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Mewar (मेवाड़) (may wahr (long a like "wand") ) is a region of south-central Rajasthan state in western India. It includes the present-day districts of Bhilwara, Chittorgarh, Rajsamand and Udaipur. The region was for centuries a Rajput kingdom that later became a princely state under the British. It was ruled by the Guhilot and Sisodia dynasties for over 1200 years.


[edit] Geography

The northern part of Mewar is a gently sloping plain, drained by the Bedach & Banas River and its tributaries, which empty northwest into the Chambal River, a tributary of the Yamuna River. The southern part of the region is hilly, and marks the divide between the Banas and its tributaries and the headwaters of the Sabarmati and Mahi rivers and their tributaries, which drain south into the Gulf of Cambay through Gujarat state. The Aravalli Range forms the northwestern boundary of the region, composed mostly of sedimentary rocks, like marble and Kota stone, which has traditionally been an important construction material. The Marwar region lies across the Aravalli Range to the northwest, Gujarat and the Vagad region of Rajasthan lie to the south, the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh state lies to the southeast, and the Hadoti region of Rajasthan lies to the east.

Mewar Region
Mewar Region

The region is part of the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests' ecoregion. Protected areas include the Jaisamand Wildlife Sanctuary, the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, the Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary and the Sitamata Game Sanctuary.

Mewar has a tropical climate. Rainfall averages 660 mm/year, and is generally higher in the southwest and lower in the northeast of the region. Over 90% of the rain typically falls in the period June to September every year, during the southwest monsoon.

[edit] History

The history of Mewar over the past 1200 years is essentially the history of the dynasty and state founded by Bappa Rawal.

[edit] The Guhilots

Bappa Rawal, a legendary figure in Rajput history, was allegedly of noble birth, belonging to the lineage of a certain Guha, ruler of the town of Nagda on the border between the present-day states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. However, he spend his childhood as the servant of a Brahmin family, in ignorance of his purported lineage. His warlike temperament commended him to the attention of Maan Mori, a local chieftain who belonged to the Parmara clan of Rajputs; Maan Mori is in some accounts said to have been Bappa Rawal's own maternal uncle. Be that what it may, Bappa Rawal soon usurped the territory of his patron / uncle and established himself as ruler of Mewar, an event usually dated to 734AD.

All subsequent rulers of Mewar trace their lineage to Bappa Rawal. The senior lineage of rulers descended from him were known as Guhilots (also Guhelots or Guhilas), a patronymic derived from the name of their purported distant forbear, the aforementioned Guha.

Jauhar of 1303: Ala-ud-din Khilji, Sultan of Delhi, sent a marauding army across India at the turn of the 13th century; this army, commanded by Malik Kafur, soundly defeated the Guhilot rulers of Mewar in 1303. The impending fall of Chittorgarh, the main bastion of the Guhilots, occasioned the famous Jauhar of 1303, when the womenfolk then resident within that fort collectively committed suicide rather than risk personal dishonour at the hands of the victorious invading army. The surviving Guhilot menfolk and their retainers are said to have subsequently took refuge in the nearby hills and inter-married with the tribals of that region.

[edit] The Sísodias

Rana Hamir: The victorious Khilji sultans assigned the newly conquered territory of Mewar to the administration of Maldeo, ruler of the nearby state of Jalore, who had allied with them during the recent war. In a bid to reconcile and co-opt the natives of the land to his rule, Maldeo arranged for the marriage of his widowed daughter Songari with Hamir, the scion of an impoverished cadet branch of the erstwhile ruling dynasty. Rana Hamir Singh re-established the state of Mewar in 1326 by engineering a coup d'etat against his father-in-law. The dynasty thus founded by Hamir, who was descended in direct patrilineage from Bappa Rawal, came to be known as Sisodia after Sisoda, the mountain village whence Hamir hailed.

Rana Kumbha (1433-1468) was not only an expert in fortification but also an accomplished playwright and patron of music. Many of the historic monuments that dot Mewar were erected by him, including the Kumbhalgarh fort and the Vijay Stambha ( Tower of Victory ) in Chittorgarh.

Rana Raimal (1473-1509) is often overlooked due to his reign being interposed between two notable rulers. Maharana Raimal came to power by defeating his patricide predecessor, Udaysingh I in battles at Jawar, Darimpur and Pangarh. Early in Raimal's reign, Ghiyas Shah of Malwa attacked Chittor unsuccessfully. Soon after, Ghiyas Shah's general, Zafar Khan attacked Mewar and was defeated at Mandalgarh and Khairabad. By marrying Sringardevi (daughter of Rao Jodha), Raimal ended the conflict with the Rathores. During Raimals' reign, Raisingh Toda and Ajmer were recaptured. Raimal also strengthened the state of Mewar and repaired the temple of Eklingji in Chittor. The last years of Raimal's rule were marked by conflict between his sons with Prince Sanga (Sangramsingh) having to flee Chittor. The oldest sons, Prithiviraj and Jagmal were both killed. At this difficult juncture, the Rana was informed that Sanga was still alive and in hiding. Raimal summoned Sanga back to Chittor and passed away soon afterwards.

Rana Sanga (1509-1527) was among the most prominent Rajput chieftains of his day. He initially allied with an invading Babur to overthrow Ibrahim Lodi, the Sultan of Delhi, in 1526. After this was accomplished, Rana Sanga led a combined Rajput army to defeat Babur and capture Delhi, but was himself defeated by Babur at the Battle of Khanua on March 16, 1527. Rana Sanga is famous for 80 scars on his body, he embody the spirit of rajput to fight unto immortality. Legend says after being seriously injured still wanted the battle to continue and was poisoned by some of his nobles.

[edit] Rana Pratap

Main article: Rana Pratap

The greatest Rajput hero of all time, Rana Pratap (b.1540-d.1597) is Mewar's most illustrious ruler. Rana Pratap led the Rajputs against the Mughal army to preserve the independence of Mewar. He had to face not only Akbar's army but also had to fight against other Rajput kings like Raja Todar Mal and Raja Man Singh who aligned with the Mughals. In the Battle of Haldighati (1576), Maharana Pratap was badly hurt and was saved by his famous horse Chetak, who took him in an unconscious state away from the battle scene.

[edit] Mughal and British Suzerainty

Udaipur: As the armies of the Mughal emperor Akbar moved to occupy Mewar in 1568, the then ruler, Maharana Udai Singh, father of Rana Pratap, retired to safety at Udaipur, in the foothills of the Aravalli Range. It was at Udaipur that Pratap supplanted his father as head of the Sesodia clan. Rana Pratap's son Amar Singh was resident at the time of his father's death in exile. Udaipur remained the capital of the state until it acceded unto the Union of India in 1947.

Immediately after Rana Pratap's death, the Sisodias became vassals of the Mughals, and served them faithfully for nearly two centuries. When the Mughal empire went into terminal decline in the 18th century, the Sisodias ventured a measure of autonomy, but were subdued by the Marathas, who exacted crippling tributes from them annually. To add to the woes of the land, the Sisodia rulers of this period dissipated much energy and resources in petty quarrels with their neighbours. The relentless turmoil drained both the country and its ruling family; in the early decades of the 19th century, the Sisodia rulers repeatedly petitioned the British Raj for protection from their neighbours and from the Marathas. Finally, in 1818, Mewar entering into subsidiary alliance with the British and became a princely state in the Rajputana Agency. This arrangement continued until the independence of India in 1947, when Mewar acceded unto the Union of India; it was later integrated into the Indian state of Rajasthan.

[edit] Economy

Economy of Mewar region majorly depends upon following : 1. Tourism 2. Marble & other stone industry 3. Mining industry 4. Handicraft 5. Cement, Tyre, etc. 6. Agriculture & Fishery : Major Crops grown Kharif :Maize, Groundnut, soyabean; Rabi:Wheat, Mustard etc. Cash crop Opium is grown in the region adjoining Malwa in Southeast (pratapgarh,nimbahere,etc). Medium scale of fishery industry also thrives in the region, which is well supported by the government fishery department and is done in various lakes of the region.

[edit] Tourism

Lake Palace, Udaipur
Lake Palace, Udaipur
  • The massive Chittorgarh hilltop fort is one of the main tourist attractions of Mewar. The fort is a depiction of Rajput culture and values. It stands on a 2.4 square kilometre site on an 180 m high hill that rises rapidly from the plains below. The fort was sacked thrice by a stronger enemy. The first sacking occurred in 1303 by Alauddin Khilji. In 1535 Bahadur Shah of Gujarat besieged the fort causing the women to commit Jauhar. In 1568 Mughal emperor Akbar razed the fort to the rubble and once again the history repeated itself. In 1616 Mughal emperor Jehangir restored the fort to the Rajput but it was not resettled.
  • Udaipur, also known as the city of lakes, is also a popular tourist destination with its grand palaces, lakes, temples, gardens and narrow lanes.
  • The Lake Palace is a palace inaugurated in 1746 that is compeletely made of marble and situated inthe middle of lake [[Pichhola]].
  • Jaisamand Lake
  • Udaisagar lake
  • Fatehsagar lake
  • Shilpgram, a crafts village located north west of Udaipur, hosts a crafts fair every year which is one of the biggest in India.
  • Eklingji a temple dedicted to lord Shiva the Ruling deity of Mewar.
  • Keshariaji a temple of Rishabhdev
  • Nathdwara, a temple of Lord Shrinathji is one of the most important pilgrimage site of India.
  • Haldighati is a mountain pass in Rajsamand district that hosted the battle between Rana Pratap Singh and the Mughal emperor Akbar.
  • Kumbhalgarh is a 15th century fortress, built by Rana Kumbha, with 36 kilometres of walls. Over 360 temples are within the fort. It also has a wildlife sanctuary.
  • Charbhuja Temple dedicated to Indian Goddess of thesame name.
  • Rajsamand a huge lake near the city which derives its name from.
  • The Ranakpur village is home to one of the most important Jain temples, that escaped the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb's efforts to destroy Hindu and Jain temples because it is hidden in a geographically difficult terrain.

[edit] See Also

[edit] Mewar Classification

Jagirdars of the State, 1st Class (including the 1st 16 Umraos): Bari Sadri (Jhala Rajput); Bedla (Chauhan Rajput); Kotharia (Chauhan); Salumbar (Choondawat); Bijolia (Paramara); Deogarh (Sangawat); Begun (Choondawat); Delwara (Jhala Rajput); Amet (Choondawat); Meja (Choondawat); Gogunda (Jhala Rajput); Kanor (Choondawat); Bhindar (Saktawat); Badnore (Mertia Rathore); Bansi (Saktawat); Bhainsrorgarh (Kishnawat/Sisodia); Parsoli (Chauhan); Kurabad (Choondawat); Asind (Choondawat); Sardargarh (Dodia).

Nearest Relatives of the Maharana: Bagore (Ranawat); Karjali (Ranawat); Shivrati (Ranawat); Karoi (Ranawat); Bavlas (Sisodia); Banera (Sisodia); Shahpura (Sisodia).

Jagirdars of the State, 2nd Class Umraos Bateesa (32 Umraos): 1. Hamirgarh (Hameergarh) (Choondawat); 2. Chavand (Choondawat); 3. Bhadesar (Choondawat); 4. Bohida (Boheda) (Saktawat); 5. Bhunas (Baba Ranawat); 6. Pipalya (Saktawat); 7. Bemali (Choondawat); 8 (or 13). Tana (Jhala); 8 (or 13). Thana (Choondawat); 9. Rampura (Mertia Rathore); 10. Khairabad (Kherabad) (Baba); 11. Mahua (Mahuva) (Ranawat); 12. Loonda (Choondawat); 14. Jarkhana (Dhanerya) (Sisodia); 15. Kelwa (Jaitmal Rathore); 16. Badi Rupaheli (Bari Roopaheli) (Mertia Rathore); 17. Bhagwanpura (Choondawat); 18. Netawal (Ranawat); 19. Peeladhar (Sisodia); 20. Nimbahera (Mertia Rathore); 21. Batherda (Sarangdevot); 22. Bambori (Paramaras); 23. Sanwar (Ranawat); 24. Kareda (Choondawat); 25. Amargarh (Kanawat); 26. Lasani (Choondawat); 27. Dharyavad (Dhariawad) (Sisodia); 28. Falichda (Falichra) (Chauhan); 29. Sangramgarh (Choondawat); 30. Vijaipur (Saktawat).

Category 3 of Mewar Sardars: 1. Bambora; 2. Roopnagar (Rupnagar) (Solanki); 3. Barliawas (Barlyawas) (Ranawat); 4. Kerya (Poorawat); 5. Amlda; 6. Mangrop (Poorawat); 7. Moie (Bhati); 8. Gurlan (Poorawat); 9. Dabla (Mertia); 10. Jhadol (Jharol) (Jhala); 11. Jamoli (Baba); 12. Gadar Mala (Gadarmala); 13. Muroli (Bhati); 14. Daulatgarh (Daulat-gadh) (Choondawat); 15. Satola (Choondawat); 16. Bassi (Choondawat); 17. Jeelola; 18. Gurla (Gudlan) (Chauhan); 19. Tal (Choondawat); 20. Parsad (Prasad) (Sisodia); 21. Singoli (Poorawat); 22. Bansra (Ranawat); 23. Kantora (Rathore); 24. Marchya Keri (Marchyakheri) (Solanki); 25. Gyangarh (Gyangadh) (Choondawat); 26. Neemri (Mahecha Rathore); 27. Hinta (Saktawat); 28. Semari (Saktawat); 29. Taloli (Choondawat); 30. Rood (Saktawat); 31. Sihar (Saktawat); 32. Pansal (Saktawat); 33. Bhadu (Choondawat); 34. Kunthawas (Kunthavas) (Saktawat); 35. Pithawas (Peethwas) (Choondawat); 36. Jagpura (Mertia Rathore); 37. Athun (Athoon) (Poorawat); 38. Aarjya (Ajarya) (Chavda); 39. Kladwas (Kalarwas) (Chavda).

[edit] External links

State of Rajasthan
Rajasthan Topics
Capital Jaipur
Divisions Ajmer | Bharatpur | Bikaner | Jaipur | Jodhpur | Kota | Udaipur
Districts Ajmer | Alwar | Banswara | Baran | Barmer | Bhilwara | Bikaner | Bharatpur | Bundi | Chittorgarh | Churu | Dausa | Dholpur | Dungarpur | Ganganagar | Hanumangarh | Jaipur | Jaisalmer | Jalore | Jhalawar | Jhunjhunu | Jodhpur | Karauli | Kota | Nagaur | Pali | Rajsamand | Sawai Madhopur | Sikar | Sirohi | Tonk | Udaipur
Major cities AlwarBhilwaraBikanerJaipurJaisalmerJodhpurUdaipur
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