member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and some parts of Pakistan

Rajput (from Sanskrit raja-putra, "son of a king") is a member of any of the various patrilineal clans of the Indian subcontinent, historically associated with warriorhood.


  • Bernier says that the Rajput “Rajas never mount (guard) within a (Mughal) fortress, but invariably without the walls, under their own tents… and always refusing to enter any fortress unless well attended, and by men determined to sacrifice their lives for their leaders. This self devotion has been sufficiently proved when attempts have been made to deal treacherously with a Raja.”
    • François Bernier, quoted from Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 4
  • This Dark Age was lighted up for a moment by the epic of Rajputana. Here, in the states of Mewar, Marwar, Amber, Bikaner and many others of melodious name, a people half native in origin and half descended from invading Scythians and Huns, had built a feudal civilization under the government of warlike rajas who cared more for the art of life than for the life of art. They began by acknowledging the suzerainty of the Mauryas and the Guptas; they ended by defending their independence, and all India, from the inroads of Moslem hordes. Their clans were distinguished by a military ardor and courage not usually associated with India;VI if we may trust their admiring historian, Tod, every man of them was a dauntless Kshatriya, and every woman among them was a heroine. Their very name, Rajputs, meant “sons of kings”; and if sometimes they called their land Rajasthan, it was to designate it as “the home of royalty.”
  • All the nonsense and glamor—all the bravery, loyalty, beauty, feuds, poisons, assassinations, wars, and subjection of woman—which our traditions attach to the Age of Chivalry can be found in the annals of these plucky states. “The Rajput chieftains,” says Tod, “were imbued with all the kindred virtues of the western cavalier, and far his superior in mental attainments.”59 They had lovely women for whom they did not hesitate to die, and who thought it only a matter of courtesy to accompany their husbands to the grave by the rite of suttee. Some of these women were educated and refined; some of the rajas were poets, or scientists; and for a while a delicate genre of water-color painting flourished among them in the medieval Persian style. For four centuries they grew in wealth, until they could spend $20,000,000 on the coronation of Mewar’s king.
  • It was their pride and their tragedy that they enjoyed war as the highest art of all, the only one befitting a Rajput gentleman. This military spirit enabled them to defend themselves against the Moslems with historic valor, but it kept their little states so divided and weakened with strife that not all their bravery could preserve them in the end.
  • “What the Rajputs really lacked was a spirit of aggression so conspicuous among the Muslims, and a will to force the war in the enemy’s dominions and thus destroy the base of his power.”
    • Ram Gopal, Quoted from S.R. Goel, (1994) Heroic Hindu resistance to Muslim invaders, 636 AD to 1206 AD.
  • Similarly, when sultan Mahmud led an expedition against the Hara Rajputs in 1454, he put many of them to the sword, “and sent their children into slavery at Mandu.” In 1468 from the ravaged and burning town of Karahra (near Chanderi), 7,000 prisoners were taken. The harem of Malwa sultans formed a great source of proselytization. The seraglio of Ghayas-ud- din (14691500) was filled with beautiful slaves girls and daughters of Rajas and Zamindars. The number of its inmates was 16,000 according to Nizamuddin and 10,000 according to Ferishtah. However, with the rise of Rajputs to power in Malwa, the enslavement of Hindus and the proselytizing activity of Malwa rulers may not have been as sustained as in other regions.
    • Lal, K. S. (2012). Indian muslims: Who are they.
  • "What nation on earth could have maintained the semblance of civilization, the spirit or the customs of their forefathers, during so many centuries of overwhelming depression, but one of such singular character as the Rajpoot? . . . Rajast’han exhibits the sole example in the history of mankind, of a people withstanding every outrage barbarity could inflict, or human nature sustain, from a foe whose religion commands annihilation; and bent to the earth, yet rising buoyant from the pressure, and making calamity a whetstone to courage. . . . Not an iota of their religion or customs have they lost. . . ".
  • "The Rajput race is the noblest and proudest in India, they are of highest antiquity and purest descent, they have a military autocracy of a feudal type, and “brave and chivalrous, keenly sensitive to an affront, and especially jealous of the honour of their women".
  • "If we compare the antiquity and illustrious descent of the dynasties which have ruled, and some which continue to rule, the small sovereignties of Rajasthan, with many of celebrity in Europe, superiority will often attach to the Rajput."
  • "If devotion to the fair sex be admitted as a criterion of civilization, the Rajpoot must rank high. His susceptibility is extreme, and fires at the slightest offense to female delicacy, which he never forgives."
  • "If other princes were born with silver spoons in their mouth, Indian princes (Rajputs) were born with gold ones. It is difficult in these proletarian times to imagine the sheer grandeur and scale of opulence in which the princes were reared."
  • "Indeed it is amongst the Rajputs of our Army that we find the best specimen of Hindu character, and is no part of the world has the devotion of the soldiers to their immediate Chiefs been more remarkable than among the Rajputs."
  • In the ancient days the Rajput principalities were India's stoutest bulwarks against foreign invasion. Khshatriya armies fought not only Alexander and his Greeks, but also the hordes of Scythians and Bactrians which poured into India up to the end of the 1st century.
  • Sher Shah Sur’s name is associated in our textbooks with the Grand Trunk Road from Peshawar to Dacca, with caravanserais, and several other schemes of public welfare. It is true that he was not a habitual persecutor of Hindus before he became the emperor at Delhi. But he did not betray Islam when he became the supreme ruler. The test came at Raisen in 1543 AD. Shaykh Nurul Haq records in Zubdat-ul-Tawarikh as follows: “In the year 950 H., Puranmal held occupation of the fort of Raisen… He had 1000 women in his harem… and amongst them several Musulmanis whom he made to dance before him. Sher Khan with Musulman indignation resolved to conquer the fort. After he had been some time engaged in investing it, an accommodation was proposed and it was finally agreed that Puranmal with his family and children and 4000 Rajputs of note should be allowed to leave the fort unmolested. Several men learned in the law (of Islam) gave it as their opinion that they should all be slain, notwithstanding the solemn engagement which had been entered into. Consequently, the whole army, with the elephants, surrounded Puranmal’s encampment. The Rajputs fought with desperate bravery and after killing their women and children and burning them, they rushed to battle and were annihilated to a man.”
    • Goel, S. R. (2001). The story of Islamic imperialism in India.
  • When he halted near Kumbhalmîr which was a very big fort of that province, and well-known for its strength all over Hindustan, Deva the Vakil of the Governor of Kumbha took shelter in the fort and started fighting. It so happened that a magnificent temple had been erected in front of that fort and surrounded by ramparts on all sides. That temple had been filled with weapons of war and other stores. Sultan Mahmûd planned to storm the ramparts and captured it [the temple] in a week. A large number of Rajputs were made prisoners and slaughtered. About the edifices of the temple, he ordered that they should be stocked with wood and fired, and water and vinegar was sprinkled on the walls. That magnificent mansion which it had taken many years to raise, was destroyed in a few moments. He got the idols broken and they were handed over to the butchers for being used as weights while selling meat. The biggest idol which had the form of a ram was reduced to powder which was put in betel-leaves to be given to the Rajputs so that they could eat their god.
    • Sultan Mahmud Khalji of Malwa (AD 1436-1469): Tabqat-i-Akhari, Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Uttar Taimur Kalina Bharata, Aligarh 1959, Vol. II., p. 57
  • In AH 797 (AD 1394-95) he proceeded for the destruction of the temple of Somnãt. On the way he made Rajpûts food for his sword and demolished whatever temple he saw at any place.
    • Sultan Muzaffar Shah I of Gujarat (AD 1392-1410), Tabqat-i-Akhari, Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Uttar Taimur Kalina Bharata, Aligarh 1959, Vol. II., p.178
  • Sultan Mahmud relied on the help of Allãh and proceeded there; on the way he laid waste the land of Sorath. From that place the Sultan went towards the temple of those people. Many Rajputs who were known as Parwha , decided to lay down their lives, and started fighting with swords and spears in (defence) of the temple. Sultan Mahmud postponed the conquest of the fort to the next year and returned to Ahmadabad.
    • Sultan Mahmud Begdha of Gujarat (AD 1458-1511), Tabqat-i-Akhari, Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Uttar Taimur Kalina Bharata, Aligarh 1959, Vol. II., p.214
  • Meanwhile, another Tabligh movement had arisen in Haryana under the leadership of Shah Muhammad Ramzan (1769-1825). “He found that the converted Rajputs and Jats… were in no way different from their Hindu counterparts in culture, customs and celebration of religious festivals… Shah Muhammad Ramzan used to sojourn in areas inhabited by such converted Rajputs, dissuade them from practising Hindu rites, and persuade them to marry their cousins (real uncle’s daughters which converts persistently refused to do). They equally detested eating cow’s flesh. To induce them to eat beef, he introduced new festivals like Maryam ka Roza and ‘Rot-bot’. On this day, observed on 17 Rajjab, a ‘pao’ of roasted beef placed on a fried bread was distributed amongst relatives and near and dear ones… Such endeavours ruled out the possibility of reconversion and helped in the ‘Islamization’ of neo-Muslims…”
    • Muhammad Ramzan cited in K.S. Lal, The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India, quoted from (1997). Time for stock taking, whither Sangh Parivar?. Edited by S.R. Goel.
  • Akbar sent Raja Man Sing and Asaf Khan against Rana Pratap of Mewar in 1576. There were Rajput soldiers on both sides; those under Rana Pratap were fighting the ones under Raja Man Singh. At one stage in the fierce struggle, Badaoni asked Asaf Khan how he could distinguish between the friendly and the enemy Rajputs. Asaf Khan replied: “Shoot at whomsoever you like, on whichever side they may be killed, it will be a gain to Islam.”
    • Battle of Haldighati. Quoted from K.S. Lal, Indian Muslims who are they, 1990
  • The Hindu architects produced buildings incomparably more rich and interesting as works of art. I have not visited Southern India, where, it is said, the finest specimen of Hindu architecture are to be found. But I have seen enough of the art in Rajputana to convince me of its enormous superiority to any work of the Mohammedans. The temples at Chitor, for example, are specimens of true classicism.
    • Aldous Huxley, quoted in : On Hinduism Reviews and Reflections - By Ram Swarup p.161-165
  • [Padmanabh, in his Kanhadade-Prabandh (written about the middle of the fifteenth century) has this to say about the Rajput warriors:] “They bathed the horses in the sacred water of Ganga. Then they offered them Kamal Puja. On their backs they put with sandal the impressions of their hands… They put over them five types of armour, namely, war armour, saddles acting as armour, armour in the form of plates, steel armour, and armour woven out of cotton. Now what was the type of Kshatriyas who rode these horses? Those, who were above twenty-five and less than fifty in age,… shot arrows with speed and were the most heroic. (Their) moustaches went up to their ears, and beards reached the navel. They were liberal and warlike. Their thoughts were good… They regarded wives of others as their sisters. They stood firm in battle, and struck after first challenging the enemy. They died after having killed first. They donned and used (all the) sixty-six weapons. If any one (of the enemy ranks) fell down they regarded the fallen person as a corpse and saluted it.”
    • Quoted from Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 4

Khokhar (Rajput community)Edit

  • For instance, when Muhammad Ghauri and Qutbuddin Aibak mounted a combined attack on the Khokhars of the Salt Range (Koh-i-Jud), “great plunder was taken and many captives, so that five Hindu [Khokhars] captives could be bought for a dinar”. Captives were so plentiful that they were also sent “to sell in Khurasan, not long after.”
    • Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 10, (quoting Hasan Nizami, Taj-ul-Maasir, E. D., II; Minhaj)

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