History Of Marwad
Present Jodhpur and Adjoining Districts was known as the ancient kingdom of Marwad (Marwar) the Land of Death, the largest kingdom in Rajputana and the third largest of the Indian Kingdoms, after Kashmir and Hyderabad. Jodhpur, former capital of Marwad state, retains much of its medieval character. Beginning in 1549, when the city was called Jodhagarh, the Rathor clan of Rajputs fought and ruled from the virtually impregnable fort until their territory covered some 35,000 sq. miles making it the largest Rajput state.
According to Rathor tradition, the clan traces its origins back to the Hindu god, Rama, hero of the epic Ramayana, and thence to the sun. So the Rathors belong to the Suryavansha (solar race) branch of the Kshatriyas, the warrior caste of Hindus. Later, breaking into historical reality, in 470 A.D. Nayal Pal conquered the kingdom of Kanauj, near modern Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh. The Rathor capital for seven centuries, Kanauj fell in 1193 to the Afghan invader's led by Muhammad Ghori.
The fleeing ruler, Jai Chand, drowned in the Ganga. But his son or grandson, Siyaji, had better luck. An expedient marriage alliance between the Rathore Sihaji and the sister of a local prince enabled the Rathores to consolidate themselves in this region. In fact, they prospered to such a degree that they managed to oust the Pratiharas of Mandore, nine km to the north of present day Jodhpur.He later set himself up as an independent ruler around the wealthy trading center of Pali, just south of Jodhpur. His descendants flourished, battled often, won often, and in 1381 Rao Chanda ousted the Parihars from Mandore which then became the Rathore seat of government.Rathore fortunes then turned. Rao Chanda's son and heir, Rainmal, won praise for his capture of Ajmer and was then entrusted with the care of his orphaned nephew, destined to inherit the Mewar throne of Chittor. Rainmal may well have had his eyes on this fine, hilltop fort. But court intrigue and treachery stopped him. In 1438 he was doped with opium, and finally shot dead. This triggered bitter feuds, ending with Mewar and Marwar becoming separate states.Rathor legend continues in various versions. One is that Jodha, one of Rainmal's 24 sons, fled Chittor and finally, 15 years later, recaptured Mandore in 1453. Five years later he was acknowledged as ruler. A holy man sensibly advised him to move his capital to hilltop safety.
By 1459, it became evident that a more secure headquarters was required. The high rocky ridge nine km to the south of Mandore was an obvious choice for the new city of Jodhpur, with the natural enhanced by a fortress of staggering proportions, and to which Rao Jodha's successors added over the centuries.
MEWAD AND THE MUGHULS. Rao Ganga Singh of Jodhpur (reigned 1516-32) fought alongside the army of the great warrior king of Mewar, Rana Sanga, against the first Mughal emperor, Babur.But over the next half century or so, the rulers of Jodhpur allied themselves with Babur's grandson, Akbar. Several rulers of Jodhpur became trusted lieutenants of the Mughals, such as Raja Surender, who conquered Gujarat and much of the Deccan for Akbar, and Raja Gaj Singh, who put down the rebellion of the Mughal prince, Khurram, against his father, Jahangir. With the support of the Mughals, the court of Jodhpur flourished and the kingdom became a great center of the arts and culture. In the 17th century Jodhpur became a flourishing center of trade for the camel caravans moving from Central Asia to the parts of Gujarat and vice versa. In 1657, however, Maharaja Jaswant Singh (reigned 1638-78) backed the wrong prince in the great war of succession to the Mughal throne. He was in power for almost twenty-five years with Aurangzeb before he was sent out to the frontier as viceroy in Afghanistan. Aurangzeb then tried to seize his infant son, but loyal retainers smuggled the little prince out of his clutches, hidden, they say, in a basket of sweets.
Political Strife: The kingdom of Jodhpur then formed a triple alliance with Udaipur and Jaipur, which together threw off the Mughal yoke. As a result,the Maharajas of Jodhpur finally regained the privilege of marrying Udaipur princesses something they had forfeited when they had allied themselves with the Mughals. A condition of these marriages, however, was that the sons born of the Udaipur princesses would be first in line to the Jodhpur throne. This soon led to considerable.jealousy. Nearly a century of turmoil followed, culminating in Jodhpur falling under the influence of, first, the Marathas, and then, in 1818, the British. The state of affairs was such that a young Rathor prince, when asked ,where Jodhpur was, simply pointed to the sheath of his 'dagger and said, "Inside here".
SIR PRATAP SINGH. : In the 1870's, a remarkable man came to the fore in Jodhpur. Son of Maharaja of Jodhpur, he himself ruled a neighboring kingdom called Idar, abdicated to become Regent of Jodhpur, which he ruled, in effect, for nearly fifty years. Sir Pratap Singh was a great warrior and the epitome of Rajput chivalry. He became an intimate friend of three British sovereigns. At Queen Victoria's durbar he is said to have presented her not with mere jewels, like everyone else, but with his own sword, his most valuable possession as aRajput warrior. Sir Pratap Singh laid the foundation of a modern state in Jodhpur, which Maharaja Umaid Singh (reigned 1918-47) built upon. The of Jodhpur was not merely the largest of the Rajput states, but also one of the most progressive. In 1949, after the independence of India, it was merged into the newly created state of Rajasthan.
Language :Hindi is the official language of the Rajasthan State. But the principal language is "Rajasthani", and the four major dialects are Marwari in the west, Jaipuri in the east, Malwi in the southeast and Mewati in the northeast. But Hindi language is replacing Rajasthani. Moreover, you will find English speaking people in all the major cities, and in remote villages also you will find someone who can speak and understand English. But other languages are completely unknown. Marwad Region prefers to speak Marwadi and Godwadi Regional Language.
Every region has its own very dialect of music and dance. The Ghoomar Dance and Kaibeliya Dance of Jaisalmer have international recognition. Folk music is a vital part of Marwad Rajasthan culture. Songs are used to tell the legendary battles of Rajputs. Folk songs are commonly ballads which relate heroic deeds, love stories, and religious or devotional songs known as bhajans and banis and often accompanied by musical instruments like dholak, sitar, sarangi etc.
Hindusim is the main religion of Marwad Rajasthan. Other significant religious groups in the state are the Jains and the Muslims. There are many local folk heros and local deities such as Pabuji, Ramdeoji, Gogaji, Mehaji, Tejaji & Harbhuji.
Marwad Rajasthan is known for its traditional and colorful art. The block prints, tye and die prints, Bagaru prints, zari embroidery are major export products from Marwad. Handicraft items like wooden furniture and handicrafts, carpets, blur potteries are some of the things you will find here. Marwad is shoppers paradise.
Marwad is famous for the majestic forts, intricately carved temples and decorated havelis. Dilwara Temples, Jaisalmer Havelis are true architectural heritage.
In olden days, the profession of the people decided their caste. This system has now been broken. Today, individuals have the freedom to opt for any profession irrespective of caste. The profession based caste system has now been transformed into birth-based caste system. People of various castes and sub-castes reside in Rajasthan.
The Marwadis are sturdy, cheerful and simple folks relatively untouched by the fast pace of modern times making Marwad (Rajasthan) one of the safest destinations anywhere in the world.
Colourful and Ornamental
It is also one of the most colourful. To offset the barren, colourless landscape and the monotony of its cloudless sky, the people of Marwad (Rajasthan) show a distinct preference for bright costumes. From the simple village folk or tribal to the Rajas and Ranis, the preferred colours are bright red, dazzling yellow, lively green or brilliant orange, highlighted by a lavish use of sparkling gold and silver zari or gota.
Tribal and nomadic women are known for their love for silver jewellery (although men too sport ear studs and earrings). The ornaments follow age-old designs typical of a particular tribe. In daily use the ladies wear normal ornaments of neck, hand, nose and ear but on special occasions and social functions. Women wear all the ornaments of different parts of the body to look beautiful and attractive. For its exquisite designs and delicacy of art Marwadi (Rajasthan) Jewellry is a rage not only for ladies of India but also for women of foreign countries.
In India, the turban is popularly known as a pagdi (Safa). There are different variations of the turban, depending on the religion and region. In fact, in Marwad Rajasthan, it is said that the turban style changes with every 15km you travel. And Rajput turbans are different from Sikh turbans, which are in turn different from the classical Arab turbans. Then, there are the royal turbans from different parts of India, and the rural turban which is often just a towel wound round the head. India is a land of diversities. And it is all the more pronounced in Rajasthan. An old local saying sums it up -
"The dialect, cuisine, water and turbans in Rajasthan change every 12 miles."
In fact there are about 1,000 different styles and types of turbans in Rajasthan, each denoting the class, caste and region of the wearer. Turbans come in all shapes, sizes and colors ; and there are specific turbans for specific occasions as well.
A lineage of beautiful women
Marwadi women have been renowned for their grace and beauty. Alauddin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi, was so smitten by the beauty of the legendary Maharani Padmini Devi that he waged a war -in vain - for her hand. In her heydays, the present day Rajmata of Jaipur, Maharani Gayatri Devi, was considered by Vogue to be amongst the Ten Most Beautiful Women in the World. And her charm hasn't diminished one bit till today!
The term Marwadi literally refers to someone who hails from or is an inhabitant of Marwad - the erstwhile Jodhpur state. This term gained currency initially in Bengal, where the traders from Shekhawati and other parts of Rajasthan established their business empires. Distinct in their dress, customs and language, the traders and merchants of Rajasthan came to be known as Marwaris. Rajasthan's greatest contribution to the country's economy has been in the field of Human Resources. The term Marwadi is a misnomer. Literally speaking, it signifies a person from the Marwar(Jodhpur) region of Rajasthan, although the majority of Rajasthan's businessmen are from the Shekhavati belt. However, colloquially it has come to denote emigrant businessmen from the vicinity of Rajasthan.
Traditionally, traders par excellence, they migrated from their home state way back in the 16th century and established trading outposts as far away as Assam - the eastern corner of India. With their ingrained thrift and perseverance (in those days, people had to walk miles and miles over scorching sands for a pot of water!) and business acumen, they soon converted these small businesses into industrial empires. Today, the marwaris dominate India's business and economy. As an American sociologist put it, "more than half the assets in the modern sector of the Indian economy are controlled by the trading castes originating in the northern half of Rajasthan."
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