The Bais Rajput (pronounced [ˈbɛ̃ːs ˈraːdʒpuːt̪]) (also known as Bhains Rajput in certain regions), claim to be an ancient Rajput clan consisting of the wealthy, warriors, entrepreneurs and Zamindar (land owners). The Bais Rajputs live in northern India and Pakistan.
History and origin
The Bais Rajputs are a Suryavanshi clan. They are an ancient Hindu warrior clan. Their eponymous ancestor was Gautamiputra Satakarni also known as Shalivahana, the king of Shalikot presently known as Sialkot in Pakistan. Shalivahana is the mythic son of a snake who conquered the great Raja Vikramaditya of Ujjain in 55 AD and established his own area. The clan claims to have come from Manji Paithan in the Dekhan in 78 AD when Shalivahana was king. This was the Saka era and Shalivahana was the leader of the Saka nomads who invaded Gujarat on two occasions before and shortly after the beginning of the Christian era.
On the battlefield
During the days of the British Raj the Bais Rajput became particularly famous for their skills in tank building for the use of their own armies. Their Rajas and aristocrats were recorded building tanks around 1730 and again in 1780.
Their wealth caused the Bais Rajput to be described in the 1830s as the "best dressed and housed people" in the areas where they lived.
In these masses of lands many towns were erected but there still remained vast amounts of lands wasteful as they were not being used for any cause. The Bais Rajputs then decided in making money from these lands by agriculture. They hired many farmers to work the lands and produced profits adding to their already rich positions in wealth.
The Bais Rajputs are known for well building.
Some Muslim Bais Rajput Thakurs experience problems in expressing their Thakur identity following the religion of Islam as it does not allow one to be self extravagant and flamboyant in acts. They form part of the larger Khanzada community in Awadh.
- Bayly, C. A. (1988). Rulers, Townsmen and Bazaars: North Indian Society in the Age of British Expansion, 1770-1870. Cambridge South Asian Studies 28. CUP Archive. pp. 96–100. ISBN 978-0-521-31054-3.
- The times of India, The Muslim Rajputs of UP, 8 Jul 2007 Atul Sethi, TNN