6. Art And Culture Part 1 Notes | Study RAS RPSC Prelims Preparation - Notes, Study Material & Tests - UPSC

UPSC: 6. Art And Culture Part 1 Notes | Study RAS RPSC Prelims Preparation - Notes, Study Material & Tests - UPSC

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Rajasthan: Sources of Historical Knowledge of Rajasthan

The advent of men in Rajasthan can claim greater antiquity than many other regions of India. It is a geological fact that the Aravalli ranges are older than the Himalayas. In ancient rive beds and natural rock shelters of Rajasthan have been discovered fairly earlytraces of human habitations. Palaeoliths in abundance have been reported from Marwar and Mewar from Marwar and Mewar regions of Rajasthan. Then we have a rich microlithic assemblage at Bagor (Bhilwara District). In fact, the Chambal river­valley, Banas­Berach basin, Luni river basin, rock­shelters of Viratnagar, ancient – lake sites, Old River – terraces, and several open air sites from different parts of Rajasthan have yielded palacolithic and microlithic implements, indicating the early activities of man in Rajasthan.

Thereafter we find rich chalcolithic cultures at Ahar (Udaipur), Ganeshwar (Sikar District) and Balathan (Udaipur District). The recently excavated site of Balathal has presented the evidence of a chalolithic village which is earliest (dated to 2500 B.C.) onto only in Rajasthan, but in India.

The banks of the Saraswati river, which flowed through the western part of Rajasthan, became the centers of two early and formative civilizations of India viz. the Indus-Saraswati civilization and the Vedic civilization. Kalibangan (Hanumangarh District) was an Important center of Indus ­ Saraswati civilization in Rajasthan. The Vedic literature mentions the Matsyas and the Salvas as located near the river Saraswati and there is evidence to believe that by the close of the Vedic age Rajasthan had become fully colonized by the Vedic tribes. The relics of Painted Grey ware culture have been reported from the dried­ up beds of Saraswati and Drshadvati rivers. We also have evidence of Painted Grey Ware (PGW) from Noh (Bharatpur), Jodhpur (Jaipur), Viratnagar (Jaipur) and Sanari (Jhunjhunu). These sites represent the growth of Iron Age in Rajasthan.


Archaeological Sources 



The inscriptions serve as a very authentic evidence for the reconstruction of the history and culture of Rajasthan. Not only do thehelp us in building up the chronology and political history on a firm basis; They also offer reliable pieces of information about the contemporary life and conditions in Rajasthan. Rajasthan is blessed with both Sanskrit and Persian Inscriptions.

         Listed below are some of the important inscriptions in Sanskrit reported from Rajasthan

  1. Barli Fragmentary Stone Inscription (5th or 4th century B.C.): This fragmentary inscription was found in the temple of Bhilot Mata, about a mile  from the village Barli,  situated  about  36 miles southeast of Ajmer. The inscription is now preserved in the Ajmer museum.  It is engraved on a white stone which formed part of a hexagonal pillar. The characters are Brahmi. The language is Prakrit mixed with Sanskrit. 
  2. Ghosundi Inscription: - Located near chitorgarh, has been broken into pieces, Its written in Sanskrit in Brahmi script.Its dated 2nd Century B.C.   
  3.  Manmori Inscription:-713 AD, Near Chitorgarh, related to Mori dynasty
  4.   Sareshwar Inscription:- 953 A.D., Udaipur
  5. Bijoliya Inscription:-  1170 A.D. ,   related to Chauhan dynasty
  6. Chirve Inscription: - 1273, Udaipur, related to Mewar History.
  7. Ranakpur Inscription:-1439 A.D., Mewar history from Bapa to Rana Kumbha.
  8. Kirti Stambh inscription: - 1460 AD, By Rana Kumbha after Defeating Gujrat and Malwa forces.
  9. Raisingh inscription, 1594 AD , at Bikaner fort, by Naresh Raisingh
  10. Amber inscription, 1612 A.D., related to Kachwa rulers of Amber
  11. Jagganath  inscription:- 1652 A.D., Udaipur, Related to Mewar History for Bappa to Maharana Jagatsingh
  12. Rajprashir inscription:- 1676 A.D. , Rajnagar, Largest inscription of nation

Listed below are some of the important inscriptions in Persian reported from Rajasthan. 

  1. On the wall of Dhai Din ka Jhopra of Ajmer which is 1200 A.D.
  2. Dhaibi peer Dargah, Chitorh which is 1325 A.D.
  3. Pushkar which is 1615 A.D.

Copper Plate Inscriptions:-

  1. Ahard Copper Plate Inscriptions 1206 AD
  2. Khareda Copper Plate Inscriptions 1437 AD
  3. Chokali Copper Plate Inscriptions 1483 AD
  4. Puru Copper Plate Inscriptions 1535 AD



Coins, though they are small in size, sometimes play a big role in illuminating history not known other sources. They also serve as ancillary evidence for the history known from other sources. Excavations and accidental findings have so far yielded thousands of coins from different parts of Rajasthan. The earliest coins reported from India are known as ‘punch marked coins’ which are made of silver and are dated from c. 600 B.C.to200 B. C. The punching devices of these coins have no inscriptions; Instead they have a number of symbols. A very big hoardofpunch­ marked coins was discovered from Rairh (Tonk District) in Rajasthan. This hoard consisted of 3075 punch – marked coins of silver. An another significan hoard from Rajasthan is that of Gupta gold coins discovered at Bayana (Bharatpur District). It consists of 1821gold coins, which add to our knowledge of Gupta period in general. This hoard has furnished valuable information about Gupta currency in particular. It is also indicative of the prosperous conditions prevalent in India during the Gupta period. The artistic designson these coins revel about the aesthetic sense of the society. Five Gupta coins of silver from Ajmer discovered by Dr. G.H. Ojha and one silver coin of Kumaragupta from Naliasar­ Sambhar discovered by Dr. Satya Prakash offer some insight into the religious inclinations and artistic taste of people. On the coin of Kumaragupta – from Naliasar­ Sambhar, a peacock as a vehicle of Swami Kartikeya, has been designed in a very beautiful manner. Six gold coins of Gupta age were discovered from Bairh, a place situated near Rairh in 1962. Some gold coins of Gupta age are also reported to have been discovered from the areas of Jaipur, Ajmer and Mewar, ‘dmonastrating the important role the coins played in the economic life of the people during the Gupta age’. Useful information is also provided by several small hoards of coins issued by various dynasties, tribes and rulers of Rajasthan.Bairat has yielded 28 coins of Indo­Greek rulers, 16 of which belong to Menander. Excavation from Sambhar have yielded many coins which include 6 punch – marked coins of silver, 6 Indo – Sassanian copper coins. Rangamahal has provided several Kushana coins, including some post­Kushana coins. Kshatraps coins are reported from Nagari (Chittorgarh).

A significant number of coins were issued by the republican tribes of Rajasthan. Prominent amongst them are the coins of the Malava tribe. Thousands of copper coins issued by the Malavas have been discovered, mainly from Nagar or Karkota Nagar (TonkDistrict) and Rairh (Tonk District). The Malava coins from Rajasthan are invariably of copper and a fairly large number of them bear their tribal name. The Malava coins can be put in three categories. The first category of coins bear the legend Malavanam Jayah (i.e. victory to the Malavas). The other two categories of coins consist of those coins which were discovered in association with the Malava coins and resemble the latter in fabric. The coins of second category bear no legend, while those of the third bear enigmatic legends like Gajava, Haraya, Jamaka, Magacha, Masapa, Pachha, Bhapamyana etc. the meaning of these legends is not obvious to us.


Other Antiquities 

In the Vedas, the river Saraswati has been eloquently and extensively applauded. It was, in fact, the ‘life­line’ of ancient Rajasthan Rigveda VI./49/7). The people of Matsyas are also mentioned in the Rigveda. They have been shown as residing near the banks of Saraswati in the Satapatha Brahmana.The Salvas find mention in the Gopatha Brahmana, as a pair Janapada alongwith the Matsyas had developed an extensive kingdom with its capital located at Virata (present Bairat or Viratanagara in the Jaipur District).The Pandavas are said to have spent their period of exile at Virata with the help of the Matsyas who were their allies. According to Mahabharata, the Matsya Janapada was rich in the wealth of the cows and the Matsyas were renowned for truth. The Mahabharata also refers to the Salva country, with its capital at Salvapura, generally identified with Alwar. The Malvas also find mention in the Mahabharata as a tribe of great warriors which helped the Kauravas in their battles against the Pandavas. The Puranas contain some observations on the sacred places of Rajasthan. Interestingly, the Skanda – Purana gives a list of Indian states which includes some states of Rajasthan. These are: Sakambhara Sapadalaksha; Mewar Sapadalaksha; Tomara Sapadalaksha; Vaguri (Baged) 88,000; Virata (Bairat) 36,000; And Bhadra 10,000.

The Chinese traveler, Yuan Chwang, makes certain references related with Rajasthan. He mentions the place called Po­li­ye­ta­lo Which is identified with Virat or Bairat (Jaipur District). According to him, “Po­li­ye­ta­lo was 14 or 15 Li or 2½ miles in circuit’ – corresponding almost exactly with the size of the ancient mound on which the present town is built. According to Yuan Chwang, “The people of this city were brave and bold and their king, who was of the Fei­she (Vaisya) race, was famous for his courage and skill in war.” Yuan Chwang also mentions the kingdom of Gurjara by the name Kiu­che­lo. According to him, it was 5,000 Li in circuit. The Capital of this kingdom was Pi­lo­mo­lo, which is generally identified with modern Bhinmal. Yuan Chwang says that “the king of this Country was a Kshatriya by birth, was a young man celebrated for his wisdom and valour, and he was a profound believer in Buddhism, and a patron of exceptional abilities.” The period of 700­1200 A.D., in Rajasthan was of considerable literary activity. The works composed by different authors during this phase throw a flood of light on the political, social economic and religious conditions of Rajasthan.


Sources of the History and Culture of Rajasthan (1200 – 1900 A.D.) 

The period c. 1200 -1900 A.D. forms one of the most interesting and inspiring chapters in the annals of Indian History. But if one intends to study the connected accounts of the political, socio­economic and cultural developments of Rajasthan, he is faced with a paucity of material. Though a comprehensive general view of the dynastic history of Rajput states was provided by Col. Tod, Kaviraj Shyamal das and Dr. Ojha, the study yet suffers from critical assessment of society and other institutions. The study of these aspects calls for a systematic analysis of source material. For a precise and critical understanding of history our sources fall under the following heads:

(i) Archaeological sources;

(ii) Documents and Letters;

(iii) Contemporary Literature;

(iv) Travelers Accounts;

(v) Archival Records and;

(vi) Illustrated Manuscripts and Paintings.



Of all the sources archaeology forms the primary source of our study. This branch helps us to know much about important sites and monuments.The mediaeval towns like Ajmer and Amber throw sufficient light on the town planning and life in them. The details of village economy can mainly be studied from the remains of the villages which have been abandoned. Jawar is an instance of this kind. The sites of urban regions afford a scope of study of concentrations of population and possibilities of traffic and trade with the neighboring states and land. The Military History of the forts is an interesting subject of study. Similarly, the study of the temples of Chittor, Amber, Ajmer and other regions of Rajasthan enable us to gather information about the evolution of architecture. A detailed study of the sculptures leads us to elucidate the social aspects of the life – the costumes, ornaments, dance, musical instruments and pattern of living. The priceless collections of several museums of Rajasthan and isolated sculptures from various sites have their own tales to tell. Though a large number of such pieces have met their premature death, partly due to the ruthless activities of the invaders and partly due to unsympathetic concern of public at large, the remnants at our disposal offer clues to several problems for the cultural history of our period. The images of Shiv, Parvati, Yakshas, gods and goddesses, collected and preserved in the M.B. College Museum, Udaipur, belonging to the 12th to 15th century, depicts a large variety of garments and ornaments and throw light on mediaeval cults of Rajasthan. A panel at Vela Kabra temple, Chittor (15th century) depicts village life with a boy playing a flute and a gathering to the Kirtistamba (Chittor) depict dresses and ornaments of various classes of people of the 15th century. Kumbhalgarh helps us to determine the dresses of aristocrats, the style of their moustac -hes and ornaments of 16th century. The figures of the Memorial Stone of Gor Singh, Deobari, V.S . 1736 depict a fight between a warrior anda lion. The carved panels at Rajasamudra represent a dynamic impulse of art depicting the costumes, beliefs and several aspects of social of fights between the animals are highly informative regarding the popular pastimes of a court in Rajasthan. The figures of Bhils and Bhilnis,at the outer paner of Rishabhadeo temple, 18th century, depict tribal life of the South – Western Rajasthan. Of all the Archaeological sources and other sources, the inscriptions which are found in abundance, in the form of stone­inscriptions and copper ­plate grants, form the primary authority of the period of our study. Most of them are found in temples, mosques and forts,reporting not only about the heroic and pious deeds of their builders or donators but also indicating the literary, linguistic, political,social, religious and economic changes that took place subsequently in Rajasthan. It is true that some of them record legendary accounts, yet they, no doubt, serve as the real landmarks of Rajasthan history. The language of the inscriptions of our period is generally Sanskrit or Rajasthani. We also have a number of inscriptions in Persian relating to the medieval period from different parts of Rajasthan. Some of the inscriptions are the running Mahajani script, which is difficult to read. We have a number of copper plates also relating to our period of study from different parts of Rajasthan. A copper plate grant of 1535A.D., preserved in the old deposited records, Udaipur, refers to Rani Karmavati’s performance of Jauhar along with several other ladies of the royal household and of the notable families of the period. A copper plate grant of V.S. 1669 records that Rana KaranSingh’s wife went to Dwarka and there gran-ted land to the Brahmanas. Several in the old deposited records, udaipur of Bikaner give the class -ifycations of land and the rate of state demands. Similarly, a copper plate grant of V.S. 1767 (1710 A.D.) refers to grant of jagir to the local priest of Gaya, Varanasi and Hardwar at the time of immersing the ashes in the sacred river Ganga. A Bikaner copper­plate grant of 1816 A.D. is a specimen of the language bearing the Punjabi mode of address to a dignity.



    Unpublished –Documents,Letters etc. 

Next important source comprises of documents in Persian and Rajasthani. There are several such collections in manuscripts, preserved in various Government Departments or owned by private individuals. These documents constitute very useful source of our information. They are all unpublished.

   Contemporary Literature 

The production of literature in Persian, Sanskrit, Rajasthani and Hindi has been a long tradition in our country. This kind of literature covers several aspects –political, religious, social, philosophical , astronomical, literary and scientific.Though the main aim ( leaving aside purely historical literature) of its writing had been to enrich the special branch to which it belonged, it also reflected richness in yielding historical data.


f we turn up to Persian literature we find that much has been written in this language, covering the history of the Sultans of Delhi and the Mughal emperors. There are a couple of autobiographies also written by the Mughal rulers themselves. But as the main emphasis in this kind of literature is on its accounts of the Sultans and the emperors, it is in vain to expect from them much which is relevant for the history of Rajasthan. However, due to the closer contact of the Rajput princes with the Sultans and the Mughal emperors, we are in a position to get the glimpses of the events relating to Rajasthan.



           Rajasthani Literature:

 Vat, Varta and Khyats 

This kind of literature at times contains valuable material for history. It is a class by itself and preserves traditions and clan­accounts of the Rajpur families and ruling houses of repute. The works belonging to this class contain material for finding historical chronology.Some of them also help in correcting genealogies of ruling dynasties. They also constitute a valuable repository of information on the cultural history of feudal families.

Traveler's Accounts 

Quite a large number of European travelers visited India during our period of study. Their accounts of the cities, court­lite and general condition of the country, though vivid, are full of the interpreta -tion and impression which is not free from personal prejudices and idea of race superiority. Fortunately in the general description of India given by the travelers, we trace out here and there some references to Rajasthan which are useful for our study of political, social and cultural life of the state. However, in accepting their statements we have to observe caution, as what they write is not wholly true and accurate. William Finch in his Early Travels is in India gives a valuable descry- iption of the outer wall and ditch of Bharatpu, prosperity of Mewar and Amber. His account of Ajmer as a town and religious place of the Muslims are very interesting.Similarly, Sir Thomas Roe’s and Terry’s description of Ajmer and gifts from Jahangir to Kunwar Karan are vivid and picturesque. Again Manrique Fray Sebastian’s notices of the town of Jaisalmer, its people and theirlocal dances are highly informative. The accounts of Tavernier and Betnier about eclipse, charity, sati system, Holi festival, industrial activities and Indian poverty are of great value. Manucchi’s references of the desert of Rajasthan, Ajmer and Mewar are accurate. His accounts of villages and hills of Mewat show his intimacy with the area. His observations on the opium­eating habits of the Rajputs are graphic. His references to the articles of decoration of turban, festival of Holi and handicraft industries of Rajasthan are of great use. Captain Mundy’s description of the jungles of Bharatpur and the local dresses of the common people of the town is graphic. Bishop Herber’s description of Jaipur and Ajmer and his observations on festivals and local customs are highly informative.



Rajasthan: Ancient Civilizations

Different Ancient Civilizations of Rajasthan are:-

1. Kalibangan Civilizations :-

Kalibangan lies along the left bank of the dried-up bed of river Ghaggar (ancient Sarasvati and Drashdwati). Its supposed to be older then 4000 B.C. and was first discovered by Amlanand Ghosh in 1952 AD It comprises of three mounds, thelarger one in the middle (KLB-2), the smaller in the west (KLB-1) and the smallest in the east (KLB-3).The excavations brought to light grid layout of a Harappan metropolis, perhaps truly ‘the first city’ of the Indian culture heritage. The significant part of the evidence, however, relates to the discoveryof an early-Harappan settlement, immediately underlying the occupational remains of the Harappan citadel. The pre-Harappan settlement was a fortified parallelo gram, the fortification wall being made of mud-bricks. The houses within the walled area were also made of mud-bricks. The distinctive trait of this period was the pottery which was significantly different from that of the succeeding Harappans. An outstanding discovery was a ploughed field, showing a cross-grid of furrows, the southeast of the settlement outside the town-wall.This is perhaps the earliest plouged field excavated so far.During the Harappan period, the structural pattern of the settlement was changed.There were now two distinct parts: the citadel on the west and the lower city on the east.The former was situated atop the remains of the preceding occupations to gain an eminence over the lower city which was laid out on the natural plain towards the east.The citadel complex was a fortified parallelogram, consisting of two equal but separately patterned parts.The fortification was built throughout of mud-bricks.The southern half of the citadel contained some five to six massive platforms, some of which may have been used for religious or ritual purposes.The northern half of the citadel contained residential buildings of the elite.The lower city was also fortified.Within the walled city, was a gridiron plan of streets running north-south and east-west, dividing the area into blocks.The houses were built of mud-bricks, baked bricks being confined to drains, wells, sills, etc.Beside the above two principal parts of the metropolis, there was also a third one, situated 80 m east of the lower city.It consisted of a modest structure, containing four to five ‘fire-altars’ and as such could have been used for ritualistic purposes.Of the finds obtained from this excavation, a cylindrical seal and an incised terracotta cake are quite significant.The cemetery of the Harappans was located to the west-southwest of the citadel.Three types of burials were attested: extended inhumation in rectangular or oval grave-pits; pot-burials in a circular pit; and rectangular or oval grave-pits containing only pottery and other funerary objects.The later two methods were unassociated with skeletal remains.

2. Bhinmal Civilizations :-

Located in Jalore district and reflects about the trade relations with unani civilization. Huen Shang has visited the ancient city. It was explored by the Ratna Chandra Agrawal in 1953 -54 A.D.

3. Gilund Civilizations : -

At the ancient site of Gilund, two mounds labelled as 'eastern' and 'western', measuring 45 ft and 25 ft respectively above the surrounding fields in height and covering an area of 500 X 250 yards were partially excavated by a team under the direction of B. B. Lal during 1959-60. Excavation was carried out at three different areas, designated as GLD-1 (with its extension GLD-1A), GLD-2 and GLD-3. The site was later revisited from 1999 to 2005 by a team from the University of Pennsylvania and the Deccan College in Pune, India.

Gilund was occupied from approximately 3000-1700 BCE. These years of occupation are divided into three phases: Late Ahar-Banas 2000-1700 BCE, Middle Ahar-Banas 2500-2000 BCE, and Early Ahar-Banas 3000-2500 BCE. Here various housing structures have been uncovered, as well as large buildings with long parallel walls, workshops, refuse heaps, and an exterior wall surrounding the site. The workshop area has revealed that the occupants practiced small-scale craft production. Further analysis of the areas also shows that the inhabitants were agro-pastoralists, meaning that they mixed agricultural practices with livestock herding practices.

Artefact analysis has linked objects found at Gilund to the other sites in the Ahar-Banas Complex, as well as the site of Bagor. In addition, lithics at Gilund and Bagor were produced using the same techniques.

4. Ganeshwar Civilizations :- 

Excavations in the area revealed the remains of a 4,000-year-old civilization. Historian Ratan Lal Mishra [1] writes that Ganeshwar was excavated in 1977. Red pottery was found here with black portraiture. The period was estimated to be 2500–2000 BC. Nearly one thousand pieces of copper were found there.Ganeshwar is located near the copper mines of the Sikar-Jhunjhunu area of the Khetri copper belt in Rajasthan. Excavations revealed copper objects including arrowheads, spearheads, fish hooks, bangles and chisels. With its microliths and other stone tools, Ganeshwar culture can be ascribed to the pre-Harappan period. Ganeshwar mainly supplied copper objects to Harappa. The copper was obtained in the nearby Aravalli Range

5. Ishwal Civilizations : -

Udaipur, Five stage settlement, Iron was melted about 500 B.C.

6. Bairath Civilizations : -

Jaipur District near beejak hills, Explored by Dayaram Sahani in 1937.

7. Balathal Civilizations : -

Udaipur, Explored by V.N. Mishra in 1993.Balathal is an archaeological site located in Vallabhnagar tehsil of Udaipur district of Rajasthan state in western India. This site, located 6 km from Vallabhnagar town and 42 km from Udaipur.Its famous for Ahar Culture.

8. Aahard River Civilizations  : -

Udaipur, Explored by Kirti Vyas in 1953.

9. Bagore Civilizations :-

BhilwaraExplored  by V.N. Mishra in 1967. Three stages of Settlements, ie 4480-3285 BC, 2765 BC -500 BC and 500 BC to 400 AD. The archaeological site of Bagor is a Late Mesolithic (pre-Harappa) archaeological site located on the Kothari River in the Bhilwara District of the Rajasthan region of western India. Bagor was excavated by Deccan College scholars such as Virendra Nath Misra and Vasant Shinde in the 1960s and 1970s, who found evidence for the domestication of sheep, cattle and goats by the nomadic pastoralists of Bagor dating as early  as 5000 to 3000 BC

10. Rangmahal Civilizations : -

This early historical site was excavated by the Swedish Archaeological Expedition, during 1952-4. The first settlement was laid around A.D. 250 during Kushana period and flourished up to the sixth or seventh century A.D. During excavations, coins of Kanishka III, besides the Murundas and three earlier coins of Kanishka I, Huvishka and Vasudeva and a seal palaeo- graphically datable to A.D. 300, have been found. Excavation has revealed eight structural phases. The structures were built of mud-bricks of varying sizes but the normal size was about 32 x 23 x 7 cm. The bricks were laid in the English bond system. The floors were paved with mud-bricks. The houses were rectangular with north-south orientation. The site is famous for the manufacture of typical ceramic industry termed as Rang Mahal Ware culture. This distinctive pottery is wheel-made, reddish or pinkish in colour. The types include globular or oval jars and handi with pronounced rims, externally rusticated showing wavy ribs. In some cases the shoulder and the neck are painted in black-on-red polished surface, other types are spouted vase, sprinkler, cooking vessels, storage jars, beaker with or without handle, bowls of different varieties, lamp, incense-burner, etc. A few carinated handis have textile marks on the body. Moulded pottery is represented by the bowl and miniature basin. The decorations on the pottery are applied and incised patterns and paintings. The cultural assemblage also includes figurines in faience, terracotta animal figurines, carts and wheels, weights, balls, flesh-rubbers, discs, dice, votive tanks, potters stamps, pendants, ear-ornaments, beads of coral, paste, lapis lazuli and shell; rotary querns, mullers, pestles and bone and iron objects.

11. Ojhiyana Civilizations :-

Bhilwar, Previously the site was excavated in the season 1999-2000 which had revealed remains of Chalcolithic cultures. The recent excavation conducted at the site in 2000-01 has yielded white painted black and red wares, white painted terracotta bulls, cow figurines, copper chopper, and beads of faience, carnelian, agate, shell, steatite, stone and terracotta and bangles and pendant of copper belonging to Chalcolithic cultures ranging from 3rd millennium B.C. to 2nd millennium B.C.

12. Nagari Civilizations :-

It was one of the most important townships of the Mauryan era in Rajasthan, situated on the banks of river Bairach. It was formerly known as Majhimika/Madhyamika, which flourished from the Maurya to Gupta era. The excavations over here have unearthed many interesting facts and have showed signs of strong Hindu and Buddhist influence.

13. Tilwara Civilizations :-

Tilwara is an archeological site from where evidence for the Mesolithic culture have been excavated.Its in Barmer district at the bank of river Luni.

14. Barore Civilizations :-

Baror is situated on the right bank of dried up river Sarasvasti (modern Ghaggar) in Anupgarh Tehsil of Ganganagar district of Rajasthan. It is located about 13 km. north-east of Anupgarh and about 100 km. south-west of Kalibangan.L.P. Tessitore (1916-17), Aurel Stein (1940-41) and A. Gosh surveyed this area and identified the archaeological importance of this region.

The excavation work at Baror added new chapter in the study of Harappan Civilization.

The mound of Baror roughly measures 200× 150 mts. and rises to a height of 11 mts. from its surrounding plain. The western portion of the mound is higher and seems to be the citadel whereas the eastern portion is lower indicating lower town.On the basis of ceramic industries, antiquities and other material culture, recovered from the field-season’s work, a three-fold cultural sequence was established.

Period I– Pre-Harappan

This period is distinguished with a different type of ceramic industry, made on wheel, red to dull red in colour and devoid of any painting. The fabric is coarse to medium, shows ill firing and made out of well-levigated clay. Main shapes are storage jar, handi, miniature pots etc. A few shreds of grey colour were also found.

However, no brick structure of this period was found. The occurrence of ashy bands some post-holes indicate that the first settlers of Baror used to live in huts made of wattle and daub or thatched roof.

Period II–  Harappan

This period is marked with the beautiful bio-chrome pottery made out of well-levigated clay on fast rotating wheel. The surface of these potsherds are red to dull red in colour on which paintings were done with black colour, then with the help of evanescent white pigment the gaps were filled and additional dashes and dots were added. The painted designs comprise of horizontal bands, loop, wavy lines, concentric arches, meanders, moustaches, motifs, row of dots, cross hatched triangles and semi circles. Some floral and faunal motifs were also found on the surface. The main shapes are vase, basin, bowl, dishes-on-stand, lid etc.

This period is marked with the beautiful bio-chrome pottery made out of well-levigated clay on fast rotating wheel. The surface of these potsherds are red to dull red in colour on which paintings were done with black colour, then with the help of evanescent white pigment the gaps were filled and additional dashes and dots were added. The painted designs comprise of horizontal bands, loop, wavy lines, concentric arches, meanders, moustaches, motifs, row of dots, cross hatched triangles and semi circles. Some floral and faunal motifs were also found on the surface. The main shapes are vase, basin, bowl, dishes-on-stand, lid etc.

Period III– Mature- Harappan

This period is represented a well planned city, industry based economy and a special type of pottery, which shows a culmination of technique as well as art skill. The pottery of this period are marked by Red ware and Red slipped ware made on fast rotating wheel with well levigated clay and characterized by its typical painted design with black pigment. The main shapes are dishes-on-stand, basin, dishes, beakers, vases, goblets and perforated jar etc.

The remains of mud bricks house complexes oriented in the cardinal direction either north south or east west on both sides of lane or road  were exposed. Since all the structures are constructed with mud bricks and the life of the mud bricks are shorter, several phases of their reconstruction were also noticed. Sub-lanes separated the houses with each other. The rooms are either square or rectangular. Several circular or oval hearths or ovens were also exposed. A big almost circular, furnace or kiln was also found. The diameter of this furnace is 2.60 mts. and circumference is 8.12 mts. It has 1.10 mts. long projected mouth.

The remarkable discovery of this period is a fortification wall, which was exposed in the north-western part of the mound. The people of this period also achieved perfection in the manufacturing of articles of day-to-day use, which is reflected from the recovered antiquities. The beautiful beads of semi-precious stones, shells, steatite, faience and terracotta; bangles of copper, terracotta and shell; rings of copper and golden object indicate their attraction towards ornaments while implements  of bone and stone, fish hooks of copper, pestle and querns of stone hint at their life style. The toys, in the form of human and animal figurines, toy carts, wheels and games men of terracotta further reflect about their interest for indoor games.The shell and steatite seals depicting   unicorn and geometric design were also found.

15. Sunari Civilizations :-

Sunari is a small Village/hamlet in Khetri Tehsil in Jhunjhunu District of Rajasthan at the bank of river Kantli and houses the oldest iron ore melting furnaces.They uses rice and horses and are deemed to be of Aryan Vedic culture.

16. Noh Civilizations :-

Excavation at Noh, Bharatpur was conducted during 1963-67 by the Department of Archaeology, Rajasthan. A succession of five periods has been identified: Period I-OCW sherds with incised decoration in a 90 cm thick deposit; Period II-Black-and-Red Ware; Period III-PGW along with the black slipped and Black-and-Red Ware of the preceding period. A PGW lid with painted bird at the rim is interesting. Period IV-NBPW of various surface hues, coal black, steel grey, silvery and golden, occurs along with plain grey ware. Three phases of mud-brick (40 x 20 x 6 cm) structures have been noticed; Period V-early second century B.C. to late third century A.D.Sunga and Kushana levels have eight structural phases, use of baked brick being common to all phases.


Rajasthan : Pre Independence Kingdoms

Rajasthan was a part of the illustrious Mauryan Empire around 321-184 BCE. It had also been a part of Republics like Arjunyas, Hunas, Kushans, Malavas, Saka Satraps and the Yaudheyas. The Guptas reigned in the 4th century. Some Buddhist caves and Stupas have been found in Jhalawar, in the southern part of Rajasthan. The decline of the 300 year old Gupta Empire in the 5th century led to the political unrest in the Northern India and was followed by an epoch of instability as numerous chieftains tried to gain power. The situation was stabilized when the Gurjara Pratiharas, the earliest of the Rajput dynasty emerged around 700 CE. Since then Rajasthan was identified as Rajputana or the land of the Rajputs.[citation needed] The term Rajput literally means the son of a king. # From 640 CE onwards, the Pratiharas, Chauhans and Gahlots set up independent Kingdoms.[citation needed] Around 1000-1200 AD,the Rajputs had internal strife among themselves and were engaged in armed conflicts with each other. A struggle for supremacy took place among the Parmars , Chalukyas, and Chauhans. During the eighth - twelfth century AD, the Rajput clan gained supremacy and altogether the Rajputs were divided into 36 royal clans and 21 dynasties like the Hadas of Jhalwawar, Kota & Bundi, Sisodias of Mewar, the Bhatis of Jaisalmer, the Shekhawats of Shekhawati , the Kachhwahas of Jaipur and the Chauhans of Ajmer, the Rathores of [[Marwar] Jodhpur]]. Rajasthan includes most of Rajputana, comprising a number of Rajput kingdoms as well as Jat kingdoms and a Muslim kingdom. The Jats were rulers in Bharatpur and Dholpur. Tonk was ruled by a Muslim Nawab. Jodhpur, Bikaner, Udaipur, and Jaipur were some of the main Rajput states.Rajput families rose to prominence in the 6th century CE, [citation needed] establishing kingdoms in Rajputana and across northern India.


Medieval Period

Maharana Pratap, a Rajput ruler and great warrior of his time.Mughal emperor Akbar sent many missions against him. However he survived and ultimately gained control of all areas of Mewar excluding fort of Chittor. 

Prithviraj Chauhan fought a brave battle against the foreign invader Muhammad Ghori and defeated  him in the first battle of Tarain in 1191 CE (but was defeated in the Second Battle of Tarain in 1192 CE), but was defeated in the seventeenth battle with Ghori. After getting defeated for sixteen times, Ghori begged for his life saying a sentence with a literal meaning "I am your cow, Forgive". In the seventeenth battle, a traitor from Chauhan's kingdom supported Ghori's army and landed up in the defeat. What happens after this is clear from the local folk songs still prominent in Rajasthan. It is said that PrithviRaj was taken to Afghanistan along with his raj-kavi cum friend, Chandbhar. In Ghori's court, Prithviraj and Chandbhar were brought in shackles. PrithviRaj was asked to show the art of archery, wherein he could aim and shoot just by hearing the sound. It is also known as Shabdbhedi-baan. Ghori asked him to show him this art. To make game interesting for him, he got his eyes pierced with hot iron rods. Chandbhar says, "A king, though as a prisoner, can receive command only from a king. So it would be an honour if you command Him to shoot". Then he says few verses or poetry, few of those lines were,"Char baans chobis guz, aangal asht pravan, maar maar mote to chook na Chauhan". Chaar baans meant four bamboos stick, chaubis guz as approximately 24 yards, aangal asht praval meant eight fingers width. All this combined gave thew exact location of Ghori sitting on his throne i.e. 4 bamboos stick high, 24 yards away and exactly eight fingers up was the Ghori sitting. "Go ahead O Chauhan and don't miss the aim". This is how PrithviRaj kills Ghori in his court and obviously to meet his own death. Grave of PrithviRaj Chauhan is present till date next to Ghori's grave.  And after the  defeat of Chauhan around 1200 AD a part of Rajasthan came under Muslim rulers. The principal centers of their powers were Nagaur and Ajmer. Ranthambhor was also under their suzerainty.In the 12th century the Bhatti rajputs of jaselmer so enragged the empror Alo Din Khilji by looting his rich carvan,so his army attacked the state and captured the fort.At their conqure the rajput women commited the jauhar. At the beginning of the 13th century CE, the most prominent and powerful state of Rajasthan was Mewar. The Rajputs resisted the Muslim incursions into India, although a number of Rajput kingdoms eventually became subservient to the Delhi Sultanate. Mewar led others in resistance to Muslim rule: Rana Sanga fought the Battle of Khanua against Babur, the founder of the Mughal empire.


# In order to gain the trust of the Rajput rulers, the Mughal Emperor Akbar arranged matrimonial alliances. He also sought reconciliation with the hostile Rajputs after performing the matrimonial alliances. He himself married the Rajput princess- Jodha Bai who was the daughter of the Maharaja of Amber. He granted high offices to a large number of Rajput princes and this maintained very cordial relations with these Rajputs. Soon most of the Rajputs were transformed into friends of Akbar from adversaries and many of them surrendered their kingdoms to Akbar. Rulers like Raja Maan Singh of Amber were trusted allies. However all Rajput rulers were not ready to accept Akbar’s dominance and preferred to remain independent. One such ruler was Raja Uday Singh of Mewar, who founded the city of Udaipur. He never accepted Akbar’s supremacy and was at constant war with him. Akbar forcefully seized Chittor, his capital. After his death, this struggle was continued by his son – Rana Pratap. He fought a terrible battle with Akbar at the Haldighati pass where he was defeated and wounded. Since then Rana Pratap remained in recluse for 12 years and attacked the Mughal ruler from time to time. He fought valiantly throughout his life never ceded his independence to the Mughal ruler.

The traditional sacrifice and the self-respect of the Rajput women are also worth mentioning while discussing the imperial rule of Rajasthan during the medieval epoch. When the Rajput rulers were forced to surrender their kingdoms to other invaders, the Rajput women in order to protect their chastity and self-respect used to light up a pyre and together they used to jump into the fire thus sacrificing and ending their own lives. This custom of collective sacrifice was known as Jauhar.

Rajasthan's formerly independent kingdoms created a rich architectural and cultural heritage, seen today in their numerous forts and palaces (Mahals and Havelis) which are enriched by features of Muslim and Jain architecture.


Modern Period

Rajasthan had never been united politically until its domination by Mughal Emperor Akbar. Akbar created a unified province of Rajasthan. Mughal power started to decline after 1707. The political disintegration of Rajasthan was caused by the dismemberment of the Mughal Empire. The Marathas penetrated Rajasthan upon the decline of the Mughal Empire. In 1755 the Maratha general Scindia occupied Ajmer. The beginning of the 19th Century was marked by the onslaught of the Pindaris.


The Rajput kings concluded treaties with the British in the early 19th century, accepting British sovereignty in return for local autonomy and protection from the Marathas. Following the Mughal tradition and more importantly due to its strategic location Ajmer became a province of British India, while the autonomous Rajput states, the Muslim state (Tonk), and the Jat states (Bharatpur and Dholpur) were organized into the Rajputana Agency. In 1817-18 the British Government concluded treaties of alliance with almost all the states of Rajputana. Thus began the British rule over Rajasthan, and then called Rajputana.



Rajasthani : Languages

Evolution of rajasthani languages from Shaurseni Prakrit

Saureni Prakrit is then developed into:-

  • Gurjar in western region
  • Shaurseni in eastern region (Apram bhasha)


  • Maru Gurjar or old Rajasthani
  • its common language of Rajasthan and Gujrat
  • 1st work was Bhrateshwar Bahubali Ghor by Vajrasensuri in 1168 ad
  • In 15th century it evolved to Dingal
  • Dingal was generally used in ballards and chronicles of warriors heroic deeds in the mewar and Marwar region


  • It developed in Pingal which is a rajasthani variation of Braj Bhasha
  • It was largely used for devotional and erotic poetry


  • they preserves the glorious and martial deeds of their patrons
  • Khayat- Chronicles
  • Vats- Accounts of past events
  • Vigats-Gazettes


Decline of Rajasthani Languages after the British rule was mainly due to following factors:-

  • Outdated feudal system
  • Growth of Printing press,newspaper and free  discussion was largely discouraged in the princely states.
  • Royal patronage to rajasthani was largely discontinued.
  • Influence of Hindi
  • Growth of Khardi boli

Present status of Rajasthani Languages and their main variations –

  • Kamdhari- Nagari script mainly used in administration
  • Jain style- Manuscript writing
  • Modiya- Used by Trading class
  • Shasti- Common people language.


 Rajasthani Dialact

The Rajasthani languages belong to the Western Indo-Aryan language family. However, they are controversially conflated with the Hindi languages of the Central-Zone in the Indian national census, among other places. The varieties of the Rajasthani language are:[7]

  • Rajasthani :the common lingua franca of Rajasthani people and is spoken by over 18 million people  in different parts of Rajasthan.
  • Marwari: the most spoken Rajasthani in the historic Marwar region of western Rajasthan.
  • Malvi: Spoken in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Dhundhari: Spoken speakers in the Dhundhar region of Rajasthan.
  • Harauti: Spoken in the Hadoti region of Rajasthan.
  • Mewari: Spoken in the Mewar region of Rajasthan.
  • Mewati: Spoken in the Mewat region, comprising Haryana and Rajasthan.
  • Shekhawati: Spoken in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan.
  • Bagri: Spoken in northern Rajasthan and northwestern Haryana. There are also speakers situated in southern Punjab.
  • Nimadi: Spoken in the Nimar region of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  • Other Rajasthani languages are Dhatki, Godwari, Gujari, Gurgula, Goaria and Lambadi.


Rajasthani Literature

Rajasthani literature written in various genres starting from 1000 AD. But, it is generally agreed that modern Rajasthani literature began with the works of Surajmal Misrana.His most important works are the Vansa Bhaskara and the Vir Satsai. The Vans Bhaskar contains accounts of the Rajput princes who ruled in what was then Rajputana The Vir Satsai is a collection of hundreds of couplets. Medieval Rajasthani literature is mostly poetry only and it is more about the heroic poetry mentioning of the great kings and fighters of the Rajasthan. Early Rajasthani literature is created by mostly Jain saints. Earlier Rajasthani was known as Maru Gurjar (or dingal), which was close to Gujarati.

Rajasthani Literature can be classified into three categories, which are as follows:-

  1. Sanskrit and Prakrit
  2. Rajasthani
  3. Hindi


Sanskrit and Prakrit

Major literature of Sanskrit and prakrit developed in Rajasthan are as follows:-

  • Shishupal Vadh by poet Magh
  • Samaraichcha Katha by Hari Bhadra Suri
  • Kuvalaya Mala by Udyotan Suri
  • Upmiti Bharva Prancha Katha by Sidhi Rishi
  • Harkaili by Vigrah Raj Chauhan IV of Ajmer
  • Prithvi Raj Vijay by Prithvi Raj Chauhan
  • Geet Goving and Sangeet Raj by Jai deva
  • Charan Literature



Major literatures of Rajasthani developed in Rajasthan are classified into three styles which are as follows:-

  1. Jain- such as Prithvi Raj charit by Manak Chandra
  2. Dingal or Charan- like Prithvi Raj Raso by Chand Bardai, Rao Jaitasirau Chhanda by Vithu Sujo Nagarjota.
  3. Popular- like Veli Krishna Rukmani by Prithvi raj Rathore, Vansh Bhaskar by Surya Mal, Songs of Meera Bai, Khayal which are dance drama’s
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