Monday, August 17, 2009

The Ror Suryavanshi kshatriyas

The Ror community hails primarily from a few small pockets in the Indo-Gangetic plains, in the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttarakhand in North India. It would be rather optimistic to put the total population of the Ror at one million and it would be fairer to assign a total head count of 750,000 to the community. The community is fairly small and well-knit; as of today, they hold nearly 270 villages in Haryana and 52 more in Western Uttar Pradesh and the Haridwar district of Uttaranchal.
In his famed work, "A Glossary of the Tribes and castes of Punjab and North-West Frontier Provinces", H.A. Rose says that the Ror are fine, stalwart men. Quoting from the third volume, Rose says:[2]
The real seat of the Ror is the great Dhak jungles of Thanesar. They hold 84 villages and Amin is the "Tika" or head village. They also hold 12 villages south of Kaithal and the gotra there is Turan. Again, there are 12 more villages of the Ror beyond the Ganges. The immediate place of origin of the Rors seems to be Badli in Jhajjar tehsil of Rohtak district and all of them unanimously claim to have come from there.
In the Archaeological Survey of India Report for the year 1871-72, A.C.L. Carlleyle says about the image of a Ror warrior found at the site of Kaga Ror or Kagarol:[3]
The features of the face are fine and manly, of the handsomest Hindu type. The warrior has his right knee raised; on his right arm he presents a shield in defense and in the left hand he brandishes a straight sword of huge dimensions over his head. In a belt round his waist he wears a dagger with a cross-shaped hilt at his left side. The hair of the head is full but drawn back in straight lines on the head. Evidently, its a figure of a warrior of great strength.

Ror clans historically ruled from Rori, the capital of Sind for a long time. Rori has been known by names such as Roruka and Rorik since antiquity. Buddhist Jataka stories talk about exchanges of gifts between King Rudrayan of Roruka and King Bimbisara of Magadh [4]. Divyavadana, the Buddhist chronicle has said that Rori historically competed with Patliputra in terms of political influence.[5] The importance of this town can not be underestimated as evident in the following JSTOR article. [5]The scholar T.W. Rhys Davids has mentioned Roruka as one of the most important cities of India in the seventh century B.C.[6]
Roruka was founded and established for the first time by King Ruruk, who was the fifth Ikshvaku dynasty ruler in the lineage after Raja Harishchandra of Kashi [6]. An idea about the age of the city can be had by exploring the time line of the Ikshvaku dynasty. King Ruruk happened 29 generations before Sri Ram and should be dated to around 2500 BC using the most conservative estimates.[7] If we believe the traditional Puranic time-line for the Indian Civilization, King Ruruk may have lived around 5500 BC.[7]Thus, it can be seen that Roruka in the historical Sindhu-Sauvira area is quite an ancient seat of civilization dating back to the third millennium BC certainly.
The ancient city of Rori was also a major pilgrimage center where famous personalities like "Sant" Bhrithari, elder brother of the great King Vikramaditya, came to pay their respects to Shankar Bhagwan. After the Arab conquest of Sind, the invaders pulled down the ancient temple of Shiva but Rori still remains very important as a religious destination for the Sindhis..

The first few centuries of the Christian Era and a couple of centuries prior to that constitute the golden age of Ror history. Not only did Rors have ruling seats of power in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana and Sindh; during the times of Rai Dewaji in the 5th century AD, they consolidated their influence in the entire region from Afghanistan to Kanauj in India.[9]
The fort at BhainsRor in Southern Rajasthan is supposed to have come up in the 2nd century B.C. and the Kagarol (Kaga Ror)[10] ruins near present-day Agra have also pointed to a similar time-line for another branch of Rors who ruled from there. The coins found in the Agra circle by Sir Alexander Cunningham [8] seem to indicate a close relationship between the Ror rulers of the area and the rulers of Hastinapur and Indraprastha. A few coins found close to the site have been dated to the 3rd century CE by Cunningham as a result of the general style of the coins and the type of Sanskrit used.