Khas Rajput (Devanagari: खस राजपूत) is a Rajput (warrior-ruler) community among Khas people. The term is popularly denoted to Khas people who follow Hindu Kshatriya tradition in the Indian state of Uttarakhand. It is used very less in Nepal and is replaced by the term Kshetri.
They have been connected to the Khasas mentioned in the ancient Hindu literature. Historian Bal Krishna Sharma and Dor Bahadur Bista speculates that the Khas people were of Indo-European origin. Historian Baburam Acharya speculates that Khas are a sub-clan of Aiḍa, an Arya clan originated at Idavritt (modern day Kashmir). Khas were living in the Idavaritt in the 3rd millennium B.C.E. and the original meaning of the term Khas was Raja or Kshatriya (Yoddha). He further speculates that Kashmir has been named from its local residents Khas as Khasmir. In the 2nd millennium B.C.E., one group of Khas migrated towards Iran while the other group migrated east of Sutlej river settling only in the hill regions up to Bheri River. Historian Balkrishna Pokhrel contends that Khas were not the Vedic Aryans but Aryans of latter period like the Gurjara, Darada, Shaka, Pallava and Pisacha. He further asserts that post-Vedic Aryans were akin to Vedic Aryans in terms of language and culture.
History[change | change source]
Traditionally, the Khas people were divided into "Khas Brahmins" (also called Bahuns in Nepal) and "Khas Rajputs" (also called Chhetris in Nepal). In the Kumaon and Garhwal regions of Uttarakhand in India, the Khas Brahmins and Khas Rajputs had a lower social status than the other Brahmins and Rajputs. However, in present-day western Nepal, they had the same status as the other Brahmins and Rajputs, possibly as a result of their political power in the Khasa Malla kingdom.
Khas Rajputs in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand are historically accepted as army recruits for the hill Rajas. In Uttarakhand, there are two general divisions of Rajputs - Asal Rajput and Khas Rajput. Asal Rajput are the immigrants of the lowlands of India while Khas Rajput are children of the local Khas population.
Notable people[change | change source]
Sources[change | change source]
- John T Hitchcock 1978, pp. 116-119.
- Negi, Sharad Singh. Kumaun: The Land and the People. Indus Publishing. ISBN 9788185182896.
- Garhwal Himalayas: A Study in Historical Perspective, by Ajay S. Rawat. Published by Indus Publishing, 2002. ISBN 81-7387-136-1. Page 43-44.
Books[change | change source]
- John T Hitchcock (1978), Himalayan Anthropology: Indo-Tibetan interface