Tuesday, 2 October 2012

History of Saharan

Earlier they were in Central Asia then they migrated to northern salt-range Punjab region in India and at the time of Alexander's invasion in Punjab in 326 B.C. they fought with Alexander The Great and than Saran along with Sihag, Punia, Godara, Beniwal and Johiya migrated to north Rajasthan region known as Jangladesh and ruled there till 15th century.

As per local traditions, they were rulers in Jangladesh. Jangladesh coincided with the princely state of Bikaner in Rajasthan. Megasthenes described them as Syrieni, a powerful warrior race in his book Indica.

Rathores under the leadership of Bika and Kandal were spreading their rule in Jangladesh. At that time Saharan Jat, though numerically far fewer in number, were ruling in about 300 towns and villages in Jangledesh. Prooloji was their king and their capital was at Bhadang town. Kaijar, Fokh, Boochawas, Sabai, Badina and Sarsel were other famous towns in their state.

Prooloji had war with Rathores and made them retreat on many occasions but subsequently the Godara Jats aligned with Rathores and due to the sudden deceit and betrayal by the Godaras, Saharans who otherwise were about to win decisively had to ultimately face a defeat. As a mark of gratitude, all Bikaner kings till the onset of independent India made it a point to get themselves officially anointed and declared as king only by a Godara during their coronation ceremony. The reason of the betrayal being that the chieftain of Godaras, Pandu, the patriarchal head of the Godaras; whose residence was at Shekhsiri, had eyes on and consequent to the war abducted the wife of Adhiswar of Saharans that made Godaras the enemy of all other Jat rulers. Godaras were the numerically largest among the Jats of Jangladesh. Once the Saharans were gone, the lack of harmony and coordination among other Jat rulers and their consequent internal strife led to the subjugation of Jat states in Jangladesh and established the Rathore Kingdom who in turn could subsequently sustain it due to their alliance with the Muslim rulers of various lineages.

But select bands of Saharans once again reared their head in being behind the emergence of almost all Jat kingdoms to one extent or the other in later medieval era including the mighty kingdoms of Punjab on both sides of Satluj through their military actions. The Sukerchakia misl forces particularly had a large number of them. Incidentally, the armies of the Sukerchakia misl initially consisted of only about two thousand people (with majority being of Sansi (Jat) gotra), numerically one of the weakest, but the dedicated bonding and military valour present in the misl led it to rule the mightiest kingdom of Northern India at that time under Maharaja Ranjit Singh whose won over areas included previous Mughal, Afgan as well as Rajput principalities. Previously Saharan warriors had also actively and significantly contributed as Faujdars in the conquest of present day Haryana region by Jats under Maharaja Jawahar Singh during the period 1756–64.

They continued to hold sway though it is recorded historically that the great epidemic of 1781 had greatly depleted their ranks besides the other reason of bitter infighting amongst the Bharatpur royals (Sinsinwar) which led to the loss of lives in a huge way. It all led to complete anarchy in the region for quite some time after the arrival of the Marathas till the Britishers firmly established their control in 1803. On the other side of the Satluj also, the Misl of Phulkias made the most enduring kingdom of Punjab whose grandeur ranked amongst the highest in India though its glory could hardly ever touch that of the kingdom of Sukerchakias. The kingdom existed till the curtains were finally drawn on feudal system in modern day (post independence) India. The misl was in part successful in its endeavour due to presence in it of large bands of Saharan/Sran(s) who inhabited the region (Malwa of Punjab) in high numbers and contributed in a major way in its battles.

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