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The Sisodia (also known as Sesodia or Shishodia or Shishodya or Sisodya or Sisodhya) are a suryavanshi Chattari Rajput clan who ruled the kingdom of Mewar in Rajasthanmarker. Before Rana Hamir the clan was known as Gehlot or Guhilot. In 1303 CE Alla-ud-din Khilji attacked Chittormarker.In the war all Rajputs in the fort were killed and Rani Padmini committed Jauhar.Some of their kinsmen survived, who were outside the fort. Amongst the survivors was Hamir who hailed from Sisoda village. Rana Hamir re-established rule over Chittormarker after 23 years of Muslim occupation. His clan was renamed Sisodia after the name of their village "Sisoda".

Origins

Sisodias claim their descent from Lord Rama who was from Suryavanshi dynasty and the hero of the famous Hindu epic The Ramayana through his son Luv like the Bargujar who were their close associates. . They continued with the flag of Luv that has insignia of 'Sun' that embossed on a crimson back ground. The clan claims that they had moved from Lahore that was also known as 'Lohkot' or 'Lavasthali' to Shiv Desh, or Chitor in V.S 191.

In V.S 193 their ancestor Maharaja Kanak sen had ruled over Lahore. Later he also defeated the Kushan Satrap Rudradama who ruled over Gujarat and moved to Gujarat on a punitive expedition against Dihraj Dev Parmar the ruler of Idar (Gujarat). There he established his capital Vallabhimarker and a university by the same name. Vallabhi was the name of Kanak sen's queen and mother of four of his sons Chander Sen, Raghav Sen, Dhir Sen and Bir Sen who later established Bir Nagar in his name. Present day Chittor was also called Bir Nagar in thhose days.2. (Edited by Col D R Singh Sikarwar from 1. to 2.).Their capital was invaded by Hunnic raiders and the pregnant queen, Pushpavati, a Paramara princess, escaped their clutches because she was away on a pilgrimage. The queen gave birth to a baby boy, Guhil (cave-born), in a cave in the mountains of Mallia and left him in the hands of Kamalavati, a Brahmin lady from Birnagar. The queen then committed sati (a widow’s self immolation on her husband’s funeral pyre).

The earliest Scythians who entered the northern regions of South Asia were from this group.Historians derive "Jat" from Getae, "Ahir" from "Avar", "Saka" from "Scythii", "Gujjar" and "Khatri" from "Khazar","Thakur" and "Tarkhan " from "Tukharian", "Saurashtra" from "Saura Matii" or "Sarmatians", "Sisodia" from "Sassanian", "Madra" from "Medes", "Trigartta" from "Tyri Getae" and "Sulika" from "Seleucids". "Massa" means "grand" or "big" in old Iranianmarker - the language of the Scythians.The Sisodias however dispute this cleaim and as yet there is no evidence to support it.

From Guhil onwards

Guhil grew up among the tribal Bhils and in 568 AD, when he was 11, became their chieftain. Guhil also founded a new clan known as the Gehlots, who derived their name from their founder. In the 7th century they moved north to the plains of Mewar and settled in the area around Nagda. Nagda is a small town around 25 km from Udaipur and was named after Nagaditya, the fourth ruler of Mewar. The seventh ruler was accidentally killed by a Bhil in 734AD, and thus the three-year-old Kalbhoj became king, who later came to be known as Bappa Rawal (Bappa meaning father and Rawal a title of the Kshatriya caste).

They trace their descent from Bappa Rawal, purported scion of the Guhilot or Guhila or Gehlot or Gahlot clan, who established himself as ruler of Mewar in 734 AD, ruling from the fortress of Chittormarker (or Chittorgarh).

Bappa grew up as a cowherd in the town of Kailashpuri (now Eklingji) but spent much of his time studying the Vedas in the hermitage of the sage Harita Rishi. He learned to respect Lord Eklingji, and later Harita Rishi gave him the title of the Diwan of Eklingji, one that has become a legacy for the succeeding maharanas. When he was 15 Bappa came to know that he was the nephew of the ruler of Chittor who had been ousted by the ruler of Malwa. He left Kailashpuri, went to the fortress city of Chittor and snatched his kingdom back from the prince of Malwa, Man Singh Mori. In the 9th century bad luck fell upon the Gehlots who were driven away by the Pratiharas who in turn made way for the Rashtrakutas and Paramaras (for more details on the latter three dynasties see History of Madhya Pradesh). Chittor remained the capital of the Sisodias till it was sacked by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar in 1568.

Prince Khoman followed Bappa and Khoman II was grandson of Khoman. They led various expeditions against invaders.Important was expedition in 812 A.D. uniting Rajputs and throwing the armies of Harun-al-Rashid from India and Sind. He was involved in series of battles and led armies to victory after victory culminating in 812AD when the invaders were finally thrown out. This led to a time of peace till 100 years later Md Gazni came into picture. Prince Khoman was the bravest son of Mewar and revered even today. 'Khoman-Gani' or Khamaghani, a common term used in rajasthan, when rajputs greet each other.

Jauhar of 1303: Ala-ud-din Khilji, Sultan of Delhi, sent a marauding army across Indiamarker 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 Chittorgarhmarker, 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 brave men wore saffron turban as a mark of performing saka, of running into battle with no hope of coming back. The injured and surviving Guhilot menfolk and their retainers are said to have subsequently took refuge in the nearby hills.

The Gehlots settled in Aharmarker, where they were known as Aharya. They maintained this title till they shifted to Sissoda. Sissoda arrived at its name when a prince of Chittor built the town right where he had killed a hare (Susso). Since then the clan has retained the title of Sisodia. However, another version says that the dynasty was so named from the word sisa or lead. It is said that a prince of the dynasty was accidentally made to eat beef. The Sisodias are staunch followers of the Hindu faith which holds the cow sacred. When the prince realised his folly he chose to atone for his blunder by swallowing molten lead.

Overview

Rana Hamir Singh (1326-1364) recaptured Chittaurgarh in 1326, and was the first ruler of the clan to use the royal title of "Rana." He changed the family name to Sisodia, derived from Sisoda, the name of the village where he was born. Rana Kumbha (1433-1468) expanded the kingdom and established a system of forts to secure its boundaries. He made Mewar the most powerful Rajput state of the period. Rana Sanga (1509-1527) sought to free northern India from the Sultanate, and convinced Babur, founder of the Mughal dynasty, to challenge Sultan Ibrahim Lodi. Babur defeated Ibrahim at the First Battle of Panipat, and Rana Sangha then led an assembled Bargujar and other Rajputs army to drive Babur away and to recapture Delhimarker from the Muslims, who had ruled there since the end of the 12th century. Rana Sanga was defeated by Babur at the Battle of Khanua, and Mewar was forced to pay tribute to the Mughals.

The struggle between Babur's successor Humayun and the Suri Dynasty allowed Mewar to regain its independence for several decades. Humayun's successor Akbar brought most of the Rajput states under his rule by force or by dynastic marriage, but the Sisodias refused along with Bargujars Imperial Gazeteer of India v.23,p419, and Akbar sent an army headed by the Rajput general Raja Man Singh of the Kachwaha clan. After the capture of Chittaur by the emperor Akbar in 1568, Rana Udai Singh II (1537-1572) shifted the capital to the more defensible site of Udaipurmarker, which he had founded shortly before the fall of Chittaur. Rana Pratap Singh (1572-1596) led a guerrilla war ,along with Bargujar as their main allies, against the occupying armies of the Mughals and their Rajput allies. After the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb attacked the neighboring kingdom of Marwar in 1679, the Sisodias formed a triple alliance with the Rathores of Marwar and the Kachwahas of Jaipurmarker to liberate the Rajputs from the Mughals.

Bhim Singh (1777-1828) was the first ruler to use the title maharana (great king). A branch of the family ruled the state of Barwanimarker in present-day Madhya Pradeshmarker. After India became independent in 1947, Maharana Sir Bhupal Singh acceded to the Government of India in 1948. The Sisodias still retain their royal titles and Maharana Mahendra Singh Mewar of Udaipurmarker is still the "royal officiator of Udaipur" (2005).

A second branch of Gohils who also were the descendants of Bappa Rawal ruled Khergarh in Marwar. They were displaced by the combined forces of the Rathores and Sodhas and were forced to migrate to present day Gujarat under the leadership of Sejakji. After building various alliances with the local Solanki and Raijada rulers and displacing some of the local Kathi and Mer rulers Sejakji established a kingdom in eastern Kathiawar. Sejakji's descendants managed to hold a precarious hold over their newly acquired territory under constant pressure from the local Kathis and the Muslim Sultanate of Gujrat initially. During later years they had to also face hostilities from the Nawab of Junagadh and the Marathas which resulted in many armed conflicts. Many of these descendants of Sejakji perished in the almost constant state of warfare that existed in the turbulent and violent Eastern Kathiawar of those days.They had to frequently shift capitals starting from Sejakpur to Ranpur, Ghogha, Shihor and finally Bhavnagar due to land constantly changing hands during hostilities. However in spite of the tremendous odds stacked against them they kept expanding by conquering Kathi territories and gained wealth and prominence by raiding the terrioteries of the Sultanate of Gujrat. They frequently plundered the ships of the Delhi Sultans that plied the Gulf of Khambat. Sejakji's grandson Mokhdaji became famous as a plunderer of Mohammad Tugluq's fleet. The Gohils eventually founded the State of Bhavnagar also known as Gohilwar. One of Mokhdaji's sons inherited Rajpipla from his maternal Grandfather who ruled the area and had no other heir and so the Gohils also gained Rajpipla in Eastern Gujrat. The Gohil Rulers of Bhavnagar and their immediate brethren (up to six generation distant) are titled Raol. H.H. Maharaja Raol Shree KrishnakumarSinghji Gohil of Bhavnagar was the first Indian Ruler to voluntarily accede to the Indian Union in 1947. In addition to Bhavnagar two of Sejakji's younger sons each founded the smaller states of Palitana and Lathi in Kathiawar. Other branch of Gohils from Khergarh (Marwar) settled at Naroli in the present day Banaskantha District and made Naroli their capital. They were eventually displaced by the Chauhans.

Gehlot rulers of Mewar

Guhil was the first person of this clan, after whom the clan was named Guhilot or Gehlot. Son of Guhil was Bhoj and his son was Mahendra. Son of Mahendra was Nagaditya and his son was Shiladitya (646AD). Son of Shiladitya was Aparajit (661AD). Son of Aparajit was Mahendra II and his son was Kalbhoj. Kalbhoj is also known by his title Bappa Rawal. He established rule over Chittormarker in 734 AD.
  • Bappa Rawal or Kalbhoj.(734-)
  • Khuman
  • Matatt
  • Bhartribhatt I
  • Singha
  • Khuman II
  • Mahoyak
  • Khuman III
  • Bhartribhatt II
  • Allat
  • Narwahana
  • Shalivahana
  • Shakti Kumar
  • Amba Prasad
  • Shuchi Varma
  • Narvarma
  • Kirtivarma
  • Yograj
  • Vairath
  • Hanspal
  • Bair Singh
  • Hanspal II
  • Amar Singh
  • Choud Singh
  • Vikram Singh
  • Karan Singh or Ran Singh
  • Kshem Singh
  • Samant Singh
  • Kumar Singh
  • Manthan Singh
  • Padma Singh
  • Jaitra Singh (1213-1253)
  • Tej Singh (1253-1273)
  • Samar Singh (1273-1302)
  • Rawal Ratan Singh (1302-1303)


Sisodia rulers of Mewar

  • Rana Hamir Singh (1326-1364)
  • Rana Kshetra Singh (1364-1382)
  • Rana Lakha (1382-1421)
  • Rana Mokal (1421-1433)
  • Rana Kumbha (1433-1468)
  • Rana Udai Singh I (1468-1473)
  • Rana Raimal (1473-1509)
  • Rana Sangha (Sangram Singh) (1509-1528)
  • Rana Ratan Singh (1528-1531)
  • Rana Vikramaditya mahthan (1531-1537)
  • Rana Udai Singh II (1537-1572)
  • Rana Pratap Singh (1572-1596)
  • Rana Amar Singh (1596-1620) He faced many attacks. One of his kinsmen Sagar Singh was appointed as Rana by the Mughal emperor Jahangir. But he never received recognition from public and nobility. Amar Singh remained Maharana of Mewar.
  • Rana Karan (1620-1628)
  • Rana Jagat Singh (1628-1652)
  • Rana Raaj Singh (1652-1680)
  • Rana Jay Singh (1680-1699)
  • Rana Amar Singh II (1699-1711)
  • Rana Sangrama Singh II/ (1711-1734)
  • Rana Jagat Singh II (1734-1752)
  • Rana Pratap Singh II (1752-1754)
  • Rana Raaj Singh II (1754-1761)
  • Rana Ari Singh II (1761-1771)
  • Rana Hammir II (1771-1777)
  • Maharana Bhim Singh (1777-1828)
  • Maharana Jawan Singh (1828-1838)
  • Maharana Sardar Singh (1838-1842)
  • Maharana Sarup Singh (1842-1861)
  • Maharana Sambhu (1861-1874)
  • Maharana Sujjan Singh (1874-1884)
  • Maharana Fateh Singh (1884-1930)
  • Maharana Bhupal Singh (1930-1955). In 1948, the Maharana acceded his state to the Government of India.
  • Maharana Bhagwat Singh (1955-1984)was the last Maharana. The Government of India, with Mrs. Indira Gandhi as its Prime Minister, through the 26th Amendment of the Constitution of India in 1971 abolished the titles, privileges, and privy purses of the former rulers of Indian states.
  • Mahendra Singh Mewar (since 1984)


The Sisodia flag

The Mewar flag is distinguished for its "crimson" flag. During times of war and peace, this standard could always be seen flying high. It depicts the image of a dagger and a flaming sun. Robert Taylor of the Bengal Civil Service records in his book, "The Princely Armory", "...for eight centuries a golden sun in a crimson field has floated over the head of the Rana at feast and fray, and is conspicuous in the ornament of his palace...On the top of the mast is the face of the Sun, embossed in gold. On the triangular Nishan (flag), the human face is embroidered in gold depicting the Sun. It has a gold tassle at the end. A Katar (a type of dagger) with silver threads on the Nishan completes this simple design. The Sun signifies that the Nishan is of the "Surya Vansi" (Sun Dynasty) Maharanas of Mewar. The Katar is the emblem of independence....the colour of the Nishan (flag) is Saffron and the mast is red."

See also



References




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