Goga Ji – Rajasthani Lok Devta

Gogaji, also known as Gugga, is saint and folk deity of Rajasthan. He was son of Raja Jewar Singh of Bhagar Desh. His mother Bachal worshiped his Guru Gorkhnath ji for 12 years and by the blessing of Guru Gorkhnathji, Gogaji was born. Gogaji was a Chauhan Rajput.

Early Days

Rani Bachal has a twin sister (Rani Kachal) who deceived her for getting guru Gorakhnath’s blessings but Gogaji’s mother got Gugal candies from guru Gorakhnath (a herb to treat people of infertility) and also distributed that herb among villages including a mare. The mare gave birth to a blue horse that Gogaji rode. Early days of Gogaji were spent at village Dadrewa, situated on Hissar-Bikaner highway in the Churu district. Around 900 AD they were rulers of this area and at the same place a fair is simultaneously held here in his memory.

Gogaji’s as peer for Muslim and saint for Hindus

When Gogaji came to know about Rani Kachal deceived his mother, he killed the sons of Rani Kachal and told his mother. Rani Bachal got angry and instructed him not to show his face. Gogaji went to guru Gorakhnathji and asked him what to do. Gorakhnathji through his Chimta from Gorkhtilla and land got slide and Gogaji took Samadhi at that place with his horse. Before getting Samadhi Gogaji read calma so that he also called Muslim peer.

Annual procession

Every year Gogaji fair held in memory of that popular hero. Some people also worship him as a snake-god. It is believed that Gogaji want into Samadhi at the place now known as Goga Medi and thousands of devotees gather to pay homage at this memorial annually in the month of Bhadrapada during the Gogaji fair which last for three days. Gogaji is famous as Goga Veer among Hindus and Jahar peer in Muslims.

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Guru Jambheshwar – Founder of Bishnoi Religion

Guru Jambheshwar was the founder and guruji of Bishnoi community who belonged to the the Panwar Rajput clan. He was born in Pipasar village in Rajasthan. His father Lohal Ji Panwar was the Thakur of Pipasar and he was the only son him.

Jambheshwar guru later got famous as Jambhoji.

Childhood

Jambheshwar was an introvert and a silent child. He spent 27years of his life as a cowherd like Lord Krishna. Incidentally, both lord Krishna and Jambhoji has an identical birth day.

When he was 18 years old he met with a famous saint Gorakhnathji and got influenced by his thoughts.

Jambhoji’s love for nature and animals

Jambhoji taught people to love nature and animals by his religious words of wisdom. After the death of his parents he renounced his entire property and shifted to Samrathal sand dunes. Jambhoji wondered in barren wilds of Rajasthan and taught people that how man can live in peace even in those lands.

Jambhoji as a Great Saint

Jambhoji travelled across the country and told the 120 words as preach. According to him those 120 words are the source of great wisdom and are sufficient for anyone to understand and follow his path. He was a great saint and philosopher and raised his voice against the rituals and formalities of Hinduism.

Foundation of Bishnoi Religion

In 1485 A.D. at the age of 34, the great saint Jambhoji founded Bishnoi religion at Samrathal Dhora. The religion Bishnoism revolves around 29 commandments (Bisno from bees and no) out of 120 given by Jambhoji.

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Man Singh Ji Saheb – Brave King of Jaipur

Raja Man Singh was son of Bhagwant Das, king of Amber (Jaipur), and Rani Bhagawati ji Sahiba. He was born on December 21, 1550. After his father’s death he received the title of Mansab (a commander of 5000 soldiers) in 1589. In 1605 he became mansabdar of 7000 soldiers in the Mughal force of Akbar.

His devotion for Akbar

Akbar sent Man Singh to Rana Pratap, the grandson of Rana Sanga, to convince him to accept Mughal sovereignty. Rana Pratap invited Man Singh for a dinner but when he came to know that Man Singh wanted, him to accept Mughal sovereignty, he refused to come in dinner and sent his son Amar Singh for dinner.

Man Singh took it as insult of his king Akbar and left the dinner. After that he was appointed to lead the Mughal army against Maharana Pratap and he fought many wars against him for Akbar.

Haldighati war

In 3 April 1576 Man Singh fought a gruesome war with Maharana Pratap. In this war Man Singh’s Mahout and Rana Pratap’s famous horse ‘Chetak’ were killed. The war was won by Mughal forces but one of Rana Pratap’s nobleman Jhala Man Singh saved him by putting the helmet of Rana Pratap and pretending to be Rana Pratap, was killed by Mughal forces.

Man Singh and Mughal’s Governor in Kabul

In 1580 when Akbar started to expend his empire in Kabul, his troops were hesitating to cross the Indus River. At that time the brave Raja Man Singh was able to cross that first and the remaining troops followed him. In 1582 Kabul was annexed by the Mughal Empire and Man Singh was appointed Governor.

Cultural Achievements

Raja Man Singh built a seven store temple of Lord Krishna in Virndavan as he was a devotee of Lord Krishna. Later three stores were demolished by Aurangzeb and four stores are still present in Vrindavan. Raja Man Singh devoted himself for Mughal Empire. He was  a trusted general of Mughal army that Akbar called him “Farzand” (son) and also included him in his Navaratnas.

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Maharana Sangram Singh – Bravest Ruler of Mewar

Personal Profile

Maharana Sangram Singh, popularly known as Rana Sanga was born on April 12, 1484. His father, Rajmal, was the ruler of Mewar and a scion of the Sisodia clan of Suryavanshi Rajputs at that time. Rana had two brothers named as Prithviraj and Jaimal.

Childhood

In childhood, an astrologer told his brothers that Rana Sanga would become the next king of Mewar. Because of this the brothers got jealous and after a bad quarrel with his brothers, Rana left the fort.

Rana Sanga spent that period working as a shepherd in a remote village in Aravalli hills and got married the daughter of the village’s chief.

During that period, his two brothers died fighting violently for the throne and Rana returned to court. In 1509 he became the Ruler of Mewar after his father’s death.

Maharana Sangram Singh fought 18 battles with mughal army and sustained eighty-four wounds on his body during these battles. Even he lost his one arm and got crippled in one leg, he was a magnanimous winner. He won a lot of fights against rulers of Delhi, Gujarat and Malwa.

Battle of Khanwa

On March 17, 1526 Maharana Sangram Singh launched a furious attack on the center and right wing of Mughal force. In this battle the brave Rajput soldiers showed the great heroism by stuffing themselves in the mouth of Mughal army’s cannons to stop the throw.  Rana Sanga sustained many wounds but he fought on. The battle’s carried on for many days but result was not decided. Maharana Sangram Singh chose to retreat from the battle.

Achievements

Maharana Sangram Singh established Mewar as the foremost Rajput state and united the Rajput states to put up a strong defense against the Mughal armies. He brought Mewar to the heights of success and governed a large part of Rajputana. Rana Sanga is the finest example of the Kshatriya king as the Protector, the Suryavanshi king whose focus was on consolidating and developing his state.

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Raja Amar Singh Rathore – A Brave Commander in Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s army

Raja Amar Singh Rajthore was a great king of a Rajput family. He was a commander in Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s army whose saga of bravery is sung in Ajmer in Rajasthan.

His Exile

Raja Amar Singh Rathore was the eldest son of Maharaja and as per the tradition he was the obvious heir to the throne but because of his snide behavior towards the new mughal spouse, he was ordered to remain in exile rest of his life. He left Rajasthan and went to Agra where Mughal emperor Shah Jahan offered him a significant post in his army. After joining Mughal army he fought many battles and because of his brave performances he got steadily promotions in Shahjahan’s administration.

Amar Singh’s conflict with Shah Jahan

In mughal court the other fellow courtiers got jealous with Amar Singh as he was getting more value by their king. One day when Amar Singh went for a hunt without taking permission of Shah Jahan, the other fellow courtiers told that it is insult of Mughal emperor. Amar Singh challenged that he is not answerable to any one and killed a courtiers because of his misbehavior. Shah Jahan was shocked by this act and entire mughal army was trying to capture Raja Amar Singh. But the brave king jumped from Agra fort with his horse and escaped his life.

Bravery at its best

Shah Jahan gave the responsibility to Amar Singh’s brother in law to kill him. His brother-in-law invited Amar Singh for a compromise in mughal court and there he was killed by them. Shahjahan kept Amar Singh Rathore’s body was thrown on a tower challenging the Rajputs to take it away.

Brave wife of brave king

Amar Singh’s wife wanted to be sati with her husband so she went to Ballu (a friend of Amar Singh) to take his body. Ballu took the bravest Rajput soldiers with him and killed the mughal soldiers coming in his way. The brave Ballu jumped from Agra fort with Amar Singh’s body and delivered it to his wife. After this brave act Ballu got injured badly and died.

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Rawal Ratan Singh – Brave Rajput King

Rawal Ratan Singh ruled over Mewar from 1302 to 1303 AD. He belonged to Guhilote clan and was the 42th ruler of Mewar. He ascended the gaddi of Mewar in 1302 after his father was Samar Singh and got the responsibility to maintain the warlike tradition of his house by defending the fort of Chittor against Alauddin khilji’s force.

A Justified Ruler

Rawal Ratan Singh was a brave and warrior noble king, Apart from being a loving husband and justified ruler; he was very fond of arts and patron. He got married with famous beauty, Rani Padmini. The lady was so much beautiful that Alauddin khilji attacked several time to get a glimpse of her. Every time Rawal Rantan Singh defeated him and save the glory of Rajputs.

Alauddin khilji wanted to get Rani Padmini so he told Rawal Rantan Singh that he considers Rani Padmini as a sister and wanted to see her. Ratan Singh allowed him and invited him to his fort. But Rani Padmini allowed Khilji to see her reflection in the water. While returning Alauddin was accompanied by Rawal Ratan Singh for some way and he unfaithfully seized him and took him as a prisoner into his camp. Khilji sent a message to the fort that Rawal Ratan Singh can only be freed by exchanging Rani Padmini as his mistress.

Rani Padmini’s brave act

Rani Padmini made a plan and sent a message to Alauddin khilji that she wanted to meet him. She went to his tent with 700 servants in palkis and told Alauddin that no one will peek inside those palkis. She put another condition that she will meet her husband Rawal Ratan Singh first. Alauddin allowed her to do so but he did not know that the palki’s were containing thousands of soldiers with swords. By performing such a brave act Rani Padmini save her husband Rawal Ratan Singh.

Gallant Leadership of Ratan Singh

In 1303 AD, Alauddin khilji attacked,Chittor with a huge force but every time the brave king, Rawal Rantan Singh defeated him every time. After seven months Rana has to submit and got death while fighting against Sultans, on 26 august 1303AD. He defended his fort till the last breath. Rani Padmini and other ladies, who lost their husbands in war, performed Jauhar.

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Veer Durgadas Rathore – A Loyal and Courageous Warrior

Durgadas Rathore was among the great personalities of Rajasthan (the land of heroes). He was born on 13 August 1638 at Salwa in a Rajput family of Marwar. His father, Askaran Rajthore, was a general in the army of Maharaja Jaswant Singh.

Durgadas’s childhood days were very uneventful. As his mother didn’t get along with her husband and co-wives, he has to live with her in a village near Sawla Kalan.

His uprightness in Childhood

When Durgadas was young, he killed the official herdsman who looked after the king’s camels for speaking insolently about the king. This act got him an appointment in the army of Maharaja Jaswant Singh. He served the army throughout the king’s life and after the kings’s death in 1678, Durgadas shouldered the task of safeguarding the freedom of Marwar and life of its young king, Ajit Singh, son of Jaswant Singh.

After the death of Maharaja Jaswant Singh, mughal emperor Aurangzeb intervened and appointed a Muslim to rule over Marwar, which unsettled the Rathore clan. Durgadas took the infant Ajit Singh to Aurangzeb and asked him that the infant be confirmed in his late father’s estated and titles.

The Great Saving of Ajit Singh

When Durgadas and others of the delegation were taking Ajit Singh out of Delhi, the mughal guard fell in hot pursuit of them. Durgadas and his 300 men, fought with them. At regular intervals, some 15-20 Rajputs would fall behind to check the mughal pursuers. In this process, many rajputs got killed, but this allowed the forward party to create some distance between Ajit and the Mughals. By evening, Durgadas was left with just 7 men out of the 300. He finally managed to shift Ajit Singh to Jaipur. Later, the infant was moved to Sirohi, a remote town on the southern fringes of Marwar. The infant grew up there in anonymity.

For 30 years after this event, Marwar remained under the direct rule of a mughal governor. During this period, Durgadas carried out a relentless struggle against the occupying forces. After that Ajit Singh was proclaimed Maharaja of Jodhpur.

His Last Days

Heroic Durgadas completed his duties successfully with bravery and after fulfilling the promise which he gave to Jaswant Singh. He left Jodhpur and stayed at many places including Sadri, Sadri, Udaipur, Rampura, Bhanpura for some time and then left to worship Mahakaal at Ujjain. On 22nd November 1718, on the banks of the Sipra at Ujjain, Durgadas passed away at the age of 81 years. Durgadas left behind a shining example of loyalty, chivalry and courage.

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Jai Singh – Mirza Raja of Jaipur

Mirza Raja Jai Singh was king of Amber (small township close to Jaipur). He was born on July 15 1611. His mother was the famous princess of Mewar and his father name was Maha Singh.

After the death of his elder brother Jagat Singh in 1621, he became the king of Amber at a young age of 10.

Titled as Mirza Raja

Raja Jai Singh gave great services to Shah Jahan (1627) for which he was entitled as Mirza Raja. He rebelled Khan Jahan Lodi along with his Afghan followers and promoted as a commander of 4000. He played a vital role against the southern sultanates and got a district of Chatsu in Ajmer in his kingdom as a reward. He expanded his kingdom by defeating Meo robber tribes in the north of Amber.

In 1638, the Persian commander Ali Mardan Khan surrendered the fort of Kandahar to Shah Jahan. The emperor’s son Shuja, accompanied by Mirza Raja Jai Singh, was sent to take liberation of this important fort. To frighten the Persian Shah from interfering in this task, Shah Jahan gathered a 50,000 strong army in Kabul. On this occasion Mirza Raja Jai Singh received the exclusive title of Mirza Raja from Shah Jahan.  His great-grandfather Raja Man Singh I was also honored by the same title by Emperor Akbar.

A great Builder

A powerful ally of Emperor Jahangir, Jai Singh was a great builder. The greater part of the palace at Amber was built by him. During his time, the influence of Persian art and letters dominated the court at Amber. Several crafts, such as inlay work in jewels and ivory flourished during his reign.

Final Days

Mirza Raja Jai Singh died on 28 August 1667 under mysterious circumstances. It is believed among the Rajputs that he had been poisoned by order of Aurangzeb.

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Rao Jodha – Famous Ruler of Jodhpur

Rao Jodha (28 March 1416 – 6 April 1489) was a Rajput ruler of Mandore, Rajasthan.

The son of Rao Ranmal, Rao Jodha secured the throne of Mandore in 1427. Rao Ranmal was the administrator of Mewar and assisted Maharana Mokal.

Successfully Captured Mandore

Rao Jodha has a long story behind the capture on Mandore. After death of Maharana Mokal, his son Rana Kumbha decided to end the power sharing arrangement. Rao Jodha, while escaping to Chittor with 450 horsemen, suffered a heavy loss of his warriors near Chittor. He managed to reach Chittor but only with seven people army.

He fought many battles with Rana Kumbha’s forces to capture Mandore. In this process, he won many of the outlying forts near Mandore. Finally in 1453, he made a surprise attack on Mandore and captured it with relative ease.

After Rao Jodha captured Mandore, Jalore and Bundi, Ajmer and Sambhar were also submitted to him by their respective rulers. Rao Jodha’s son Rao Bika established Bikaner, which has now become one of the prominent towns of Rajasthan.

Forts Constructed by Rao Jodha

Rao Jodha started construction of some famous forts in Jodhpur. He wanted to move his capital to a safe hill place. In 1959, he established a new city of Jodhgarh at Chidia-tunk, a high rocky ridge, nine km to the south of Mandore. He also started the construction of famous Mehrangarh fort, situated on a 125 m high hill which was completed by Maharaja Jaswant singh.

Death and Succession

Rao Jodha died at a age of 73 on 6 April 1489. He had 24 sons and was succeeded by his son Rao Satal. After his death, his brother Rao Suja became the king of Jodhpur.

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Bappa Rawal – The Hinduja Suraj

Personal Profile

Bappa Rawal, popularly known as Kalbhoj, was one of the most powerful and famous ruler of Mewar. It is said that he was the 80th in descent from Lord Rama.

His Childhood

At the age of three, Bappa Rawal’s father Rawal Mahendra II was killed. The ruler of Nagda tried to kill the young successor “Bappa Rawal” for the Guhilot throne but two of his close Bhil friends saved him and for his security he was transferred to wild and precipitous countryside around Nagda. When Bappa came of age, his mother offered her young son into the affectionate care of a kul Purohitan, the wife of a local Brahmin priest and committed herself sati.

In childhood he became the pupil of Harit Rashi who bestowed him with special blessing and taught him his royal ancestry

Bappa’s Journey for Mewar Kingdom

Bappa Rawal decided to claim the entire Mewar Kingdom, including Guhilog ancestors annexed by Paramaras. When he was of 18 years old, he performed a fight that awed Maan More and Paramara nobles. The Paramara king appointed Bappa Rawal as the commander-in-chief in his army where he defeated Arabs and drove them out of country.

During this journey he was entitled with Raj Guru, Hindua Suraj and Chakravarti.

His Wars against Muslims

Bappa Rawal fought a series of wars against Arabs and Muslims. In 39th century when Muslims started attacking India, he united the smaller states of Ajmer and Jaisalmer to face off Muslim invasions across the western and northern borders of  Rajputana. He defeated Bin Qasim through Saurashtra when Qasim attacked Chittor.

His Achievements

Bappa Rawal proved himself as a supporter of India’s culture. His name Bappa meaning father and Rawal being the traditional Rajput title for a king brought him more close to his subjects. He won the loyalty of Paramara nobles and gained their support. He built a temple where he first met his guru, Harit Rashi.

A town was also developed under Bappa Rawal called Eklingji (later renamed Kailashpuri). After having ruled his kingdom for a long time, later he abdicated the throne in favor of his son and he turned into Shiva upasaka and became a Yati.

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