Rathores of Bikaner : RAS History and Culture
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Rathores of Bikaner : RAS History and Culture

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Rathores of Bikaner : RAS History and Culture

Rathores of Bikaner:

  • During 15th century when Rao Bika, son of Rao Jodha arrived at Bikaner, the the region was possessed by seven Jat cantons namely Sihag, Dhaka, Punia, Godara, Saran, Beniwal, Johiya and Kaswan. 
  • Rao Bika used the mutual rivalry existing between Jat clans to carve out space for his own kingdom. 
  • According to James Tod, the spot which Bika selected for his capital, was the birthright of a Nehra Jat, who would only concede it for this purpose on the condition that his name should be linked in perpetuity with its surrender. 
  • Naira, or Nera, was the name of the proprietor, which Bika added to his own, thus composing that of the future capital, Bikaner.

Important Rulers of rathores of Bikaner:

  1. Rao Bika:

  • Rao Bika, the Son of Rao Jodha (founder of Jodhpur) , separated from his father and with his trustworthy nobles, he went to the jungle territory, to establish a new kingdom. 
  • With the blessings of Karni Devi, he won some small and big places and some tribes and established the Rathore dynasty in 1465.
  • In 1488, he established the city of Bikaner and made it his capital.
  • After expanding his kingdom far and wide, he died in 1504.
  1. Rao Lunkaran:

  • After the death of Rao Nara, his brother, Rao Lunkaran,a Brave warrior, sat on the throne.
  • With his might, he expanded his kingdom far and wide, defeated and forced Jaisalmer king Rawal Jaitsi  to sign a treaty with him.
  1. Rao Jaitsi (1526-1542):

  • After his father’s death, Rao Jaitsi took over the reigns of Bikaner.
  • During his reign, Kamran, the son of Babur and ruler of Lahore attacked Bhatner and took it under his control. 
  • After that he attacked Bikaner  and annexed it.
  • Later Jaitsi gathered a strong army and attacked Kaamran, he won the battle.
  • The complete description of this war can be found in ‘Rao Jaitsi ro chand’ written by Veetu Suja.
  • In 1541, Jodhpur ruler Rao Maldev attacked Bikaner. 
  • Rao Jaitsi died in this battle and Bikaner was annexed by Rao Maldev.      
  • In 1544, Sher Shah Suri defeated Maldev in the Giri Sumel battle. 
  • In this battle, Rao Jaitsi helped Shershah. 
  • So Shershah gave the state of Bikaner to Kalyanmal.
  1. Rao Kalyanmal (1544-1574):

  • After Rao Maldev was defeated, Rao kalyanmal became the ruler of Bikaner.
  • He was the first ruler who went to the Nagori Darbar of Akbar and submitted to him and established marriage relations with them. 
  • He sent his younger son Prithviraj for Akbar’s service. 
  • Prithviraj was a great poet and a devotee of Vishnu.
  • Prithviraj was one among the Navratnas of Akbar. 
  • He wrote a famous poem named ‘Beli Krishan Rukmani ri’ .
  • After the Nagaur darbar was over,  in 1572, Akbar appointed Raysingh, the son of Kalyanmal  as the ruler of Jodhpur.
  • Rao Kalyanmal died in 1574.
  1. Raja Rai Singh of Bikaner (1574-1612):

  • He was born on July 22, 1541. He became the ruler of Bikaner after his father's death.
  • During his reign, the bond of friendship strengthened between Bikaner and Mughals.
  • Raisingh was among the Brave, skillful and politically skilled warriors. 
  • In a short time, he won the trust of Akbar. He is often called as the strong pillar of Akbar’s kingdom.
  • Ruler of Jodhpur: in 1572, Akbar appointed Kunwar Rae Singh as the administrator of Jodhpur. 
  • He had authority there for three years.
  • Battle of Kathauli (1573) : Rae singh was also in the army which was sent to Gujarat to subjugate the Mirja brothers. The Emperor’s army. under the leadership of Rae singh chased Ibrahim Hussain Mirza and cordoned him at Kathauli, he was defeated there and he ran towards Punjab.

Attack on Rao Chandrasen:  

  • After the Mughal army captured Jodhpur and Bhadrajan Rao, Chandrasen made Sivana his new residence.
  • Under the leadership of Rae Singh, Akbar sent a huge army to annex the fort of Sivana in 1574.
  • The Emperor’s army won the Sojat fort first and then cordoned the Siwana fort. 
  • Rao Chandrasen gave the authority of the fort to Rathor Patta and Muntha Patta and left the fort. 
  • After that the Emperor’s army captured the Sivana fort under leadership of Shahbaz Khan.

Suppression of Deora Surtan: 

  • In 1576, the Emperor’s army was sent to suppress Taaj Khan of Jalore and Surtan Deora of Sirohi.
  • Both of them appeared before Raisingh and accepted the supremacy of the Emperor.
  • In this manner, he successfully led Akbar’s army in Gujarat, Kabul, South India, Lahore. In a few days Akbar made him Chaar Hazaari Mansabdar.
  • During Jahangir’s reign, he was made Paanch Hajari Mansabdar.
  • Being a close aide of Akbar and Jahangir, he was appointed on special occasions and the Emperors even gifted him Jagirs from time to time. 
  • He got many Jagirs like Junagarh, Sareth, Nagore, Shamshabad etc.
  • Jahangir had a strong trust in Rae singh. This was the reason why he was asked to reach the court as soon as possible when Akbar was ill. Rae singh was a charitable person and scholar. 
  • Munshi Devi Prasad has called him ‘Karna of Rajputs’.
  • He constructed the Junagarh fort in Bikaner under the supervision of his minister Karamchand (1589-1594) . 
  • He inscribed the “Rae singh prashasti” on it.
  • He used to behave very nicely even with his enemies, whom he had defeated. 

Maharaja Karan singh (1631-1669):

  • After the death of his father Sursingh, his eldest son Karan Singh sat on the throne of Bikaner.
  • He was a mighty king of Bikaner.
  • Aurangzeb was very grateful to him.
  • He was honored by the title ‘Jangaldhar Baadshah’ by other rulers.
  • Many literary texts were composed during his reign, among which Karn Bhushan (written by Ganganand Maithili) is the most famous.

Maharaja Anup Singh(1669-1698):

  • He took over the reign of Bikaner in 1669.
  • Aurangzeb was very pleased with his action against the Marathas in the south and honored him with the titles of ‘Maharaja’ and ‘Mahi Maratib’. 
  • Maharaja Anup Singh was a great scholar, diplomat, strategist and music lover.
  • He authored many Sanskrit texts like Anupvivek, Kaam-Prabodh, Anupoday etc.
  • His court poets also composed many texts including ‘Anup Vyavahaar Sagar’, ‘Anup Vilas’  by Maniram, ‘Tirth Ratnakar’ by Anant Bhatt and ‘Sangit Anupaakush’, ‘Anup Sangeet Vilas’, ‘Anup Sangeet Ratnaakar’ by teacher Bhavbhatt.
  • He bought a lot of texts from South India and preserved them in his library.
  • In 1818, the then ruler of Bikaner signed a security treaty with the British and brought safety  and peace to his kingdom.

Kishangarh: 

  • This was the third state of Rathores, established in 1609 by Kishan Singh, son of Motaraja Udai Singh of Jodhpur. Jahangir gave the title of ‘Maharaja’ to these rulers.
  • Sawant Singh, the ruler of kishangarh left his kingdom and went to Vrindavan for Krishna worship.
  • He is famous as ‘Naagaridas’.
  • In earlier times, Barmer was known by the name “Mallinath” after Mallinath, the son of Rao Salkha. 
  • Mallinath is considered a God and still worshiped by Rajputs. 
  • The area around the “Luni” river was called “Malani”, derived from the name Mallinath.
  • In the 18th century, British rulers adopted the name Barmer or Balmer . 
  • The name Barmer is derived from the name of the earlier 13th century ruler Bahada Rao Parmar (Panwar) or Bar Rao Parmar (Panwar), it was named Bahadamer (“The Hill Fort of Bahada”).
  • Rao Salkha- Rao of Kher
  • Rawal Mallinath- Founder of Mahecha Clan ( a Rathore Sub-clan)
  • Rawal Jagmal- Rao of Malani
  • Rawat Luka- He attacked Juna with help of his elder brother Rawal Mandalak which was under Chauhan ruler Mudha ji and made his capital, his descendents are known as Barmera’s.
  • Rawat Shekha
  • Rawat Jaita
  • Rawat Ratoji
  • Rawat Bhima- Founder of present Barmer city
  • Rawat Kalyanmal
  • Rawat Duda ji
  • Rawat Ram Singh
  • Rawat Tejpal Singh
  • Rawat Bhairo ji- Rao Bhairo Ji divided the territory of Barmer equally among his five sons namely Sahiba Ji, Kishan Dass Ji, Lal Singh Ji, Kheeva Ji and Pabba Ji.
  • Rawat Lal Singh ji
  • Rawat Man Singh
  • Rawat Dal Singh
  • Rawat Bhabhut Singh
  • Rawat Panney Singh
  • Rawat Bakidas
  • Rawat Jawahar Singh
  • Rawat Heera Singh
  • Rawat Ratan Singh
  • Rawat Ummed Singh- Ex-Member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly from Barmer between 1962–1967, and the Sheo constituency in 1985-1990.
  • Rawat Tribhuvan Singh- He is the current heir of Barmer Gaddi, he was adopted in 2009 by Late Rawat Umed Singh Ji Rathore’s wife Rani Sampat Kanwar (daughter of Thikana Mahansar, Shekhawati).

Read more about History of Rathore Rulers / Important rulers of Marwar or join RAS