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Rajasthan was known as Rajputana before its formation in 1949. The maps illustrate the difference between 1909 and 1949.
Districts of Rajasthan. Present Day Rajasthan

Rājputāna, also called Rājwār, was the pre-1949 name of the present-day Indian state of Rājasthān, the largest state of the Republic of India in terms of area.

It was ruled by the Rajputs, from the seventh and eighth century - and hence its name which literally means “land of the Rājputs”. Rājasthān, meaning “The Abode of the Rajas,” was formerly called Rājputānā, “The Country of the Rājpūts” (sons of rajas).

Hisorian R. C. Majumdar explained that the region was long known as Gurjaratra (Country protected by the Gurjars or Gurjar nation), early form of Gujarat, before it came to be called Rajputana, early in the muslim period.[1] The Historian John Keay in his book India: a history stated that Rajputana name was given by Britishers and The word even achieved a retrospective authenticity, in 1829 translation of Ferishta's history of early Islamic India, John Briggs discarded the pharse Indian princes, as rendered in Dow's earlier version, and substituted Rajpoot princes.[2]

Geography

The area of Rajputana is estimated to be 132,559 square miles (343,328 square km) and breaks down into two geographic divisions:

  • An area northwest of the Arāvalli Range including part of the Great Indian (Thar) Desert, with characteristics of being sandy and unproductive.
  • An higher area southeast of the range, which is fertile by comparison.

The whole area forms the hill and plateau country between the north Indian plains and the main plateau of peninsular India.

References

  1. ^ R.C. Majumdar (1994). Ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. p. 263. ISBN 8120804368, ISBN 9788120804364. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=XNxiN5tzKOgC&pg=PA263&dq. 
  2. ^ India: a history. 2001. p. 231-232. ISBN 0802137970, ISBN 9780802137975. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=ibLUu6RlvqwC&pg=PA231&dq. "Colonel James tod, who as the first British official to visit Rajasthan spent most of the 1820s exploring its political potential, formed a very different idea of "Rashboots".....and the whole region thenceforth became, for the British, 'Rajputana'.The word even achieved a retrospective authenticity, in 1829 translation of Ferishta's history of early Islamic India, John Briggs discarded the pharse 'Indian princes', as rendered in Dow's earlier version, and substituted 'Rajpoot princes'." 
  1. Low, Sir Francis (ed.) The Indian Year Book & Who’s Who 1945-46, The Times of India Press, Bombay.
  2. Sharma, Nidhi Transition from Feudalism to Democracy, Aalekh Publishers, Jaipur, 2000 ISBN 81-87359-06-4.
  3. Tod, James Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan (in two volumes), Rupa, New Delhi, 1997 ISBN 81-7167-366-X (set).
  4. Webb, William Wilfrid The Currencies of the Hindu States of Rajputana, Archibald Constable & Co., Westminster, 1893.
  5. Rajputana, Encyclopædia Britannica.


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