JAT HISTORY AND CULTURE

                                                                           JAT

The history depicts the Jats as a brave, courageous and loyal race of India. They are divided in many clans. Jats are not only Hindus but include Sikhs and Muslims as well. Their bravery partially caused to the decline of the Mughal Dynasty.

Jat origins:

The origin of Jats (or Jatts) has several theories, ranging from their sudden appearance from Shiva’s Jattas (locks) to their lineage in the Aryan race. In the modern era three sub-divisions can be made, the Sikh Jats, the Hindu Jats, and the Muslim Jats all sharing almost the same culture, level of economic prosperity, and to a large extent the regions in Indian Mainland. Some people point to their Indo-Scythian or Saka origins. Both Sir Alexander Cunningham and Colonel James Tod agreed in considering the Jats to be of Indo-Scythian stock. Cunningham identified them with the Zanthi of Strabo and the Jatti of Pliny the Elder and Ptolemy, and held that they probably entered the Punjab from their home on the Oxus. The Jats seem to have occupied the Indus valley as far down as Sindh.

By the 10th century, the Jats started ruling in Punjab where they firmly established themselves in the beginning of the eleventh century. By the time of Babar, the Jats of the salt range had been in constant conflict with the Gakkhars, Awans and Janjuas. Tod classed the Jats as one of the great Rajput tribes, with Cunningham claiming the Rajput to belong to the original Aryan stock, and the Jats to a late wave of immigrants from the northwest, probably of Scythian race.

Both Sir Alexander Cunningham and Col Tod agreed in considering the Jats to be of Indo-Scythian stock. The former identified them with the Zanthi of Strabo and the Jatti of Pliny and Ptolemy ; and held that they probably entered the Punjab from their home on the Oxus very shortly after the Meds or Mands , who also were Indo-Scythians, and who moved into the Punjab about a century before Christ. The Jats seem to have first occupied the Indus valley as far down as Sindh, whither the Meds followed them about the beginning of the present era.

But before the earliest Muslim invasion the Jats had spread into Punjab proper, where there were firmly established in the beginning of the eleventh century. By the time of Babar, the Jats of the salt range had been in constant conflict with the Gakkhars, Awans and Janjuas. Tod classed the Jats as one of the great Rajput tribes; but here Cunningham differed from him holding the Rajputs to belong to the original Aryan stock, and the Jats to a late wave of immigrants from the north west, probably of Scythian race.

In ‘Punjab Castes’, Sir Denzil Ibbetson wrote: ” …. the original Rajput and the original Jat entered India at different in its history. But if they do originally represent to separate waves of immigration, it is at least exceedingly probable, both from there almost identical physique and facial character and from the close communion which has always existed between them, that they belong to one and the same ethnic stock; and it is almost certain that the joint Jat Rajput stock contains not a few tribes of aboriginal descent, though it is probably in the main Aryo-Scythian, if Scythian be not Aryan.”

History:

Irrespective of their origin, with the decline of the Mughal empire in the eighteenth century, the Jats became a force that could not be ignored.
The Bamraulia Jats founded the kingdom of Gohad, near Gwalior, in 1505. In 1669 the Jats of Mathura rose in opposition to Aurangzeb’s rule, under the leadership of Gokula, Zamindar of Tilpat and killed the Imperial Faujdar Abdun-Nabi. It took more than a year for the powerful Mughal forces to subdue the Jats. Gokula was killed and his family converted to Islam. However, Jats once again rose in rebellion in 1685 under the leadership of Raja Ram, and Akbar’s tomb was plundered in Sikandra in 1688. Finally the Jats were defeated and Raja Ram slain in 1691. In the disorder following Aurangzeb’s death in 1707, Jat resistance resumed, organised under the leadership of Churaman. Badan Singh, Churaman’s nephew, established a kingdom centered at Deeg (known as Bharatpur after its later capital) from which he extended his rule over Agra and Mathura.

Badan Singh’s adopted son and successor was Maharaja Suraj Mal. Maharaja Suraj Mal, described as the “Plato of Jat tribes” and “Jat Ulysses”, extended his kingdom to include Agra, Mathura, Dholpur, Mainpuri, Hathras, Aligarh, Etawah, Meerut, Rohtak, Farrukhnagar, Mewat, Rewari and Gurgaon. He was described as the greatest warrior and the ablest statesman that the Jats have produced. He moved the capital from Deeg to Bharatpur after 1733. Great Rustam, a Jat king of the Sogariya clan, laid the foundation of the modern city of Bharatpur. After him, control passed to his son Khemkaran and then to Maharaja Suraj Mal. Khemkaran was a great warrior, claimed to be able to kill two tigers running in different directions at the same time. He was then awarded with the title Faujdar, which is still used by all Sogariyas. The beautiful palace and gardens at Deeg and the Bharatpur fort, both built by Maharaja Suraj Mal, symbolised the coming of age of the Jat state. Maharaja Suraj Mal died on 25 December 1763.

The Bamraulia Jat Maharanas of Gohad resisted the Maratha assaults of the 18th century, and twice occupied the strategic fortress of Gwalior (1740–1756 and 1780–1783). The Maharanas allied with the British against the Marathas, and in a British-brokered deal exchanged Gohad for Dholpur in 1806.

In the mid eighteenth century the Dalal Jats of Mandoti, the Haryana, built the mud fort of Kuchesar in Uttar Pradesh.By the nineteenth century, Jats ruled the states of Bharatpur, Dholpur, Gohad (Bhind), Kuchesar, Bahadurgarh, Mursan, and others. The Jats established a reputation of being determined, sturdy, fierce fighters. Known for their military prowess, Jats have always been part of imperial armies. They forced the Amir of Baghdad to run for his life in 837 CE, and ruled there for 15 years. They served as fighters in the Persian army against the Romans and led successful campaigns. The Jats were classified as a “Martial Race” by the British and were recruited in large numbers in the British army. A large number of Jats serve in the Indian Armed Forces today and form one of the largest ethnic groups in the army.

Ballabhgarh was another important princely state established by the Jat people of the Tewatia clan, who had come from Janauli village. Balram Singh, the brother-in-law of Maharaja Suraj Mal was the first powerful ruler of Ballabhgarh. Raja Nahar Singh (1823–1858) was another notable king of this princely state.

The Jat people also briefly ruled at Gwalior and Agra. The Jat rulers Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana (1707–1756) and Maharaja Chhatar Singh Rana (1757–1782) occupied the Gwalior fort twice, Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana from 1740 to 1756, and Maharaja Chhatra Singh Rana from 1780 to 1783. Maharaja Suraj Mal captured Agra Fort on 12 June 1761 and it remained in the possession of Bharatpur rulers till 1774.[32] After Maharaja Suraj Mal, Maharaja Jawahar Singh, Maharaja Ratan Singh and Maharaja Kehri Singh (minor) under resident ship of Maharaja Nawal Singh ruled over Agra Fort.

Demographics 

Today, the largest population centre is located in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, the Punjab region, Uttrakhand and Rajasthan; there are smaller distributions across the world, due to the large immigrant diaspora. In the immigrant diaspora major populations centres include the U.K., U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Russia, Belgium and Australia.

 Pre-Independence Estimates

The census in 1931 in India recorded population on the basis of ethnicity. In 1925, the population of Jatts was around nine million in South Asia and was made up of followers of three major religions as shown below.

 

Religion Jat Population %
Hinduism 47%
Islam 33%
Sikhism 20%

According to earlier censuses, the Jat people accounted for approximately 25% of the entire Sindhi-Punjabi speaking area, making it the “largest single socially distinctive group” in the region.

According to Hukum Singh Pawar (Pauria), adequate statistics about India’s Jat population are available in the Census Report of India of 1931, which is the last and the most comprehensive source of information on the Jat people, who were estimated to be approximately ten million in number at that time.

The region-wise breakdown of the total Jatt people population in 1931 (including Jat Hindus, Jat Sikhs and Jat Muslims) is given in the following table. The Jat people, approximately 73%, were located mainly in the Punjab region.

Name of region Jat population 1931 Approx
Percentage
Punjab (British India) 6,068,302 73 %
Rajputana 1,043,153 12 %
United Provinces of Agra and Oudh 810,114 9.2 %
Kashmir and Jammu 148,993 2 %
Balochistan 93,726 1.2 %
NWFP 76,327 1 %
Bombay Presidency 54,362 0.7 %
Delhi 53,271 0.6 %
Central Provinces and Berar 28,135 0.3 %
Ajmer-Merwara 29,992 0.3 %
Total 8,406,375 100 %

 Post-independence estimates

Dhillon (1988) states that by taking population statistical analysis into consideration the Jat population growth of both India and Pakistan since 1925, Quanungo’s figure of nine million could be translated into a minimum population statistic (1988) of 30 million.

From 1931 to 1988 the estimated increase in the Jat people population of the Indian subcontinent including Pakistan respectively is 3.5% Hindu, 3.5% Sikh and 4.0% Muslim. Sukhbir Singh estimates that the population of Hindu Jatts, numbered at 2,210,945 in the 1931 census, rose to about 7,738,308 by 1988, whereas Muslim Jatts, numbered at 3,287,875 in 1931, would have risen to about 13,151,500 in 1988. The total population of Jatts was given as 8,406,375 in 1931, and estimated to have been about 31,066,253 in 1988.

Republic of India 

Jat people are considered a forward class in all the states of India with those of Haryana or Punjaborigin. Some specific clans of Jat people are classified as Other Backward Castes in some states, e.g.Jats of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Muslim Jats in Gujarat[51] and Mirdha Jat people (except Jat Muslims) in Madhya Pradesh.

Land reforms, particularly the abolition of Jagirdari and Zamindari systems, Panchayati Raj and Green Revolution, to which Jat people have been major contributors, have immensely contributed to the economic betterment of the Jat people.

The Jat people are one of the most prosperous groups in India on a per-capita basis. (Haryana, Punjab, and Gujarat are the wealthiest of Indian states). Haryana has the largest number of rural crorepatis in India.

Traditionally Jats have dominated as the political class in Haryana and Punjab

A number of Jat people belonging to the political classes have produced many political leaders, including the 6th Prime Minister of India, Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh.

Adult franchise has created enormous social and political awakening among Jat people. Consolidation of economic gains and participation in the electoral process are two visible outcomes of the post-independence situation. Through this participation they have been able to significantly influence the politics of North India. Economic differentiation, migration and mobility could be clearly noticed amongst the Jat people.

Pakistan 

See also: Jats of Azad Kashmir and Muslim Jat of Punjab

A large number of the Jat Muslim people live in Pakistan and have dominant roles in public life in the Punjab and Pakistan in general. In addition to the Punjab, Jat communities are also found in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, in Sindh, particularly the Indus delta and among Seraiki-speaking communities in southern Punjab, the Kachhi region of Balochistan and the Dera Ismail Khan District [khyber-pakhtunkhwa province]].

North American diaspora communities

The Association of Jats of America (AJATA) is the main Jat people organization of North America.[61] It serves as the main body, forum and lobby for Jat people issues in North America.

The North American Jat Charities (NAJC) is one of the main Jat people charities of North America. It serves as a charity for the welfare of Jat people in North America

 Culture and society

The Life and culture of Jat people is full of diversity. The Jat lifestyle initially fostered a martial spirit[1]. As the situation changed, some Jat people started retiring to the country-side and became landed barons [2] and the rest landlords with their swords girded round their waists.

Religion

Jat people are followers of many faiths. Today they mostly follow Hinduism, Islam, or Sikhism, with a minority following Christianity.

In 1925, the population of the Jat people was around nine million in British India, made up of followers of three major religions Hinduism (47%), Islam (33%) and Sikhism (20%).[41] During the early 1900s, four million Jats of present-day Pakistan were mainly Muslims by faith and the nearly six million Jats of present-day India were mostly divided into two large groups: Hindus concentrated in Haryana and Rajasthan and Sikhs, concentrated in Punjab.

The Hindu varna system is unclear on Jat status within the caste system. Some sources state that Jats are regarded as “Kshatriyasor “degraded Kshatriyas” who, as they did not observe Brahmanic rites and rituals, had fallen to the status of Sudra.

Most Sikh Jats were converted from Hindu Jats, so they would join forces with the Khalsa to fight against the Mughal monarchy

Social customs

Jat festivals

Jat people, who are Hindu celebrate following festivals with great fanfare -

  • Akshyatratiya or Ākhātīj is the special festival of Jats celebrated on the eighteenth day of vaishakh. No muhurt is required for marriages on this day. It is believed that the attempt of Dushasan to Draupudi be shamed by being disrobed in front of the whole court was made imperishable (akshya) by Krishna.
  • Gangadashhara is observed due to belief that their ancestor Pandavas had gone for firsttime Gangabath on this day.
  • Raksha Bandhan (the bond of protection) or Rakhi festival which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. It is celebrated on the full moon of the month of Shraavana. It is associated with Draupadi and Krishna during the Rajsuya yagya. After Shishupala‘s death, Krishna was left with a bleeding finger. Draupadi, the wife of the Pandavas, had torn a strip of silk off her sari and tied it around Krishna’s wrist to staunch the flow of blood. Touched by her concern, Krishna had declared himself bound to her by her love. He further promised to repay the debt manifold. Many years later when Draupudi was about to be shamed by being disrobed in front of the whole court by her evil brother-in-law Duryodhana, she called on Krishna to help her, and he did by divinely elongating her sari so it could not be removed.
  • Krishna Janmaashtami or “Janmaashtami”, is a festival celebrating the birth of Krishna.
  • Teej is celebrated in many parts of Rajasthan. They worship Goddess Parvati. A day before this festival is celebrated as Sinjara wherein girls/ladies put on mehandi on their hands and eat ghewar/feeni and other sweets. On Teej, married women pray to Goddess Parvati for well being of their husbands. Idols of goddess Parvati are decorated and taken in a procession in the streets accompanied by singing, music, and dancing.
  • Chhath denotes the number 6 in Hindi and the festival begins on the sixth day of the Hindu lunar calendar month of Kartik, which corresponds to months of October–November in the Gregorian calendar. The festival of Chhath begins a week after Diwali.
  • Vijayadashmi or Dussehra celebrates the victory of good over evil. It is the anniversary of the day when Rama killed Ravana in the ancient Hindu epic, Ramayana.
  • Diwali celebrates arrival of prince Rama back to Ayodhya after his victory over the evil Ravana as depicted in major Hindu epic of Ramayana. Diwali is one of the most well-known Jat festivals, and is celebrated with great fanfare.
  • Makar Sankranti is a mid-winter festival of India. The day celebrates the northward journey of the Sun. Makar Sankranti is celebrated on 14 January, the day the Sun enters the next zodiac sign according to Hindu astrology.
  • Rama Navami falls on the ninth day of a Hindu lunar year (or Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami). This day is the birthday of Rama.
  • Holi is a festival of colours and celebrates the arrival of spring. Legends has that it is celebrated as victory of the faith of Prahlada over evil designs of Hiranyakashipu, who tried to kill him.
  • Bāseā festival in which people worship “Sheetla Mata,” the goddess of small-pox on Sheetla Ashtama day; People don’t cook any food and would eat the food made of earlier day. They make seven dishes, the day before and then do pooja and they eat those the whole day. Small pox is supposed to be caused by heat, that is the myth behind this festival.
  • Gagaur - The spring festival of Gangaur, symbolic of the ripened harvest is held in honour of Gauri, the goddess of abundance. The image of the deity is carried in a procession by gaily dressed men and women. A sight more exhilarating than the entire population of a city thus assembled for the purpose of rejoicing is hard to imagine.
  • Hasotiā - festival at the start of plaughing a field
  • Gogaji  - Gogaji is a folk deity of Jats in Rajasthan. He is an eminent warrior-hero of the region. Hindus and Muslims alike honor him. He is also venerated as a saint and even as ‘snake-god’. He is known as Goga among the Hindus and Jahar Peer among the Muslims. The Kaimkhani Muslims claim descent from him and regard him as a peer (saint). Gogaji is popular as a snake-god and almost every village in Rajasthan has a than (sacred place) dedicated to him. The devotees of Gogaji can be found in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. In Gujarat, an annual procession is taken out in honour of the great warrior.

Gogaji fair – A grand fair is held at Gogamedi, which is 359 km from Jaipur, in Hanumangarh district of Rajasthan in August in memory of Gogaji. It is believed that Gogaji went into samadhi at Gogamedi. Thousands of devotees gather to pay homage at this memorial annually in the month of Bhadrapada during the Gogaji fair, which lasts for 3 days.The fair is held from the ninth day of the dark half of Bhadrapada (Goga Navami) to the eleventh day of the dark half of the same month. The inscription in Persian at the main entrance describes Mahmud of Ghazni‘s regard for Gogaji. It is quite a sight to see people singing and dancing to the beats of drums and gongs with multicolored flags called ‘nishans’ in their hands.

  • Tejaji  - Tejaji (1074–1103) was a Jat folk-deity who lived in the state of Rajasthan in India.

 Tejaji

He was born on Bhadrapad Shukla Dashmi, dated 29 January 1074 (?), in the family of Dhaulya gotra Jats. His father was Chaudhary Taharji, a chieftain of Khirnal in Nagaur district in Rajasthan.

Veer Teja was a great saint. A large number of temples of Veer Teja have been built in entire Rajasthan. It is believed that if a person suffering from snakebite goes to samādhi of Teja or puts a chord (tanti) in Tejaji’s name, he is cured.

Tejaji fairs-A large fair, Mela Tejaji, Takes place on the eleventh lunar day of Bhadrapada Shukla Paksh (Aug.-Sept.) every year in village Parbatsar, District Nagaur in Rajasthan. Veer Tejaji Cattle Fair at Parbatsar near Makrana is also organized every year. Many fairs are held in Malwa region on the tenth day of the month of Bhadra to mark the birth of Tejaji. A fair of tejaji is also organized at village Bhamawad of Guna district in Madhya Pradesh on this date.

Jat marriages

The Jat people are required to marry within their community. The joint family system was popular amongst the Jats and large families use to share the same house and hearth. With the advancement of modern civilization, as people are becoming less dependent upon and less tolerant toward each other, the joint family system is going out of vogue. It was still prevalent in the less advanced areas in the 1930s.

Jat marriage ceremonies are traditionally conducted in according with Vedic rituals. Widow marriage is not only permitted and practiced, it is also a social obligation.[

Historical records show from 1000 AD, when the population of Jats was small, marrying within ones own gotra was not encouraged. However, from about 1650 AD onward marrying within same gotra became more common. Scholars have reasoned this had to do with the size of the Jat population becoming much bigger and the chances of being related to someone in the same gotra became very small.

Marriage- Jat people who are Hindu

The Jat people attach a lot of importance to weddings. The ceremonies are very colourful and extend for several days. The following steps are involved in a wedding:

  • Sagai  - Engagement. Sagai is an agreement or promise to marry and also refers to the time between proposal and marriage. In traditional families, a boy or girl had no say in engagement. That was purely a duty left to parents. Important considerations in the selection is the health, the reputation of the family, and area of the land which the selected family owns for cultivation. This system is changing.
  • Agūthī pahanānā - Engagement ring. When engagement is fixed, the bridegroom comes with relatives to the house of the bride and presents the engagement ring. It is a ring worn by a woman on her left ring finger indicating her engagement to be married. It represents a formal agreement to future marriage.
  • Bhāt nūtanā - Inviting maternal uncles for bhāt by the mother of bride or groom about a month before marriage.
  • Mugdaā - Green and dried twigs of khejri tree brought from farm on a cart on the day of Bān which are worshipped by mother or sister of a boy or girl before marriage.
  • Bān baihānā  - Ganesha pujan ceremony at the beginning of a marriage.
  • Pīthī lagānā  - Paste made of grounded barley, turmeric and ghee used as a fairness cream.
  • Banorī  - After the Bān baihānā ceremony, the bride or groom do not take food at their home. First meals are at priest's house known as baman banori. Subsequent meals at close relative's house till marriage.
  • Ratijkā  - Keeping awake all night. On the first night before marriage all family members sing songs, dance, and worship deities without sleeping.
  • Mehandī lagānā  - Another name for wedding in India is “hāth pīle karanā” or, simply translated, "making hands yellow." Mehandi (henna) is applied to the bride’s hands and feet. In the right hand, a round spot is left open for Hathlewā.
  • Khīchaḍī  - The function at the time of a boy's marriage in which all relatives and villagers are invited on lunch one day before the phera ceremony, a recipe made of daal and rice, kheechad gotra.
  • Me  - get-together ceremony on previous day of marriage by the side of bridegroom
  • Māndā - a pole made of khejadi tree put on the day of marriage of a girl
  • Mandap  - The wedding is normally conducted under a mandap, a canopy traditionally with four pillars, and an important component of the ceremony is the sacred fire (Agni) that is witness to the ceremony.
  • Bhāt - also called Mayero, maternal uncles bring gifts for the mother.
  • Chāk Pūjā  - Worship of potter's wheel. Jats marriages start with the Chak Pooja. It is done in Jats of all the states. The potter's wheel was invented by Gutians in Sumerian civilization and they made it a custom to remember it for generations to come. This still persists in Jats and it indicates the linkages between Jats and the Gutians of Sumer.
  • Sarpech - masculine ornament worn in front on the turban. It was often extended into a golden band set with emeralds, rubies, diamonds.
  • Barāt nikasī - Departure of wedding procession. The groom leaves for the wedding venue riding a decorated horse. This is a very colorful and grand ceremony. The groom is dressed in a sherwani (long jacket) and 'churidars' (fitted trousers). On his head he wears a 'safa' (turban) with a 'kalgi' (brooch) pinned onto it. Before he departs all his relatives apply the ceremonial 'tilak' on his forehead. The barāt is headed by the dancing of the congregated folks. Accompanied by the rhythm of the north Indian dholak the barāt finally reaches the place of the wedding.
  • Ghu cha  - Horseriding. This is a Vedic tradition of Jats in which the groom rides a horse and goes to bride's house. "Jāt" in Latvian language means cavalier.
  • Chāwal chahanā - Rice offering. It is an Aryan tradition. Rice is also called as "akshat " in Sanskrit, which means an unbroken grains of rice known as pinda. Rice is a very important grain in almost all the rituals in India and in other countries. This can be attributed to the fact that rice is the first known food grain to be cultivated. Even in India, wheat was introduced from the Middle East quite later on and, as a result, rice is the grain used by all the Hindus in their rituals. Rice is a symbol of prosperity.
  • Sehā - barati's reception ceremony.
  • Tora māranā - a symbol of victory put on the door of dulhan on arrival of baraat, Been comes and touches it with his sword or a neem or Zhaadi [berry] stick.
  • Var mālā  - The groom is led to a small stage where he is “attacked” by the bride with flowers. Following this, the groom and bride exchange garlands, known asVar mālā, signifying their acceptance of each other as husband and wife. Then, the groom’s mother-in-law measures the groom’s chest and pokes and prods him to make sure he is tough enough to defend her daughter. She then puts kajal on the groom to ward off evil spirits. This is followed by aarti.
  • Hathlewā - After being led to the wedding mandup, the bride and groom have their hands tied together. The Pandit does a puja to Lord Ganesha and then puts a coin and mehendi on the groom’s right hand where the round empty spot is (where no mehendi was put) and ties his hand with the bride’s. This puja is scheduled in advance based on an auspicious time and date.
  • Gajoa - The priest ties the end of the groom’s dhoti or kurta with that of the bride’s saree, the knot signifying the sacred wedlock.
  • Pherā - Ceremony performed during marriage when the couple take Vachan in front of Agni devata
  • Sātphere - Seven rounds around fire. The groom and the bride then circle the holy fire seven times, making seven promises to be fulfilled in the married life, after which they are considered to be married to each other. This ritual is called “phere”.
  • Kanyā Dān - the bestowing of a girl in marriage. Kanyā Dān is performed by the father of the bride in presence of a large gathering that is invited to witness the wedding. The father pours out a libation of sacred water symbolizing the giving away of the daughter to the bridegroom. The groom recites Vedic hymns to Kama, the God of love, for pure love and blessings. As a condition for offering his daughter for marriage, the father of the bride requests a promise from the groom for assisting the bride in realizing the three ends : dharma, artha, and kama. The groom makes the promise by repeating three times that he will not fail the bride in realizing dharma, artha and kama.
  • Thāpā lagānā - Imprint of hand of bride or bridegroom in mehandi or haldi are marked on a wall.
  • Kanwar Kalevā - ceremony of offering breakfast to bridegroom by bride’s side during marriage in which bridegroom along with close friends and associates relish the royal breakfast
  • Rangbarī - the ceremony of showing ornaments and clothes of a bride
  • Samtuī - function to honour the baraatis and guests in marriage
  • Dāt  - utensils, clothes, ornaments, etc. offered to bridegroom and his relatives by the bride’s side in marriage.
  • Jhūnwārī - paying respect to a relative by putting tilak on forehead and offering gift
  • Vidāī - A send off. This is considered to be the most emotional ritual, when the bride leaves her parents’ home and makes her way to her husband’s. Family and friends, who shower her with blessings and gifts, give her a tearful farewell. The male members of the bride’s family bid farewell to the groom by applying the traditional ’tilak’ (vermilion) on his forehead and shower him with gifts. The couple leaves in a decorated car.
  • Kānka doraā - the secred threads put on the hands of bride and bridegroom in marriage are removed and put at the boundary of village when bridegroom returns with bride to his village.
  • Dwār Rukāī - stop the couple at door. After leaving the bride’s house, the couple come home. They are stopped at the entrance of the house by either the groom’s sister or his father’s sister. There, in an earthen vessel, the sister/aunt uses a mixture of salt and water to ward off evil spirits from the groom. After this, the pot is thrown on the ground and destroyed. After this, the couple enter the house.
  • Gha Pravesh - When the bride arrives at her new home, her mother-in-law, who welcomes her with the traditional aarti. At the entrance, she puts her right foot onto a tray of vermilion powder mixed in water or milk, symbolizing the arrival of good fortune and purity. With both her feet now covered in the red powder paste, she kicks over a vessel filled with rice and coins to denote the arrival of fertility and wealth in her marital home.
  • Chandvā  - canopy made of a cloth on bride-bridegroom to give shelter.
  • Mūh Dikhāī  - A post-wedding rituals, amidst much laughter to make the new member feel comfortable. Literally translated, it means “show your face,” but this is a ritual that helps to introduce the newlywed to members of her husband’s family. Each member of the groom’s family comes in turn to make an acquaintance with the new bride and offers her some gifts.
  • Pesgarā - the function on next day of return of barat by the side of bridegroom from marriage
  • Muklāvā - gona, second part of marriage after which the bride starts living with her husband
  • Sinjhārā  - function in which gifts are offered to a young lady before and after marriage on the occasion of previous day of teej and gangaur
  • Ānkha – song is sung when the husband of daughter comes first time to his in-laws
  • Badhawā - Song is sung when daughter is sent to sarural(in-laws).
  • Jākhī  - Song sung to welcome Batawoo, husbands of their daughters

Children’s ceremonies

  • Sāthia - Swastika. When a male child is born in Rajasthan, signs of swastik are made on door by using cowdung and clay. On both sides of the door two sathias are made. One bears sign of Swastika and other the Sun. These are preserved for lifelong.
  • apotrā  - Yellow baby clothes. On the birth of a male child nai (barber) is sent to maternal side with a cloth coloured with turmeric to give a message of birth of a male child.
  • Ja - Water worship (Also called Kuan Poojan – worshipping water well). Function done after about a month of the delivery. In that function new mother worships at the Well and gifts are exchanged between relatives and new mother and after that function the mother starts doing routine household work.
  • Chhuchhak  - a ceremony performed by maternal side after a month of birth of a male child.
  • Kara chhedan - Kara chhedan saṃskāra is performed of a boy during teens, when a particular vein of the ears is penetrated with a needle and a little gold ornament called murkī is worn through it. This particular penetration has got medical significance since it saves the person from many future ailments, particularly of testicles.

 Death customs

  • Dāh-samskār - the cremation is the practice of disposing of a human corpse by burning which often takes place in a crematorium or crematory. This is done by vedic system through chanting of mantras for the peace of soul. The dead body is taken on arthi’ on the shoulders of sons or near relatives to the place of cremation.
  • Asthi-visarjan - the ceremony of disposal of the bone pieces collected from the shamśān on the third day are disposed in to the River Ganges at Haridwar.
  • Mausar - the ceremony after death of a person on 13th day in which all relatives and villagers are invited on food. It is also known as teravin. On the thirteenth day, a death feast is offered to all the relatives of the family, including the elders and children of the locality.

Clothes and ornaments

Men’s garments

Men’s clothes consist of a turban, chadara and kurta pajama (in Punjab), shirt, dhoti, juthi and cotton or woolen shawl. Shawls are often worn by Jats to conceal their pump-action shotgun(a primary agriculturists weapon in India). Jats normally keep blankets made of sheep-wool during winters.

Women’s garments

Women wear oḍhaṇi (veil) shirt or āngī (short blouse) ghāgharī (heavy skirt) jūtī (country made shoes)and heavy ornaments around the neck, wrists and ankles. Rajasthani women wear kurtī kānchalī and ghāgharā Traditional jat women wear woolen ghaghara known as dhābalā with a strong woolen rope tied to it in the waste.

Ornaments: There are different kinds of ornaments in use in different states. Ornaments are liked by both jat men and women.

Men’s ornaments

Men in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab wear gande, tore, janjīr, angūṭhī, chhāp, bīrabalī, bāliyān etc. Men in Rajasthan wear kare  in ankles, gurde and murkī in ears and hār  in neck.

 

Women’s ornaments

Women wear various ornaments made of gold and silver such as bichhue, sānkar, chhallī, chhade ,lachchhe sānkarī, kaḍe ,pājeb, sānth bānkadā, kamardhanī, mhel, janjīr, gulaband, hansalī, kanthī, pachamaniā, mohanamālā, jhumkā, long, eran, vālī,, turputī ,jhubajhubī,, nāth ,borlā,, senṭhā ,long ,sulliyā ,Teotā ,mādaliā ,bangaḍī ,ānvalā ,nevarī ,pātī etc.

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In the chaos following Aurangzeb’s death in 1707, the Jat confrontation resumed, prearranged under the leadership of Churaman (1695–1721). Churaman’s nephew, Badan Singh (1722–1756), established a kingdom centered at Deeg, from which he extended his rule over Agra and Mathura. Badan Singh’s eldest son and successor, Maharaja Suraj Mal (1707–1763), extended his kingdom to include Agra, Mathura, Dholpur, Mainpuri, Hathras, Aligarh, Etawah, Meerut, Rohtak (including Bhiwani), Farrukhnagar, Mewat, Rewari and Gurgaon. He has been described as one of the greatest Jat rulers. Suraj Mal moved the capital from Deeg to Bharatpur in 1733. Rustam, a Jat king of the Sogariya clan, had previously laid the foundation of the modern city of Bharatpur. During the British Raj, the princely state of Bharatpur covered an area of 5,123 sq.km, and its rulers enjoyed a salute of 17 guns. The state acceded to the dominion of India in 1947. Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana of Gohad According to Cunningham and William Cook, the city of Gohad was founded in 1505 by the Jats of Bamraulia village, who had been forced to leave Bamraulia by a satrap of Firuz Shah Tughluq. Gohad developed into an important Jat state, and was later captured by the Marathas. The Jat people of Gohad signed a treaty with the British and helped them capture Gwalior and Gohad from the Marathas. The British kept Gwalior and handed control of Gohad to Jat people in 1804. Gohad was handed over to the Marathas under a revised treaty dated 22 November 1805 between the Marathas and the British. As a compensation for Gohad, the Jat ruler Rana Kirat Singh was given Dhaulpur, Badi and Rajakheda; Kirat Singh moved to Dhaulpur in December 1805. Rana Udaybhanu Singh of Dholpur In the 10th century, the Jat people took control of Dholpur, which had earlier been ruled by the Rajputs and the Yadavs. Dholpur was taken by Sikandar Lodhi in 1501, who transferred it to a Muslim governor in 1504. In 1527, the Dholpur fort fell to Babur and continued to be ruled by the Mughals until 1707. After the death of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, Raja Kalyan Singh Bhadauria obtained possession of Dholpur, and his family retained it until 1761. After that, Dholpur was taken successively by the Jat ruler Maharaja Suraj Mal of Bharatpur; by Mirza Najaf Khan in 1775; by the Scindia ruler of Gwalior in 1782; and finally, by the British East India Company in 1803. It was restored by the British to the Scindias under the Treaty of Sarji Anjangaon, but in consequence of new arrangements, was again occupied by the British. In 1806, Dholpur again came under the Jat rulers, when it was handed over to Kirat Singh of Gohad. Dholpur thus became a princely state, a vassal of the British during the Raj. Ballabhgarh was another important princely state established by the Jat people of the Tewatia clan, who had come from Janauli village. Balram Singh, the brother-in-law of Maharaja Suraj Mal was the first powerful ruler of Ballabhgarh.

Raja Nahar Singh (1823–1858) was another notable king of this princely state. Maharaja Bhupinder Singh of Patiala Patiala and Nabha were two important Jat states in Punjab, ruled by the Jat people of the Siddhu clan. The Jind state in present-day Haryana was founded by the descendants of Phul Jat of Siddhu ancestry. Maharaja Ranjit Singh ca. 1835-40 Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1780–1839) of the Sandhawalia Jat clan of Punjab became the Sikh emperor of the sovereign country of Punjab and the Sikh Empire. He united the Sikh factions into one state, and conquered vast tracts of territory on all sides of his kingdom. From the capture of Lahore in 1799, he rapidly annexed the rest of the Punjab. To secure his empire, he invaded Afghanistan, and defeated the Pathan militias and tribes.

Ranjit Singh took the title of “Maharaja” on April 12, 1801 (to coincide with Baisakhi day). Lahore served as his capital from 1799. In 1802 he took the city of Amritsar. In the year 1802, Ranjit Singh successfully invaded Kashmir. Other Jat states of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries included Kuchesar (ruled by the Dalal Jat clan of Mandoti, Haryana), and the Mursan state (the present-day Hathras district in Uttar Pradesh) ruled by the Thenua Jats. The Jat people also briefly ruled at Gwalior and Agra.

The Jat rulers Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana (1707-1756) and Maharaja Chhatar Singh Rana (1757-1782) occupied the Gwalior fort twice, Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana from 1740 to 1756, and Maharaja Chhatra Singh Rana from 1780 to 1783. Maharaja Suraj Mal captured Agra Fort on 12 June 1761 and it remained in the possession of Bharatpur rulers until 1774. After Maharaja Suraj Mal, Maharaja Jawahar Singh, Maharaja Ratan Singh and Maharaja Kehri Singh (minor) under resident ship of Maharaja Nawal Singh ruled over Agra Fort.

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To be updated. Info on Jats literature would be appreciated…

Content is taken from wikipedia, Jatland and other websites, also information is taken from Sr. Jat members. Please give suggestions if you feel that info needs to be corrected.

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