Mask of Vaikuntha Vishnu, late 5th century. Learn more about 5th century masks
A ethnic community from the north-west region of Rajasthan, which was historically known as Rajputana. Rajputs regard themselves as descendants of the warrior caste. The community attained political importance from the seventh century onwards, with small kingdoms being established across north-western India. They remained independent during the rule of the Mughals, from the sixteenth to early eighteenth century, and became their close allies while simultaneously being embroiled in territorial and political contestations with them. The decline of the Mughal empire after Aurangzeb’s rule gave impetus to Rajput kingdoms to grow independently, in the absence of a centralised provincial rule.