History of Shekhawati (Shekhawati region gets its name from MahaRao Shekha Ji)

MahaRao Shekha (1433-1488) was a Rajput chieftain belonging to the Kachwaha clan of Amer/Jaipur. He ruled over Amarsar, The Shekhawati gets its name from him, comprising the districts of Sikar and Jhunjhunu in the present-day Indian state of Rajasthan. The descendants of Rao Shekha form Kachwaha clan of Rajputs

Birth Maharao Shekha Ji was born in B.S. 1490, (A.D.1433), son of Rao Mokal Ji (Amarsar) and Rani Nirwan Ji (Khetri). RaoMokal was a chieftain who held the estate of Nan in fief from the ruler of Amber (Jaipur). The story of Shekha's birth is rather interesting. Mokal and Nirwan were much troubled as they had no son for several years. They heard about the miraculous powers of the Sheikh Burhan, a Muslim mendicant. They decided to pay the man a visit. After they received the blessings of the Sheikh, a son was born to the couple. In honour of the mendicant, the couple named their son Shekha.

Rao Shekha

As the Ruler
At the age of 12 year he succeeded his father in V.S.1502, A.D 1445.

He was granted the title of MAHARAO by Raja UdaikaranJi (ruler of Amber). The first act of his valour was his sudden attack on Napa (Sankhala Rajput) at Nagarchal, Saiwar, Multhan etc. when he was only 16 years old. From V.S.1530 to 1534, (A.D. 1473 to 1477) with the help of PanniPathans, RaoShekha conquered Dadri from Nop Singh Jatu and Bhiwani from Other JatuRajputs, Hansi from Ikhtar Khan and Hissar from Heda Khan Kaimkhanis. Thus he extended his territory and became powerful.

Shekha's reputation and growing power were noticed by the Ruler of Amber, whom up to this time, they had acknowledged as head (Tikai) of Kachawa Dynasty, and used to send as a tribute all the colts reared on their land. Later, Shekhaji refused to send the colts and as a result of it Raja Chandersen (ChandraSena) of Amber sent his army to attacked him. They fought several battles and in the last one, in V.S. 1528, (A.D.1471), RaoShekha repulsed the forces of Raja Chandersen at the bank of Kokus river, near Amber. Then a treaty was entered into by them, according to which the practice of sending colts to Amber was abandoned. After this, they lived peacefully and Shekhaji became independent and founded a union which was the birth of Shekhawati federation.

The last battle Kolraj Gaur was ruling at Ghatwa under his commands tank was being excavated at Jhotari village and he had made a rule that any one passing that way should remove a quantity of earth from the tank. A Rajput person of Kachawa clan was returning home with his bride, the Rajput obeyed the rule and removed the earth but the Gaurs insisted that his wife should do the same.His widow went to Amarsar and placed a handful of dust before Shekha and told him the fame of the Kachawas would be tarnished if they did not take revenge upon the Gaurs. There upon, in V.S.1535, (A.D.1478) and Shekha invaded Ghatwa the battle took place at the same talab (tank), which ended with his demise because of injuries in the final battle - Battle of Ghatwa.

The Gaur Rajputs fought about 12 battles with ShekhaJi. In the last battle, they met near Ghatwa on the "Khontiya" tank and fought fiercely. RaoRidmal of Maroth wounded Shekha with his arrows .Nawalraj, a son of Kolraj, killed KunwarDurga and KunwarPuranmal, sons of ShekhaJi.

RaoShekha was severely wounded and before his end, he nominated Raimal as his successor. Shekha expired peacefully at Ralawata on BaisakhSudi 3 (AkhaTeej), V.S.1545, (A.D.1488), His chattri (cenotaph) was built there.

MaharaoShekha fought 52 battles in his life. He is the founder and ancestor of the Shekhawat sub-clan of Jaipur's Kachwaha Dynasty.

Rao Shekha Ji, born September 24, 1433, had five Ranis (Queens), who are referred to by their maiden names (surnames), and had issue, 12 sons (8 survived) and 3 daughters.[1]

  • He married firstly, Taankan-ji Ganga Kumari, daughter of Nagvanshi "KeelhanjiTaank" of Nagar-gadh, she established the Kalyanji temple facing entry of Amarsar Fort around 1516-17 V.S.;
  • married secondly, Tanwarji- I, daughter of RaoGahirmaljiTanwar of Dokna;
  • married thirdly, Tanwarji - II, daughter of PichiyanjiTanwar of Bayal (Ganwri);
  • married fourthly, Gaur ji, daughter of Jadamji Gaur of Jhunthar;
  • married fifthly, Chauhanji, daughter of Rao Raja SyobrahmaChauhan of Chaubara or Chobara (Mewat, now Alwar);

  • Progeny
    RaoShekha had 12 sons and 3 daughters.
  • KunwarDurga, ancestor of the Taknet clan. He died 1488 in Ghatwa battle.
  • RoopKanwarJiSahiba
  • KunwarPuranMal, died 1488 in Ghatwa battle.
  • KunwarRatna, ancestor of the Ratnawat clan.
  • Rani Lachalde, married RaoBhaldev of Jodhpur
  • KunwarAbha
  • KunwarAchala
  • KunwarTilok, he was given Mallikpur jointly with his two older brothers and their descendants are known as Mallikpuria.
  • KunwarKumbha
  • KunwarRidmal
  • KunwarBharmal, he was given Khejroli jointly with his two older brothers, and their descendants are known as Khejroliya.
  • RaoRaimal, (by Rani Chauhanji), he succeeded his father as the ruler of Amarsar.
  • Rani RaghavKanwarJiSahiba (Rani Sahiba of Merta), married, RaoDuda of Merta son of RaoJodha of Jodhpur
  • ParvatKanwarJiSahiba
  • Maya KanwarJisahiba
  • History of Shekhawati