Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Rajputs ("sons of kings"), one of the great divisions of the Indian Aryans, who give their name to the region of Rajputana, in North-West India, where they have been settled from remote times, but, as would seem, subsequently to the first Aryan invasions. Although claiming to be high-caste, i.e. full-blood Hindus of the Kshatrya (warrior) class, the claim is disallowed by the Brahmins, and there can be no doubt that they had already contracted alliances with the Jats, Bhils, and other aborigines before the institution of caste. The purity of the race, however, appears to have been preserved in many of the noble families, and especially in that of the Udaipur dynasty, whose headship is recognised by all the Rajputs. The regular features and light complexion, especially of the women of high birth, show that the original stock was undoubtedly Caucasic, and most probably of Aryan speech. But it is equally certain that the Rajputs were preceded in their present domain by other Caucasians and Aryans, and especially by the Jats, with whom they contracted alliances in prehistoric times. In North-West India the pure and mixed Rajputs are divided into endless tribal groups or classes (Sherring gives an incomplete list of six hundred), with a population of over 12,000,000 in Rajputana alone, and many more in Punjab and the North-West Provinces. They are distinguished by their warlike character and highly chivalrous sentiment towards the women, despite the former universal prevalence of female infanticide and suttee. With few exceptions the Rajputs are Hindus by religion, and those of Rajputana speak a pure Hindi dialect developed in the 12th century specially under the influence of the great poem Chand Bardai. (Sherring, Hindu Tribes and Castes, vol. ii.)