha, the founders of Kanauj. Indeed, some genealogists maintain the Rathors to be of Kusika race.

The pristine locale of the Rathors is Gadhipura, or Kanauj, where they are found enthroned in the fifth century; and though beyond that period they connect their line with the princes of Kosala or Ayodhya, the fact rests on assertion only.

From the fifth century their history is cleared from the mist of ages, which envelops them all prior to this time; and in the period approaching the Tatar conquest of India, we find them contesting with the last Tuar and Chauhan kings of Delhi, and the Balakaraes of Anhilwara, the right to paramount importance amidst the princes of Ind. The combats for this phantom supremacy destroyed them all. Weakened by internal strife, the Chauhan of Delhi fell, and his death exposed the north-west frontier. Kanauj followed; and while its last prince, Jaichand, found a grave in the Ganges, his son sought an asylum in Marusthali, ‘the regions of death.’[29] Siahji was this son; the founder of the Rathor dynasty in Marwar, on the ruins of the Pariharas of Mandor. Here they brought their ancient martial spirit, and a more valiant being exists not than can be found amongst the sons of Siahji. The Mogul emperors were indebted for half their 106conquests to the Lakh Tarwar Rathoran, ‘the 100,000 swords of the Rathors’; for it is beyond a doubt that 50,000 of the blood of Siahji have been embodied at once. But enough of the noble Rathors for the present.

The Rathor has twenty-four sakha: Dhandal, Bhadel, Chachkit, Duharia, Khokra, Badara, Chajira, Ramdeva, Kabria, Hatundia, Malavat, Sunda, Katecha, Maholi, Gogadeva, Mahecha, Jaisingha, Mursia, Jobsia, Jora, etc., etc.[30] [89].

Rathor Gotracharya.—Gotama[31] Gotra (race),—Mardawandani Sakha (branch),—Sukracharya Guru (Regent of the planet Venus, Preceptor),—Garupata Agni,[32]—Pankhani Devi (tutelary goddess, winged).[33]


—The Kachhwaha race[34] is descended from Kusa, the second son of Rama. They are the Kushites[35] as the Rajputs of Mewar are the Lavites of India. Two branches migrated from Kosala: one founded Rohtas on the Son, the other established a colony amidst the ravines of the Kuwari, at Lahar.[36] In the course of time they erected the celebrated fortress of Narwar, or Nirwar, the abode of the celebrated Raja Nala, whose descendants continued to hold possession throughout all the vicissitudes of the Tatar and Mogul domination, when they were deprived of 107it by the Mahrattas, and the abode of Nala is now a dependency of Sindhia.

In the tenth century a branch emigrated and founded Amber, dispossessing the aborigines, the Minas, and adding from the Rajput tribe Bargujar, who held Rajor and large possessions around. But even in the twelfth century the Kachhwahas were but principal vassals to the Chauhan king of Delhi; and they have to date their greatness, as the other families (especially the Ranas of Mewar) of Rajasthan their decline, from the ascent of the house of Timur to the throne of Delhi. The map shows the limits of the sway of the Kachhwahas, including their branches, the independent Narukas of Macheri, and the tributary confederated Shaikhavats. The Kachhwaha subdivisions have been mislaid;[37] but the present partition into Kothris (chambers), of which there are twelve, shall be given in their annals.

Agnikulas, Pramāra.

—1st Pramara. There are four races to whom the Hindu genealogists have given Agni, or the element of fire, as progenitor. The Agnikulas are therefore the sons of Vulcan, as the others are of Sol,[38] Mercurius, and Terra [90].

The Agnikulas are the Pramara, the Parihara, the Chalukya or Solanki, and the Chauhan.[39]

That these races, the sons of Agni, were but regenerated, and converted by the Brahmans to fight their battles, the clearest interpretations of their allegorical history will disclose; and, 108as the most ancient of their inscriptions are in the Pali character, discovered wherever the Buddhist religion prevailed, their being declared of the race of Tasta or Takshak,[40] warrants our asserting the Agnikulas to be of this same race, which invaded India about two centuries before Christ. It was about this period that Parsvanatha the twenty-third Buddha,[41] appeared in India; his symbol, the serpent. The legend of the snake (Takshak) escaping with the celebrated work Pingala, which was recovered by Garuda, the eagle of Krishna, is purely allegorical; and descriptive of the contentions between the followers of Parswanatha, figured under his emblem, the snake, and those of Krishna, depicted under his sign, the eagle.

The worshippers of Surya probably recovered their power on the exterminating civil wars of the Lunar races, but the creation of the Agnikulas is expressly stated to be for the preservation of the altars of Bal, or Iswara, against the Daityas, or Atheists.

The celebrated Abu, or Arbuda, the Olympus of Rajasthan, was the scene of contention between the ministers of Surya and these Titans, and their relation might, with the aid of imagination, be equally amusing with the Titanic war of the ancient poets of the west [91]. The Buddhists claim it for Adinath, their first Buddha; the Brahmans for Iswara, or, as the local divinity styled Achaleswara.[42] The Agnikunda is still shown on the summit of Abu, where the four races were created by the Brahmans to fight the battles of Achaleswara and polytheism, against the monotheistic Buddhists, represented as the serpents or Takshaks. The probable period of this conversion has been hinted at; but of the 109dynasties issuing from the Agnikulas, many of the princes professed the Buddhist or Jain faith, to periods so late as the Muhammadan invasion.

The Pramara, though not, as his name implies, the ‘chief warrior,’ was the most potent of the Agnikulas. He sent forth thirty-five sakha, or branches, several of whom enjoyed extensive sovereignties. ‘The world is the Pramar’s,’ is an ancient saying, denoting their extensive sway; and the Naukot[43] Marusthali signified the nine divisions into which the country, from the Sutlej to the ocean, was partitioned amongst them.

Maheswar, Dhar, Mandu, Ujjain, Chandrabhaga, Chitor, Abu, Chandravati, Mhau Maidana, Parmavati, Umarkot, Bakhar, Lodorva, and Patan are the most conspicuous of the capitals they conquered or founded.

Though the Pramara family never equalled in wealth the famed Solanki princes of Anhilwara, or shone with such lustre as the Chauhan, it attained a wider range and an earlier consolidation of dominion than either, and far excelled in all, the Parihara, the last and least of the Agnikulas, which it long held tributary.

Maheswar, the ancient seat of the Haihaya kings, appears to have been the first seat of government of the Pramaras. They subsequently founded Dharanagar, and Mandu on the crest of the Vindhya hills; and to them is even attributed the city of Ujjain, the first meridian of the Hindus, and the seat of Vikrama.

There are numerous records of the family, fixing eras in their history of more modern times; and it is to be hoped that the interpretation of yet undeciphered inscriptions may carry us back beyond the seventh century.

The era[44] of Bhoj, the son of Munja, has been satisfactorily settled; and an [92] inscription[45] in the nail-headed character, carries it back a step further,[46] and elicits an historical fact of infinite value, giving the date of the last prince of the Pramaras of Chitor, and the consequent accession of the Guhilots.

110The Nerbudda was no limit to the power of the Pramaras.Pramaras. About the very period of the foregoing inscription, Ram Pramar held his court in Telingana, and is invested by the Chauhan Bard, Chand, with the dignity of paramount sovereign of India, and head of a splendid feudal[47] association, whose members became independent on his death. The Bard makes this a voluntary act of the Pramaras; but coupled with the Guhilots’ violent acquisition of Chitor, we may suppose the successor of Ram was unable to maintain such supremacy.

While Hindu literature survives the name of Bhoj Pramara and ‘the nine gems’ of his court cannot perish; though it is difficult to say which of the three[48] princes of this name is particularly alluded to, as they all appear to have been patrons of

Chandragupta, the supposed opponent of Alexander, was a Maurya, and in the sacred genealogies is declared of the race of Takshak. The ancient inscriptions of the Pramars, of which the Maurya is a principal branch, declare it of the race of Tasta and Takshak, as does that now given from the seat of their power, Chitor.[49]

Salivahana, the conqueror of Vikramaditya, was a Takshak, and his era set aside that of the Tuar in the Deccan.

Not one remnant of independence exists to mark the greatness of the Pramaras: ruins are the sole records of their power. The 111prince of Dhat,[50] in the Indian [93] desert, is the last phantom of royalty of the race; and the descendant of the prince who protected Humayun, when driven from the throne of Timur, in whose capital, Umarkot, the great Akbar was born, is at the foot of fortune’s ladder; his throne in the desert, the footstool of the Baloch, on whose bounty he is dependent for support.

Among the thirty-five sakha of the Pramaras the Vihal was eminent, the princes of which line appear to have been lords of Chandravati, at the foot of the Aravalli. The Rao of Bijolia, one of the sixteen superior nobles of the Rana’s court, is a Pramara of the ancient stock of Dhar, and perhaps its most respectable representative.

Thirty-Five Sakha of the Pramaras

Mori [or Maurya].—Of which was Chandragupta, and the princes of Chitor prior to the Guhilot.

Sodha.—Sogdoi of Alexander, the princes of Dhat in the Indian desert.

Sankhla.—Chiefs of Pugal, and in Marwar.

Khair.—Capital Khairalu.

Umra and Sumra.—Anciently in the desert, now Muhammadans.

Vihal, or Bihal.—Princes of Chandravati.

Mepawat.—Present chief of Bijolia in Mewar.

Balhar.—Northern desert.

Kaba.—Celebrated in Saurashtra in ancient times, a few yet in Sirohi.

Umata.—The princes of Umatwara in Malwa, there established for twelve generations. Umatwara is the largest tract left to the Pramaras. Since the war in 1817, being under the British interference, they cannot be called independent.

Reharrbracket_80Girasia petty chiefs in Malwa.

51. [For a different list see Census Report Rajputana, 1911, i. 255.]

112Besides others unknown; as Chaonda, Khejar, Sagra, Barkota, Puni, Sampal, Bhiba, Kalpusar, Kalmoh, Kohila, Papa, Kahoria, Dhand, Deba, Barhar, Jipra, Posra, Dhunta, Rikamva, and Taika. Many of these are proselytes to Islamism, and several beyond the Indus [94].

Chahuman or Chauhan.

—On this race so much has been said elsewhere,[52] that it would be superfluous to give more than a rapid sketch of them here.

This is the most valiant of the Agnikulas, and it may be asserted not of them only, but of the whole Rajput race. Actions may be recorded of the greater part of each of the Chhattis-kula, which would yield to none in the ample and varied pages of history; and though the ‘Talwar Rathoran’ would be ready to contest the point, impartial decision, with a knowledge of their respective merits, must assign to the Chauhan the van in the long career of arms.

Its branches (sakha) have maintained all the vigour of the original stem; and the Haras, the Khichis, the Deoras, the Sonigiras, and others of the twenty-four, have their names immortalised in the song of the bard.

The derivation of Chauhan is coeval with his fabulous birth: ‘the four-handed warrior’ (Chatur-bhuja Chatur-bahu Vira). All failed when sent against the demons, but the Chauhan, the last creation of the Brahmans to fight their battles against infidelity.

A short extract may be acceptable from the original respecting the birth of the Chauhan, to guard the rites of our Indian Jove on this Olympus, the sacred Abu: “the Guru of mountains, like Sumer or Kailas, which Achaleswara made his abode. Fast but one day on its summit, and your sins will be forgiven; reside there for a year, and you may become the preceptor of mankind.”

The Agnikunda Fire-pit.

—Notwithstanding the sanctity of Abu, and the little temptation to disturb the anchorites of Bal, “the Munis, who passed their time in devotion, whom desire never approached, who drew support from the cow, from roots, fruits, and flowers,” yet did the Daityas, envying their felicity, render the sacrifice impure, and stop in transit the share of the gods. “The Brahmans dug the pit for burnt-sacrifice to the 113south-west (nairrit); but the demons[53] raised storms which darkened the air and filled it with clouds of sand, showering ordure, blood, bones and flesh, with every impurity, on their rites. Their penance was of no avail.”

Again they kindled the sacred fire; and the priests, assembling round the Agnikunda,[54] prayed for aid to Mahadeo [95]. "From the fire-fountain a figure issued forth, but he had not a warrior’s mien. The Brahmans placed him as guardian of the gate, and thence his name, Prithivi-dwara.[55] A second issued forth, and being formed in the palm (challu) of the hand was named Chalukya. A third appeared and was named Pramara.[56] He had the blessing of the Rishis, and with the others went against the demons, but they did not prevail. Again Vasishtha,[57] seated on the lotus, prepared incantations; again he called the gods to aid: and, as he poured forth the libation, a figure arose, lofty in stature, of elevated front, hair like jet, eyes rolling, breast expanded, fierce, terrific, clad in armour, quiver filled, a bow in one hand and a brand in the other, quadriform (Chaturanga),[58] whence his name, Chauhan.

“Vasishtha prayed that his hope[59] might be at length fulfilled, as the Chauhan was despatched against the demons. Sakti-devi[60] on her lion, armed with the trident, descended, and bestowed her blessing on the Chauhan, and as Asapurna, or Kalika, promised always to hear his prayer. He went against the demons; their leaders he slew. The rest fled, nor halted till they reached the depths of hell. Anhal slew the demons. The Brahmans were made happy; and of his race was Prithwiraja.”[61]

114The genealogical tree of the Chauhans exhibits thirty-nine princes, from Anhal, the first created Chauhan, to Prithwiraja, the last of the Hindu emperors of India.[62] But whether the chain is entire we cannot say. The inference is decidedly against its being so; for this creation or regeneration is assigned to an age centuries anterior to Vikramaditya: and we may safely state these converts to be of the Takshak race, invaders of India at a very early period.

Ajaipal is a name celebrated in the Chauhan chronicles, as the founder of the fortress of Ajmer, one of the earliest establishments of Chauhan power.[63]

Sambhar,[64] on the banks of the extensive salt lake of the same name, was probably anterior to Ajmer, and yielded an epithet to the princes of this race, who [96] were styled Sambhari Rao. These continued to be the most important places of Chauhan power, until the translation of Prithwiraja to the imperial throne of Delhi threw a parting halo of splendour over the last of its independent kings. There were several princes whose actions emblazon the history of the Chauhans. Of these was Manika Rae, who first opposed the progress of the Muhammadan arms. Even the history of the conquerors records that the most obstinate opposition which the arms of Mahmud of Ghazni encountered was from the prince of Ajmer,[65] who forced him to retreat, foiled and disgraced, from this celebrated stronghold, in his destructive route to Saurashtra.

The attack on Manika Rae appears to have been by Kasim, the general of Walid, on the close of the first century of the Hegira.[66] The second attack was at the end of the fourth century. A third was during the reign of Bisaladeva, who headed a grand confederacy 115of the Rajput princes against the foes of their religion. The celebrated Udayaditya Pramar is enumerated amongst the chiefs acting in subserviency to the Chauhan prince on this occasion, and as his death has been fixed by unerring records in A.D. 1096, this combination must have been against the Islamite king Maudud, the fourth from Mahmud; and to this victory is the allusion in the inscription on the ancient pillar of Delhi.[67] But these irruptions continued to the captivity and death of the last of the Chauhans, whose reign exhibits a splendid picture of feudal manners.

The Chauhans sent forth twenty-four branches, of whom the most celebrated are the existing families of Bundi and Kotah, in the division termed Haravati. They have well maintained the Chauhan reputation for valour. Six princely brothers shed their blood in one field, in the support of the aged Shah Jahan against his rebellious son Aurangzeb, and of the six but one survived his wounds.

The Khichis[68] of Gagraun and Raghugarh, the Deoras of Sirohi, the Sonigiras of Jalor, the Chauhans of Sui Bah and Sanchor, and the Pawechas of Pawagarh, have all immortalized themselves by the most heroic and devoted deeds. Most of these families yet exist, brave as in the days of Prithwiraja.

Many chiefs of the Chauhan race abandoned their faith to preserve their lands, the Kaimkhani,[69] the Sarwanis, the Lowanis, the Kararwanis, and the Bedwanas [97], chiefly residing in Shaikhavati, are the most conspicuous. No less than twelve petty princes thus deserted their faith: which, however, is not contrary to the Rajput creed; for even Manu says, they may part with wife to preserve their land. Isaridas, nephew of Prithwiraja, was the first who set this example.

Twenty-four Sakha of the Chauhans.—Chauhan, Hara, Khichi, Sonigira, Deora, Pabia, Sanchora, Goelwal, Bhadauria, Nirwan, Malani, Purbia, Sura, Madrecha, Sankrecha, Bhurecha, Balecha, Tasera, Chachera, Rosia, Chanda, Nikumbha, Bhawar, and Bankat.[70]


Chalukya or Solanki.

—Though we cannot trace the history of this branch of the Agnikulas to such periods of antiquity as the Pramara or Chauhan, it is from the deficiency of materials, rather than any want of celebrity, that we are unable to place it, in this respect, on a level with them. The tradition of the bard makes the Solankis important as princes of Sura on the Ganges, ere the Rathors obtained Kanauj.[71] The genealogical test[72] claims Lohkot, said to be the ancient Lahore, as a residence, which makes them of the same Sakha (Madhwani) as the Chauhans. Certain it is, that in the eighth century we find the Langahas[73] and Togras inhabiting Multan and the surrounding country, the chief opponents of the Bhattis on their establishment in the desert. They were princes of Kalyan, on the Malabar coast,[74] which city still exhibits vestiges of ancient grandeur. It was from Kalyan that a scion of the Solanki tree was taken, and engrafted on the royal stem of the Chawaras of Anhilwara Patan.

It was in S. 987 (A.D. 931) that Bhojraj, the last of the Chawaras, and the Salic law of India were both set aside, to make way for the young Solanki, Mulraj,[75] who ruled Anhilwara for the space of fifty-eight years. During the reign of his son and successor, Chamund Rae,[76] Mahmud of Ghazni carried his desolating arms into the kingdom of Anhilwara. With its wealth he raised those [98] magnificent trophies of his conquest, among which the ‘Celestial 117Bride’ might have vied with anything ever erected by man as a monument of folly.[77] The wealth abstracted, as reported in the history of the conquerors, by this scourge of India, though deemed incredible, would obtain belief, if the commercial riches of Anhilwara could be appreciated. It was to India what Venice was to Europe, the entrepôt of the products of both the eastern and western hemispheres. It fully recovered the shock given by Mahmud and the desultory wars of his successors; and we find Siddharaja Jayasingha,[78] the seventh from the founder, at the head of the richest, if not the most warlike, kingdom of India. Two-and-twenty principalities at one time owned his power, from the Carnatic to the base of the Himalaya Mountains; but his unwise successor drew upon himself the vengeance of the Chauhan, Prithwiraja, a slip of which race was engrafted, in the person of Kumarapala, on the genealogical tree of the Solankis;[79] and it is a curious fact that this dynasty of the Balakaraes alone gives us two examples of the Salic law of India being violated. Kumarapala, installed on the throne of Anhilwara, ‘tied round his head the turban of the Solanki.’ He became of the tribe into which he was adopted. Kumarapala, as well as Siddharaja, was the patron of Buddhism;[80] and the monuments erected under them and their successors claim our admiration, from their magnificence and the perfection of the arts; for at no period were they more cultivated than at the courts of Anhilwara.

The lieutenants of Shihābu-d-din disturbed the close of Kumarapal’s reign; and his successor, Balo Muldeo, closed this dynasty in S. 1284 (A.D. 1228), when a new dynasty, called the Vaghela (descendants of Siddharaja) under Bīsaldeo, succeeded.[81] The dilapidations from religious persecution were repaired; Somnath, renowned as Delphos of old, rose from its ruins, and the kingdom 118of the Balakaraes was attaining its pristine magnificence, when, under the fourth prince, Karandeva, the angel of destruction appeared in the shape of Alau-d-din, and the kingdom of Anhilwara was annihilated. The lieutenants of the Tatar despot of Delhi let loose the spirit of intolerance and avarice on the rich cities and fertile plains of Gujarat and Saurashtra. In contempt of their faith, the altar of an Islamite Darvesh was placed in contact with the shrine of Adinath, on the [99] most accessible of their sacred mounts:[82] the statues of Buddha [the Jain Tirthankaras] were thrown down, and the books containing the mysteries of their faith suffered the same fate as the Alexandrian library. The walls of Anhilwara were demolished; its foundations excavated, and again filled up with the fragments of their ancient temples.[83]

The remnants of the Solanki dynasty were scattered over the land, and this portion of India remained for upwards of a century without any paramount head, until, by a singular dispensation of Providence, its splendour was renovated, and its foundations rebuilt, by an adventurer of the same race from which the Agnikulas were originally converts, though Saharan the Tak hid his name and his tribe under his new epithet of Zafar Khan, and as Muzaffar ascended the throne of Gujarat, which he left to his son. This son was Ahmad, who founded Ahmadabad, whose most splendid edifices were built from the ancient cities around it.[84]


—Though the stem of the Solankis was thus uprooted, yet was it not before many of its branches (Sakha), like their own indigenous bar-tree, had fixed themselves in other soils. The most conspicuous of these is the Baghela[85] family, which gave its 119name to an entire division of Hindustan; and Baghelkhand has now been ruled for many centuries by the descendants of Siddharaja.

Besides Bandhugarh, there are minor chieftainships still in Gujarat of the Baghela tribe. Of these, Pethapur and Tharad are the most conspicuous. One of the chieftains of the second class in Mewar is a Solanki, and traces his line immediately from Siddharaja: this is the chief of Rupnagar,[86] whose stronghold commands one of the passes leading to Marwar, and whose family annals would furnish a fine picture of the state of border-feuds. Few of them, till of late years, have died natural deaths.

The Solanki is divided into sixteen branches [100].

Pratihāra or Parihāra.

—Of this, the last and least of the 120Agnikulas, we have not much to say. The Pariharas never acted a conspicuous part in the history of Rajasthan. They are always discovered in a subordinate capacity, acting in feudal subjection to the Tuars of Delhi or the Chauhans of Ajmer; and the brightest page of their history is the record of an abortive attempt of Nahar Rao to maintain his independence against Prithwiraja. Though a failure, it has immortalized his name, and given to the scene of action,[91] one of the passes of the Aravalli, a merited celebrity. Mandor[91] (classically Maddodara) was the capital of the Parihars, and was the chief city of Marwar which owned the sway of this tribe prior to the invasion and settlement of the Rathors. It is placed five miles northward of the modern [101] Jodhpur, and preserves some specimens of the ancient Pali character, fragments of sculpture and Jain temples.

The Rathor emigrant princes of Kanauj found an asylum with the Parihars. They repaid it by treachery, and Chonda, a name celebrated in the Rathor annals, dispossessed the last of the Parihars, and pitched the flag of the Rathors on the battlements of Mandor. The power of the Parihars had, however, been much reduced previously by the princes of Mewar, who not only abstracted much territory from them, but assumed the title of its princes—Rana.[92]

The Parihara is scattered over Rajasthan, but I am unaware of the existence of any independent chieftainship there. At the confluence of the Kuhari, the Sind, and the Chambal, there is a colony of this race, which has given its name to a commune of twenty-four villages, besides hamlets, situated amidst the ravines of these streams. They were nominally subjects of Sindhia; but it was deemed requisite for the line of defence along the Chambal that it should be included within the British demarcation, by which we incorporated with our rule the most notorious body of thieves in the annals of Thug history.

The Parihars had twelve subdivisions, of which the chief were 121the Indha and Sindhal: a few of both are still to be found about the banks of the Luni.[93]

Chāwara or Chaura.

—This tribe was once renowned in the history of India, though its name is now scarcely known, or only in the chronicles of the bard. Of its origin we are in ignorance. It belongs neither to the Solar nor Lunar race, and consequently we may presume it to be of Scythic origin.[94] The name is unknown in Hindustan, and is confined, with many others originating from beyond the Indus, to the peninsula of Saurashtra. If foreign to India proper, its establishment must have been at a remote period, as we find individuals of it intermarrying with the Suryavansa ancestry of the present princes of Mewar, when this family were the lords of Valabhi.

The capital of the Chawaras was the insular Deobandar, on the coast of Saurashtra, and the celebrated temple of Somnath, with many others on this coast, dedicated to Balnath, or the sun, is attributed to this tribe of the Sauras,[95] or [102] worshippers of the sun; most probably the generic name of the tribe as well as of the peninsula.[96]

By a natural catastrophe, or as the Hindu superstitious chroniclers will have it, as a punishment for the piracies of the prince of Deo, the element whose privilege he abused rose and overwhelmed his capital. As all this coast is very low, such an occurrence is not improbable; though the abandonment of Deo might have been compelled by the irruptions of the Arabians, who at this period carried on a trade with these parts, and the plunder of some of their vessels may have brought this punishment on the Chawaras. That it was owing to some such political 122catastrophe, we have additional grounds for belief from the annals of Mewar, which state that its princes inducted the Chawaras into the seats of the power they abandoned on the continent and peninsula of Saurashtra.

At all events, the prince of Deo laid the foundation of Anhilwara Patan in S. 802 (A.D. 746), which henceforth became the capital city of this portion of India, in lieu of Valabhipura, which gave the title of Balakaraes to its princes, the Balhara of the earlier Arabian travellers, and following them, the geographers of Europe.[97]

Vana Raja (or, in the dialects, Banraj) was this founder, and his dynasty ruled for one hundred and eighty-four years, when, as related in the sketch of the Solanki tribe, Bhojraj, the seventh from the founder, was deposed by his nephew.[98] It was during this dynasty that the Arabian travellers[99] visited this court, of which they have left but a confused picture. We are not, however, altogether in darkness regarding the Chawara race, as in the Khuman Raesa, one of the chronicles of Mewar, mention is made of the auxiliaries under a leader named Chatansi, in the defence of Chitor against the first attack on record of the Muhammadans.

When Mahmud of Ghazni invaded Saurashtra and captured its capital, Anhilwara, he deposed its prince, and placed upon the throne, according to Ferishta, a prince of the former dynasty, renowned for his ancient line and purity of blood, and who is styled Dabichalima; a name which has puzzled all European commentators. Now the Dabhi was a celebrated tribe, said by some to be a branch of the [103] Chawara, and this therefore may be a compound of Dabhi Chawara, or the Chaurasima, by some called a branch of the ancient Yadus.[100]

123This ancient connexion between the Suryavansi chiefs and the Chawaras, or Sauras, of Saurashtra, is still maintained after a lapse of more than one thousand years; for although an alliance with the Rana’s family is deemed the highest honour that a Hindu prince can obtain, as being the first in rank in Rajasthan, yet is the humble Chawara sought out, even at the foot of fortune’s ladder, whence to carry on the blood of Rama. The present heir-apparent of a line of ‘one hundred kings,’ the prince Jawān Singh [1828-38], is the offspring of a Chawara mother, the daughter of a petty chieftain of Gujarat.

It were vain to give any account of the present state of the families bearing this name. They must depend upon the fame of past days; to this we leave them.

Tāk or Takshak.

—Takshak appears to be the generic term of the race from which the various Scythic tribes, the early invaders of India, branched off. It appears of more ancient application than Getae, which was the parent of innumerable sakha. It might not be judicious to separate them, though it would be speculative to say which was the primitive title of the races called Scythic, after their country, Sakatai or Sakadwipa, the land of the great Getae.

Abulghazi makes Taunak[101] the son of Turk or Targetai, who appears to be the Turushka of the Puranas, the Tukyuks of the Chinese historians, the nomadic Tokhari of Strabo, who aided to overturn the Greek kingdom of Bactria, and gave their name to 124the grand division of Asia, Tokharistan[102] or Turkistan: and there is every appearance of that singular race, the Tajik,[103] still scattered over these [104] regions, and whose history appears a mystery, being the descendants of the Takshak.

It has been already observed, that ancient inscriptions in the Pali or Buddhist character have been discovered in various parts of Rajasthan, of the race called Tasta, Takshak, and Tak, relating to the tribes, the Mori [or Maurya], Pramara, their descendants. Naga and Takshak are synonymous appellations in Sanskrit for the snake, and the Takshak is the celebrated Nagvansa of the early heroic history of India. The Mahabharata describes, in its usual allegorical style, the wars between the Pandavas of Indraprastha and the Takshaks of the north. The assassination of Parikshita by the Takshak, and the exterminating warfare carried on against them by his son and successor, Janamejaya, who at last compelled them to sign tributary engagements, divested of its allegory,[104] is plain historical fact.

125When Alexander invaded India, he found the Paraitakai, the mountain (pahar) Tak, inhabiting the Paropamisos range; nor is it by any means unlikely that Taxiles,[105] the ally of the Macedonian king, was the chief (es) of the Taks; and in the early history of the Bhatti princes of Jaisalmer, when driven from Zabulistan, they dispossessed the Taks on the Indus, and established themselves in their land, the capital of which was called Salivahanpura; and as the date of this event is given as 3008 of the Yudhishthira era, it is by no means unlikely that Salivahana, or Salbhan (who was a Takshak), the conqueror of the Tuar Vikrama, was of the very family dispossessed by the Bhattis, who compelled them to migrate to the south.

The calculated period of the invasion of the Takshaks, or Nagvansa, under Sheshnag, is about six or seven centuries before the Christian era, at which very [105] period the Scythic invasion of Egypt and Syria, “by the sons of Togarmah riding on horses” (the Aswas, or Asi), is alike recorded by the prophet Ezekiel and Diodorus. The Abu Mahatma calls the Takshaks “the sons of Himachal,” all evincing Scythic descent; and it was only eight reigns anterior to this change in the Lunar dynasties of India, that Parsvanath, the twenty-third Buddha [Jain Tirthankara], introduced his tenets into India, and fixed his abode in the holy mount Sarnet.[106]

126Enough of the ancient history of the Tak; we will now descend to more modern times, on which we shall be brief. We have already mentioned the Takshak Mori [or Maurya] as being lords of Chitor from a very early period; and but a few generations after the Guhilots supplanted the Moris, this palladium of Hindu liberty was assailed by the arms of Islam. We find amongst the numerous defenders who appear to have considered the cause of Chitor their own, “the Tak from Asirgarh.”[107] This race appears to have retained possession of Asir for at least two centuries after this event, as its chieftain was one of the most conspicuous leaders in the array of Prithwiraja. In the poems of Chand he is called the “standard-bearer, Tak of Asir.”[108]

This ancient race, the foe of Janamejaya and the friend of Alexander, closed its career in a blaze of splendour. The celebrity of the kings of Gujarat will make amends for the obscurity of the Taks of modern times, of whom a dynasty of fourteen kings followed each other in succession, commencing and ending with the proud title of Muzaffar. It was in the reign of Muhammad,[109] son of the first Tughlak, that an accident to his nephew Firoz proved the dawn of the fortunes of the Tak; purchased, however, with the change of name and religion. Saharan the Tak was the first apostate of his line, who, under the name of Wajihu-l-mulk, concealed both his origin and tribe. His son, Zafar Khan, was raised by his patron Firoz to the government of Gujarat, about the period when Timur invaded India. Zafar availed himself of the weakness of his master and the distraction of the times, and mounted the throne of Gujarat under the name of [106] Muzaffar.[110] He was assassinated by the hand of his grandson, Ahmad, who changed the ancient capital, Anhilwara, for the city founded by himself, and called Ahmadabad, one of the most splendid in the east. With the apostasy of the Tak,[111] the name appears to have 127been obliterated from the tribes of Rajasthan; nor has my search ever discovered one of this name now existing.

Jat, Jāt.

—In all the ancient catalogues of the thirty-six royal races of India the Jat has a place, though by none is he ever styled ‘Rajput’; nor am I aware of any instance of a Rajput’s intermarriage with a Jat.[112] It is a name widely disseminated over India, though it does not now occupy a very elevated place amongst the inhabitants, belonging chiefly to the agricultural classes.

In the Panjab they still retain their ancient name of Jat. On the Jumna and Ganges they are styled Jāts, of whom the chief of Bharatpur is the most conspicuous. On the Indus and in Saurashtra they are termed Jats. The greater portion of the husbandmen in Rajasthan are Jats; and there are numerous tribes beyond the Indus, now proselytes to the Muhammadan religion, who derive their origin from this class.

Of its ancient history sufficient has been already said. We will merely add, that the kingdom of the great Getae, whose capital was on the Jaxartes, preserved its integrity and name from the period of Cyrus to the fourteenth century, when it was converted from idolatry to the faith of Islam. Herodotus [iv. 93-4] informs us that the Getae were theists and held the tenet of the soul’s immortality; and De Guignes,[113] from Chinese authorities, asserts that at a very early period they had embraced the religion of Fo or Buddha.

The traditions of the Jats claim the regions west of the Indus as the cradle of the race, and make them of Yadu extraction; thus corroborating the annals of the Yadus, which state their migration from Zabulistan, and almost inducing us to [107] dispense with the descent of this tribe from Krishna, and to pronounce 128it an important colony of the Yueh-chi, Yuti, or Jats. Of the first migration from Central Asia of this race within the Indus we have no record; it might have been simultaneous with the Takshak, from the wars of Cyrus or his ancestors.

It has been already remarked that the Jat divided with the Takshak the claim of being the parent name of the various tribes called Scythic, invaders of India; and there is now before the author an inscription of the fifth century applying both epithets to the same prince,[114] who is invested moreover with the Scythic quality of worshipping the sun. It states, likewise, that the mother of this Jat prince was of Yadu race: strengthening their claims to a niche amongst the thirty-six Rajkulas, as well as their Yadu descent.

The fifth century of the Christian era, to which this inscription belongs, is a period of interest in Jat history. De Guignes, from original authorities, states the Yueh-chi or Jats to have established themselves in the Panjab in the fifth and sixth centuries, and the inscription now quoted applies to a prince whose capital is styled Salindrapura in these regions; and doubtless the Salivahanpur[115] where the Yadu Bhattis established themselves on the expulsion of the Tak.

129How much earlier than this the Jat penetrated into Rajasthan must be left to more ancient inscriptions to determine: suffice it that in A.D. 440 we find him in power.[116]

When the Yadu was expelled from Salivahanpura, and forced to seek refuge [108] across the Sutlej among the Dahia and Johya Rajputs of the Indian desert, where they founded their first capital, Derawar, many from compulsion embraced the Muhammadan faith; on which occasion they assumed the name of Jat,[117] of which at least twenty different offsets are enumerated in the Yadu chronicles.

That the Jats continued as a powerful community on the east bank of the Indus and in the Panjab, fully five centuries after the period our inscription and their annals illustrate, we have the most interesting records in the history of Mahmud, the conqueror of India, whose progress they checked in a manner unprecedented in the annals of continental warfare. It was in 416 of the Hegira (A.D. 1026) that Mahmud marched an army against the Jats, who had harassed and insulted him on the return from his last expedition against Saurashtra. The interest of the account authorizes its being given from the original.

“The Jats inhabited the country on the borders of Multan, along the river that runs by the mountains of Jud.[118] When Mahmud reached Multan, finding the Jat country defended by great rivers, he built fifteen hundred boats,[119] each armed with six iron spikes projecting from their prows, to prevent their being 130boarded by the enemy, expert in this kind of warfare. In each boat he placed twenty archers, and some with fire-balls of naphtha to burn the Jat fleet. The monarch having determined on their extirpation, awaited the result at Multan. The Jats sent their wives, children, and effects to Sind Sagar,[120] and launched four thousand, or, as others say, eight thousand boats well armed to meet the Ghaznians. A terrible conflict ensued, but the projecting spikes sunk the Jat boats while others were set on fire. Few escaped from this scene of terror; and those who did, met with the more severe fate of captivity.”[121]

Many doubtless did escape; and it is most probable that the Jat communities, on whose overthrow the State of Bikaner was founded, were remnants of this very warfare [109].

Not long after this event the original empire of the Getae was overturned, when many fugitives found a refuge in India. In 1360 Togultash Timur was the great Khan of the Getae nation; idolaters even to this period. He had conquered Khorasan, invaded Transoxiana (whose prince fled, but whose nephew, Amir Timur, averted its subjugation), gained the friendship of Togultash, and commanded a hundred thousand Getae warriors. In 1369, when the Getic Khan died, such was the ascendancy obtained by Timur over his subjects, that the Kuriltai, or general assembly, transferred the title of Grand Khan from the Getic to the Chagatai Timur. In 1370 he married a Getic princess, and added Khokhand and Samarkand to his patrimony, Transoxiana. Rebellions and massacres almost depopulated this nursery of mankind, ere the Getae abandoned their independence; nor was it till 1388, after six invasions, in which he burnt their towns, brought away their wealth, and almost annihilated the nation, that he felt himself secure.[122]

131In his expedition into India, having overrun great part of Europe, “taken Moscow, and slain the soldiers of the barbarous Urus,” he encountered his old foes “the Getae, who inhabited the plains of Tohim, where he put two thousand to the sword, pursuing them into the desert and slaughtering many more near the Ghaggar.”[123]

Still the Jat maintained himself in the Panjab, and the most powerful and independent prince of India at this day is the Jat prince of Lahore, holding dominion over the identical regions where the Yueh-chi colonized in the fifth century, and where the Yadus, driven from Ghazni, established themselves on the ruins of the Taks. The Jat cavalier retains a portion of his Scythic manners, and preserves the use of the chakra or discus, the weapon of the Yadu Krishna in the remote age of the Bharat.

Hun or Hūn.

—Amongst the Scythic tribes who have secured for themselves a niche with the thirty-six races of India, is the Hun. At what period this race, so well known by its ravages and settlement in Europe, invaded India, we know not.[124] Doubtless it was in the society of many others yet found in the peninsula of [110] Saurashtra, as the Kathi, the Bala, the Makwana, etc. It is, however, confined to the genealogies of that peninsula; for although we have mention of the Hun in the chronicles and inscriptions of India at a very early period, he failed to obtain a place in the catalogue of the northern bards.

The earliest notice of the tribe is in an inscription[125] recording the power of a prince of Bihar, who, amidst his other conquests, “humbled the pride of the Huns.” In the annals of the early history of Mewar, in the catalogue of princes who made common cause with this the chief of all the Rajputs, when Chitor was assailed in the first irruption of the Muhammadans, was Angatsi, 132lord of the Huns, who led his quota on this occasion. De Guignes[126] describes Angat as being the name of a considerable horde of Huns or Moguls; and Abulghazi says that the Tartar tribe who guarded the great wall of China were termed Angatti, who had a distinct prince with high pay and honour. The countries inhabited by the Hiong-nou and the Ou-huon, the Turks and Moguls, called ‘Tatar’ from Tatan,[127] the name of the country from the banks of the Irtish along the mountains of Altai to the shores of the Yellow Sea, are described at large by the historian of the Huns: following whom and other original sources, the historian of the Fall of Rome has given great interest to his narrative of their march into Europe. But those who are desirous to learn all that relates to the past history and manners of this people, must consult that monument of erudition and research, the Geography of Malte-Brun.[128]

D’Anville,[129] quoting Cosmas the traveller, informs us that the White Huns (λευκοὶ Ούννοι)[130] occupied the north of India; and it is most probable a colony of these found their way into Saurashtra and Mewar.

It is on the eastern bank of the Chambal, at the ancient Barolli, that tradition assigns a residence to the Hun; and one of the celebrated temples at that place, called the Singar Chaori, is the marriage hall of the Hun prince, who is also declared to have been possessed of a lordship on the opposite bank, occupying the [111] site of the present town of Bhainsror. In the twelfth century the Hun must have possessed consequence, to occupy the place he holds in the chronicle of the princes of Gujarat. The race is not extinct. One of the most intelligent of the living bards of India assured the author of their existence; and in a tour where he accompanied him, redeemed his pledge, by pointing out the 133residence of some in a village on the estuary of the Mahi, though degraded and mixed with other classes.[131]

We may infer that few convulsions occurred in Central Asia, which drove forth these hordes of redundant population to seek subsistence in Europe, without India participating in such overflow. The only singular circumstance is, by what means they came to be recognized as Hindus, even though of the lowest class. Sudra we cannot term them; for although the Kathi and the Bala cannot be regarded as, or classed with Rajputs, they would scorn the rank of Sudra.


—Of the ancient notices of this people much has been already said, and all the genealogists, both of Rajasthan and Saurashtra, concur in assigning it a place amongst the royal races of India. It is one of the most important tribes of the western peninsula, and which has effected the change of the name from Saurashtra to Kathiawar.

Of all its inhabitants the Kathi retains most originality: his religion, his manners, and his looks, all are decidedly Scythic. He occupied, in the time of Alexander, that nook of the Panjab near the confluent five streams. It was against these Alexander marched in person, when he nearly lost his life, and where he left such a signal memorial of his vengeance. The Kathi can be traced from these scenes to his present haunts. In the earlier portion of the Annals of Jaisalmer mention is made of their conflicts with the Kathi; and their own traditions[132] fix their settlement in the peninsula from the south-eastern part of the valley of the Indus, about the eighth century.

In the twelfth century the Kathi were conspicuous in the wars with Prithwiraja, there being several leaders of the tribe attached 134to his army, as well as to that of [112] his rival, the monarch of Kanauj.[133] Though on this occasion they acted in some degree of subservience to the monarch of Anhilwara, it would seem that this was more voluntary than forced.

The Kathi still adores the sun,[134] scorns the peaceful arts, and is much less contented with the tranquil subsistence of industry than the precarious earnings of his former predatory pursuits. The Kathi was never happy but on horseback, collecting his blackmail, lance in hand, from friend and foe.

We will conclude this brief sketch with Captain Macmurdo’s character of this race. “The Kathi differs in some respects from the Rajput. He is more cruel in his disposition, but far exceeds him in the virtue of bravery;[135] and a character possessed of more energy than a Kathi does not exist. His size is considerably larger than common, often exceeding six feet. He is sometimes seen with light hair and blue-coloured eyes. His frame is athletic and bony, and particularly well adapted to his mode of life. His countenance is expressive, but of the worst kind, being harsh, and often destitute of a single mild feature.”[136]


—All the genealogists, ancient and modern, insert the Bala tribe amongst the Rajkulas. The birad, or ‘blessing,’ of the bard is Tatta Multan ka rao,[137] indicative of their original abodes on the Indus. They lay claim, however, to descent from the Suryavansi, and maintain that their great ancestor, Bala or Bapa, was the offspring of Lava, the eldest son of Rama; that their first settlement in Saurashtra was at the ancient Dhank, in more remote periods called Mungi Paithan; and that, in conquering the country adjacent, they termed it Balakshetra (their capital Valabhipura), and assumed the title of Balarae. Here they claim identity with the Guhilot race of Mewar: nor is it impossible 135that they may be a branch of this family, which long held power in Saurashtra.[138] Before the Guhilots adopted the worship of Mahadeo, which period is indicated in their annals, the chief object of their adoration was the sun, giving them that Scythic resemblance to which the Balas have every appearance of claim [113].

The Balas on the continent of Saurashtra, on the contrary, assert their origin to be Induvansa, and that they are the Balakaputras who were the ancient lords of Aror on the Indus. It would be presumption to decide between these claims; but I would venture to surmise that they might be the offspring of Salya, one of the princes of the Mahabharata, who founded Aror.

The Kathis claim descent from the Balas: an additional proof of northern origin, and strengthening their right to the epithet of the bards, ‘Lords of Multan and Tatta.’ The Balas were of sufficient consequence in the thirteenth century to make incursions on Mewar, and the first exploit of the celebrated Rana Hamir was his killing the Bala chieftain of Chotila.[139] The present chief of Dhank is a Bala, and the tribe yet preserves importance in the peninsula.

Jhāla Makwāna.

—This tribe also inhabits the Saurashtra peninsula. It is styled Rajput, though neither classed with the Solar, Lunar, nor Agnikula races; but though we cannot directly prove it, we have every right to assign to it a northern origin. It is a tribe little known in Hindustan or even Rajasthan, into which latter country it was introduced entirely through the medium of the ancient lords of Saurashtra, the present family of Mewar; a sanction which covers every defect. A splendid act of self-devotion of the Jhala chief, when Rana Partap was oppressed with the whole weight of Akbar’s power, obtained, with the gratitude of this prince, the highest honours he could confer,—his daughter in marriage, and a seat on his right hand. That it was the act, and not his rank in the scale of the thirty-six tribes, which gained him this distinction, we have decided proof in later times, when it was deemed a mark of great condescension that the present Rana should sanction a remote branch of his own 136family bestowing a daughter in marriage on the Jhala ruler of Kotah.[140] This tribe has given its name to one of the largest divisions of Saurashtra, Jhalawar, which possesses several towns of importance. Of these Bankaner, Halwad, and Dhrangadra are the principal.

Regarding the period of the settlement of the Jhalas tradition is silent, as also on their early history: but the aid of its quota was given to the Rana against the [114] first attacks of the Muhammadans; and in the heroic history of Prithwiraja we have ample and repeated mention of the Jhala chieftains who distinguished themselves in his service, as well as in that of his antagonist, and the name of one of these, as recorded by the bard Chand, I have seen inscribed on the granite rock of the sacred Girnar, near their primitive abodes, where we leave them. There are several subdivisions of the Jhala, of which the Makwana is the principal.

Jethwa, Jaithwa, Kamāri.

—This is an ancient tribe, and by all authorities styled Rajput; though, like the Jhala, little known out of Saurashtra, to one of the divisions of which it has given its name, Jethwar. Its present possessions are on the western coast of the peninsula: the residence of its prince, who is styled Rana, is Porbandar.

In remote times their capital was Ghumli, whose ruins attest considerable power, and afford singular scope for analogy, in architectural device, with the style termed Saxon of Europe.[141] The bards of the Jethwas run through a long list of one hundred and thirty crowned heads, and in the eighth century have chronicled the marriage of their prince with the Tuar refounder of Delhi. At this period the Jethwa bore the name of Kamar; and Sahl Kamar is reported to be the prince who was driven from Ghumli, in the twelfth century, by invaders from the north. With this change the name of Kamar was sunk, and that of Jethwa assumed, 137which has induced the author to style them Kamari;[142] and as they, with the other inhabitants of this peninsula, have all the appearance of Scythic descent, urging no pretensions to connexion with the ancient races of India, they may be a branch of that celebrated race, the Cimmerii of higher Asia, and the Cimbri of Europe.

Their legends are as fabulous as fanciful. They trace their descent from the monkey-god Hanuman, and confirm it by alleging the elongation of the spine of their princes, who bear the epithet of Puncharia, or the ‘long-tailed,’ Ranas of Saurashtra. But the manners and traditions of this race will appear more fully in the narrative of the author’s travels amongst them.

Gohil.[143]—This was a distinguished race: it claims to be Suryavansi, and with some pretension. The first residence of the Gohils was Juna Khergarh, near the bend of the Luni in Marwar.[144] How long they had been established here we know not. They took it from one of the aboriginal Bhil chiefs named Kherwa, and had been in possession of it for twenty generations when expelled by the [115] Rathors at the end of the twelfth century. Thence migrating to Saurashtra, they fixed at Piramgarh;[145] which being destroyed, one branch settled at Bhagwa, and the chief marrying the daughter of Nandanagar or Nandod,[146] he usurped or obtained his father-in-law’s estates; and twenty-seven generations are enumerated, from Sompal to Narsingh, the present Raja of Nandod. Another branch fixed at Sihor, and thence founded Bhaunagar and Gogha. The former town, on the gulf of the Mahi, is the residence of the Gohils, who have given their name, Gohilwar, to the eastern portion of the peninsula of Saurashtra. The present chief addicts himself to commerce, and possesses ships which trade to the gold coast of Sofala.

Sarwaiya or Sariaspa.

—Of this race tradition has left us only the knowledge that it once was famous; for although, in the catalogues of the bard, it is introduced as the “essence of the Khatri race,”[147] we have only a few legends regarding its present 138degradation. Its name, as well as this epithet of the bard, induces a belief that it is a branch of the Aswas, with the prefix of sar, denoting ‘essence,’ or priority. But it is useless to speculate on a name.

Silār or Salār.

—Like the former, we have here but the shade of a name; though one which, in all probability, originated the epithet Larike, by which the Saurashtra peninsula was known to Ptolemy and the geographers of early Europe. The tribe of Lar was once famous in Saurashtra, and in the annals of Anhilwara mention is made of Siddharaja Jayasingha having extirpated them throughout his dominions. Salar, or Silar, would therefore be distinctively the Lar.[148] Indeed, the author of the Kumarpal Charitra styles it Rajtilak, or ‘regal prince’; but the name only now exists amongst the mercantile classes professing the faith of Buddha [Jainism]: it is inserted as one of the eighty-four. The greater portion of these are of Rajput origin.


—Little can be said of this tribe but that it was once celebrated in Saurashtra. By some it is called the branch of the Yadu, though all the genealogists give it distinct importance. It now possesses neither territory nor numbers.[149]


—The Gaur tribe was once respected in Rajasthan, though it never there attained to any considerable eminence. The ancient kings of Bengal were of this race, and gave their name to the capital, Lakhnauti [116].

We have every reason to believe that they were possessors of the land afterwards occupied by the Chauhans, as they are styled in all the old chronicles the ‘Gaur of Ajmer.’ Repeated mention is made of them in the wars of Prithwiraja, as leaders of considerable renown, one of whom formed a small State in the centre of India, which survived through seven centuries of Mogul domination, till it at length fell a prey indirectly to the successes of the British over the Mahrattas, when Sindhia in 1809 annihilated the power of the Gaur and took possession of his capital, Sheopur.[150] A 139petty district, yielding about £5000 annually, is all this rapacious head of a predatory government has left to the Gaur, out of about twelve lacs of annual revenue. The Gaur has five sakha: Untahar, Silhala, Tur, Dusena, and Budana.[151]

Dor or Doda.

—We have little to say of this race. Though occupying a place in all the genealogies, time has destroyed all knowledge of the past history of a tribe, to gain a victory over whom was deemed by Prithwiraja worthy of a tablet.[152]


—The Gaharwar Rajput is scarcely known to his brethren in Rajasthan, who will not admit his contaminated blood to mix with theirs; though, as a brave warrior, he is entitled to their fellowship. The original country of the Gaharwar is in the ancient kingdom of Kasi.[153] Their great ancestor was Khortaj Deva, from whom Jasaunda, the seventh in descent, in consequence of some grand sacrificial rites performed at Vindhyavasi, gave the title of Bundela to his issue. Bundela has now usurped the name of Gaharwar, and become the appellation of the immense tract which its various branches inhabit in Bundelkhand, on the ruins of the Chandelas, whose chief cities, Kalanjar, Mohini, and Mahoba, they took possession of.[154]


—The Chandela, classed by some of the genealogists amongst the thirty-six tribes, were powerful in the twelfth century, possessing the whole of the regions between [117] the Jumna and Nerbudda, now occupied by the Bundelas and Baghelas. 140Their wars with Prithwiraja, forming one of the most interesting of his exploits, ended in the humiliation of the Chandela, and prepared the way for their conquest by the Gaharwars; the date of the supremacy of the Bundela Manvira was about A.D. 1200. Madhukar Sah, the thirteenth in descent from him, founded Orchha on the Betwa, by whose son, Birsingh Deva, considerable power was attained. Orchha became the chief of the numerous Bundela principalities; but its founder drew upon himself everlasting infamy, by putting to death the wise Abu-l Fazl,[155] the historian and friend of the magnanimous Akbar, and the encomiast and advocate of the Hindu race.

From the period of Akbar the Bundelas bore a distinguished part in all the grand conflicts, to the very close of the monarchy: nor, amongst all the brave chiefs of Rajasthan, did any perform more gallant or faithful services than the Bundela chieftains of Orchha and Datia. Bhagwan of Orchha commanded the advanced guard of the army of Shah Jahan. His son, Subhkarana, was Aurangzeb’s most distinguished leader in the Deccan, and Dalpat fell in the war of succession on the plains of Jajau.[156] His descendants have not degenerated; nor is there anything finer in the annals of the chivalry of the West, than the dignified and heroic conduct of the father of the present chief.[157] The Bundela is now a numerous race, while the name Gaharwar remains in their original haunts.


—This race is Suryavansi, and the only one, with the exception of the Guhilot, which claims from Lava, the elder son 141of Rama. The Bargujar held considerable possessions in Dhundhar,[158] and their capital was the hill fortress of Rajor[159] in the principality of Macheri. Rajgarh and Alwar were also their [118] possessions. The Bargujars were expelled these abodes by the Kachhwahas. A colony found refuge and a new residence at Anupshahr on the Ganges.


—Of this tribe little is known, nor does it appear ever to have obtained great celebrity. The sole chieftainship of the Sengars is Jagmohanpur on the Jumna.[160]


—This tribe, like the former, never appears to have claimed much notice amidst the princes of Rajasthan; nor is there a single independent chieftain now remaining, although there is a small district called after them, Sakarwar, on the right bank of the Chambal, adjoining Jaduvati, and like it now incorporated in the province of Gwalior, in Sindhia’s dominions. The Sakarwal is therefore reduced to subsist by cultivation, or the more precarious employment of his lance, either as a follower of others, or as a common depredator. They have their name from the town of Sikri (Fatehpur), which was formerly an independent principality.[161]


—The Bais has obtained a place amongst the thirty-six races, though the author believes it but a subdivision of the Suryavansi, as it is neither to be met with in the lists of Chand, nor in those of the Kumarpal Charitra. It is now numerous, and has given its name to an extensive district, Baiswara in the Duab, or the land between the Ganges and Jumna.[162]


—This is an ancient tribe, whose residence was the banks of the Indus, near its confluence with the Sutlej; and although they retain a place amongst the thirty-six royal races, we have not the knowledge of any as now existing. They are 142mentioned in the annals of the Bhattis of Jaisalmer, and from name as well as from locale, we may infer that they were the Dahae of Alexander.[163]

Joiya, Johya.

—This race possessed the same haunts as the Dahia, and are always coupled with them. They, however, extended across the Ghara into the northern desert of India, and in ancient chronicles are entitled ‘Lords of Jangaldesa,’ a tract which comprehended Hariana, Bhatner, and Nagor. The author possesses a work relative to this tribe, like the Dahia, now extinct.[164]


—We have no mode of judging of the pretensions of this race to the place it is allowed to occupy by the genealogists. All that can be learned of its past history is, that it inhabited a considerable tract so late as the foundation of the present State of Bikaner, the Rathor founders of which expelled, if not extirpated, the Mohil. With the Malan, Malani, and Mallia, also extinct, it may [119] claim the honour of descent from the ancient Malloi, the foes of Alexander, whose abode was Multan. (Qu. Mohilthan?)[165]


—Of this race, to which celebrity attaches in all the genealogies, we can only discover that they were proprietors of the district of Mandalgarh prior to the Guhilots.[166]


—It is difficult to discover anything regarding this race, which, under the names of Rajpali, Rajpalaka, or simply Pala, are mentioned by all the genealogists; especially those of Saurashtra, to which in all probability it was confined. This tends to make it Scythic in origin; the conclusion is strengthened by the derivation of the name, meaning ‘royal shepherd’: it was probably a branch of the ancient Pali.[167]


—The Kumarpal Charitra is our sole authority for 143classing this race with the thirty-six. Of its history we know nothing. Amongst the princes who came to the aid of Chitor, when first assailed by the arms of Islam, was ‘the lord of Debal, Dahir, Despati.’[168] From the ignorance of the transcriber of the Guhilot annals, Delhi is written instead of Debal; but we not only have the whole of the names of the Tuar race, but Delhi was not in existence at this time. Slight as is the mention of this prince in the Chitor annals, it is nevertheless of high value, as stamping them with authenticity; for this Dahir was actually the despot of Sind, whose tragical end in his capital Debal is related by Abu-l Fazl. It was in the ninety-ninth year of the Hegira that he was attacked by Muhammad bin Kasim, the lieutenant of the Caliph of Bagdad, and treated with the greatest barbarity.[169] Whether this prince used Dahir as a proper name, or as that of his tribe, must be left to conjecture.


—The Dahima has left but the wreck of a great name.[170] Seven centuries have swept away all recollection of a tribe who once afforded one of the proudest themes for the song of the bard. The Dahima was the lord of Bayana, and one of the most powerful vassals of the Chauhan emperor, Prithwiraja. Three brothers of this house held the highest offices under this monarch, and the period during which the elder, Kaimas, was his minister, was the brightest in the history of the Chauhan: but he fell a victim to a blind jealousy. Pundir, the second brother [120], commanded the frontier at Lahore. The third, Chawand Rae, was the principal leader in the last battle, where Prithwiraja fell, with the whole of his chivalry, on the banks of the Ghaggar. Even the historians of Shihabu-d-din have preserved the name of the gallant Dahima, Chawand Rae, whom they style Khandirai; and to whose valour, they relate, Shihabu-d-din himself nearly fell a sacrifice. With the Chauhan, the race seems to have been extinguished. Rainsi, his only son, was by this sister of Chawand Rae, but he did not survive the capture of Delhi. This marriage 144forms the subject of one of the books of the bard, who never was more eloquent than in the praise of the Dahima.[171]
Aboriginal Races[172]

Bagri, Mer, Kaba, Mina, Bhil, Sahariya, Thori, Khangar, Gond, Bhar, Janwar, and Sarad.

Agricultural and Pastoral Tribes

Abhira or Ahir, Goala, Kurmi or Kulumbi, Gujar, and Jat

Rajput Tribes to which no Sakha is assigned

Jalia, Peshani, Sohagni, Chahira, Ran, Simala, Botila, Gotchar, Malan, Uhir, Hul, Bachak, Batar, Kerach, Kotak, Busa, and Bargota.

Catalogue of the Eighty-Four Mercantile Tribes

Sri Sri Mal, Srimal, Oswal, Bagherwal, Dindu, Pushkarwal, Mertawal, Harsora, Surawal, Piliwal, Bhambu, Kandhelwal, Dohalwal, Kederwal, Desawal, Gujarwal, Sohorwal, Agarwal, Jaelwal, Manatwal, Kajotiwal, Kortawal, Chehtrawal, Soni, Sojatwal, Nagar, Mad, Jalhera, Lar, Kapol, Khareta, Barari, Dasora, Bambarwal, Nagadra, Karbera, Battewara, Mewara, Narsinghpura, Khaterwal, Panchamwal, Hanerwal, Sirkera, Bais, Stukhi, Kambowal, Jiranwal, Baghelwal, Orchitwal, Bamanwal, Srigur, Thakurwal, Balmiwal, Tepora, Tilota, Atbargi, 145Ladisakha, Badnora, Khicha, Gasora, Bahaohar, Jemo, Padmora, Maharia, Dhakarwal, Mangora, Goelwal, Mohorwal, Chitora, Kakalia, Bhareja, Andora, Sachora, Bhungrawal, Mandahala, Bramania, Bagria, Dindoria, Borwal, Sorbia, Orwal, Nuphag, and Nagora. (One wanting.)

1. [This catalogue is now of historical or traditional, rather than of ethnographical value. It includes some which are admittedly extinct: others which are proved to be derived from Gurjara and other foreign tribes, while it omits many clans which are most influential at the present day, and some of those included in the list are now represented by scattered groups outside Rājputāna.]

2. Of his works I possess the most complete copy existing.

3. Presented to the Royal Asiatic Society.

4. Moghji, one of the most intelligent bards of the present day; but, heartbroken, he has now but the woes of his race to sing. Yet has he forgot them for a moment to rehearse the deeds of Parsanga, who sealed his fidelity by his death on the Ghaggar. Then the invisible mantle of Bhavani was wrapt around him; and with the birad (furor poeticus) flowing freely of their deeds of yore, their present degradation, time, and place were all forgot. But the time is fast approaching when he may sing with the Cambrian bard:

“Ye lost companions of my tuneful art,
Where are ye fled?”

5. One of two specimens shall be given in the proper place.

6. A prince of Bundi had married a Rajputni of the Malani tribe, a name now unknown: but a bard repeating the ‘gotracharya,’ it was discovered to have been about eight centuries before a ramification (sakha) of the Chauhan, to which the Hara of Bundi belonged—divorce and expiatory rites, with great unhappiness, were the consequences. What a contrast to the unhallowed doctrines of polyandry, as mentioned amongst the Pandavas, the Scythic nations, the inhabitants of Sirmor of the present day, and pertaining even to Britain in the days of Caesar!—“Uxores habent deni duodenique inter se communes,” says that accurate writer, speaking of the natives of this island; “et maximè fratres cum fratribus, parentesque cum liberis: sed si qui sint ex his nati, eorum habentur liberi, quo primum virgo quaeque deducta est.”

7. Aparam sakham, ‘of innumerable branches,’ is inscribed on an ancient tablet of the Guhilot race.

8. Got, khanp, denote a clan; its subdivisions have the patronymic terminating with the syllable ‘ot,’ ‘awat,’ ‘sot,’ in the use of which euphony alone is their guide: thus, Saktawat, ‘sons of Sakta’; Kurmasot, ‘of Kurma’; Mairawat, or mairot, mountaineers, ‘sons of the mountains.’ Such is the Greek Mainote, from maina, a mountain, in the ancient Albanian dialect, of eastern origin.

9. From agni (qu. ignis?) ‘fire,’ the sons of Vulcan, as the others of Sol and Luna, or Lunus, to change the sex of the parent of the Indu (moon) race.

10. Vansavali, Suryavansi Rajkuli Rana Chitor ka Dhani, Chhattis Kuli Sengar.—MSS. from the Rana’s library, entitled Khuman Raesa.

11. Always conjoined with Vairat—‘Vijayapur Vairatgarh.’ [Vairāt forty-one miles north of Jaipur city. The reference in the text is merely a bardic fable, there being no connexion between Vijaya and this place (ASR, ii. 249).]

12. A.D. 319. The inscription recording this, as well as others relating to Valabhi and this era, I discovered in Saurashtra, as well as the site of this ancient capital, occupying the position of ‘Byzantium’ in Ptolemy’s geography of India. They will be given in the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society. [The Valabhi agrees with the Gupta era (Smith, EHI, 20).]

13. Anandpur Ahar, or ‘Ahar the city of repose.’ By the tide of events, the family was destined to fix their last capital, Udaipur, near Ahar.

14. The middle of the eighth century.

15. [Or Maurya], a Pramara prince.

16. [For a different list, see Census Report, Rajputana, 1911, i. 256.]

17. The place where they found refuge was in the cluster of hills still called Yadu ka dang, ‘the Yadu hills’:—the Joudes of Rennell’s geography [see p. 75 above].

18. [Zabulistan, with its capital, Ghazni, in Afghanistan.]

19. The date assigned long prior to the Christian era, agrees with the Grecian, but the names and manners are Muhammadan.

20. Lodorwa Patan, whence they expelled an ancient race, was their capital before Jaisalmer. There is much to learn of these regions.

21. A.D. 1155.

22. [The capital of Sambos was Sindimana, perhaps the modern Sihwān (Smith, EHI, 101).]

23. [This is very doubtful.]

24. They have an infinitely better etymology for this, in being descendants of Jambuvati, one of Hari’s eight wives. [The origin of the term Jām is very doubtful: see Yule, Hobson-Jobson, s.v.]

25. The Suraseni of Vraj, the tract so named, thirty miles around Mathura.

26. Its chief, Rao Manohar Singh, was well known to me, and was, I may say, my friend. For years letters passed between us, and he had made for me a transcript of a valuable copy of the Mahabharata.

27. [Vigraha-rāja, known as Vīsaladeva, Bīsal Deo, in the middle of the twelfth century, is alleged to have conquered Delhi from a chief of the Tomara clan. That chief was a descendant of Ānangapāla, who, a century before, had built the Red Fort (Smith, EHI, 386).]

28. Several Mahratta chieftains deduce their origin from the Tuar race, as Ram Rao Phalkia, a very gallant leader of horse in Sindhia’s State.

29. [This is a pure myth (Smith, EHI, 385, 413).]

30. [For a fuller list, see Census Report, Rajputana, 1911, i. 255 f.]

31. From this I should be inclined to pronounce the Rathors descendants of a race (probably Scythic) professing the Buddhist faith, of which Gotama was the last great teacher, and disciple of the last Buddha Mahivira, in S. 477 (A.D. 533). [Buddhism and Jainism are, as usual, confused.]

32. Enigmatical—‘Clay formation by fire’ (agni).

33. [The Kuldevi, or family goddess, of the Rāthors in Nāgnaichiān, whose original title was Rājeswari or Ratheswari, her present name being taken from the village of Nāgāna in Pachbhadra; and she has a temple in the Jodhpur fort, with shrines under the nīm tree (Azadirachta Indica) which is held sacred in all Rathor settlements (Census Report, Marwar, 1891, ii. 25).]

34. Erroneously written and pronounced Kutchwaha.

35. The resemblance between the Kushite Ramesa of Ayodhya and the Rameses of Egypt is strong. Each was attended by his army of satyrs, Anubis and Cynocephalus, which last is a Greek misnomer, for the animal bearing this title is of the Simian family, as his images (in the Turin museum) disclose, and the brother of the faithful Hanuman. The comparison between the deities within the Indus (called Nilab, ‘blue waters’) and those of the Nile in Egypt, is a point well worth discussion. [These speculations are untenable.]

36. A name in compliment, probably, to the elder branch of their race, Lava.

37. [See a list in Census Report, Rajputana, 1911, i. 255.]

38. There is a captivating elegance thrown around the theogonies of Greece and Rome, which we fail to impart to the Hindu; though that elegant scholar, Sir William Jones, could make even Sanskrit literature fascinating; and that it merits the attempt intrinsically, we may infer from the charm it possesses to the learned chieftain of Rajasthan. That it is perfectly analogous to the Greek and Roman, we have but to translate the names to show. For instance:—

Solar.   Lunar.
Maricha (Lux) Atri.
Kasyapa (Uranus) Samudra (Oceanus).
Vaivaswata or Surya (Sol) Soma, or Ind (Luna; qu. Lunus?).
Vaivaswa Manu (Filius Solis) Brihaspati (Jupiter).
Ila (Terra) Budha (Mercurius).

39. [Hoernle (JRAS, 1905, p. 20) believes that the Parihāras were the only sept which claimed fire-origin before Chand (flor. A.D. 1191). But a legend of the kind was current in South India in the second century A.D. (IA, xxxiv. 263).]

40. Figuratively, ‘the serpent.’

41. To me it appears that there were four distinguished Buddhas or wise men, teachers of monotheism in India, which they brought from Central Asia, with their science and its written character, the arrow or nail-headed, which I have discovered wherever they have been,—in the deserts of Jaisalmer, in the heart of Rajasthan, and the shores of Saurashtra; which were their nurseries.

The first Budha is the parent of the Lunar race, A.C. 2250.
The second (twenty-second of the Jains), Nemnath, A.C. 1120.
The third (twenty-third     do.    ), Parsawanath, A.C. 650.
The fourth (twenty-fourth    do.    ), Mahivira, A.C. 533.

[The author confuses Budha, Mercury, with Buddha, the Teacher, and mixes up Buddhists with Jains.]

42. Achal, ‘immovable,’ eswara, ‘lord.’

43. It extended from the Indus almost to the Jumna, occupying all the sandy regions, Naukot, Arbuda or Abu, Dhat, Mandodri, Kheralu, Parkar, Lodorva, and Pugal.

44. See Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. i. p. 227. [Rāja Munja of Mālwa reigned A.D. 974-995. The famous Bhoja, his nephew, not his son, 1018-60 (Smith, EHI, 395).]

45. Which will be given in the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society.

46. S. 770, or A.D. 714.

47. “When the Pramar of Tilang took sanctuary with Har, to the thirty-six tribes he made gifts of land. To Kehar he gave Katehr, to Rae Pahar the coast of Sind, to the heroes of the shell the forest lands. Ram Pramar of Tilang, the Chakravartin lord of Ujjain, made the gift. He bestowed Delhi on the Tuars, and Patan on the Chawaras; Sambhar on the Chauhans, and Kanauj on the Kamdhuj; Mardes on the Parihar, Sorath on the Jadon, the Deccan on Jawala, and Cutch on the Charan” (Poems of Chand). [This is an invention of the courtly bard.]

48. The inscription gives S. 1100 (A.D. 1044) for the third Bhoj: and this date agrees with the period assigned to this prince in an ancient Chronogrammatic Catalogue of reigns embracing all the Princes of the name of Bhoj, which may therefore be considered authentic. This authority assigns S. 631 and 721 (or A.D. 575 and 665) to the first and second Bhoj.

49. Herbert has a curious story of Chitor being called Taxila; thence the story of the Ranas being sons of Porus. I have an inscription from a temple on the Chambal, within the ancient limits of Mewar, which mentions Takshasilanagara, ‘the stone fort of the Tak,’ but I cannot apply it. The city of Toda (Tonk, or properly Tanka) is called in the Chauhan chronicles, Takatpur. [Takshasila, the Taxila of the Greeks, the name meaning ‘the hewn rock,’ or more probably, ‘the rock of Taksha,’ the Nāga king, is the modern Shāhderi in the Rāwalpindi District, Panjāb (IGI, xxii. 200 f.).]

50. Of the Sodha tribe, a grand division of the Pramaras, and who held all the desert regions in remote times. Their subdivisions, Umra and Sumra, gave the names to Umarkot and Umrasumra, in which was the insular Bakhar, on the Indus: so that we do not misapply etymology, when we say in Sodha we have the Sogdoi of Alexander.

52. See Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. i. p. 133, ‘Comments on a Sanskrit Inscription.’

53. Asura-Daitya, which Titans were either the aboriginal Bhils or the Scythic hordes.

54. I have visited this classic spot in Hindu mythology. An image of Adipal (the ‘first-created’), in marble, still adorns its embankment, and is a piece of very fine sculpture. It was too sacred a relic to remove.

55. ‘Portal or door (dwar) of the earth’; contracted to Prithihara and Parihara.

56. ‘The first striker.’

57. [In the Hāra version of the legend the presiding priest is Visvāmitra.]

58. Chatur; anga, ‘body’ [chaturbāhu].

59. Asa, ‘hope,’ purna, to ‘fulfil’; whence the tutelary goddess of the Chauhan race, Asapurna.

60. The goddess of energy (Sakti).

61. [Cunningham points out that in the original story only the Chauhān was created from the fire-pit, the reference to other clans being a later addition (ASR, ii. 255).]

62. Born in S. 1215, or A.D. 1159. [Anhala or Agnipāla is here the head of the Chauhān line; but a different list appears in the Hammīra Mahākāvya of Nayachhandra Sūri (IA, viii. 55 ff.).]

63. [Ajmer is commonly said to have been founded by Rāja Aja, A.D. 145. It was founded by Ajayadeva Chauhān about A.D. 1100 (IA, xxv. 162 f.).]

64. A name derived from the goddess Sakambhari, the tutelary divinity of the tribes, whose statue is in the middle of the lake.

65. Dharma Dhiraj, father of Bisaladeva, must have been the defender on this occasion.

66. [Muhammad bin Kāsim seems to have marched along the Indus valley, not in the direction of Ajmer (Malik Muhammad Din, Bahawalpur Gazetteer, i. 28).]

67. [This is doubtful. Maudūd seems to have not come further south than Siālkot (Al Badaoni, Muntakhabu-t-tawārīkh, i. 49; Elliot-Dowson ii. 273, iv. 139 f., 199 f., v. 160 f.).]

68. [The author has barely noticed the Khīchis; for an account of them see ASR, ii. 249 ff.]

69. About Fatehpur Jhunjhunu.

70. [For a different list see Rajputana Census Report, 1911, i. 255.]

71. [The Chalukya is a Gurjara tribe, the name being the Sanskritized form of the old dynastic title, Chalkya, of the Deccan dynasty (A.D. 552-973); and of this Solanki is a dialectical variant (IA, xi. 24; BG, i. Part i. 156, Part ii. 336).]

72. Solanki Gotracharya is thus: “Madhwani Sakha—Bharadwaja Gotra—Garh Lohkot nikas—Sarasvati Nadi (river)—Sama Veda—Kapaliswar Deva—Karduman Rikheswar—Tin Parwar Zunar (zone of three threads)—Keonj Devi—Mahipal Putra (one of the Penates).” [Lohkot is Lohara in Kashmīr (Stein, Rājatarangini, i. Introd. 108, ii. 293 ff.).]

73. Called Malkhani, being the sons of Mal Khan, the first apostate from his faith to Islamism. Whether these branches of the Solankis were compelled to quit their religion, or did it voluntarily, we know not.

74. Near Bombay. [In Thana District, not Malabar coast.]

75. Son of Jai Singh Solanki, the emigrant prince of Kalyan, who married the daughter of Bhojraj. These particulars are taken from a valuable little geographical and historical treatise, incomplete and without title. [Mūlarāja Chaulukya, A.D. 961-96, was son of Bhūbhata: Chāmunda, A.D. 997-1010; it was in the reign of Bhīma I. (1022-64) that Mahmūd’s invasion in A.D. 1024 occurred (BG, i. Part i. 156 ff. 164).]

76. Called Chamund by Muhammadan historians.

77. [Ferishta i. 61.]

78. He ruled from S. 1150 to 1201 [A.D. 1094-1143]. It was his court that was visited by El Edrisi, commonly called the Nubian geographer, who particularly describes this prince as following the tenets of Buddha. [He was probably not a Jain (BG, i. Part i. 179).]

79. [The Gujarāt account of the campaign is different (BG, i. Part i. 184 f.).]

80. [Kumārapāla made many benefactions to the Jains (Ibid. i. Part i. 190 f.).]

81. [Ajayapāla succeeded Kumārapāla. Bhima II. (A.D. 1179-1242), called Bholo, ‘the simpleton,’ was the last of the Chaulukya dynasty, which was succeeded by that of the Vāghelas (1219-1304). Vīsaladeva reigned A.D. 1243-61. See a full account, Ibid. 194 ff.]

82. Satranjaya. [IGI, xix. 361 ff.]

83. In 1822 I made a journey to explore the remains of antiquity in Saurashtra. I discovered a ruined suburb of the ancient Patan still bearing the name of Anhilwara, the Nahrwara, which D’Anville had “fort à cœur de retrouver.” I meditate a separate account of this kingdom, and the dynasties which governed it.

84. [Zafar Khān, son of Sahāran of the Tānk tribe of Rājputs, embraced Islam, and became viceroy of Gujarāt. According to Ferishta, he threw off his allegiance to Delhi in 1396, or rather maintained a nominal allegiance till 1403. Ahmad was grandson, not son, of Muzaffar. (Ferishta iv. 2 f.; Bayley, Dynasties of Gujarat, 67 ff.; BG, i. Part i. 232 f.).]

85. The name of this subdivision is from Bagh Rao, the son of Siddharāja; though the bards have another tradition for its origin. [They take their name from the village Vaghela near Anhilwāra (BG, i. Part i. 198).]

86. I knew this chieftain well, and a very good specimen he is of the race. He is in possession of the famous war-shell of Jai Singh, which is an heirloom.

87. Famous robbers in the deserts, known as the Malduts.

88. Celebrated in traditional history.

89. Desperate robbers. I saw this place fired and levelled in 1807, when the noted Karim Pindari was made prisoner by Sindhia. It afterwards cost some British blood in 1817.

90. [For another list see Census Report, Rajputana, 1911, i. 256.]

91. Though now desolate, the walls of this fortress attest its antiquity, and it is a work that could not be undertaken in this degenerate age. The remains of it bring to mind those of Volterra or Cortona, and other ancient cities of Tuscany: enormous squared masses of stone without any cement. [For a full account of Mandor, see Erskine iii. A. 196 ff.]

92. This was in the thirteenth century [A.D. 1381], when Mandor was captured, and its prince slain, by the Rawal of Chitor.

93. [Six sub-clans are named in Census Report, Rajputana, 1911, i. 255.]

94. [They have been supposed to be a branch of the Pramārs, but they are certainly of Gurjara origin (IA, iv. 145 f.; BG, ix. Part i. 124, 488 f.; i. Part i. 149 ff.). According to Wilberforce-Bell, the word Chaura in Gujarāt means ‘robber’ (History of Kathiawad, 51).]

95. The Σύροι of the Greek writers on Bactria, the boundary of the Bactrian kingdom under Apollodotus. On this see the paper on Grecian medals in the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, vol. i.

96. Many of the inhabitants of the south and west of India cannot pronounce the ch, and invariably substitute the s. Thus the noted Pindari leader Chitu was always called Situ by the Deccanis. Again, with many of the tribes of the desert, the s is alike a stumbling-block, which causes many singular mistakes, when Jaisalmer, the ‘hill of Jaisal,’ becomes Jahlmer, ‘the hill of fools.’

97. [The Balhara of Arab travellers of the tenth century were the Rashtrakūta dynasty of Mālkhed, Balhara being a corruption of Vallabharāja, Vallabha being the royal title (BG, i. Part ii. 209).]

98. [Vanarāja reigned from A.D. 765 to 780, and the dynasty is said to have lasted 196 years, but the evidence is still incomplete. The name of Bhojrāj does not appear in the most recent lists (BG, i. Part i. 152 ff.).]

99. Rélations anciennes des Voyageurs, par Renaudot.

100. [The true form of this puzzling term seems to be Dābshalīm, whose story is told in Elliot-Dowson (ii. 500 ff., iv. 183). Much of the account is mere tradition, but it has been plausibly suggested that when Bhīma I., the Chaulukya king of Anhilwāra was defeated by Mahmūd of Ghazni in A.D. 1024, the latter may have appointed Durlabha, uncle of Bhīma, to keep order in Gujarāt, and that the two Dābshalīms may be identified with Durlabha and his son (BG, i. Part i. 168). Also see Ferishta i. 76; Bayley, Muhammadan Dynasties of Gujarāt, 32 ff.]

101. Abulghazi [Hist. of the Turks, Moguls, and Tartars, 1730, i. 5 f.] says, when Noah left the ark he divided the earth amongst his three sons: Shem had Iran: Japhet, the country of ‘Kuttup Shamach,’ the name of the regions between the Caspian Sea and India. There he lived two hundred and fifty years. He left eight sons, of whom Turk was the elder and the seventh Camari, supposed the Gomer of Scripture. Turk had four sons; the eldest of whom was Taunak, the fourth from whom was Mogul, a corruption of Mongol, signifying sad, whose successors made the Jaxartes their winter abode. [The word means ‘brave’ (Howorth, Hist. of the Mongols, i. 27).] Under his reign no trace of the true religion remained: idolatry reigned everywhere. Aghuz Khan succeeded. The ancient Cimbri, who went west with Odin’s horde of Jats, Chattis, and Su, were probably the tribes descended from Camari, the son of Turk.

102. Tacash continued to be a proper name with the great Khans of Khārizm (Chorasmia) until they adopted the faith of Muhammad. The father of Jalal, the foe of Jenghiz Khan, was named Tacash. Tashkent on the Jaxartes, the capital of Turkistan, may be derived from the name of the race. Bayer says, “Tocharistan was the region of the Tochari, who were the ancient Τώχαροι (Tochari), or Τάχαροι (Tacharoi).” Ammianus Marcellinus says, “many nations obey the Bactrians, whom the Tochari surpass” (Hist. Reg. Bact. p. 7).

103. This singular race, the Tajiks, are repeatedly mentioned by Mr. Elphinstone in his admirable account of the kingdom of Kabul. They are also particularly noticed as monopolising the commercial transactions of the kingdom of Bokhara, in that interesting work, Voyage d’Orenbourg à Bokhara, the map accompanying which, for the first time, lays down authentically the sources and course of the Oxus and Jaxartes. [The term Tājik means the settled population, as opposed to the Turks or tent-dwellers. It is the same word as Tāzi, ‘Arab,’ still surviving in the name of the Persian greyhound, which was apparently introduced by the Arabs. Sykes (Hist. of Persia, ii. 153, note) and Skrine-Ross (The Heart of Asia, 3, 364 note) state that the Tājiks represent the Iranian branch of the Aryans.]

104. The Mahabharata describes this warfare against the snakes literally: of which, in one attack, he seized and made a burnt-offering (hom) of twenty thousand. It is surprising that the Hindu will accept these things literally. It might be said he had but a choice of difficulties, and that it would be as impossible for any human being to make the barbarous sacrifice of twenty thousand of his species, as it would be difficult to find twenty thousand snakes for the purpose. The author’s knowledge of what barbarity will inflict leaves the fact of the human sacrifice, though not perhaps to this extent, not even improbable. In 1811 his duties called him to a survey amidst the ravines of the Chambal, the tract called Gujargarh, a district inhabited by the Gujar tribe. Turbulent and independent, like the sons of Esau, their hand against every man and every man’s hand against them, their nominal prince, Surajmall, the Jāt chief of Bharatpur, pursued exactly the same plan towards the population of these villages, whom they captured in a night attack, that Janamejaya did to the Takshaks: he threw them into pits with combustibles, and actually thus consumed them! This occurred not three-quarters of a century ago.

105. Arrian says that his name was Omphis [Āmbhi], and that his father dying at this time, he did homage to Alexander, who invested him with the title and estates of his father Taxiles. Hence, perhaps (from Tak), the name of the Indus, Attak; [?] not Atak, or ‘forbidden,’ according to modern signification, and which has only been given since the Muhammadan religion for a time made it the boundary between the two faiths. [All these speculations are valueless.]

106. In Bihar, during the reign of Pradyota, the successor of Ripunjaya. Parsva’s symbol is the serpent of Takshak. His doctrines spread to the remotest parts of India, and the princes of Valabhipura of Mandor and Anhilwara all held to the tenets of Buddha. [As usual, Jains are confounded with Buddhists. There is no reason to believe that the Nāgas, a serpent-worshipping tribe, were not indigenous in India.]

107. This is the celebrated fortress in Khandesh, now in the possession of the British.

108. In the list of the wounded at the battle of Kanauj he is mentioned by name, as “Chatto the Tak.”

109. He reigned from A.D. 1324 to 1351.

110. ‘The victorious’ [see p. 118 above].

111. The Mirātu-l-Sikandari gives the ancestry of the apostate for twenty-three generations; the last of whom was Sesh, the same which introduced the Nagvansa, seven centuries before the Christian era, into India. The author of the work gives the origin of the name of Tak, or Tank, from tarka, ‘expulsion,’ from his caste, which he styles Khatri, evincing his ignorance of this ancient race.

112. [Though apparently there is no legal connubium between Jāts and Rājputs, the two tribes are closely connected, and it has been suggested that both had their origin in invaders from Central Asia, the leaders becoming Rājputs, the lower orders Jāt peasants. The author, at the close of Vol. II., gives an inscription recording the marriage of a Jāt with a Yādava princess.]

113. “The superiority of the Chinese over the Turks caused the great Khan to turn his arms against the Nomadic Getae of Mawaru-l-nahr (Transoxiana), descended from the Yueh-chi, and bred on the Jihun or Oxus, whence they had extended themselves along the Indus and even Ganges, and are there yet found. These Getae had embraced the religion of Fo” (Hist. Gén. des Huns, tom. i. p. 375).

114. "To my foe, salutation! This foe how shall I describe? Of the race of Jat Kathida, whose ancestor, the warrior Takshak, formed the garland on the neck of Mahadeva." Though this is a figurative allusion to the snake necklace of the father of creation, yet it evidently pointed to the Jat’s descent from the Takshak. But enough has been said elsewhere of the snake race, the parent of the Scythic tribes, which the divine Milton seems to have taken from Diodorus’s account of the mother of the Scythac:

“Woman to the waist, and fair;
But ended foul in many a scaly fold!”
Paradise Lost, Book ii. 650 f.

Whether the Jat Kathida is the Jat or Getae of Cathay (da being the mark of the genitive case) we will leave to conjecture [?]. [Ney Elias (History of the Moghuls of Central Asia, 75) suggests that the theory of the connexion between Jāts and Getae was largely based on an error regarding the term jatah, ‘rascal,’ applied as a mark of reproach to the Moguls by the Chagatai.]

115. This place existed in the twelfth century as a capital; since an inscription of Kamarpal, prince of Anhilwara, declares that this monarch carried his conquests “even to Salpur.” There is Sialkot in Rennell’s geography, and Wilford mentions “Sangala, a famous city in ruins, sixty miles west by north of Lahore, situated in a forest, and said to be built by Puru.”Puru.”

116. At this time (A.D. 449) the Jut brothers, Hengist and Horsa, led a colony from Jutland and founded the kingdom of Kent (qu. Kantha, ‘a coast,’ in Sanskrit, as in Gothic Konta?). The laws they there introduced, more especially the still prevailing one of gavelkind, where all the sons share equally, except the youngest who has a double portion, are purely Scythic, and brought by the original Goth from the Jaxartes. Alaric had finished his career, and Theodoric and Genseric (ric, ‘king,’ in Sanskrit [?]) were carrying their arms into Spain and Africa. [These speculations are valueless.]

117. Why should these proselytes, if originally Yadu, assume the name of Jat or Jāt? It must be either that the Yadus were themselves the Scythic Yuti or Yueh-chi, or that the branches intermarried with the Jats, and consequently became degraded as Yadus, and the mixed issue bore the name of the mother.

118. The Jadu ka Dang, ‘or hills of Yadu,’ mentioned in the sketch of this race as one of their intermediate points of halt when they were driven from India after the Mahabharata.

119. Near the spot where Alexander built his fleet, which navigated to Babylon thirteen hundred years before.

120. Translated by Dow, ‘an island.’ Sind Sagar is one of the Duabas of the Panjab. I have compared Dow’s translation of the earlier portion of the history of Ferishta with the original, and it is infinitely more faithful than the world gives him credit for. His errors are most considerable in numerals and in weights and measures; and it is owing to this that he has made the captured wealth of India appear so incredible.

121. Ferishta vol. i. [The translation in the text is an abstract of that of Dow (i. 72). That of Briggs (i. 81 f.) is more accurate. In neither version is there any mention of the Sind Sāgar. Rose (Glossary, ii. 359) discredits the account of this naval engagement, and expresses a doubt whether the Jats at this period occupied Jūd or the Salt Ranges.]

122. [By the ‘Getae’ of the text the author apparently means Mongols.]

123. Abulghazi vol. ii. chap. 16. After his battle with Sultan Mahmud of Delhi, Timur gave orders, to use the word of his historian, “for the slaughter of a hundred thousand infidel slaves. The great mosque was fired, and the souls of the infidels were sent to the abyss of hell. Towers were erected of their heads, and their bodies were thrown as food to the beasts and birds of prey. At Mairta the infidel Guebres were flayed alive.” This was by order of Tamerlane, to whom the dramatic historians of Europe assign every great and good quality!

124. [The first Hun invasion occurred in 455 A.D., and about 500 they overthrew the Gupta Empire (Smith, EHI, 309, 316).]

125. Asiatic Researches, vol. i. p. 136.

126. Hist. Gén. des Huns, tom. iii. p. 238.

127. [The name Tatar is derived from that of the Ta-ta Mongols (EB, xxvi. 448).]

128. Précis de Géographie universelle. Malte-Brun traces a connexion between the Hungarians and the Scandinavians, from similarity of language: “A ces siècles primitifs où les Huns, les Goths, les Jotes, les Ases, et bien d’autres peuples étaient réunis autour des anciens autels d’Odin.” Several of the words which he affords us are Sanskrit in origin. Vol. vi. p. 370.

129. Eclaircissemens Géographiques sur la Carte de l’Inde, p. 43 [Smith, EHI, 315 ff.].

130. An orthography which more assimilates with the Hindu pronunciation of the name Huon, or Oun, than Hun.

131. The same bard says that there are three or four houses of these Huns at Trisawi, three coss from Baroda; and the Khichi bard, Moghji, says their traditions record the existence of many powerful Hun princes in India. [On the Huns in W. India see BG, i. Part i. 122 ff. The difficulty in the text is now removed by the proof that many of them became Rājputs.]

132. The late Captain Macmurdo, whose death was a loss to the service and to literature, gives an animated account of the habits of the Kathi. His opinions coincide entirely with my own regarding this race. See vol. i. p. 270, Trans. Soc. of Bombay. [For accounts of the Kāthi see BG, ix. Part i. 252 ff., viii. 122 ff. Under the Mahrattas Kāthiāwār, the name of the Kāthi tract, was extended to the whole of Saurāshtra (Wilberforce-Bell, Hist. of Kathiawad, 132 f.).]

133. It is needless to particularise them here. In the poems of Chand, some books of which I have translated and purpose giving to the public, the important part the Kathi had assigned to them will appear.

134. [In the form of a symbol like a spider, the rays forming the legs (BG, ix. Part i. 257).]

135. It is the Rajput of Kathiawar, not of Rajasthan, to whom Captain Macmurdo alludes.

136. Of their personal appearance, and the blue eye indicative of their Gothic or Getic origin, the author will have occasion to speak more particularly in his personal narrative.

137. ‘Princes of Tatta and Multan.’

138. [The origin of the Bālas is not certain: they were probably Gurjaras (Ibid. 495 f.).]

139. [Chotila in Kāthiāwār (BG, viii. 407).]

140. His son, Madho Singh, the present administrator, is the offspring of the celebrated Zalim and a Ranawat chieftain’s daughter, which has entitled his (Madho Singh’s) issue to marry far above their scale in rank. So much does superiority of blood rise above all worldly considerations with a Rajput, that although Zalim Singh held the reins of the richest and best ordered State of Rajasthan, he deemed his family honoured by his obtaining to wife for his grandson the daughter of a Kachhwaha minor chieftain.

141. [Ghumli in the Barda hills, about 40 miles east of Porbandar (Wilberforce-Bell, Hist. of Kathiawad, 49 f.; BG, viii. 440).]

142. [The terms Kamār and Kamāri seem to have disappeared.]

143. A compound word from goh, ‘strength’; Ila, ‘the earth.’ [This is out of the question: cf. Guhilot.]

144. [For Kher, ‘the cradle of the Rathors,’ see Erskine iii. A. 199.]

145. [For the island of Piram in Ahmadabad district see IGI, xx. 149 f., and for the tradition Wilberforce-Bell, op. cit. 71 f.; BG, iv. 348, viii. 114.]

146. [The ancient Nandapadra in Rājpīpla, Bombay (IGI, xviii. 361; BG, i. Part ii. 314).]

147. Sarwaiya Khatri tain sar.

148. Su, as before observed, is a distinctive prefix, meaning ‘excellent.’ [The derivation is impossible. Lāta was S. Gujarāt.]

149. [For the Dābhi tribe, see IA, iii. 69 ff., 193 f.; Forbes, Rāsmāla, 237 f.]

150. In 1807 the author passed through this territory, in a solitary ramble to explore these parts, then little known; and though but a young Sub., was courteously received and entertained both at Baroda and Sheopur. In 1809 he again entered the country under very different circumstances, in the suite of the British envoy with Sindhia’s court, and had the grief to witness the operations against Sheopur, and its fall, unable to aid his friends. The Gaur prince had laid aside the martial virtues. He became a zealot in the worship of Vishnu, left off animal food, was continually dancing before the image of the god, and was far more conversant in the mystical poetry of Krishna and his beloved Radha than in the martial song of the bard. His name was Radhikadas, ‘the slave of Radha’; and, as far as he is personally concerned, we might cease to lament that he was the last of his race.

151. [Only two sub-clans are named in Rajputana Census Report, 1911, i. 255. Gaur Rājputs are numerous in the United Provinces, and the Gaur Brāhmans of Jaipur represent a foreign tribe merged into Hindu society (IA, xi. 22). They can have no connexion with the Pāla or Sena dynasty of Bengal (Smith, EHI, 397 ff.).]

152. See Transactions of Royal Asiatic Society, vol. i. p. 133. [They are found in the Upper Ganges-Jumna Duab, and are Musalmāns.]

153. Benares.

154. [For the Gaharwār, see Crooke, Tribes and Castes N.W.P. and Oudh, ii. 32 ff., and for the Gaharwār dynasty of Kanauj (Smith, EHI, 384 ff.).]

155. Slain at the instigation of Prince Salim, son of Akbar, afterwards the emperor Jahangir. See this incident stated in the emperor’s own Commentaries [Āīn, i. Introd. xxiv. ff.].

156. [For Subhkaran Singh, see Manucci (i. 270, 272). Dalpat was one of his patients (Ibid. ii. 298).]

157. On the death of Mahadaji Sindhia, the females of his family, in apprehension of his successor (Daulat Rao), sought refuge and protection with the Raja of Datia. An army was sent to demand their surrender, and hostility was proclaimed as the consequence of refusal. This brave man would not even await the attack, but at the head of a devoted band of three hundred horse, with their lances, carried destruction amongst their assailants, neither giving nor receiving quarter: and thus he fell in defence of the laws of sanctuary and honour. Even when grievously wounded, he would accept no aid, and refused to leave the field, but disdaining all compromise awaited his fate. The author has passed upon the spot where this gallant deed was performed; and from his son, the present Raja, had the annals of his house.

158. Amber or Jaipur, as well as Macheri, were comprehended in Dhundhar, the ancient geographical designation [said to be derived from an ancient sacrificial mound (dhūndh), on the western frontier of the State, or from a demon-king, Dhūndhu (IGI, xiii. 385).]

159. The ruins of Rajor are about fifteen miles west of Rajgarh. A person sent there by the author reported the existence of inscriptions in the temple of Nilkantha Mahadeo.

160. [They are numerous in the United Provinces, but their origin and traditions are uncertain.]

161. [See Crooke, Tribes and Castes N.W.P. and Oudh, iv. 263 ff.]

162. [They are almost certainly of mixed origin (Crooke, op. cit. i. 118 ff.).]

163. [They lived east of the Caspian Sea, and can have no connexion with the Indian Dahia (Sykes, Hist. of Persia, i. 330).]

164. [Their origin is very uncertain; in Bahāwalpur they now repudiate Rājput descent, and claim to be descendants of the Prophet (Rose, Glossary, ii. 410 ff.; Malik Muhammad Din, Gazetteer Bahawalpur, i. 23, 133 ff.).]

165. [The Malloi (Skt. Mālava) occupied the present Montgomery District, and parts of Jhang. They had no connexion with Multan (Skt. Mūlasthānapura), (Smith, EHI, 96; McCrindle, Alexander, 350 ff.).]

166. [They are a mixed race, early settlers in Alwar (Crooke, Tribes and Castes N.W.P. and Oudh, iv. 86 ff.).]

167. The final syllable ka is a mark of the genitive case [?].

168. ‘Chief of a country,’ from des, ‘country,’ and pati, ‘chief.’ (Qu. δεσπότης?)

169. [Āīn, ii. 344 f. Dāhir was killed in action: the real tragedy was the death of Muhammad bin Kāsim in consequence of a false accusation (Elliot-Dowson i. 292).]

170. [Elliot (Supplemental Glossary, 262) writes the name Dhāhima, and says they are found in Meerut District.]

171. Chand, the bard, thus describes Bayana, and the marriage of Prithwiraja with the Dahimi: “On the summit of the hills of Druinadahar, whose awful load oppressed the head of Sheshnag, was placed the castle of Bayana, resembling Kailas. The Dahima had three sons and two fair daughters: may his name be perpetuated throughout this iron age! One daughter was married to the Lord of Mewat, the other to the Chauhan. With her he gave in dower eight beauteous damsels and sixty-three female slaves, one hundred chosen horses of the breed of Irak, two elephants, and ten shields, a pallet of silver for the bride, one hundred wooden images, one hundred chariots, and one thousand pieces of gold.” The bard, on taking leave, says: “the Dahima lavished his gold, and filled his coffers with the praises of mankind. The Dahimi produced a jewel, a gem without price, the Prince Rainsi.”

The author here gives a fragment of the ruins of Bayana, the ancient abode of the Dahima.

172. [Many names in the following list are not capable of identification, and their correct form is uncertain. Those of the mercantile tribes are largely groups confined to Rājputāna.]


Having thus taken a review of the tribes which at various times inhabited and still inhabit Hindustan, the subject must be concluded.

In so extensive a field it was impossible to introduce all that could have been advanced on the distinctive marks in religion and manners; but this deficiency will be remedied in the annals of the most prominent races yet ruling, by which we shall prevent repetition.

The same religion governing the institutions of all these tribes operates to counteract that dissimilarity in manners, which would naturally be expected amidst so great a variety, from situation or climate; although such causes do produce a material difference in external habit. Cross but the elevated range which divides upland Mewar from the low sandy region of Marwar, and the difference of costume and manners will strike the most casual observer. But these changes are only exterior and personal; the mental character is less changed, because the same creed, the same religion (the principal former and reformer of manners), guides them all.

Distinctions between the Rājput States.

—We have the same mythology, the same theogony, the same festivals, though commemorated with peculiar distinctions. There are niceties in thought, as in dress, which if possible to communicate would excite but little interest; when the tie of a turban and the fold of a robe are, like Masonic symbols, distinguishing badges of tribes. But it is in their domestic circle that manners are best seen [122]; where restraint is thrown aside, and no authority controls the freedom of expression. But does the European seek access to this sanctum of nationality ere he gives his debtor and creditor account of character, his balanced catalogue of virtues and vices? He may, however, with the Rajput, whose independence of mind places him above restraint, and whose hospitality 146and love of character will always afford free communication to those who respect his opinions and his prejudices, and who are devoid of that overweening opinion of self, which imagines that nothing can be learned from such friendly intercourse. The personal dissimilarity accordingly arises from locale; the mental similarity results from a grand fixed principle, which, whatever its intrinsic moral effect, whatever its incompatibility with the elevated notions we entertain, has preserved to these races, as nations, the enjoyment of their ancient habits to this distant period. May our boasted superiority in all that exalts man above his fellows, ensure to our Eastern empire like duration; and may these notions of our own peculiarly favoured destiny operate to prevent us from laying prostrate, in our periodical ambitious visitations, these the most ancient relics of civilization on the face of the earth. For the dread of their amalgamation with our empire will prevail, though such a result would be opposed not only to their happiness, but to our own stability.

Alliances with the British.

—With our present system of alliances, so pregnant with evil from their origin, this fatal consequence (far from desired by the legislative authorities at home) must inevitably ensue. If the wit of man had been taxed to devise a series of treaties with a view to an ultimate rupture, these would be entitled to applause as specimens of diplomacy.

There is a perpetual variation between the spirit and the letter of every treaty; and while the internal independence of each State is the groundwork, it is frittered away and nullified by successive stipulations, and these positive and negative qualities continue mutually repelling each other, until it is apparent that independence cannot exist under such conditions. Where discipline is lax, as with these feudal associations, and where each subordinate vassal is master of his own retainers, the article of military contingents alone would prove a source of contention. By leading to interference with each individual chieftain, it would render such aid worse than useless. But this is a minor consideration to the tributary pecuniary stipulation which, unsettled and undetermined, leaves a door open to a [123] system of espionage into their revenue accounts—a system not only disgusting, but contrary to treaty, which leaves ‘internal administration’ sacred. These openings to dispute, and the general laxity of their governments coming in contact with our regular system, present 147dangerous handles for ambition: and who so blind as not to know that ambition to be distinguished must influence every viceregent in the East? While deeds in arms and acquisition of territory outweigh the meek éclat of civil virtue, the periodical visitations to these kingdoms will ever be like the comet’s,

Foreboding change to princes.

Our position in the East has been, and continues to be, one in which conquest forces herself upon us. We have yet the power, however late, to halt, and not anticipate her further orders to march. A contest for a mud-bank has carried our arms to the Aurea Chersonesus, the limit of Ptolemy’s geography. With the Indus on the left, the Brahmaputra to the right, the Himalayan barrier towering like a giant to guard the Tatarian ascent, the ocean and our ships at our back, such is our colossal attitude! But if misdirected ambition halts not at the Brahmaputra, but plunges in to gather laurels from the teak forest of Arakan, what surety have we for these Hindu States placed by treaty within the grasp of our control?

But the hope is cherished, that the same generosity which formed those ties that snatched the Rajputs from degradation and impending destruction, will maintain the pledge given in the fever of success, “that their independence should be sacred”; that it will palliate faults we may not overlook, and perpetuate this oasis of ancient rule, in the desert of destructive revolution, of races whose virtues are their own, and whose vices are the grafts of tyranny, conquest, and religious intolerance.[1]

To make them known is one step to obtain for them, at least, the boon of sympathy; for with the ephemeral power of our governors and the agents of government, is it to be expected that the rod will more softly fall when ignorance of their history prevails, and no kind association springs from a knowledge of their martial achievements and yet proud bearing, their generosity, courtesy, and extended hospitality? These are Rajput virtues yet extant amidst all their revolutions, and which have survived ages of Muhammadan bigotry and power; though to the honour of the virtuous and magnanimous few among the crowned heads 148of eight centuries, both Tatar and Mogul, there were some great souls [124]; men of high worth, who appeared at intervals to redeem the oppression of a whole preceding dynasty.

The high ground we assumed, and the lofty sentiments with which we introduced ourselves amongst the Rajputs, arrogating motives of purity, of disinterested benevolence, scarcely belonging to humanity, and to which their sacred writings alone yielded a parallel, gave such exalted notions of our right of exerting the attributes of divinity, justice, and mercy, that they expected little less than almighty wisdom in our acts; but circumstances have throughout occurred in each individual State, to show we were mere mortals, and that the poet’s moral:

’Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,

was true in politics. Sorrow and distrust were the consequences—anger succeeded; but the sense of obligation is still too powerful to operate a stronger and less generous sentiment. These errors may yet be redeemed, and our Rajput allies yet be retained as useful friends: though they can only be so while in the enjoyment of perfect internal independence, and their ancient institutions.

“No political institution can endure,” observes the eloquent historian of the Middle Ages, “which does not rivet itself to the heart of men by ancient prejudices or acknowledged merit. The feudal compact had much of this character. In fulfilling the obligations of mutual assistance and fidelity by military service, the energies of friendship were awakened, and the ties of moral sympathy superadded to those of positive compact.”

We shall throw out one of the assumed causes which give stability to political institutions; ‘acknowledged merit,’ which never belonged to the loose feudal compact of Rajwara; but the absence of this strengthens the necessary substitute, ‘ancient prejudices,’ which supply many defects.

Our anomalous and inconsistent interference in some cases, and our non-interference in others, operate alike to augment the dislocation induced by long predatory oppression in the various orders of society, instead of restoring that harmony and continuity which had previously existed. The great danger, nay, the inevitable consequence of perseverance in this line of conduct, will be their reduction to the same degradation with our other 149allies, and their ultimate incorporation with our already too extended dominion [125].

It may be contended, that the scope and tenor of these alliances were not altogether unfitted for the period when they were formed, and our circumscribed knowledge; but was it too late, when this knowledge was extended, to purify them from the dross which deteriorated the two grand principles of mutual benefit, on which all were grounded, viz. ‘perfect internal independence’ to them, and ‘acknowledged supremacy’ to the protecting power? It will be said, that even these corner-stones of the grand political fabric are far from possessing those durable qualities which the contracting parties define, but that, on the contrary, they are the Ormuzd and Ahrimanes, the good and evil principles of contention. But when we have superadded pecuniary engagements of indefinite extent, increasing in the ratio of their prosperity, and armed quotas or contingents of their troops, whose loose habits and discipline would ensure constant complaint, we may certainly take credit for having established a system which must compel that direct interference, which the broad principle of each treaty professes to check.

The inevitable consequence is the perpetuation of that denationalising principle, so well understood by the Mahrattas, ‘divide et impera.’ We are few; to use an Oriental metaphor, our agents must ‘use the eyes and ears of others.’ That mutual dependence, which would again have arisen, our interference will completely nullify. Princes will find they can oppress their chiefs, chiefs will find channels by which their sovereign’s commands may be rendered nugatory, and irresponsible ministers must have our support to raise these undefined tributary supplies; and unanimity, confidence, and all the sentiments of gratitude which they owe, and acknowledge to be our due, will gradually fade with the national degradation. That our alliances have this tendency cannot be disputed. By their very nature they transfer the respect of every class of subjects from their immediate sovereign to the paramount authority and its subordinate agents. Who will dare to urge that a government, which cannot support its internal rule without restriction, can be national? that without power unshackled and unrestrained by exterior council or espionage, it can maintain self-respect, the corner-stone of every virtue with States as with individuals? This first of feelings 150these treaties utterly annihilate. Can we suppose such denationalised allies are to be depended upon in emergencies? or, if allowed to retain a spark of their ancient moral inheritance, that it [126] will not be kindled into a flame against us when opportunity offers, instead of lighting up the powerful feeling of gratitude which yet exists towards us in these warlike communities?

Like us they were the natural foes of that predatory system which so long disturbed our power, and our preservation and theirs were alike consulted in its destruction. When we sought their alliance, we spoke in the captivating accents of philanthropy; we courted them to disunite from this Ahrimanes of political convulsion. The benevolent motives of the great mover of these alliances we dare not call in question, and his policy coincided with the soundest wisdom. But the treaties might have been revised, and the obnoxious parts which led to discord, abrogated, at the expense of a few paltry lacs of tribute and a portion of sovereign homage. It is not yet too late. True policy would enfranchise them altogether from our alliance; but till then let them not feel their shackles in the galling restraint on each internal operation. Remove that millstone to national prosperity, the poignant feeling that every increased bushel of corn raised in their long-deserted fields must send its tithe to the British granaries. Let the national mind recover its wonted elasticity, and they will again attain their former celebrity. We have the power to advance this greatness, and make it and its result our own; or, by a system unworthy of Britain, to retard and even quench it altogether.[2]

Never were their national characteristics so much endangered as in the seducing calm which followed the tempestuous agitations in which they had so long floated; doubtful, to use their own figurative expression, whether ‘the gift of our friendship, 151or our arms,’ were fraught with greater evil. The latter they could not withstand; though it must never be lost sight of, that, like ancient Rome when her glory was fading, we use ‘the arms of the barbarians’ to defend our conquests against them! Is the mind ever stationary? are virtue and high notions to be acquired from contact and example? Is there no mind above the level of £10 monthly pay in all the native legions of the three presidencies of India? no Odoacer, no Sivaji, [127] again to revive? Is the book of knowledge and of truth, which we hold up, only to teach them submission and perpetuate their weakness? Can we without fresh claims expect eternal gratitude, and must we not rationally look for reaction in some grand impulse, which, by furnishing a signal instance of the mutability of power, may afford a lesson for the benefit of posterity?

Is the mantle of protection, which we have thrown over these warlike races, likely to avert such a result? It might certainly, if imbued with all those philanthropic feelings for which we took credit, act with soporific influence, and extinguish the embers of international animosity. ‘The lion and the lamb were to drink from the same fountain’; they were led to expect the holy Satya Yug, when each man reposed under his own fig-tree, which neither strife nor envy dared approach.

When so many nations are called upon, in a period of great calamity and danger, to make over to a foreigner, their opposite in everything, their superior in most, the control of their forces in time of war, the adjudication of their disputes in time of peace, and a share in the fruits of their renovating prosperity, what must be the result; when each Rajput may hang up his lance in the hall, convert his sword to a ploughshare, and make a basket of his buckler? What but the prostration of every virtue? It commences with the basis of the Rajput’s—the martial virtues; extinguish these and they will soon cease to respect themselves. Sloth, low cunning and meanness will follow. What nation ever maintained its character that devolved on the stranger the power of protection! To be great, to be independent, its martial spirit must be cherished; happy if within the bounds of moderation. Led away by enthusiasm, the author experienced the danger of interference, when observing but one side of the picture—the brilliant lights which shone on their long days of darkness, not calculating the shade which would follow the sudden glare.

152On our cessation from every species of interference alone depends their independence or their amalgamation—a crisis fraught with danger to our overgrown rule.

Let Alexander’s speech to his veterans, tired of conquest and refusing to cross the Hyphasis, be applied, and let us not reckon too strongly on our empire of opinion: “Fame never represents matters truly as they are, but on the contrary magnifies everything. This is evident; for our own reputation and glory, though founded on solid truth, is yet more obliged to rumour than reality.”[3]

We may conclude with the Macedonian conqueror’s reasons for showing the [128] Persians and his other foreign allies so much favour: “The possession of what we got by the sword is not very durable, but the obligation of good offices is eternal. If we have a mind to keep Asia, and not simply pass through it, our clemency must extend to them also, and their fidelity will make our empire everlasting. As for ourselves, we have more than we know what to do with, and it must be an insatiable, avaricious temper which desires to continue to fill what already runs over.”[4] [129]

1. [The present relations of the States to the Government of India justify these expectations.]

2. If Lord Hastings’ philanthropy, which rejoiced in snatching these ancient States from the degradation of predatory warfare, expected that in four short years order should rise out of the chaos of a century, and “was prepared to visit with displeasure all symptoms of internal neglect, arising from supineness, indifference, or concealed ill-will”; if he signified that “government would take upon itself the task of restoring order,” and that “all changes” on this score “would be demanded and rigidly exacted”: in fine, that “such arrangements would be made as would deprive them of the power of longer abusing the spirit of liberal forbearance, the motives of which they were incapable of understanding or appreciating”; what have they to hope from those without his sympathies?

3. Quintus Curtius, lib. ix. [ii. 6].

4. Ibid. lib. viii. [viii. 27].




Feudalism in Rājasthān.

—It is more than doubtful whether any code of civil or criminal jurisprudence ever existed in any of these principalities; though it is certain that none is at this day discoverable in their archives. But there is a martial system peculiar to these Rajput States, so extensive in its operation as to embrace every object of society. This is so analogous to the ancient feudal system of Europe, that I have not hesitated to hazard a comparison between them, with reference to a period when the latter was yet imperfect. Long and attentive observation enables me to give this outline of a system, of which there exists little written evidence. Curiosity originally, and subsequently a sense of public duty (lest I might be a party to injustice), co-operated in inducing me to make myself fully acquainted with the minutiae of this traditionary theory of government; and incidents, apparently trivial in themselves, exposed parts of a widely-extended system, which, though now disjointed, still continue to regulate the actions of extensive communities, and lead to the inference, that at one period it must have attained a certain degree of perfection.

Many years have elapsed since I first entertained these opinions, long before any connexion existed between these States and the British Government; when their geography was little known to us, and their history still less so. At that period I frequently travelled amongst them for amusement, making these objects subservient thereto, and laying the result freely before my Government. 154I had [130] abundant sources of intelligence to guide me in forming my analogies; Montesquieu, Hume, Millar, Gibbon[1]: but I sought only general resemblances and lineaments similar to those before me. A more perfect, because more familiar picture, has since appeared by an author,[2] who has drawn aside the veil of mystery which covered the subject, owing to its being till then but imperfectly understood. I compared the features of Rajput society with the finished picture of this eloquent writer, and shall be satisfied with having substantiated the claim of these tribes to participation in a system, hitherto deemed to belong exclusively to Europe. I am aware of the danger of hypothesis, and shall advance nothing that I do not accompany by incontestable proofs.

The Tribal System.

—The leading features of government amongst semi-barbarous hordes or civilized independent tribes must have a considerable resemblance to each other. In the same stages of society, the wants of men must everywhere be similar, and will produce the analogies which are observed to regulate Tatar hordes or German tribes, Caledonian clans, the Rajput Kula (race), or Jareja Bhayyad (brotherhood). All the countries of Europe participated in the system we denominate feudal; and we can observe it, in various degrees of perfection or deterioration, from the mountains of Caucasus to the Indian Ocean. But it requires a persevering toil, and more discriminating judgement than I possess, to recover all these relics of civilization: yet though time, and still more oppression, have veiled the ancient institutions of Mewar, the mystery may be penetrated, and will discover parts of a system worthy of being rescued from oblivion.

Influence of Muhammadans and Mahrattas.

—Mahratta cunning, engrafted on Muhammadan intolerance, had greatly obscured these institutions. The nation itself was passing rapidly away: the remnant which was left had become a matter of calculation, and their records and their laws partook of this general decay. The nation may recover; the physical frame may be renewed; but the morale of the society must be recast. In this chaos a casual observer sees nothing to attract notice; the theory of government appears, without any of the dignity which now marks our regular system. Whatever does exist is attributed 155to fortuitous causes—to nothing systematic: no fixed principle is discerned, and none is admitted; it is deemed a mechanism without a plan. This opinion is hasty. Attention to distinctions, though often merely nominal [131], will aid us in discovering the outlines of a picture which must at some period have been more finished; when real power, unrestrained by foreign influence, upheld a system, the plan of which was original. It is in these remote regions, so little known to the Western world, and where original manners lie hidden under those of the conquerors, that we may search for the germs of the constitutions of European States.[3] A contempt for all that is Asiatic too often marks our countrymen in the East: though at one period on record the taunt might have been reversed.

In remarking the curious coincidence between the habits, notions, and governments of Europe in the Middle Ages, and those of Rajasthan, it is not absolutely necessary we should conclude that one system was borrowed from the other; each may, in truth, be said to have the patriarchal form for its basis. I have sometimes been inclined to agree with the definition of Gibbon, who styles the system of our ancestors the offspring of chance and barbarism. “Le système féodal, assemblage monstrueux de tant de parties que le tems et l’hazard ont réunies, nous offre un objet très compliqué: pour l’étudier il faut le décomposer.”[4] This I shall attempt.

The form, as before remarked, is truly patriarchal in these 156States, where the greater portion of the vassal chiefs, from the highest of the sixteen peers to the holders of a charsa[5] of land, claim affinity in blood to the sovereign.[6]

The natural seeds are implanted in every soil, but the tree did not gain [132] maturity except in a favoured aspect. The perfection of the system in England is due to the Normans, who brought it from Scandinavia, whither it was probably conveyed by Odin and the Sacasenae, or by anterior migrations, from Asia; which would coincide with Richardson’s hypothesis, who contends that it was introduced from Tatary. Although speculative reasoning forms no part of my plan, yet when I observe analogy on the subject in the customs of the ancient German tribes, the Franks or Gothic races, I shall venture to note them. Of one thing there is no doubt—knowledge must have accompanied the tide of migration from the east: and from higher Asia emerged in the Asi, the Chatti, and the Cimbric Lombard, who spread the system in Scandinavia, Friesland, and Italy.

Origin of Feuds.

—“It has been very common,” says the enlightened historian of the Feudal System in the Middle Ages, “to seek for the origin of feuds, or at least for analogies to them, in the history of various countries; but though it is of great importance to trace the similarity of customs in different parts of the world, we should guard against seeming analogies, which vanish away when they are closely observed. It is easy to find partial resemblances to the feudal system. The relation of patron and client in the republic of Rome has been deemed to resemble it, as well as the barbarians and veterans who held frontier lands on the tenure of defending them and the frontier; but they were 157bound not to an individual, but to the state. Such a resemblance of fiefs may be found in the Zamindars of Hindustan and the Timariots of Turkey. The clans of the Highlanders and Irish followed their chieftain into the field: but their tie was that of imagined kindred and birth, not the spontaneous compact of vassalage.”[7]

I give this at length to show, that if I still persist in deeming the Rajput system a pure relation of feuds, I have before my eyes the danger of seeming resemblances. But grants, deeds, charters, and traditions, copies of all of which will be found in the Appendix, will establish my opinions. I hope to prove that the tribes in the northern regions of Hindustan did possess the system, and that it was handed down, and still obtains, notwithstanding seven centuries of paramount sway of the Mogul and Pathan dynasties, altogether opposed to them except in this feature of government where there was an original similarity. In some of these States—those least affected by conquest—the system remained freer from innovation. It is, however, from Mewar chiefly that I shall deduce my examples, as its internal [133] rule was less influenced by foreign policy, even to the period at which the imperial power of Delhi was on the decline.

Evidence from Mewar.

—As in Europe, for a length of time, traditionary custom was the only regulator of the rights and tenures of this system, varying in each State, and not unfrequently (in its minor details) in the different provinces of one State, according to their mode of acquisition and the description of occupants when required. It is from such circumstances that the variety of tenure and customary law proceeds. To account for this variety, a knowledge of them is requisite; nor is it until every part of the system is developed that it can be fully understood. The most trifling cause is discovered to be the parent of some important result. If ever these were embodied into a code (and we are justified in assuming such to have been the case), the varied revolutions which have swept away almost all relics of their history were not likely to spare these. Mention is made of several princes of the house of Mewar who legislated for their country; but precedents for every occurring case lie scattered in formulas, grants, and traditionary sayings. The inscriptions still existing on stone would alone, if collected, form a body of 158laws sufficient for an infant community; and these were always first committed to writing, and registered ere the column was raised. The seven centuries of turmoil and disaster, during which these States were in continual strife with the foe, produced many princes of high intellect as well as valour. Sanga Rana, and his antagonist, Sultan Babur, were revived in their no less celebrated grandsons, the great Akbar and Rana Partap: the son of the latter, Amra, the foe of Jahangir, was a character of whom the proudest nation might be vain.

Evidence from Inscriptions.

—The pen has recorded, and tradition handed down, many isolated fragments of the genius of these Rajput princes, as statesmen and warriors, touching the political division, regulations of the aristocracy, and commercial and agricultural bodies. Sumptuary laws, even, which append to a feudal system, are to be traced in these inscriptions; the annulling of monopolies and exorbitant taxes; the regulation of transit duties; prohibition of profaning sacred days by labour; immunities, privileges, and charters to trades, corporations, and towns; such as would, in climes more favourable to liberty, have matured into a league, or obtained for these branches a voice in the councils of the State. My search for less perishable documents than parchment when I found the cabinet of the prince contained them not, was unceasing; but though the bigoted Muhammadan destroyed [134] most of the traces of civilization within his reach, perseverance was rewarded with a considerable number. They are at least matter of curiosity. They will evince that monopolies and restraints on commerce were well understood in Rajwara, though the doctrines of political economy never gained footing there. The setting up of these engraved tablets or pillars, called Seoras,[8] is of the highest antiquity. Every subject commences with invoking the sun and moon as witnesses, and concludes with a denunciation of the severest penalties on those who break the spirit of the imperishable bond. Tablets of an historical nature I have of twelve and fourteen hundred years’ antiquity, but of grants of land or privileges about one thousand years is the oldest. Time has destroyed many, but man more. They became more numerous during the last three centuries, when successful struggles against their foes produced new privileges, granted in order to recall the scattered 159inhabitants. Thus one contains an abolition of the monopoly of tobacco;[9] another, the remission of tax on printed cloths, with permission to the country manufacturers to sell their goods free of duty at the neighbouring towns. To a third, a mercantile city, the abolition of war contributions,[10] and the establishment of its internal judicial authority. Nay, even where good manners alone are concerned, the lawgiver appears, and with an amusing simplicity:[11] “From the public feast none shall attempt to carry anything away.” “None shall eat after sunset,” shows that a Jain obtained the edict. To yoke the bullock or other animal for any work on the sacred Amavas,[12] is also declared punishable. Others contain revocations of vexatious fees to officers of the crown; “of beds and quilts[13]”; “the seizure of the carts, implements, or cattle of the husbandmen,”[14]—the sole boon in our own Magna Charta demanded for the husbandman. These and several others, of which copies are annexed, need not be repeated. If even from such memoranda a sufficient number could be collected of each prince’s reign up to the olden time, what more could we desire to enable us to judge of the genius of their princes, the wants and habits of the people, their acts and occupations? The most ancient written customary law of France is A.D. 1088,[15] at which time Mewar was in high [135] prosperity; opposing, at the head of a league far more powerful than France could form for ages after, the progress of revolution and foreign conquest. Ignorance, sloth, and all the vices which wait on and result from continual oppression in a perpetual struggle for existence of ages’ duration, gradually diminished the reverence of the inhabitants themselves for these relics of the wisdom of their forefathers. In latter years, they so far forgot the ennobling feeling and respect for ‘the stone which told’ their once exalted condition, as to convert the materials of the temple in which many of these stood into places of abode. Thus many a valuable relic is built up in the castles of their barons, or buried in the rubbish of the fallen pile.

Books of Grants.

—We have, however, the books of grants to the chiefs and vassals, and also the grand rent-roll of the country. These are of themselves valuable documents. Could we but obtain those of remoter periods, they would serve as a commentary on the history of the country, as each contains the detail of every estate, and the stipulated service, in horse and foot, to be performed for it. In later times, when turbulence and disaffection went unpunished, it was useless to specify a stipulation of service that was nugatory; and too often the grants contained but the names of towns and villages, and their value; or if they had the more general terms of service, none of its details.[16] From all these, however, a sufficiency of customary rules could easily be found to form the written law of fiefs in Rajasthan. In France, in the sixteenth century, the variety of these customs amounted to two hundred and eighty-five, of which only sixty[17] were of great importance. The number of consequence in Mewar which have come to my observation is considerable, and the most important will be given in the Appendix. Were the same plan pursued there as in that ordinance which produced the laws of Pays Coutumiers[18] of France, viz. ascertaining those of each district, the materials are ready.

Such a collection would be amusing, particularly if the traditionary were added to the engraved laws. They would often appear jejune, and might involve contradictions; but we should see the wants of the people; and if ever our connexion (which God forbid!) should be drawn closer, we could then legislate without offending national customs or religious prejudices. Could this, by any instinctive [136] impulse or external stimulus, be effected by themselves, it would be the era of their emersion from long oppression, and might lead to better notions of government, and consequent happiness to them all.

Noble Origin of the Rājput Race.

—If we compare the antiquity and illustrious descent of the dynasties which have ruled, and some which continue to rule, the small sovereignties of Rajasthan, with many of celebrity in Europe, superiority will often attach to the Rajput. From the most remote periods we can trace nothing ignoble, nor any vestige of vassal origin. Reduced in 161power, circumscribed in territory, compelled to yield much of their splendour and many of the dignities of birth, they have not abandoned an iota of the pride and high bearing arising from a knowledge of their illustrious and regal descent. On this principle the various revolutions in the Rana’s family never encroached; and the mighty Jahangir himself, the Emperor of the Moguls, became, like Caesar, the commentator on the history of the tribe of Sesodia.[19] The potentate of the twenty-two Satrapies of Hind dwells with proud complacency on this Rajput king having made terms with him. He praises heaven, that what his immortal ancestor Babur, the founder of the Mogul dynasty, failed to do, the project in which Humayun had also failed, and in which the illustrious Akbar, his father, had but partial success, was reserved for him. It is pleasing to peruse in the commentaries of these conquerors, Babur and Jahangir, their sentiments with regard to these princes. We have the evidence of Sir Thomas Roe, the ambassador of Elizabeth to Jahangir, as to the splendour of this race: it appears throughout their annals and those of their neighbours.

The Rāthors of Mārwār.

—The Rathors can boast a splendid pedigree; and if we cannot trace its source with equal certainty to such a period of antiquity as the Rana’s, we can, at all events, show the Rathor monarch wielding the sceptre at Kanauj, at the time the leader of an unknown tribe of the Franks was paving the way towards the foundation of the future kingdom of France. Unwieldy greatness caused the sudden fall of Kanauj in the twelfth century, of which the existing line of Marwar is a renovated scion.[20]

The Kachhwāhas of Amber.

—Amber is a branch of the once illustrious and ancient [137] Nishadha, now Narwar, which produced the ill-fated prince whose story[21] is so interesting. Revolution and conquest compelled them to quit their ancestral abodes. Hindustan was then divided into no more than four great kingdoms. By Arabian[22] travellers we have a confused picture of 162these States. But all the minor States, now existing in the west, arose about the period when the feudal system was approaching maturity in France and England.

The others are less illustrious, being the descendants of the great vassals of their ancient kings.

The Sesodias of Mewār.

—Mewar exhibits a marked difference from all the other States in her policy and institutions. She was an old-established dynasty when these renovated scions were in embryo. We can trace the losses of Mewar, but with difficulty her acquisitions; while it is easy to note the gradual aggrandisement of Marwar and Amber, and all the minor States. Marwar was composed of many petty States, whose ancient possessions formed an allodial vassalage under the new dynasty. A superior independence of the control of the prince arises from the peculiarity of the mode of acquisition; that is, with rights similar to the allodial vassals of the European feudal system.

Pride of Ancestry.

—The poorest Rajput of this day retains all the pride of ancestry, often his sole inheritance; he scorns to hold the plough, or to use his lance but on horseback. In these aristocratic ideas he is supported by his reception amongst his superiors, and the respect paid to him by his inferiors. The honours and privileges, and the gradations of rank, amongst the vassals of the Rana’s house, exhibit a highly artificial and refined state of society. Each of the superior rank is entitled to a banner, kettle-drums preceded by heralds and silver maces, with peculiar gifts and personal honours, in commemoration of some exploit of their ancestors.

Armorial Bearings.

—The martial Rajputs are not strangers to armorial bearings,[23] now so indiscriminately used in Europe. 163The great banner of Mewar exhibits a golden sun [138] on a crimson field; those of the chiefs bear a dagger. Amber displays the panchranga, or five-coloured flag. The lion rampant on an argent field is extinct with the State of Chanderi.[24]

In Europe these customs were not introduced till the period of the Crusades, and were copied from the Saracens; while the use of them amongst the Rajput tribes can be traced to a period anterior to the war of Troy. In the Mahabharat, or great war, twelve hundred years before Christ, we find the hero Bhishma exulting over his trophy, the banner of Arjuna, its field adorned with the figure of the Indian Hanuman.[25] These emblems had a religious reference amongst the Hindus, and were taken from their mythology, the origin of all devices.

The Tribal Palladium.

—Every royal house has its palladium, which is frequently borne to battle at the saddle-bow of the prince. Rao Bhima Hara, of Kotah, lost his life and protecting deity together. The late celebrated Khichi[26] leader, Jai Singh, never took the field without the god before him. ‘Victory to Bajrang’ was his signal for the charge so dreaded by the Mahratta, and often has the deity been sprinkled with his blood and that of the foe. Their ancestors, who opposed Alexander, did the same, and carried the image of Hercules (Baldeva) at the head of their array.[27]


—The custom (says Arrian) of presenting banners as an emblem of sovereignty over vassals, also obtained amongst the tribes of the Indus when invaded by Alexander. When he conquered the Saka and tribes east of the Caspian, he divided the provinces amongst the princes of the ancient families, for which they paid homage, engaged to serve with a certain quota of troops, and received from his own hand a banner; in all of which he followed the customs of the country. But in these we see only the outline of the system; we must descend to more 164modern days to observe it more minutely. A grand picture is drawn of the power of Mewar, when the first grand irruption of the Muhammadans occurred in the first century of their era; when “a hundred[28] kings, its allies and dependents, had their thrones raised in Chitor,” for its defence and their own individually [139], when a new religion, propagated by the sword of conquest, came to enslave these realms. This invasion was by Sind and Makran; for it was half a century later ere ‘the light’ shone from the heights of Pamir[29] on the plains of the Jumna and Ganges.

From the commencement of this religious war in the mountains westward of the Indus, many ages elapsed ere the ‘King of the Faith’ obtained a seat on the throne of Yudhishthira. Chand, the bard, has left us various valuable memorials of this period, applicable to the subject historically as well as to the immediate topic. Visaladeva, the monarch whose name appears on the pillar of victory at Delhi, led an army against the invader, in which, according to the bard, “the banners of eighty-four princes were assembled.” The bard describes with great animation the summons sent for this magnificent feudal levy from the heart of Antarbedi,[30] to the shores of the western sea, and it coincides with the record of his victory, which most probably this very army obtained for him. But no finer picture of feudal manners exists than the history of Prithwiraja, contained in Chand’s poems. It is surprising that this epic should have been allowed so long to sleep neglected: a thorough knowledge of it, and of others of the same character, would open many sources of new knowledge, and enable us to trace many curious and interesting coincidences.[31]

165In perusing these tales of the days that are past, we should be induced to conclude that the Kuriltai of the Tatars, the Chaugan of the Rajput, and the Champ de Mars of the Frank, had one common origin.

Influence of Caste.

—Caste has for ever prevented the inferior classes of society from being incorporated with this haughty noblesse. Only those of pure blood in both lines can hold fiefs of the crown. The highest may marry the daughter of a Rajput, whose sole [140] possession is a ‘skin of land’:[32] the sovereign himself is not degraded by such alliance. There is no moral blot, and the operation of a law like the Salic would prevent any political evil resulting therefrom. Titles are granted, and even fiefs of office, to ministers and civil servants not Rajputs; they are, however, but official, and never confer hereditary right. These official fiefs may have originally arisen, here and in Europe, from the same cause; the want of a circulating medium to pay the offices. The Mantris[33] of Mewar prefer estates to pecuniary stipend, which gives more consequence in every point of view. All the higher offices—as cup-bearer, butler, stewards of the household, wardrobe, kitchen, master of the horse—all these are enumerated as ministerialists[34] at the court of Charlemagne in the dark ages of Europe, and of whom we have the duplicates. These are what the author of the Middle Ages designates as “improper feuds.”[35] In Mewar the prince’s architect, painter, physician, bard, genealogist, heralds, and all the generation of the foster-brothers, hold lands. Offices are hereditary in this patriarchal government; their services personal. The title even appends to the family, and if the chance of events deprive them of the substance, they are seldom left destitute. It is not uncommon to see three or four with the title of pardhan or premier.[36]

166But before I proceed further in these desultory and general remarks, I shall commence the chief details of the system as described in times past, and, in part, still obtaining in the principality of the Rana of Mewar.Mewar. As its geography and distribution are fully related in their proper place, I must refer the reader to that for a preliminary understanding of its localities.

Estates of Chief and Fiscal Land.

—The local disposition of the estates was admirably contrived. Bounded on three sides, the south, east, and west, by marauding barbarous tribes of Bhils, Mers, and Minas, the circumference of this circle was subdivided into estates for the chiefs, while the khalisa, or fiscal land, the best and richest, was in the heart of the country, and consequently well protected [141]. It appears doubtful whether the khalisa lands amounted to one-fourth of those distributed in grant to the chiefs. The value of the crown demesne as the nerve and sinew of sovereignty, was well known by the former heads of this house. To obtain any portion thereof was the reward of important services; to have a grant of a few acres near the capital for a garden was deemed a high favour; and a village in the amphitheatre or valley, in which the present capital is situated, was the ne plus ultra of recompense. But the lavish folly of the present prince, out of this tract, twenty-five miles in circumference, has not preserved a single village in his khalisa. By this distribution, and by the inroads of the wild tribes in the vicinity, or of Moguls and Mahrattas, the valour of the chiefs were kept in constant play.

The country was partitioned into districts, each containing from fifty to one hundred towns and villages, though sometimes exceeding that proportion. The great number of Chaurasis[37] leads to the conclusion that portions to the amount of eighty-four had been the general subdivision. Many of these yet remain: 167as the ‘Chaurasi’ of Jahazpur and of Kumbhalmer: tantamount to the old ‘hundreds’ of our Saxon ancestry. A circle of posts was distributed, within which the quotas of the chiefs attended, under ‘the Faujdar of the Sima’ (vulgo Sim), or commander of the border. It was found expedient to appoint from court this lord of the frontier, always accompanied by a portion of the royal insignia, standard, kettle-drums, and heralds, and being generally a civil officer, he united to his military office the administration of justice.[38] The higher vassals never attended personally at these posts, but deputed a confidential branch of their family, with the quota required. For the government of the districts there were conjoined a civil and a military officer: the latter generally a vassal of the second rank. Their residence was the chief place of the district, commonly a stronghold.

The division of the chiefs into distinct grades, shows a highly artificial state of society.

First class.—We have the Sixteen, whose estates were from fifty thousand to one hundred thousand rupees and upwards, of yearly rent. These appear in the [142] presence only on special invitation, upon festivals and solemn ceremonies, and are the hereditary councillors of the crown.[39]

Second class, from five to fifty thousand rupees. Their duty is to be always in attendance. From these, chiefly, faujdars and military officers are selected.[39]

Third class is that of Gol[39] holding lands chiefly under five thousand rupees, though by favour they may exceed this limit. They are generally the holders of separate villages and portions of land, and in former times they were the most useful class to the prince. They always attended on his person, and indeed formed his strength against any combination or opposition of the higher vassals.

Fourth class.—The offsets of the younger branches of the Rana’s own family, within a certain period, are called the babas, literally ‘infants,’ and have appanages bestowed on them. Of 168this class are Shahpura and Banera; too powerful for subjects.[40] They hold on none of the terms of the great clans, but consider themselves at the disposal of the prince. These are more within the influence of the crown. Allowing adoption into these houses, except in the case of near kindred, is assuredly an innovation; they ought to revert to the crown, failing immediate issue, as did the great estate of Bhainsrorgarh, two generations back. From these to the holder of a charsa, or hide of land, the peculiarity of tenure and duties of each will form a subject for discussion.

Revenues and Rights of the Crown.

—I need not here expatiate upon the variety of items which constitute the revenues of the prince, the details of which will appear in their proper place. The land-tax in the khalisa demesne is, of course, the chief source of supply; the transit duties on commerce and trade, and those of the larger towns and commercial marts, rank next. In former times more attention was paid to this important branch of income, and the produce was greater because less shackled. The liberality on the side of the crown was only equalled by the integrity of the merchant, and the extent to which it was carried would imply an almost Utopian degree of perfection in their mutual qualities of liberality and honesty; the one, perhaps, generating the other. The remark of a merchant recently, on the vexatious train of duties and espionage attending their collection, is not merely figurative: "our ancestors tied their invoice to the horns of the oxen[42] at the first frontier post of customs, and no intermediate questions [143] were put till we passed to the opposite or sold our goods, when it was opened and payment made accordingly; but now every town has its rights." It will be long ere this degree of confidence is restored on either side; extensive demand on the one is met by fraud and evasion on the other, though at least one-half of these evils have already been subdued.

Mines and Minerals.

—The mines were very productive in former times, and yielded several lacs to the princes of Mewar.[43] 169The rich tin mines of Jawara produced at one time a considerable proportion of silver. Those of copper are abundant, as is also iron on the now alienated domain on the Chambal; but lead least of all.[44]

The marble quarries also added to the revenue; and where there is such a multiplicity of sources, none are considered too minute to be applied in these necessitous times.


Barar is an indefinite term for taxation, and is connected with the thing taxed: as ghanim-barar,[45] ‘war-tax’; ghar ginti-barar,[46] ‘house-tax’; hal-barar, ‘plough-tax’; neota-barar, ‘marriage-tax’; and others, both of old and new standing. The war-tax was a kind of substitute for the regular mode of levying the rents on the produce of the soil; which was rendered very difficult during the disturbed period, and did not accord with the wants of the prince. It is also a substitute in those mountainous regions, for the jarib,[47] where the produce bears no proportion to the cultivated surface; sometimes from poverty of soil, but often from the reverse, as in Kumbhalmer, where the choicest crops are produced on the cultivated terraces, and on the sides of its mountains, which abound with springs, yielding the richest canes and cottons, and where experiment has proved that four crops can be raised in the same patch of soil within the year.

The offering on confirmation of estates (or fine on renewal) is now, though a very small, yet still one source of supply; as is the annual and triennial payment of the quit-rents of the Bhumia chiefs. Fines in composition of offences may also be mentioned: and they might be larger, if more activity were introduced in the detection of offenders [144].

These governments are mild in the execution of the laws; 170and a heavy fine has more effect (especially on the hill tribes) than the execution of the offender, who fears death less than the loss of property.


—The composition for ‘wood and forage’ afforded a considerable supply. When the princes of Mewar were oftener in the tented field than in the palace, combating for their preservation, it was the duty of every individual to store up wood and forage for the supply of the prince’s army. What originated in necessity was converted into an abuse and annual demand. The towns also supplied a certain portion of provisions; where the prince halted for the day these were levied on the community; a goat or sheep from the shepherd, milk and flour from the farmer. The maintenance of these customs is observable in taxes, for the origin of which it is impossible to assign a reason without going into the history of the period; they scarcely recollect the source of some of these themselves. They are akin to those known under the feudal tenures of France, arising from exactly the same causes, and commuted for money payments; such as the droit de giste et de chevauche.[48] Many also originated in the perambulations of these princes to visit their domains;[49] a black year in the calendar to the chief and the subject. When he honoured the chief by a visit, he had to present horses and arms, and to entertain his prince, in all which honours the cultivators and merchants had to share. The duties on the sale of spirits, opium, tobacco, and even to a share of the garden-stuff, affords also modes of supply [145].[50]

1. Miscellaneous Works, vol. iii.

2. Hallam’s Middle Ages.

3. It is a high gratification to be supported by such authority as M. St. Martin, who, in his Discours sur l’Origine et l’Histoire des Arsacides, thus speaks of the system of government termed feudal, which I contend exists amongst the Rajputs: "On pense assez généralement que cette sorte de gouvernement qui dominait il y a quelques siècles, et qu’on appelle système féodal, était particulière à l’Europe, et que c’est dans les forêts de la Germanie qu’il faut en chercher l’origine. Cependant, si au lieu d’admettre les faits sans les discuter, comme il arrive trop souvent, on examinait un peu cette opinion, elle disparaitrait devant la critique, ou du moins elle se modifierait singulièrement; et l’on verrait que, si c’est des forêts de la Germanie que nous avons tiré le gouvernement féodal, il n’en est certainement pas originaire. Si l’on veut comparer l’Europe, telle qu’elle était au xiie siècle, avec la monarchie fondée en Asie par les Arsacides trois siècles avant notre ère, partout on verra des institutions et des usages pareils. On y trouvera les mêmes dignités, et jusqu’aux mêmes titres, etc., etc. Boire, chasser, combattre, faire et défaire des rois, c’étaient là les nobles occupations d’un Parthe" (Journal Asiatique, vol. i. p. 65). It is nearly so with the Rajput.

4. Gibbon, Miscell. vol. iii. Du gouvernement féodal.

5. A ‘skin or hyde.’ Millar (chap. v. p. 85) defines a ‘hyde of land,’ the quantity which can be cultivated by a single plough. A charsa, ‘skin or hyde’ of land, is as much as one man can water; and what one can water is equal to what one plough can cultivate. If irrigation ever had existence by the founders of the system, we may suppose this the meaning of the term which designated a knight’s fee. It may have gone westward with emigration. [The English ‘hide’: “the amount considered adequate for the support of one free family with its dependants: at an early date defined as being as much land as could be tilled by one plough in a year,” has no connexion with ‘hide,’ ‘a skin.’ It is O.E. hīd, from híw, híg, ‘household.’‘household.’ ‘Hide,’ ‘a skin,’ is O.E. hýd (New English Dict. ssv.).]

6. Bapji, ‘sire,’ is the appellation of royalty, and, strange enough, whether to male or female; while its offsets, which form a numerous branch of vassals, are called babas, ‘the infants.’

7. Hallam’s Middle Ages, vol. i. p. 200.

8. Sanskrit, Sūla.

9. See Appendix, No. XII.

10. See Appendix, No. XIII.

11. See Appendix, No. XIV.

12. ‘Full moon’ (See Appendix, No. XIII.).

13. It is customary, when officers of the Government are detached on service, to exact from the towns where they are sent both bed and board.

14. Seized for public service, and frequently to exact a composition in money.

15. Hallam, vol. i. p. 197.

16. Some of these, of old date, I have seen three feet in length.

17. Hallam, vol. i. p. 199.

18. Hallam notices these laws by this technical phrase.

19. Sesodia is the last change of name which the Rana’s race has undergone. It was first Suryavansa, then Grahilot or Guhilot, Aharya, and Sesodia. These changes arise from revolutions and local circumstances.

20. [The Rāthor dynasty of Kanauj is a myth (Smith, EHI, 385).]

21. Nala and Damayanti.

22. Relations anciennes des Voyageurs, par Renaudot.

23. It is generally admitted that armorial bearings were little known till the period of the Crusades, and that they belong to the east. The twelve tribes of Israel were distinguished by the animals on their banners, and the sacred writings frequently allude to the ‘Lion of Judah.’ The peacock was a favourite armorial emblem of the Rajput warrior; it is the bird sacred to their Mars (Kumara), as it was to Juno, his mother, in the west. The feather of the peacock decorates the turban of the Rajput and the warrior of the Crusade, adopted from the Hindu through the Saracens. “Le paon a toujours été l’emblême de la noblesse. Plusieurs chevaliers ornaient leurs casques des plumes de cet oiseau; un grand nombre de familles nobles le portaient dans leur blazon ou sur leur cimier; quelques-uns n’en portaient que la queue” (Art. “Armoirie,” Dict. de l’ancien Régime).

24. I was the first European who traversed this wild country, in 1807, not without some hazard. It was then independent: about three years after it fell a prey to Sindhia. [Several ancient dynasties used a crest (lānchhana), and a banner (dhvaja): see the list in BG, i. Part ii. 299.]

25. The monkey-deity. [Known as Bajrang, Skt. vajranga, ‘of powerful frame.’]

26. The Khichis are a branch of the Chauhans, and Khichiwara lies east of Haravati.

27. [Quintus Curtius, viii. 14, 46; Arrian, Indika, viii.]

28. See Annals of Mewar, and note from D’Anville.

29. The Pamir range is a grand branch of the Indian Caucasus. Chand, the bard, designates them as the “Parbat Pat Pamir,” or Pamir Lord of Mountains. From Pahār and Pamir the Greeks may have compounded Paropanisos, in which was situated the most remote of the Alexandrias. [?]

30. The space between the grand rivers Ganges and Jumna, well known as the Duab.

31. Domestic habits and national manners are painted to the life, and no man can well understand the Rajput of yore who does not read these. Those were the days of chivalry and romance, when the assembled princes contended for the hand of the fair, who chose her own lord, and threw to the object of her choice, in full court, the barmala, or garland of marriage. Those were the days which the Rajput yet loves to talk of, when the glance of an eye weighed with a sceptre: when three things alone occupied him: his horse, his lance, and his mistress; for she is but the third in his estimation, after all: to the two first he owed her.

32. Charsa, a ‘hide or skin’ [see p. 156 above].

33. ‘Ministers,’ from Mantra, ‘mystification’ [‘a sacred text, spell’].

34. It is probably of Teutonic origin, and akin to Mantri, which embraces all the ministers and councillors of loyalty (Hallam, p. 195). [?]

35. Hallam, p. 193.

36. One I know, in whose family the office has remained since the period of Prithwiraja, who transferred his ancestor to the service of the Rana’s house seven hundred years ago. He is not merely a nominal hereditary minister, for his uncle actually held the office; but in consequence of having favoured the views of a pretender to the crown, its active duties are not entrusted to any of the family.

37. The numeral eighty-four. [In the ancient Hindu kingdoms the full estate was a group of 84 villages, smaller units being called Byālisa, 42, or ChaubīsaChaubīsa, 24 (Baden-Powell, The Village Community, 198, and see a valuable article in Elliot, Supplemental Glossary, 178 ff.)178 ff.)]

38. Now each chief claims the right of administering justice in his own domain, that is, in civil matters; but in criminal cases they ought not without the special sanction of the crown. Justice, however, has long been left to work its own way, and the self-constituted tribunals, the panchayats, sit in judgment in all cases where property is involved.

39. See Appendix, No. XX.

40. [They are heads of the Rānāwat sub-tribe. The latter enjoys the right, on succession, of having a sword sent to him with full honours, on receipt of which he goes to Udaipur to be installed (Erskine ii. A. 92).]

42. Oxen and carts are chiefly used in the Tandas, or caravans, for transportation of goods in these countries; camels further to the north.

43. [On the mines of Mewār, see IA, i. 63 f.]

44. The privilege of coining is a reservation of royalty. No subject is allowed to coin gold or silver, though the Salumbar chief has on sufferance a copper currency. The mint was a considerable source of income, and may be again when confidence is restored and a new currency introduced. The Chitor rupee is now thirty-one per cent inferior to the old Bhilara standard, and there was one struck at the capital even worse, and very nearly as bad as the moneta nigra of Philip the Fair of France, who allowed his vassals the privilege of coining it. [For an account of the past and present coinage of Mewār, see W. W. Webb, Currencies of the Hindu States of Rajputana, 3 ff.]

45. Enemy.

46. Numbering of houses.

47. A measure of land [usually 55 English yards]

48. Hallam, vol. i. p. 232.

49. Hume describes the necessity for our earlier kings making these tours to consume the produce, being in kind. So it is in Mewar; but I fancy the supply was always too easily convertible into circulating medium to be the cause there.

50. See Appendix, No. X.


Legislative Authority.

—During the period still called ‘the good times of Mewar,’ the prince, with the aid of his civil council, the four ministers of the crown and their deputies, promulgated all the legislative enactments in which the general rights and wants of the community were involved. In these the martial vassals 171or chiefs had no concern: a wise exclusion, comprehending also their immediate dependents, military, commercial, and agricultural. Even now, the little that is done in these matters is effected by the civil administration, though the Rajput Pardhans have been too apt to interfere in matters from which they ought always to be kept aloof, being ever more tenacious of their own rights than solicitous for the welfare of the community.


—The neglect in the legislation of late years was supplied by the self-constituted tribunals, the useful panchayats, of which enough has been said to render further illustration unnecessary. Besides the resident ruler of the district, who was also a judicial functionary, there was, as already stated, a special officer of the government in each frontier thana, or garrison post. He united the triple occupation of embodying the quotas, levying the transit duties, and administering justice, in which he was aided at the chabutra[1] or court, by assembling the Chauthias or assessors of justice. Each town and village has its chauthia, the members of which are elected by their fellow-citizens, and remain as long as they conduct themselves impartially in disentangling the intricacies of complaints preferred to them.

They are the aids to the Nagarseth, or chief magistrate, an hereditary office in every large city in Rajasthan. Of this chauthia the Patel and Patwari[2] are generally members. The former of these, like the Dasaundhi of the Mahrattas, resembles in his duties the decanus of France and the tithing-man in England. The chauthia and panchayat of these districts are analogous to the assessors of [146] justice called scabini[3] in France, who held the office by election or the concurrence of the people. But these are the special and fixed council of each town; the general panchayats are formed from the respectable population at large, and were formerly from all classes of society.

The chabutras, or terraces of justice, were always established in the khalisa, or crown demesne. It was deemed a humiliating intrusion if they sat within the bounds of a chief. To ‘erect the flag’ within his limits, whether for the formation of defensive posts or the collection of duties, is deemed a gross breach of his 172privileged independence, as to establish them within the walls of his residence would be deemed equal to sequestration. It often becomes necessary to see justice enforced on a chief or his dependent, but it begets eternal disputes and disobedience, till at length they are worried to compliance by rozina.


—When delay in these matters, or to the general commands of the prince, is evinced, an officer or herald is deputed with a party of four, ten, or twenty horse or foot, to the fief of the chief, at whose residence they take up their abode; and carrying, under the seal, a warrant to furnish them with specified daily (rozina) rations, they live at free quarters till he is quickened into compliance with the commands of the prince. This is the only accelerator of the slow movements of a Rajput chieftain in these days, whether for his appearance at court or the performance of an act of justice. It is often carried to a harassing excess, and causes much complaint.

In cases regarding the distribution of justice or the internal economy of the chief’s estates, the government officers seldom interfere. But of their panchayats I will only remark, that their import amongst the vassals is very comprehensive; and when they talk of the ‘panch,’ it means the ‘collective wisdom.’ In the reply to the remonstrance of the Deogarh vassals,[4] the chief promises never to undertake any measure without their deliberation and sanction.

On all grand occasions where the general peace or tranquillity of the government is threatened, the chiefs form the council of the sovereign. Such subjects are always first discussed in the domestic councils of each chief; so that when the [147] witenagemot of Mewar was assembled, each had prepared himself by previous discussion, and was fortified by abundance of advice.

To be excluded the council of the prince is to be in utter disgrace. These grand divans produce infinite speculation, and the ramifications which form the opinions are extensive. The council of each chief is, in fact, a miniature representation of the sovereign’s. The greater sub-vassals, his civil pardhan, the mayor of the household, the purohit,[5] the bard, and two or three of the most intelligent citizens, form the minor councils, and all are separately deliberating while the superior court is in discussion. Thus is collected the wisdom of the magnates of Rajwara.


Military Service.

—In Mewar, during the days of her glory and prosperity, fifteen thousand horse, bound by the ties of fidelity and service, followed their prince into the field, all supported by lands held by grant; from the chief who headed five hundred of his own vassals, to the single horseman.

Knight’s Fee or Single Horsemen.

—A knight’s fee in these States varies. For each thousand rupees of annual rent, never less than two, and generally three horsemen were furnished; and sometimes three horse and three foot soldiers, according to the exigencies of the times when the grant was conferred. The different grants[6] appended will show this variety, and furnish additional proof that this, and all similar systems of policy, must be much indebted to chance for the shape they ultimately take. The knight’s fee, when William the Conqueror partitioned England into sixty thousand such portions, from each of which a soldier’s service was due, was fixed at £20. Each portion furnished its soldier or paid escuage. The knight’s fee of Mewar may be said to be two hundred and fifty rupees, or about £30.

Limitations of Service.

—In Europe, service was so restricted that the monarch had but a precarious authority. He could only calculate upon forty days’ annual service from the tenant of a knight’s fee. In Rajasthan it is very different: “at home and abroad, service shall be performed when demanded”; such is the condition of the tenure.

For state and show, a portion of the greater vassals[7] reside at the capital for [148] some months, when they have permission to retire to their estates, and are relieved by another portion. On the grand military festival the whole attend for a given time; and when the prince took the field, the whole assembled at their own charge; but if hostilities carried them beyond the frontier they were allowed certain rations.

Escuage or Scutage.

—Escuage or scutage, the phrase in Europe to denote the amercement[8] for non-attendance, is also known and exemplified in deeds. Failure from disaffection, turbulence, or pride, brought a heavy fine; the sequestration of the whole or part of the estate.[9] The princes of these States 174would willingly desire to see escuage more general. All have made this first attempt towards an approximation to a standing army; but, though the chiefs would make compensation to get rid of some particular service, they are very reluctant to renounce lands, by which alone a fixed force could be maintained. The rapacity of the court would gladly fly to scutages, but in the present impoverished state of the fiefs, such if injudiciously levied would be almost equivalent to resumption; but this measure is so full of difficulty as to be almost impracticable.

Inefficiency of this Form of Government.

—Throughout Rajasthan the character and welfare of the States depend on that of the sovereign: he is the mainspring of the system—the active power to set and keep in motion all these discordant materials; if he relax, each part separates, and moves in a narrow sphere of its own. Yet will the impulse of one great mind put the machine in regular movement, which shall endure during two or three imbecile successors, if no fresh exterior force be applied to check it. It is a system full of defects; yet we see them so often balanced by virtues, that we are alternately biassed by these counteracting qualities; loyalty and patriotism, which combine a love of the institutions, religion, and manners of the country, are the counterpoise to systematic evil. In no country has the system ever proved efficient. It has been one of eternal excitement and irregular action; inimical to order, and the repose deemed necessary after conflict for recruiting the national strength. The absence of an external foe was but the signal for disorders within, which increased to a terrific height in the feuds of the two great rival factions of Mewar, the clans of [149] Chondawat[10] and Saktawat,[11] as the weakness of the prince augmented by the abstraction of his personal domain, and the diminution of the services of the third class of vassals (the Gol), the personal retainers of the crown; but when these feuds broke out, even with the enemy at their gates, it required a prince of great nerve and talent to regulate them. Yet is there a redeeming quality in the 175system, which, imperfect as it is, could render such perilous circumstances but the impulse to a rivalry of heroism.

Rivalry of the Chondāwat and Saktāwat Sub-clans.

—When Jahangir had obtained possession of the palladium of Mewar, the ancient fortress of Chitor, and driven the prince into the wilds and mountains of the west, an opportunity offered to recover some frontier lands in the plains, and the Rana with all his chiefs was assembled for the purpose. But the Saktawats asserted an equal privilege with their rivals to form the vanguard;[12] a right which their indisputable valour (perhaps superior to that of the other party) rendered not invalid. The Chondawats claimed it as an hereditary privilege, and the sword would have decided the matter but for the tact of the prince. “The harawal to the clan which first enters Untala,” was a decision which the Saktawat leader quickly heard; while the other could no longer plead his right, when such a gauntlet was thrown down for its maintenance.

Untala is the frontier fortress in the plains, about eighteen miles east of the capital, and covering the road which leads from it to the more ancient one of Chitor. It is situated on a rising ground, with a stream flowing beneath its walls, which are of solid masonry, lofty, and with round towers at intervals.[13] In the centre was the governor’s house, also fortified. One gate only gave admission to this castle.

The clans, always rivals in power, now competitors in glory, moved off at the same time, some hours before daybreak—Untala the goal, the harawal the reward! Animated with hope—a barbarous and cruel foe the object of their prowess—their wives and families spectators, on their return, of the meed of enterprise; the bard [150], who sang the praise of each race at their outset, demanding of each materials for a new wreath, supplied every stimulus that a Rajput could have to exertion.

The Saktawats made directly for the gateway, which they reached as the day broke, and took the foe unprepared; but the walls were soon manned, and the action commenced. The Chondawats, less skilled in topography, had traversed a swamp, which retarded them—but through which they dashed, fortunately meeting a guide in a shepherd of Untala. With more foresight than their opponents, they had brought ladders. The 176chief led the escalade, but a ball rolled him back amidst his vassals; it was not his destiny to lead the harawal! Each party was checked. The Saktawat depended on the elephant he rode, to gain admission by forcing the gate; but its projecting spikes deterred the animal from applying its strength. His men were falling thick around him, when a shout from the other party made him dread their success. He descended from his seat, placed his body on the spikes, and commanded the driver, on pain of instant death, to propel the elephant against him. The gates gave way, and over the dead body of their chief his clan rushed to the combat! But even this heroic surrender of his life failed to purchase the honour for his clan. The lifeless corpse of his rival was already in Untala, and this was the event announced by the shout which urged his sacrifice to honour and ambition. When the Chondawat chief fell, the next in rank and kin took the command. He was one of those arrogant, reckless Rajputs, who signalized themselves wherever there was danger, not only against men but tigers, and his common appellation was the Benda Thakur (‘mad chief’) of Deogarh. When his leader fell, he rolled the body in his scarf; then tying it on his back, scaled the wall, and with his lance having cleared the way before him he threw the dead body over the parapet of Untala, shouting, “The vanguard to the Chondawat! we are first in!” The shout was echoed by the clan, and the rampart was in their possession nearly at the moment of the entry of the Saktawats. The Moguls fell under their swords: the standard of Mewar was erected in the castle of Untala, but the leading of the vanguard remained with the Chondawats[14] [151].

This is not the sole instance of such jealousies being converted 177into a generous and patriotic rivalry; many others could be adduced throughout the greater principalities, but especially amongst the brave Rathors of Marwar.

It was a nice point to keep these clans poised against each other; their feuds were not without utility, and the tact of the prince frequently turned them to account. One party was certain to be enlisted on the side of the sovereign, and this alone counter-balanced the evil tendencies before described. To this day it has been a perpetual struggle for supremacy; and the epithets of ‘loyalist’ and ‘traitor’ have been alternating between them for centuries, according to the portion they enjoyed of the prince’s favour, and the talents and disposition of the heads of the clans to maintain their predominance at court. The Saktawats are weaker in numbers, but have the reputation of greater bravery and more genius than their rivals. I am inclined, on the whole, to assent to this opinion; and the very consciousness of this reputation must be a powerful incentive to its preservation.

When all these governments were founded and maintained on the same principle, a system of feuds, doubtless, answered very well; but it cannot exist with a well-constituted monarchy. Where individual will controls the energies of a nation, it must eventually lose its liberties. To preserve their power, the princes of Rajasthan surrendered a portion of theirs to the emperors of Delhi. They made a nominal surrender to him of their kingdoms receiving them back with a sanad, or grant, renewed on each lapse: thereby acknowledging him as lord paramount. They received, on these occasions, the khilat of honour and investiture, consisting of elephants, horses, arms, and jewels; and to their hereditary title of ‘prince’ was added by the emperor, one of dignity, mansab.[15] Besides this acknowledgment of supremacy, they offered nazarana[16] and homage, especially on the festival of Nauroz (the new year), engaging to attend the royal presence when required, at the head of a stipulated number of their vassals. The emperor presented them with a royal standard, kettle-drums, and other insignia, which headed the array of each prince. Here we have all the chief incidents of a great feudal sovereignty. Whether the Tatar sovereigns borrowed these customs from their 178princely vassals, or brought them from the highlands of Asia, from the Oxus [152] and Jaxartes, whence, there is little doubt, many of these Sachha Rajputs originated, shall be elsewhere considered.

Akbar’s Policy towards the Rājputs.

—The splendour of such an array, whether in the field or at the palace, can scarcely be conceived. Though Humayun had gained the services of some of the Rajput princes, their aid was uncertain. It was reserved for his son, the wise and magnanimous Akbar, to induce them to become at once the ornament and support of his throne. The power which he consolidated, and knew so well to wield, was irresistible; while the beneficence of his disposition, and the wisdom of his policy, maintained what his might conquered. He felt that a constant exhibition of authority would not only be ineffectual but dangerous, and that the surest hold on their fealty and esteem would be the giving them a personal interest in the support of the monarchy.

Alliances between Moguls and Rājputs.

—Akbar determined to unite the pure Rajput blood to the scarcely less noble stream which flowed from Aghuz Khan, through Jenghiz, Timur, and Babur, to himself, calculating that they would more readily yield obedience to a prince who claimed kindred with them, than to one purely Tatar; and that, at all events, it would gain the support of their immediate kin, and might in the end become general. In this supposition he did not err. We are less acquainted with the obstacles which opposed his first success than those he subsequently encountered; one of which neither he nor his descendants ever overcame in the family of Mewar, who could never be brought to submit to such alliance.

Amber, the nearest to Delhi and the most exposed, though more open to temptation than to conquest, in its then contracted sphere, was the first to set the example.[17] Its Raja Bhagwandas gave his daughter to Humayun;[18] and subsequently this practice became so common, that some of the most celebrated emperors were the offspring of Rajput princesses. Of these, Salim, called after his accession, Jahangir; his ill-fated son, Khusru; Shah 179Jahan;[19] Kambakhsh,[20] the favourite of his father; Aurangzeb, and his rebellious son Akbar, whom his Rajput kin would have placed on the throne had his genius equalled their power, are the most prominent instances. Farrukhsiyar, when the empire began to totter, furnished the last instance of a Mogul sovereign [153] marrying a Hindu princess,[21] the daughter of Raja Ajit Singh, sovereign of Marwar.

These Rajput princes became the guardians of the minority of their imperial nephews, and had a direct stake in the empire, and in the augmentation of their estates.

Rājputs in the Imperial Service.

—Of the four hundred and sixteen Mansabdars, or military commanders of Akbar’s empire, from leaders of two hundred to ten thousand men, forty-seven were Rajputs, and the aggregate of their quotas amounted to fifty-three thousand horse:[22] exactly one-tenth of the united Mansabdars of the empire, or five hundred and thirty thousand horse.[23] Of the forty-seven Rajput leaders, there were seventeen whose mansabs were from one thousand to five thousand horse, and thirty from two hundred to one thousand.

The princes of Amber, Marwar, Bikaner, Bundi, Jaisalmer, Bundelkhand, and even Shaikhawati, held mansabs of above one thousand; but Amber only, being allied to the throne, had the dignity of five thousand.

The Raja Udai Singh of Marwar, surnamed the Fat, chief of 180the Rathors, held but the mansab of one thousand, while a scion of his house, Rae Singh of Bikaner, had four thousand. This is to be accounted for by the dignity being thrust upon the head of that house. The independent princes of Chanderi, Karauli, Datia, with the tributary feudatories of the larger principalities, and members of the Shaikhawat federation, were enrolled on the other grades, from four to seven hundred. Amongst these we find the founder of the Saktawat clan, who, quarrelling with his brother, Rana Partap of Mewar, gave his services to Akbar. In short it became general, and what originated in force or persuasion, was soon coveted from interested motives; and as nearly all the States submitted in [154] time to give queens to the empire, few were left to stigmatize this dereliction from Hindu principle.

Akbar thus gained a double victory, securing the good opinions as well as the swords of these princes in his aid. A judicious perseverance would have rendered the throne of Timur immovable, had not the tolerant principles and beneficence of Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan been lost sight of by the bigoted and bloodthirsty Aurangzeb; who, although while he lived his commanding genius wielded the destinies of this immense empire at pleasure, alienated the affections, by insulting the prejudices, of those who had aided in raising the empire to the height on which it stood. This affection withdrawn, and the weakness of Farrukhsiyar substituted for the strength of Aurangzeb, it fell and went rapidly to pieces. Predatory warfare and spoliation rose on its ruins. The Rajput princes, with a short-sighted policy, at first connived at, and even secretly invited the tumult; not calculating on its affecting their interests. Each looked to the return of ancient independence, and several reckoned on great accession of power. Old jealousies were not lessened by the part which each had played in the hour of ephemeral greatness; and the prince of Mewar, who preserved his blood uncontaminated, though with loss of land, was at once an object of respect and envy to those who had forfeited the first pretensions[24] of a Rajput. It was the only ovation the Sesodia[25] had to boast for centuries of oppression and spoliation, whilst their neighbours 181were basking in court favour. The great increase of territory of these princes nearly equalled the power of Mewar, and the dignities thus acquired from the sons of Timur, they naturally wished should appear as distinguished as his ancient title. Hence, while one inscribed on his seal “The exalted in dignity, a prince amongst princes, and king of kings,”[26] the prince of Mewar preserved his royal simplicity in “Maharana Bhima Singh, son of Arsi.” But this is digression.

Results of Feudalism.

—It would be difficult to say what would be the happiest form of government for these States without reference to their neighbours. Their own feudal customs would seem to have worked well. The experiment of centuries has secured [155] to them political existence, while successive dynasties of Afghans and Moguls, during eight hundred years, have left but the wreck of splendid names. Were they to become more monarchical, they would have everything to dread from unchecked despotism, over which even the turbulence of their chiefs is a salutary control.

Were they somewhat more advanced towards prosperity, the crown demesne redeemed from dissipation and sterility, and the chiefs enabled to bring their quotas into play for protection and police, recourse should never be had to bodies of mercenary troops, which practice, if persevered in, will inevitably change their present form of government. This has invariably been the result, in Europe as well as Rajasthan, else why the dread of standing armies?

Employment of Mercenaries.

—Escuage is an approximating step. When Charles VII. of France[27] raised his companies of ordnance, the basis of the first national standing army ever embodied in Europe, a tax called ‘taille’ was imposed to pay them, and Guienne rebelled. Kotah is a melancholy instance of subversion of the ancient order of society. Mewar made the experiment from necessity sixty years ago, when rebellion and invasion conjoined; and a body of Sindis were employed, which completed their disgust, and they fought with each other till almost mutually exterminated, and till all faith in their prince was lost. Jaipur had adopted this custom to a greater extent; but it was an ill-paid band, neither respected at home nor feared 182abroad. In Marwar the feudal compact was too strong to tolerate it, till Pathan predatory bands, prowling amidst the ruins of Mogul despotism, were called in to partake in each family broil; the consequence was the weakening of all, and opening the door to a power stronger than any, to be the arbiter of their fate.

General Duties of the Pattāwat, or Vassal Chief of Rājasthān.

—“The essential principle of a fief was a mutual contract of support and fidelity. Whatever obligations it laid upon the vassal of service to his lord, corresponding duties of protection were imposed by it on the lord towards his vassal. If these were transgressed on either side, the one forfeited his land, the other his signiory or rights over it.”[28] In this is comprehended the very foundation of feudal policy, because in its simplicity we recognize first principles involving mutual preservation. The best [156] commentary on this definition of simple truth will be the sentiments of the Rajputs themselves in two papers: one containing the opinions of the chiefs of Marwar on the reciprocal duties of sovereign and vassal;[29] the other, those of the sub-vassals of Deogarh, one of the largest fiefs in Rajasthan, of their rights, the infringement of them, and the remedy.[30]

If, at any former period in the history of Marwar, its prince had thus dared to act, his signiory and rights over it would not have been of great value; his crown and life would both have been endangered by these turbulent and determined vassals. How much is comprehended in that manly, yet respectful sentence: “If he accepts our services, then he is our prince and leader; if not, but our equal, and we again his brothers, claimants of and laying claim to the soil.” In the remonstrance of the sub-vassals of Deogarh, we have the same sentiments on a reduced scale. In both we have the ties of blood and kindred, connected with and strengthening national policy. If a doubt could exist as to the principle of fiefs being similar in Rajasthan and in Europe, it might be set at rest by the important question long agitated by the feodal lawyers in Europe, “whether the vassal is bound to follow the standard of his lord against his own kindred or against his sovereign”: which in these States is illustrated by a simple and universal proof. If the question were put to a Rajput to whom his service is due, whether to his chief or his sovereign, the 183reply would be, Raj ka malik wuh, pat[31] ka malik yih: ‘He is the sovereign of the State, but this is my head’: an ambiguous phrase, but well understood to imply that his own immediate chief is the only authority he regards.

This will appear to militate against the right of remonstrance (as in the case of the vassals of Deogarh), for they look to the crown for protection against injustice; they annihilate other rights by admitting appeal higher than this. Every class looks out for some resource against oppression. The sovereign is the last applied to on such occasions, with whom the sub-vassal has no bond of connexion. He can receive no favour, nor perform any service, but through his own immediate superior; and presumes not to question (in cases not personal to himself) the propriety of his chief’s actions, adopting implicitly his feelings [157] and resentments. The daily familiar intercourse of life is far too engrossing to allow him to speculate, and with his lord he lives a patriot or dies a traitor. In proof of this, numerous instances could be given of whole clans devoting themselves to the chief against their sovereign;[32] not from the ties of kindred, for many were aliens to blood; but from the ties of duty, gratitude, and all that constitutes clannish attachment, superadded to feudal obligation. The sovereign, as before observed, has nothing to do with those vassals not holding directly from the crown; and those who wish to stand well with their chiefs would be very slow in receiving any honours or favours from the general fountain-head. The Deogarh chief sent one of his sub-vassals to court on a mission; his address and deportment gained him favour, and his consequence was increased by a seat in the presence of his sovereign. When he returned, he found this had lost him the favour of his chief, who was offended, and conceived a jealousy both of his prince and his servant. The distinction paid to the latter was, he said, subversive of his proper authority, and the vassal incurred by his vanity the loss of estimation where alone it was of value.

Obligations of a Vassal.

—The attempt to define all the obligations of a vassal would be endless: they involve all the duties of kindred in addition to those of obedience. To attend the court 184of his chief; never to absent himself without leave; to ride with him a-hunting; to attend him at the court of his sovereign or to war, and even give himself as a hostage for his release; these are some of the duties of a vassal.

1. Literally ‘terrace,’ or ‘altar.’

2. [Headman and accountant.]

3. They were considered a sort of jury, bearing a close analogy to the judices selecti, who sat with the praetor in the tribunal of Rome (Hallam).

4. See Appendix, No. III.

5. Family priest.

6. See Appendix, Nos. IV. V. and VI.

7. See Appendix, No.XX. art. 6; the treaty between the chiefs and his vassals defining service.

8. Appendix, No. XVI.

9. Both of which I have witnessed.

10. A clan called after Chonda, eldest son of an ancient Rana, who resigned his birthright.

11. Sakta was the son of Rana Udai Singh, founder of Udayapura, or Udaipur. The feuds of these two clans, like those of the Armagnacs and Bourguignons, “qui couvrirent la France d’un crêpe sanglant,” have been the destruction of Mewar. It requires but a change of names and places, while reading the one, to understand perfectly the history of the other.

12. Harāwal.

13. It is now in ruins, but the towers and part of the walls are still standing.

14. An anecdote appended by my friend Amra (the bard of the Sangawats, a powerful division of the Chondawats, whose head is Deogarh, often alluded to, and who alone used to lead two thousand vassals into the field) was well attested. Two Mogul chiefs of note were deeply engaged in a game of chess when the tumult was reported to them. Feeling confident of success, they continued their game; nor would they desist till the inner castle of this ‘donjon keep’ was taken, and they were surrounded by the Rajputs, when they coolly begged they might be allowed to terminate their game. This the enemy granted; but the loss of their chiefs had steeled their breasts against mercy, and they were afterwards put to death. [Compare the similar case of Ganga, Rāja of Mysore, who was surprised, by the treachery of his ministers, while occupied in a game of chess (L. Rice, Mysore Gazetteer (1897), 1i. 319.)1i. 319.)]

15. [‘Office, prerogative.’ For a full account of the Mansab system, see Irvine, Army of the Indian Moghuls, 3 ff.]

16. Fine of relief.

17. [There were earlier instances of alliances between Muhammadan princes and Hindus. The mother of Fīroz Shāh, born A.D. 1309, was a Bhatti lady: Khizr Khān married Deval Devi, a Vāghela lady of Gujarāt (Elliot-Dowson, iii. 271 f., 545; Elphinstone, 395).]

18. [There is no evidence for this statement (Smith, Akbar, 58, 225).]

19. The son of the Princess Jodh Bai, whose magnificent tomb still excites admiration at Sikandra, near Agra.

20. ‘Gift of Love.’ [Kāmbakhsh had a Hindu wife, Kalyān Kumāri, daughter of Amar Chand and sister of Sagat Singh, Zamīndār of Manoharpur. Professor Jadunath Sarkar has been unable to trace a Hindu wife of Akbar, son of Aurangzeb.]

21. To this very marriage we owe the origin of our power. When the nuptials were preparing, the emperor fell ill. A mission was at that time at Delhi from Surat, where we traded, of which Mr. Hamilton was the surgeon. He cured the king, and the marriage was completed. In the oriental style, he desired the doctor to name his reward; but instead of asking anything for himself, he demanded a grant of land for a factory on the Hoogly for his employers. It was accorded, and this was the origin of the greatness of the British empire in the East. Such an act deserved at least a column; but neither “storied urn nor animated bust” marks the spot where his remains are laid [C. R. Wilson, Early Annals of the English in Bengal, ii. 235, see p. 468 below].

22. Abu-l Fazl [Āīn, i. 308 ff.].

23. The infantry, regulars, and militia, exceeded 4,000,000.

24. See, in the Annals of Mewar, the letter of Rae Singh of Bikaner (who had been compelled to submit to this practice), on hearing that Rana Partap’s reverses were likely to cause a similar result. It is a noble production, and gives the character of both.

25. The tribe to which the princes of Mewar belonged.

26. Raj Rajeswara, the title of the prince of Marwar: the prince of Amber, Raj Rajindra.

27. Hallam, vol. i. p. 117.

28. Hallam, vol. i. p. 173.

29. See Appendix, No. I.

30. See Appendix, Nos. II. and III.

31. Pat means ‘head,’ ‘chief.’

32. The death of the chief of Nimaj, in the Annals of Marwar, and Sheogarh Feud, in the Personal Narrative, Vol. II.


Feudal Incidents.

—I shall now proceed to compare the more general obligations of vassals, known under the term of ‘Feudal Incidents’ in Europe, and show their existence in Rajasthan. These were six in number: 1. Reliefs; 2. Fines of alienation; 3. Escheats; 4. Aids; 5. Wardship; 6. Marriage [158].


—The first and most essential mark of a feudal relation exists in all its force and purity here: it is a perpetually recurring mark of the source of the grant, and the solemn renewal of the pledge which originally obtained it. In Mewar it is a virtual and bona fide surrender of the fief and renewal thereof. It is thus defined in European polity: “A relief[1] is a sum of money due from every one of full age taking a fief by descent.” It was arbitrary, and the consequent exactions formed a ground of discontent; nor was the tax fixed till a comparatively recent period.

By Magna Charta reliefs were settled at rates proportionate to the dignity of the holder.[2] In France the relief was fixed by the customary laws at one year’s revenue.[3] This last has long been the settled amount of nazarana, or fine of relief, in Mewar.


Fine paid on Succession.

—On the demise of a chief, the prince immediately sends a party, termed the zabti (sequestrator), consisting of a civil officer and a few soldiers, who take possession of the State in the prince’s name. The heir sends his prayer to court to be installed in the property, offering the proper relief. This paid, the chief is invited to repair to the presence, when he performs homage, and makes protestations of service and fealty; he receives a fresh grant, and the inauguration terminates by the prince girding him with a sword, in the old forms of chivalry. It is an imposing ceremony, performed in a full assembly of the court, and one of the few which has never been relinquished. The fine paid, and the brand buckled to his side, a steed, turban, plume, and dress of honour given to the chief, the investiture[4] is [159] complete; the sequestrator returns to court, and the chief to his estate, to receive the vows and congratulations of his vassals.[5]

In this we plainly perceive the original power (whether exercised or not) of resumption. On this subject more will appear in treating of the duration of grants. The kharg bandhai, or ‘binding of the sword,’ is also performed when a Rajput is fit to bear arms; as amongst the ancient German tribes, when they put into the hands of the aspirant for fame a lance. Such are the substitutes for the toga virilis of the young Roman. The Rana himself is thus ordained a knight by the first of his vassals in dignity, the chief of Salumbar.

Renunciation of Reliefs.

—In the demoralization of all those States, some of the chiefs obtained renunciation of the fine of 186relief, which was tantamount to making a grant in perpetuity, and annulling the most overt sign of paramount sovereignty. But these and many other important encroachments were made when little remained of the reality, or when it was obscured by a series of oppressions unexampled in any European State.

It is in Mewar alone, I believe, of all Rajasthan, that these marks of fealty are observable to such an extent. But what is remarked elsewhere upon the fiefs being movable, will support the doctrine of resumption though it might not be practised: a prerogative may exist without its being exercised.

Fine of Alienation.

—Rajasthan never attained this refinement indicative of the dismemberment of the system; so vicious and self-destructive a notion never had existence in these States. Alienation does not belong to a system of fiefs: the lord would never consent to it, but on very peculiar occasions.

In Cutch, amongst the Jareja[6] tribes, sub-vassals may alienate their estates; but this privilege is dependent on the mode of acquisition. Perhaps the only knowledge we have in Rajasthan of alienation requiring the sanction of the lord paramount, is in donations for pious uses: but this is partial. We see in the remonstrance of the Deogarh vassals the opinion they entertained of their lord’s alienation of their sub-fees to strangers, and without the Rana’s consent; which, with a similar train of conduct, produced sequestration of his fief till they were reinducted [160].

Tenants of the Crown may Alienate.

—The agricultural tenants, proprietors of land held of the crown, may alienate their rights upon a small fine, levied merely to mark the transaction. But the tenures of these non-combatants and the holders of fees are entirely distinct, and cannot here be entered on, further than to say that the agriculturist is, or was, the proprietor of the soil; the chief, solely of the tax levied thereon. But in Europe the alienation of the feudum paternum was not good without the consent of the kindred in the line of succession.[7] This would involve sub-infeudation and frerage, which I shall touch on distinctly, many of the troubles of these countries arising therefrom.

Escheats and Forfeitures.

—The fiefs which were only to descend in lineal succession reverted to the crown on failure of heirs, as they could not be bequeathed by will. This answers equally well for England as for Mewar. I have witnessed escheats of this kind, and foresee more, if the pernicious practice of unlimited adoption do not prevent the Rana from regaining lands, alienated by himself at periods of contention. Forfeitures for crimes must, of course, occur, and these are partial or entire, according to the delinquency.

In Marwar, at this moment, nearly all the representatives of the great fiefs of that country are exiles from their homes: a distant branch of the same family, the prince of Idar, would have adopted a similar line of conduct but for a timely check from the hand of benevolence.[8]

There is, or rather was, a class of lands in Mewar appended to the crown, of which it bestowed life-rents on men of merit. These were termed Chhorutar, and were given and taken back, as the name implies; in contradistinction to grants which, though originating in good behaviour, not only continued for life but descended in perpetuity. Such places are still so marked in the rent-roll, but they are seldom applied to the proper purpose.


—Aids, implying ‘free gifts,’ or ‘benevolences,’ as they were termed in a European code, are well known. The barar (war-tax) is well understood in Mewar, and is levied on many occasions for the necessities of the prince or the head of a clan. It is a curious fact, that the dasaundh, or ‘tenth,’ in Mewar, as in Europe, was the [161] stated sum to be levied in periods of emergency or danger. On the marriage of the daughters of the prince, a benevolence or contribution was always levied: this varied. A few years ago, when two daughters and a granddaughter were married to the princes of Jaisalmer, Bikaner, and Kishangarh, a schedule of one-sixth, to portion the three, was made out; but it did not realize above an eighth. In this aid the civil officers of government contribute equally with the others. It is a point of honour with all to see their sovereign’s daughters married, and for once the contribution merited the name of benevolence. 188But it is not levied solely from the coffers of the rich; by the chiefs it is exacted of their tenantry of all classes, who, of course, wish such subjects of rejoicing to be of as rare occurrence as possible.

“These feudal aids are deserving of our notice as the commencement of taxation, of which they long answered the purpose, till the craving necessities and covetous policy of kings established for them more durable and onerous burthens.”[9]

The great chiefs, it may be assumed, were not backward, on like occasions, to follow such examples, but these gifts were more voluntary. Of the details of aids in France we find enumerated, “paying the relief of the suzerain on taking possession of his lands”;[10] and by Magna Charta our barons could levy them on the following counts: to make the baron’s eldest son a knight, to marry his eldest daughter, or to redeem his person from captivity. The latter is also one occasion for the demand in all these countries. The chief is frequently made prisoner in their predatory invasions, and carried off as a hostage for the payment of a war contribution. Everything disposable is often got rid of on an occasion of this kind. Cœur de Lion would not have remained so long in the dungeons of Austria had his subjects been Rajputs. In Amber the most extensive benevolence, or barar,[11] is on the marriage of the Rajkumar, or heir apparent.


—This does exist, to foster the infant vassal during minority; but often terminating, as in the system of Europe, in the nefarious act of defrauding a helpless infant, to the pecuniary benefit of some court favourite. It is accordingly [162] here undertaken occasionally by the head of the clan; but two strong recent instances brought the dark ages, and the purchase of wardships for the purpose of spoliation, to mind. The first was in the Deogarh chief obtaining by bribe the entire management of the lands of Sangramgarh, on pretence of improving them for the infant, Nahar Singh, whose father was incapacitated by derangement. Nahar was a junior branch of the clan Sangawat, a subdivision of the Chondawat clan, both Sesodias of the Rana’s blood. The object, at the time, was to unite them to Deogarh, though he pleaded duty as head of the clan. His nomination of young Nahar as his own heir gives a colouring of truth to his 189intentions; and he succeeded, though there were nearer of kin, who were set aside (at the wish of the vassals of Deogarh and with the concurrence of the sovereign) as unfit to head them or serve him.

Another instance of the danger of permitting wardships, particularly where the guardian is the superior in clanship and kindred, is exemplified in the Kalyanpur estate in Mewar. That property had been derived from the crown only two generations back, and was of the annual value of ten thousand rupees. The mother having little interest at court, the Salumbar chief, by bribery and intrigue, upon paying a fine of about one year’s rent, obtained possession—ostensibly to guard the infant’s rights; but the falsehood of this motive was soon apparent. There were duties to perform on holding it which were not thought of. It was a frontier post, and a place of rendezvous for the quotas to defend that border from the incursions of the wild tribes of the south-west. The Salumbar chief, being always deficient in the quota for his own estate, was not likely to be very zealous in his muster-roll for his ward’s, and complaints were made which threatened a change. The chief of Chawand was talked of as one who would provide for the widow and minor, who could not perform the duties of defence.

The sovereign himself often assumes the guardianship of minors; but the mother is generally considered the most proper guardian for her infant son. All others may have interests of their own; she can be actuated by his welfare alone. Custom, therefore, constitutes her the guardian; and with the assistance of the elders of the family, she rears and educates the young chief till he is fit to be girded with the sword [163].[12]

The Faujdar, or military manager, who frequently regulates the household as well as the subdivisions of the estate, is seldom of the kin or clan of the chief: a wise regulation, the omission of which has been known to produce, in these maires du palais on a small scale, the same results as will be described in the larger. This officer, and the civil functionary who transacts all the pecuniary concerns of the estate, with the mother and her family, are always considered to be the proper guardians of the minor. ‘Blood which could not inherit,’ was the requisite for a guardian 190in Europe,[13] as here; and when neglected, the results are in both cases the same.


—Refinement was too strong on the side of the Rajput to admit this incident, which, with that of wardship (both partial in Europe), illustrated the rapacity of the feudal aristocracy. Every chief, before he marries, makes it known to his sovereign. It is a compliment which is expected, and is besides attended with some advantage, as the prince invariably confers presents of honour, according to the station of the individual.

No Rajput can marry in his own clan; and the incident was originated in the Norman institutes, to prevent the vassal marrying out of his class, or amongst the enemies of his sovereign.[14]

Thus, setting aside marriage (which even in Europe was only partial and local) and alienation, four of the six chief incidents marking the feudal system are in force in Rajasthan, viz. relief, escheats, aids, and wardships.

Duration of Grants.

—I shall now endeavour to combine all the knowledge I possess with regard to the objects attained in granting lands, the nature and durability of these grants, whether for life and renewable, or in perpetuity. I speak of the rules as understood in Mewar. We ought not to expect much system in what was devoid of regularity, even according to the old principles of European feudal law, which, though now reduced to some fixed principles, originated in, and was governed by, fortuitous circumstances; and after often changing its character, ended in despotism, oligarchy, or democracy.

Classes of Landholders.

—There are two classes of Rajput landholders in Mewar, though the one greatly exceeds the other in number. One is the Girasia Thakur, or lord; the other the Bhumia. The Girasia chieftain is he who holds (giras) by grant (patta) of the [164] prince, for which he performs service with specified quotas at home and abroad, renewable at every lapse, when all the ceremonies of resumption,[15] the fine of relief,[16] and the investiture take place.

The Bhumia does not renew his grant, but holds on prescriptive 191possession. He succeeds without any fine, but pays a small annual quit-rent, and can be called upon for local service in the district which he inhabits for a certain period of time. He is the counterpart of the allodial proprietor of the European system, and the real zamindar of these principalities. Both have the same signification; from bhum and zamin, ‘land’: the latter is an exotic of Persian origin.


—Girasia is from giras, ‘a subsistence’; literally and familiarly ‘a mouthful.’ Whether it may have a like origin with the Celtic word gwas,[17] said to mean ‘a servant,’[18] and whence the word vassal is derived, I shall leave to etymologists to decide, who may trace the resemblance to the girasia, the vassal chieftain of the Rajputs. All the chartularies or pattas[19] commence, "To ... giras has been ordained."

Whether Resumable.

—It has always been a subject of doubt whether grants were resumable at pleasure, or without some delinquency imputable to the vassal. Their duration in Europe was, at least, the life of the possessor, when they reverted[20] to the fisc. The whole of the ceremonies in cases of such lapse are decisive on this point in Mewar. The right to resume, therefore, may be presumed to exist; while the non-practice of it, the formalities of renewal being gone through, may be said to render the right a dead letter. But to prove its existence I need only mention, that so late as the reign of Rana Sangram,[21] the fiefs of Mewar were actually movable; and little more than a century and a half has passed since this practice ceased. Thus a Rathor would shift, with family, chattels, and retainers, from the north into the wilds of Chappan;[22] while the Saktawat relieved would 192occupy the plains at the foot of the Aravalli;[23] or a Chondawat would exchange his [165] abode on the banks of the Chambal with a Pramara or Chauhan from the table-mountain, the eastern boundary of Mewar.[24]

Since these exchanges were occurring, it is evident the fiefs (pattas) were not grants in perpetuity. This is just the state of the benefices in France at an early period, as described by Gibbon, following Montesquieu: “Les bénéfices étoient amovibles; bientôt ils les rendirent perpétuels, et enfin héréditaires.”[25] This is the precise gradation of fiefs in Mewar; movable, perpetual, and then hereditary. The sons were occasionally permitted to succeed their fathers;[26] an indulgence which easily grew into a right, though the crown had the indubitable reversion. It is not, however, impossible that these changes[27] were not of ancient authority, but arose from the policy of the times to prevent infidelity.

We ought to have a high opinion of princes who could produce an effect so powerful on the minds of a proud and turbulent nobility. The son was heir to the title and power over the vassals’ personals and movables, and to the allegiance of his father, but to nothing which could endanger that allegiance.

A proper apportioning and mixture of the different clans was another good result to prevent their combinations in powerful families, which gave effect to rebellion, and has tended more than external causes to the ruin which the State of Mewar exhibits.


Nobility: Introduction of Foreign Stocks.

—Throughout the various gradations of its nobility, it was the original policy to introduce some who were foreign in country and blood. Chiefs of the Rathor, Chauhan, Pramara, Solanki, and Bhatti tribes were intermingled. Of these several were lineal descendants of the most ancient races of the kings of Delhi and Anhilwara Patan;[28] and from these, in order to preserve the purity of blood, the princes of Mewar took their wives, when the other princes of Hind assented to [166] the degradation of giving daughters in marriage to the emperors of Delhi. The princes of Mewar never yielded in this point, but preserved their ancient manners amidst all vicissitudes. In like manner did the nobles of the Rana’s blood take daughters from the same tribes; the interest of this foreign race was therefore strongly identified with the general welfare, and on all occasions of internal turmoil and rebellion they invariably supported their prince. But when these wise institutions were overlooked, when the great clans increased and congregated together, and the crown demesne was impoverished by prodigality, rebellions were fostered by Mahratta rapacity, which were little known during the lengthened paramount sway of the kings of Delhi. This foreign admixture will lead us to the discussion of the different kinds of grants: a difference, perhaps, more nominal than real, but exhibiting a distinction so wide as to imply grants resumable and irresumable.

Kāla Pattas.

—It is elsewhere related that two great clans, descendants of the Ranas Rae Mall and Udai Singh, and their numerous scions, forming subdivisions with separate titles or patronymics, compose the chief vassalage of this country.


—Chondawat and Saktawat are the stock; the former is subdivided into ten, the latter into about six clans. Rajputs never intermarry with their own kin: the prohibition has no limit; it extends to the remotest degree. All these clans are resolvable into the generic term of ‘the race’ or Kula Sesodia. A Sesodia man and woman cannot unite in wedlock—all these are therefore of the blood royal; and the essayists on population would have had a fine field in these quarters a century ago, ere constant misery had thinned the country, to trace the numerous 194progeny of Chonda and Sakta in the Genesis[29] of Mewar. The Bhat’s genealogies would still, to a certain extent, afford the same means.

Descent gives a strength to the tenure of these tribes which the foreign nobles do not possess; for although, from all that has been said, it will be evident that a right of reversion and resumption existed (though seldom exercised, and never but in cases of crime), yet the foreigner had not this strength in the soil, even though of twenty generations’ duration. The epithet of kala patta, or ‘black grant,’ attaches to the foreign grant, and is admitted by the holder, from which the kinsman thinks himself exempt. It is virtually a grant resumable; nor can the possessors feel that security which the other widely affiliated aristocracies afford [167]. When, on a recent occasion, a revision of all the grants took place, the old ones being called in to be renewed under the sign-manual of the reigning prince, the minister himself visited the chief of Salumbar, the head of the Chondawats, at his residence at the capital, for this purpose. Having become possessed of several villages in the confusion of the times, a perusal of the grant would have been the means of detection; and on being urged to send to his estate for it, he replied, pointing to the palace, “My grant is in the foundation of that edifice”: an answer worthy of a descendant of Chonda, then only just of age. The expression marks the spirit which animates this people, and recalls to mind the well-known reply of our own Earl Warenne, on the very same occasion, to the quo warranto of Edward: “By their swords my ancestors obtained this land, and by mine will I maintain it.”

Hence it may be pronounced that a grant of an estate is for the life of the holder, with inheritance for his offspring in lineal descent or adoption, with the sanction of the prince, and resumable for crime or incapacity:[30] this reversion and power of resumption being marked by the usual ceremonies on each lapse 195of the grantee, of sequestration (zabti), of relief (nazarana), of homage and investiture of the heir. Those estates held by foreign nobles differ not in tenure; though, for the reasons specified, they have not the same grounds of security as the others, in whose welfare the whole body is interested, feeling the case to be their own: and their interests, certainly, have not been so consulted since the rebellions of S. 1822,[31] and subsequent years. Witness the Chauhans of Bedla and Kotharia (in the Udaipur valley), and the Pramar of the plateau of Mewar, all chiefs of the first rank.

The difficulty and danger of resuming an old-established grant in these countries are too great to be lightly risked. Though in all these estates there is a mixture of foreign Rajputs, yet the blood of the chief predominates; and these must have a leader of their own, or be incorporated in the estates of the nearest of kin. This increase might not be desirable for the crown, but the sub-vassals cannot be turned [168] adrift; a resumption therefore in these countries is widely felt, as it involves many. If crime or incapacity render it necessary, the prince inducts a new head of that blood; and it is their pride, as well as the prince’s interest, that a proper choice should be made. If, as has often occurred, the title be abolished, the sub-vassals retain their sub-infeudations, and become attached to the crown.

Many estates were obtained, during periods of external commotion, by threats, combination, or the avarice of the prince—his short-sighted policy, or that of his ministers—which have been remedied in the late reorganization of Mewar; where, by retrograding half a century, and bringing matters as near as possible to the period preceding civil dissension, they have advanced at least a century towards order.

Bhūmia, the Allodial Proprietor.

—It is stated in the historical annals of this country that the ancient clans, prior to Sanga Rana,[32] had ceased, on the rising greatness of the subsequent new division of clans, to hold the higher grades of rank; and had, in fact, merged into the general military landed proprietors of this country under the term bhumia, a most expressive and comprehensive name, importing absolute identity with the soil: bhum meaning ‘land,’ and being far more expressive than the newfangled 196word, unknown to Hindu India, of zamindar, the ‘land-holder’ of Muhammadan growth. These Bhumias, the scions of the earliest princes, are to be met with in various parts of Mewar; though only in those of high antiquity, where they were defended from oppression by the rocks and wilds in which they obtained a footing; as in Kumbhalmer, the wilds of Chappan, or plains of Mandalgarh, long under the kings, and where their agricultural pursuits maintained them.

Their clannish appellations, Kumbhawat, Lunawat, and Ranawat, distinctly show from what stem and when they branched off; and as they ceased to be of sufficient importance to visit the court on the new and continually extending ramifications, they took to the plough. But while they disdained not to derive a subsistence from labouring as husbandmen, they never abandoned their arms; and the Bhumia, amid the crags of the alpine Aravalli where he pastures his cattle or cultivates his fields, preserves the erect mien and proud spirit of his ancestors, with more tractability, and less arrogance and folly, than his more [169] courtly but now widely separated brethren, who often make a jest of his industrious but less refined qualifications.[33] Some of these yet possess entire villages, which are subject to the payment of a small quit-rent: they also constitute a local militia, to be called in by the governor of the district, but for which service they are entitled to rations or peti.[34] These, the allodial[35] tenantry of our 197feudal system, form a considerable body in many districts, armed with matchlock, sword, and shield. In Mandalgarh, when their own interests and the prince’s unite (though the rapacity of governors, pupils of the Mahratta and other predatory schools, have disgusted these independents), four thousand Bhumias could be collected. They held and maintained without support the important fortress of that district, during half a century of turmoil, for their prince. Mandalgarh is the largest district of Mewar, and in its three hundred and sixty towns and villages many specimens of ancient usage may be found. The Solanki held largely here in ancient days, and the descendant of the princes of Patan still retains his Bhum and title of Rao.[36]

Feudal Militia.

—All this feudal militia pay a quit-rent to the crown, and perform local but limited service on the frontier garrison; and upon invasion,[37] when the Kher is called out, the whole are at the disposal of the prince on furnishing rations only. They assert that they ought not to pay this quit-rent and perform service also; but this may be doubted, since the sum is so small. To elude it, they often performed service under some powerful chief, where faction or court interest [170] caused it to be winked at. To serve without a patta is the great object of ambition. Ma ka bhum, ‘my land,’ in their Doric tongue, is a favourite phrase.[38]

198Circumstances have concurred to produce a resemblance even to the refined fiction of giving up their allodial property to have it conferred as a fief. But in candour it should be stated, that the only instances were caused by the desire of being revenged on the immediate superiors of the vassals. The Rathor chief of Dabla held of his superior, the Raja of Banera, three considerable places included in the grant of Banera. He paid homage, an annual quit-rent, was bound to attend him personally to court, and to furnish thirty-five horse in case of an invasion. During the troubles, though perfectly equal to their performance, he was remiss in all these duties. His chief, with returning peace, desired to enforce the return to ancient customs, and his rights so long withheld; but the Rathor had felt the sweets of entire independence, and refused to attend his summons. To the warrant he replied, “his head and Dabla were together”; and he would neither pay the quit-rent nor attend his court. This refractory spirit was reported to the Rana; and it ended in Dabla being added to the fisc, and the chief’s holding the rest as a vassal of the Rana, but only to perform local service. There are many other petty free proprietors on the Banera estate, holding from small portions of land to small villages; but the service is limited and local in order to swell the chief’s miniature court. If they accompany him, he must find rations for them and their steeds.

So cherished is this tenure of Bhum, that the greatest chiefs are always solicitous to obtain it, even in the villages wholly dependent on their authority: a decided proof of its durability above common grants. The various modes in which it is acquired, and the precise technicalities which distinguished its tenure, as well as the privileges attached to it, are fully developed in translations of different deeds on the subject [171].[39]

Rajas of Banera and Shāhpura.

—We have also, amongst the nobility of Mewar, two who hold the independent title of prince or raja, one of whom is by far too powerful for a subject. These are the Rajas of Banera and Shahpura, both of the blood royal. The ancestor of the first was the twin-brother of Rana Jai Singh; the other, a Ranawat, branched off from Rana Udai Singh.

They have their grants renewed, and receive the khilat of investiture; but they pay no relief, and are exempt from all but personal attendance at their prince’s court, and the local 199service of the district in which their estates are situated. They have hitherto paid but little attention to their duties, but this defect arose out of the times. These lands lying most exposed to the imperial headquarters at Ajmer, they were compelled to bend to circumstances, and the kings were glad to confer rank and honour on such near relations of the Rana’s house. He bestowed on them the titles of Raja, and added to the Shahpura chief’s patrimony a large estate in Ajmer, which he now holds direct of the British Government, on payment of an annual tribute.

Form and Substance of Grant.

—To give a proper idea of the variety of items forming these chartularies, I append several[40] which exhibit the rights, privileges, and honours, as well as the sources of income, while they also record the terms on which they are granted. Many royalties have been alienated in modern times by the thoughtless prodigality of the princes; even the grand mark of vassalage, the fine of relief, has been forgiven to one or two individuals; portions of transit duties, tolls on ferries, and other seignorial rights; coining copper currency; exactions of every kind, from the levy of toll for night protection of merchandise and for the repairs of fortifications, to the share of the depredations of the common robber, will sufficiently show the demoralization of the country.

Division of Pattas, or Sub-infeudation.

—Many years ago, when the similarity of the systems first struck my attention, I took one of the grants or pattas of a great vassal of Jaipur, and dissected it in all its minutiae, with the aid of a very competent authority who had resided as one of the managers of the chief. This document, in which the subdivision of the whole clan is detailed, materially aided me in developing the system [172].

The court and the household economy of a great chieftain is a miniature representation of the sovereign’s: the same officers, from the pardhan, or minister, to the cup-bearer (paniyari), as well as the same domestic arrangements. He must have his shish-mahall,[41] his bari-mahall,[42] and his mandir,[43] like his prince. 200He enters the dari-sala, or carpet hall, the minstrel[44] preceding him rehearsing the praises of his family; and he takes his seat on his throne, while the assembled retainers, marshalled in lines on the right and left, simultaneously exclaim, “Health to our chief!” which salutation he returns by bowing to all as he passes them. When he is seated, at a given signal they all follow the example, and shield rattles against shield as they wedge into their places.

We have neither the kiss nor individual oaths of fidelity administered. It is sufficient, when a chief succeeds to his patrimony, that his ‘an[45] is proclaimed within his sim or boundary. Allegiance is as hereditary as the land: “I am your child; my head and sword are yours, my service is at your command.” It is a rare thing for a Rajput to betray his Thakur, while the instances of self-devotion for him are innumerable: many will be seen interspersed in these papers. Base desertion, to their honour be it said, is little known, and known only to be execrated. Fidelity to the chief, Swamidharma, is the climax of all the virtues. The Rajput is taught from his infancy, in the song of the bard, to regard it as the source of honour here, and of happiness hereafter. The poet Chand abounds with episodes on the duty and beauty of fidelity; nor does it require a very fervid imagination to picture the affections which such a life is calculated to promote, when the chief is possessed of the qualities to call them forth. At the chase his vassals attend him: in the covert of the forest, the ground their social board, they eat their repast together, from the venison or wild boar furnished by the sport of the day; nor is the cup neglected. They are familiarly admitted at all times to his presence, and accompany him to the court of their mutual sovereign. In short, they are inseparable.[46]

Their having retained so much of their ancient manners and customs, during [173] centuries of misery and oppression, is the best evidence that those customs were riveted to their very souls. The Rajput of character is a being of the most acute sensibility; 201where honour is concerned, the most trivial omission is often ignorantly construed into an affront.

Provision for Chief’s Relations.

—In all the large estates the chief must provide for his sons or brothers, according to his means and the number of immediate descendants. In an estate of sixty to eighty thousand rupees of annual rent, the second brother might have a village of three to five thousand of rent. This is his patrimony (bapota): he besides pushes his fortune at the court of his sovereign or abroad. Juniors share in proportion. These again subdivide, and have their little circle of dependents. Each new family is known by the name of the founder conjoined to that of his father and tribe: Man Meghsinghgot Saktawat; that is, ‘Man, family of Megh, tribe Saktawat.’ The subdivisions descend to the lowest denomination.


Charsa, a ‘hide of land,’ or about sufficient to furnish an equipped cavalier. It is a singular coincidence that the term for the lowest subdivision of land for military service should be the same amongst the Rajputs as in the English system. Besides being similar in name, it nearly corresponds in actual quantity. From the beginning of the Anglo-Saxon government the land was divided into hides, each comprehending what could be cultivated by a single plough.[47] Four hides constituted one knight’s fee,[48] which is stated to be about forty acres. The Charsa may have from twenty-five to thirty bighas; which are equal to about ten acres—the Saxon hide.

For what these minor vassals held to be their rights on the great pattawats, the reader is again referred to the letter of protest of the inferior pattawats of the Deogarh estate—it may aid his judgement; and it is curious to observe how nearly the subject of their prayer to the sovereign corresponded with the edict of Conrad of Italy,[49] in the year 1037, which originated in 202disagreements between the great lords and their vassals on the subject of sub-infeudations [174].

The extent to which the subdivision before mentioned is carried in some of the Rajput States, is ruinous to the protection and general welfare of the country. It is pursued in some parts till there is actually nothing left sufficiently large to share, or to furnish subsistence for one individual: consequently a great deprivation of services to the State ensues. But this does not prevail so much in the larger principalities as in the isolated tributary Thakurats or lordships scattered over the country; as amongst the Jarejas of Cutch, the tribes in Kathiawar, and the small independencies of Gujarat bordering on the greater western Rajput States. This error in policy requires to be checked by supreme authority, as it was in England by Magna Charta,[50] when the barons of those days took such precautions to secure their own seignorial rights.


—The system in these countries of minute subdivision of fiefs is termed bhayyad,[51] or brotherhood, synonymous to the tenure by frerage of France, but styled only an approximation to sub-infeudation.[52] "Give me my bat (share)," says the Rajput, when he attains to man’s estate, ‘the bat of the bhayyad,’ the portion of the frerage; and thus they go on clipping and paring till all are impoverished. The ‘customs’ of France[53] preserved the dignities of families and the indivisibility of a feudal homage, without exposing the younger sons of a gentleman to beggary and dependence. It would be a great national benefit if some means could be found to limit this subdivision, but it is an evil difficult of remedy. The divisibility of the Cutch and Kathiawar frerage, carried to the most destructive extent, is productive of litigation, crime, and misery. Where it has proper limits it is useful; but though the idea of each rood supporting its man is very poetical, it does not and cannot answer in practice. Its limit in Mewar we would not undertake to assert, but the vassals are careful not to let it become too small; they send the extra numbers to seek their fortunes abroad. In this custom, and the difficulty of finding daejas, or dowers, for their daughters, 203we have the two chief causes of infanticide amongst the Rajputs, which horrible practice was not always confined to the female.

The author of the Middle Ages exemplifies ingeniously the advantages of sub-[175]infeudation, by the instance of two persons holding one knight’s fee; and as the lord was entitled to the service of one for forty days, he could commute it for the joint service of the two for twenty days each. He even erects as a maxim on it, that “whatever opposition was made to the rights of sub-infeudation or frerage, would indicate decay in the military character, the living principle of feudal tenure”;[54] which remark may be just where proper limitation exists, before it reaches that extent when the impoverished vassal would descend to mend his shoes instead of his shield. Primogeniture is the corner-stone of feudality, but this unrestricted sub-infeudation would soon destroy it.[55] It is strong in these States; its rights were first introduced by the Normans from Scandinavia. But more will appear on this subject and its technicalities, in the personal narrative of the author.

1. “Plusieurs possesseurs de fiefs, ayant voulu en laisser perpétuellement la propriété à leurs descendans, prirent des arrangemens avec leur Seigneur; et, outre ce qu’ils donnèrent pour faire le marché, ils s’engagèrent, eux et leur postérité, à abandonner pendant une année, au Seigneur, la jouissance entière du fief, chaque fois que le dit fief changerait de main. C’est ce qui forma le droit de relief. Quand un gentilhomme avait dérogé, il pouvait effacer cette tache moyennant finances, et ce qu’il payait s’appelait relief, il recevait pour quittance des lettres de relief ou de réhabilitation” (Art. ‘Relief,’‘Relief,’ Dict. de l’anc. Régime).

2. Namely, “the heir or heirs of an earl, for an entire earldom, one hundred pounds; the heir or heirs of a baron, for an entire barony, one hundred marks; the heir or heirs of a knight, for a whole knight’s fee, one hundred shillings at most” (Art. III. Magna Charta).

3. “Le droit de rachat devoit se payer à chaque mutation d’héritier, et se paya même d’abord en ligne directe.—La coutume la plus générale l’avait fixé à une année du revenue” (L’Esprit des Loix, livre xxxi. chap. xxxiii.)

4. That symbolic species of investiture denominated ‘improper investiture,’ the delivery of a turf, stone, and wand, has its analogies amongst the mountaineers of the Aravalli. The old baron of Badnor, when the Mer villages were reduced, was clamorous about his feudal rights over those wild people. It was but the point of honour. From one he had a hare, from another a bullock, and so low as a pair of sticks which they use on the festivals of the Holi. These marks of vassalage come under the head of ‘petite serjanteri’ (petit serjeantry) in the feudal system of Europe (see Art. XLI. of Magna Charta).

5. ["All Rājput Jāgīrdārs, or holders of assigned lands, pay nazarāna on the accession of a new Mahārāna, and on certain other occasions, while most of them pay a fine called Kaid [‘imprisonment’] on succeeding to these estates. On the death of a Rājput Jāgīrdār, his estates immediately revert to the Darbār, and so remain until his son or successor is recognized by the Mahārāna, when the grant is renewed, and a fresh lease taken" (Erskine ii. A. 71).]

6. Jareja is the title of the Rajput race in Cutch; they are descendants of the Yadus, and claim from Krishna. In early ages they inhabited the tracts on the Indus and in Seistan [p. 102 above].

7. Wright on Tenures, apud Hallam, vol. i. p. 185.

8. The Hon. Mr. Elphinstone, Governor of Bombay. As we prevented the spoliation of Idar by the predatory powers, we are but right in seeing that the head does not become the spoliator himself, and make these brave men “wish any change but that which we have given them.”

9. Hallam.

10. Ducange, apud Hallam.

11. Barar is the generic name for taxation.

12. The charter of Henry I. promises the custody of heirs to the mother or next of kin (Hallam, vol. ii. p. 429).

13. Hallam, vol. i. p. 190.

14. [The rule of tribal exogamy, whatever may be its origin, is much more primitive than the author supposed (Sir J. G. Frazer, Totemism and Exogamy, i. 54 ff.).]

15. Zabti, ‘sequestration.’

16. Nazarana.

17. It might not be unworthy of research to trace many words common to the Hindu and the Celt; or to inquire whether the Kimbri, the Juts or Getae, the Sakasena, the Chatti of the Elbe and Cimbric Chersonese, and the ancient Britons, did not bring their terms with their bards and vates (the Bhats and Bardais) from the highland of Scythia east of the Caspian, which originated the nations common to both, improved beyond the Wolga and the Indus [?].

18. Hallam, vol. i. 155. [Welsh, Cornish gwas, ‘a servant.’]

19. Patta, a ‘patent’ or ‘grant’; Pattāwat, ‘holder of the fief or grant.’

20. Montesquieu, chaps. xxv., liv., xxxi.

21. Ten generations ago. [At present an estate is not liable to confiscation save for some gross political offence (Erskine ii. A. 71).]

22. The mountainous and woody region to the south-west, dividing Mewar from Gujarat.

23. The grand chain dividing the western from the central States of Rajasthan.

24. Such changes were triennial; and, as I have heard the prince himself say, so interwoven with their customs was this rule that it caused no dissatisfaction; but of this we may be allowed at least to doubt. It was a perfect check to the imbibing of local attachment; and the prohibition against erecting forts for refuge or defiance, prevented its growth if acquired. It produced the object intended, obedience to the prince, and unity against the restless Mogul. Perhaps to these institutions it is owing that Mewar alone never was conquered by the kings during the protracted struggle of seven centuries; though at length worried and worn out, her power expired with theirs, and predatory spoliation completed her ruin.

25. Gibbon, Misc. Works, vol. iii. p. 189; Sur le système féodal surtout en France.

26. Hallam, quoting Gregory of Tours; the picture drawn in A.D. 595.

27. "Fiefs had partially become hereditary towards the end of the first race: in these days they had not the idea of an ‘unalienable fief.’" Montesquieu, vol. ii. p. 431. The historian of the Middle Ages doubts if ever they were resumable at pleasure, unless from delinquency.

28. The Nahlwara of D’Anville and the Arabian travellers of the eighth century, the capital of the Balhara kings.

29. Janam, ‘birth’; es, ‘lord’ or ‘man.’ [See p. 24 above.]

30. “La loi des Lombards oppose les bénéfices à la propriété. Les historiens, les formules, les codes des différens peuples barbares, tous les monumens qui nous restent, sont unanimes. Enfin, ceux qui ont écrit le livre des fiefs, nous apprennent, que d’abord les Seigneurs purent les ôter à leur volonté, qu’ensuite ils les assurèrent pour un an, et après les donnèrent pour la vie” (L’Esprit des Loix, chap. xvi. livre 30).

31. A.D. 1766.

32. Contemporary and opponent of Sultan Babur.

33. Many of them taking wives from the degraded but aboriginal races in their neighbouring retreats, have begot a mixed progeny, who, in describing themselves, unite the tribes of father and mother.

34. Literally, ‘a belly-full.’

35. Allodial property is defined (Hallam, vol. i. p. 144) as “land which had descended by inheritance, subject to no burthen but public defence. It passed to all the children equally; in failure of children, to the nearest kindred.” Thus it is strictly the Miras or Bhum of the Rajputs: inheritance, patrimony. In Mewar it is divisible to a certain extent; but in Cutch, to infinity: and is liable only to local defence. The holder of bham calls it his Adyapi, i.e. of old, by prescriptive right; not by written deed. Montesquieu, describing the conversion of allodial estates into fiefs, says, “These lands were held by Romans or Franks (i.e. freemen) not the king’s vassals,” viz. lands exterior and anterior to the monarchy. We have Rathor, Solanki, and other tribes, now holding bhum in various districts, whose ancestors were conquered by the Sesodias, but left in possession of small portions insufficient to cause jealousy. Some of these may be said to have converted their lands into fiefs, as the Chauhan lord of ——, who served the Salumbar chief.

36. Amidst ruins overgrown with forest, I discovered on two tables of stone the genealogical history of this branch, which was of considerable use in elucidating that of Anhilwara, and which corresponded so well with the genealogies of a decayed bard of the family, who travelled the country for a subsistence, that I feel assured they formerly made good use of these marble records.

37. See Appendix, Nos. XVI. and XVII.

38. I was intimately acquainted with, and much esteemed, many of these Bhumia chiefs—from my friend Paharji (the rock), Ranawat of Amargarh, to the Kumbhawat of Sesoda on the highest point, lord of the pass of the Aravalli; and even the mountain lion, Dungar Singh who bore amongst us, from his old raids, the familiar title of Roderic Dhu. In each situation I have had my tents filled with them; and it was one of the greatest pleasures I ever experienced, after I had taken my leave of them, perhaps for ever, crossed the frontiers of Mewar, and encamped in the dreary pass between it and Marwar, to find that a body of them had been my guards during the night. This is one of the many pleasing recollections of the past. Fortunately for our happiness, the mind admits their preponderance over opposite feelings. I had much to do in aiding the restoration of their past condition; leaving, I believe, as few traces of error in the mode as could be expected, where so many conflicting interests were to be reconciled.

39. See Appendix.

40. See Appendix, Nos. IV., V., VI.

41. Mirror apartments. [To meet the demand for the glass mosaics seen in the palaces of Rājputāna, the Panjab, and Burma, the industry of blowing glass globes, silvered inside, came into existence. The globes are broken into fragments, and set in cement (in Burma in laquer), and used to decorate the walls (Watt, Comm. Prod. 563, 717 f.). There is a Shīsh Mahall in the Agra Fort.]

42. Gardens on the terrace within the palace.

43. Private temple of worship.

44. Dholi.

45. An is the oath of allegiance. Three things in Mewar are royalties a subject cannot meddle with: 1, An, or oath of allegiance; 2, Dan, or transit dues on commerce; 3, Khan, or mines of the precious metals.

46. I rather describe what they were, than what they are. Contentions and poverty have weakened their sympathies and affections; but the mind of philanthropy must hope that they will again become what they have been.

47. Millar’s Historical View of the English Government, p. 85. [See p. 156 above.]

48. Hume, History of England, Appendix II. vol. ii. p. 291.

49. “1. That no man should be deprived of his fief, whether held of the emperor or mesne lord, but by the laws of the empire and judgement of his peers. 2. That from such judgement the vassal might appeal to his sovereign. 3. That fiefs should be inherited by sons and their children, or in their failure by brothers, provided they were feuda paterna, such as had descended from the father. 4. That the lord should not alienate the fief of his vassal without his consent.”consent.”

50. By the revised statute, Quia emptores, of Edw. I., which forbids it in excess, under penalty of forfeiture (Hallam, vol. i. p. 184).

51. Bhayyad, ‘frerage’.

52. Hallam, vol. i. p. 186.

53. Ibid.

54. Hallam, vol. i. p. 186.

55. “Le droit d’aînesse a causé, pendant l’existence du régime féodal, une multitude de guerres et de procès. Notre histoire nous présente, à chaque page, des cadets réduits à la mendicité, se livrant à toutes sortes de brigandages pour réparer les torts de la fortune; des aînés, refusant la légitime à leurs frères; des cadets, assassinant leur aîné pour lui succéder, etc.” (see article, ‘Droit d’aînesse,’ Dict. de l’Ancien Régime).



—I now proceed to another point of striking resemblance between the systems of the east and wrest, arising from the same causes—the unsettled state of society, and the deficiency of paramount protection. It is here called rakhwali,[1] or ‘preservation’; the salvamenta of Europe.[2] To a certain degree it always existed in these States; but the interminable predatory 204warfare of the last half century increased it to so frightful an extent that superior authority was required to redeem the abuses it had occasioned. It originated in the necessity of protection; and the modes of obtaining it, as well as the compensation [176] when obtained, were various. It often consisted of money or kind on the reaping of each harvest: sometimes in a multiplicity of petty privileges and advantages, but the chief object was to obtain bhum: and here we have one solution of the constituted bhumia,[3] assimilating, as observed, to the allodial proprietor. Bhum thus obtained is irrevocable; and in the eager anxiety for its acquisition we have another decided proof of every other kind of tenure being deemed resumable by the crown.

It was not unfrequent that application for protection was made to the nearest chief by the tenants of the fisc; a course eventually sanctioned by the Government, which could not refuse assent where it could not protect. Here, then, we revert to first principles; and ‘seignorial rights’ may be forfeited, when they cease to yield that which ought to have originated them, viz. benefit to the community. Personal service at stated periods, to aid in the agricultural[4] economy of the protector, was sometimes stipulated, when the husbandmen were to find implements and cattle,[5] and to attend whenever ordered. The protected calls the chief ‘patron’; and the condition may not unaptly be compared to that of personal commendation,[6] like salvamenta, founded on the disturbed state of society. But what originated thus was often continued and multiplied by avarice, and the spirit of rapine, which disgraced the Rajput of the last half century, though he had abundance of apologies for ‘scouring the country.’ But all salvamenta and other marks of vassalage, obtained during these times of desolation, were annulled in the settlement which took place between the Rana and his chiefs, in A.D. 1818[7] [177].

205But the crown itself, by some singular proceeding, possesses, or did possess, according to the Patta Bahi, or Book of Grants, considerable salvamenta right, especially in the districts between the new and ancient capitals, in sums of from twenty to one hundred rupees in separate villages.

To such an extent has this rakhwali[8] been carried when protection was desired, that whole communities have ventured their liberty, and become, if not slaves, yet nearly approaching the condition of slaves, to the protector. But no common visitation ever leads to an evil of this magnitude. I mention the fact merely to show that it does exist; and we may infer that the chief, who has become the arbiter of the lives and fortunes of his followers, must have obtained this power by devoting all to their protection. The term thus originated, and probably now (with many others) written for the first time in English letters in this sense, is Basai.


Basāi, Slavery.

—Slavery is to be found in successive stages of society of Europe, but we have no parallel in Rajwara (at least in name) to the agricultural serfs and villains of Europe; nor is there any intermediate term denoting a species of slavery between the Gola[9] of the Hindu chief’s household and the free Rajput but the singular one of basai, which must be explained, since it cannot be translated. This class approximates closely to the tributarii and coloni, perhaps to the servi, of the Salic Franks, “who were cultivators of the earth, and subject to residence upon their master’s estate, though not destitute of property or civil rights.”[10] Precisely the condition of the cultivator in Haraoti who now tills for a taskmaster the fields he formerly owned, degraded to the name of hali,[11] a ploughman.

“When small proprietors,” says Hallam, “lost their lands by mere rapine, we may believe their liberty was hardly less endangered.” The hali of Haraoti knows the bitter truth of this inference, which applies to the subject immediately before us, [178] the basai. The portion of liberty the latter has parted with, was not originally lost through compulsion on the part of the protector, but from external violence, which made this desperate remedy necessary. Very different from the hali of Kotah, who is servile though without the title—a serf in condition but without the patrimony; compelled to labour for subsistence on the land he once owned; chained to it by the double tie of debt and strict police; and if flight were practicable, the impossibility of bettering his condition from the anarchy around would render it unavailing. This is not the practice under the patriarchal native government, which, with all its faults, retains the old links of society, with its redeeming sympathies; but springs from a maire du palais, who pursued an unfeeling and mistaken policy towards this class of society till of late years. Mistaken ambition was the origin of the evil; he saw his error, and remedied it in time to prevent further mischief to the State. This octogenarian ruler, Zalim Singh of Kotah, is too much of a philosopher and politician to let passion overcome 207his interests and reputation; and we owe to the greatest despot a State ever had the only regular charter which at present exists in Rajasthan, investing a corporate body with the election of their own magistrates and the making of their own laws, subject only to confirmation; with all the privileges which marked in the outset the foundation of the free cities of Europe, and that of boroughs in England.

It is true that, in detached documents, we see the spirit of these institutions existing in Mewar, and it is as much a matter of speculation, whether this wise ruler promulgated this novelty as a trap for good opinions, or from policy and foresight alone: aware, when all around him was improving, from the shackles of restraint being cast aside, that his retention of them must be hurtful to himself. Liberality in this exigence answered the previous purpose of extortion. His system, even then, was good by comparison; all around was rapine, save in the little oasis kept verdant by his skill, where he permitted no other oppression than his own.

This charter is appended[12] as a curiosity in legislation, being given thirty years ago. Another, for the agriculturists’ protection, was set up in A.D. 1821. No human being prompted either; though the latter is modelled from the proceedings in Mewar, and may have been intended, as before observed, to entrap applause.

In every district of Haraoti the stone was raised to record this ordinance [179].

Gola—Das (Slaves).—Famine in these regions is the great cause of loss of liberty: thousands were sold in the last great famine. The predatory system of the Pindaris and mountain tribes aided to keep it up. Here, as amongst the Franks, freedom is derived through the mother. The offspring of a goli[13] or dasi must be a slave. Hence the great number of golas in Rajput families, whose illegitimate offspring are still adorned in Mewar, as our Saxon slaves were of old, with a silver ring round the left ankle, instead of the neck. They are well treated, and are often amongst the best of the military retainers;[14] but are generally esteemed in proportion to the quality of the mother, whether Rajputni, Muslim, or of the degraded tribes: they hold confidential places 208about the chiefs of whose blood they are. The great-grandfather of the late chief of Deogarh used to appear at court with three hundred golas[15] on horseback in his train, the sons of Rajputs, each with a gold ring round his ankle: men whose lives were his own. This chief could then head two thousand retainers, his own vassals.[16]

Slavery due to Gambling.

—Tacitus[17] describes the baneful effects of gambling amongst the German tribes, as involving personal liberty; their becoming slaves, and being subsequently sold by the winner. The Rajput’s passion for gaming, as remarked in the history of the tribes, is strong; and we can revert to periods long anterior to Tacitus, and perhaps before the woods of Germany were peopled with the worshippers of Tuisto, for the antiquity of this vice amongst the Rajput warriors, presenting a highly interesting picture of its pernicious effects. Yudhishthira having staked and lost the throne of India to Duryodhana, to recover it hazarded the beautiful and virtuous Draupadi. By the loaded dice of his foes she became the goli of the Kaurava, who, triumphing in his pride, would have unveiled her in public; but the deity presiding over female modesty preserved her from the rude gaze of the assembled host; the miraculous scarf lengthened as he withdrew it, till tired, he desisted at the instance of superior interposition. Yudhishthira, not satisfied with this, staked twelve years of his personal liberty, and became an exile from the haunts of Kalindi, a wanderer in the wilds skirting the distant ocean [180].

The illegitimate sons of the Rana are called das, literally ‘slave’: they have no rank, though they are liberally provided 209for. Basai signifies ‘acquired slavery’; in contradistinction to gola, ‘an hereditary slave.’ The gola can only marry a goli: the lowest Rajput would refuse his daughter to a son of the Rana of this kind. The basai can redeem[18] his liberty: the gola has no wish to do so, because he could not improve his condition nor overcome his natural defects. To the basai nothing dishonourable attaches: the class retain their employments and caste, and are confined to no occupation, but it must be exercised with the chief’s sanction. Individuals reclaimed from captivity, in gratitude have given up their liberty: communities, when this or greater evils threatened, have done the same for protection of their lives, religion, and honour. Instances exist of the population of towns being in this situation. The greater part of the inhabitants of the estate of Bijolli are the basai of its chief, who is of the Pramara tribe: they are his subjects; the Rana, the paramount lord, has no sort of authority over them. Twelve generations have elapsed since his ancestor conducted this little colony into Mewar, and received the highest honours and a large estate on the plateau of its border, in a most interesting country.[19]

The only badge denoting the basai is a small tuft of hair on the crown of the head. The term interpreted has nothing harsh in it, meaning ‘occupant, dweller, or settler.’ The numerous towns in India called Basai have this origin: chiefs abandoning their ancient haunts, and settling[20] with all their retainers and chattels in new abodes. From this, the town of Basai near Tonk (Rampura), derived its name, when the Solanki prince was compelled to abandon his patrimonial lands in Gujarat; his subjects of all 210classes accompanying him voluntarily, in preference to submitting to foreign rule. Probably the foundation of Bijolli was similar; though only the name of Basai now attaches to the inhabitants. It is not uncommon [181], in the overflowing of gratitude, to be told, “You may sell me, I am your basai.”[21]

Private Feuds—Composition.

—In a state of society such as these sketches delineate, where all depends on the personal character of the sovereign, the field for the indulgence of the passions, and especially of that most incident to the uncontrollable habits of such races—revenge—must necessarily be great. Private feuds have tended, with the general distraction of the times, to desolate this country. Some account of their mode of prosecution, and the incidents thence arising, cannot fail to throw additional light on the manners of society, which during the last half-century were fast receding to a worse than semi-barbarous condition, and, aided by other powerful causes, might have ended in entire annihilation. The period was rapidly advancing, when this fair region of Mewar, the garden of Rajasthan, would have reverted to its primitive sterility. The tiger and the wild boar had already become inmates of the capital, and the bats flitted undisturbed in the palaces of her princes. The ante-courts, where the chieftains and their followers assembled to grace their prince’s cavalcade, were overgrown with dank shrubs and grass, through which a mere footpath conducted the ‘descendant of a hundred kings’ to the ruins of his capital.

In these principalities the influence of revenge is universal. Not to prosecute a feud is tantamount to an acknowledgement of self-degradation; and, as in all countries where the laws are insufficient to control individual actions or redress injuries, they have few scruples as to the mode of its gratification. Hence 211feuds are entailed with the estates from generation to generation. To sheathe the sword till ‘a feud is balanced’ (their own idiomatic expression), would be a blot never to be effaced from the escutcheon.

In the Hindu word which designates a feud we have another of those striking coincidences in terms to which allusion has already been made: vair is ‘a feud,’ vairi, ‘a foe.’ The Saxon term for the composition of a feud, wergild, is familiar to every man. In some of these States the initial vowel is hard, and [182] pronounced bair. In Rajasthan, bair is more common than vair, but throughout the south-west vair only is used. In these we have the original Saxon word war,[22] the French guer. The Rajput wergild is land or a daughter to wife. In points of honour the Rajput is centuries in advance of our Saxon forefathers, who had a legislative remedy for every bodily injury, when each finger and toe had its price.[23] This might do very well when the injury was committed on a hind, but the Rajput must have blood for blood. The monarch must be powerful who can compel acceptance of the compensation, or mund-kati.[24]

The prosecution of a feud is only to be stopped by a process which is next to impracticable; namely, by the party injured volunteering forgiveness, or the aggressor throwing himself as a suppliant unawares on the clemency of his foe within his own domains: a most trying situation for each to be placed in, yet 212not unexampled, and revenge in such a case would entail infamy. It was reserved for these degenerate days to produce such an instance.

Amargarh-Shāhpura Feud.

—The Raja of Shahpura, one of the most powerful of the chiefs of Mewar, and of the Rana’s blood, had a feud with the Ranawat chief, the Bhumia proprietor of Amargarh. Ummeda,[25] the chief of Shahpura, held two estates: one was the grant of the kings of Delhi, the other of his own sovereign, and each amounting to £10,000[26] of annual rent, besides the duties on commerce. His estate in Mewar was in the district of Mandalgarh, where also lay his antagonist’s; their bounds were in common and some of the lands were intermixed: this led to disputes, threats, and blows, even in the towns of their fathers, between their husbandmen. The Bhumia Dilel was much less powerful; he was lord of only ten villages, not yielding above £1200 a year; but they were compact and well managed, and he was [183] popular amongst his brethren, whose swords he could always command. His castle was perched on a rock, and on the towers facing the west (the direction of Shahpura) were mounted some swivels: moreover a belt of forest surrounded it, through which only two or three roads were cut, so that surprise was impossible. Dilel had therefore little to fear, though his antagonist could bring two thousand of his own followers against him. The feud burned and cooled alternately; but the Raja’s exposed villages enabled Dilel to revenge himself with much inferior means. He carried off the cattle, and sometimes the opulent subjects, of his foe, to his donjon-keep in Amargarh for ransom. Meanwhile the husbandmen of both suffered, and agriculture was neglected, till half the villages held by Ummeda in Mandalgarh became deserted. The Raja had merited this by his arrogance and attempts to humble Dilel, who had deserved more of the sympathies of his neighbours than his rival, whose tenants were tired of the payments of barchi-dohai.[27]

213Ummeda was eccentric, if the term be not too weak to characterize acts which, in more civilized regions, would have subjected him to coercion. He has taken his son and suspended him by the cincture to the pinnacle of his little chapel at Shahpura, and then called on the mother to come and witness the sight. He would make excursions alone on horseback or on a swift camel, and be missing for days. In one of these moods he and his foe Dilel encountered face to face within the bounds of Amargarh. Dilel only saw a chief high in rank at his mercy. With courtesy he saluted him, invited him to his castle, entertained him, and pledged his health and forgiveness in the munawwar piyala:[28] they made merry, and in the cup agreed to extinguish the remembrance of the feud.

Both had been summoned to the court of the sovereign. The Raja proposed that they should go together, and invited him to go by Shahpura. Dilel accordingly saddled his twenty steeds, moved out his equipage, and providing himself with fitting raiment, and funds to maintain him at the capital, accompanied the Raja to receive the return of his hospitality. They ate from the same platter,[29] drank of the same cup and enjoyed the song and dance. They even went together to [184] their devotions, to swear before their deity what they had pledged in the cup—oblivion of the past. But scarcely had they crossed the threshold of the chapel, when the head of the chief of Amargarh was rolling on the pavement, and the deity and the altar were sprinkled with his blood! To this atrocious and unheard-of breach of the laws of hospitality, the Raja added the baseness of the pilferer, seizing on the effects of his now lifeless foe. He is said, also, with all the barbarity and malignity of long-treasured revenge, to have kicked the head with his foot, apostrophising it in the pitiful language of resentment. The son of Dilel, armed for revenge, collected all his adherents, and confusion was again commencing its reign. To prevent this, the Rana compelled restitution of the horses and effects; and five villages from the estate of the Raja were the mund-kati (wergild) or compensation to the son of Dilel. The rest of the estate of the murderer was eventually sequestrated by the crown.

214The feuds of Arja and Sheogarh are elsewhere detailed, and such statements could be multiplied. Avowal of error and demand of forgiveness, with the offer of a daughter in marriage, often stop the progress of a feud, and might answer better than appearing as a suppliant, which requires great delicacy of contrivance.[30] Border disputes[31] are most prolific in the production of feuds, and the Rajput lord-marchers have them entailed on them as regularly as their estates. The border chiefs of Jaisalmer and Bikaner carry this to such extent that it often involved both states in hostilities. The vair and its composition in Mandalgarh will, however, suffice for the present to exemplify these things.

Rajput Pardhans or Premiers.

—It would not be difficult, amongst the Majores Domus Regiae of these principalities, to find parallels to the Maires du Palais of France. Imbecility in the chief, whether in the east or west, must have the same consequences; and more than one State in India will present us with the joint appearance of the phantom and the substance of royalty. The details of [185] personal attendance at court will be found elsewhere. When not absent on frontier duties, or by permission at their estates, the chiefs resided with their families at the capital; but a succession of attendants was always secured, to keep up its splendour and perform personal service at the palace. In Mewar, the privileges and exemptions of the higher class are such as to exhibit few of the marks of vassalage observable at other courts. Here it is only on occasion of particular festivals and solemnities that they ever join the prince’s cavalcade, or attend at court. If full attendance is required, on the reception of ambassadors, or in discussing matters of general policy, when 215they have a right to hear and advise as the hereditary council (panchayat) of the State, they are summoned by an officer, with the prince’s juhar,[32] and his request. On grand festivals the great nakkaras, or kettle-drums, beat at three stated times; the third is the signal for the chief to quit his abode and mount his steed. Amidst all these privileges, when it were almost difficult to distinguish between the prince and his great chiefs, there are occasions well understood by both, which render the superiority of the former apparent: one occurs in the formalities observed on a lapse; another, when at court in personal service, the chief once a week mounts guard at the palace with his clan. On these occasions the vast distance between them is seen. When the chief arrives in the grand court of the palace with his retainers, he halts under the balcony till intimation is given to the prince, who from thence receives his obeisance and duty. This over, he retires to the great darikhana, or hall of audience, appropriated for these ceremonies, where carpets are spread for him and his retainers. At meals the prince sends his compliments, requesting the chief’s attendance at the rasora[33] or ‘feasting hall,’ where with other favoured chiefs he partakes of dinner with the prince. He sleeps in the hall of audience, and next morning with the same formalities takes his leave. Again, in the summons to the presence from their estates, instant obedience is requisite. But in this, attention to their rank is studiously shown by ruqa, written by the private secretary, with the sign-manual of the prince attached, and sealed with the private finger-ring. For the inferior grades, the usual seal of state entrusted to the minister is used.

But these are general duties. In all these States some great court favourite [186], from his talents, character, or intrigue, holds the office of premier. His duties are proportioned to his wishes, or the extent of his talents and ambition; but he does not interfere with the civil administration, which has its proper minister. They, however, act together. The Rajput premier is the military minister, with the political government of the 216fiefs; the civil minister is never of this caste. Local customs have given various appellations to this officer. At Udaipur he is called bhanjgarh; at Jodhpur, pardhan; at Jaipur (where they have engrafted the term used at the court of Delhi) musahib; at Kotah, kiladar, and diwan or regent. He becomes a most important personage, as dispenser of the favours of the sovereign. Through him chiefly all requests are preferred, this being the surest channel to success. His influence, necessarily, gives him unbounded authority over the military classes, with unlimited power over the inferior officers of the State. With a powerful body of retainers always at his command, it is surprising we have not more frequently our ‘mayors of Burgundy and Dagoberts,’[34] our ‘Martels and Pepins,’ in Rajasthan.

We have our hereditary Rajput premiers in several of these States: but in all the laws of succession are so regulated that they could not usurp the throne of their prince, though they might his functions.

When the treaty was formed between Mewar and the British Government, the ambassadors wished to introduce an article of guarantee of the office of pardhan to the family of the chief noble of the country, the Rawat of Salumbar. The fact was, as stated, that the dignity was hereditary in this family; but though the acquisition was the result of an act of virtue, it had tended much towards the ruin of the country, and to the same cause are to be traced all its rebellions.

To face page 216.

The ambassador was one of the elders of the same clan, being the grand uncle of the hereditary pardhan. He had taken a most active share in the political events of the last thirty years, and had often controlled the councils of his prince during this period, 217and actually held the post of premier himself when stipulating [187] for his minor relative. With the ascendancy he exercised over the prince, it may be inferred that he had no intention of renouncing it during his lifetime; and as he was educating his adopted heir to all his notions of authority, and initiating him in the intrigues of office, the guaranteed dignity in the head of his family would have become a nonentity,[35] and the Ranas would have been governed by the deputies of their mayors. From both those evils the times have relieved the prince. The crimes of Ajit had made his dismissal from office a point of justice, but imbecility and folly will never be without ‘mayors.’

When a Rana of Udaipur leaves the capital, the Salumbar chief is invested with the government of the city and charge of the palace during his absence. By his hands the sovereign is girt with the sword, and from him he receives the mark of inauguration on his accession to the throne. He leads, by right, the van in battle; and in case of the siege of the capital, his post is the surajpol,[36] and the fortress which crowns it, in which this family had a handsome palace, which is now going fast to decay.

It was the predecessor of the present chief of Salumbar who set up a pretender and the standard of rebellion; but when foreign aid was brought in, he returned to his allegiance and the defence of the capital. Similar sentiments have often been awakened in patriotic breasts, when roused by the interference of foreigners in their internal disputes. The evil entailed on the State by these hereditary offices will appear in its annals.

218In Marwar the dignity is hereditary in the house of Awa; but the last brave chief who held it became the victim of a revengeful and capricious sovereign,[37] [188] who was jealous of his exploits; and dying, he bequeathed a curse to his posterity who should again accept the office. It was accordingly transferred to the next in dignity, the house of Asop. The present chief, wisely distrusting the prince whose reign has been a series of turmoils, has kept aloof from court. When the office was jointly held by the chiefs of Nimaj and Pokaran, the tragic end of the former afforded a fine specimen of the prowess and heroism of the Rathor Rajput. In truth, these pardhans of Marwar have always been mill-stones round the necks of their princes; an evil interwoven in their system when the partition of estates took place amidst the sons of Jodha in the infancy of this State. It was, no doubt, then deemed politic to unite to the interests of the crown so powerful a branch, which when combined could always control the rest; but this gave too much equality.

The Chief of Pokaran.

—Deo Singh, the great-grandfather of the Pokaran chief alluded to, used to sleep in the great hall of the palace with five hundred of his clan around him. “The throne of Marwar is in the sheath of my dagger,” was the repeated boast of this arrogant chieftain. It may be anticipated that either he or his sovereign would die a violent death. The lord of Pokaran was entrapped, and instant death commanded; yet with the sword suspended over his head, his undaunted spirit was the same as when seated in the hall, and surrounded by his vassals. “Where, traitor, is now the sheath that holds the fortunes of Marwar?” said the prince. The taunt recoiled with bitterness when he loftily replied, “With my son at Pokaran I have left it.” No time was given for further insult; his head rolled at the steps of the palace; but the dagger of Pokaran still haunts the imaginations of these princes, and many attempts have been made to get possessed of their stronghold on the edge of the desert.[38] The narrow escape of the present chief will be related hereafter, with the sacrifice of his friend and coadjutor, the chief of Nimaj.

Premiers in Kotah and Jaisalmer.

—In Kotah and Jaisalmer the power of the ministers is supreme. We might describe their situation in the words of Montesquieu. "The Pepins kept their princes in a state of imprisonment in the palace, showing them once a year to the people. On this occasion they made such ordinances as were directed [189] by the mayor; they also answered ambassadors, but the mayor framed the answer."[39]

Like those of the Merovingian race, these puppets of royalty in the east are brought forth to the Champ de Mars once a year, at the grand military festival, the Dasahra. On this day, presents provided by the minister are distributed by the prince. Allowances for every branch of expenditure are fixed, nor has the prince the power to exceed them. But at Kotah there is nothing parsimonious, though nothing superfluous. On the festival of the birth of Krishna, and other similar feasts, the prince likewise appears abroad, attended by all the insignia of royalty. Elephants with standards precede; lines of infantry and guns are drawn up; while a numerous cavalcade surrounds his person. The son of the minister sometimes condescends to accompany his prince on horseback; nor is there anything wanting to magnificence, but the power to control or alter any part of it. This failing, how humiliating to a proud mind, acquainted with the history of his ancestors and imbued with a portion of their spirit, to be thus muzzled, enchained, and rendered a mere pageant of state! This chain would have been snapped, but that each link has become adamantine from the ties this ruler has formed with the British Government. He has well merited our protection; though we never contemplated to what extent the maintenance of these ties would involve our own character. But this subject is connected with the history of an individual who yields to none of the many extraordinary men whom India has produced, and who required but a larger theatre to have drawn the attention of the world. His character will be further elucidated in the Annals of Haravati [190].

1. See Appendix, Nos. VII., VIII., and IX.

2. This is the sauvement ou vingtain of the French system: there it ceased with the cause. “Les guerres (feudal) cessèrent avec le régime féodal, et les paysans n’eurent plus besoin de la protection du Seigneur; on ne les força pas moins de réparer son château, et de lui payer le droit qui se nommait de sauvement ou vingtain” (Art. ‘Château,’ Dict. de l’Ancien Régime).

3. The chief might lose his patta lands, and he would then dwindle down into the bhumia proprietor, which title only lawless force could take from him. See Appendix, No. IX.

4. See Appendix, No. X., Art. II.

5. This species would come under the distinct term of Hydages due by soccage vassals, who in return for protection supply carriages and work (Hume, vol. ii. p. 308).

6. Hallam, vol. i. p. 169.

7. In indulging my curiosity on this subject, I collected some hundred engagements, and many of a most singular nature. We see the chieftain stipulating for fees on marriages; for a dish of the good fare at the wedding feast, which he transfers to a relation of his district if unable to attend himself; portions of fuel and provender; and even wherewithal to fill the wassail cup in his days of merriment. The Rajput’s religious notions are not of so strict a character as to prevent his even exacting his rakhwali dues from the church lands, and the threat of slaughtering the sacred flock of our Indian Apollo has been resorted to, to compel payment when withheld. Nay, by the chiefs it was imposed on things locomotive: on caravans, or Tandas of merchandise, wherever they halted for the day, rakhwali was demanded. Each petty chief through whose district or patch of territory they travelled, made a demand, till commerce was dreadfully shackled; but it was the only way in which it could be secured. It was astonishing how commerce was carried on at all; yet did the cloths of Dacca and the shawls of Kashmir pass through all such restraints, and were never more in request. Where there is demand no danger will deter enterprise; and commerce flourished more when these predatory armies were rolling like waves over the land, than during the succeeding halcyon days of pacification.

8. The method by which the country is brought under this tax is as follows: “When the people are almost ruined by continual robberies and plunders, the leader of the band of thieves, or some friend of his, proposes that, for a sum of money annually paid, he will keep a number of men in arms to protect such a tract of ground, or as many parishes as submit to the contribution. When the terms are agreed upon he ceases to steal, and thereby the contributors are safe: if any one refuse to pay, he is immediately plundered. To colour all this villainy, those concerned in the robberies pay the tax with the rest; and all the neighbourhood must comply or be undone. This is the case (among others), with the whole low country of the shire of Ross” (Extract from Lord Lovat’s Memorial to George I. on the State of the Highlands of Scotland, in A.D. 1724).

9. In Persian ghulām, literally ‘slave’; evidently a word of the same origin with the Hindu gola. [The words have no connexion.]

10. Hallam, vol. i. p. 217.

11. From hal, ‘a plough.’ Syl is ‘a plough’ in Saxon (Turner’s Anglo-Saxons). The h and s are permutable throughout Rajwara. [The words have no connexion.] In Marwar, Salim Singh is pronounced Halim Hingh.

12. See Appendix, No. XI.

13. Female slave.

14. See Appendix, No. XIX.

15. The reader of Dow’s translation of Ferishta [i. 134] may recollect that when Kutbu-d-din was left the viceroy of the conqueror he is made to say: “He gave the country to Gola the son of Pittu Rai.” [“He delivered over the country to the Gola, or natural son, of Pithow Ray” (Briggs’ trans. i. 128).] Dow mistakes this appellation of the natural brother of the last Hindu sovereign for a proper name. He is mentioned by the bard Chand in his exploits of Prithwiraja.

16. I have often received the most confidential messages, from chiefs of the highest rank, through these channels. [There are, at the present day, several bastard castes originally composed of the illegitimate children of men of rank, Rājputs, Brāhmans, Mahājans, and others. These are now recruited from the descendants of such persons, and from recently born illegitimate children (Census Report, Rajputana, 1911, i. 249f.).]

17. Germania, xxiv.

18. The das or ‘slave’ may hold a fief in Rajasthan, hut he never can rise above the condition in which this defect of birth has placed him. “L’affranchissement consistait à sortir de la classe des serfs, par l’acquisition d’un fief, ou settlement d’un fonds. La nécessité où s’étaient trouvés les seigneurs féodaux de vendre une partie de leurs terres, pour faire leurs équipages des croisades, avait rendu ces acquisitions communes; mais le fief n’anoblissait qu’à la troisième génération.” Serfs who had twice or thrice been champions, or saved the lives of their masters, were also liberated. “Un évêque d’Auxerre déclara qu’il n’affranchirait gratuitement, qui que ce soit, s’il n’avait reçu quinze blessures à son service” (see Article ‘Affranchissement,’ Dict. de l’ancien Régime).

19. I could but indistinctly learn whether this migration, and the species of paternity here existing, arose from rescuing them from Tatar invaders, or from the calamity of famine.

20. Basna, ‘to settle.’

21. I had the happiness to be the means of releasing from captivity some young chiefs, who had been languishing in Mahratta fetters as hostages for the payment of a war contribution. One of them, a younger brother of the Purawat division, had a mother dying to see him; but though he might have taken her house in the way, a strong feeling of honour and gratitude made him forgo this anxious visit: “I am your Rajput, your gola, your basai.” He was soon sent off to his mother. Such little acts, mingling with public duty, are a compensation for the many drawbacks of solitude, gloom, and vexation, attending such situations. They are no sinecures or beds of roses—ease, comfort, and health, being all subordinate considerations.

22. Gilbert on Tenures, art. “Warranty,” p. 169. [Wergild, wer, ‘man,’ gield, gieldan; vair is Skt. vīra, ‘hero’; O.E. wer, O.H.G. werran, ‘to embroil,’ Fr. guerre.]

23. “The great toe took rank as it should be, and held to double the sum of the others, for which ten scyllinga was the value without the nail, which was thirty scealta to boot” (Turner’s Anglo-Saxons, vol. ii. p. 133).

24. Appendix, No. XVIII. The laws of composition were carried to a much greater extent amongst the Hindu nations than even amongst those of the Anglo-Saxons, who might have found in Manu all that was ever written on the subject, from the killing of a Brahman by design to the accidental murder of a dog. The Brahman is four times the value of the soldier, eight of the merchant, and sixteen times of the Sudra. “If a Brahman kill one of the soldier caste (without malice), a bull and one thousand cows is the fine of expiation. If he slays a merchant, a bull and one hundred cows is the fine. If a Sudra or lowest class, ten white cows and a bull to the priest is the expiation” [Laws, xi. 127 ff.]. Manu legislated also for the protection of the brute creation, and if the priest by chance kills a cat, a frog, a dog, a lizard, an owl, or a crow, he must drink nothing but milk for three days and nights, or walk four miles in the night.

25. Ummeda, ‘hope.’

26. Together £20,000, equal to £100,000 of England, if the respective value of the necessaries of life be considered.

27. Barchi is ‘a lance.’ In these marauding days, when there was a riever in every village, they sallied out to ‘run the country,’ either to stop the passenger on the highway or the inhabitant of the city. The lance at his breast, he would call out dohai, an invocation of aid. During harvest time barchi-dohai used to be exacted.

28. ‘Cup of invitation.’ [Munawwar, Pers. ‘bright, splendid.’]

29. This is a favourite expression, and a mode of indicating great friendship: ‘to eat of the same platter (thali), and drink of the same cup (piyala).’

30. The Bundi feud with the Rana is still unappeased, since the predecessor of the former slew the Rana’s father. It was an indefensible act, and the Bundi prince was most desirous to terminate it. He had no daughter to offer, and hinted a desire to accompany me incog. and thus gain admission to the presence of the Rana. The benevolence and generosity of this prince would have insured him success; but it was a delicate matter, and I feared some exposure from any arrogant hot-headed Rajput ere the scene could have been got up. The Raja Bishan Singh of Bundi is since dead [in 1828]; a brave and frank Rajput; he has left few worthier behind. His son [Rām Singh, 1821-89], yet a minor, promises well. The protective alliance, which is to turn their swords into ploughshares, will prevent their becoming foes; but they will remain sulky border-neighbours, to the fostering of disputes and the disquiet of the merchant and cultivator.

31. Sim—Kankar.

32. A salutation, only sent by a superior to an inferior.

33. The kitchen is large enough for a fortress, and contains large eating halls. Food for seven hundred of the prince’s court is daily dressed. This is not for any of the personal servants of the prince, or female establishments; all these are separate.

34. Dagobert commended his wife and son Clovis to the trust of Ega, with whom she jointly held the care of the palace. On his death, with the aid of more powerful lords, she chose another mayor. He confirmed their grants for life. They made his situation hereditary; but which could only have held good from the crowd of imbeciles who succeeded Clovis, until the descendant of this mayor thrust out his children and seized the crown. This change is a natural consequence of unfitness; and if we go back to the genealogies (called sacred) of the Hindus, we see there a succession of dynasties forced from their thrones by their ministers. Seven examples are given in the various dynasties of the race of Chandra. (See Genealogical Tables, No. II.) [The above is in some ways inaccurate, but it is unnecessary to correct it, as it is not connected with the question of premiers in Rājputāna: see EB, xvii. 938.]

35. So many sudden deaths had occurred in this family, that the branch in question (Ajit Singh’s) were strongly suspected of ‘heaping these mortal murders on their crown,’ to push their elders from their seats. The father of Padma, the present chief, is said to have been taken off by poison; and Pahar Singh, one generation anterior, returning grievously wounded from the battle of Ujjain, in which the southrons first swept Mewar, was not permitted to recover. The mother of the present young chief of the Jhala tribe of the house of Gogunda, in the west, was afraid to trust him from her sight. She is a woman of great strength of mind and excellent character, but too indulgent to an only son. He is a fine bold youth, and, though impatient of control, may be managed. On horseback with his lance, in chase of the wild boar, a more resolute cavalier could not be seen. His mother, when he left the estate alone for court, which he seldom did without her accompanying him, never failed to send me a long letter, beseeching me to guard the welfare of her son. My house was his great resort: he delighted to pull over my books, or go fishing or riding with me.

36. Surya, ‘sun’; and pol, ‘gate.’ Poliya, ‘a porter.’

37. “The cur can bite,” the reply of this chief, either personally, or to the person who reported that his sovereign so designated him, was never forgiven.

38. His son, Sabal Singh, followed in his footsteps, till an accidental cannon-shot relieved the terrors of the prince.

39. L’Esprit des Loix, chap. vi. livre 31.




—The hereditary principle, which perpetuates in these States their virtues and their vices, is also the grand preservative of their political existence and national manners: it is an imperishable principle, which resists time and innovation: it is this which made the laws of the Medes and Persians, as well as those of the Rajputs, unalterable. A chief of Mewar, like his sovereign, never dies: he disappears to be regenerated. ‘Le roi est mort, vive le roi!’ is a phrase, the precise virtue of which is there well understood. Neither the crown nor the greater fiefs are ever without heirs. Adoption is the preservative of honours and titles; the great fiefs of Rajasthan can never become extinct.[1] But, however valuable this privilege, which the law of custom has made a right, it is often carried to the most hurtful and foolish extent. They have allowed the limit which defined it to be effaced, and each family, of course, maintains a custom, so soothing to vanity, as the prospect of having their names revived in their descendants. This has resulted from the weakness of the prince and the misery of the times. Lands were bestowed liberally which yielded nothing to their master, who, in securing a nominal obedience and servitude, had as much as the times made them worth when given; but with returning prosperity and old customs, these great errors have become too visible. Adoptions are often made during the life of the incumbent when without prospect of issue. The chief and his wife first agitate the subject in private; it is then confided to the little council of the fief, and when propinquity and merit unite, they at once petition the prince to confirm their wishes, which are generally acceded to. So many interests are to be consulted on this occasion, that the blind partiality of the chief to any particular object is always counterpoised by the elders of the clan, who must have a pride in seeing a proper Thakur[2] at their head, and who prefer the nearest of kin, to prevent the disputes which would be attendant on neglect in this point [191].

221On sudden lapses, the wife is allowed the privilege, in conjunction with those interested in the fief, of nomination, though the case is seldom left unprovided for: there is always a presumptive heir to the smallest sub-infeudation of these estates. The wife of the deceased is the guardian of the minority of the adopted.

The Case of Deogarh.

—The chief of Deogarh, one of the sixteen Omras[3] of Mewar, died without issue. On his death-bed he recommended to his wife and chiefs Nahar Singh for their adoption. This was the son of the independent chieftain of Sangramgarh, already mentioned. There were nearer kin, some of the seventh and eighth degrees, and young Nahar was the eleventh. It was never contemplated that the three last gigantic[4] chieftains of Deogarh would die without issue, or the branches, now claimants from propinquity, would have been educated to suit the dignity; but being brought up remote from court, they had been compelled to seek employment where obtainable, or to live on the few acres to which their distant claim of birth restricted them. Two of these, who had but the latter resource to fly to, had become mere boors; and of two who had sought service abroad by arms, one was a cavalier in the retinue of the prince, and the other a hanger-on about court: both dissipated and unfitted, as the frerage asserted, ‘to be the chieftains of two thousand Rajputs, the sons of one father.’[5] Much interest and intrigue were carried on for one of these, and he was supported by the young prince and a faction. Some of the senior Pattawats of Deogarh are men of the highest character, and often lamented the sombre qualities of their chief, which prevented the clan having that interest in the State to which its extent and rank entitled it. While these intrigues were in their infancy, they adopted a decided measure; they brought home young Nahar from his father’s residence, and ‘bound round his head the turban of the deceased.’ In his name the death of the late chief was announced. It was added, that he hoped to see his friends 222after the stated days of matam or mourning; and he performed all the duties of the son of Deogarh, and lighted the funeral pyre.

When these proceedings were reported, the Rana was highly and justly incensed. The late chief had been one of the rebels of S. 1848;[6] and though pardon had been [192] granted, yet this revived all the recollection of the past, and he felt inclined to extinguish the name of Sangawat.[7]

In addition to the common sequestration, he sent an especial one with commands to collect the produce of the harvest then reaping, charging the sub-vassals with the design of overturning his lawful authority. They replied very submissively, and artfully asserted that they had only given a son to Gokuldas, not an heir to Deogarh; that the sovereign alone could do this, and that they trusted to his nominating one who would be an efficient leader of so many Rajputs in the service of the Rana. They urged the pretensions of young Nahar, at the same time leaving the decision to the sovereign. Their judicious reply was well supported by their ambassador at court, who was the bard of Deogarh, and had recently become, though ex officio, physician to the prince.[8] The point was finally adjusted, and Nahar was brought to court, and invested with the sword by the hand of the sovereign, and he is now lord of Deogarh Madri, one of the richest and most powerful fiefs[9] of Mewar.Mewar. Madri was the ancient name of the estate; and Sangramgarh, of which Nahar was the heir, was severed from it, but by some means had reverted to the crown, of which it now holds. The adoption of Nahar by Gokuldas leaves the paternal estate without an immediate heir; and his actual father being mad, if more distant claims are not admitted, it is probable that Sangramgarh will eventually revert to the fisc.



—The system of feuds must have attained considerable maturity amongst the Rajputs, to have left such traces, notwithstanding the desolation that has swept the land: but without circumspection these few remaining customs will become a dead letter. Unless we abstain from all internal interference, we must destroy the links which connect the prince and his vassals; and, in lieu of a system decidedly imperfect, we should leave them none at all, or at least not a system of feuds, the only one they can comprehend. Our friendship has rescued them from exterior foes, and time will restore the rest. With the dignity and [193] establishments of their chiefs, ancient usages will revive; and nazarana (relief), kharg bandhai (investiture), dasaundh (aids or benevolence, literally ‘the tenth’), and other incidents, will cease to be mere ceremonies. The desire of every liberal mind, as well as the professed wish of the British Government, is to aid in their renovation, and this will be best effected by not meddling with what we but imperfectly understand.[10]

We have nothing to apprehend from the Rajput States if raised to their ancient prosperity. The closest attention to their history proves beyond contradiction that they were never capable of uniting, even for their own preservation: a breath, a scurrilous stanza of a bard, has severed their closest confederacies. No national head exists amongst them as amongst the Mahrattas; and each chief being master of his own house and followers, they are individually too weak to cause us any alarm.

No feudal government can be dangerous as a neighbour; for defence it has in all countries been found defective; and for aggression, totally inefficient. Let there exist between us the most perfect understanding and identity of interests; the foundation-step to which is to lessen or remit the galling, and to us 224contemptible tribute, now exacted, enfranchise them from our espionage and agency, and either unlock them altogether from our dangerous embrace, or let the ties between us be such only as would ensure grand results: such as general commercial freedom and protection, with treaties of friendly alliance. Then, if a Tatar or a Russian invasion threatened our eastern empire, fifty thousand Rajputs would be no despicable allies.[11]

Rajput Loyalty and Patriotism.

—Let us call to mind what they did when they fought for Aurangzeb: they are still unchanged, if we give them the proper stimulus. Gratitude, honour, and fidelity, are terms which at one time were the foundation of all the virtues of a Rajput. Of the theory of these sentiments he is still enamoured; but, unfortunately, for his happiness, the times have left him but little scope for the practice [194] of them. Ask a Rajput which is the greatest of crimes? he will reply, ‘gunchhor,’ ‘forgetfulness of favours.’ This is his most powerful term for ingratitude. Gratitude with him embraces every obligation of life, and is inseparable from swamidharma, ‘fidelity to his lord.’ He who is wanting in these is not deemed fit to live, and is doomed to eternal pains in Pluto’s[12] realm hereafter.[13]

“It was a powerful feeling,” says an historian[14] who always identifies his own emotions with his subject, “which could make the bravest of men put up with slights and ill-treatment at the hand of their sovereign, or call forth all the energies of discontented exertion for one whom they never saw, and in whose character there was nothing to esteem. Loyalty has scarcely less tendency to refine and elevate the heart than patriotism itself.” That these sentiments were combined, the past history of the Rajputs will show;[15] and to the strength of these ties do they 225owe their political existence, which has outlived ages of strife. But for these, they would have been converts and vassals to the Tatars, who would still have been enthroned in Delhi. Neglect, oppression, and religious interference, sunk one of the greatest monarchies of the world;[16] made Sivaji a hero, and converted the peaceful husbandmen of the Kistna and Godavari into a brave but rapacious soldier.

We have abundant examples, and I trust need not exclaim with the wise minister of Akbar, “who so happy as to profit by them?”[17]

The Rajput, with all his turbulence, possesses in an eminent degree both loyalty and patriotism; and though he occasionally exhibits his refractory spirit to his [195] father and sovereign,[18] we shall see of what he is capable when his country is threatened with dismemberment, from the history of Mewar, and the reign of Ajit Singh of Marwar. In this last we have one of the noblest examples history can afford of unbounded devotion. A prince, whom not a dozen of his subjects had ever seen, who had been concealed from the period of his birth throughout a tedious minority to avoid the snares of a tyrant,[19] by the mere magic of a name kept the discordant materials of a great feudal association 226in subjection, till, able to bear arms, he issued from his concealment to head these devoted adherents, and reconquer what they had so long struggled to maintain. So glorious a contest, of twenty years’ duration, requires but an historian to immortalize it. Unfortunately we have only the relation of isolated encounters, which, though exhibiting a prodigality of blood and acts of high devotion, are deficient in those minor details which give unity and interest to the whole.

Gallant Services to the Empire.

—Let us take the Rajput character from the royal historians themselves, from Akbar, Jahangir, Aurangzeb. The most brilliant conquests of these monarchs were by their Rajput allies; though the little regard the latter had for opinion alienated the sympathies of a race, who when rightly managed, encountered at command the Afghan amidst the snows of Caucasus, or made the furthest Cheronese tributary to the empire. Assam, where the British arms were recently engaged, and for the issue of which such anxiety was manifested in the metropolis of Britain, was conquered by a Rajput prince,[20] whose descendant is now an ally of the British Government.

But Englishmen in the east, as elsewhere, undervalue everything not national. They have been accustomed to conquest, not reverses: though it is only by studying the character of those around them that the latter can be avoided and this superiority maintained. Superficial observers imagine that from lengthened predatory spoliation the energy of the Rajput has fled: an idea which is at once erroneous and dangerous. The vices now manifest from oppression will disappear [196] with the cause, and with reviving prosperity new feelings will be generated, and each national tie and custom be strengthened. The Rajput would glory in putting on his saffron robes[21] to fight for such a land, and for those who disinterestedly laboured to benefit it.

227Let us, then, apply history to its proper use. We need not turn to ancient Rome for illustration of the dangers inseparable from wide dominion and extensive alliances. The twenty-two Satrapies of India, the greater part of which are now the appanage of Britain, exhibited, even a century ago, one of the most splendid monarchies history has made known, too extensive for the genius of any single individual effectually to control. Yet was it held together, till encroachment on their rights, and disregard to their habits and religious opinions, alienated the Rajputs, and excited the inhabitants of the south to rise against their Mogul oppressors. ‘Then was the throne of Aurangzeb at the mercy of a Brahman, and the grandson[22] of a cultivator in the province of Khandesh held the descendants of Timur pensioners on his bounty’ [197].

1. [The abandonment of the policy of escheat or lapse, and the recognition of the right of adoption were announced by Lord Canning in 1859.]

2. As in Deogarh.

3. [Umara, plural of Amīr, ‘a chief.’]

4. Gokuldas, the last chief, was one of the finest men I ever beheld in feature and person. He was about six feet six, perfectly erect, and a Hercules in bulk. His father at twenty was much larger, and must have been nearly seven feet high. It is surprising how few of the chiefs of this family died a natural death. It has produced some noble Rajputs.

5. Ek bap ka beta.

6. A.D. 1792.

7. That of the clan of Deogarh.

8. Apollo [Krishna] is the patron both of physicians and poets; and though my friend Amra does not disgrace him in either calling, it was his wit, rather than his medical degree, that maintained him at court. He said it was not fitting that the sovereign of the world should be served by clowns or opium-eaters; and that young Nahar, when educated at court under the Rana’s example, would do credit to the country: and what had full as much weight as any of the bard’s arguments was, that the fine of relief on the Talwar bandhai (or girding on of the sword) of a lac of rupees, should be immediately forthcoming.

9. Patta. [About 30 miles south of Udaipur city.]

10. Such interference, when inconsistent with past usage and the genius of the people, will defeat the very best intentions. On the grounds of policy and justice, it is alike incumbent on the British Government to secure the maintenance of their present form of government, and not to repair, but to advise the repairs of the fabric, and to let their own artists alone be consulted. To employ ours would be like adding a Corinthian capital to a column of Ellora, or replacing the mutilated statue of Baldeva with a limb from the Hercules Farnese. To have a chain of prosperous independent States on our only exposed frontier, the north-west, attached to us from benefits, and the moral conviction that we do not seek their overthrow, must be a desirable policy.

11. [The author’s prediction has been realized by recent events.]

12. Yamaloka.

13. The gunchhor (ungrateful) and satchhor (violator of his faith) are consigned, by the authority of the bard, to sixty-thousand years’ residence in hell. Europeans, in all the pride of mastery, accuse the natives of want of gratitude, and say their language has no word for it. They can only know the namak-haram [‘he that is false to his salt’] of the Ganges. Gunchhor is a compound of powerful import, as ingratitude and infidelity are the highest crimes. It means, literally, "abandoner (from chhorna, ‘to quit’) of virtue (gun)."

14. Hallam, vol. i. p. 323.

15. Of the effects of loyalty and patriotism combined, we have splendid examples in Hindu history and tradition. A more striking instance could scarcely be given than in the recent civil distractions at Kotah, where a mercenary army raised and maintained by the Regent, either openly or covertly declared against him, as did the whole feudal body to a man, the moment their young prince asserted his subverted claims, and in the cause of their rightful lord abandoned all consideration of self, their families and lands, and with their followers offered their lives to redeem his rights or perish in the attempt. No empty boast, as the conclusion testified. God forbid that we should have more such examples of Rajput devotion to their sense of fidelity to their lords!

16. See statement of its revenues during the last emperor, who had preserved the empire of Delhi united.

17. Abu-l Fazl uses this expression when moralizing on the fall of Shihabu-d-din, king of Ghazni and first established monarch of India, slain by Prithwiraja, the Hindu sovereign of Delhi [Āīn, ii. 302]. [Muhammad Ghori, Shihābu-d-dīn, was murdered on the road to Ghazni by a fanatic of the Mulāhidah sect, in March, A.D. 1206 (Tabakāt-ī-Nāsiri, in Elliot-Dowson ii. 297, 235). According to the less probable account of Ferishta (Briggs, i. 185), he was murdered at Rohtak by a gang of Gakkhars or rather Khokhars (Rose, Glossary, ii. 275).]

18. The Rajput, who possesses but an acre of land, has the proud feeling of common origin with his sovereign, and in styling him bapji (sire), he thinks of him as the common father or representative of the race. What a powerful incentive to action!

19. Aurangzeb.

20. Raja Man of Jaipur, who took Arakan, Orissa, and Assam. Raja Jaswant Singh of Marwar retook Kabul for Aurangzeb, and was rewarded by poison. Raja Ram Singh Hara, of Kotah, made several important conquests; and his grandson, Raja Isari Singh, and his five brothers, were left on one field of battle.

21. When a Rajput is determined to hold out to the last in fighting, he always puts on a robe dyed in saffron. [This was the common practice, saffron being the colour of the bridal robe (Malcolm, Memoir of Central India, 2nd ed. i. 358; Grant Duff, Hist. of the Mahrattas, 317; Forbes, Rāsmālā, 408).]

22. Sindhia.



Literal Translations from Inscriptions and Original
Documents, most of which are in the Author’s Possession

No. I

Translation of a Letter from the expatriated Chiefs[1] of Marwar to
the Political Agent of the British Government, Western Rajput

After compliments.

We have sent to you a confidential person, who will relate what regards us. The Sarkar Company are sovereigns of Hindustan, and you know well all that regards our condition. Although there is nothing which respects either ourselves or our country hid from you, yet is there matter immediately concerning us which it is necessary to make known.

Sri Maharaja and ourselves are of one stock, all Rathors. He is our head, we his servants: but now anger has seized him, and we are dispossessed of our country. Of the estates, our patrimony and our dwelling, some have been made khalisa,[2] and those who endeavour to keep aloof expect the same fate. Some under the most solemn pledge of security have been inveigled and suffered death, and others imprisoned. Mutasadis,[3] officers of 229state, men of the soil and those foreign to it, have been seized, and the most unheard-of deeds and cruelties inflicted, which we cannot even write. Such a spirit has possessed his mind as never was known to any former prince of Jodhpur. His forefathers have reigned for generations; our forefathers were their ministers and advisers, and whatever was performed was by the collective wisdom of the council of our chiefs. Before the face of his ancestors, our own ancestors have slain and been slain; and in performing services to the kings,[4] they made the State of Jodhpur what it is. Wherever Marwar was concerned, there our fathers were to be found, and with their lives preserved the land. Sometimes our head was a minor; even then by the wisdom of our fathers and their services, the land was kept firm under our feet, and thus has it descended from generation to generation. Before his eyes (Raja Man’s) we have performed good service: when at that perilous time the host of Jaipur[5] surrounded [198] Jodhpur on the field we attacked it; our lives and fortunes were at stake, and God granted us success; the witness is God Almighty. Now, men of no consideration are in our prince’s presence; hence this reverse. When our services are acceptable, then is he our lord; when not, we are again his brothers and kindred, claimants and laying claim to the land.

He desires to dispossess us; but can we let ourselves be dispossessed? The English are masters of all India. The chief of —— sent his agent to Ajmer; he was told to go to Delhi. Accordingly Thakur —— went there, but no path was pointed out. If the English chiefs will not hear us, who will? The English allow no one’s lands to be usurped, and our birthplace is Marwar—from Marwar we must have bread. A hundred thousand Rathors—where are they to go to? From respect to the English alone have we been so long patient, and without acquainting your government of our intentions, you might afterwards find fault; therefore we make it known, and we thereby acquit ourselves to you. What we brought with us from Marwar we have consumed, and even what we could get on credit; and now, when want must make us perish, we are ready and can do anything.[6]

The English are our rulers, our masters. Sri Man Singh has seized our lands; by your government interposing these troubles may be settled, but without its guarantee and intervention we can have no confidence whatever. Let us have a reply to our petition. 230We will wait it in patience; but if we get none, the fault will not be ours, having given everywhere notice. Hunger will compel man to find a remedy. For such a length of time we have been silent from respect to your government alone: our own Sarkar is deaf to complaint. But to what extreme shall we wait? Let our hopes be attended to. Sambat 1878, Sawan sudi duj.

(August 1821.)

True Translation:
(Signed)     James Tod.

No. II

Remonstrance of the Sub-Vassals of Deogarh against their chief, Rawat Gokul Das.

1. He respects not the privileges or customs established of old.

2. To each Rajput’s house a charas[7] or hide of land was attached: this he has resumed.

3. Whoever bribes him is a true man: who does not, is a thief.

4. Ten or twelve villages established by his pattayats[8] he has resumed, and left their families to starve.

5. From time immemorial sanctuary (saran) has been esteemed sacred: this he has abolished.

6. On emergencies he would pledge his oath to his subjects (ryots), and afterwards plunder them.

7. In old times, it was customary when the presence of his chiefs and kindred was required, to invite them by letter: a fine is now the warrant of summons: thus lessening their dignity.

8. Such messengers, in former times, had a taka[9] for their ration (bhatta); now he imposes two rupees [199].

9. Formerly, when robberies occurred in the mountains within the limits of Deogarh, the loss was made good: now all complaint is useless, for his faujdar[10] receives a fourth of all such plunder. The Mers[11] range at liberty; but before they never committed murder: now they slay as well as rob our kin; nor is there any redress, and such plunder is even sold within the town of Deogarh.

10. Without crime, he resumes the lands of his vassals for the 231sake of imposition of fines; and after such are paid, he cuts down the green crops, with which he feeds his horses.

11. The cultivators[12] on the lands of the vassals he seizes by force, extorts fines, or sells their cattle to pay them. Thus cultivation is ruined and the inhabitants leave the country.

12. From oppression the town magistrates[13] of Deogarh have fled to Raepur. He lays in watch to seize and extort money from them.

13. When he summons his vassals for purposes of extortion and they escape his clutches, he seizes on their wives and families. Females, from a sense of honour, have on such occasions thrown themselves into wells.

14. He interferes to recover old debts, distraining the debtor of all he has in the world: half he receives.

15. If any one have a good horse, by fair means or foul he contrives to get it.

16. When Deogarh was established, at the same time were our allotments: as is his patrimony, so is our patrimony.[14] Thousands have been expended in establishing and improving them, yet our rank, privileges, and rights he equally disregards.

17. From these villages, founded by our forefathers, he, at will, takes four or five skins of land and bestows them on foreigners; and thus the ancient proprietors are reduced to poverty and ruin.

18. From of old, all his Rajput kin had daily rations, or portions of grain: for four years these rights have been abolished.

19. From ancient times the pattayats formed his council; now he consults only foreigners. What has been the consequence? the whole annual revenue derived from the mountains is lost.

20. From the ancient Bhum[15] of the Frerage[16] the mountaineers carry off the cattle, and instead of redeeming them, this faujdar sets the plunderers up to the trick of demanding rakhwali.[17]

21. Money is justice, and there is none other: whoever has money may be heard. The bankers and merchants have gone abroad for protection, but he asks not where they are.

22. When cattle are driven off to the hills, and we do ourselves justice and recover them, we are fined, and told that the mountaineers have his pledge. Thus our dignity is lessened. Or if 232we seize one of these marauders, a party is sent to liberate him, for which the faujdar [200] receives a bribe. Then a feud ensues at the instigation of the liberated Mer, and the unsupported Rajput is obliged to abandon his patrimony.[18] There is neither protection nor support. The chief is supine, and so regardless of honour, that he tells us to take money to the hills and redeem our property. Since this faujdar had power, ‘poison has been our fate.’ Foreigners are all in all, and the home-bred are set aside. Deccanis and plunderers enjoy the lands of his brethren. Without fault, the chiefs are deprived of their lands, to bring which into order time and money have been lavished. Justice there is none.

Our rights and privileges in his family are the same as his in the family of the Presence.[19] Since you[20] entered Mewar, lands long lost have been recovered. What crimes have we committed that at this day we should lose ours?

We are in great trouble.[21]


Maharaja Sri Gokuldas to the four ranks (char misl) of Pattayats of Deogarh, commanding. Peruse.

Without crime no vassal shall have his estate or charsas disseized. Should any individual commit an offence, it shall be judged by the four ranks (char misl), my brethren, and then punished. Without consulting them on all occasions I shall never inflict punishment.[22] To this I swear by Sri Nathji. No departure from this agreement shall ever occur. S. 1874; the 6th Pus.

To face page 232.


No. IV

Grant from Maharana Ari Singh, Prince of Mewar, to the Sindi Chief, Abdu-l Rahim Beg.

Ganeshji![23]   Eklingji![23]

Sri Maharaja Dhiraj Maharana Ari Singh to Mirza Abdu-l Rahim Beg Adilbegot, commanding.

Now some of our chiefs having rebelled and set up the impostor Ratna Singh, brought the [201] Deccani army and erected batteries against Udaipur, in which circumstances your services have been great and tended to the preservation of our sovereignty: therefore, in favour towards you, I have made this grant, which your children and children’s children shall continue to enjoy. You will continue to serve faithfully; and whoever of my race shall dispossess you or yours, on him be Eklingji and the sin of the slaughter of Chitor.


1st. In estates, 200,000 rupees.

2nd. In cash annually, 25,000.

3rd. Lands outside the Debari gate, 10,000.

4th. As a residence, the dwelling-house called Bharat Singh’s.

5th. A hundred bighas of land outside the city for a garden.

6th. The town of Mithun in the valley, to supply wood and forage.

7th. To keep up the tomb of Ajmeri Beg, who fell in action, one hundred bighas of land.

Privileges and Honours.

8th. A seat in Darbar and rank in all respects equal to the chieftain of Sadri.[24]

9th. Your kettle-drums (Nakkara) to beat to the exterior gate, but with one stick only.

10th. Amar Balaona,[25] and a dress of honour on the Dasahra[26] festival.

23411th. Drums to beat to Ahar. All other privileges and rank like the house of Salumbar.[27] Like that house, yours shall be from generation to generation; therefore according to the valuation of your grant you will serve.

12th. Your brothers or servants, whom you may dismiss, I shall not entertain or suffer my chief to entertain.

13th. The Chamars[28] and Kirania[29] you may use at all times when alone, but never in the Presence.

14th. Munawwar Beg, Anwar Beg, Chaman Beg, are permitted seats in front of the throne; Amar Balaona, and honorary dresses on Dasahra, and seats for two or three other relatives who may be found worthy the honour.

15th. Your agent (Vakil) shall remain at court with the privileges due to his rank.

By command:
Sah Moti Ram Bolia,

S. 1826 (A.D. 1770) Bhadon (August) sudi 11 Somwar (Monday).

No. V

Grant of the Patta of Bhainsror to Rawat Lal Singh, one of the sixteen great vassals of Mewar.

Maharaja Jagat Singh to Rawat Lal Singh Kesarisinghgot,[30] commanding.

Now to you the whole Pargana of Bhainsror[31] is granted as Giras, viz. [202]:

Town of Bhainsror 3000 1500
Fifty-two others (names uninteresting), besides one in the valley of the capital. Total value 62,000 31,000[32]

With two hundred and forty-eight horse and two hundred and forty-eight foot, good horse and good Rajputs, you will perform service. Of this, forty-eight horse and forty-eight foot are excused for the protection of your fort; therefore with two hundred foot and two hundred horse you will serve when and wherever ordered. The first grant was given in Pus, S. 1798, when the income inserted was over-rated. Understanding this, the Presence (huzur) ordered sixty thousand of annual value to be attached to Bhainsror.


No. VI

Grant from Maharana Sangram Singh of Mewar to his Nephew,
the Prince Madho Singh, heir-apparent to the principality of
  Sri Ramjayati  
  (Victory to Rama).  
Sri Ganesh Prasad   Sri Ekling Prasad
(By favour of Ganesh).   (By favour of Eklinga).

(See notes [33] and [34] below.)

Maharaja Dhiraj Maharana Sri Sangram Singh, Adisatu, commanding. To my nephew, Kunwar Madho Singhji, giras (a fief) has been granted, viz.:

The fief (patta) of Rampura; therefore, with one thousand horse and two thousand foot, you will perform service during six months annually; and when foreign service is required, three thousand foot and three thousand horse.

While the power of the Presence is maintained in these districts you will not be dispossessed.

By command:
Pancholi Raechand andand Mehta Mul Das.
S. 1785 (A.D. 1729); Chait sudi 7th; Mangalwar (Tuesday).
Addressed in the Rana’s own hand.

To my nephew Madho Singh[35] [203]. My child, I have given you Rampura: while mine, you shall not be deprived of it. Done.



Grant of Bhum Rakhwali (Salvamenta) from the village of Dongla to Maharaja Khushhal Singh.
S. 1806 (A.D. 1750), the first of Sawan (July).

1st. A field of one hundred and fifty-one bighas, of which thirty-six are irrigated.

2nd. One hundred and two bighas of waste and unirrigated, viz.:

Six bighas cultivated by Govinda the oilman.

Three, under Hira and Tara the oilmen.

Seventeen cultivated by the mason Hansa, and Lal the oilman.

Four bighas of waste and forest land (parti, aryana) which belonged to Govinda and Hira, etc., etc.; and so on enumerating all the fields composing the above aggregate.

Dues and Privileges
Pieces of money 12.
Grain 24 maunds.
On the festivals of Rakhi, Diwali, and Holi, one copper coin from each house.
Serana at harvest.
Shukri from the Brahmans.
Transit duties for protection of merchandise, viz., a pice on every cart-load, and half a pice for each bullock.
Two platters on every marriage feast.


Grant of Bhum by the Inhabitants of Amli to Rawat Fateh Singh of Amet. S. 1814 (A.D. 1758)

The Ranawats Sawant Singh and Subhag Singh had Amli in grant; but they were oppressive to the inhabitants, slew the Patels Jodha and Bhagi, and so ill-treated the Brahmans, that Kusal and Nathu sacrificed themselves on the pyre. The inhabitants demanded the protection of the Rana, and the pattayats were changed; and now the inhabitants grant in rakhwali one hundred and twenty-five bighas as bhum to Fateh Singh[36] [204].


No. IX

Grant of Bhum by the Inhabitants of the Town of Dongla to Maharaja Zorawar Singh, of Bhindar.

To Sri Maharaja Zorawar Singh, the Patels, traders, merchants, Brahmans, and united inhabitants of Dongla, make agreement.

Formerly the ‘runners’ in Dongla were numerous: to preserve us from whom we granted bhum to the Maharaja. To wit:

One well, that of Hira the oilman.

One well, that of Dipa the oilman.

One well, that of Dewa the oilman.

In all, three wells, being forty-four bighas of irrigated (piwal), and one hundred and ninety-one bighas of unirrigated (mal) land. Also a field for juar.

Customs or Dignities (Maryad) attached to the Bhum.

1st. A dish (kansa) on every marriage.

2nd. Six hundred rupees ready cash annually.

3rd. All Bhumias, Girasias, the high roads, passes from raids and ‘runners,’ and all disturbances whatsoever, the Maharaja must settle.

When the Maharaja is pleased to let the inhabitants of Dongla reinhabit their dwellings, then only can they return to them.[37]

Written by the accountant Kacchia, on the full moon of Jeth, S. 1858, and signed by all the traders, Brahmans, and towns-people.

No. X

Grant of Bhum by the Prince of Mewar to an inferior Vassal.

Maharana Bhim Singh to Baba Ram Singh, commanding.

Now a field of two hundred and twenty-five bighas in the city of Jahazpur, with the black orchard (sham bagh) and a farm-house (nohara) for cattle, has been granted you in bhum.

Your forefathers recovered for me Jahazpur and served with fidelity; on which account this bhum is renewed. Rest assured no molestation shall be offered, nor shall any pattayat interfere with you.


No. XI

Charter of Privileges and Immunities granted to the town of Jhalrapatan, engraved on a Pillar in that City.

S. 1853 (A.D. 1797), corresponding with the Saka 1718, the sun being in the south, the season of cold, and the happy month of Kartika,[42] the enlightened half of the month, being Monday the full moon.

Maharaja Dhiraj Sri Ummed Singh Deo,[43] the Faujdar[44] Raj Zalim Singh [206] and Kunwar Madho Singh, commanding. To all the inhabitants of Jhalrapatan, Patels,[45] Patwaris,[46] Mahajans,[47] and to all the thirty-six castes, it is written.

At this period entertain entire confidence, build and dwell.

Within this abode all forced contributions and confiscations are for ever abolished. The taxes called Bhalamanusi,[48] Anni,[49] and Rekha Barar,[50] and likewise all Bhetbegar,[51] shall cease.

To this intent is this stone erected, to hold good from year to year, now and evermore. There shall be no violence in this territory. This is sworn by the cow to the Hindu and the hog to the Musalman: in the presence of Captain Dilel Khan, Chaudhari Sarup Chand, Patel Lalo, the Mahesri Patwari Balkishan, the architect Kalu Ram, and the stone-mason Balkishan.

Parmo[52] is for ever abolished. Whoever dwells and traffics within the town of Patan, one half of the transit duties usually levied in Haravati are remitted; and all mapa (meter’s) duties are for ever abolished.


Abolitions, Immunities, Prohibitions, etc. etc. Inscription in the Temple of Lachhmi Narayan at Akola.

In former times tobacco was sold in one market only. Rana Raj Singh commanded the monopoly to be abolished. S. 1645.

Rana Jagat Singh prohibited the seizure of the cots and quilts by the officers of his government from the printers of Akola.



Privileges and Immunities granted to the Printers of Calico and Inhabitants of the Town of Great Akola in Mewar.

Maharana Bhim Singh, commanding, to the inhabitants of Great Akola.

Whereas the village has been abandoned from the assignments levied by the garrison of Mandalgarh, and it being demanded of its population how it could again be rendered prosperous, they unanimously replied: "Not to exact beyond the dues and contributions (dand dor) established of yore; to erect the pillar promising never to exact above half the produce of the crops, or to molest the persons of those who thus paid their dues."

The Presence agreed, and this pillar has been erected. May Eklinga look to him who breaks this command. The hog to the Musalman and the cow to the Hindu.

Whatever contributions (dand) parmo,[53] puli,[54] heretofore levied shall be paid [207].

All crimes committed within the jurisdiction of Akola to be tried by its inhabitants, who will sit in justice on the offender and fine him according to his faults.

On Amavas[55] no work shall be done at the well[56] or at the oil-mill, nor printer put his dye-pot on the fire.[57]

Whoever breaks the foregoing, may the sin of the slaughter of Chitor be upon him.

This pillar was erected in the presence of Mehta Sardar Singh, Sanwal Das, the Chaudharis Bhopat Ram and Daulat Ram, and the assembled Panch of Akola.

Written by the Chaudhari Bhopji, and engraved by the stonecutter Bhima.

S. 1856 (A.D. 1800)


Prohibition against Guests carrying away Provisions from the Public Feast.[58]

Sri Maharana Sangram Singh to the inhabitants of Marmi.

On all feasts of rejoicing, as well as those on the ceremonies 241for the dead, none shall carry away with them the remains of the feast. Whoever thus transgresses shall pay a fine to the crown of one hundred and one rupees. S. 1769 (A.D. 1713), Chait Sudi 7th.

No. XV

Maharana Sangram Singh to the merchants and bankers of Bakrol.

The custom of furnishing quilts (sirak)[59] of which you complain is of ancient date. Now when the collectors of duties, their officers, or those of the land revenue stop at Bakrol, the merchants will furnish them with beds and quilts. All other servants will be supplied by the other inhabitants.

Should the dam of the lake be in any way injured, whoever does not aid in its repair shall, as a punishment, feed one hundred and one Brahmans. Asarh 1715, or June A.D. 1659 [208].


Warrant of the Chief of Bijolli to his Vassal, Gopaldas Saktawat.

Maharaja Mandhata to Saktawat Gopaldas, be it known.

At this time a daily fine of four rupees is in force against you. 242Eighty are now due; Ganga Ram having petitioned in your favour, forty of this will be remitted. Give a written declaration to this effect—that with a specified quota you will take the field; if not, you will stand the consequences.

Viz.: One good horse and one matchlock, with appurtenances complete, to serve at home and abroad (des pardes), and to run the country[60] with the Kher.

When the levy (kher) takes the field, Gopaldas must attend in person. Should he be from home, his retainers must attend, and they shall receive rations from the presence. Sawan sudi das (August 10) S. 1782.


Maharaja Udaikaran to the Saktawat Shambhu Singh. Be it known.

I had annexed Gura to the fisc, but now, from favour, restore it to you. Make it flourish, and serve me at home and abroad, with one horse, and one foot soldier.

When abroad you shall receive rations (bhatta) as follows:

Flour 3 lb.
Pulse 4 ounces.
Butter (ghi) 2 pice weight.
Horses’ feed 4 seers at 22 takas each seer, of daily allowance.

243If for defence of the fort you are required, you will attend with all your dependents, and bring your wife, family, and chattels; for which, you will be exempted from two years of subsequent service. Asarh 14, S. 1834 [209].


Bhum in Mundkati, or Compensation for Blood, to Jeth Singh Chondawat.

The Patel’s son went to bring home his wife with Jeth’s Rajputs as a guard. The party was attacked, the guard killed, and there having been no redress for the murder, twenty-six bighas have been granted in mundkati[61] (compensation).


Rawat Megh Singh to his natural brother, Jamna Das, a patta (fief) has been granted, viz.:

The village of Rajpura, value Rupees 401
A garden of mogra flowers[62]   11
  Rupees 412

Serve at home and abroad with fidelity: contributions and aids pay according to custom, and as do the rest of the vassals. Jeth 14th, S. 1874.

No. XX

Charter given by the Rana of Mewar, accepted and signed by all his Chiefs; defining the duties of the contracting Parties.

A.D. 1818.

Siddh Sri Maharana Dhiraj, Maharana Bhim Singh, to all the nobles my brothers and kin, Rajas, Patels, Jhalas, Chauhans, Chondawats, Panwars, Sarangdeots, Saktawats, Rathors, Ranawats, etc., etc.

Now, since S. 1822 (A.D. 1776), during the reign of Sri Ari Singhji,[63] when the troubles commenced, laying ancient usages aside, undue usurpations of the land have been made: therefore 244on this day, Baisakh badi 14th, S. 1874 (A.D. 1818), the Maharana assembling all his chiefs, lays down the path of duty in new ordinances.

1st. All lands belonging to the crown obtained since the troubles, and all lands seized by one chief from another, shall be restored.

2nd. All Rakhwali,[64] Bhum, Lagat,[65] established since the troubles, shall be renounced.

3rd. Dhan,[66] Biswa,[67] the right of the crown alone, shall be renounced.

4th. No chiefs shall commit thefts or violence within the boundaries of their estates. They shall entertain no Thugs,[68] foreign thieves or thieves of the country, as Moghias,[68] Baoris,[68] Thoris:[68] but those who shall adopt peaceful habits may remain; but should any return to their old pursuits, their heads shall instantly be taken off. All property stolen shall be made good by the proprietor of the estate within the limits of which it is plundered [210].

5th. Home or foreign merchants, traders, Kafilas,[69] Banjaras,[70] who enter the country, shall be protected. In no wise shall they be molested or injured, and whoever breaks this ordinance, his estate shall be confiscated.

6th. According to command, at home or abroad service must be performed. Four divisions (chaukis) shall be formed of the chiefs, and each division shall remain three months in attendance at court, when they shall be dismissed to their estates. Once a year, on the festival of the Dasahra,[71] all the chiefs shall assemble with their quotas ten days previous thereto, and twenty days subsequent they shall be dismissed to their estates. On urgent occasions, and whenever their services are required, they shall repair to the Presence.

2457th. Every Pattawat holding a separate patta from the Presence shall perform separate service. They shall not unite or serve under the greater Pattawats: and the sub-vassals of all such chiefs shall remain with and serve their immediate Pattawat.[72]

8th. The Maharana shall maintain the dignities due to each chief according to his degree.

9th. The Ryots shall not be oppressed: there shall be no new exactions or arbitrary fines. This is ordained.

10th. What has been executed by Thakur Ajit Singh and sanctioned by the Rana, to this all shall agree.[73]

11th. Whosoever shall depart from the foregoing, the Maharana shall punish. In doing so the fault will not be the Rana’s. Whoever fails, on him be the oath (an) of Eklinga and the Maharana.

[Here follow the signatures of all the chieftains of rank in Mewar, which it is needless to insert] [211].


To face page 247.

1. The names omitted to prevent any of them falling a sacrifice to the blind fury of their prince. The brave chief of Nimaj has sold his life, but dearly. In vain do we look in the annals of Europe for such devotion and generous despair as marked his end, and that of his brave clan. He was a perfect gentleman in deportment, modest and mild, and head of a powerful clan.

2. Fiscal, that is, sequestrated.

3. Clerks, and inferior officers of government.

4. Alluding to the sovereigns of Delhi. In the magnificent feudal assemblage at this gorgeous court, where seventy-six princes stood in the Divan (Diwan-i-Khass) each by a pillar covered with plates of silver, the Marwar prince had the right hand of all. I have an original letter from the great-grandfather of Raja Man to the Rana, elate with this honour.

5. In 1806.

6. The historian of the Middle Ages justly remarks, that “the most deadly hatred is that which men, exasperated by proscription and forfeitures, bear their country.”

7. Hide or skin, from the vessel used in irrigation being made of leather.

8. The vassals, or those holding fiefs (patta) of Deogarh.

9. A copper coin, equal to twopence.

10. Military commander; a kind of inferior maire du palais, on every Rajput chieftain’s estate, and who has the military command of the vassals. He is seldom of the same family, but generally of another tribe.

11. Mountaineers.

12. Of the Jat and other labouring tribes.

13. Chauthias. In every town there is an unpaid magistracy, of which the head is the Nagar Seth, or chief citizen, and the four Chauthias, tantamount to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, who hold their courts and decide in all civil cases.

14. Here are the precise sentiments embodied in the remonstrances of the great feudal chiefs of Marwar to their prince; see Appendix, No. I.

15. The old allodial allotments.

16. Bhayyad.

17. The salvamenta of our feudal writers; the blackmail of the north.

18. ‘Watan.’

19. The Rana.

20. The Author.

21. With the articles of complaint of the vassals of Deogarh and the short extorted charter, to avoid future cause for such, we may contrast the following: "Pour avoir une idée du brigandage que les nobles exerçaient à l’époque où les premieres chartes furent accordées, il suffit d’en lire quelques-unes, et l’on verra que le seigneur y disait:—‘Je promets de ne point voler, extorquer les biens et les meubles des habitans, de les délivrer des totes ou rapines, et autres mauvaises coutumes, et de ne plus commettre envers eux d’exactions.’—En effet, dans ces tems malheureux, vivres, meubles, chevaux, voitures, dit le savant Abbé de Mably, tout était enlevé par l’insatiable et aveugle avidité des seigneurs" (Art. ‘Chartres,’ Dict. de l’Ancien Régime).

22. This reply to the remonstrance of his vassals is perfectly similar in point to the 43rd article of Magna Charta.

23. Invocations to Ram, Ganesh (god of wisdom), and Eklinga, the patron-divinity of the Sesodia Guhilots.

24. The first of the foreign vassals of the Rana’s house. [Bari Sādri, about 50 miles E.S.E. of Udaipur city, held by the senior noble of Mewār, a Rājput of the Jhāla sub-sept, styled Rāja of Sādri (Erskine ii. A. 93).]

25. A horse furnished by the prince, always replaced when he dies, therefore called Amar, or immortal.

26. The grand military festival, when a muster is made of all the Rajput quotas.

27. The first of the home-chieftains.

28. The tail of the wild ox, worn across the saddle-bow.

29. An umbrella or shade against the sun; from kiran, ‘a ray.’

30. Clan (got) of Kesari Singh, one of the great branches of the Chondawats.

31. On the left bank of the Chambal.

32. To explain these double rekhs, or estimates, one is the full value, the other the deteriorated rate.

33. The bhala, or lance, is the sign-manual of the Salumbar chieftain, as hereditary premier of the state.

34. Is a monogram forming the word Sahai, being the sign-manual of the prince.

35. Bhanaij is sister’s son; as Bhatija is brother’s son. It will be seen in the Annals, that to support this prince to the succession of the Jaipur Gaddi, both Mewar and Jaipur were ruined, and the power of the Deccanis established in both countries.

36. This is a proof of the value attached to bhum, when granted by the inhabitants, as the first act of the new proprietor though holding the whole town from the crown, was to obtain these few bighas as bhum. After having been sixty years in that family, Amli has been resumed by the crown: the bhum has remained with the chief.

37. This shows how bhum was extorted in these periods of turbulence, and that this individual gift was as much to save them from the effects of the Maharaja’s violence as to gain protection from that of others.

38. A seer on each maund of produce.

39. The labour of two ploughs (hal). Halma is the personal service of the husbandman with his plough for such time as is specified. Halma is precisely the detested corvée of the French régime. “Les corvées sont tout ouvrage ou service, soit de corps ou de charrois et bêtes, pendant le jour, qui est dû à un seigneur. Il y avait deux sortes de corvées: les réelles et les personnelles, etc. Quelquefois le nombre des corvées était fixe: mais, le plus souvent, elles étaient à volonté du seigneur, et c’est ce qu’on appelait corvées à merci” (Art. ‘Corvée,’ Dict. de l’anc. Régime). Almost all the exactions for the last century in Mewar may come under this latter denomination.

40. A great variety of oppressive imposts were levied by the chiefs during these times of trouble, to the destruction of commerce and all facility of travelling. Everything was subject to tax, and a long train of vexatious dues exacted for “repairs of forts, boats at ferries, night-guards, guards of passes,” and other appellations, all having much in common with the ‘Droit de Péage in France. “Il n’y avait pas de ponts, de gués, de chaussées, d’écluses, de défilés, de portes, etc., où les féodaux ne fissent payer un droit à ceux que leurs affaires ou leur commerce forçaient de voyager” (Dict. de l’anc. Régime).

41. The privileges of our Rajput chieftains on the marriages of their vassals and cultivating subjects are confined to the best dishes of the marriage feast or a pecuniary commutation. This is, however, though in a minor degree, one of the vexatious claims of feudality of the French system, known under the term noçages, where the seigneur or his deputy presided, and had the right to be placed in front of the bride, “et de chanter à la fin du répas, une chanson guillerette.” But they even carried their insolence further, and "poussèrent leur mépris pour les villains (the agricultural classes of the Rajput system) jusqu’à exiger que leurs chiens eussent leur couvert auprès de la mariée, et qu’on les laissât manger sur la table" (Art. ‘Noçages,’ Dict. de l’anc. Régime).

42. December.

43. The Raja of Kotah.

44. Commander of the forces and regent of Kotah.

45. Officers of the land revenue.

46. Land accountants.

47. The mercantile class.

48. Literally ‘good behaviour.’

49. An agricultural tax.

50. Tax for registering.

51. This includes in one word the forced labour exacted from the working classes: the corvée of the French system.

52. Grain thrown on the inhabitants at an arbitrary rate; often resorted to at Kotah, where the regent is farmer general.

53. Grain, the property of the government, thrown on the inhabitants for purchase at an arbitrary valuation.

54. The handful from each sheaf at harvest.

55. A day sacred to the Hindu, being that which divides the month.

56. Meaning, they shall not irrigate the fields.

57. This part of the edict is evidently the instigation of the Jains, to prevent the destruction of life, though only that of insects.

58. The cause of this sumptuary edict was a benevolent motive, and to prevent the expenses on these occasions falling too heavily on the poorer classes. It was customary for the women to carry away under their petticoats (ghaghra) sufficient sweetmeats for several days’ consumption. The great Jai Singh of Amber had an ordinance restricting the number of guests to fifty-one on these occasions, and prohibited to all but the four wealthy classes the use of sugar-candy: the others were confined to the use of molasses and brown sugar. To the lower vassals and the cultivators these feasts were limited to the coarser fare; to juar flour, greens and oil. A dyer who on the Holi feasted his friends with sweetmeats of fine sugar and scattered about balls made of brown sugar, was fined five thousand rupees for setting so pernicious an example. The sadh, or marriage present, from the bridegroom to the bride’s father, was limited to fifty-one rupees. The great sums previously paid on this score were preventives of matrimony. Many other wholesome regulations of a much more important kind, especially those for the suppression of infanticide, were instituted by this prince.

59. ‘Defence against the cold weather’ (si). This in the ancient French régime came under the denomination of Albergie ou Hébergement, un droit royal. Par exemple, ce ne fut qu’après le règne de Saint Louis, et moyennant finances, que les habitans de Paris et de Corbeil s’affranchirent, les premiers de fournir au roi et à sa suite de bons oreillers et d’excellens lits de plumes, tant qu’il séjournait dans leur ville, et les seconds de le régaler quand ilil passait par leur bourg.”

60. The ‘Daurayat’ or runners, the term applied to the bands who swept the country with their forays in those periods of general confusion, are analogous to the armed bands of the Middle Ages, who in a similar manner desolated Europe under the term routiers, tantamount to our rabars (on the road), the labars of the Pindaris in India. The Rajput Daurayat has as many epithets as the French routier, who were called escorcheurs, tard veneurs (of which class Gopaldas appears to have been), mille-diables, Guilleries, etc. From the Crusades to the sixteenth century, the nobles of Europe, of whom these bands were composed (like our Rajputs), abandoned themselves to this sort of life; who, to use the words of the historian, “préférèrent la vie vagabonde à laquelle ils s’étoient accoutumés dans le camp, à retourner cultiver leurs champs. C’est alors que se formèrent ces bandes qu’on vit parcourir le royaume et étendre sur toutes les provinces le fléau de leurs inclinations destructives, répandre partout l’effroi, la misère, le deuil et le désespoir; mettre les villes à contribution, piller et incendier les villages, égorger les laboureurs, et se livrer à des accès de cruauté qui font frémir” (Dict. de l’ancien régime et des abus féodaux, art. ‘Routier,’ p. 422).

We have this apology for the Rajput routiers, that the nobles of Europe had not; they were driven to it by perpetual aggressions of invaders. I invariably found that the reformed routier was one of the best subjects: it secured him from indolence, the parent of all Rajput vices.

61. Mund, ‘the head’; kati, ‘cut.’

62. [The double jasmine, Jasminum sambac.]

63. The rebellion broke out during the reign of this prince.

64. Salvamenta.

65. Dues.

66. Transit duty.

67. Ditto.

68. Different descriptions of thieves. [The Moghias are settled principally in E. Mewār; if not identical with, they are closely allied to, the Bāori (Luard, Ethnographic Survey, Central India, App. V. 17 ff.). Gen. C. Hervey (Some Records of Crime, i. 386 ff.) makes frequent references to dacoities committed by them from their headquarters, Nīmach. The Bāori or Bāwariya are a notorious criminal tribe (Rose, Glossary, ii. 70 ff.; M. Kennedy, Notes on Criminal Classes in Bombay Presidency, 173 ff., 198 ff.). The Thori in Mārwār claim Rājput origin, and are connected with the Aheri, or nomad hunters (Census Report, Mārwār, 1891, ii. 194). According to Rose (op. cit. iii. 466) those in the Panjāb are rather vagrants than actual criminals.]

69. Caravans of merchandise, whether on camels, bullocks, or in carts.

70. Caravans of bullocks, chiefly for the transport of grain and salt.

71. On this festival the muster of all the feudal retainers is taken by the Rana in person, and honorary dresses and dignities are bestowed.

72. This article had become especially necessary, as the inferior chiefs, particularly those of the third class, had amalgamated themselves with the head of their clans, to whom they had become more accountable than to their prince.

73. This alludes to the treaty which this chief had formed, as the ambassador of the Rana, with the British Government.




We now proceed to the history of the States of Rajputana, and shall commence with the Annals of Mewar, and its princes.

Titles of Mewār Chiefs: descent from the Sun.

—These are styled Ranas, and are the elder branch of the Suryavansi, or ‘children of the sun.’ Another patronymic is Raghuvansi, derived from a predecessor of Rama, the focal point of each scion of the solar race. To him, the conqueror of Lanka,[1] the genealogists endeavour to trace the solar lines. The titles of many of these claimants are disputed; but the Hindu tribes yield unanimous suffrage to the prince of Mewar as the legitimate heir to the throne of Rama, and style him Hindua Suraj, or ‘Sun of the Hindus.’[2] He is universally allowed to be the first of the ‘thirty-six royal tribes’; nor has a doubt ever been raised respecting his purity of descent. Many of these tribes[3] have been swept away by time; and the genealogist, who abhors a vacuum in his mystic page, fills up their place with others, mere scions of some ancient but forgotten stem.

Stability of Mewār State.

—With the exception of Jaisalmer, Mewar is the only dynasty of these races[3] which has outlived eight centuries of foreign