(Last Updated on : 17/08/2010)
Chauhan is a Rajput community that ruled the northern part of the country during the middle ages. Chauhan is also considered as a small caste of village watchmen and labourers mainly in the Central Province of India. Chauhans are also called Chandel by some people. Chauhan caste claims to have a Rajput
origin. According to them, their ancestors belong to the region of Mainpuri that is the home of Rajput Chauhan community. Interestingly, Chauhan gotra is also found among Jat
and Gujjar Community
. The community claims that one of the four Agnikula, meaning fire sprung clans, is Chauhan. According to Rajput bards, the Chauhan community derives their origin from a sacrificial fire-pit at Mount Abu for fighting against the Asuras or the demons. They are also said to be one of the 36 ruling races of Rajputs. However, some scholars claim that the agnikula clans were originally Gujjars and Chauhan was the prominent clan of the Gujjar community.
Some names of their sections have been taken from those of the Rajput clans. However, majority of their sections are of totemistic nature, being named after animals and plants. Few examples are Nag, the cobra; Kolhia, the jackal; Neora, the mongoose; Khanda, a sword; Kamal, the lotus; Chanwar, rice
; Pat, silk; and others. Members of each of the sections worship the object after which it has been named. If the plant or the animal is not readily obtainable then they make a representation of that particular object in flour and worship it. Like for instance, the members of the Bedna, sugarcane
sept make a stick of flour and then worship it. Further, the members refrain from killing or eating their sept totem, although it becomes impossible for them to follow in certain cases as in that of the Chanwar or rice sept. Members belonging to those sects, which are named after heroic ancestors prepare an image of flour of their ancestral saint and worship it. The Chauhan caste employs the services of a Brahmin
priest for performing wedding and other auspicious ceremonies. Chauhan community allow the re-remarriage of widows, and there are no restrictions regarding her choice of second husband.
Chauhans are religious and they worship Goddess Durga
or Devi. They observe fasts in her honour in the months September and Chaitra
(March). They generally burn the dead, but children are buried. They also observe a certain period of mourning. Chauhan community is most famous for King Prithviraj Chauhan