The regions comprising the present day Rajasthan
was ruled by the Rathore Dynasty during the period extending from the 15th century to the 20th century. This dynasty originally hailed from Kannauj
in Uttar Pradesh
. The city of Jodhpur
was founded by Rao Jodhaji, a prominent ruler of this dynasty. His son, Rao Bhikaji Rathore, founded another city Bikaner
and established it as the new capital.
The interests of Rathore dynasty was safeguarded following the marriage of Rao Bhikaji‘s great grandson Rai Singhji’s daughter with the Mughal Emperor Jehangir. This marital alliance assured that the Mughals would not intrude into the Rathore kingdom. The members of the Rathore clan served the Mughals in their various campaigns as soldiers, governors and statesmen. They earned titles of distinction for their service. The decline of the Mughals however gave rise to a new threat - the Marathas from Maharashtra. As a result the Rathores entered into an alliance with the British, the new dominant player in India. Under the British rule, the Rathore troops served alongside the British troops in their numerous campaigns.
Under the British alliance the most prolific ruler was Maharaja Ganga Singhji, who eventually rose to the rank of a General in the British army. He was only one of the four Indians to attain the post. He represented India during various international conferences. He signed the Versailles Treaty on India’s behalf in the year 1919. Following his death in 1943, he was succeeded by his son Maharaja Sadul Singhji. The new king played a significant role in the formation of the Rajasthan state in the Indian Union. He was succeeded by Maharaja Karni Singhji, his son, and later by Maharaja Sri Narendra Singhji, his grandson. Maharaja Sri Narendra Singhji was the last male heir to the Rathore throne. Following his death in 2003, the crown has passed to a male relative.