Tomara or Tuar Rajputs by Matthew Atmore Sherring

Tomara or Tuar.
This tribe of Rajpoots is of great antiquity, and although now of little importance, was once held in much honour. In the North-Western Provinces, where it formerly possessed extensive power, it numbers little more than four thousand souls, of whom upwards of three thousand inhabit the Agra district. But these statistics rest on the very doubtful authority of the Census Returns of 1865. These Returns, however, are singularly inconsistent with each other. For instance, in one volume, the Tomars of Bulandshahr and Meerut, are said to be descended from Anek Pal, and to be in possession of ten villages, besides portions of other villages situated in the former district. The narrative states that these Tomars are of two kinds, Hindu and Mahomedan, the latter having been converted to Islamism as far back as the reign of Kutbuddin[1] . The next volume, containing the tabular list of all the tribes and castes of these provinces, does not represent a single Tomar as residing in those districts.[2]
The Tomars of Budaon are traditionally descended from Raja Sank Pal, who, many ages ago, conquered that part of the country, and settled in it with a large number of his followers. The Ujhani division of the district has still a considerable population of Tomars. They state, moreover, that their ancestors were subdued by Raja Hirand Pal of Kampil, since which time they have been styled 'Jangarah'[3]. On the termination of the Tomar rule over the ancient kingdom of Delhi, many of the family seem to have migrated southwards and settled in various parts of Gwalior, whence they pushed out to the northward again, and some entered what is now the Agra district[4]. In thedistrict of Etah the Tomars are partly descended from the Gwalior Tomars, and partly from Tomars who came direct from Delhi and Hastinapur. They are found in numerous villages in this district, although their existence is ignored by the Census Tables [5]. There are some also in the district of Mainpuri.
The Tomar dynasty was reigning in Delhi when the Mahomedans first entered India. It commenced with Anang Pal I, in the year 736 A. D., according to the traditional statement, but, in the judgment of General Cunningham, who has paid great attention to the matter, the more correct date is 733 A. D. It lasted for a period of four hundred and nineteen years, when Delhi was captured by the Chauhan Raja of Ajmere, Visala Deva. There were nineteen Kings of the Tomar dynasty, of whom General Cunningham has given a list, with the dates of their accession, and the duration of their several reigns, in his Archaeological Survey of Delhi, page 16. The two royal families were united by the marriage of Visala Deva's son or grandson with the daughter of the last king, Anang Pal III. The issue of this union was the very famous Prithi Raj, or Prithvi Raja, or Rai Pithora, as he is variously styled[6]. This prince was conquered by Muazuddin Sam in 1193.
After this, says Mr. Beames, in his account of this tribe of Rajpoots, in Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, "the Tomars make no mark in history till the reign of Alauddin Khilji, or shortly after the death of that sovereign, when Bir Shing Deo, an obscure Tomar, became possessed of Gwalior, which had been previously held successively by the KachhwAhas, the Parihars, and the Mahomedans. After him a long line of illustrious princes ruled, subject more or less to Musalman influence, among whom Dungar Singh is noteworthy, inasmuch as in his reign the celebrated rock-sculptures of Gwalior were executed. They appear to have been sometimes at feud with, and sometimes faithful allies of, the Musalman rulers of Delhi. The princes of the house of Lodi, Bahlol, Sikandur, and Ibrahim, attacked and defeated them, or were defeated by them, several times in those troublous and unsettled ages. The strong fortress of Gwalior, however, more often defied the Mogul forces. Raja Man Singh was a prince of great power and ability, and in his reign the power of the Tomars was at its height. He was a wise ruler, a patron of the arts, and himself a skilful musician, and a beneficent administrator"[7]. His successor, Vikramaditya, was subdued by the Mahomedans, and was killed at the battle of Panipat, fighting in their behalf. He is supposed to have possessed the celebrated Kohinoor diamond, which he gave to the emperor Babar. The family gradually sank into insignificance, and at length removed from Gwalior and settled in Udaipur. It retains, however, the memory of its ancient prestige [8].
The Tomars, although once so powerful and illustrious, possess now no independent territory. Vikramaditiya, who established the Sambat era, dating from the year 56 B. C, is believed, on good grounds, to have sprung from this tribe. "The chief possessions left to the Tuars," remarks Colonel Tod, "are the district of Tuargar, on the right bank of the Chumbal towards its junction with the Jumna, and the small chieftainship of Patan Tuarvati, in the Jaipur State, and whose head claims affinity with the ancient kings of Indraprastha" [9].
In the Gorakhpur district are a few families of this tribe, there styled Tongar. They are not of high rank in popular estimation. Small communities also are found in the Fathpur district. A few likewise are met with in the districts of Benares and Shahjahanpur. The tribe is divided into seventeen branches.
The Barwar clan of Majhosi and Maniar, in the Ghazipur district, profess to be a branch of the Tomar tribe. They came thither in association with the Naraulia branch of the Parihar Rajpoots, and assisted them in the expulsion of the Cherus. Their traditions state that they first of all settled in the Azimgarh district, and afterwards entered Kharid. The name ' Barwar,' they say, is derived from Barnagar, formerly the principal village of the tribe. Other Barwars are found at Deochandpur, a village in the Saidpur pargannah of the Ghazipur district; and others still at Baripur in the Chapra district[10].
"It is worthy of notice," says Dr. W. Oldham, "that the Barwars of Majhosi and of Maniar tuppehs, though they claim a common origin, are entirely distinct from each other. They will only eat together on the occasion of some great gathering, when the people of the other clans of the pargannah are present. The population of Maniar, the chief town of the Barwars, is 6,124. It is the seat of an extensive grain trade" [11].



[1]  Census of the North-Western Provinces, for 1865, Vol. I., Appendix B., pp. 19, 20.

[2] Ibid, Vol. II. General Statement of Castes, No. 4, p. 11, list Towmur.

[3]   Census of the North-Western Provinces, for 1865, Vol I., Appendix B., p. 46.

[4]  Ibid, p. 68.

[5] Census of the North-Western Provinces, for 1865, Vol. I, Appendix B., p. 94.

[6] General Cunningham's Archaeological Survey, pp. 16—23.

[7] Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., p. 163

[8] Elliot's Supplemental Glossary, Vol. I., p. 163-164.

[9] Tod's Rajasthan, Vol. I., pp. 88, 89.

[10] Dr. W. Oldham's Statistical Memoir of the Ghazipur District, Part I., p. 61.

[11] Ibid, p. 62.