Origin and History
South-east Region of Rajasthan is known as Hadoti, the land of the Hadas. Hada Rajputs are a major branch of the Chauhan Agnikula (fire dynasty) Rajputs. They had settled in the hilly terrain of Mewar, at Bambaoda, near Bijolian in the 12C. Bundi was conquered in 1241 by Rao Deva Singh from the Meena tribe. This was the first step in the establishment of Hadaoti, when the Hadas moved down from the 'Pathar' around Bambaoda.
Bundi takes its name from the Bando Naal or the narrow passage, between the rugged hills. The town of Bundi is nestled in the cleft of the hills and has a special medieval flavor quite untouched by time. Prince Jait Singh of Bundi captured Kota in 1264 , and Kota became a part of Bundi as the Jaghir (land grant) of the eldest prince of Bundi. Kota became a separate state in 1624. The state of Jhalawar was formed in 1838 out of Kota territory.
The domain of the Bundi and Kota Hadas extended from the hills of Bundi in the west to the Malwa Plateau in the east. With a similar expanse to the north and to the south. Hadaoti is an expanse of fertile plains having rich black-cotton soil. It is watered by several rivers giving it a verdant look. The largest and the only perennial river of Rajasthan is the River Chambal. It rises in the south and flows north to Kota. At Kota the river turns east to join the River Jamuna beyond Agra.
River Chambal is a very ancient river which finds mention in the Upanishads and this is also evident from the great 60 mile (96km) long gorge it has cut through the rock in its relentless flow through the millennia. It has several tributaries, the chief ones being the River Kalisind, River Parvan and the River Parvati.
The Aravalli Hills are the most ancient folded mountain range in India. They rise near Mt. Abu in south of Rajasthan. One arm crosses Bundi in a south to north direction, while another arm cuts across Kota from the southwest, roughly separating the plains of Hadoti from those of the Malwa Plateau. These hills and the surrounding areas were once thickly forested and teemed with wildlife including tiger, for which Hadoti was once famous. Scenes of hunting in Hadoti have been captured in the beautiful miniature paintings of the Kota 'kalam' (school).
Hadoti has been the abode of early man as is clearly evident from several well-preserved upper Paleolithic period cave paintings dating back to 20,000 B.C. Legend links it to the epic periods of the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Being a fertile and prosperous area, it was the ancient battleground between invaders like the Hoons (Huns) and the Sakas (Scythians) and the entrenched empires of ancient India like the Imperial Guptas and Harsha Vardhana.During the medieval period Hadoti attracted the attention of practically every powerful monarch of Delhi.For this region was one of the keys to the gates of the rich kingdoms of Gujarat and Malwa. Scores of beautiful temples sculpted in stone are spread over for miles in the wilderness of Hadoti.
Traditions and Artforms
Hadoti is a treasure house of art and sculpture. Some of the archeological wonders are found in the temples that are situated in every nook and corner of it. Bundi is an important city, bearing witness to some of the striking artistry. It is located in a narrow encompassing gorge. The Bundi palace of this Hadoti region portrays an instance of Hada Rajput architecture with its engraved brackets, towers, and balconies. The Chitra Shala, with its superb paintings of this famous Bundi School, decorates the palace walls.
At the time of its festivals and fairs, the whole of the Hadoti region gets embellished with color and exuberance. Due to its integrity to the Rajasthani culture, most of the people of the Hadoti region practice Hinduism. They also fete almost all the traditional Rajasthani festivals like Deepawali, Holi, Gangaur, Teej, Gogaji, Makar Sankranti and Janmashtami. Pushkar, too, one of the significant festivals of Rajasthan, has been feted in the Hadoti with great festivity.
Ghoomar is the traditional dance form which performed by women swirling in robes accompanied by men and women singing together.It showcases amazing combination of garceful inclination of the body and displays spectacular colors of flowing 'Ghaagra'
Dal baati churma is the trademark dish of Hadoti. Other than this Gatte, Ker Sangri,Kadhi, Mangodi, Mirchi-bada, Pyaj-kachori and Moongthaal are also deeply relished here.
'Kota doriya', 'Lehriya' and 'bandhej' are the commonly used dress material here. Doria saris can be found only in Kota, but the people who originally weaved them were not from here. In fact, a certain Kota ruler discovered them during one of his military campaigns in the south. Sometime in the 17th century the Rao was in Mysore with his army fighting wars and trying to increase his kingdom when he bumped into weavers of the doria cloth. This cotton and silk fabric intricately woven with colourful floral motifs caught his fancy, and he brought its makers to Kota. Interestingly, doria weaving has now died in Mysore and flourishes only in Kota. The finished fabric is also known as Kota Masuria (from the word Mysore) as a tribute to its original ancestry. Women draped in colorful sarees or wearing graceful ghagras and splendid with spectacular ornaments add to the beauty of Hadoti.
Men usually wear turbans on their heads.