Pushkar Lake or Pushkar Sarovar is located in the town of Pushkar in Ajmer district of the Rajasthan state of western India. Pushkar Lake is a sacred lake of the Hindus; the Hindu scriptures describe it as "Tirtha-Raj" – the king of pilgrimage sites related to a water-body and relate it to the mythology of the creator-god Brahma, whose most prominent temple stands in Pushkar. The Pushkar Lake finds mention on coins as early as the 4th century BC. Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats, where pilgrims throng in large numbers to take a sacred bath around Kartik Poornima when the Pushkar Fair is held. A dip in the sacred lake is believed to cure skin diseases. Over 500 Hindu temples are situated around the lake precincts. Tourism and deforestation in the surroundings have taken a heavy toll on the lake, adversely affecting its water quality, reducing the water levels and destroying the fish population; as part of conservation measures, the government is undertaking de-silting, de-weeding, water treatment, afforestation as well as mass awareness programme.
Pushkar Lake around which the Pushkar town has developed is in the Ajmer district in the state of Rajasthan, India amidst the Aravalli range of hills. The mountain range known as Nag Parbat separates the lake from the city of Ajmer; the valley is formed between the two parallel ranges of the Aravalli hills (in elevation range of 650–856 metres running south-west to north-east. Situated at 14 kilometres northwest from Ajmer, the artificial Pushkar Lake created by building a dam is surrounded by deserts and hills on all three sides; the lake is categorized as a "Sacred Lake" under the list of "Classification of Lakes in India". The soil and topography in the catchment are predominantly sandy with low water retention capacity; the land use pattern in the Pushkar valley that drains into the lake comprises 30% of the area under shifting sand dunes, 30% under hills and streams and 40% of the area is agricultural. The region experiences semi-arid climatic conditions with cool winters; the summer months of May and June are the hottest, with a maximum temperature of around 45 °C.
During the winter months, the maximum mean temperature is in the range of 25–10 °C. Rain occurs during a short spell of two months during July and August; the recorded average rainfall is in the range of 400–600 millimetres. Rainfall is recorded some times during winter months of January and February. From April to September, strong winds blowing in the southwest to northeast direction add to the formation of sand dunes; the Pushkar Lake drains a catchment of the Aravalli hills covering an area of 22 square kilometres. The lake has a water surface area of 22 hectares, it is a perennial lake sourced by the monsoon rainfall over the catchment. The depth of water in the lake varies from season to season from 8–10 metres; the total storage capacity of the lake is 0.79 million cubic metres. As the lake periphery is encircled by 52 ghats of various sizes, the surface water flow from the catchment into the lake is channelled through a series of arches under a foot bridge, 110 metres long at the southern end.
The foot bridge facilitates the parikrama, performed by pilgrims around the lake covering all the 52 ghats. Pushkar Lake, when full, is rich in other aquatic life; the depth of the lake has shrunk – to less than 1.5 metres from a maximum of 9 metres – resulting in the death of large fish weighing 5–20 kilograms, caused due to the viscous water and the lack of oxygen for the fish to survive. Since the region where the lake and its valley is situated is arid, the flora and fauna recorded relate to desert plants, including cactus and thorny bushes, as well as desert animals like camels and cattle. Man-eating crocodiles used resulting in the deaths of people. Pilgrims were aware of yet many considered it as lucky to be eaten by crocodiles; the crocodiles were shifted to a nearby reservoir. Pushkar Lake's history dates back to the 4th century BC. Numismatics, in the form of punched Greek and Kushan coins date the lake back to this time; the inscriptions found at Sanchi attest to the lake's existence to the 2nd Century BC.
This suggests that Pushkar was a pilgrimage centre if it did not lie on the trade route. In the fifth century AD, Chinese traveller Fa Xian made reference to the number of visitors to Pushkar Lake. A story tells of a ninth-century Rajput king, Nahar Rao Parihar of Mandore, chasing a white boar to the lake shore on a hunting expedition. In order to quench his thirst, he dipped his hand into the lake and was astonished to see that the Leukoderma marks on his hand had disappeared. Impressed with the sacred curative nature of the lake, he got the lake restored to its glory. After discovering the curative characteristics of the lake water, people have since visited the lake to take a holy dip and cure themselves of skin problems; the creation of Pushkar Lake, as an artificial lake, is credited to the 12th century when a dam was built across the headwaters of the Luni River. The 10th Sikh guru, Guru Govind Singh, is said to have recited the Sikh sacred text Guru Granth Sahib on the banks of the lake.
During the Mughal rule, there was a short break in the lake's importance due to the levy of a pilgrim tax and a ban on religious processions. In 1615–16, the Mughal emperor Jahangir built his hunting lodge (seen now in tota
History of Bikaner
The region of Bikaner, stretching across northern Rajasthan State in India, was earlier known as Jangladesh. It included the present-day districts of Bikaner, Churu and Hanumangarh, it is bounded on the south on the east by Ajmer-Merwara region. Bikaner state was a princely state, founded in the 15th century in this region. After becoming a British protectorate in 1818, it persisted until shortly after India's Independence in 1947. Prior to the mid 15th century, the region, now Bikaner was a barren wilderness called Jangladesh. Rao Bika established the city of Bikaner in 1488, he was the first son of Maharaja Rao Jodha of the Rathor clan, the founder of Jodhpur and conquered the arid country in the north of Rajasthan. As the first son of Jodha he wanted to have his own kingdom, not inheriting Jodhpur from his father or the title of Maharaja, he therefore decided to build his own kingdom in what is now the state of Bikaner in the area of Jangladesh. Though it was in the Thar Desert, Bikaner was considered an oasis on the trade route between Central Asia and the Gujarat coast as it had adequate spring water.
Bika's name was attached to the state of Bikaner that he established. Bika built a fort in 1478, now in ruins, a hundred years a new fort was built about 1.5 km from the city centre, known as the Junagarh Fort. Around a century after Rao Bika founded Bikaner, the state's fortunes flourished under the sixth Raja, Rai Singhji, who ruled from 1571 to 1611. During the Mughal Empire's rule in the country, Raja Rai Singh accepted the suzerainty of the Mughals and held a high rank as an army general at the court of the Emperor Akbar and his son the Emperor Jahangir. Rai Singh's successful military exploits, which involved winning half of Mewar kingdom for the Empire, won him accolades and rewards from the Mughal emperors, he was given the jagirs of Burhanpur. With the large revenue earned from these jagirs, he built the Chintamani durg on a plain which has an average elevation of 760 feet, he was an expert in arts and architecture, the knowledge he acquired during his visits abroad is amply reflected in the numerous monuments he built at the Junagarh fort.
Maharaja Karan Singh, who ruled from 1631 to 1669, under the suzerainty of the Mughals, built the Karan Mahal palace. Rulers added more floors and decorations to this Mahal. Anup Singh ji, who ruled from 1669 to 1698, made substantial additions to the fort complex, with new palaces and the Zenana quarter, a royal dwelling for women and children, he called it the Anup Mahal. Maharaja Gaj Singh, who ruled from 1746 to 1787 refurbished the Chandra Mahal. During the 18th century, there was internecine war between the rulers of Bikaner and Jodhpur and amongst other thakurs, put down by British troops. Following Maharaja Gaj Singh, Maharaja Surat Singh ruled from 1787 to 1828 and lavishly decorated the audience hall with glass and lively paintwork. Under a treaty of paramountcy signed in 1818, during Maharaja Surat Singh's reign, Bikaner came under the suzerainty of the British, after which the Maharajas of Bikaner invested in refurbishing Junagarh fort. Dungar Singh, who reigned from 1872 to 1887, built the Badal Mahal, the'weather palace', so named in view of a painting of clouds and falling rain, a rare event in arid Bikaner.
General Maharaja Ganga Singh, who ruled from 1887 to 1943, was the best-known of the Rajasthan princes and was a favourite of the British Viceroys of India. He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India, served as a member of the Imperial War Cabinet, represented India at the Imperial Conferences during the First World War and the British Empire at the Versailles Peace Conference, his contribution to the building activity in Junagarh involved separate halls for public and private audiences in the Ganga Mahal and a durbar hall for formal functions. He built the Ganga Niwas Palace, which has towers at the entrance patio; this palace was designed by the third of the new palaces built in Bikaner. He named the building Lalgarh Palace in honour of his father and moved his main residence there from Junagarh Fort in 1902; the hall where he held his Golden Jubilee as Bikaner's ruler is now a museum. Ganga Singh's son, Lieutenant-General Sir Sadul Singh, the Yuvaraja of Bikaner, succeeded his father as Maharaja in 1943, but acceded his state to the Union of India in 1949.
Maharaja Sadul Singh died in 1950, being succeeded in the title by Karni Singh. The Royal Family still lives in a suite in Lalgarh Palace, which they have converted into a heritage hotel. About 1465 Rao Bika, a Rathore Rajput, an elder son of Rao Jodha, king of Marwar, provoked by a stray comment by his father, left Marwar with a small contingent of Rathore warriors to create his own kingdom, he was accompanied by his uncle, Rawat Kandhal and his brother Rao Bida, who provided politico-strategic advice. Encouraged by the mystic Karni Mata, whom he had met early in his travels, he took advantage of the internal rivalries of the Jat clans so that by 1485 he was able to establish his own territory and build a small fort called Rati Ghati at the city which still bears his name. In 1488 he began the building of the city itself. In the beginning the neighboring Bhati chiefs were suspicious of the new growing power in their vicinity. Karni Mata, who had become the kuladevi of Rao Bika brought the rivalry between the Rathore & Bhatis to an end by inspiring Rao Shekha - the powerful Bhati chief of Pugal, to give the hand of h
India known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia; the Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Gupta empires. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture.
Much of the north fell to the Delhi Sultanate. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, in the mid-19th under British Crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947. In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the second largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
A pluralistic and multi-ethnic society, it is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindush, equivalent to the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historical local appellation for the Indus River; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as "The people of the Indus". The geographical term Bharat, recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations, it is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. Hindustan is a Middle Persian name for India, it was introduced into India by the Mughals and used since then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety; the name may refer to either the northern part of India or the entire country.
The earliest known human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nearly contemporaneous human rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, storage of agricultural surplus, appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan; these developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Kalibangan, relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones; the Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.
Most historians consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, craft traditions. In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas; the emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of Mahavira.
Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle
Xuanzang was a Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar and translator who travelled to India in the seventh century and described the interaction between Chinese Buddhism and Indian Buddhism during the early Tang dynasty. He is known as Hiuen Tsang in history books of India. During the journey he visited many sacred Buddhist sites in what are now Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, he was born in what is now Henan province around 602, from boyhood he took to reading religious books, including the Chinese classics and the writings of ancient sages. While residing in the city of Luoyang, Xuanzang was ordained as a śrāmaṇera at the age of thirteen. Due to the political and social unrest caused by the fall of the Sui dynasty, he went to Chengdu in Sichuan, where he was ordained as a bhikṣu at the age of twenty, he travelled throughout China in search of sacred books of Buddhism. At length, he came to Chang'an under the peaceful rule of Emperor Taizong of Tang, where Xuanzang developed the desire to visit India, he knew about Faxian's visit to India and, like him, was concerned about the incomplete and misinterpreted nature of the Buddhist texts that had reached China.
He became famous for his seventeen-year overland journey to India, recorded in detail in the classic Chinese text Great Tang Records on the Western Regions, which in turn provided the inspiration for the novel Journey to the West written by Wu Cheng'en during the Ming dynasty, around nine centuries after Xuanzang's death. Less common romanizations of "Xuanzang" include Hyun Tsan, Hhuen Kwan, Hiouen Thsang, Hiuen Tsang, Hiuen Tsiang, Hsien-tsang, Hsyan-tsang, Hsuan Chwang, Huan Chwang, Hsuan Tsiang, Hwen Thsang, Hsüan Chwang, Hhüen Kwān, Xuan Cang, Xuan Zang, Shuen Shang, Yuan Chang, Yuan Chwang, Yuen Chwang. Hsüan, Hüan, Huan and Chuang are found; the sound written x in pinyin and hs in Wade–Giles, which represents the s- or sh-like in today's Mandarin, was pronounced as the h-like in early Mandarin, which accounts for the archaic transliterations with h. Another form of his official style was "Yuanzang," written 元奘, it is this form that accounts for such variants as Yuan Chang, Yuan Chwang, Yuen Chwang.
Tang Monk is transliterated /Thang Seng/. Another of Xuanzang's standard aliases is Sanzang Fashi: 法 being a Chinese translation for Sanskrit "Dharma" or Pali/Pakrit Dhamma, the implied meaning being "Buddhism". "Sanzang" is the Chinese term for the Buddhist canon, or Tripiṭaka, in some English-language fiction and English translations of Journey to the West, Xuanzang is addressed as "Tripitaka." Xuanzang was born Chen Hui around 602 in Chenhe Village, Goushi Town and died on 5 February 664 in Yuhua Palace. His family was noted for its erudition for generations, Xuanzang was the youngest of four children, his ancestor was a minister of the Eastern Han dynasty. His great-grandfather Chen Qin served as the prefect of Shangdang during the Eastern Wei, his father Chen Hui was a conservative Confucian who served as the magistrate of Jiangling County during the Sui dynasty, but gave up office and withdrew into seclusion to escape the political turmoil that gripped China towards the end of the Sui. According to traditional biographies, Xuanzang displayed a superb intelligence and earnestness, amazing his father by his careful observance of the Confucian rituals at the age of eight.
Along with his brothers and sister, he received an early education from his father, who instructed him in classical works on filial piety and several other canonical treatises of orthodox Confucianism. Although his household was Confucian, at a young age, Xuanzang expressed interest in becoming a Buddhist monk like one of his elder brothers. After the death of his father in 611, he lived with his older brother Chén Sù for five years at Jingtu Monastery in Luoyang, supported by the Sui state. During this time he studied Mahayana as well as various early Buddhist schools, preferring the former. In 618, the Sui Dynasty collapsed and Xuanzang and his brother fled to Chang'an, proclaimed as the capital of the Tang dynasty, thence southward to Chengdu, Sichuan. Here the two brothers spent two or three years in further study in the monastery of Kong Hui, including the Abhidharma-kośa Śāstra; when Xuanzang requested to take Buddhist orders at the age of thirteen, the abbot Zheng Shanguo made an exception in his case because of his precocious knowledge.
Xuanzang was ordained as a monk in 622, at the age of twenty. The myriad contradictions and discrepancies in the texts at that time prompted Xuanzang to decide to go to India and study in the cradle of Buddhism, he subsequently left his brother and returned to Chang'an to study foreign languages and to continue his study of Buddhism. He began his mastery of Sanskrit in 626, also studied Tocharian. During this time, Xuanzang became interested in the metaphysical Yogacara school of Buddhism. In 627, Xuanzang had a dream that convinced him to journey to India. Tang China and the Göktürks were at war at the time and Emperor Taizong of Tang had prohibited foreign travel. Xuanzang persuaded some Buddhist guards at Yumen Pass and slipped out of the
Abu'l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar ابو الفتح جلال الدين محمد اكبر, popularly known as Akbar I as Akbar the Great, was the third Mughal emperor, who reigned from 1556 to 1605. Akbar succeeded his father, under a regent, Bairam Khan, who helped the young emperor expand and consolidate Mughal domains in India. A strong personality and a successful general, Akbar enlarged the Mughal Empire to include nearly all of the Indian Subcontinent north of the Godavari river, his power and influence, extended over the entire country because of Mughal military, political and economic dominance. To unify the vast Mughal state, Akbar established a centralised system of administration throughout his empire and adopted a policy of conciliating conquered rulers through marriage and diplomacy. To preserve peace and order in a religiously and culturally diverse empire, he adopted policies that won him the support of his non-Muslim subjects. Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic state identity, Akbar strove to unite far-flung lands of his realm through loyalty, expressed through an Indo-Persian culture, to himself as an emperor who had near-divine status.
Mughal India developed a strong and stable economy, leading to commercial expansion and greater patronage of culture. Akbar himself was a patron of culture, he was fond of literature, created a library of over 24,000 volumes written in Sanskrit, Persian, Latin and Kashmiri, staffed by many scholars, artists, scribes and readers. He did much of the cataloging himself through three main groupings. Akbar established the library of Fatehpur Sikri for women, he decreed that schools for the education of both Muslims and Hindus should be established throughout the realm, he encouraged bookbinding to become a high art. Holy men of many faiths, poets and artisans adorned his court from all over the world for study and discussion. Akbar's courts at Delhi and Fatehpur Sikri became centres of the arts and learning. Perso-Islamic culture began to merge and blend with indigenous Indian elements, a distinct Indo-Persian culture emerged characterized by Mughal style arts and architecture. Disillusioned with orthodox Islam and hoping to bring about religious unity within his empire, Akbar promulgated Din-i-Ilahi, a syncretic creed derived from Islam and Hinduism as well as some parts of Zoroastrianism and Christianity.
A simple, monotheistic cult, tolerant in outlook, it centered on Akbar as a prophet, for which he drew the ire of the ulema and orthodox Muslims. Many of his courtiers followed Din-i-Ilahi as their religion as well, as many believed that Akbar was a prophet. One famous courtier who followed this blended religion was Birbal. Akbar's reign influenced the course of Indian history. During his rule, the Mughal empire tripled in wealth, he instituted effective political and social reforms. By abolishing the sectarian tax on non-Muslims and appointing them to high civil and military posts, he was the first Mughal ruler to win the trust and loyalty of the native subjects, he had Sanskrit literature translated, participated in native festivals, realising that a stable empire depended on the co-operation and good-will of his subjects. Thus, the foundations for a multicultural empire under Mughal rule were laid during his reign. Akbar was succeeded as emperor by his son, Prince Salim known as Jahangir. Defeated in battles at Chausa and Kannauj in 1539 to 1540 by the forces of Sher Shah Suri, Mughal emperor Humayun fled westward to Sindh.
There he met and married the 14-year-old Hamida Banu Begum, daughter of Shaikh Ali Akbar Jami, a teacher of Humayun's younger brother Hindal Mirza. Jalal ud-din Muhammad Akbar was born the next year on 15 October 1542 at the Rajput Fortress of Umerkot in Sindh, where his parents had been given refuge by the local Hindu ruler Rana Prasad. During the extended period of Humayun's exile, Akbar was brought up in Kabul by the extended family of his paternal uncles, Kamran Mirza and Askari Mirza, his aunts, in particular Kamran Mirza's wife, he spent his youth learning to hunt and fight, making him a daring and brave warrior, but he never learned to read or write. This, did not hinder his search for knowledge as it is said always when he retired in the evening he would have someone read. On 20 November 1551, Humayun's youngest brother, Hindal Mirza, died fighting in a battle against Kamran Mirza's forces. Upon hearing the news of his brother's death, Humayun was overwhelmed with grief. Out of affection for the memory of his brother, Humayun betrothed Hindal's nine-year-old daughter, Ruqaiya Sultan Begum, to his son Akbar.
Their betrothal took place in Kabul, shortly after Akbar's first appointment as a viceroy in the province of Ghazni. Humayun conferred on the imperial couple all the wealth and adherents of Hindal and Ghazni. One of Hindal's jagir was given to his nephew, appointed as its viceroy and was given the command of his uncle's army. Akbar's marriage with Ruqaiya was solemnized in Jalandhar, when both of them were 14-years-old, she was his first chief consort. Following the chaos over the succession of Sher Shah Suri's son Islam Shah, Humayun reconquered Delhi in 1555, leading an army provided by his Persian ally Tahmasp I. A few months Humayun died. Akbar's guardian, Bairam Khan concealed the death. Akbar succeeded Humayun on 14 February 1556, while in the midst of a war against Sikandar Shah to reclaim
Uttar Pradesh is a state in northern India. With over 200 million inhabitants, it is the most populous state in India as well as the most populous country subdivision in the world, it was created on 1 April 1937 as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh during British rule, was renamed Uttar Pradesh in 1950. The state is divided into 75 districts with the capital being Lucknow; the main ethnic group is the Hindavi people. On 9 November 2000, a new state, was carved out from the state's Himalayan hill region; the two major rivers of the state, the Ganga and Yamuna, join at Allahabad and flow as the Ganga further east. Hindi is the most spoken language and is the official language of the state; the state is bordered by Rajasthan to the west, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi to the northwest and Nepal to the north, Bihar to the east, Madhya Pradesh to the south, touches the states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to the southeast. It covers 243,290 square kilometres, equal to 7.33% of the total area of India, is the fourth-largest Indian state by area.
The economy of Uttar Pradesh is the fourth-largest state economy in India with ₹15.79 lakh crore in gross domestic product and a per capita GDP of ₹57,480. Agriculture and service industries are the largest parts of the state's economy; the service sector comprises travel and tourism, hotel industry, real estate and financial consultancies. President's rule has been imposed in Uttar Pradesh ten times since 1968, for different reasons and for a total of 1,700 days; the natives of the state are called Uttar Bhartiya, or more either Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Bundeli, Kannauji, or Rohilkhandi depending upon their region of origin. Hinduism is practised by more than three-fourths of the population, with Islam being the next largest religious group. Uttar Pradesh was home to powerful empires of medieval India; the state has several historical and religious tourist destinations, such as Agra, Vrindavan and Allahabad. Modern human hunter-gatherers have been in Uttar Pradesh since between around 85,000 and 72,000 years ago.
There have been prehistorical finds in Uttar Pradesh from the Middle and Upper Paleolithic dated to 21,000–31,000 years old and Mesolithic/Microlithic hunter-gatherer settlement, near Pratapgarh, from around 10550–9550 BC. Villages with domesticated cattle and goats and evidence of agriculture began as early as 6000 BC, developed between c. 4000 and 1500 BC beginning with the Indus Valley Civilisation and Harappa Culture to the Vedic period and extending into the Iron Age. The kingdom of Kosala, in the Mahajanapada era, was located within the regional boundaries of modern-day Uttar Pradesh. According to Hindu legend, the divine king Rama of the Ramayana epic reigned in Ayodhya, the capital of Kosala. Krishna, another divine king of Hindu legend, who plays a key role in the Mahabharata epic and is revered as the eighth reincarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, is said to have been born in the city of Mathura, in Uttar Pradesh; the aftermath of the Mahabharata yuddh is believed to have taken place in the area between the Upper Doab and Delhi, during the reign of the Pandava king Yudhishthira.
The kingdom of the Kurus corresponds to the Black and Red Ware and Painted Gray Ware culture and the beginning of the Iron Age in northwest India, around 1000 BC. Control over Gangetic plains region was of vital importance to the power and stability of all of India's major empires, including the Maurya, Kushan and Gurjara-Pratihara empires. Following the Huns' invasions that broke the Gupta empire, the Ganges-Yamuna Doab saw the rise of Kannauj. During the reign of Harshavardhana, the Kannauj empire reached its zenith, it spanned from Punjab in the north and Gujarat in the west to Bengal in the east and Odisha in the south. It included parts of central India, north of the Narmada River and it encompassed the entire Indo-Gangetic plain. Many communities in various parts of India claim descent from the migrants of Kannauj. Soon after Harshavardhana's death, his empire disintegrated into many kingdoms, which were invaded and ruled by the Gurjara-Pratihara empire, which challenged Bengal's Pala Empire for control of the region.
Kannauj was several times invaded by the south Indian Rashtrakuta Dynasty, from the 8th century to the 10th century. After fall of Pala empire, the Chero dynasty ruled from 12th century to 18th century. Parts or all of Uttar Pradesh were ruled by the Delhi Sultanate for 320 years. Five dynasties ruled over the Delhi Sultanate sequentially: the Mamluk dynasty, the Khalji dynasty, the Tughlaq dynasty, the Sayyid dynasty, the Lodi dynasty. In the 16th century, Babur, a Timurid descendant of Timur and Genghis Khan from Fergana Valley, swept across the Khyber Pass and founded the Mughal Empire, covering India, along with modern-day Afghanistan and Bangladesh; the Mughals were descended from Persianised Central Asian Turks. In the Mughal era, Uttar Pradesh became the heartland of the empire. Mughal emperors Humayun ruled from Delhi. In 1540 an Afghan, Sher Shah Suri, took over the reins of Uttar Pradesh after defeating the Mughal king Humanyun. Sher Shah and his son Islam Shah ruled Uttar Pradesh from their capital at Gwalior.
After the death of Islam Shah Suri, his prime minister Hemu became the de facto ruler of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, th
Jodha of Mandore
Rao Jodha was an Indian ruler of Mandore in the present-day state of Rajasthan. He was the son of Rao Ranmal of the Rathore clan, he is known for founding the city of Jodhpur in 1459. Rao Ranmal secured the throne of Mandore in 1427. In addition to ruling Mandore, Rao Ranmal became the administrator of Mewar to assist Maharana Mokal. After the assassination of Maharana Mokal by two brothers in 1433, Ranmal continued as administrator of Mewar at the side of Rana Kumbha. After Rana Kumbha assassinated Rao Jodha's father Rao Ranmal, Rao Jodha escaped Mewar with his men. 700 horsemen accompanied Rao Jodha from Chittor. Fighting near Chittor and a valiant attempt to bar the pursuers at Someshwar Pass resulted in heavy losses amongst Jodha's warriors; when Jodha reached Mandore he had only seven people accompanying him. Jodha collected whatever forces he abandoned Mandore and pressed on towards Jangalu. Jodha managed to reach safety at Kahuni. For 15 years Jodha tried in vain to recapture Mandore. Jodha's opportunity to strike came in 1453 with Rana Kumbha facing simultaneous attacks by the Sultans of Malwa and Gujarat.
Jodha made a surprise attack on Mandore using horses seized from the Thakur of Setrawa and other jagirdars. Jodha's forces captured Mandore with relative ease. Jodha successively captured Chaukade, Merta and Kosana. Rana Kumbha did make attempts to recapture these territories, albeit unsuccessfully. Jodha and Kumbha settled their differences in order to face their common enemies, the rulers of Malwa and Gujarat. Once, late at night, Rao Jodha stopped at a farmers house, they did not recognize. He was given a bowl of an Indian stew. Jodha burnt his fingers; the farmer's wife commented, "Stranger, you are making the same mistake. Khichdi is hottest in the centre and coolest at the edge"; this prompted Jodha to stop worrying about Mandore and just focus on outlying forts, which he managed to win with ease. In due time he captured Mandore. According to Nainsi's Vigat the rulers of Jalore and Bundi submitted to Rao Jodha. Ajmer and Sambhar were ceded to Jodha by Udaysimha; the ruler of Mohilavati, Ajit Singh died in a battle with Rao Jodha's forces and the city was captured some years later.
After settling down in the aforementioned village of Kahuni, Jodha's son Bika founded the kingdom of Bikaner. Rao Jodha thus laid the foundation of the powerful Jodhpur State. A holy man sensibly advised Rao Jodha to move the capital to hilltop safety. By 1459, it became evident. Chidia-tunk, a high rocky ridge, nine km to the south of Mandore was an obvious choice for the new city of Jodhagarh; the natural elevation was enhanced by a fortress of staggering proportions, to which Rao Jodha's successors added over the centuries. Jodhagarh was on the important Delhi to Gujarat trade route and it benefited from the trade of silk, sandalwood and other items; the Mehrangarh Fort, situated on a 125 m high hill, is among the most impressive and formidable forts in Rajasthan. The construction of the fort was begun by Maharaja Rao Jodha in 1459 and was improvised by Maharaja Jaswant Singh; the fort had seven gates. There is a first gate with spikes to prevent attack from elephants; the Fatehpol or victory gate was erected by Maharaja Ajit Singh in 1707 to commemorate his victory over the Mughals.
The other gates include the Jayapol, built by Maharaja Man Singh in 1806, following his victory over the armies of Jaipur and Bikaner. Rao Jodha died on 6 April 1489, aged 73; the death of Rao Jodha was followed by a struggle for succession amongst his sons. He was succeeded by his son Rao Satal. After his death, his brother Rao Suja occupied the throne. Jodhpur State Rulers of Marwar Panch Mahal Maroth Jiliya alias Abhaypura List of Rajputs Rao Nara Sharma, Dasharatha. Lectures on Rajput History and Culture, Delhi:Motilal Banarsidass