Gurjara Khaps of Rajasthan
In Rajasthan Gurjaras use words ‘Nakh’ for clan and ‘Ghaad’ for khap respectively.
Here Gurjaras are divided in two endogamous multi-clan groups – Laur and Khari. Laur Gurjaras claim their origin from Lava, the son of Rama. While Khari Gurjaras claim Kush, the another son of Rama as their progenitor.
There is a Multi-clan khap of Khari Gurjar known as “Chaurasi” with Gangapur city as it’s headquarter. Chaurasi means the Khap of eighty four villages. Khari Gurjara “Chaurasi” khap, covers the villages of Bayana, Bharatpur, Swai Madhopur, Karauli, Jaipur and Udaipur districts.
Khatana clan of Gurjaras in karauli has a khap of 12 villages. Village Kaimri and Tesh Gaon are the headqurters of the Khap. Sooda Baba is regarded as the ancestor of the Khap. There is proverb regarding the khap headquarter-
“ Ghane Khatane kaimri Tongad Bhandarez
Mare Haten Na Bainsle Kachhawahe Amer”
Bainsla clan of Gurjaras in Karauli district has a Khap of 12 villages. Village Gudla Pahari village is headquarter of the Khap. Bainslas immigrated to this area from village Kanaawar of Bayana.
Bidarwas clan of Gurjara has a khap in Karauli district comprising of 12 villages. Toka Bindpura village is the headquarters of the khap.
Mawai clan in Karauli-Bayana area has khap of 12 villages with village Tali Kot as it’s headquarter.
Mawai Clan of Gurjaras also has another khap in Bayana area. The khap has 12 Villages and Rarouda is it’s headquarter.
Kasana clan of Gurjaras in Sikandara area of Dausa district has khap of 12 villages.
Kasanas’ another khap in Kotpootli area of Jaipur also has 12 Villages.
Biggest Kasana Khap in Rajasthan lies in Dholpur area consists of a group of 28 villages. Originally they may have been twenty four which grew into twenty eight.
Rawat clan of Gurjaras in Kotpootli area of Jaipura has a khap of 12 Villages.
Poswal khap of Gurjaras in Swai Madhopur district has 12 villages. Village Kochar ka Dera is the headquarters of the khap.
Ghuraiyya clan of Gurjaras has a khap of 28 villages in Dholpur district. Originally they may have been twenty four which grew into twenty eight. Village Bichhiya Maroli is the headquarters of the khap. It is believed that Ghuraiyyas came here from Ghuraiyya Basai village of Madhya Pradesh.
Tanwar clan of Gurjaras has a khap of 12 villages which lies in the basin of Gambhir river. The khap is situated in Bayana area with village Maroli as it’s headquarter. The Tanwar Gurjaras are believed to have come here from Delhi. Propbably their headquarter name Maroli is a Corruption of town named Mehrauli in Delhi where Tanwar Gurjaras still have a khap of 12 villages. It is interesting to note that Mehrauli, Delhi was the capital of Tanwar Rulers of Delhi.
Kaanwar Khap of Gurjaras in Bayana area has 12 villages and village Tarsooma and Ghunaini forms its headquarters.
Dhadandiya clan of Gurjaras has a khap of 12 villages in Badnor-Aseend area of Bhilwara district.
There is a Multi-clan Gurjaras khap of 13 villages in Mahaveer ji area. Among 13 villages Panwar clan has 5 villages. Chauhan, Harshana, karhana and Riyana clans also own villages of khap. Village Akbarpur and Naurangabad of the khap lies in vicinity of Mahaveer ji. Dev Narayan temple in Mahveer ji the meeting place of the khap.
‘Solanga’ is also a multi clan khap of Gurjaras. Solanga means group of sixteen villages. Khap lies in Mahuwa area of Dausa district. Fagna, Peelwan, Dayma, Chechi, Awana clans of Gurjaras owns the villages in Solanga. Village Gajipur Khaavda is the headquarters of the Khap. Dev Narayan Temple in this village is the meeting place of the khap.
Thus, we witness many Barahas i.e. group of twelve villages of a particular Clan of Gurjaras in North Eastern Rajasthan. Alberuni who visited India with Mahmud Ghaznavi in the beginning of eleventh century tells us about a ‘Gujarat’ in the same region with Bazan as its capital. Bazan may be identified with Bayana as sometimes y changes with j as yogi is called jogi in Prakrit or Apabhramsa. In Bayana Gurjaras have 80 villages in region known as “Nehda” in local idiom.There is also a chaurasi of Khari Gurjaras.
In South and South Eastern Rajasthan Such Clan ‘Barahas’ are rare. Here we mostly find mix clan Gurjara villages. South Rajasthan was the stronghold of the Gurjaras from about 550 to 1000 A D. Hieung Tsang (629-645 A D) in his book Si Yu ki speaks of Gurjar Desh with Bhinmal in modern South Rajasthan as its Capital. Astronomar Brahmgupta informs us that ruler of Bhinmal Vyaghrmukh belonged to the Chapa (modern Chavda or Chaprana clans) dynasty. Later a Pratihara family ruled the region ‘Gurjarratra’ i.e. Modern South Rajasthan with Mandor as its Capital. The Pratihara family of Mandor was the feudatory of imperial Gurjara Pratiharas of Kannauj and like them claimed their descent from Lakshmana, the brother of Rama. Thus, Mandor Pratiharas may have been the branch of imperial Gurjara Pratihara family of Kannauj.
Famous historian R S Sharma ascribes the formation of these units of 12 villages or its multiples to the Gurjara Pratihara’s or their feudatories rule in North Western India during the early medieval period. He says what distinguished the Gurjara Pratihara polity from that of contemporary Rastrakutas and Palas was the imposition of clan aristocracies on old, settled villages. He further says that Gujar imposed themselves as dominant clans on settled villages. The tribal practice that spoils should be distributed among the members of the tribe led to the apportionment of villages among the conquering chiefs, some of them received them in units of 84.
It seems quite clear that the ‘Barahas’ were granted by Gurjara Pratiharas after their victory north of Ujjain, the seat of their power before their rise as a imperial power, to the clan leaders or aristocracies of their winning tribal army as it is seen above that in olden days ‘Gurjarratra’ Gurjaras have mix clan villages without the administrative unit Barahas.
– Dr Sushil Bhati
1. R S Sharma, Indian Feudalism, AD 300-1200,Delhi, 2006
2. B.N. Puri, History of the Gurjara Pratiharas, Bombay, 1957
3. V. A. Smith, The Gurjaras of Rajputana and Kanauj, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, (Jan., 1909), pp.53-75
4. V A Smith, The Oford History of India, IV Edition, Delhi, 1990
5. P C Bagchi, India and Central Asia, Calcutta, 1965
6. Romila Thapar, A History of India, Vol. I., U.K. 1966.
7. R S Tripathi, History of Kannauj