During the medieval and later feudal/colonial periods, many parts of the Indian subcontinent were ruled as sovereign or princely states by various dynasties of Rajputs.
The Rajputs rose to political prominence after the large empires of ancient India broke into smaller ones. The Rajputs became prominent in the early medieval period in about seventh century and dominated in regions now known as Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, Western Gangetic plains and Bundelkhand.
However, the term "Rajput" has been used as an anachronistic designation for Hindu dynasties before the 16th century because the Rajput identity for a lineage did not exist before this time, and these lineages were classified as aristocratic Rajput clans in the later times. Thus, the term "Rajput" does not occur in Muslim sources before the 16th century.
Following is the list of those ruling Rajput dynasties of the Indian Subcontinent:
When Harsha shifted the centre of north India history to Kannauj in mids of Ganga-Jamuna doab the tribes living in the west of this new centre also became more important for further courses of Indian history. They were first and foremost the Rajputs who now emerged into limelight of Indian history
The anarchy and confusion which followed the death of Harsha is a transitional period of history. This period was marked by the rise of the Rajput clans who began to play a conspicuous part in the history of northern and western India from eighth century A.D. onwards
The Rajputs The rise of Rajputs in the history of northern and central India is considerable, as they dominated the scene between the death of Harsha and the establishment of the Muslim Empire
The period between seventh and twelfth century witnessed gradual rise of a number of new royal-lineages in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh which came to constitute a social-political category known as Rajputs
"In north India, dominant features of the period between 7th and 12th centuries have been identified as the growing weakness of state; the growth of power of local landed elittes and their decentralising authority by acquiring greater administrative, economic and political roles, the decline of towns, the setback to trades, This period between 7th to 12th century is also noted for rise of Rajputs
"In about the eight century the Rajput thus began to perform the functions that had formerly belonged to the Kshatriya, assuming their social and economic position and substituting them as the new warrior class
By the period of seventh–eights centuries AD when the first references to the Rajput clans and their chieftains were made
From around 1000 ce notable among these regional powers were various Rajput dynasties in the west and north
"The Rajput claim as a community were recorded in Sanskrit inscriptions that constituted as well as recorded in Rajasthan during the seventh century, when Rajputs begins to make themselves lords of various localities
By contrast in Rajasthan a single warrior group evolved called Rajput (Rajaputra-son of kings), they rarely engaged in farming, even to supervise from labour as farming was literally benath them, farming was for their peasant subjects. In ninth century separate clans of Rajputs Cahamanas (Chauhans), Paramaras (Pawars), Guhilas (Sisodias) and Caulukyas were spitting off from Gurjara Pratihara clans.
As Dirk Kolff has argued, it was privileged, if not initially inspired, only in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries by Mughal perceptions of Rajputs which, in a pre-form of orientalism, took patrilineal descent as the basis for Rajput social Organization and consequently as the basis for their political inclusion into the empire. Prior to the Mughals, the term 'Rajput' was equally an open-ended, generic name applied to any ‘"horse soldier", "trooper", or "headman of a village"’ regardless of parentage, who achieved his status through his personal ability to establish a wide network of supporters through his bhaibandh (lit. 'ie or bond of brothers'; that is, close collateral relations by male blood) or by means of naukari (military service to a more powerful overlord) and sagai (alliance through marriage). Thus the language of kinship remained nonetheless strong in this alternative construction of Rajput identity but collateral and affinal bonds were stressed rather than those of descent. During the sixteenth and seventeenth cen-
Confronting the Ghurid ruler now were a number of major Hindu powers, for which the designation 'Rajput' (not encountered in the Muslim sources before the sixteenth century) is a well-established anachronism. Chief among them was the Chahamana (Chawhan) kingdom of Shakambhari (Sambhar), which dominated present-day Rajasthan from its capital at Ajmer
Yet the varna archetype of the Kshatriya-like man of prowess did become a key reference point for rulers and their subjects under the Mughals and their immediate successors. The chiefs and warriors whom the Mughals came to honour as Rajput lords in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries may not even have been descendants of Rajasthan's earlier pre-Mughal elites.
The term Rajput is a retrospective invention, as most of the martial literature of resistance to Turkish conquest dates only from the mid-fifteenth century onward. As Dirk Kolff has noted in his Naukar, Rajput and Sepoy: The Ethnohistory of the Military Labour Market in Hindustan, 1450-1850 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), the invention of "Rajput" identity can be dated to the sixteenth-century narratives of nostalgia for lost honor and territory.
Often projected back to the twelfth century or even earlier, the term 'Rajput' has been called a 'well-established anachronism
The middle of the tenth century saw the decay of two of the most powerful Rajput states which had dominated northern and central India during precedding centuries. These were Gurjara Pratihara Empire with their capital at Kannauj the first of the major Rajput kingdom