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Mewar Encyclopedia


Mewar is, quite rightly, called the world’s longest serving Dynasty. Historically, this Rajput realm came into being in the 7th century with Rawal Guhil; in mythology, it traces its descent from Ram, king of Ayodhya, one of the heroes of the epic Ramayan. Bappa Rawal established the House of Mewar itself in AD 734. The name of the ruling family from the outset was Guhilot (after Guhil). This unofficially became Aharya, when the Mewar capital was the ancient city of Ahar during the 10th to 12th centuries. In 1326, with Maharana Hamir Singh I, the family’s name was changed to Sisodia, and remains so to this day. Proudly, they are Suryvanshis, descendants of Surya the Sun God.

Mewar Dynasty

Perhaps that simple, brief introduction neatly answers the question “What was Mewar?” However, and understandably, in 1,400 years, there is so much more to know about this amazing Dynasty. For instance, for most of those fourteen centuries, Mewar was recognised as the leading kingdom of Rajputana (Land of the Rajputs). Although roughly the size of modern Switzerland, the extent of the State has varied from time to time. Up to the reign of Maharana Sangram Singh I (1509-1527) its boundaries were far-reaching for such a small kingdom (albeit the largest in Rajputana). Due to the repeated assaults of the Mughals and the Marathas, those dimensions were narrowed, then somewhat re-established in 1818 with the advent of the treaty with the British Govt.

Geographical Location

The foremost feature of the kingdom was its isolation, which made its people self-reliant, warlike (in defence, not in annexation) and straightforward. Set amongst the Aravalli ranges, Mewar was a geographically secluded territory, the rugged terrain a distinctive physical feature that helped to shape the State’s history. Ancient Indian culture and art found an asylum in the territory and enriched the kingdom’s own superb heritage. Mewar has enjoyed the best of times, yet its history is rife with conflict. Among its rulers were a fair share of villains, as well as exemplary heroes, the names of the latter still household words today.

Honour of Mewar

Mewar had a pattern of feudal administration that bound the king, the nobles and the people in a unique covenant, uniting them without distinction of caste, creed or religion as one family, even in times of war. Throughout its long history, the kingdom gained an admirable record of solid independence, and its place of honour at the head of the Rajput clans was well deserved. Alone among the Hindu princes, Mewar's rulers refused to succumb to the ‘foreign invasion’ of the Delhi Sultanates, the Mughal Empire, and the Marathas. Nor did they intermarry with any other than Rajputs. However, Mewar's independence (as did that of all other Princely States) was lost with Indian Independence in 1948, when all Princely States were incorporated into the new Indian Union, losing both their titles and income. In 1949, with the redistribution of India's state borders, Mewar was incorporated into the new state of Rajasthan.

Formation of Trusts

Despite this blow to its heritage and traditional lifestyle, Mewar retained its identity as such through the formation of various foundations. These now protect and promote not only the name ‘Maharana’, but also Mewar's historical and cultural heritage. Because of Mewar's stoical adherence to tradition, India has always held the kingdom in high respect, calling it the Sun of the Hindus. For centuries, it was a source of inspiration, and the Rajputs of Mewar will ever be synonymous with chivalry and patriotism. Because of this heritage, and of its bravery and dedication to the welfare of its people, Mewar was called the Sun of the Hindus, and its history is outstanding in the annals of India.