|Author of this article is Laxman Burdak लक्ष्मण बुरड़क|
Tejaji (तेजाजी) or Veer Teja (वीर तेजा) (1074- 1103) was a Jat folk-deity who lived in Rajasthan in India. The pages of history of Rajasthan are full of many heroic events, stories and examples where people put their life and families at risk and kept the pride and upheld moral values like loyalty, freedom and truth etc. Veer Teja was one of those famous persons in the history of Rajasthan.
Birth of Tejaji
Tejaji is considered to be folk-deity and worshiped in entire Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh by all communities. Tejaji as a historical person was born on Bhadrapad Shukla Dashmi, dated 29 January 1074, in the family of Dhaulya gotra Jats. His father was Chaudhary Taharji (Thirraj), a chieftain of Kharnal in Nagaur district in Rajasthan. His mother's name was Sugna daughter of Dulan Sodhi of village Tyod (Kishangarh). Mother and father worshipped Shiva for birth of Tejaji, who took birth as a boon of Shiva. His aura was so strong that he was named Teja.
History of Dhaulya clan
The Dhaulya clan ancestors of Tejaji were settled in Khilchipur in Madhya Pradesh. The Naga Jats of Marwar are from Vasuki or Ganapati Nagavansh. The Dhaulya clan started after Dhawal Rao or Dhaula Rao ruler of Nagavansh. Swet Naga in Sanskrit is the Dhaulya Naga in prakrit language. Tejaji's ancestor Udairaj occupied Khirnal area in Marwar and made it his capital. There were twenty four villages in Khirnal pargana and area was quite extensive. This pargana of Khirnal was very famous during those days.
There is mention of Dhulia rulers by Ram Swarup Joon in Badli area of Haryana. Badra Sen was an officer in the army of Prithvi Raj. Badli Pargana was his estate. He belonged to a Dhulia family of Indergarh. Before the Chauhan rule, Bhadra, Ajmer, Indergarh etc. were the capitals of the Gor Jats. After the death of Prithvi Raj there was chaos in the country. The Khokhar Jats slayed Mohammad Ghori near Multan. There was a woman named Bodli. The village was named Badli in her honour. Sant Sarang Dev's samadhi (shrine) still exists in Badli and is widely worshipped.
Tejaji was born in the 21st generation of Dhalya dynasty epi-person Mahabala. If we take period of one generation to be 25 years then the period of Mahabala comes around 550 AD. This was around the end of Gupta Empire. The Gupta Empire (320 - 540 AD) was one of the largest political and military empires in ancient India. It was ruled by the Gupta dynasty from around 240 to 550 CE and covered most of northern India and what is now eastern Pakistan and Bangladesh. During this period it was considered a Great power. The period of this Jat Empire is considered to be the Golden period in the History of India. Mahabala, the primeval man of Dhalya clan ancestry was probably a feudatory of Guptas probably in the eastern part around Kalinga. This fact get strength from the existence of Dhauli (धोली) hills located on the banks of the river Daya, 8 km south of Bhubaneswar in Orissa. Dhaulya clan of Jats probably get name from Dhauli. It is a hill with vast open space adjoining it, and has major Edicts of Ashoka engraved on a mass of rock, by the side of the road leading to the summit of the hill. Dhauli hill is presumed to be the area where Kalinga War was fought. The Dhavaleswar temple is one of the larger temples in Dhauli. According to Dr Naval Viyogi remains of their offshoot, the royal family of Dhavaladeva is still existing at Dalbhumigarh near Kharagpur in Orissa. 
There is a need to further research the history of ancestors of Tejaji as given in the Genealogy of Tejaji.
Genealogy of Tejaji
Mansukh Ranwa has provided the Genealogy of Dhaulya rulers. The primeval man of their ancestry was Mahābal, whose descendants and estimated periods calculated @ 30 years for each generation are as under:
- 1. Mahābal (महाबल) (480 AD)
- 2. Bhīmsen (भीमसेन) (510 AD)
- 3. Pīlapunjar (पीलपंजर) (540 AD)
- 4. Sārangdev (सारंगदेव) (570 AD)
- 5. Shaktipāl (शक्तिपाल) (600 AD)
- 6. Rāypāl (रायपाल) (630 AD)
- 7. Dhawalpāl (धवलपाल) (660 AD)
- 8. Nayanpāl (नयनपाल) (690 AD)
- 9. Gharṣanpāl (घर्षणपाल) (720 AD)
- 10. Takkapāl (तक्कपाल) (750 AD)
- 11. Mūlsen (मूलसेन) (780 AD)
- 12. Ratansen (रतनसेण ) (810 AD)
- 13. Śuṇḍal (सुण्डल) (840 AD)
- 14. Kuṇḍal (870 AD)
- 15. Pippal (पिप्पल) (900 AD)
- 16. Udayarāj (उदयराज) (930 AD)
- 17. Narpāl (नरपाल) (960 AD)
- 18. Kāmrāj (कामराज) (990 AD)
- 19. Vohitrāj (वोहितराज) (1020 AD)
- 20. Thirarāj (थिरराज) (1050 AD) or Tahadev (ताहड़देव)
- 21. Tejpal (तेजपाल) (1074- 1103 AD)
Taharji had six sons namely - Tejaji, Raṇaji, Guṇaji, Maheshji, Nagji, and Rūpji. He had two daughters namely - Rājal and Dūngari. Rājal was married. Rājal was married to Jogaji Siyag of village Tabījī (तबीजी). Rājal had become sati with his brother Tejaji.
Tejaji was born in the 21st generation of Dhaulya dynasty whose epi-person was Mahabala. If we take period of one generation to be 30 years then the period of Mahabala comes around 480 AD. This was the period of Gupta Empire (320 - 540 AD) and reign of Budha Gupta (477 - 495 AD). The Gupta Empire was one of the largest political and military empires in ancient India. During this period it was considered a Great power. The period of this Jat Empire is considered to be the Golden period in the History of India. Mahabala, the primeval man of Dhaulya clan ancestry was a feudatory of Guptas probably in the eastern part around Kalinga. This fact get strength from the existence of Dhauli (धोली) hills located on the banks of the river Daya, 8 km south of Bhubaneswar in Orissa. Dhaulya clan of Jats probably gave name to Dhauli. It is a hill with vast open space adjoining it, and has major Edicts of Ashoka engraved on a mass of rock, by the side of the road leading to the summit of the hill. Dhauli hill is presumed to be the area where Kalinga War was fought. The Dhavaleswar temple is one of the larger temples in Dhauli. According to Dr Naval Viyogi remains of their offshoot, the royal family of Dhavaladeva is still existing at Dalbhumigarh near Kharagpur in Orissa. 
During the times of Tejaji the country was ruled by small republics which were in constant struggle with each other. Taharji, Tejaji's father, was the Chieftain of Kharnal. There were conflicts between Nagavanshis and Aryans. According to Hindu mythology, During Mahabharata period, Parīkśita the successor of Yudhisthira, was the ruler of Hastinapura. Parikshita was cursed by a sage's son to die after snake bite. On hearing this, the king forswore the throne for his son Janamejaya and spent his last days listening to the discourses of Sage Sukadeva on Bhagwat. As prophecised, Snake king Takshaka bit Parikshita leading to his death. Infact Takshaka was a Nagavanshi King who killed Parikshita.
Story of Tejaji's sacrifice
Tejaji's halsotia and bhabhi's taunts - As per the tradition in that area, the chieftain had to initiate the ploughing of fields after first rains in jyestha month. Tejaji's father and brother were out of the village at first rains so his mother asked Tejaji to do the halsotiya (initiation of ploughing) in the fields. Tejaji went to fields and started ploughing. His bhabhi became late in fetching his food locally called Chhak, which angered Tejaji. On Tejaji's anger she taunted that his wife was in her father's home and it was shame on his part. This prompted him to go to bring his wife from in-laws. 
Bring Rajal first - Bhabhi asked Tejaji that before he brings his wife Pemal, he should bring his sister Rajal so that she can receive Pemal on her first arrival to Kharnal. Tejaji did not know that he was married. he asked his mother who told that Tejājī was married to Pemal in early childhood at Pushkar with the daughter of Rai Mal Jat of Jhanjhar gotra, the chief of village Paner. After marriage there was a dispute between māmā of Pemal and father of Tejaji in which mama of Pemal was killed. 
War with Meenas - When Tejaji was on way to village Tabiji to bring his sister Rajal, he was attacked by Meena sardar. Tejaji inserted the bhala in ground and challenged the enemies to take it out. Enemies could not do it and ran away. There was a war and Tejaji was victorious. He reached village Tabiji, got permission of her sister's husband Jogaji Siyag and brought Rajal to Kharnal. 
Tejaji reaches Paner - Next day early in the morning he mounted his mare Līlaṇ with palāṇ and started journey to Paner to bring his wife Pemal. It was a difficult journey, but he crossed all the nalas and Banas River running full of water due to heavy rains. He reached Paner by evening. At that time his mother-in-law was milking cows. The cows got disturbed due to Tejaji's brisk entry on his mare. His mother-in-law could not recognize Tejaji and cursed him that he be bite by a black snake as he has disturbed her cows. Tejaji got angry over this comment and decided to return without Pemal. Pemal became very annoyed on this behavior of her mother and requested his father and brother to stop Tejaji from returning back. Lachha also requested but to vain. At last Pemal came before Tejaji and told her story of agony. Tejaji stays back and meets Pemal first time.
Lachha Gujari's cows stolen - Lachha Gujari was a friend of Pemal. Her house was about 2 km from Rupangarh. Lachhan Gujari helped Pemal to meet with Teja. For this Lachhan rode on camel and went to Teja facing many clashes with Meena sardars en route. Lachhan reached Teja and gave Pemal's message that if Tejaji does not come she will die. Parents of Pemal had decided to re-marriage her with some other person. At this time Pemal was going to die but saved by Lachhan. Tejaji came to Paner and saw her there. Pemal was a beautiful and attractive girl. They were talking with each other that they heard knock of Lachha Gujari. Lachha told Tejaji that thieves have taken away all her cows and there is no body in this to help. Tejaji mounted his mare Lilan and started alone to fight with dacoits, who had taken away Lachha's cows. 
A man of word
Tejaji brings back cows - Tejaji assured Lachha that he will do his duty as Kshatriya and bring her cows back. Tejaji mounted on Lilan and took all five weapons with him. Pemal insisted on going with him. Teja found that dacoits who had stolen the cows of Lachhan Gujari were Meena sardar's men. He will go alone and defeat them. Tejaji, who was made to extend help to needy, decided to bring back those cows alone and thus left Pemal behind. 
The myth is that he encountered a snake burning in fire on the way and that was saved by Teja. That snake cursed Teja and wanted to bite Teja. In fact he had encountered with a Naga chieftain named Balunag who challenged Tejaji for a war. Tejaji assured Balunag that he will come back after fulfilling his promise. Balunag let him go in the direction in which Lachha’s cows were taken by Meenas. 
He killed many Meenas in the war. He was badly wounded in the process to bring Gujari's cows back from dacoits. Veer Teja was man of words. He brought all cows back to Paner where Lachha told that Kanan Kerda has yet not come back. Tejaji goes back to the hills where Meenas were hiding. He attacked them and brought back Kanan Kerda. Meenas attacked Tejaji and was seriously injured. He is said to have killed 150 Meenas in this war whose deolis are there in the Mandawaria hills. He killed all and came back victorious. 
While returning he kept his words and produced himself before the snake. The snake did not find unwounded place on the body of Teja so he offered to bite on tongue. The snakebite was on tongue of Teja. Teja died due to snakebite on 28 august 1103.
When Tejaji was about to die he called a raibari Asu Dewasi to send a message to Raimal Mehta and Pemal about his death. He also sent Lilan to carry his message to Kharnal. 
According to common belief Tejaji died due to snakebite on 28 august 1103. But the historical facts are that while Tejaji was returning from Paner with his wife he was attacked jointly by Meenas, who were defeated earlier by the Nagavanshi chieftains. Tejaji and his wife fought bravely with sword. Tejaji was killed in the war and Pemal became sati at place called Sursura. Tejaji Muktidham Temple has been constructed at this site in Sursura.
Pemal sat on the pyre with Tejaji in her lap and asked Tejaji's ghodi Lilan to go to Kharnal and give a message of death of Tejaji. Lilan left the body of Tejaji with Pemal and departed for Kharnal. It is common belief that Lilan stayed at the banks of Khariya talab of Parbatsar village for some time and went straight to Kharnal. The people of Kharnal could read from the face of Lilan that Tejaji was no more. Tejaji’s sister Rajal who was also known as Baghal became sati on the eastern johad near Kharnal village. A temple has been constructed on this site in the name of Rajal. This is a unique example of sister becoming sati on the death of his brother.
Lilan also died after this and its temple has been constructed on the bank of southern talab near Kharnal.
Veer Teja was a great saint. A large number of temples of Veer Teja have been built in entire Rajasthan. It is believed that if a person suffering from snakebite goes to samadhi of Teja or puts a chord (tanti) in Tejaji's name, he is cured. Tejaji is a demigod with the power to spare from death any snakebite victim who ties an amulet in Tejaji's name. And to this day the priests of Tejaji's temples go into trance and suck the poison out of snakebites and then tie a thread around the wrist or ankle of the victim. And it is believed that no one so treated will die from the bite.
Tejaji Smarak Kharnal
Tejaji Smarak - Tejaji Smarak is under construction on the main road near the village. A grand statue has been installed and rest of the works are in progress. Rs 50 lakhs were donated by Mrs Vasundhara Raje Sindhia, the Ex. C M of Rajasthan and Rs 50 Lakhs has been collected by donations from the public for the completion of this Tejaji Smarak.
A large fair, Mela Tejaji, Takes place on the eleventh lunar day of Bhadrapad Shukla Paksh (Aug.-Sept.) every year in village Parbatsar, District Nagaur in Rajasthan. On this date the state officers of Parbatsar bring the flag Tejaji with Govt honour. Before raising the flag an official announcement is made - Jat Aao Jhanda Uthao (जाट आओ झण्डा उठाओ). After this all Jats raise the flag and an honour of 11 guns salute is given on this occasion. 
Many fairs are held in Malwa region on the tenth day of the month of Bhadra to mark the birth of Tejaji. Tejaji fairs at places like Beowar, Kishangarh, Bundi, Ajmer, Kharnal in Rajasthan are held on this date. A fair of tejaji is also organized at village Bhamawad of Guna district in Madhya Pradesh on this date. Malwa has large number of followers of Tejaji and fairs are held in large number of villages there on this date.
- Veer Jujharu Tejaji ka Mandir Kharnal, Nagaur, - There is a big temple of Tejaji in Kharnal facing north direction. In the temple there is a brass statue of Tejaji with mukut and kalgi and a bhala in hand. On the left side there is a brass statue of a ghora decorated with chhevati. On right side is a statue of snake and a statue of Tejaji's sister Rajal or baghal. People of this village tell that the statue of Tejaji had come out of soil naturally. This statue is believed to be about 1000 year old.
- Tejaji Muktidham Temple Sursura -
- Tejaji Chauk Temple Complex Bhilwara -
- Usari Gate Tejaji Devri at Ajmer -
- Bhairav Garh Siddhvat Temple Ujjain -
Veer Tejaji Movie
Veer Tejaji is a Rajasthani Language movie , based on the life of Tejaji, made in the 1982. The movie was a big commercial success in its time and gave a significant fillip to the Rajasthani movie industry. It shows the life of Jats, Meenas and Gujars and their position in the society in eleventh century. The writer and Director of the movie was Nawal Mathur. Producer was Ramraj Nahta. Star Cast Rameshwari, Deepak Seth, Nilu etc. Deepak Seth has played role of Tejaji and Rameshwari as Pemal, the wife of Tejaji.
Taj Mahal: a Tejaji temple
There are large number of Tejaji temples in India in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Prdesh, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The book, Taj Mahal: The True Story (ISBN 0-9611614-4-2), written by Purushottam Nagesh Oak or P. N. Oak, the founder-president of the Institute for Rewriting Indian History. The book seeks to prove that the Taj Mahal was originally a Hindu temple whose existence predated the Mughal Empire. The people who dominate the Agra region are Jats. Their name of Shiva is Tejaji. The Jat special issue of The Illustrated Weekly of India (June 28, 1971) mentions that the Jats have the Teja Mandirs, i.e., Teja Temples. This is because Teja-Linga is among the several names of the Shiva Lingas. From this it is apparent that the Taj-Mahal is Tejo-Mahalaya, The Great Abode of Tejaji.
The following points are among the pieces of evidence presented:
- Carbon dating of samples taken from the doorway of the Taj Mahal from the side of the Jamuna rivers revealed that the door was 300 years older than the period of Shah Jahan. The carbon dating was arranged by Marvin Miller, an economist in New York.
- Johan Albert Mandelso, a European traveller who visited Agra in 1638, seven years after the death of Mumtaz Mahal, vividly described the life of the city in his memoirs, but makes no reference to Taj Mahal or any large construction activity going on to build it.
- Peter Mundy, an Englishman, visited Agra within a year of Mumtaz’s death. From his writings, it appears that the Taj Mahal was already a noteworthy building well before Shah Jahan came to power.
Postal Stamp on Tejaji
India Postal Department released a special on commemorative stamp on Folk deity Veer Tejaji Maharaj at Kharnal in Nagaur Distt of Rajasthan on Tejadasani: Thursday, September 7, 2011. Union Minister Sachin Pilot released the stamp in a function in presence of thousands of people. The ruling Congress state President and former Minister Dr Chandrabhan, sitting Lok Sabha member Jyoti Mirdha, former Minister Harendra Mirdha and several dignitaries were present on the occasion.
लोक देवता तेजाजी
लोक देवता तेजाजी पर हिन्दी में जानकारी के लिए देखें Lok Devata Tejaji
Listen Tejaji songs
Gallery of Images of Tejaji
- Mansukh Ranwa, Kshatriya Shiromani Veer Tejaji, 2001, p.13
- Mahendra Singh Arya et al.: Ādhunik Jat Itihas, Agra 1998,p.258
- Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, p. 158
- Mansukh Ranwa: Kshatriya Shiromani Veer Tejaji, 2001, p.13
- Mahendra Singh Arya et al.: Ādhunik Jat Itihas, Agra 1998, p.258
- Dr Naval Viyogi: Nagas – The Ancient Rulers of India, p. 158
- Mansukh Ranwa: Kshatriy Shiromani Veer Tejaji, 2001, p. 20
- Mansukh Ranwa: Kshatriy Shiromani Veer Tejaji, 2001, p. 21
- Mansukh Ranwa: Kshatriy Shiromani Veer Tejaji, 2001, p. 26
- Mansukh Ranwa: Kshatriy Shiromani Veer Tejaji, 2001, p. 32
- Mansukh Ranwa: Kshatriy Shiromani Veer Tejaji, 2001, p. 34
- Mansukh Ranwa: Kshatriy Shiromani Veer Tejaji, 2001, p. 36-37
- Mansukh Ranwa: Kshatriy Shiromani Veer Tejaji, 2001, p. 38
- Mansukh Ranwa: Kshatriy Shiromani Veer Tejaji, 2001, p. 39
- Mansukh Ranwa: Kshatriy Shiromani Veer Tejaji, 2001, p. 40
- Mansukh Ranwa: Kshatriy Shiromani Veer Tejaji, 2001, p. 41
- Mansukh Ranwa: Kshatriy Shiromani Veer Tejaji, 2001, p. 43-44
- Jat Vikas Patrika, Jaipur, September 2008, p.7
- Dr. Raghavendra Singh Manohar:Rajasthan Ke Prachin Nagar Aur Kasbe, 2010,p. 104
- The Tajmahal is Tejomahalay, A Hindu Temple
- [http://www.rajasthantalkies.com/2011/09/special-postal-stamp-released-on-folk.html#comment-form Rajasthan Talkies: Thursday, September 8, 2011, Special Postal stamp released on Folk deity Veer Tejaji
- Mansukh Ranwa: Kshatriya Shiromani Vir Tejaji (क्षत्रिय शिरोमणि वीर तेजाजी), 2001, J C Ranwa Prakashan, Jyotinagar, Piprali Road, Sikar Rajasthan. Ph. 11572-240746
- Dr Mahendra Singh Arya, Dharmpal Singh Dudi, Kishan Singh Faujdar & Vijendra Singh Narwar: Ādhunik Jat Itihasa (The modern history of Jats), Agra 1998
- Thakur Deshraj: Jat Itihasa (Hindi), Maharaja Suraj Mal Smarak Shiksha Sansthan, Delhi, 1934, 2nd edition 1992.
- THE TAJ MAHAL IS TEJOMAHALAY-A Hindu Temple, By P. N. Oak