Research Interests

I have been studying the history and culture of Rajasthan for about twenty-five years. I am particularly interested in the Marwari chronicles of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and Bikaner. Recently I have been working on some simple computer maps of the Jaitaran region.

Map 1

Map 1 indicates one way of classifying the 112 inhabited villages of Jaitaran (thirty-seven villages, not shown, were uninhabited). The basis of this system of classification was the right to village revenues as it existed at the end of the year 1658. The Raja of Jodhpur collected the revenues of the khalso villages, and his military retainers those of the pato villages. Brahmins, Bards, and Jogis, who had received their village grants from previous holders of Jaitaran Pargano, had the rights to the revenues of the samsan villages. Finally, the independent tribal Mers, beyond the authority of the Rajas, paid their revenues to no one.

Map 2

Map 2 shows the configuration of the pargano in 1662. One may notice the increasing number of villages held by the Raja's military retainers and the corresponding decrease in the number of khalso villages.

Map 3

Map 3 indicates a second indigenous method of classifying Jaitaran's villages. In this scheme, the basis of classification was the status of the people inhabiting the villages. Vasi villages were those in which a majority of the population was bound to the service of a particular individual or individuals. Khulaso villages were those in which a majority of the population was "free", i.e, not bound to service. Samsan villages were those whose residents were in the service of the Brahmins, Bards, and Jogis who were the decendants of the original village grantees. Mer (tribal) villages were divided into two categories: those which "accepted authority" (i.e, whose residents paid taxes); and those which did not.

Map 6, below, indicates the administrative subdivisions of another Rajasthan pargano, Merto, around 1660. The map was created as part of a translation project currently being prepared for publication by Norman Ziegler and me.

Map 7

Map 8

Distribution of Important Jatis of Jaitaran


No. 2. JATS


No. 4. MERS

Absurdly Young Married Couple

Current Research Interests

  • Devidas Jaitavat Project (In Progress)
  • Aspects of Military Retainership in Seventeenth-century Marwar (In Progress)
  • The Mughal Siege of Jodhpur, 1565 (In progress with daily updates)
  • Map One. Dates of Mughal Conquests or Acquisitions in Marvar, 1558-1576
  • Bhati Vamshavali Sample
  • Mertiyo Rathor Genealogy Sample

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