History

Ancient History

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History of Rajputs is very interesting. First of all, Rajput isn’t a class. It is just a group, which ruled in the later period, amongst Kshatriya class. There are many other warrior groups amongst Kshatriyas which ruled during early period.

For men who had been raised their whole life as warriors, nothing was considered more honourable for the Kshatriya male than to fight and die on the battlefield for the sake of dharma (righteousness). Rajputs did defend India from foreign invasions during early period of islamic invasions.

According to the Hindu Mythology, the Rajputs of Rajasthan were the descendants of the Kshatriyas or warriors of Vedic India. The emergence of the Rajput warrior clans was in the 6th and 7th centuries. Rajputs ancestry can be divided into two: the “solar” or suryavanshi-those descended from Rama, the hero of the epic Ramayana, and the “lunar” or chandravanshi, who claimed descent from Krishna, the hero of the epic Mahabharata. Later a third clan was added, the agnikula or fire-born, said to have emerged from the flames of a sacrificial fire on Mt Abu.

It has been accepted that the Rajputs were divided into thirty-six races and twenty-one kingdoms. The Rajput clans gave rise to dynasties like Sisodias of Mewar (Udaipur), the Kachwahas of Amber (Jaipur), the Rathors of Marwar (Jodhpur & Bikaner), the Hadas of Jhalwawar, Kota & Bundi, the Bhattis of Jaisalmer, the Shekhawats of Shekhawati and the Chauhans of Ajmer.

Royal Rajputs of Rajasthan, Rajasthan and Gujarat, ruled for a period of more than 500 years successfully. Being essentially the warrior class, was the sheer force of Rajput soldiers. There bodyguards and guards who were very loyal to his master. In fact, the Rajputs were known for their loyalty and trustworthy nature. Rajputs were skillful warriors follow a strict code of conduct when he is fighting off an enemy came running. There are many stories about the heroism of the Rajputs are folklores.

A very famous Rajput ruler Prithviraj Chauhan 12th century around a fierce battle was fought against Mohammad Gauri. Some of the Mughal-Rajput Islam, which the former colonial empire in Southeast Asia’s largest foundation to convert the rulers invaded. Rajputs were known for their unique architectural wonders and many palaces and forts in Rajasthan and Gujarat to build around. They built forts and temples still stand strong and provide a glimpse of the Rajput royal heritage.

One more famous ruler Maharana Pratap Singh who fought against moughal rulers.

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MAHARANA PRATAP SINGH

Maharana Pratap was born on May 9th 1540 in Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan. His father was Maharana Udai Singh II and his mother was Rani Jeevant Kanwar. He was the eldest of twenty-five sons and hence given the title of Crown Prince. He was destined to be the 54th ruler of Mewar, in the line of the Sisodiya Rajputs.

Maharana Pratap’s first and most favorite wife was Maharani Ajabde Punwar. Maharana Pratap altogether had 11 wives.All of Pratap’s other marriages were conducted for political reasons. He had 17 sons and five daughters. Of his children, Amar Singh, who was born to Ajabde, was the eldest.

Battle of Haldighat

Rana Pratap Singh in fighting for Chittod and joined him in his battle against the Mughals; they would not retreat from their goal. They assured him, “Rana, be sure that we all are with you; waiting only for your signal and we are ready to sacrifice our life. Akbar tried his best to bring Rana Pratap under his clutches; but all in vain. Akbar got angry as no compromise could be arrived at with Rana Pratap and he declared a war. Rana Pratap also started preparations.

He shifted his capital to Kumbhalgad in the Aravalli range of mountains which was difficult to access. He recruited tribal people and people dwelling in forests in his army. These people had no experience of fighting any war; but he trained them. He appealed to all Rajput chieftains to come under one flag for Mewar’s independence.

Rana Pratap’s army of 22,000 soldiers met 2,00,000 soldiers of Akbar at Haldighat. Rana Pratap and his soldiers exhibited great valour in this battle although he had to retreat but Akbar’s army was not successful in completely defeating Rana Pratap.

Chetak  –  The horse

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Along with Rana Pratap, his faithful horse named ‘Chetak’ also became immortal in this battle. ‘Chetak’ was seriously injured in the battle of Haldighat but to save his master’s life, it jumped over a big canal.As soon as the canal was crossed, ‘Chetak’ fell down and died thus it saved Rana Pratap, risking its own life. The strong Maharana cried like a child over the death of his faithful horse. Later he constructed a beautiful garden at the place where Chetak had breathed its last.

Death

In January 1597, Rana Pratap Singh Mewar’s greatest hero was seriously injured in a hunting accident. Maharana Pratap was lying on the bed made of grass even when he was dying as his oath of freeing Chittod was not still fulfilled. At the last moment, he took his son Amar Singh’s hand and handed over the responsibility of freeing Chittod to his son and died in peace. he died on January 29, 1597 in Chavand.

Over time the Rajputs power mainly to the fact that they were unable to move with the times began to fall due. Rajasthan and Gujarat, the Mughals invaded and occupied large parts. After Babar’s efforts, the Emperor Humayun and Akbar, the Rajput Empire about virtually all parts of the conquered. Marital alliance with the Mughals and Rajputs, not just by the war was through. With the advent of the British, all the Rajput states such Rajputs British colonies became royal rule ended.

Bundela’s era started with maharaja Rudra Pratap Singh of Bundelkhand rajput ruler.

The Bundelas are a Rajput clan of Chattari lineage who ruled several states in central India in Bundelkhand region from the 16th century. Chattar (Chattari, Chhatri or Chatri) is the mother caste of Suryavanshi Rajputs which originated from Rajputana (Rajasthan). However, there are many gotras and sub-castes in other major dynasties which emerged from the Chattari lineage. Chattaris belong to the Kshatriya military and ruling order of the traditional Vedic-Hindu social class system as outlined in the Vedas.

Reason behind the name Bundelkhand

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According to India by Fannie Roper Feudge, copyright 1895, In the fourteenth century, Hurdeo Singh, a Rajput prince was expelled from the Kshatriya caste for marrying a Bourdi slave-girl, and left the Rajputs to go and reside at the court of one of the smaller sovereigns of Central India, where a young family grew up around him. In process of time the king’s son became enamored of Hurdeo’s beautiful daughter and asked her in marriage of her father. Hurdeo gave his consent, on condition that the king and his whole court would be present at a banquet to be prepared by Hurdeo’s own hand, thus forfeiting, as he himself had done, the right to the rank Kshatriya. From affection for his son, the aged king consented to set aside his scruples, and on the nuptial day all the court were seated around Hurdeo’s princely board. There in magnificent goblets of silver and gold, drinks containing opium were served to the guests who, being thus deprived of the power of resistance, fell an easy prey to Hurdeo’s hired assassins, who stood concealed, each man armed with his weapon, behind the tapestry at the upper end of the hall. Hurdeo having thus gained possession of this throne, soon made himself master of all the surrounding country; and, with his sons and the numerous adherents he had enlisted in his cause, he formed a new clan known as the Bourdillas, or ‘Sons of the Slave;’ thus giving the country its present name of Boundilacund or Bundelcund. Since then Warriors from the region have often gone into battle shouting Bund lelo.

How the migration happened

The Bundelas are the fiercest and most complex of the Rajput race.Their loyalty to and like that of other Rajput races is unmatched as is their skill at warfare (astras) and knowledge (shastras).The most dominant community from this area is of Chhatri Suryanvanshi Rajputs by origin called as Bundelas and Chandrauls, Chandelas or Chandravashi Kshatriyas.

In the early fourteenth century, their earliest known ancestor, Sahanpal Bundela, first came down into southern India, along with the armies of the Rajput Parmara and Chauhan kings and captured the regions forming what we now know as Bundelkhand (in the present states of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh). The Bundela clan settled down in this region as vassals of the other two Rajput clans.

The Bundela’s moved south from the Vindhya Range into the Bundelkhand region, People who moved far south in to Maratwada and deep south are called Bondili which now bears their name.

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Bondili is the corrupted name of Bundela in south India after their move. Here we need to know the reason why they moved to south. It’s happened in the ruling time of Veer Singh Dev / Beer Singh Deo (1592-1627). Bundelas always revolted against Mughals and fought for independence. After so many attacks Jahangir captured the kingdom of Veer Singh and the king made alliance with the mughal emperor. Because of loss of soldiers of mughal army, Jahangeer got 3 thousand bundela soldiers from Veer Singh Dev 1 thousand is cavalry and 2 thousand are infantry.

Also, some other Bundela Rajput kings have worked as army heads in Mughal army and moved to south India. In the process of mughal empire expansion, they fought sincerely and become kings for some of the south indian kingdoms. For example, tamil people still remember the legendary Raja De Singh (Tej Singh) S/o Swarup Singh for his bravery in the area of Gingee or Chenji.

Raja Bheem Singh worked as Governor for Rayala Seema regions (Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh) for 20 years Under Mughal rule (Reference book “Srisaila Charitra of Srisailam”).

Here is the reference for the complete Bundelkhand dynasty tree.

Modern History

In the current era, bondili people settled in different parts of South India especially in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Kerala. In our community, most of the people are living below poverty line.

Bondili’s who resides in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamilnadu declared as backward classes. But in Karnataka as per the census report 1994 they called as Rajputs and belong to a forward community, and bondilis who resides in Kerala are in very less number.

Sri Late R Balaji Singh, Nellore wrote a book in Telugu with some valuable information about the bondili history, bondili’s marriage rituals and etc explained clearly.

Modern Bondili History In Telugu PDF-1

Modern Bondili History In Telugu PDF-2

Modern Bondili History In Telugu PDF-3

Modern Bondili History In Telugu PDF-4

Map of present Bundelkhand.