History of ChuruThe history of Churu, the land of the shifting sand dunes, is a significant link among the events that transpired in the Bikaner region prior to the establishment of the Rathores and involves three generations of the Rathore Rajputs and the Kaler Jats. The history of the Jats of Rajasthan would be incomplete without the mention of Churu.
The Ascendance of the RajputsChuru derives its name from a Jat chieftain called Chuhru, who established a settlement here in 1620 A.D. The area in Churu where he came and settled is known as Kalera Baas even today. The history of Bikaner revolves around the Rathore Rajputs. There was once a chieftain called Thakur Bagh, who had an elder son called Thakur Banir. Banir used to live in a town called Ghanghu. A group of Bhati Rajputs had come to visit Khariya, and one of their daughters was nubile. A coconut was sent by the Bhati Jats to Thakur Banir as an expression of interest to get their daughter married into his family. An ageing Thakur Banir declined the offer, but his elder son Meghraj Singh insisted on getting his old father married to the girl.
The Rise of MaldeoOut of this wedlock, four sons were born. The eldest was named Maldeo, who would come to rule the entire Bikaner region, known before as Jangladesh. After Thakur Banir’s death, Thakur Meghraj Singh ascended to the throne and the Thakurani, Banir’s wife, took her sons to seek refuge with the Chaudhary (a landowner cum ruler) of the region, known as Chowdhary Sardar. The Chaudhary brought up the four boys like a maternal grandfather would. It is said that the Thakurani would send alms to a mendicant called Handi Bhadang, through Maldeo. In time the mendicant grew fond of the boy, and blessed him with strength and prosperity.
Maldeo once invited Chaudhary to a feast, intending to feed them food and drink laced with intoxicants. Once they lost consciousness, he murdered them all and became the supreme ruler of Churu. This event is said to have occurred in 1541 A.D.
Rao Bika and the establishment of BikanerLater, Maldeo’s nephew, Rao Bika rose to become an indomitable force in the region, forging an alliance with the Bhati Rajputs and storming the Mehrangarh Fort to stamp his authority over Bikaner, issuing an open challenge to neighboring Marwar. This resulted in intermittent wars spanning 200 years, after which Rao Bika’s descendants claimed supremacy over the region, and Bikaner was born. Bikaner enjoyed free rein till 1860, during which year it came under British rule. Churu finally gained autonomy as a Tehsil after India own her independence in the year 1948.
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