Rajputana was the historical name of the region of India
now occupied by the modern state of Rajasthan
. Rajputana was the homeland of the Rajputs
- a powerful group of warlike Hindu
kingdoms that fiercely resisted Muslim
incursions into North India beginning in the 11th century
Rajput power reached its zenith in the early 1500s, but these proud kings were finally subdued in 1568 when Mughal Emperor Akbar captured their fortress at Chitor. Even after defeating the Rajputs on the battlefield, Akbar still had to respect their might by offering them positions of authority in his government to keep them from rebelling.
With the decline of the Mughals in the 1700s, Rajputana fell under the hegemony of the powerful Maratha kingdom, until the might of the Marathas was dispersed by the British in 1818. The British were never able to fully conquer many of the Rajput kingdoms, which retained full autonomy under the British Raj system until they were finally incorporated into the newly independent nation of India in 1947. Some of the more famous of these independent Rajput principalities included Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ajmer, and Bikaner.