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Chauhan or Chahaman(a) is a clan that ruled parts of Northern India in the Middle Ages. The Chauhan gotra is found among the Rajputs, Jats, Dhangars and Gujjars.


[edit] Origin and History

The Chauhans come from the region around the lakes of Sambhar and Pushkar in Rajasthan (formerly Rajputana), near Amber and present-day Jaipur.

The other famous seats of Chauhans of Rajput clans is Mainpuri in Uttar Pradesh as well as Neemrana in Alwar district of Rajasthan.

Chauhan dynasties established themselves in several places in Northern India and in the state of Gujarat in Western India, while the Sakhambari branch remained near lake Sambhar and married into the ruling Pratihara Rajput clan, who then ruled an empire in Northern India. In western India Chauhans are found at Devgadh Baria, founded by Dungarsinhji, a member of the Khichi Chauhan clan about 700 years ago.

The Chauhans later asserted their independence from the Pratiharas, and in the early eleventh century, the Sakhambari king Ajaya-Raja founded the city of Ajaya-meru, now known as Ajmer. In the mid twelveth century, his successor Vigraharaja enlarged the state to include much of northern Rajasthan as well as Haryana and Delhi.

The Chauhan kingdom became the leading Rajput state and a powerful kingdom in Northern India under King Prithviraj III (1165-1192), also known as Prithviraj Chauhan or Rai Pithora . The Chauhan kingdom collapsed after Prithviraj was defeated by Mohammed of Ghor in 1192 at the Second Battle of Tarain, but the Chauhans remained in Ajmer as feudatories of Mohammed of Ghor and the Sultans of Delhi until 1365, when Ajmer was captured by the rulers of Mewar.

A branch of the Chauhans, led by Govinda, the grandson of Pritviraj III, established themselves as rulers of Ranthambore from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, when Ranthambore was captured by Rana Kumbha of Mewar.

The Hadas, another branch of the Chauhans, moved into the Hadoti region in the twelveth century, capturing Bundi in 1241, and ruled there until the twentieth century.

Chauhans of the Deora branch established the state of Sirohi in southern Rajasthan, and ruled there from the fifteenth century until Indian Independence.

The last Chauhan king ruled in Mainpuri, a district in Uttar Pradesh of India.

[edit] Among Rajputs

The Chauhans were, along with the Paramara (Parmar), Pratihara (Parihara)(Gujjar), and Solanki (Chalukya) clans, considered to be one of the four Agnivanshi or "fire-born" Rajput clans. Rajkumar (Bhadaiyan State of Awadh, UP) and Bachgoti (Diyara State of Awadh, UP) are two other branches of Chauhans (both are primarily in Uttar Pradesh).

[edit] Religion

In India, the majority of Chauhans are Hindus, but some are Sikhs (particularly in Punjab). In Pakistan, Chauhans are predominantly Muslims. Some Chauhans also choose to spell their name "Chohan" (ﮀﻮﮨﺎﻥ).

[edit] Chauhan Rulers of Ajmer

  • Ajay Pal - founded the city Ajaymeru which became to called as Ajmer in the modern times.
  • Prithviraja I (Amaraja) (12th century)
  • Jagdeva (? - 1152)
  • Vigraharaja IV (1152 - 1165)
  • Apara Gangeya (1165 - ? )
  • Prithviraja II
  • Somadeva ( ? - 1179)
  • Prithviraj III (Prithviraj Chauhan) (1179 - 1192)

According to the Rajput bards the Chauhan is one of the four Agnikula or 'fire sprung' tribes who were created by the gods in the anali kund or 'fountain of fire' on Mount Abu to fight against the Asuras or demons. Chauhan is also one of the 36 (royal) ruling races of the Rajputs.

Chauhan dynasty flourished from the 8th to 12th centuries AD. It was one of the four main Rajput dynasties of that era, the others being Pratiharas, Paramaras and Chalukyas. The Chauhans dominated Delhi, Ajmer, Ranthambhor. They were also prominent at Sirohi in the southwest of Rajputana, and at Bundi and Kota in the east. Inscriptions also associate them with Sambhar, the salt lake area in the Amber (later Jaipur) district. Chauhan politics were largely campaigns against the Chalukyas and the invading Muslim hordes. In the 11th century they founded the city of Ajayameru (Ajmer) in the southern part of their kingdom, and in the 12th century captured Dhilika (the ancient name of Delhi) from the Tomaras and annexed some of their territory along the Yamuna River. Prithviraj III has become famous in folk tales and historical literature as the Chauhan king of Delhi who resisted the Muslim attack in the first Battle of TARAIN (1191). Armies from other Rajput kingdoms, including Mewar assisted him. However, Prithviraj was defeated in a second battle at Tarain the following year. This failure ushered in Muslim rule in North India in the form of the SLAVE DYNASTY, the first of the Delhi Sultanates.

[edit] Famous Chauhans of this day

Gulshan-Naseem Chohan, Karachi, Pakistan

  • Faisal Chauhan - Leading and Excelling IT Engineer in the UK
  • Ajay Pratap Singh (Chauhan)- Leading Scientist in Cancer Biology (UNMC, Omaha, USA)
  • Pragnesh Chauhan - Owner of Top Web Development Firm (LethalCreationZ Canada Inc.)
  • Kuwar Govind Singh Godapala - Software Professional, Leading IT company.
  • Dr. Brij Pal Singh Chauhan - an eminent scientist in cytogenetics and plant breeding.
  • Chetan Pratap Singh Chauhan - Cricketer & Member of Parliament
  • Shailendra Chauhan - a poet of national eminence
  • Dr. Rajesh Chauhan - an eminent doctor who has been listed in the Who's Who of the World in Medicine & Healthcare.
  • Dr. Shyam Vir Singh Chauhan - an eminent scientist in plant physiology.
  • Asar Chauhan - Renown journalist and columnist. His column "Siyasat Nama" is popular in Pakistanis home and abroad.
  • Dr. Shivdan Singh Chauhan - Noted Hindi litterateur and freedom fighter. Recipient of the Soviet Land Nehru Award.
  • Mr Hemal Chauhan - Bioinformatic student. Discovered new information about the human genome and works alond side the HGP.
  • Mr Narendra Chauhan - Leading project manager for Fiserv financial company. Received Master's degree in mathematics from Sussex University.
  • Chauhans of Suva, Fiji, who first arrived in Colonial Fiji in 1915, making them one of the first Indians to travel as far into the Pacific Ocean Nations recorded.
  • Musa Javed Chohan - Pakistani ambassador to Canada, former ambassador to France and Malaysia
  • Naela Chohan - Director-General of Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan
  • Ytit Chauhan - Student at The George Washington University