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लेखक:Laxman Burdak (लक्ष्मण बुरड़क), IFS (Retd.), Jaipur

Shekhawati (Hindi: शेखावाटी, IAST: Śekhāwāṭī) is a semi-arid region located in the northeast part of Rajasthan, India. It encompasses the administrative districts of Jhunjhunu and Sikar. From the administrative and geographical point of view Shekhawati is limited to Jhunjhunu and Sikar districts only. Its area is 13784 square kilometers.[1] Shekhawati is one of the important Jat belts and has always taken lead in movements for the betterment of farmers.


  • Shekhavati शेखावाटी, राजस्थान, (AS, p.910)

Origin of Shekhawati

It is believed that Shekhawati was the name given to this region by Rao Shekha, the Jagirdar of Sikar. But we find mention of this name in ancient sanskrit literature also. Mahabharat Sabha Parva mentions a province named Seka (सेक) which was conquered by Sahadeva in his victories of southern provinces. He also conquered adjoining Aparaseka (अपरसेक) province. सेकानपरसेकान्श्च व्यजयत सुमहाबलः (Mahabharat Sabha Parva:319) [2]

"The mighty warrior then vanquished the Sekas and others, and exacted tributes from them and also various kinds of gems and wealth. Allying himself with the vanquished tribes the prince then marched towards the countries that lay on the banks of the Narmada. And defeating there in battle the two heroic kings of Avanti, called Vinda and Anuvinda,...."[3]

From the above description in Sabha Parva it appears that the province of Sekas mentioned here appears to be between Chambal and Narmada Rivers. Some historians[4] consider them to be located in Ajmer-Merwara region who owned silver mines and capital at Jahajpur. There is a need to research this region Seka. These Seka people probably gave names to Sikar and Shekhawati region.

Udyoga Parva/Mahabharata Book V Chapter 103 mentions Names of famous Nagas of Bhogavati.

सुमनॊमुखॊ दधिमुखः शङ्खॊ नन्दॊपनन्दकौ
आप्तः कॊटनकश चैव शिखी निष्ठूरिकस तथा Mahabharata (5.103.12)

About origin of word Shekhawati 'Hakim Yusuf Jhunjhunuvi' gives another view. According to him Shekhawati derives its name from Persian language word ‘Sheekh’ which means ‘Sand deposited on the coastal area of sea’. This indicates that this area has been inundated with seawater long back and converted to sand dunes over thousands of years [Hakim Yusuf Jhunjhunuvi: Jhunjhunu ka Itihasa, Vol III page-10] [5] [6]

VIII Nadlai Stone Inscription of Rayapala S.V. 1195 (1138 AD) (See- Chahamans_of_Marwar) mentions a word Sheka (शेक) in Line 11.[7] which couldnot interpreted properly.

It is interesting that Shekha (शेखा) is a Muslim Jat clan found in Pakistan. According to 1911 census the Shekha were the principal Muslim Jat clan in Multan District with population of Shekha (674). [8]


Shekhawati in the Desert area of Rajasthan has a special importance in the history of India. Shekhawati has been first time mentioned in the book ‘Bankidas ki khyat’ [Mukutji: Jaipur rajya ka bhugol, page 46-47). Contemporary of Bankidas was Col. W.S.Gardener, who used the word Shekhawati in year 1803. Later Col James Tod wrote history of Shekhawati first time. Shekhawati word has been used in ‘vamsh bhaskar’ many times. This shows that Shekhawati word came in use about two and half centuries back. [9]

In ancient times Shekhawati was not limited to present two districts only but during Vedic times it was known as Matsya desha extending up to Saraswati River, so the Vedas were supposed to be written and compiled on this very land. [Satapatha Brahman 13/5/9] [10]During ancient times this region was divided in to several janapadas. Every janapada was a free republic state. The development of janapadas in Rajasthan started with habitation of Aryan colonies. [11]

The northern part of Rajasthan was known as Jangladesh (Bikaner and Nagaur) during Mahabharata period. [12], and eastern part Jaipur-Alwar were called Matsya. Pandavas had spent one year of their vanishment in Virata Kingdom as their abode, to live in anonymity, after the expiry of their twelve-year long forest life. [13] According to Vimal Charanlal, Matsya extended from Jhunjhunu to Kotkasim 109 km in the north, Jhunjhunu to Ajmer 184 km in the west, Ajmer to Banas and upto confluence of Chambal River 229 km in the south. The capital of Matsya was Bairat. [14] [15]

About millions of years back this land was inundated with sea water. [16], [17], [18] As per Mr Gorki it needs no evidence as fossils found in the area confirms that this area was a sea at one time. [19] Mr Ojha believed that the desert area of Rajputana was earlier sea but due to earth quakes and other climatic reasons the landform came up and the water receded to the south leaving behind sand mass, which later was known as marukantar. The presence of shells, conch etc found in stone form in this area is clear evidence that this was a sea earlier. [20] [21]

It is not clear when these seas dried up and receded but the desert was created due to the receding of the sea. Many historians have considered this region included in Matsya. Rigveda also provides certain evidences in this matter. [22], [23] Manusmriti has called this land as ‘brahmrishi desha’. [24]

Shekhawati region was included in ‘marukantar desha’ up to Ramayana period. Out of 16 mahajanapadas prior to Buddha, only two janapadas namely avanti and matsya were counted in Rajasthan area. Matsya was also influenced by avanti but later on Nandas of Magadha defeated avanti. Historians believe that Mauryas obtained the Rajasthan from Nandas. [25]

Mauryan rule

The history of Rajputana from Mahabharata period to the establishment of Maryan Empire is in dark. So the history of Shekhawati is again available from Mauryan period. [26] [27]

Two inscriptions have found at Bairat, which was capital of Matsya, indicate that Shekhawati was included in Mauryan Empire. [28] These inscriptions of Bairat provide information about Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka, which confirm their rule in matsya. [29] Chinese traveler Xuanzang also mentions matsya. [30] [31]

Pratihara rule

After Mauryas we have information about the rule of Pratiharas in this area. [32]

Chauhan rule

In the beginning of 10th century AD Pratiharas became week and Chauhans of Sakambhari and Gurjar Pratihara of Matsya became independent. [33] After Pratihara the Tomaras of Delhi entered Taurawati. [34]

Chauhans also entered Rajasthan in vikram century 10-11th from this area. This area was around Harshnath and they called their state as Anantagochar with capital at Ahi Chhatrapura. [35] The inscription at famous temple in Shekhawati at Harshanath by Raja Vigrahraj Chauhan in samvat 1030 indicates that his father Singhraj Chauhan had killed Tomar hero Salvan. [36] From the entry of Chauhans to the end of their reign in north India, this land was ruled by small republics of branches of Chauhan vansha like Jod, Mohil, Nikhan etc. [37]

Kaimkhani rule

A new branch emerged from Chauhans, who were known as Kaimkhani, vanished the rule of Chauhans in this area. The first progenitor of Kaimkhanis was Karamchand born in the family of Moterao of Chauhan clan, the ruler of Dadrewa. [38] Firuz Shah Tughluq converted him to Islam and named him Kaimkhan. [39] [40]Thus his descendants were called Kaimkhani. [41]He embraced Islam along with his brothers, Zainuddin and Jabaruddin, in the times of Sultan Feroz Shah (born in 1310 AD & crowned in 1351 AD). Descendents of Zainuddin and Jabaruddin are also called 'Kaimkhanis'.

Nawab Kaim Khan was an Ameer of the Delhi Sultanate. Tuzk-e-Mehboobia of Sultan-e-Deccan Mir Mehboob Ali Khan mentions:

"Nawab Kaim Khan embraced Islam in 754 Hijra. In 760 Hijra, Sultan Feroz Shah appointed him the Governor of Hisar Ferozah with the title of Khan-e-Jehan". [42]

Nawab Kaim Khan continued as the Governor of Hisar in the times of Sultan Mehmood Shah Tughlaq and Khizar Khan. Khizar defeated Daulat Khan Lodhi and imprisoned him under Nawab Kaim Khan at Hisar Ferozah. (It is the same Daulat Khan Lodhi who was at the helms of the Delhi Sultanate for one year and three months).

Khizar Khan then developed differences with Nawab Kaim Khan. Khizar Khan was on a military campaign when he received the information that Ameers Kaim Khan, Ikhtiar Khan, and all remnants belonging to the household of Sultan Mehmood Shah Tughlaq were planning to dethrone him. Khizar Khan left the campaign and while going back to Delhi, invited with deceit Nawab Kaim Khan and others at a meeting held at the banks of Jumna and murdered them all on 20th Jamadi-ul-Awal, 822 Hijra, [43]

Tareekh-e-Farishta and Tarik-e-Tabqat-e-Akbari also corroborate this incident. It appears that Nawab's body was then thrown in the river Jumna as his burial place is not given in the history books.

Nawab Kaim Khan had six sons, named Muhammad Khan, Taj Khan, Quttab Khan, Mohan Khan, Ikhtiar Khan, and Wahid Khan. In the life of the Nawab, Muhammad Khan lived in Hisar while Taj Khan and Quttub Khan ruled Tussam in Punjab. And Mohan Khan and Ikhtiar Khan were the rulers of Fatehabad and Dhosi. After the death of their father at the hands of Khizar Khan, they dispersed and chose to keep a low profile for the time being to avoid confrontation with Hakim-e-Delhi. Taj Khan was the eldest son of Nawab Kaim Khan and was made the Nawab of Hisar. He ruled Hisar from 1420 - 1446 AD. [44]

Nawabs of Fatehpur

After death of Taj Khan his eldest son Fateh Khan was made Nawab of Hisar but Bahlol Lodi expelled Fatehkhan from Hisar. Taj Khan's brother, Muhammad Khan was made Nawab of Hansi but he was also expelled. Both these brothers came to Shekhawati area of Rajasthan and established here two states and became Nawabs. These states were Fatehpur and Jhunjhunu. [45] Their descendants also founded the states of Narhar, Barwasi, Jharo Dapti, and Kayad. [46]

The Muslim Kaimkhani Nawab, Fatehkhan established Fatehpur in 1451. He constructed the fort of Fatehpur in 1449 and ruled upto 1474. [47]It served as the capital of Fateh Khan, the Muslim Nawab. Fatehkhan's eldest son was Jalal Khan, who founded the village Jalalsar at a distance of 10 km south of Fatehpur. After death of Fateh Khan in 1474, Jalal Khan became the Nawab of Fatehpur. Jalal Khan was a warrior and kind Nawab. He had left the Fatehpur bid (forest land), north of village Harsawa, for the purpose of grazing of animals.[48] Jalalkhan died in 1489 (samvat 1546). [49]. After Jalal Khan his son Daulat Khan became nawab of Fatehpur in 1489 (samvat 1546), who founded village Daultabad in north of Fatehpur, which is now a mohalla of Fatehpur. He ruled till 1513 (samvat 1570). During his rule there was a tension between Jhunjhunu nawab Bhikan Khan and Nuan nawab Mohabbat Khan. Daulat Khan attacked Jhunjhunu in favour of Nuan. Bhikan Khan was defeated in Abusar war and Mohabbat Khan was made nawab of Jhunjhunu. [50] In 1513, Nahar Khan, son of Daulat Khan, became Nawab. He attacked Rathores and win over many Rajputs in his favour. Nahar Khan founded a town named Narsara in southwest of Fatehpur at a distance of about 12 km. During the rule of Nahar Khan, Delhi Sultnate had seen five badshas namely Sikandar Lodhi, Ibrahim Lodhi, Babar, Humayun, and Shershah. From the reign of Fateh Khan, the nawabi of Fatehpur was under Delhi Sultnate, which became free in 1543 (samvat 1600). [51]

From the time of founding of Fatehpur till the fall in 1631 (samvat 1688), all the nawabs were associated with Delhi Sultnate. [52]

After Nahar Khan, Fadan Khan became nawab in 1545 (samvat 1602), [53] who founded village Fadanpura. Fadan Khan had wars with Chhapoli, Tonk, Ponkh etc rulers and won the wars. He also defeated Bidawats of Chhapar, many Bhaumias, and helped Bahadur Khan to get Jhunjhunu.

In 1552 (samvat 1609), Taj Khan, son of Fadan Khan, became Nawab, who founded village Tajsar, in north at a distance of 4 km. Taj Khan made his grandson, Alaph Khan, as his successor in 1570 (samvat 1627). [54] Alaph Khan founded village Alapsar near Beswa. [55]

Alaph Khan is considered to be the bravest nawab of fatehpur. He took part in a number of wars from the side of Akbar and Jahangir. He suppressed the Jats of Bhiwani. After Alaph Khan, Daulat Khan II, Sardar Khan, Dindar Khan, Sardar Khan II, and Kamyab Khan were the nawabs of Fatehpur. Meanwhile, Sawai ManSingh, changed a policy, he gave the Jagirdaris to Kachhawa Khap of his own community. The ignorance of Muslims led to unrest from their side but it was suppressed and the nawabi of Fatehpur vanished in 1788 AD. [56]

Nawabs of Jhunjhunu

In 1450 AD (samvat 1507), Mohammad Khan, brother of Kayam Khan, came from Hansi to Shekhawati, the land of Jhunjhunu. He defeated Chauhan, Johad Rajputs and became nawab. [57] and made his capital at Jhunjhunu. After the death of Muhammad Khan nawabs of jhunjhunu were Samas Khan, Fateh Khan, Mubarak Khan, Kamal Khan, Bhikhan Khan, Bahadur Khan, Wahid Khan, Mujil Khan and Ruhel Khan etc fourteen nawabs in the list. [58]The 13th nawab of Jhunjhunu, Fajil Khan, got a longer period of rule. [59]

After Fajil Khan, his son Ruhel Khan became nawab of Jhunjhunu in 1728 (samvat 1785). Ruhel Khan married with a girl of Bidawat Rajputs of Nathasar village in Jhunjhunu. Shardul Singh Shekhawat was also married in Bidawats of this village. The wives of both were related. [60] The last nawab of Jhunjhunu was a weak one. The Muslim sardars of Ruhel Khan were taking advantage of his weakness and creating problems for him. These were Ammanula Khan (Barwasi), Ali Khan (Kant), Taru Khan (Kolasya), Bodu Khan (Kheri), Evaj Khan (Baghera), Ghasi Khan (Bajawa), Salab Khan (Dhanuri), Jarrula Khan and Hathi Khan (Ghoriwara). [61] Under such conditions Ruhel Khan with the advice of his wife invited Shardul Singh Shekhawat to Jhunjhunu for help. He started living at Jhunjhunu in 1730 (samvat 1787). He looked after the state affairs, suppressed the rebels and established his grandeur. [62] Nawab Ruhel Khan died in 1730 (samvat 1787). Shardul Singh was Jagirdar of Udaypurwati and he had eight and half villages under him. Sawai Jay Singh gave the Jagirdari of Jhunjhunu also to Shardul Singh Shekhawat. The Kaimhani and Nagad pathans of Narhar rebelled on this step but it was suppressed. Thus the nawabi of jhunjhunu also vanished. [63]

The Kaimkhanis ruled Shekhawati for about 280 years. The nawabis of Fatehpur and Jhunjhunu were established at same time and vanished also at same time. [64]

Nawabs of Narhar

Pandit Jhabar Mal Sharma writes about the nawabs of Narhar that about the same time as that of the nawabis of Fatehpur and Jhunjhunu, Nagar pathans established nawabi at Narhar. In 1446 (samvat 1503) a group of pathans under the leadership of nawab Ismail Khan Daler Jang came from Afghanistan. Bahlol Lodi made him his general and subedar of Bihar. He had attacked Narhar and occupied it after defeating Jod Chahan Rajputs. His son Dilawar Khan constructed dargah of hajarat Hajid shakargah in 1455 (samvat 1512). [65]

About Narhar, Thakur Deshraj writes that it was ruled by Nehra Jats. Nehra jats ruled in Rajasthan over an area of 200 square miles. The Nehra hills of Rajasthan were their territory. To the west of Jhunjhunu town is a Hill 1684 feet above see-level and visible from miles around. [1]. This hill near Jhunjhunu town is still known as Nehra Hill in their memory. [66] Another hill was known as Maura which was famous in memory of Mauryas. Nehra in Jaipur was the first capital in olden times. In the fifteenth century Nehras ruled at Narhar, where they had a fort. At Naharpur, 16 miles down below the Nehra Hill, there another group ruled. [67]The present Shekhawati at that time was known as Nehrawati. [68]

At the end of 16th century and beginning of 17th century there was a war between Nehras and Muslim rulers. When Nehras were defeated by nawabs, they used to offer gifts to the Nawabs on special occasions, due to this they were also called 'Shahi bhentwal'. [69]

After nawab Kasim Khan Husain Khan became nawab of Bagar. His some descendants lived at Bagar and Nunia Gothra. Husain Khan’s younger brother Sikandar Khan lived at Khudana. Another younger brother of nawab, Bahlol Khan founded Islampur in 1622. Bahlol Khan’s son Jalal Khan constructed a well in Islampur, which is known as “Jalal Khan ka kuan”.

The pathans of Narhar unitedly opposed the Jagir given to Shardul Singh Shekhawat. [70] Jujhar Singh Nehra (16641730) played an important role in fighting with the Nawabs. His father was a faujdar of Nawabs. Shardul Singh sought the help of Jujhar Singh Nehra. The Jats through Jujhar Singh and Rajputs through Sardul Singh agreed upon a proposal to fight united against Muslim rulers and if the Nawab were defeated Jujhar Singh would be appointed the Chieftain. [71]

Jujhar Singh Nehra, one day found the right opportunity and attacked Nawabs at Jhunjhunu and Narhar. He defeated the army of Nawab Sadulla Khan on Saturday, aghan sudi 8 samvat 1787 (1730 AD). The Nehra chieftain Jhunjha or Jujhar Singh won the war and captured Jhunjhunu town. [72]This is clear from the following poetry in Rajasthani Language -

सत्रह सौ सत्यासी, आगण मास उदार Satrahasau Satyasī, Agahan Mās Udār
सादे लीन्हो झूंझणूं, सुदी आठें शनिवार Sade līnho jhūnjhanūn, Sudī Āthen Shanivār

The Muslim Nawab 'Sadulla Khan', in charge of Jhunjhunu, was defeated jointly by Shardul Singh and Jujhar Singh Nehra. But, as per Kunwar Panne Singh's book 'Rankeshari Jujhar Singh', Later at the time of victory ceremony Jujhar Singh was deceived and killed by Shekhawats after he was appointed the chieftain. Kunwar Panne Singh has written that after the tilak ceremony of chieftainship, Rajputs attacked him when he was at a solitary place. Jujhar Singh was surprized at this incidence and when he asked what kind of sardari he was being offered this way. He was replied that we (Rajputs) are not fools, we are making you not the live sardar but a dead sardar. You should have remained vigilent. When this news of treachery spread in in the city, there was anarchy in the Jat army and Jats became furious. It is said that at this moment a Charan sung a poetry to Shardul Singh. [73]It is clear from the poetry in Rajasthani Language -

सादे लीन्हो झूंझणूं, लीनो अमर पटै Sade, linho Jhunjhunu, Lino amar patai
बेटे पोते पड़ौते, पीढी सात लटै Bete pote padaute pidhi sat latai
Meaning - This state was taken by Jhunjha from Sadullekhan, he became immortal. Now your seven generations would rule over it.

Jhunjhunu town in Rajasthan was established in the memory of Jujhar Singh Nehra the above Jat chieftain. [74]

Jat movements in Shekhawati

The feudalism functioned as an over-riding politico-administrative, social and economic formation undermining even the institution of caste. The feudal mode of social relations as a dominant force guided everyday life of the people of Shekhawati region in Rajasthan. One could trace some continuity of the past social formation in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bengal in the form of 'semi-feudalism' as characterised by some scholars, but such a situation is not traceable in the present day Rajasthan which was a prominent stronghold of feudalism prior to independence. [75]

Today a remarkable discontinuity in distributive processes and social relations, simultaneous occurence of the processes of upward and downward social mobility and a self-perpetuating process of social transformation could be witnessed in the Shekhawati region. [76]

The farmers of the Sekhawati region are considered to be the most advanced in the state of Rajasthan. The Shekhawati region has the highest literacy in the state.[77]

The predominant farmer communities in the rural areas of Shekhawati are the Jats: they comprise the largest single caste in the state (9 per cent), and were, in the 1930's and even earlier, the most self-conscious and prosperous among the peasant castes. In 1935 their claims to certain privileges led to a series of clashes between them and the Rajputs, who resisted their attempts to revise accepted signs of status. [78]

Jat caste associations and political leaders have been important agents in the politics of Rajasthan. The Jats, traditionally tenant farmers, constitute the largest single caste in the state. The farmer movements in the Rajputana States developed in areas like Shekhawat and Marwar, where Jats constituted the predominant rural caste and where Rajputs, the traditional landed aristocracy, were also found in large number. The movements became most highly organized and their activities most intense in areas ruled by jagirdars (large landlords) rather than in those under the direct rule of the royal house (khalsa). This confrontation against a single local caste which monopolized the instruments and symbols of social and economic status and power was important in kindling the Jat movements and in initially forging their cohesion. [79]

The Jat movement in Shekhawati differed from its Jodhpuri counterpart in impetus, organization and political strategy. The initial objectives and mobilization, however, were quite similar. The early phase of the Shekhawati movement was primarily devoted to instituting social reforms within the community. This area was particularly influenced by the touring pracharacks (missionaries) of the Arya Samaj. It was also a primary target for Jat reformers and nationalist leaders from the British Provinces. During the 1920's and 30's several educational societies began to contribute to the support of schools for Jat students and Jat reformers from the British Provinces started to direct their attention and action toward the Thikanas of Shekhawati. [80]

These social service societies included the Tilak Seva Samiti and the Jat Shikhsha Sabha. There were a large number of associations in the Mahajan castes that were active in supporting Jat education. These included the Rajputana Education Society and the Marwar Relief Society which received donations from prominent Seths of Shekhawati and which opened several primary schools in large Jat villages. The Birla Education Trust helped sponsor schools for peasant castes in both Shekhawati and the Punjab. [81]

In 1921 Gandhji visited Bhiwani. Seth Devi Baksh Sarraf got prepared a team of farmer leaders from Shekhawati to attend Gandhji's Sabha at Bhiwani. These farmers later emerged as prominent leaders of Shekhawati farmer movement. From Jhunjhunwati the farmers included: [82]

Those from Khandelawati and Sikarwati included:

Kisan political organizations were founded earlier in Shekhawati than in Jodhpur, and the genesis of social and political protest here came largely from external sources. As early as 1925 the All India Jat Mahasabha established a short-lived outpost in the area,19 and during the 1930's a number of Jat Panchayats and Kisan Sabhas were created in the various Thikanas and large jagirs. The organizational scope of these protest institutions was parochial and reflected the segmental organization of traditional authority. They were also directed at changing the social and economic status of the Jats by a direct confrontation with Rajput power. [83]

Questions were asked in the House of Commons about excesses by Jagirdars on farmers of Shekhawati. [84] [85]

Jagirdari of Shekhawats in Rajputana

Rajasthan state has been named after the Rajputs, earlier known as Rajputana. Since ancient times it was not one unit but divided in to several regions. Rajputs happened to come to Rajasthan from 7-8th century. Rajputana name originated during the time of Akbar but was not known so prominently. Rajputana name came in to use after Col James Tod’s ‘Annals and antiquities of Rajasthan’. [86]

Shekhawats - The descendants of Rao Shekha Ji are called Shekhawat. The story of Shekha's birth is rather interesting to understand the origin of Shekhawati. Mokal JI and his wife were much troubled as they had no son for several years. They heard about the miraculous powers of the Sheikh Burhan, a Muslim Saint. They decided to pay the man a visit. After they received the blessings of the Sheikh, a son was born to the couple. In honour of the mendicant, the couple named his son Shekha

The chieftains of the Shekhawati retained a nominal loyalty to the Rajput state of Jaipur, who in turn honoured them with the hereditary title known as tazimi sardar. Shekhawats were thikanedars of Japur princely state.

The land of Shekhawati, as per state records, was earlier in occupation of Mugals prior to Shekhawats.. Neither there was a treaty with thikanedars nor Sawai Jay Singh won this land, but Sawai Jay Singh had taken this land on izaredari from mugals. He extended his administrative rights, distributed this land to up-izaredars, the Shekhawats in Shekhawati. [87]

The Shekhawats were izaredar who later became thikanedar. The basis of occupation of land by them was izaredari. [88], [89]

It is also not true as per state papers that Shardul Singh Shekhawat fought any war with Kaimkhanis and won Jhunjhunu from them. Wills found from Panchpana Singhana state paper-41 that war between Shardul Singh and Delhi was due to unauthorized recovery of land tax by Shardul Singh. Sawai Jay Singh had selected him as Izaredar along with two more Izaredars but later on made him only Izaredar. After death of Shardul Singh in 1742, this land came under khalsa (direct state control). In 1744 the izara was given to his five sons, known as Panchapana. [90] In 1750 Jaupur state took Singhana on izara and it was given not to all descendants of Shardul Singh but only a few. [91] Along with this Shardul Singh obtained a malikana right of 10-11 villages for which he had to pay a khiraz of Rs 10000/- annually. [92]

Shardul singh was zamindar of eight and half villages in Udaypurwati who was further granted fifteen and half villages while giving him Jhunjhunu on Izaredari. Sheo Singh Shekhawat’s name, in Sikar, first time comes as a zamindar in state papers in 1720. [93] In 1732 Fatehpur was given to Ram Singh Shekhawat on Izaredari. In1736 Jaipur state took Fatehpur pargana under him and gave it to Sheo Singh and Ram Singh on Izaredari. In 1751 Ram Singh took part of Khandela and later Sheo Singh’s family took entire Fatehpur on Izaredari. [94] [95]

The conclusions in Wills report in 1933 were arrived at after prepareing and analyzing from old and new state papers, which tells that the confusion regarding the wictories of Shekhawats mentioned in Gazetteers 1879 and 1908 are due to wrongly preparing these without properly studying James Tod. Wills report tell that he does not support victory of Shekhawats and that they obtained land from Sawai Jay Singh with his help and Shekhawats paid him the khiraz. [96]

Sikar, Khetri, Bisau, Surajgarh, etc were big thikanas and Khandela, Khachariwas, Danta, Dundlod, Nwalgarh, mandawa, Gyangyasar, Mahansar etc were small thikanas of Shekhawats. [97]

Here it is essential to mention about Col James Tod (1782-1835), who was a British officer in Rajputana. He had come to India as a cadet in the Bengal army in 1799. He commanded the escort attached to the resident with Sindhia from 1812 to 1817. In the latter year he was in charge of the Intelligence Department which largely contributed to break up the Maratha Confederacy in the Third Anglo-Maratha War, and assisted in the campaign in Rajputana. In 1818 he was appointed political agent for the states of western Rajputana, where he conciliated the chieftains, settled their mutual feuds, and collected materials for his Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan (2 volumes, 1829-1832), which detailed the contemporary geography and history of Rajputana and central India along with the history of the Rajput Tribes who were the Jagirdars of the majority of the area at that time. Another book, Travels in Western India (1839), was published posthumously. He returned to England in 1823. [98]

The ‘Sekhawati confederation’ was his brain child. One political agent in 1840 has said that ‘Sekhawati confederation’ was never and nowhere in existence, there are no evidence other than James Tod, he only exaggerated the interests of Shekhawat khap to promote their political interests. [99] [100] The British treated his book unofficial and confidential guide but never quoted in government correspondence because his contemporary people believed that he wrote annals after taking bribe from Maharaja Udaipur and Maharaja Jodhpur of the Rajputana state. He was biased towards these states and Rajputs; he was retired intentionally and was never honoured by British for his services. [101] [102]

शेखावाटी, राजस्थान

शेखावाटी (AS, p.910): राजस्थान के जयपुर ज़िले का वह भाग है, जिसमें सीकर का ठिकाना सम्मिलित है। कहा जाता है कि इस इलाके को सरदार राव शेखाजी ने बसाया था, जिनके नाम पर ही शेखावाटी प्रसिद्ध हुआ।[103]

शेखावाटी नाम और विस्तार

ठाकुर देशराज[104] ने लिखा है ....[पृ.324]: जयपुर राज्य के उत्तरी पश्चिमी हिस्से का नाम शेखावाटी है। इस हिस्से का शेखावाटी नाम पड़ने का कारण जो कर्नल टॉड, गौरीशंकर हीराचंद ओझा आदि राजस्थानी इतिहासकारों ने लिखा है, वह यह है कि जयपुर के कछवाहा वंश में राव मोकलजी नाम के एक सरदार हुए थे। वे जयपुर से पश्चिम 20 मील के फासले पर अमरसर नामक गांव में जा रहे थे। उनके यहां मुसलमान धर्म प्रचारक फकीर शेख बुरहान की दुआ से जो पुत्र हुआ था उसका नाम शेखाजी था। उन्हीं शेखाजी के वंशजों के अधिकृत प्रदेश का नाम शेखावाटी है। हमें यह बताने की कोई आवश्यकता नहीं है कि शेखावत राजपूतों के यहां शेख बुरहान की बड़ी मान्यता है अथवा उनके झंडे का रंग नीला होता है या उनके बच्चे नीली कुर्तियां पहनते हैं। शेखावाटी का नाम पड़ने का कारण बुरहान शेखा जी की करामातें और इस प्रदेश पर शेखावतों के कब्जा करने की घटनाओं का वृद्ध शेखावत राजपूत बड़ी श्रद्धा के साथ वर्णन करते हैं।

यह प्रदेश इतना विस्तृत है कि इसमें छोटी बड़ी लगभग 2 हजार बस्तियां हैं। इसकी सीमा पटियाला, लोहारू, बीकानेर और जोधपुर के राज्यों से तीन ओर से घिरी हुई है। सीकर और खेतड़ी के बड़े-बड़े

[पृ.325]: ठिकाने जिनकी 10-10 लाख रुपए सालाना की आमदनी है, इसी प्रदेश में शामिल हैं। इसका प्रबंधन झुंझुनू, सांभर और नीमकाथाना 3-3 निजामतों (कलेक्टरों) द्वारा होता है। सीकर और खेतड़ी को छोड़कर खंडेला, डुंडलोद, मंडावा, नवलगढ़, सूरजगढ़, बिसाऊ, खूड़, दातारामगढ़, अलसीसर, मलसीसर, पाटण, उदयपुर, और इम्मालपुर, आदि लगभग तीन दर्जन प्रदेश में ऐसे ठिकाने हैं जो प्रतिवर्ष ₹5000 से लगाकर तीन लाख रुपए तक अपने खजाने में डालते हैं। पचासों ऐसे ठिकाने हैं जो इन्ही के अंतर्गत अथवा इनसे अलग हैं और जिनमें से कई के पास तो दो चार नाव (एक जोड़ी बैल जितना खेत जोतते हैं उसे नाव कहते हैं) की भूमि ही ही है।

डॉ पेमाराम[105] ने लिखा है.... अमरसर गाँव शेखावाटी के इतिहास में बहुत महत्वपूर्ण है. शेखावाटी का नाम अति प्राचीन नहीं है. वि.सं. 1502 (1445 ई.) में शेखा ने इस इलाके को जीत कर एक छोटे से राज्य की स्थापना की. शेखा के वंशज शेखावत कहलाये, जिन्होंने सीकरवाटी व झुंझनुवाटी पर अधिकार कर एक विस्तृत राज्य स्थापित किया, जो शेखावाटी नाम से प्रसिद्ध हुआ. आमेर राजा उदयकरण (1367 -1389 ) का पुत्र बाला शेखावत वंश का आदि पुरुष था. उसे बरवाड़ा सहित 12 गाँव जागीर में मिले थे. 1430 में बाला की मृत्यु के बाद उसका बड़ा पुत्र मोकल उसका उत्तराधिकारी हुआ. मोकल बरवाड़े से खासौदा जाति के जाट 'अमरा की ढाणी' में जा बसा. ढाणी को अमरसर गाँव का स्वरुप देकर निकटवर्ती नाण गाँव को भी उन्होंने अपने अधिकार में कर लिया. 1445 में मोकल की मृत्यु के बाद उसका 12 वर्षीय पुत्र शेख अमरसर की गद्दी पर बैठा. यह माना जाता है कि शेख एक मुसलमान फकीर शेख बुरहान के आशीर्वाद से पैदा हुआ था.

विजयेन्द्र कुमार माथुर[106] ने लेख किया है ...'शेखावाटी' राजस्थान के जयपुर ज़िले का वह भाग है, जिसमें सीकर का ठिकाना सम्मिलित है। कहा जाता है कि इस इलाके को सरदार राव शेखा जी ने बसाया था, जिनके नाम पर ही शेखावाटी प्रसिद्ध हुआ।

See also

Gallery of Heroes of Shekhawati movement


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Further reading