Rathore of Marwad

Marwar was ruled by Rathores for centuries, current Rathore rule was established in year 1226 AD. Rathore arise from the Sanskrit word Rastrakoot .Ranbanka Rathores proudly carried their legacy till date by showing courage, chivalry and bravery at various points of time in history and even today they are maintaining the highest standards of Rajput culture.

Various theories have been proposed about their origin like :-

  1. Bhatoun ki Pothiyan states them to be son of Hirankashyap
  2. Dayaldas in book states them to be Suryavanshi
  3. Prathvi Raj Raso states them to be from Kanuj

Rathore clan expanded their territories covering the largest area of Rajputana state. Erstwhile Bikaner state was also under the Bika Rathores; a branch of main Rathore clan. Compared to Jaipur, Mewar or Shekhawati region, the Rathore rule was covering almost entire Thar Desert and a big part of sandy planes of current Rajasthan state. However it was divided under to power centers i.e. Jodhpur-Marwar and Bikaner-Jangladesh. Goddess Nagnechi Mata is the family deity of all Rathores.


Rathore rulers have built many magnificent forts and palaces in Marwar region, the larger than life Mehrangarh Fort is known as the pride of entire Marwar. At the same time the beautiful Umaid Bhawan palace is among the largest residential buildings of world. The current royal family of Marwar resides in Umaid Bhawan palace.


Rajpurohits, Rabaris or Raikas, Lanagas, Manganiars and Kalbelias are few important communities of Marwar; they have contributed in nourishing the culture, language and music of the region.

Chronology of Rathore Rulers:-

Rathore rule in Mawar could be Traced to Rao Siyaji / Shiva ,Grandson of King Jai Chandra of the Gahadavalas.(who ruled western India after the fall of Kannauj).

  • 1226 – 1272 Rao Siyaji / Shiva       Grandson of King Jai Chandra of the Gahadavalas.
  • 1226 Rao Siyaji visits Marwar on pilgrimage and stops at a town called Pali. The local Brahmin community asks him to settle there, become their chief, and protect them from raiders.



  • 1271 Rao Siyaji is killed in battle against Sultan Balban and a huge army from Delhi.
  • 1272 – 1292 Rao Asthan
    • During his reign, Rao Asthan conquers Pali, and Khed (in western Marwar), but ultimately he is killed in battle by Sultan Jalauddin Khilji of Delhi.
  • 1292 – 1309 Rao Doohad    Vied with Rao Sindhal for control of Marwar.
  • 1292 Rao Sindhal    Rival for the throne.
  • 1309 – 1313 Rao Raipal
  • 1313 – 1323 Rao Kanha / Kanhapal
  • 1323 – 1328 Rao Jalansi
  • 1328 – 1344 Rao Chada / Chandoji
  • 1344 – 1357 Rao Tida
  • 1357 – 1374 Rao Kanhadev            Son of Salkha / Salkhaji, son of Tida.
  • 1374 – 1383 Rao Viramdev / Biramdev
  • 1383 – 1406 Rao Chanda / Chundarji         Tenth in line from Siyaji. Seized control of Jodhpur.
  • 1406 Rao Chanda gains full power in Marwar and Jodhpur after wresting then from the Islamic rulers of Delhi. From this point onwards, Marwar is ruled by the Rathores, and shares their fate


Jodhpur & Marwar

AD 1406 – 1947

Jodhpur was a small Rajput kingdom which emerged in thirteenth century Rajasthan in north-west of India. The kingdom’s founders were the Rathore clan of Rajputs, who claimed descent from the Gahadavala kings of Kannauj. After the sacking of Kannauj by Muhammad of Ghor, the Ghurid king, in 1194, and its capture by the Delhi sultanate in the early thirteenth century, the Rathores fled west.

The Rathore family chronicles relate that Siyaji, grandson of Jai Chandra, the last Gahadavala king of Kannauj, entered Marwar on a pilgrimage to Dwarka in Gujarat, and on halting at the town of Pali he and his followers settled there to protect the Brahmin community from the raids of marauding bands. Later, Rao (king) Chanda, who was tenth in line of succession from Siyaji of Marwar, finally wrested control of Marwar from the Pratiharas and established his own independent kingdom from Jodhpur.

Jodhpur was one of a number of small Rajput kingdoms that emerged between the sixth and thirteenth centuries, including Amer,Bikaner, Bundi, Jaisalmer, Malwa,and Mewar, and all were eventually conquered by the Moghuls.

  • 1406 – 1424 Rao Chanda / Chundarji         Secured Marwar and founded the kingdom of Jodhpur.
  • 1424 – 1427 The great Rao Chanda, founder of the kingdom, is killed in battle by the forces of Salim Shah of Multan. The king’s son, Kanha, subsequently has to fight to retain his throne when his brother Rao Ranmal, who had been disinherited by their father, makes a bid for power. Ultimately, Ranmal is successful.
  • 1424 – 1427 Rao Kanha      Faced opposition from his brothers.
  • 1424 – 1427 Rao Sanha      Rebelled against his brother’s rule.
  • 1424 – 1438 Rao Ranmal / Ranamalla / Ranmalji  Opposed Rao Kanha.
  • 1438 – 1489 Rao Jodha      First fully independent Rathore king of Jodhpur & Marwar.
  • 1459 The first fully independent king of Jodhpur, Jodha reconquers Mandore from the Sisodiyas of Mewar before he founds the city of Jodhpur. The city is named after him and forms the capital of the Rathor state (and in modern times is still an administrative centre). Construction on the impressive fort of Mehran Garh (or Mehrangarh) is begun in the same year.


  • 1465 Rao Bika is a member of the Rathore clan and is the son of Rao Jodha. Following a disagreement with his father he leaves Jodhpur and founds the city of Bikaner after building his fort, Rati Ghati, on the site.
  • 1489 Upon the death of his father, Rao Bika of Bikaner is refused the family heirlooms (the sandalwood throne, ‘Pugal’, plus an umbrella, a sword, and a horse) by his brothers, he marches to Fort Mehrangarh and subdues his brothers. He doesn’t harm them, simply regaining his rightful property.
  • 1489 – 1492 Rao Satalji       Killed in battle in March.
  • 1492 – 1515 Rao Sujaji
  • 1515 Rao Biram Singh        Son of Rao Satalji. Deposed.
  • 1515 – 1532 Rao Gangaji    Usurped the throne from Rao Biram Singh.
  • 1532 – 1562 Rao Maldeo / Maldev Expanded kingdom, taking Ajmer, Merta, & Nagore.
  • 1542 – 1543 Rao, or king, Maldeo initially thinks that an alliance with the exiled Moghul emperor, Humayun, will be a good idea. However, when Maldeo sees the reduced size of the Moghul army, he withdraws his proposal, only to make it again when the emir of Sindh kills his father. The war against Sindh quickly bogs down, ending in stalemate. Humayan retreats to Kabul.
  • 1562 – 1565 Rao Chandra Sen
  • 1562 Chandra Sen seizes the throne on the death of his father and in the absence of his elder brothers. On learning of Chandra Sen’s usurpation of their position, his brothers joined forces with Moghul Emperor Akbar.
  • 1565 – 1581 Aided by Chandra Sen’s dispossessed brothers, Moghul Emperor Akbar gains the submission of Jodhpur and Marwar, along with the other Rajputs of Bikaner, Bundi, and Jaisalmer. Governors are assigned to Jodhpur during this period, before the ruling house is restored. Subsequent generations consistently enter Moghul service.
  • 1581 – 1583 Rao Rai Singh
  • 1583 – 1595 Raja Udai Singh          First of his line to be called raja of Jodhpur & Marwar.
  • 1595 – 1619 Sawai Raja Sur Singh
  • 1619 – 1638 Maharaja Gaj Singh I  Used the title ‘maharaja’ on a personal basis.
  • 1638 – 1678 Maharaja Jaswant Singh
  • 1678 While Jaswant Singh has been a loyal servant of the Moghul emperor, Aurangzeb, he has been plotting behind his back to reduce the Rajputs’ special status within the empire. With the death of Jai Singh of Amer and with Jaswant Singh fighting in Afghanistan, where he suddenly dies, Aurangzeb puts his plan into operation. He attacks Marwar, capturing forts and destroying temples, and then sells the throne itself to the chief of Nagar, while attempting to install a milkman’s son as ruler of Marwar. The true heir to the throne is an infant in the care of Jaswant Singh’s aide, Durgadas.
  • 1678 – 1698 ?          Moghul governor in the name of Emperor Aurangzeb.
  • 1678 – 1707 Buoyed by the people of Marwar revolting against Aurangzeb’s actions, Durgadas raises an army against theMoghuls which settles in the forests to wage a guerrilla war. In Mewar, Ajit Singh’s materinal uncle, Raj Singh, also revolts against Aurangzeb and in 1680 he joins Durgadas in the forests. After an alliance with Aurangzeb’s son, Prince Akbar, fails, Durgadas and Akbar take refuge with Sambhaji, the Maratha emperor in the south. Durgadas and Ajit Singh continue their struggle until Aurangzeb until his death.
  • 1678 – 1707 Durgadas        Regent and former aide to Jaswant Singh.
  • 1679 – 1724 Maharaja Shri Ajit Singh         Son of Jaswant. First maharaja of Jodhpur & Marwar.
  • 1707 Upon the death of Moghul emperor Aurangzeb, Ajit Singh recaptures Marwar and is able to re-establish his kingdom, becoming fully independent and making his capital at Jodhpur. The king is later reconciled with Emperor Bahadur Shah I. Said to have been killed by his son Abhai singh and Bakht singh.
  • 1724 Maharaja Shri Ajit Singh’s death is rumoured to be caused by his sons, Abhai Singh and Bakht Singh.
  • 1724 – 1749 Maharaja Shri Abhai Singh     Appointed Moghul subedar of Gujarat.
  • 1739 Wars between Marwar and Bikaner are triggered when Abhai Singh attacks Bikaner, but the capital is saved through the intervention of Raja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur.
  • 1749 – 1751 Maharaja Shri Ram Singh      Deposed.
  • 1751 – 1752 Maharaja Shri Bakht Singh     Deposed.
  • 1752 – 1753 Maharaja Shri Vijay Singh      Temporarily deposed.
  • 1753 – 1772 Maharaja Shri Ram Singh      Son of Abhai Singh.
  • 1772 – 1793 Maharaja Shri Vijay Singh      Largely involved in defending kingdom from Marathas.
  • 1793 – 1803 Maharaja Shri Bhim Singh      Grandson, and son of Bhom Singh.
  • 1803 – 1817 Maharaja Shri Man Singh       Grandson of Vijay Singh, and son of Guman Singh. Abdicated.
  • 1817 – 1818 Maharaja Shri Chatar Singh   King in place of his father temporarily.
  • 1818 – 1843 Maharaja Shri Man Singh       Returned as king.
  • 1843 – 1873 Maharaja Shri Sir Takht Singh           Not in direct line, but a great-great-great grandson of Ajit Singh.
  • 1857 – 1858 In common with many of his peers, Takht Singh assists the British in India during the Indian Mutiny (or Great Sepoy Mutiny), following which the British Viceroys are established to replace the Moghuls as the highest power in the land.


Rathore of Bikaner

RaoBhikaji Rathore, son of Rao Jodhaji of Marwar (Jodhpur), founded the state of Bikaner, in Northern Rajasthan, in 1465. His great grandson, Rai Singhji assumed the titles of Maharajadhiraja and Maharaja, but these were not officially recognised by the Mughal emperors.

A marriage alliance between Rai Singhji’s daughter and the Emperor Jahangir, enhanced the power and prestige of the house. More importantly, it safeguarded the family domains from Mughal incursions. Anup Singhji received confirmation of the hereditary title of Maharaja from Aurangzeb in 1687, in recognition of his part in the capture of Golconda and Bijapur. His grandson, Gaj Singhji I, received confirmation of the title of Maharajadhiraja in 1752, from Ahmad Shah Durrani, the Afghan conqueror. The princes of the ruling family served the Mughals with considerable distinction for several generations, as soldiers, Imperial governors and statesmen.

when the Mughal power began to wane, and the Marathas began to threat, they  entered into a treaty of Friendship and Alliance with the British. This new alliance, concluded in 1818, ensured that the age-old martial tradition of the Rathores continued stronger than ever.

From the Third Mahratta War to the conclusion of British rule, troops from Bikaner fought alongside British troops in every campaign. Maharaja Ganga Singhji ensured that his famous regiments, such as the Bikaner Camel Corps, were amongst the first Indian states’ troops to go into battle. He often served in person, eventually rising to the rank of a full General, one of only four Indians to do so during British rule. He represented Imperial India on the world stage, at Imperial conferences, the League of Nations, and most importantly, at the Peace Conference. He had served as the Indian member of the Imperial War Cabinet during the Great War, and signed the Versailles Treaty on India’s behalf in 1919.

Chronology  of Rathore of Bikaner

  • 1465 – 1504 Rao Bika         Born 1438. Of the Rathore clan and founder of Bikaner.
  • 1465 Rao Bika is a member of the Rathore clan and is the son of Rao Jodha of Jodhpur. Following a disagreement with his father he leaves Jodhpur and founds the city of Bikaner after building his fort, Rati Ghati, on the site. He ends the rivalry between his clan and the Bati clan by marrying the daughter of their ruler. When refused the family heirlooms (the sandalwood throne, ‘Pugal’, plus an umbrella, a sword, and a horse) by his brothers, he marches to Fort Mehrangarh and subdues his brothers. He does not harm them, simply regaining his rightful property.
  • During his reign he also subdues the Jats, Pathans, Bilochis, and Kyamkhanis and annexes their territory to his kingdom. He eventually dies at his fort.
  • 1504 – 1505 Rao Naroji       Lost control over some of his nobles.
  • 1505 – 1526 Rao Lunkaranji succeeds Naroji and subdues the rebelling nobles. He later defeats a Moghul army under Prince Kamran, but dies in battle against the nawab of Narinaul.
  • 1505 – 1526 Rao Lunkaranji            Married the daughter of the ruler of Mewar.
  • 1526 – 1542 Rao Jait Singhji
    • Jait Singhji defeats the Bidwats, Chahals,and Johiyas, and expands the kingdom’s territory by taking portions ofMarwar. He is subsequently killed in battle by Marwar’s forces under Rao Maldev.


  • 1542 – 1571 Rao Kalyan Singh
    • Kalyan Singh is forced to flee his kingdom by the forces of Marwar, but he soon recovers it from Rao Maldev thanks to the help of Sher Shah Suri. He also resists an onslaught by the Moghul emperor, Akbar.
  • by 1570 The Moghul emperor, Akbar, gains the submission of Bikaner, along with the other Rajputs of Bundi, Jaisalmer, andJodhpur.
  • 1571 – 1611 Raja Raj Singh I          Subdued Jodhpur. Died in the Deccan at Burhanpur.
    • Raj Singh marries the princess of Jaisalmer, and later becomes Emperor Akbar’s general. His own daughter is married to Prince Salim, son of Akbar (and later the Moghul Emperor Jehangir).
  • 1611 On his deathbed, Raj Singh passes over Dalpat in favour of his younger brother, Sur Singh. Dalpat rebels and declares himself king.
  • 1611 – 1614 Raja Dalpat Singh       Usurped the throne. Served as a commander in Moghul army.
  • 1614 Sur Singh takes his brother prisoner and seizes his throne. Dalpat Singh is killed at Ajmer while trying to escape from captivity.
  • 1614 – 1631 Raja Sur Singh
  • 1631 – 1669 Raja Karan Singh        Deposed.
  • 1646 Differences have arisen between the king of Golconda and the Moghul governor of the Deccan, Emperor Shah Jahan’s son, Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb’s own son is Prince Muhammed, and he is deputed to attack Golconda. Anup Singh, son of Raja Karan Singh, aids him, winning the fort of Golconda.
  • 1658 A war of succession erupts when Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan falls ill. With Karan Singh as one of his supporters, Aurangzeb defeats Dara Shukoh in battle using a mixture of guile and bravery and subsequently seizes power. Karan Singh’s later reward is to be deposed by Aurangzeb for dereliction of duty at Attock. He is exiled to Aurangabad in the Deccan, where he dies.
  • 1669 – 1698 Maharaja Anup Singh Died at Adoni in Deccan.
  • 1698 – 1700 Maharaja Sarup Singh            Succeeded aged 9. Died of smallpox at Adoni.
  • 1700 – 1736 Maharaja Sujan Singh            Brother? Succeeded aged 10. Broke off ties with declining Moghuls.
    • Sujan Singh assists Emperor Aurangzeb in the Deccan, and successfully wards off attacks from Jodhpur and Nagaur. Once it becomes clear that Moghul power is fading, Sujan Singh breaks off ties (and Moghul control).
  • 1736 – 1745 Maharaja Zorawar Singh
  • 1739 Wars against Marwar are triggered when Abhai Singh of Marwar attacks Bikaner. The capital is saved through the intervention of Raja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur, although Zorawar Singh has to quell rebellions by his own nobles.
  • 1745 – 1787 Maharaja Gaj Singh    Nephew and adopted son.
  • 1745 Maharaja Gaj Singh makes peace with Marwar against the wishes of his nobles. He is also the first of his line to mint his own coins.
  • 1787 Maharaja Raj Singh II Reigned for 13 days.
  • 1787 Maharaja Pratap Singh           Succeeded aged 6. Died same year, perhaps killed by uncle.
  • 1788 – 1828 Maharaja Surat Singh Uncle, and regent during Pratap’s short reign.
    • Surat Singh’s reign is one of mixed fortunes. He resolves border disputes with Jaipur, and concedes the payment of indemnity to the Marathas after their attack, incurring huge debts in the process. He later applies for Britishprotection after an interinal rebellion.
  • 1828 – 1851 Maharaja Narendra Ratan Singh
  • 1839 Narendra Ratan Singh supplies camels to the British in India during their Afghan campaign.
  • 1844 – 1845 The British in India annexe Sindh in 1844, and the Sikhs attack British divisions at Ferozepur. The First Anglo-Sikh War is triggered in 1845. The Sikhs fight well, but eventually succumb to the disciplined British army following betrayals by some of their Dogra generals. Narendra Ratan Singh supplies help to the British for this campaign.
  • 1851 – 1872 Maharaja Sardar Singh
  • 1857 – 1858 The Indian Mutiny (or Great Sepoy Rebellion) against British rule erupts among East India Company native army units at Meerut, near Delhi, but after some hard fighting in places it is suppressed, with Sardar Singh providing support. The British Parliament places India under the direct control of the empire’s Viceroys.
  • 1872 – 1887 Maharaja Dungar Singh          Adopted son. Succeeded aged 18.
    • Dungar Singh is the first to introduce electricity to Rajasthan. he also sets up a police force, a hospital and a modern administrative system.
  • 1887 – 1943 Maharaja Sir Ganga Singh     Succeeded aged 7.
    • Sir Ganga Singh accompanies the British army in its campaign into China. He later proves to be an excellent administrator like his brother and ushers in an economic revolution complete with judicial system, banking system, a boosted infrastructure, and public utility works.
  • 1943 – 1950 Maharaja Sadul Singh            Born 1902. Acceded to the Indian union.
  • 1948 – 1949 India achieves independence from Britain and begins the process of taking control of the princely states. Mewar is one of the first of the princely states to merge with the new dominion. Later in 1949, twenty-two princely states of Rajasthan merge to form the Union of Greater Rajasthan.
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