The Rajputs rose to prominence in the 9th and 10th centuries, and were a major force to reckon with medieval India. Passionately attached to their land, family and honour, the Rajputs treated war as a sport, and followed a strong chivalric code of conduct.
Myths and legends of their valour, gallantry, sacrifice and courage are legion. There are many heroes among the Rajputs, such as Prithviraj Chauhan, who fought successfully against the invader Muhammad Ghori in the battle of Tarain (1191), although he died on the same battlefield in the following year. Or the great Rana Pratap of Mewar, who defiantly withstood the might of the Mughal, and continued to raid on them even after his defeat.
He died in 1597, and his son, Ambar Singh, took over the mantle of opposition to Mughal rule. Rana Pratap was the lone exception, as most of the leading Rajput clans finally married into Mughal royalty and nobility, and went into direct State service of the Mughal Empire.
This was chiefly at the behest of the wise and farsighted Mughal emperor, Akbar, who was able to consolidate and expand his empire because of his close ties with the proud Rajputs, the men who made formidable enemies and also steadfast and loyal friends.