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Rajputs

Rajputs (räjˈpōts) [key] [Sanskrit, = son of a king], dominant people of Rajputana, an historic region now almost coextensive with the state of Rajasthan, NW India. The Rajputs are mainly Hindus (although there are some Muslim Rajputs) of the warrior caste; traditionally they have put great value on etiquette and the military virtues and take great pride in their ancestry. Of these exogamous clans, the major ones were Rathor, Kachchwaha, Chauhan, and Sisodiya. Their power in Rajputana grew in the 7th cent., but by 1616 all the major clans had submitted to the Mughals. With the decline of Mughal power in the early 18th cent., the Rajputs expanded through most of the plains of central India, but by the early 19th cent. they had been driven back by the Marathas, Sikhs, and British. Under the British, many of the Rajput princes maintained independent states within Rajputana, but they were gradually deprived of power after India attained independence in 1947.

See S. M. Rameshwar, Resurgent Rajasthan (1962); L. Minturn, The Rajputs of Kahlpur (1966); D. Sharma, Lectures on Rajput History and Culture (1970).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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