The Indus Valley Civilization, one of the world's first and oldest civilizations, was located in parts of what is now Rajasthan. Kalibangan in Hanumangarh district, Rajasthan was a major provincial capital of the Indus Valley Civilization.It is believed that Western Kshatrapas were Saka rulers of the western part of India (Saurashtra and Malwa: modern Gujarat, Southern Sindh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan). They were successors to the Indo-Scythians, and were contemporaneous with the Kushans who ruled the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. The Indo-Scythians invaded the area of Ujjain and establish the Saka era (with Saka calendar), marking the beginning of the long-lived Saka Western Satraps kingdom.
Traditionally the Meenas, Rajputs, Yadavs, Jats, Bhils, Gurjars, Bishnois and other tribes made a great contribution in building the state of Rajasthan. All these tribes suffered great difficulties in protecting their culture and the land. Millions of them were martyred trying to protect their land.Gurjars had been exterminated in Bhinmal and Ajmer areas fighting with the invaders. Bhils once ruled Kota. Meenas were rulers of Bundi and Dhundhar region.
Rajasthan means the Land of the Kings. Modern Rajasthan includes most of Rajputana, which comprised mainly the erstwhile Rajput kingdoms as well as two Jat kingdoms and a Muslim kingdom. Marwar (Jodhpur), Bikaner, Mewar (Udaipur), Alwar and Jaipur were some of the main Rajput states. The Jats were rulers in Bharatpur and Dholpur. Tonk was ruled by a Muslim Nawab. The Rajputs put a very valiant resistance to the Islamic invasions and protected this land with their warfare and chivalry for more than 500 years. They also resisted Mughal incursions into India, but contributed to the slower than anticipated access to the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughals, with a technique based on skilled warfare were able to set firm a grip on northern India, including Rajasthan. The fighter spirit and valour of Rajputs impressed the Mughals to such an extent that even after defeating the Rajputs, the Mughals held their valour and value in the highest esteem. Mewar led other kingdoms in its resistance to outside rule. Most notably Rana Sanga fought the Battle of Khanua against Babur, the founder of the Mughal empire
Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, the Hindu Emperor, won 22 battles against Afghans, from Punjab to Bengal and had defeated Akbar's forces twice before acceding to the throne of Delhi and establishing 'Hindu Raj' in North India, Maharana Pratap of Mewar resisted Akbar in the famous Battle of Haldighati and later operated from hilly areas of his kingdom. The Haldighati war was fought between 10,000 Mewaris and a 100,000 strong Mughal force . The Mughal Empire eventually weakened . The Rajputs saw this as an opportunity to reassert their independence. With the decline of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century, Rajputana came under attack by the Marathas and Pindaris, and the Maratha general Scindia captured Ajmer. The Rajput kings fconcluded treaties with the British in the early 19th century, accepting British sovereignty in return for local autonomy.
The Marwaris (people from Marwar) and Rajasthan's formerly independent kingdom created a rich architectural and cultural heritage, seen even today in their numerous forts and palaces (Mahals and Havelis) which are enriched by features of Muslim and Jain architecture. The development of the frescos in Rajasthan is linked with the history of the Marwaris, who have also played a crucial role in the economic development of the region. Many wealthy families throughout Indian history have links to Marwar. These families include the legendary Birla, Bhandari, Bajaj, Mittal and Mirza families.