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Rajputs constitute one of the major Hindu Kshatriya groups from India. They claim descent from ancient royal warrior dynasties of Kshatriyas. They are identified with the word "Rajanya" found in ancient Indian literature and trace their roots to Rajputana or Rajputstan (India). In ancient times the son of a king was referred as to Rajput- Raja-putra. (Lit - king's son - Prince)
The Rajputs consist of 36 different clans. These are divided into three different lines of descent (called vanshas). They are:
- Suryavanshi - descendants of the sun god, Surya.
- Chandravanshi - descendants of the moon god, Chandra.
- Agnivanshi - descendants of the fire god, Agni.
Asopa informs us this observation after understanding meaning of word Rajputra or Rajput from many ancient texts:
"Rajput is a corrupt form of the Vedic word Rajputra. It occurs in Rigveda, Yajurvedic Kaphak Samhita, and Aitareya Bramana of the Rigveda as a synonym for Râjanya. ...In Mahabharata also the word Rajputra has been used in the sense of nobles and chiefs, as well as ordinary Kshatriyas. The literal meaning of Kshatriya again is the son of a Kshatra. ... So the primary meaning of Rajanya and Kshatriya is the same and Rajputra is used for either of the two words though its meaning becomes distinct as we proceed on the long road of time... As pointed out by G.H. Ojha in Rajputane ka Itihasa Vol. I, Rajputras have been referred to in Kautilya’s Arthasastra, Kalidasa’s Malvikagnimitra, Asvaghosha’s Saundarananda and Banabhatta’s Harshacharita and Kadambari. The word has been used with different connotations by these authors. In Kautilya’s work it implies sons of the king while by Kalidasa and Asvaghosha it is used for nobles. Banabhatta in the first work uses it in the sense of nobles and in the latter work as sons of the nobles”
- Rajput Vansh and Clans
- Rajputs Archived 2006-02-12 at the Wayback Machine Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition; 2005
- Rajput Archived 2007-10-23 at the Wayback Machine Encyclopedia Britannica; 1911
- Rajputs in Rajoa, Dadyal Archived 2008-02-09 at the Wayback Machine
- Ek Tha Raja
- Kota Chauhan Clan